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Thread: Determined but worried first time mommy

  1. #1

    Unhappy Determined but worried first time mommy

    I am a first time mom and now have a 5 week old. I thought everything was going great with breastfeeding. She was giving us plenty of wet and dirty diapers, but her pediatrician has me feeling like she's not getting enough milk from me.

    She was born at 8.2.
    At 4 days old she was 7.5.
    At 9 days old she was 7.12.
    And at 1 month old she was 8.4.

    I've just started pumping because I will be returning to work on September 5th. I am having the hardest time. I get maybe 2-2.5oz each time. And that's me "power pumping". And I end up just feeding her that 2-2.5oz because she wakes up shortly after and I don't think I have anything left in my breasts for her to nurse. Unless I'm wrong about that?

    I'm currently taking
    Fenugreek capsules 2x a day.
    Flax seed oil capsules 2x a day.
    Mothers milk tea 3x a day.
    I'm eating oats when I can and just purchased brewers yeast.

    Some girlfriends who are also first timers and my age are producing plenty and I don't get what I'm doing wrong?!
    I really DO NOT want to give her formula because I'm determined to make this work and financially it will be hard on me and my partner.
    I have to figure this out since I go back to work in 11 days.
    I'm miss feeling that enforced feeling cuz I knew my milk supply was sufficient.
    How do I start producing more?
    HELP!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Determined but worried first time mommy

    Hi. Welcome. How many times a day are you pumping? Are you doing it in additional to nursing on demand or instead of? 2-2.5 oz is plenty of milk. That is probably what she would be taking from you. I think the issue is probably more about getting the baby to the breast more often than about pumping. How many times in a 24hour period is she eating?

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Determined but worried first time mommy

    Also how many different scales were those weights on, and what is baby's daily poop output? I know you said plenty, just trying to get more specifics. Only need to know about poops. Thanks.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Determined but worried first time mommy

    Right now I'm pumping maybe 3 times a day. And that's in addition to nursing. I don't want to exclusively pump. But I do need to go back to work in 11 days.

    I'm not building a supply because I'm giving her what I just pumped.

    If I pump that 2-2.5 and then she wakes up hungry like 30 mins later will I have anything in me to nurse her? I'm afraid if pumping but then not having any supply for her to nurse from.
    She eats about 8 times in a day. That's both nursing and bottles. Should I nurse her more?
    Last edited by @llli*britg; August 25th, 2017 at 05:49 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Determined but worried first time mommy

    They were on the exact same scale each time. We've gotten the same room each time at the doctors.

    As far as poop diapers. Anywhere between 4-6 a day.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Determined but worried first time mommy

    They were on the exact same scale each time. We've gotten the same room each time at the doctors.
    So birth weight and all subsequent weights were done on the same scale? That would be highly unusual but if that is the case, then yes the gain as recorded is quite slow. Was baby always weighed in a dry diaper or naked each time?

    Baby is nursing 8 times a day, which is the lowest range of normal. Few newborns can nurse that infrequently and gain enough. Newborns often nurse more than 12 times a day in the early weeks. So yes it would make sense to encourage baby to nurse more often.

    I would also suggest seeing a board certified lactation consultant if possible because something seems very odd. All that poop must be coming from somewhere. So why is gain not matching the poop output? When you say baby poops 4-6 times a day, are you counting little dots and streaks? What counts is a poop you could scoop up in a teaspoon (at least) if you wanted to.

    If I pump that 2-2.5 and then she wakes up hungry like 30 mins later will I have anything in me to nurse her?
    Normally yes you would. Your body is always making milk. However rather than upping pump frequency I would suggest up nursing frequency.

    Is there any way to delay return to work a couple weeks? It is not necessary, but slow gain is potentially a very serious breastfeeding issue and it would be nice if you could get a little breathing room.

    If that is not possible, I suggest that from what you are pumping, save at least 1 ounce a day and freeze it- do not give that to baby that day. In 10 days, that would be 10 ounces. Assuming an 8-9 hour separation that should be just enough for caregiver to feed to baby that first day. (Of course baby will still have to nurse lots overnight, but that is the case no matter what.) Yes it would be nice to have more of a milk stash in reserve, and that may happen if you can get baby nursing more often and continue to pump at least 2-3 times a day. But you can only do what you can do. If you are unable to have more of a stash before day one of work, it is what it is, you can figure it out from there.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Determined but worried first time mommy

    Oh you're right. Her birth weight was taken at whittier hospital. But the other 3 weights were on the same scale in the same room at the same doctors office.

    I think I need to start waking her up to eat then. She's actually a really good napper/sleeper.

    Her poop diapers that I'm counting are legit ones. And she does about 6 Pee diapers. I've read that poop diapers aren't the determiner because some exclusively breastfed babies her age can go days without pooping.

    I unfortunately cannot prolong my return to work. If I could I definitely would. LUCKILY I work just two traffic signals away from home. So I can go home on on my lunch for a feeding. So I that cancels one bottle out.

    I just watched a video that was posted on here about how I need to really empty of breasts to keep producing more. I'm going to start manually extracting milk after each feeding as well as after each pump. Fingers crossed.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Determined but worried first time mommy

    I've read that poop diapers aren't the determiner because some exclusively breastfed babies her age can go days without pooping.
    Yes this is a common misunderstanding. Ok here is the scoop on poop.
    Newborns up to 6 weeks tend to poop at least 4 times a day. If they are having at least 4 "legit" poops a day, then that is usually a pretty accurate measure that baby is getting enough to eat. Gain needs to still be monitored, but the poops and gain usually indicate a similar story.

    Anytime after about 6 weeks of age (but usually a little later) some babies start pooping less often- yes even less than once a day. Some go several days without pooping, even a week or more, and are still getting plenty of milk and gain fine. So for those babies, yes poops are not the best measure. In that case, weight gain (measured properly) is the only completely accurate measure baby is getting enough.

    However, many babies do continue to "poop like a newborn" for some time. Some for many months, some right up to solid introduction and beyond. In those cases, the poops continue to be visible daily evidence baby is getting enough to eat.

    Pees are never a very accurate indication a baby is getting enough to eat. Pees are very hard to measure for one thing, as every diaper absorbs pees differently. Every time a baby poops there is probably pee as well, hidden by the poop. And as babies get older they pee much less often but more at a time. So entirely normal pee amounts are just harder to recognize baby to baby. But most importantly when talking about gain in the early months, a baby peeing "enough" means you have a baby who is not dehydrated, not necessarily that baby is getting enough milk to gain normally, these are two very different amounts of milk, if that makes sense. Poops more accurately reflect if baby is in fact getting enough to gain normally. Even the difference between slow gain and normal gain is usually not all that much milk, which is why simply encouraging baby to nurse more often can help in many cases.

    Hope that clears up the poop debate.

    I just watched a video that was posted on here about how I need to really empty of breasts to keep producing more.
    I do not know what video you mean, but there are two mandatory components to ensuring normal milk production and they are frequency of milk removal and effectiveness of milk removal. Of those two, frequency of milk removal is more important. Many moms do not have their breasts "emptied" each time baby nurses, but as long as baby nurses often enough it does not matter. So while yes, if you think you have low production and need it increased (I am not convinced that is the case) then pumping or hand expressing after baby nurses would help- but more important is having milk removal be frequent and that means, more frequent nursing since your baby can nurse and as far as we know, nurses normally. Of course increasing nursing frequency also eliminates the middle man, so to speak. You nurse and baby gets the milk right then, rather than having to pump the milk and then give it to baby, so it is a time saver as well.

    This is not to say pumping is not a good idea, I get it that you need expressed milk for your return to work and again, pumping over and above frequent nursing is going to act to increase to milk production. But it can get very exhausting nursing and then pumping over and over again all day. So prioritizing nursing over pumping at least part of the day may be needed to protect your health and quality of life, both very important for any new mom but in particular for the mom who is trying to overcome a breastfeeding issue.

    Hope that made sense.

    LUCKILY I work just two traffic signals away from home. So I can go home on on my lunch for a feeding. So I that cancels one bottle out.
    Yes this should be very helpful.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 25th, 2017 at 11:29 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Determined but worried first time mommy

    Sheesh! So much science behind little human poop!!

    I'm going to start trying to nurse her more often and try and get her on a schedule.

    When I first get her to go to sleep at night she'll sleep for a good 5, even sometimes 6, hour span. I can set an alarm to wake myself up in between that long sleep span. But should I wake her to nurse or just pump and freeze it and let her sleep?

    Ps. The video I mean is in this forum under "increasing supply while pumping". It's a really old video about moms with babies in the NICU.
    Last edited by @llli*britg; August 25th, 2017 at 11:57 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Determined but worried first time mommy

    You definitely should be trying to feed her more than 8 times a day. 8 times *can* be enough. But in your case because of slow weight gain it may not be. And it's an easy fix. Since you are already making all her food and have never struggled to do it, you feed her 2 more times a day and you'll make the food for her 2 more times a day. I don't think you need to wake her to feed her. YOU need to wake to feed her. But she will probably dream feed for you if she is in a sleep space close to you. Is she?
    Also in terms of pumping for work-I don't want you to get too overwhelmed with that idea. Your freezer stash simply needs to be enough to cover the 1st day and any addtional oz you can get so that you can supplement if need be. My suggestion for building that small stockpile (Ideally you will have 12-16oz) is to simply pump 1st thing in the AM when you get up to pee. Most women yield most 1st thing in the Am after sleeping. And usually there is no problem feeding the baby when the baby wakes up after that. (As long as you are waking up naturally and the baby isn't waking you) Freeze that. Every day. It's possible that you will get MORE than 2 or 2.5 oz in that 1st session. Beyond that I would skip it unless she is taking a 4hour nap during the day. If she does that (& my 5 week old did) I would pump at the 2hr point of nap and still expect to feed directly when she wakes.
    But the way pumping should look when you go back to work is that you leave the 1st days milk which you pull from your freezer, you pump all day at the times you would normally feed while away from her, and the next day leave her your fresh milk, and then on Friday the milk you pump goes into the freezer and on Monday the milk that gets left is the oldest in the freezer so that none ever gets wasted and your rotation is constant. Your additional oz of stash are there in case you don't respond well to the pump-which it sounds like you are responding just fine to the pump. Rule of thumb is 1-1.5 oz of milk for every hour away. So 8-12 oz for an 8 hr day. A little less for you since you will miss one pumping session and she will miss one bottle when you come home for lunch.
    I don't think you need to worry. I understand about being concerned about slow weight gain. But it seems you are making milk on demand and that issue is simply a lack of demand. Increase the supply, get more milk into her in a 24 hr period and her weight should increase. Good luck!!

    Way too lazy for formula

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