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Thread: Post Frenetomy - Baby not nursing: Do I have to pump now?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Post Frenetomy - Baby not nursing: Do I have to pump now

    FYI I am not using any of the sleep lengthening strategies. However, and this is related to my milk concerns (paranoia ), the baby - each night at around 6:30pm or 7pm mostly, will want to nurse. She nurses for 2 hours at this point. I guess this is related to bottle top off (our baby doesn't accept bottles but I presume this is feeding the baby more at night to keep them full)
    Bottle top offs could lead to over feeding and that is why they are potentially a problem. Baby nursing is not going to cause that problem, ever. Also baby nursing a long time at this time of day is also fairly common, and this is probably why so many people resort to bottle top offs at this point. Also baby will nurse for comfort at time, meaning they are not really trying to transfer much milk and so it does not matter how much milk is in the breasts at that point. (Assuming baby is gaining normally.) This also means baby is not necessarily going to "empty" the breasts. This is why telling moms to "empty the breasts" when baby nurses is not logical. This concern about "emptying" the breasts is only needed to be worried about if you are pumping and if your milk production really is too low. Aside from that circumstance, telling moms that baby must empty the breast is left-over advice meant to counteract the unfortunate practice of scheduling feedings (for example, having baby nurse only every 4 hours for 15 minutes a side, or some similar restriction.) THAT was of course terrible advice that killed many a mother's milk production. So breastfeeding helpers counteracted that by saying "baby must nurse until the breast is empty." But of course now we know that babies especially in the early months need to nurse as often and as long as they please and also, as well, that mom should offer to nurse if SHE every feels it is time (feels a bit full, whatever.) So nursing should not be scheduled in any way. If THAT happens, usually milk production is fine and there is no need to worry so much about how much milk baby takes out at any individual nursing session.

    If a breastfed baby is gaining normally when only breastfed, then the mom does not have low milk production. All you need is enough milk for baby to gain normally, not extra milk that you can pump out.

    Now I know you are on Dom, and that may be increasing your production and that is why you have enough. Also you are pumping, and that may also be why you have enough. This can probably not be known until you wean off these. However, what you can pump out or hand express out either before or after baby nurses, or baby behavior- these are not accurate measures of milk production. The only accurate measure of milk production is the exclusively nursing baby's weight gain. Period.

    maddieb, the baby nurses quite often still, but the night one is really tiring for me - also very often, she seems to just suckle at the breast, or falls asleep. Should I be stopping this behavior somehow? Are these bad habits or is it natural baby behavior? I am looking forward to having more time for myself again too.
    This is normal behavior, entirely healthy and biologically normal, good for milk production and with no drawbacks except mom getting tired which I will address below.

    So a baby nursing to sleep is not a bad habit nor is letting baby do this creating a bad habit. 1) because it is not a habit but a biologically, instinctually compelled behavior and 2) Because even if it was a habit, nursing to sleep would be a good habit, not a bad one. Being able to nurse a child to sleep is a gift to mothers, because it is by far the easiest sleep inducer to implement and the longer you nurse and the older baby gets, the clearer this benefit will be to you.

    Of course many people will tell you it is a bad habit, because so many expect babies and young children to go off alone and get themselves to sleep many years before such behavior is biologically proper or normal. If you ever want to read more about what is normal when it comes to baby and young child sleep, I suggest the excellent book Sweet Sleep from LLL, it is based on scientific studies and not on poorly reasoned suppositions that have no basis in reality.

    Here is what I did when I got tired while nursing baby to sleep.

    I made sure I was very comfortable while nursing baby at this point. If I wanted to lie down we did sidelying nursing on the bed, (If you need tips on safe bedsharing let me know) if I wanted to relax and watch tv or whatever, I sat in a reclined and comfortable position on the couch with baby safely and securely on top of me, etc. Whatever worked. For mom, nursing for long periods in a less than entirely supported and comfortable position is of course going to be very fatiguing.

    Also after baby had nursed for a while, if I needed a break, I gave baby to my husband and he would walk baby down. He liked to put baby in a sling to do this, and he would walk around and hum or whatever. Baby would either fall asleep deeply enough to be put down in the bed for a while, or (more usually) baby would come back to me, either way I got a little break.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: Post Frenetomy - Baby not nursing: Do I have to pump now

    Hi maddieb

    Wow - thank you thank you thank you.

    I am between a few appointments but just want to say thank you for your reply. As usual, it is immensely helpful, and also gives me some comfort/context for her behavior. I let her BF "normally" yesterday as a result. I have tried lying down but we can't quite get it


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: Post Frenetomy - Baby not nursing: Do I have to pump now


    Since your advice, I have been allowing her to nurse as long as she wants. I always did but I feel better about it!

    I've also started feeling more confident about my milk supply, thanks to the information you share.

    However, this morning I felt like I was getting really depressed. Last night, I thought I had mastistis (sic) - I had a small reddish shade on my breast, as well as cold chills and she has continued to hurt my right breast so it's a bit torn. Fortunately this morning I feel better and I kept putting her on my right breast.

    Overall I continue taking dom, have pretty much stopped pumping as of a few days ago.

    However, after restarting domperidone and doing some pumping in between, my milk supply - or rather - my letdown is back at the other stage. In the morning, there is too heavy a letdown. She cries and screams and opens her mouth then refuses the left breast, which this time, is taking the bulk of it as I put her on my right breast at night.

    I then finally pumped a little, after the left breast being last touched since 9pm last night (so a full 15 hours untouched at least) - only 30 mL came out. I know you said pumping is not an indication necessarily so I took heart, but I was (am) so depressed. Did my leaving milk in there cause another yo yo effect, I thought..

    I've tried so hard for many months to get my milk supply up to feed her adequately and now it is higher, she also can't feed and is even more distressed. I don't know what to do - I don't want to continue pumping especially if it exacerbates this, but even in pumping, it seems that overactive letdown is not commensurate to high milk supply.

    So do I continue dom, continue pumping, or just wait it all out. I have tried reclining back many times but she either has issues sucking when I do that (I don't think the frenectomy has helped her, and sometimes I think it is worse), or she still comes off crying if the spurt is too strong.

    I guess, maddieb, what would you do?

    I'm almost looking forward to when I can stop BF - it's so depressing today.

    xx Thank you maddieb.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Post Frenetomy - Baby not nursing: Do I have to pump now

    Sorry I missed this. How are things going now?

    I am still not really understanding why you have so much concern that your milk production is insufficient... I am trying to grasp if, at this point, it is real or imagined.

    But let's say for the sake of argument it really is not enough for baby. Of course trying and trying over a long time to get production up is going to cause many moms to feel frustrated and worse.

    One option would be to decide to from now on, supplement with formula, as needed. Just leave trying to increase production with pumping and meds alone, and supplement as needed. Yes this could be harmful if your production is really fine. But in this imaginary scenario, it is not fine, baby really needs more.

    A mom in this case would want to try to not over supplement, again, as that would be harmful to production.

    But here is the possible benefits. You no longer worry so much about not having enough, so you relax and enjoy breastfeeding more. This is turn leads to you possibly breastfeeding your baby for longer than otherwise. Many moms would make the argument that nursing longer is more important to them than nursing exclusively- if that makes sense?

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