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Thread: 911 - I need some help....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    5

    Question 911 - I need some help....

    Ok so I am totally dedicated to breastfeeding my brand new baby girl for at least 6 mos... But these first few weeks are kicking my booty... Initially we started and she was doing ok or so I thought and but when we went to her 2 week doctor appt she hadn't gained back her birth weight(7lbs 5ozs) At that point she was 7lbs 3 oz... Not a big deal but my Doctor at the time was concerned and had me bring her back in a few days and she was 7lbs 7ozs

    Happy HAPPY JOY JOY right...

    Wrong because I took her back about a week later for her 1 month check up on April 12 and she was only 7lbs 10oz. Putting her rate of weight gain at about 1/2oz a day. Also during this last 2 weeks prior she had been pooping every two or three days...SO I was really freaking out.. At that point the doctor kinda started freaking me out even more telling me she was going to have cognitvie disabilities if I didn't give her formula. MInd you she hadn't been really fussy or overly cranky.She's very strong and has hit all the milestones for one month easily...She ver very strong And seemed to have a good latch. THe only problems to me was the lack of poop and that she seemed to eat take forever to eat and would never take herself off the breast or refuse the breast. Also it seemed like the feeding were on right after another eat for an hour sleep for 15 to 30 mins and then wat for 45mins to an hour again.

    I was really resistant to the formula and told the doc that I really wanted to breastfeed exclusively and fix the problem if I could but obviously not at the expense of my childs health...So she suggested I pump my milk so we could quantify it but gave me like a crapload of formula and a very heavy heart...My husband who was with me at the appointment didn't like her attitude about the whole thing(not listening well and insisting on formula supplements) So we got a new doctor and went there 2 days later... During this time I pumped for the first time and got about 12 oz total on one day with no breast feeding and we used about 1 oz of supplemental formula. ANd on the second day I put her to the breast and pumped after feedings which I am still doing. Any way at that docs appt. My daughter was 7lbs 14oz.... 4 oz in two days... yay... So that doctor told me to continue to breastfeed and explaind that my milk supply may have just been slow to come in. I never got engorgment and still this day have never leaked any milk. She also sent us to a lactation consultant sho said the same thing and had me waking her up for more constatn and consistent feedings and Had me switch the breast after 10-15 mins
    This seemed to work went back for another check up 5 daylater and she was 8lbs 3oz. and had started pooping about twice a day...
    So what is the problem you ask...

    Ok lately she has been eating for about only 8 mins on the breast and then coming off coughing and almost choking after this short amount of time. Also she has been having green stools for the past day and half and hasn't pooped at all today. And was just generally cranky.Want to eat every 15 minutes and just looking uncomfortable. For our late night feeding she was really hard to rouse form sleep but did after about 25 mins of half sleep eating and ate fairly well and went back to sleep easily....So at this last feeding she was eating for about 6 mins and then taking herself off and then taking it if i would offer it to her again and she would take it.. She did this about 3 times and then after the third cough and As I sat her up and she just projectile vomited all over the place...So i'm reading bout overactive milk let down.. IS this it.. I never feel any let down at all... Ocassionally I get all itchy when I breastfeed. Is that it? Also I barely pump any milk when I do 1 or 2 ozs here and there?.. I still don't think my milk supply is right so I don' think it is the let down thing. But the green poops the coughing and all that lead me think maybe so... But isn't the constant eating, low pooping and the fact that I feel no let down and never feel breast fullness a signal for low milk supply?? Maybe I am freaking out or whatever but I need some good womanly support here.. I can't stand to see my little girl unhappy like this...

    Sorry this was so long I hope you got it all and that I can get help like some of the other women I have seen I look forward to helping others once me and my DD get it down...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: 911 - I need some help....

    Quote Originally Posted by itsmesenam
    Ok lately she has been eating for about only 8 mins on the breast and then coming off coughing and almost choking after this short amount of time. Also she has been having green stools for the past day and half and hasn't pooped at all today. And was just generally cranky.Want to eat every 15 minutes and just looking uncomfortable. For our late night feeding she was really hard to rouse form sleep but did after about 25 mins of half sleep eating and ate fairly well and went back to sleep easily....So at this last feeding she was eating for about 6 mins and then taking herself off and then taking it if i would offer it to her again and she would take it.. She did this about 3 times and then after the third cough and As I sat her up and she just projectile vomited all over the place...So i'm reading bout overactive milk let down.. IS this it.. I never feel any let down at all... Ocassionally I get all itchy when I breastfeed. Is that it? Also I barely pump any milk when I do 1 or 2 ozs here and there?.. I still don't think my milk supply is right so I don' think it is the let down thing. But the green poops the coughing and all that lead me think maybe so... But isn't the constant eating, low pooping and the fact that I feel no let down and never feel breast fullness a signal for low milk supply?? Maybe I am freaking out or whatever but I need some good womanly support here.. I can't stand to see my little girl unhappy like this.
    The green stools, gas, and crankiness (due to gas probably) can be attributed to getting too much foremilk. Try feeding her on one breast during a feeding session to ensure that she gets the hindmilk (the good stuff). Then, use the other breast for your next feeding.

    If your daughter taking to the breast pretty good otherwise, I would recommend you hold off on pumping. Pumping is not a good indicator of how much milk you may have. Not sure how old your baby is but it takes a good month or so for your body to sync up well with your daughter's needs. Hang in there! Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: 911 - I need some help....

    Hi there

    Good for you getting a second opinion from another doctor.

    I agree with Gen, green stools is a sign that baby may be getting too much foremilk. The itchy feeling in your breast may well be a let down. The best indicator tho is the change in sucking that your dd will do when you have a let down. She will will start to suck,swallow,suck swallow, as opposed to suck,suck, swallow or something similar. The coughing that you mention could be her having difficulty coping with the faster flow of milk while you let down. A technique to help this is just to bring her off the breast for a short period until the fast flow has subsided and then let her go back on.

    It is really important that you let her "finish" one breast before you offer the next. This helps her get all the yummy, growing goodness of the hindmilk.

    I just had a thought . . have you been eating anything in particular that could change the colour of her stools? ie . . . asparagus? The foremilk/hindmilk imbalance stools may be mucous looking as well.

    Some woman find that pumping and breastfeeding can be too much stimulation for the breast!! And then you end up with too much milk. If she is feeding great just from the breast, perhaps you could try not to pump for a few days and see how she goes. You may find that the coughing and choking subsides a bit.

    Average weight gains for a breastfeed baby up to about 3 -4 months is 6 ounces a week. Remember to work out her weight gain from her lowest weight after birth, and not from her birth weight.

    Hope this helps you a bit. Please ask more questions if I didn't cover it all.

    Keep up the good work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: 911 - I need some help....

    I went to see an LC and she suspected reflux or a milk allergy which in some cases the reflux can be the result of the allergy. Your dd sounds like my ds, not feeding well during the day but well at night. I cut out ALL signs of dairy and soy from my diet and found a big difference. He's still not 100% happy but at least he has full feedings now. I also had an issue with him not finishing one breast before he was finished so I would start him on the same breast for the next feeding since it would get to the hind milk faster and then switch him to the other breast after that. Then did the same for the other breast for the next 2 feedings after that and so on. Some Dr's can be so pushy with formula!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: 911 - I need some help....

    OK, deep breaths. These early weeks can be overwhelming and confusing, and bad breastfeeding advice from a doctor sure doesn't help! But I think you're going to be just fine, primarily because of your first and last sentences:

    Quote Originally Posted by itsmesenam
    Ok so I am totally dedicated to breastfeeding my brand new baby girl for at least 6 mos... I look forward to helping others once me and my DD get it down...
    With this determination and self-confidence, I think you're already halfway through any problems that come up.

    OK, to the specifics. From your post, I'm not convinced you ever had a problem with low milk supply. Your dd came close to regaining her birth weight by the 2wk check-up, and a few days later had surpassed her birth weight. The fact that you were never engorged, never leaked milk, and don't feel letdown signifies nothing of note, really. Baby gaining 1/2 oz a day is on the low end of average, but my understanding is that it is still normal and shouldn't be a cause for alarm if she is developing normally with milestones, is nursing frequently with no artificial nipples/supplements, and has good diaper output.

    The one red flag for me is the infrequent poops. It is really unusual for breastfed babies under six weeks of age to go days between poops. I'm not sure what could cause this, and I think it bears careful watching.

    OK, fast forward through the rest of your story. Her current nursing behavior and green poops sound to me like classic oversupply brought on by all the pumping. If she is getting plenty of milk from nursing AND you are pumping after every feeding, then your body thinks her demand is a lot higher than it actually is. She is probably getting too much watery/sugary foremilk (causing the green poops, tummy discomfort/crankiness, and frequent hunger). Some babies getting too much foremilk gain faster than average and some gain more slowly -- it seems to be related to the digestive enzymes in their gut. And we very commonly find that oversupply and overactive letdown go hand in hand, which would account for her coming off the breast choking/coughing and perhaps also for the one episode of projectile vomiting -- her tummy filled up too fast, and/or the very rapid flow triggered her gag reflex.

    In short, I think the remedy for a perceived and at worst borderline case of low milk supply has ended up producing a classic case of oversupply. Ironic, no? But with the prevalence of breastpumps nowadays, this is a very common tale indeed.

    My advice is to stop pumping and start offering only one breast per feeding. Try this for a few days and see how she does -- it will take time for your body to adjust to the reduced demand. Let us know how you are both doing, and then we can re-evaluate.

    If either your doc or your LC were truly concerned that she wasn't getting enough milk, they should have sent you home with a special scale, so you could weigh her before and after each feeding to get a true measurement of her intake. The advice to pump exlusively in order to "quantify" your milk production was just plain bad, and I'm willing to bet that this is where your oversuppy problem started.

    How does my theory resonate with your sense of things? Remember, YOU are the expert on your body and your baby.

    --Rebecca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: 911 - I need some help....

    Hi there - I hope I'm not too late in responding. I see that you've already received some really great suggestions and I apologize if I reiterate what other's have already said to you I also apologize for all of the questions I'm going to ask you -- I just want to be sure that I understand completely.

    How old is your baby? From what I gather, she is about 6 weeks old now, correct? And during the time that she was not having any bowel movements, how old was she? Keep in mind that after about the 6 week mark, many breastfed babies will begin to space their bowel movements out, often only going every few days (or more!).

    she seemed to eat take forever to eat and would never take herself off the breast or refuse the breast. Also it seemed like the feeding were on right after another eat for an hour sleep for 15 to 30 mins and then wat for 45mins to an hour again.
    This is fairly normal nursing behavior, especially for a newborn. Some babies are all business -- they get hungry, they nurse and they're done until they get hungry again. Other babies spend as much time at the breast as humanly possible. Both are normal for a breastfed baby

    lately she has been eating for about only 8 mins on the breast and then coming off coughing and almost choking after this short amount of time. Also she has been having green stools for the past day and half and hasn't pooped at all today. And was just generally cranky.Want to eat every 15 minutes and just looking uncomfortable.
    Sounds like a classic case of overactive let-down/oversupply to me as well. Don't worry so much about the time baby spends at the breast -- watch the baby, not the clock. But coughing, choking, pull off the breast, green stools with a fussy baby are a pretty solid indication that mom's milk is spraying out forcefully when it lets down and that baby is receiving a disproportionate amount of foremilk to hindmilk. Block feeding should resolve the issue.

    Also I barely pump any milk when I do 1 or 2 ozs here and there?..
    Most women average 2 oz. total during any given pumping session.

    Why do you feel as though your supply isn't up to par? Your baby is gaining weight, yes? The average weight gain for the first 4 months of life is 4-6 oz/week. But just as some babies gain more, some also gain less. If your baby is having an adequate amount of wet diapers and poopy diapers (see my note above about 6 week mark), then that's a good indication that she is gaining weight.

    The absence of feeling your milk let down is NOT an indication of low milk supply. In fact, the only indication of low milk supply in mom is failure to gain weight in the baby. This may help you: Is your milk supply really low? (not an approved LLL source)

    I hope the ladies here have helped. You're doing a great job -- keep it up!

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