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Thread: Nipple shield, Mastitis, and baby not gaining weight!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    5

    Default Nipple shield, Mastitis, and baby not gaining weight!

    My daughter will be 4 weeks on Wednesday and we've been having breastfeeding challenges. This is my first child and first time nursing...
    We nursed good for the first week home, then she would not latch-on and would cry and cry. A lactation consultant gave me a nipple shield at the hospital and I was advised to use that to get her to latch-on again. She takes to the nipple shield great, but she will not nurse from my breasts anymore (I try at each feeding and she just fights my actual breast) so I nurse her with the nipple shield. I also developed mastitis, but have completed my antibiotics and I feel like my milk is flowing better on that side. My main concern is my milk supply because my baby is not gaining the weight that she should. I have been bringing her to the ped. almost every day for weight checks. I nurse every 2 hours for 20 minutes and each side (with the nipple shield)... but she never seems satisfied. She has been throwing fits and is always crying, unless she eating. She seems to be hungry (putting fingers in mouth, turning her head toward my breast) and it's been hard to get her to nap or sleep.
    Please Help! I need some suggestions with:
    1) Getting her off the nipple shield and back to nursing from my breasts.
    2) How to make sure she's getting enough milk.
    3) Keep her satisfied until next feeding time.
    .... and any other suggesting that will help. Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: Nipple shield, Mastitis, and baby not gaining weight!



    Please Help! I need some suggestions with:
    1) Getting her off the nipple shield and back to nursing from my breasts.

    Sure! We can help you with ideas. I'd like to ask you a few questions first.

    2) How to make sure she's getting enough milk.

    You mentioned going in for weight checks, but didn't tell us about her weight gain. What was her lowest weight after birth? What is her weight now? How much has she gained since her last weight check, and when was that check? About how many wet and poopy diapers does she have in 24 hours? Does she come off the breast herself before switching sides, or do you take her off?

    3) Keep her satisfied until next feeding time.
    .... and any other suggesting that will help.

    After an average feeding, when does your baby cue to nurse again?

    Have you seen an IBCLC (since the hospital) or called your local LLL Leader?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    184

    Default Re: Nipple shield, Mastitis, and baby not gaining weight!

    I am sure that you will get the perfect advice from the pro but just to tell you what I discovered with my baby when she was loosing alot of weight at first.... I let my baby on the breast until she stopped suckling herself...sometimes she would 'feed' (feeding and suckling) up to an hour. Also to use one breast per feed so that baby gets all the hind milk which will fatten them up really good. I think perhaps getting a routine going works better/easier when baby is 3 months old, as baby is more ready for it then. At least that's how it was with mine. And most important is to try and rest and chill...if you're stressed it could affect your milk supply. Get everyone around you to pamper you because you SO deserve it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    5

    Default Re: Nipple shield, Mastitis, and baby not gaining weight!

    Thanks for responding! Here are some answers to the questions you had for me...
    My baby (who makes 4 weeks tommorrow) was 7lb. 2oz. at birth; which was her lowest weight. At her weight check today was 7lb. 8oz and her last weight check before today was last Wed. and she weighed 7lb. 6 oz.
    I usually pull her off the breast (I don't let her go more than 30 minutes on each side) and transfer her to the other b/c when I don't she will stay on forever. I usually nurse for 20-25 minutes on each side.

    She has been crying alot, alot (no sleep) and been eating at her fingers and rooting at my breast and I can hear her stomach growling (even if I j/ fed her) so... I really think she's just not getting the milk she needs. At the Dr.'s today, they told me to breastfeed like I have been doing (every 2 hours) and add 1-2 oz. of formula at each feeding. I just fed her from each breast and then she downed 2oz. of formula in less then 10 minutes and now she's sleeping. I believe she has been really hungry and that's why she is crying and crying & why I am always feeding her.

    I just hate that she is not gaining weight like she should be; it is really stressing me out. It's also very frustrating that I can't tell how much milk she is getting from my breasts. I really think the mastitis messed-up my milk flow and also the fact that she is nursing using a nipple shield.
    Any suggestions or advice???

    Thanks!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Nipple shield, Mastitis, and baby not gaining weight!

    It sounds like she is gaining weight just slowly. my LO was a slow weight gainer as well. I wouldn't set a time limit to feeding she may be going into a growth spurt they happen around 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and so on but every baby is different. Your LO is also very young and it may take her awhile to get the milk out Its something you both have to learn together. If she is not actively sucking and swallowing you can try breast compressions to get her more milk and more hide milk. Dr newman has some great video clips of this on his site. http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html

    HTH!
    Becky

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: Nipple shield, Mastitis, and baby not gaining weight!

    Quote Originally Posted by FashNgrl View Post
    My baby (who makes 4 weeks tommorrow) was 7lb. 2oz. at birth; which was her lowest weight. At her weight check today was 7lb. 8oz and her last weight check before today was last Wed. and she weighed 7lb. 6 oz.
    It's wonderful to hear that she is gaining. What was your pediatrician's recommendation?

    Quote Originally Posted by FashNgrl View Post
    I usually pull her off the breast (I don't let her go more than 30 minutes on each side) and transfer her to the other b/c when I don't she will stay on forever. I usually nurse for 20-25 minutes on each side.
    How would you feel about letting her determine when to switch sides? Here's an article that explains why finishing the first breast first is beneficial:
    http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVSepOct95p69a.html

    I would also suggest trying breast compressions to help your baby get more milk for her efforts. A previous poster posted a link to Dr. Newman's videos on breast compression. Here is a link to the description of the technique:
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html

    Quote Originally Posted by FashNgrl View Post
    She has been crying alot, alot (no sleep) and been eating at her fingers and rooting at my breast and I can hear her stomach growling (even if I j/ fed her) so... I really think she's just not getting the milk she needs. At the Dr.'s today, they told me to breastfeed like I have been doing (every 2 hours) and add 1-2 oz. of formula at each feeding. I just fed her from each breast and then she downed 2oz. of formula in less then 10 minutes and now she's sleeping. I believe she has been really hungry and that's why she is crying and crying & why I am always feeding her.
    Are you feeding her formula after every feeding now? How many total ounces is she taking a day? Has her weight gain increased?

    How many times per 24 hours is your baby nursing now?

    Do you ever pump or hand express after feedings?



    Quote Originally Posted by FashNgrl View Post
    I just hate that she is not gaining weight like she should be; it is really stressing me out. It's also very frustrating that I can't tell how much milk she is getting from my breasts. I really think the mastitis messed-up my milk flow and also the fact that she is nursing using a nipple shield.
    Yes, it can be frustrating to not be able to tell how much baby is taking in (breasts don't have ounce markers ). BUT, we can tell a lot by what is coming out. Output (diapers) is one way to help determine if baby is getting enough. Here's some more information:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/enough.html

    Have you talked to your local LLL Leader? Would you be interested in seeing an IBCLC (most charge for their services)?

    Here is some helpful information about weaning from a nipple shield:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...an-shield.html (non-LLL resource)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Nipple shield, Mastitis, and baby not gaining weight!

    Thank you so much for all your help!!! The resources you suggested were great. She's actually been doing much better. The ped. suggested that we add formula with every feeding and now I am giving her 2 oz. of formula after every nursing session. I've been nursing her every 2.5 hrs. (a little less during the night) and she's been taking in about 16 oz. of formula a day also. Yes, I've been pumping (15-20 min. on each side) in the mornings; on one side I get 2oz. and the other side (my bad former mastitis side) I get 1/2oz. She goes back for a weight check on Monday. I can tell she's doing much better because she now takes naps and is not crying all day long. Poor thing...she was just really hungry and my milk supply was not enough.

    Thanks again!!! I'll keep you posted on her weight gain after Monday and let you know what her ped. says.

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