I do try to nurse her more often. She just either doesn't want to wake up or isn't interested. Sometimes I do hear her swallowing, most of the time it seems more like I'm being used as a pacifier. I'm having to pump every 2-3 hours and not getting very much. Sometimes she is done sucking after 2 minutes or so and there is no milk at all in the shield. When she really latches and is hungry I can tell when she is getting milk. Sometimes she just doesn't seem interested in nursing at all.
I've been to 3 different doctors. I've been told to do 3 different things.
The lc is certified. She weighs my dd before and after a feed and concluded she was only taking an ounce every 3 hours. I'm scared for my daughter that she's not getting enough and it makes my supply so low. The nipple shield was recommended in the beginning and I wish I'd never used it!
I'm feeling so bad. I have not give her formula yet. I haven't given up yet but always worried about it. What should I do?
It can be very confusing when you get different advice, and very frustrating when things don't go well. I read back through some of the posts. I know you are feeling very confused, upset, and frustrated. Try to set just some small goals for yourself. Things might not be as bad as they seem. Let's revisit your baby's weight checks for minute. Do you have the dates the weight were taken? You always measure weight gain from the lowest weight, not the birth weight, so your baby has gained more than one pound. As one of the other posters said, average weight gain for a BF baby in the early months is 6 oz. per week. From the weights you've given, it seems that your baby is in that range. Now, you said that your baby has not had formula yet, but that you have given some expressed milk by syringe, correct? If this is correct, then it seems baby may be gaining fine on just the breastmilk. How much milk have you been giving by syringe? Try not to worry about getting off of the shield for the moment. Most women are able to wean off of it eventually without too much trouble. If baby wants the shield right now, go ahead and use it and focus on seeing whether or not baby is getting enough. Do you have another weight check scheduled? As a PP asked, how many wet and dirty diapers are you seeing in 24 hours?
DD does poopy diapers on and off all day. Only a couple are really loaded though. I counted 6 wet diapers yesterday.
I offered her formula once and she wouldn't take it. I syringe breastmilk to her. Sometimes she takes 2 ounces, but most of the time a bit less. I offer breast to her first though.
She woke up from a nap about 30 minutes ago. She was hungry and immediately started to suck, but only for 5 mins. I burped her, changed her and tried again but she's not interested. Fell asleep.
Her last weight check was on Thursday. Next one is this Thurs.
Thanks so much for your replies.
I don't want to write you a book (especially since I am NOT an expert by any means) but wanted to tell you to hang in there and keep at it. It should get better!
I didn't like the syringe. I ended up trying to feed my baby expressed milk by baby spoon and that works better. I sort of pour it in by small amounts. I'm less stressed, she's less stressed, but it takes a long time. See how you feel about it.
Have you tried breast compressions? There are some links around here and I think Dr. Jack Newman is the guy who specializes in it. It might help getting your daughter to suck more.
Experiment with different positions and see if there's one your daughter does better with. I wasn't confident enough at first to try the lying down position, but with time and some tweaking I think that's where she does best.
The worst advice I was given was to wake her up and feed her every 'x' hours. That just made us both frustrated and we both ended up crying. What worked for me was proposing food basically whenever her eyes were open. It's exhausting but in looking back it didn't last forever. Time will probably help, but in the meantime you might propose again. And again. And again. If you can listen to a book on tape or watch something relaxing, then maybe it would help to hang out, relax, and just keep trying without stressing too much.
It sounds crazy, but try telling her she needs to eat more. My baby will start sucking again a little, and every little bit helps I think. I try to say it in a firm, somewhat loud, 'Momma is telling you what you need to do' voice. Asking nicely gets us nowhere.
I have my hesitations in telling you this, but co-sleeping did help for a while. The problem for me is that we are both light sleepers and woke each other up all the time, so now I'll swaddle her, put her back in her crib, and feed her each time she wakes up. She sleeps better and I think that somehow helps her eat better, so co-sleeping is not a permanent fix for us. However, if she starts to lag in weight again I'll take her back to bed with me and feed her every time she moves.
I have some pediatricians that tell me she's fine with the weight gain and others who will say she's not gaining enough. In the end I just watch my baby, her 'output,' whether she's happy and her milestones. She's growing and smiling, so right now I'm continuing to give her breastmilk only and will evaluate at the next weight check. I can tell you, though, that scales and measurements are frustrating in such small increments and an early or late pee can make a big difference in weight.
Hang in there and do what you need to do for your baby. So far I haven't supplemented with formula but primarily because she won't take it. What did your LC say about her latch? Sometimes I wonder if my baby had trouble sucking at first and now is just getting better with time. What does she do if you give her your boob without the shield? Have you tried putting on those cups that keep your nipple poked out right before you feed? I wore those for a while at first but now am okay without them. Do you think she would suck for comfort without the shield?
I have tried everything. I did manage to get her to take without the shield a few nights ago, but minutes later she became upset and flailing around so I put it back on. I have two feeds worth of breastmilk in the freezer for when I need it, but worry about my supply because I'm only getting 1-2 ounces off both breast every 2 1/2 hours. Some people breastfeed so easily. I'm jealous of friends who had no problem at all from the start and then they choose not to breastfeed anyway-but that is their decision and I'm not saying it's a bad one, I just wish I had a better shot at things. Thanks for you advice and I will try your suggestions.
I have another questions for you. Did you have a medicated birth? Sometimes that can make baby very sleepy. However, she WILL wake up eventually and realize she wants to eat. I would continue to keep a close eye on the diapers and keep having the weight gain monitored, but if it continues to fall in the 5-7 oz per week category than you are doing OK. Don't put too much value on your pumping output. Many women can't get much. 1-2 ounces at 5 weeks isn't all that bad truly. If you can get an extra 1-2 ounces in her (via syringe or whatever other method you try) that is great. Have you tried wearing her in a sling or even just staying in bed for a whole day and just nursing as much as she will let? Lots of skin to skin contact is good, even try nursing in the bath.
I too was annoyed that some people could bf so easily while I had multiple challenges. It is very difficult for many people so you are not alone. It seems like it should be so easy and natural but that is not the case for many moms and babies. I promise it will get easier. Keep doing what you are doing and keep us posted.
I had numerous problems too. Looking back now, I know that determination to breastfeed was the number one thing that got me through.
I am not going to repeat what everyone else has said. Try, try, until you find one of the (great) suggestions that works for you. You will be so glad that you did!! Keep trying.
• relax, relax, relax while you are feeding - like MicheleE said, listen to a book (or MP3s), watch something
• use a silicon shields and don't worry about weaning now
• do things to increase supply like:
- breast compressions
- frequently offering to feed
- frequently switch sides (as soon as her mouth stops moving, switch to the other side, then switch back, then switch back, as many times as necessary. It is the frequency with which a baby is put to breast, not the duration that increases supply)
- pump after each feeding, then try to syringe or spoon this too her after the feeding as well (or even better, have someone else do this part while you pump and relax)
• an older pediatrician told us that weight gain over a month matters more than over a week. She was supposed to gain a certain amount over a week and was gaining one-fifth of that. Then, the next day she gained that amount in one day. It really can change that fast.
• like MicheleE said as well - watch happiness, diaper output, other milestones. By three months our baby was chunk, even though at 5 weeks she was a bit gaunt (but happy). Stick with it and find encouragers!
- Just wanted to add that we weaned from the shield at 5 months without a problem. She just decided one day that she was done with it and that was that. However, I also had another friend who nursed a full 9 months with the shield. So don't worry about needing to wean.
I am having the exact same problem! I am using a nipple shield and my lo (who is 5 weeks) was not gaining enough weight. I am having to supplement w/ formula after each feeding. It has been very frustrating w/ mine not gaining weight, but now she's doing fine since we added the formula along w/ nursing. I did not want to supplement, but she has been a much happier baby since we started. I wonder if using a nipple shield has causes the milk supply to be low???