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Thread: Am I doing this right?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Question Am I doing this right?

    My daughter will be 5 weeks tomorrow. I had an unexpected c-section and that threw me for a loop - being in pain for 2 weeks and never thinking I'd ever need a c-section. Baby was 8lb 3oz at birth, fell to 7lb 3oz at the end of her first week and was told to supplement with formula. She was back up to her birth weight by the end of her 2nd week. My in-laws visited for two weeks (yes 2 weeks) starting at week 2 so I was trying to recuperate while being a hostess and not wanting to deprive them of their grandchild (since they traveled across the country to see her) so I wasn't as stringent with insisting on bf as I should have been (plus in-laws loved feeding her the supplements). Anyway, I have been doing my darndest to cut down supplement by bf every 2 hours.

    Due to my early low milk production I have been to a LC three times, did phone consultations with her 3 times, have been seeing an acupuncturist (5 sessions), am taking fenugreek capsules 3x/day, drinking mother's milk tea 3x/day, drinking lots of water, upping protein intake and taking some other herbs (3x/day) the acupuncturist gave me. I was pumping after each feeding but it was sort of "killing" me in that I had no time to do anything else so now I'm just pumping 2-3x day (mostly in the AM) and I'm only getting about 2.5oz. total.

    Diaper output is good, I think. 5+ wet diapers/day, 5+ poopy diapers/day. She is now up to 9.6lbs (I'm using a scale that my LC gave me and it doesn't measure oz.). In the beginning I was supplementing about 12oz./day and have cut down to between 2-4oz./day. Today I didn't supplement at all.

    I am just so fearful that my baby isn't getting enough milk. I have read so many things that say it's all about the diaper output but I am just worried for some reason. I think it's because I'm not pumping very much and I so don't want to have to supplement - I want to be able to be the only source of food for my baby. I also am not sure about her latch. My LC said her latch was fine but sometimes my nipples hurt during a feeding or I look at photos of proper latches and it just doesn't seem like her latch looks anything like the example photos. I'm determined to make it happen but it just seems like my breasts are turnips after reading about people who are shooting out milk, pump 5-8oz. a sitting, or there is milk dribbling out of their lo's mouth. It's very frustrating.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Am I doing this right?

    If you want it to work, you have to lose the supplements. And if it means you have to pump around the clock for 3-7 days to get your body to get the signal that it needs to produce more often then that's what it means. Everyone who exclusively breast feeds spends the 1st 6-8weeks at home, on the couch with a house that hasn't been cleaned and laundry that hasn't been done. That is totally normal. The most important job you have right now is to feed the baby. This time while your child is regulating your supply is very important. And formula completely throws it off. Here's some examples of how: When you exclusively breastfeed, in the 1st weeks it's completely normal for your child to eat every hour and a half to 3 around the clock. Your milk is very quickly absorbed and your childs stomach is too small to hold more food than that. However formula is much harder for your child to absorb and takes much longer to digest. So every time you use it your are damaging your Breastfeeding relation ship two fold. 1st your body doesn't get the signal to make milk because the baby isn't brought to your breast, and then instead of getting the next signal in an hour-3, your child won't be hungry again for 3-4 hours. So your body thinks it doesn't need to make milk again as soon as it should. PLUS as long as you have it in the mix, you will probably doubt your ability to make enough milk. Because you will constantly be comparing the way your baby acts after eating formula to the way she feeds with you. This is a mistake that has cost nursing dyads everywhere. It seems like your child is satisfied for longer after having the formula. Women mistakenly think that because their child is at their breast constantly that somehow that means they aren't making enough or satisfying their child. When in fact, in order to make enough milk to sustain a constantly growing child you must constantly breastfeed. The fact that formula take longer to digest only proves that baby humans shouldn't drink food that was naturally intended for baby cows. For they don't absorb it as quickly as they do the milk of their own mother.
    You need to wrap your mind around the fact that you may have to just sit on the couch and do nothing but nurse for weeks. Set your self up for the day with a nursing station. Get everything you need to be happy staying in one spot all day. Remotes, phones, a large beverage and some snacks. Getting up only to use the restroom and change diapers. Planning for it in this way will help you stay focused. This IS the plan for the day. To feed the baby. If you would like this process to be expedited, you may want to have a "Nurse in" over the next weekend. When you DH will be able to support you by allowing you to just take the baby to bed for the entire weekend and stay there. If you stay focused, you could be done with the supplements completely in a week. Trust your body. Trust your baby. Mother nature has it all worked out perfectly. Keep us posted.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Am I doing this right?

    I love the way Shelly explains the whole "let all your chores and life thing, go"! I agree completely. I think your on your way to a great re-start with your bf experience. You have cut out the supps and you still have a good amount of wets. A baby that is getting enough milk has around 5-6 wet disposable diapers and 6-8 if they are cloth. You should see a minimum of around 2-3 poopy diapers.
    When you bf, let baby totally drain the breast before you switch over. Baby will get the richer fattier "hind" milk this way. Once your breast feels like a flat tire, do some breast compressions ( gently squeeze when baby sucks, stop when baby stops) and then switch over.
    A breast that is emptied sufficiently fills up faster. So generally speaking, the more you remove the more you make.

    From the LLL Breastfeeding Question and Answer book, 3rd revised edition :

    " Ongoing research by Peter Hartmann and his colleagues indicates that in addition to frequent milk removal that more fully draining the breast also increases the rate if milk production."

    " Research on goats has revealed a substance naturally present in milk, called Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation (or FIL) that decreases the rate of milk production when the mammary gland is full. Its absence allows the rate of milk production to increase when the mammary gland is drained (Peaker and Wilde 1987)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Am I doing this right?

    2.5 oz is great pumping out put for a mother of a baby as young as yours!
    You can do it!
    The baby is much beter at getting out milk then the pump!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Am I doing this right?

    First, congratulations on your LO and on your fight to keep bfing. It is great that you have reduced her supplementation - it's AWESOME that you made it yesterday without any!

    Second, if the baby is happy, gaining weight and has plenty of wet/poopy diapers the baby is doing fine. I understand your concern because my LO had poor latch to start, went from 7lbs to 6lbs4oz and we supplemented for a week and then pumped and fed for six weeks.

    I was really scared about breastfeeding because of that early episode so I took each day at a time. Babies are very resilient and mama's milk is the best!

    My LO is now almost 5 months, feeds exclusively from the breast and is fat and happy! You can do it, too!

    One final note...in-laws and others will always want to "feed" the baby. Don't feel pressured into compromising your bf relationship for them. They are adults and can deal with disappointment. Your baby cannot!
    Wife to Jonathan Edward, 3/29/2002
    Mother of Alexander "Lex" Edward, 3/4/2007
    Attachment Parenting - it's not what you do, it's why you do it.
    Wearing Lex as often as possible
    Daytime cloth diaperer, nighttime sposie user

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Am I doing this right?

    Everybody else has pretty much said what I would say, I just wanted to add some encouragement.

    Those first few weeks are very stressful. My mother stayed with us the first 2 weeks, and I had to fight the whole "hostess" thing too. I know it's hard, but you have to remember that you're recovering from giving birth, and learning how to take care of this new little one. These should be your main priorities, not cleaning the house or entertaining family. Sleep when you lo sleeps, and bring the baby to the breast as much as possible.

    Your nipples will be sore, everybody's are in the beginning. If the LC says your latch is good, than I wouldn't worry about it. Make sure that your lo is opening as wide as possible before latching, that will help to ensure a good latch. My LC also told me that my nipple should look flat when Riley was finished. That really helped me to figure it out.

    Lanolin, lanolin, lanolin! Slather it on after every nursing session, it really helps!

    It does get better! And you are doing the best thing for your baby!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Am I doing this right?

    I just wanted to offer support as well. Those first few weeks/months are really tough but it's worth it! I found what helped me is not having any expectations about how often, how much, etc. - just trust that he/she knows what's best and that they'll eat when they need it. Some days I literally did not leave the couch and cried from frustration (and just doubt and uncertainty) but it gets so much better.

    The other thing too is that my little guy is nearly 4 months and I've just started having the "shoot across the room" thing. I didn't have that for a long time and it's actually a pain 'cause I think I have overactive milk production (which is causing other problems). My point is that it is hard starting out and you do feel like a cow - but that's your job now. You're body will adjust.

    You can do it - and don't let anyone else make you feel like you can't.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Am I doing this right?

    Amazing job! It seems that you are doing everything you need to be doing! I do not know of many women that would go through so much and still be so determined. My LO is 7 weeks old and I am feeling so overwhelmed with her need to eat every 1.5-2 hours around the clock! My advise is to stay on these threads, most days I just browse through them and learn so much, it is an amazing source, I am grateful for it! Keep up the good work!
    Jennifer, wife to Brian, 4/4/06
    Mama to Jake, 9/10/02, Jaime, 6/11/07
    Joey and Jason, 12/20/10

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Am I doing this right?

    Keep it up! You are doing the best thing for your lo! It's hard but you lo is the first priority and the rest - house, family etc. - can deal with it!

    Don't be afraid to ask for help! I wish I had done that more!

    Mommy to Gabriel born 12/25/06 Breastfed 12/25/06 - 12/09 and possibly here and there still
    Madelyn born 9/24/09 delivered at home and caught by my husband

    "To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Am I doing this right?

    Thanks so much for the great advice - I really appreciate it and all the support. These forums are a Godsend!

    I will camp out on the couch with everything I need for the day and let my wonderful husband do everything else!

    One question: if wet diaper output goes below 5-6/day, what do you do? Get baby on breast more often?

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