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Thread: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

    Hi,

    My baby was born on Tues, 7/24 and I started breastfeeding him as soon as I could. Over the course of the next week, he ended up losing too much weight so my dr had us go to the hospital for 2 days.

    While there, every 3 hrs they had me BF for 15-20 min, then give 2oz of formula or BM if I had it, then pump, and he gained weight. Since then he has continued to gain weight, so we've stayed with this routine. We tried the SNS for supplementing, but it has been more frustration than it's worth so far. Now my husband or I is finger feeding him the formula as much as possible rather than using a bottle so he doesn't get nipple confusion (though he gets the bottle at night sometimes).

    Needless to say, this is exhausting and frustrating. When I pump after feeding him I only get about .5 oz, and I have no idea how much he gets at the breast. I'm worried that my milk production is low, and that he'll end up on the bottle w/ formula regardless. The LC said he isn't sucking right, his tongue is in the way or something...and he tends to suck a few times before swallowing, then take a rest.

    I really want to BF 100% but I'm so worried that it won't happen. Does anyone have any advice? And is finger feeding w/ a syringe the best way to feed him w/o a bottle? I appreciate any information!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    616

    Default Re: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

    i would say do what works for u..if u have to supplement then by all means do so for now..i had to and alot of people make it seem like "oh no ur supplementing" but ur baby has to eat...my lo lost lots of weight due to the jaundice and i had to use formula we were using fomula everyother feed at the beginning...i weaned of formula slowly but in the mean while i let her nurse to when ever to help my supply usually id let her nurse until i noticfed she was getting fussy and then id finish with formula to make sure she was full...let ur lo nurse even if it is just for comfort...the breast is the best stimulation for ur supply...over time we let the formula go and now shes 7mo and we stlll nurse on demand and i let her comfort nurse to we only have formula if we are out and i cant bf her at that time so it gets easier after about 2 or 3mo u will see its way easier they get older and become pros and sucking and getting what they need faster...so what ever u do DONT GIVE UP...stick with it and u will see its getting past the 2mo. that u will be more comfortable..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

    Not a whole lot of advice...but a big

    Why did they only want your LO to nurse for 15-20 minutes? Does nursing longer wear him out? Will he suck longer....that will stimulate you to produce more. Or...keep pumping for a little bit after he nurses.... Is he satisfied after nursing....or does he cry and NEED the bottle? Is he tongue-tied or anything that would prevent his tongue from working? My LO does the suck suck suck swallow thing after the major let down...this is normal I think.

    My son often nurses 20 minutes on each side at a feeding....But I do understand if you don't have that time. With my twins...I would break them off at 15-20 to feed the other one (that was getting frantic in the boucy chair). My ped said they had received 95% of the feed by that point (at least).

    Good luck. You can do this (and it will get MUCH better)! Your body was designed for this.

    Mommy to Aidan and Kaitlyn (09/12/02) and to Anderson (07/04/07)

  4. #4
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

    I wanted to add that I did supplement/fortify with formula for my twins for a couple months. But I really wanted to BF 100%, and by 16 weeks...they were refusing all bottles (not necessarily a great thing, but it meant they were getting all they needed from me).

    I have some info from Medela...it goes along with the 2.5 oz that other people mention. You multiply your baby's weight by 2.5....and that is the approximate amount of breast milk they need in a 24 hour period. So then...if your son nurses 8 times a day....divide by 8...and that's what he needs (or his tummy can handle). PM me if that doesn't make sense...I can email you the form.

    Mommy to Aidan and Kaitlyn (09/12/02) and to Anderson (07/04/07)

  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

    Thanks for the info! In answer to your question, I was told to breastfeed for the 20 minutes only and after that to supplement with the formula or BM so he gets enough calories in a 30 minute timeframe. He is never "done" w/ the breast, so it's hard to tell if I'm making enough BM...and since we need to keep doing this for another week at least, I guess I'll just need to be patient and try to increase the BF when I can (he needs to get up to his birth weight again, he's still 9oz down).

    Does anyone have any opinion on using finger feeding rather than a bottle? I know the SNS would be best, it just doesn't work well for me. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

    I understand completely where you are at, my little one is now 3weeks old and still not where he should be weight wise, but he is atleast gaining weight now. I have started to bottle feed him expressed breastmilk and formula, because we made the mistake of giving him a bottle and now he wants nothing to do with the breast. My LO also had alot of problems breastfeeding, he tired too easily and never had a strong suck. I would suggest finger feeding or using an SNS because what little time (1 day) he had using a bottle ruined breastfeeding for us!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,341

    Default Re: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

    What kind of pump are you using? The reason I ask is that pumping can be tricky, and having the best quality pump can make all the difference. I started out using a pump made for working moms, and I didn't get much with it. When I switched to a hospital-grade rental pump, my supply really went up in a hurry.

    Also, have you seen an IBCLC (Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant)? I saw two and they both had tons of tricks for helping me with my latch, and keeping the baby on the breast, and pumping most effectively, etc. They also were able to recommend some medical tests to make sure that my low supply was not due to any physical cause other than my daughter's bad latch. (Thyroid conditions- both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid- and retained placenta fragments can both mess with your milk supply.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    302

    Default Re: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

    IF you are worried about how much milk he is getting, work with your dr office or a LC and do a before and after weight. I was worried with my twins and after doing the before and after weights realized they were getting much more than I thought (realized I have two little piggies )
    Nancy
    Mom to Elijah & Audrey 9/19/06
    Twin GERDlings

    for 21 mo



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old



    Quote Originally Posted by carriehu View Post
    My baby was born on Tues, 7/24 and I started breastfeeding him as soon as I could. Over the course of the next week, he ended up losing too much weight so my dr had us go to the hospital for 2 days.
    What was your baby's birth weight? Lowest weight? Weight now?

    Quote Originally Posted by carriehu View Post
    While there, every 3 hrs they had me BF for 15-20 min, then give 2oz of formula or BM if I had it, then pump, and he gained weight. Since then he has continued to gain weight, so we've stayed with this routine. We tried the SNS for supplementing, but it has been more frustration than it's worth so far. Now my husband or I is finger feeding him the formula as much as possible rather than using a bottle so he doesn't get nipple confusion (though he gets the bottle at night sometimes).
    How much supplement per day is your baby getting now?

    Quote Originally Posted by carriehu View Post
    Needless to say, this is exhausting and frustrating.
    I can imagine!

    Quote Originally Posted by carriehu View Post
    When I pump after feeding him I only get about .5 oz,
    How frequently is your baby nursing? Are you still timing feeds?

    How frequently are you pumping? What type of pump are you using?


    Quote Originally Posted by carriehu View Post
    and I have no idea how much he gets at the breast.
    Did the hospital IBCLC ever do pre and post weight checks (weigh before feed and after on a highly sensitive scale)?

    Quote Originally Posted by carriehu View Post
    I'm worried that my milk production is low, and that he'll end up on the bottle w/ formula regardless. The LC said he isn't sucking right, his tongue is in the way or something...and he tends to suck a few times before swallowing, then take a rest.


    If your baby is not able to effectively transfer milk it could affect your milk production, but it sounds like you're doing all the right things to prevent that issue! Did your IBCLC recommend a referral for your baby? Or some exercises to help with his suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by carriehu View Post
    I really want to BF 100% but I'm so worried that it won't happen. Does anyone have any advice? And is finger feeding w/ a syringe the best way to feed him w/o a bottle? I appreciate any information!
    No worries! You'll get there! And always remember that every little bit of breastmilk and time feeding directly at the breast IS beneficial.

    Have you called your nearest LLL Leader? She would be a great source of information and support for you!

    Quote Originally Posted by carriehu View Post
    I was told to breastfeed for the 20 minutes only and after that to supplement with the formula or BM so he gets enough calories in a 30 minute timeframe. He is never "done" w/ the breast, so it's hard to tell if I'm making enough BM...and since we need to keep doing this for another week at least, I guess I'll just need to be patient and try to increase the BF when I can (he needs to get up to his birth weight again, he's still 9oz down).
    Normally it is recommended that babies be allowed to finish the first breast. Your baby's situation is a little different because he was not gaining weight by breastfeeding alone (possibly due to weak suck).

    Have you tried breast compressions? This is when you compress the breast as baby slows down on his sucking. It helps him take in more milk for his efforts.
    Here's a description of the technique:
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html
    And here's a page with videos that show you how the technique works:
    http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html


    Quote Originally Posted by carriehu View Post
    Does anyone have any opinion on using finger feeding rather than a bottle? I know the SNS would be best, it just doesn't work well for me. Thanks!
    Absolutely use the finger feeder if that is what works best for you and your baby!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Challenges nursing my 2-wk old

    What was your baby's birth weight? Lowest weight? Weight now?
    His birth weight was 7lb, 15oz and as of yesterday he was at 7lb 8oz. His lowest was 6lb, 4oz a little over a week ago, which is when we headed to the hospital.


    How much supplement per day is your baby getting now?

    We give him 2-3 oz of supplement each time he feeds after 10 min on each breast.


    How frequently is your baby nursing? Are you still timing feeds?

    How frequently are you pumping? What type of pump are you using?
    We feed him approximately every 3 hrs, and yes we're still timing them. I pump nearly every time he feeds, it's a Medela Pump in Style pump.

    Did the hospital IBCLC ever do pre and post weight checks (weigh before feed and after on a highly sensitive scale)?
    They did pre and post weight checks while in the hospital, but we only did it w/ breast milk alone once (as just getting him food was most important); he had only taken around .8oz from me at that point (after I believe 10 minutes nursing).


    If your baby is not able to effectively transfer milk it could affect your milk production, but it sounds like you're doing all the right things to prevent that issue! Did your IBCLC recommend a referral for your baby? Or some exercises to help with his suck?
    She gave him a soothie pacifier to suck which she said would help him suck correctly, but he only takes it once in awhile. So I'm concerned that he's still not latching properly, and therefore not increasing my milk production.

    Have you called your nearest LLL Leader? She would be a great source of information and support for you!
    I contacted her early on before, and will likely be contacting her again! I'm also going to visit the LC again next week and hope she has more advice.

    Have you tried breast compressions? This is when you compress the breast as baby slows down on his sucking. It helps him take in more milk for his efforts.
    Here's a description of the technique:
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html
    And here's a page with videos that show you how the technique works:
    http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html

    Thanks, I will check out those links; I don't use compressions consistently.

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