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Thread: Supplementing at night ... What now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    35

    Default Supplementing at night ... What now?

    Ok .... I couldn't handle it .... The night time feedings were horror. We fought to get her latched on properly... (My nipple wouldn't get hard so latching was very difficult) ..... She'd eat for 10 minutes, fall asleep at my breast... I'd put her down ... She'd wake up after 20 mins and we'd nurse for another 10 minutes. I couldn't do it anymore so I began supplementing.

    I've gotten sleep for the past 4 nights .... Not a lot, but at least I'm able to walk around during the day ...

    She's gained all her weight back and then some ....

    So now I want to get back to 100% breastfeeding again. Does anyone have any tricks on night time feedings?

    *Nursing laying down ... I have a meeting to attend in a few days and I'll get some help there.... My breasts are large and I've tried it but each time I suffrocate her ...

    During the day is strenuous as well. Nursing for 10 mins here, she naps for 30 mins then it starts all over again.

    Is this normal? ....

    Another concern.... Say if I begin 100% bf today, will her weight drop again because she's not getting the formula?

    *** Today she's 15 days old ... and she already knows what it is to be alone or not carried. She sleeps w/ me in bed (my husband sleeps in another room until we can actually figure out a way we can get at least 3 hours of sleep a night .... ) and as soon as I leave ... she cries.... I come back in, she'll stop. If I carry her and put her down... she'll cry... I didn't know if it was true until my mother and I tested it a few times... and she does indeed know the difference... Is this all normal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Supplementing at night ... What now?

    Everything you are experiencing is normal- don't fret too much!!! Things WILL even out over time. It is very important that you continue nursing her on demand and keep your supply up. To eliminate the nighttime supplements, I suggest using a supplemental nursing system. It's just a little bottle you hang around your neck with tubes that you tape to your breast. Use this instead of a bottle, that way she is still nursing at your breast and recieving your milk. Gradually reduce the supplement by an ounce until you no longer need it.
    Keep in mind it takes some babies several weeks to truly get a good latch on. I did not feel "at ease" with breastfeeding until my son was between 6-8 weeks old. You need to give yourself some more time to adjust and allow baby to settle into her own routine. It will happen soon don't worry!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Supplementing at night ... What now?

    Yes, all (unfortunately) is normal. Those first weeks can be so stressful. We had to supplement a bit at first too to keep DD's weight up but quickly was able to fade the formula for pure BF. Glad to hear you will attend a meeting soon. Do you have support from a lactation consultant as well?? That was a big help to me in those first weeks. Try to keep up the BF as much as possible as it will definitely help both your supply and your "rhythm" with your child. Don't forget to try to rest whenever the baby sleeps too so you can catch up on those much needed zzz's. I don't think we found a true rhythm until about 6 weeks but it certainly got easier with practice.

    Keep up the good work!

    CJ mama

  4. #4

    Default Re: Supplementing at night ... What now?

    Hello There!
    Congratulations on your new baby! These first few weeks can be stressful, for sure!

    How much are you supplementing per day? If it's just a few oz., you can stop supplementing altogether and just let her nurse, nurse, nurse. If it's more, you'll need to step it back by a little bit each day. Someone recommended a nursing supplementer, but I think you'd find that a lot of trouble in the night. I'd recommend instead that you shoot for 100% breastfeeding during the night, and if you need to do any supplementing, do it during the day, preferably with a nursing supplementer. Prolactin levels are high at night and getting those extra nursing sessions in then will go a long way toward getting your supply back up.

    Learning to nurse laying down is definitely helpful! Just keep experimenting with it. Experiment during the day when you're not tired and frustrated. Some mothers find it helpful to put a rolled washcloth or blanket under the breast, or to raise the baby on a pillow. Some mothers are able to get the baby latched on while sitting up in bed and then ease themselves down into a side-lying position. Having a friend or partner around to help you position the first few times can be helpful, too.

    It's very normal for baby to fall asleep during nursing sessions. If she falls asleep soon during the nursing session, try breast compressions to keep her awake:

    1. Make a "C" with your hand and use it to support the breast with the thumb on the underside of the breast.

    2. Any time she stops suckling, gently squeeze the breast. This will usually result in herstarting to suckle again.

    3. When she starts to suckle again, let go. When she stops, gently squeeze again. Repeat, rotating your hand around your breast.

    4. When the compression fails to stimulate suckling, burp her and offer the other side. If she's still not interested or stays asleep, then she's probably full enough.

    You can do this night and day to encourage her to get a full feeding at the breast. If she's nice and full she should sleep a little longer too.

    Today she's 15 days old ... and she already knows what it is to be alone or not carried. She sleeps w/ me in bed (my husband sleeps in another room until we can actually figure out a way we can get at least 3 hours of sleep a night .... ) and as soon as I leave ... she cries.... I come back in, she'll stop. If I carry her and put her down... she'll cry... I didn't know if it was true until my mother and I tested it a few times... and she does indeed know the difference... Is this all normal?
    Oh, very normal! La Leche League says: In the early years the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.
    Here's an article that may help:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/spoil.html
    and another one on co-sleeping:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/cosleep.html

    Many mothers find it helpful to use a sling or other baby carrier. This way baby can be kept close and secure and mom has her hands free to get some things done!

    Hang in there!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Supplementing at night ... What now?

    Hi there- I just wanted to let you know that it took me a while to get the side lying position down as well-but am a pro now!! And my breasts are large as wel (42F)... just practice, practice, practice!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Supplementing at night ... What now?

    Great! Thanks for the update!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

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