My breastfeeding woes and our current issue—it has been one thing after another.
Breastfeeding went well for the first few weeks, except that she always seemed hungry, but I went ahead and fed her all the time. She was gaining well, but had the green poops and seemed fussy all the time. My ped suggested switching to one-sided feeding so she could be getting more hindmilk. She still seemed fussy and unsatisfied, but the poops did turn yellow so she was getting the hindmilk. Around this same time I started trying to hold her off periodically because it didn’t seem like my supply got very built up before she wanted to eat again. Then a week or so later she wasn’t gaining so well and I was encouraged to supplement. I worked with our local lactation for a few weeks and they said she was only getting an ounce at a feeding. And they basically told me that was my only solution and that at least she was getting some breastmilk.
After 3 weeks of supplementing and seeing our breastfeeding relationship totally go down hill, I knew that this didn’t feel right and I really wanted to turn it around—I had read over and over that low milk supply is very rare (I had my thyroid tested to see if that was an issue and it wasn’t). So I decided to take it into my own hands and started feeding her ALL the time. I went back to feeding her on both sides because the one-sided feeding seemed to affect her gaining weight in the beginning. She would come off the first side and I would give her the second. Sometimes she would pull on the nipple when she seemed still hungry and I would just hold her off for about 10 min so my body could make more milk and then put her back on. This seemed to help and build up my supply.
It all seemed to work as she started gaining weight again and she is now 4 months so I have been breastfeeding her around 2 months now.
The problem is that the green poops appeared again and she still is pretty fussy a lot—seeming hungry all the time and not sleeping very well. My only analysis of this is a foremilk imbalance. Foremilk imbalance, from what I have read, is usually caused by an oversupply, but oversupply does not appear to be an issue for me. I seemed to have more of a low supply and feel like I have to constantly work on keeping it up. When feeding on both sides, she only feeds for a little (maybe 5 min or less) and then comes off and I give her the other side.
But with the fussiness and green poops I decided to try the one-sided feedings again. I have been doing it for 2-3 days now and so far it is not going so well. It went well for about the first day when each side was getting really engorged and she had a lot to nurse, but now that my breasts have seemed to regulate it is not working so well. She is really fussy at the breast, coming on and off even more. She doesn’t want to nurse very long and when she comes off I just put her back on the same breast. A few times, I have given in and given her the second breast and she seems happy with that, but I think she is only getting the foremilk that way. She is fussy, wanting to eat all the time and not sleeping well. To top it off, she really prefers one breast and my other breast produces about half as much. When we use that breast to feed, she is really unhappy and hardly nurses so I feel like she gets very little. Her poops have yet to change color.
How do I encourage her to stay on the breast? And what do I do if she is so fussy and doesn’t want to stay on the one breast at all? How do I deal with the one preferred side issue? Why do you think it went fine when I was really engorged? Does she just prefer the foremilk---is it more work to get the hindmilk? How long should it take for the poop to change color?