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Thread: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    1

    Red face Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    So, I'm trying to establish breastfeeding after having my little man in the NICU and pumping for the first few days of his life (he's a week old, now). I'm having a few issues, and I was hoping to get a little help. I'm going to try to call a LLL member or the LC from the hospital if I don't get any better soon. Aiden wants to sleep all day and night. He only weighed 5 lb 8 oz at birth, so I'm really nervous about him not getting enough to eat. I've been supplementing with formula and EBM when I don't feel like h's had enough to eat. Sometimes he'll latch for me and suck for about 10 minutes, but sometimes he just latches for a minute and falls asleep right away. I want to try to get away from the pumping and such because it's really, really wearing me thin. My husband works long hours so it's just me and the baby and I'm not getting much sleep as it is.

    How do I get Aiden to wake up to feed? I am supposed to wake him to feed every three hours, but unless he wakes up hungry, I can barely get him to eat anything. I unwrap him, talk to him, rub his hands, feet, back, and still he sleeps.

    How long should he be feeding at a time?

    How do I do this?!?!

    Please help!

    Oh, and because he's so small, latching issues have surfaced. Sometimes he gets it, sometimes he doesn't. I want him to eat so badly, though, I am almost willing to just let him suck without a proper latch, but I know that's not helping anything.

    Ok, sorry, I'm pretty overwhelmed right now. He's had four wet diapers and two dirty diapers today, so far. Here's what he's eaten:

    #1 - 1200 am - 20 min breast + 5 ml
    #2 - 0130 am - 10 min breast
    #3 - 0430 am - 70 ml EBM
    #4 - 0800 am - 5 min breast
    #5 - 0915 am - 30 ml EBM
    #6 - 1215 pm - 35 min breast

    Does this seem OK? To top it all off, I've got a massive headache today, that just isn't going away, and it's stressing me out. Your help would be sincerely appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    your baby is very young yet!
    You guys will get the hang of it.
    heres a great link with lots of info in it
    http://www.llli.org/NB/NBearlyweeks.html

    the wets an poops sound great.
    Just take it one day at a time.
    Are you sleeping when he is sleeping?
    having lots of skin to skin contact?
    That helps most babies.
    count diapars that helps too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    oh and don't be afraid to take what your doctor says is ok for pain.
    Get a nice big glass of water and take the baby to bed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    first of all congrats on your LO! second of all take a deep breath. you are doing great! the first few weeks/months are a learning experience for u & your LO. bring him to your breasts as much as he wants... this will est your milk supply and allow him the practice he needs to be a good eater. the best way to tell if your baby is getting enough is by the diaper count .... 6+ wet and 3-4+ poopy diapers in a 24 hr period. did your dr tell u that u have to pump? if i were u id consentrate on bf LO only. id def contact a LC or a LLL rep near you for helping you with your latch issues. hang in there mama! it does get better. drink lots of water and u can take tylenol for your head ache. these forums offer great support and advice. know that u are not alone and you are doing a great thing for your baby.

    Happily engaged to my best friend , Matthew
    1st time mama to Lucianna Dene' 3/29/08
    Exclusively and for 12 weeks and counting!!
    We discovered that we LOVE !

    Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz 21 in
    2 mo: 10 lbs 11 oz 23 in

    **first in my family to bf!**

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    23

    Default Re: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    Like they say, watch the wet and poopy diapers. I have a 4 wk old and have to say the first few weeks are really difficult. JUst keep on trying and relax.

    Another trick our nurse in the hospital showed up to wake them is rub your finger along the upper lip like if there was a mustache. I find if the little one falls asleep I take them in to change the diaper or just expose him. Most times it works.
    Proud mother to a 24 wk preemie girl, born 9/6/04 and to a full term baby boy, born 4/9/08.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,197

    Default Re: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    He doesn't have jaundice right? My son had it and he was very sleepy during that time, that's why I am asking. Stripping him down to his diaper and rubbing his knees and elbows with cool water can help too. That's what the LC at the hospital had recommended to me at the time. You can let him sleep for up to 3 hours during the day and up to 4 hours during the night according to our ped. as long as the total number of nursing sessions are not less than 8-12.
    Just relax and put him at your breast. He will get it. I don't think there is any need for pumping and supplementation if you can get him to latch properly and if he is not losing weight. As long as he gains fine (he should be back to his birth weight by 2 weeks), he is fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    First, take a deep breath. Then try to relax. There's a proven connection between milk production and a calm mind. I've heard lots of stories about moms really struggling with breastfeeding who go to an LLL meeting or see an LC and baby just nurses away without any problems whatsoever - because mom is calm and relaxed. But a week old baby is a challenge! I had mine just before the winter holidays and the first month and a half was tough.

    It looks like you posted around 1:30 pm. If you already had four wet diapers and a couple poops, your little one is doing great! The way I keep track of diapers, without stressing too much, is to get a stack out at the beginning of the day, what I expect my guy should go through. When he was a newborn, I started with twelve. Now, at four months, I expect around six to eight. So as a newborn, I planned for six diapers by noon and the other six by the time he got up for the day the next morning. It made it very easy to gauge how he was doing.

    As far as wake up tricks, I stripped Chance down to his diaper a lot. When he fell asleep on the breast, I would stroke just in front of his ear downwards (where you can see jaw muscles working when they're actively nursing). I could usually get another minute or two of good active nursing out of him for every time I did that. I've also been told that rubbing their hair against the grain works but that just annoyed the crude out of Chance and made him fuss at the breast, which didn't help matters at all.

    Something else I learned early on: Some babies will start nursing when they're not fully awake, especially if you express a little milk and rub it on their lips. Doesn't work with all babies but some seem to nurse longer and better this way than when they're fully awake.

    As far as length of time, until Chance really got the hang of nursing, my goal was roughly fifteen minutes on each side. If you're nursing on demand, you shouldn't need to look at the clock too much but I knew that if he was drowsy but had already nursed on one side and had been at the second breast a good ten minutes or so, that he'd probably gotten as much as he needed for awhile. The hospital LC I talked with didn't stress amount of time very much with me but my son was quite a bit bigger than your little guy and not overwhelmingly sleepy either. Make sure you talk to an LLL leader or LC about this one! Getting good feeds into such a little sleepy guy is important!

    Please keep us up to date on how things go!

    Meri
    Truth never dies but it leads a wretched life.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    Congrats on the birth of your baby -- and on getting him home!

    Unless I missed it, you didn't mention your baby's gestational age at birth -- or why he needed to be in the NICU at first. That might help to know. Did the staff have doing kangaroo care while there -- and did they suggest you continue to do so at home?

    Also, how often are you pumping and what breast pump are you using and how are you using it?

    Finally, do you have some household help to provide meals, throw laundry in, etc. so you are free to get to know your baby?

    Hang in -- this will get better!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    Everyone says 15 minutes per breast, but I'm lucky if my 6wk LO will do that. She's a 7 minute champ and is gaining weight just fine.

    If your LO has a good number of wet and poopies and the weight gain is ok, then the amount of time isn't as important. The only issue is the amount of foremilk vs hindmilk that he's getting. Since I have a very sleepy eater who's done in such a short amount of time, I pump before the am feedings to siphon off the foremilk so that she gets to the hindmilk (also helps witht he fast flow in the am and the gas/spit up that comes with the gulping) and mix it with the rest of the EBM that I pump during the day for storage.
    Fran
    Mom to Anna, March 28, 2008

  10. #10

    Default Re: Please help-- week old & going bonkers!

    It sounds by the diapers like you are doing great. It is very tough, and exhausting, to feed a sleepy early baby. It will get easier. Having a lactation consultant or a LLL leader tell you you are doing OK and help sort out problems can make it easier still.

    Everyone has given great advice

    I just really wanted to repeat DEHYDRATION CAUSES HEADACHES. You need more water now, and you are probably paying attention to yourself less. Please figure out something you like to drink, lemonade, water, herbal tea, drink drink drink. If you have a partner they can totally help out by bringing you drinks and food and more drinks.

    Enjoy your newborn, they are so wonderful (and not so easy to care for)
    Susan

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