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Thread: Please help me conquer the formula!!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Texas
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    61

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    Forgot to mention...she falls asleep while nursing a lot, which LC says probably means she's not getting enough...or fast enough.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    If she is is still acting hungry, flip her. Let her pull another letdown on the other side.
    One thing that you are probably seeing that no one has mentioned but I can see may clearly be a problem is nipple confusion. The tugging at the breast and acting frustrated may not have as much to do with being hungry as is does with impatience. Milk is much easier to get out of a rubber nipple. And the flow is always the same. Your breasts are designed to allow for comfort nursing and not over feeding. So the longer the baby is there, the less streams of milk are flowing even though the baby is ALWAYS getting something and your breasts are never truly empty. Even one oz of formula an hour is 24oz a day. Which again doesn't leave a lot of room for your body to produce. Coupled with you not actually bringing her to the breast every time, these things will affect your supply AND may make your child frustrated with the amount of work involved in actually nursing. I am glad to see you re re-committing to bringing your baby to your breast, though I have to tell you, self doubt is your worst enemy. You were made to do this. I can hear in your tale you don't think you deserve any credit for your daughters weight gain.
    I am here to tell you that most certainly CAN make enough milk ofr your child. I understand that for some women not being able to measure intake eats away at their self confidence when it comes to supply. Do you think you have allowed this to happen to you? Don't. Babies normally lose 10% of their birth weight. Did you calculate out how much 10% of her very high birth weight was? All you need to watch when exclusively breastfeeding is output. If child is sleeping for 4-5 stretches, it stands to reason they may have a dry diaper. They haven't eaten for 4-5 hours. IF you don't want your baby to go that long put her in bed with you. (though personally at 8weeks I'd embrace the longer stretches of sleep.)
    It IS hard work. No doubt about it. It's hard to feed around the clock to get your supply regulated, it's hard to have your nipples tugged on. But honestly, I imagine it would be much harder to give up. You need to believe in yourself. You need to believe that you absolutely can do this. Because you can. You may have a frustrated baby for a few days. Because it will be frustrating not to have all the instant gratification of a bottle. But your baby will learn and honestly, if you really are about it, you could be rid of the supplements completely in as little as two weeks, and have your baby forget all about the bottle. Have a nurse in this weekend. Don't get out of bed. Keep her with you skin to skin. Have your Dh bring you meals and take her and change diapers. The truth is supplementation combined with self doubt is a slippery slope that can lead to giving up. Step away from the edge of the mountain.. You can do this. If she seems still hungry, flip her. Your breasts can use all the stimulation for your baby they can get right now. Go team! Again keep us posted.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    584

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    You can do this!!!! you are doing so many of the right things you just got off to a bumpy start. We had similar trouble; hitting the breast, pulling on my nipple etc. LC said it was low supply. We tried nursing and pumping right after and it worked ok for us. You might try that if you are not already. You are letting her nurse on demand. Does she stop nursing and pulls off or do you pull her off after she falls asleep. LC told us to make sure we didn't go more than 5 to 6 hours in between because it could cause decreased supply. Does she nurse during the night too or sleeping through. I used more mothers milk plus for a few days (liquid form) to give me a boost. I never suppliment with formula so not much advise to give on that. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good work and be proud of what you have overcome so far. Keep us posted on how it goes. Oh, more more note, you said you don't get much when you pump. Don't worry about that--- your baby does a better job than any pump will!


  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    4

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    Just wanted to add a few extra thoughts, now that you're talking about back-to-breast...

    My baby was 7lbs at birth and down to 6lbs 9oz at his 2-week appointment. I was devastated and cried at the ped's office. She wanted me to start nursing him every 2 hours and then give him a 2oz bottle at the end of each session. We made it through about 12 hours of that before my husband and I just melted down. Luckily, I had enough pumped milk to use that in the bottles, but the schedule just wasn't working. Taking a kid who was used to not getting enough and feeding him more than an ounce an hour put him into a milk coma. He never wanted to wake up to eat, and he screamed whenever we put him near the breast.

    So... we backed off. I rented a Medela BabyWeigh scale so we could see how much he was getting from the breast, and we only supplemented enough to make up the difference between that and 2oz. Over time, as he got bigger and we worked on the latch, he went from taking half an ounce in an hour to being able to take 3+ in 10min.

    During the first 5 weeks, I was pumping like a mad woman, but I don't think I ever got more than 10-14oz in a day. Luckily, he started making up the difference in direct feedings, so I quit the pumping and concentrated on nursing. It turns out he really was way more efficient than the pump -- we just had to get the latch right.

    In the end, a few things stand out in my memory:

    1) It was expensive, but really worth it to rent the Medela BabyWeigh scale to weigh feedings (and cheaper than months of formula would have been). This helped me avoid overfeeding him with the bottle when he had already taken a lot at the breast. It also helped me figure out which techniques were improving milk transfer and which weren't.

    2) The nipple shield was really hurting us. As soon as I got him latched directly, transfer improved dramatically. I also saw a huge jump when I gave up on the textbook techniques and started pushing down gently on his chin to help him learn to open wide (the other approaches hadn't worked, but a week or two of this helped him get the hang of things with no fussing).

    3) Bottles were hurting us. Once we went cold turkey on those, his latch got better and better by the day.

    4) He didn't actually need 25oz a day in the first month. He gained an ounce a day while only eating 14-18oz/day.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    Thank you all so much, again...I should have come here weeks ago. My husband is to the point where he thinks we should just give her formula, because "we were raised on it". He just doesn't get it...not bashing him at all, but he truly doesn't understand how important this is to me...so he doesn't know how to encourage me. DJ's Mom...you made me cry...lol...thanks very much for helping me believe it can happen. It's good to know that others have had the same struggles and come out on top, too, mom of 3 girls...I know I probably got your name wrong, but I'm close.

    She has been sleeping with me a lot more lately, because that's where she is most comfortable (frankly, me too)...she also sleeps next to my bed in a bassinet. I am going to start keeping her in bed with me and let her nurse whenever she wants, because we haven't been doing that either. When she falls asleep, she usually lets go, but when she wakes up and realizes she's hungry she gets frustrated trying nurse more, but falls back asleep in a matter of minutes.

    I am going to check into renting a baby scale, though I have no idea where I would start that...it would be much easier (and encouraging) for me to see that she's getting something.

    As far as let down goes, I only really feel it in my left side...her preferred side...my right is slightly inverted, which she pulls out...she's just much more reluctant since she has to work harder...and it obviously doesn't produce near as much. I haven't heard her swallow for a while on the right side, but she gets some nice big gulps on the left.

    Thanks a million for all your help...I am so glad I came here, and I'll keep you posted. ))

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    If you want to produce more on the opposite side, put her there twice as often in the same position she sits in on her favorite side. Often favorite sides have more to do with positioning and there ability to extract milk. But once the side becomes favored it obviously produces more. So if her favorite position is left side cradle hold, then put her on the right side in football. Here'r help with the visual. IF you use a breastfeeding pillow. Imagine her in her favorite position on her favorite side. Now after feeding if you had her laying in that position on the boppy and just moved the baby in her entirety on the pillow to the other breast so she could get on the other breast and latch exactly the same way, what would that look like? Does that make sense??? Also if you need help with latch. Check out the free clip on Dr. Jack Newmans website. Often actually SEEING it done correctly for yourself rather than have someone instruct you can be very helpful. Ok. Off to wait for an update!
    Last edited by DJ's Mom; March 11th, 2008 at 10:51 PM. Reason: tYPOS

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    it's so funny you mention that....in the beginning it worked better for me to football hold her on my "bad" side...smart woman you.... well we struggled this last feeding...she actually refused the breast for the first time...gave her 2 oz of formula and tried the breast again...she would NOT go for it...demanded the bottle...but then she was irritated with the bottle and acted like she wanted the breast. maybe nipple confusion is playing a large role...she couldn't decide. when she was on the breast she WAS getting milk, because i saw it in her mouth and she was gulping...so confusing!! poor baby girl, i can imagine how confused she is feeling, like "would mom just FIGURE it out already!??" is it ok for her to lie flat on her side, with her head on the mattress while nursing? i've heard that could cause ear infection, but is that only with formula?

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,197

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    I nursed my son flat lying on the mattress for 2 months in the beginning to avoid injury to one of my nipples (the shape of that nipple is weird and he was biting it for that reason so I had to change positions). I think it is fine for BF babies since the way they suck while BF prevents ear infections.
    As for the nipple confusion, I would immediately get an SNS or Lactaid (for both formula and EBM supplementation) and stop giving her the bottle altogether before the nipple confusion gets worse. The SNS will also increase your supply and help get rid of the formula in time.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    5,036

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    Mistelle, I'm hopping in a bit late here, you've already gotten lots of wonderful advice! This website is a great resource for all information breastfeeding!

    You can do this! You have what it takes, breasts with milk and the desire to succeed. And and endless supply of mamas to cheer you on. Please keep us posted on your success story!
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    oh my GOSH she gets so irritated while nursing, but i guess it's good she still tries. i checked out dr newman's site...he says that a baby can suckle for 20 hours and still be getting nothing...that the only way you KNOW the baby is getting milk is when you see the chin pause, meaning the mouth is filling with milk. i haven't seen that recently, but i do hear her swallowing...not often, but i hear it...and big gulps every once in a while. he just left me wondering if she's getting anything. i know i'm probably over-paranoid, but the nurse in the hospital told me that the soft spot is a good sign of dehydration...that it would be sunken in more than usual. hers is today, but it changes when she changes positions...sunken in more when upright. plenty of wet diapers already today...no poop yet, but she's saving that for dad...and she usually has 1-2 a day...sometimes 3. if brenna is just suckling for comfort does that REALLY stimulate my body to make more milk? i don't see how...wouldn't she have to empty the breast to get it to produce more (or atleast be taking in a decent amount)? i'm TRYING to step away from the edge......i just wonder how long i should keep it up before deciding to just stick with the formula, trust God to take care of her, and finally just be happy and let all this stress go. i don't want to be so consumed with trying to breastfeed, even though i know that's what's best for us, that i don't take the time to [I]really[I] enjoy our time and take in all her sweet babyness.
    i've emailed the LC i met with to check into the lactaid...that sounds like it would be a great way to go to get rid of the bottle completely. i wonder, though, if she would figure out the tube and just suck the formula straight out of it without stimulating me to produce more......everything seems to have been against us thus far.

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