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Thread: New and need help please - ready to give up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    1

    Default New and need help please - ready to give up

    Hi I need some help!

    Background:
    My Boy was born a preemie @ 35 weeks so he was a lazy feeder. He was 5 pounds 12 oz.
    Due to his earliness he developed Jaundice in the hospital.
    My Milk took a week to come in.
    So due to him being a sleepy feeder, a preemie, no milk and having Jaundice he lost a ton of weight fast. He went from 5 12 to 5 3oz. I was warned that if he dropped below 5 pounds he would have to go to the NICU and wouldn't come home with me.
    So I started to supplement formula and breast milk.
    I was determined to bring my baby home with me from the hospital as my first born was in the NICU for 3 months so it was important to me to bring him home with me.

    Fast forward 2 weeks.
    My baby went from "scheduled" feedings every 2 hours of 1 1/2 oz of BM/formula to "scheduled" feeding every 3 hours now that he is gaining weight.
    However here is my routine (it is killing me)! Nurse the baby - this can take 30-45 min.
    Then pump for 15 min both breast @ the same time. I am now getting almost 4 oz of BM after pumping. My baby only needs 1 1/2 oz of milk so I freeze the rest. After pumping I give him a bottle of 1 1/2 oz that he kills but this takes about 10-15 more min. Then I have to clean everything up.

    So here are my issues:
    1)I want to stop pumping because I am making more milk then I need - but if I stop pumping and just nurse the baby I am so engorged.

    2) If I cut him off the bottle and nurse him he is not a happy camper. He is awake most of the time and just wants to nurse - but then gets on the breast feeds for like 5 min and then falls asleep.

    3) even after nursing he is hungry. I know I have the milk to feed him as I am getting 4 oz out but he is barley taking any milk from my breast. His latch is good BTW.

    4) I can not continue the routine of nursing, pumping, feeding a bottle then cleaning up as it is draining me.

    5) if I don't continue my current routine I have very painful boobs and a unhappy baby.

    How do I get my baby on my breast and only my breast?
    What do I do about my over supply?

    The only good thing about this is I have like 3 weeks of BM in my freezer.

    Thanks and sorry this was so long.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    175

    Default Re: New and need help please - ready to give up



    First, it sounds like you're doing a great job of providing for your baby. I understand just how draining the whole routine of nursing, pumping, bottle feeding can be, as my LO spent a week in the NICU, and I had to pump to get my supply up. I can't comment on oversupply, since I never had that problem, but it's good that you've been able to stash away some milk in the meantime.

    Concerning BFing your baby, is the problem that he doesn't stay awake long enough while nursing and isn't nursing actively? I faced this with DD, and there are a lot of things you can do to help keep him awake. Here's a link. Some of the things that worked for us were to switch sides when she started to drift off, rubbing her feet while nursing, or taking a diaper change break. Breast compressions can also help keep the milk flowing so that he stays interested.

    I'm sure you'll get more info on the oversupply from other mamas. Keep us updated on how it's going.
    Julie
    Wife to Jeff
    Mom to Alexa, born 4/22/07

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    4,007

    Default Re: New and need help please - ready to give up

    oversupply

    My LO is almost 4 weeks but after a recent growth spurt I had an oversupply issue. I tried block feeding. Block feeding is when you feed from one breast for a block of time and then the other breast for the same amount of time. Most literature suggest 2 hour blocks to start but some mothers use up to 6 or 8 hours. (ex. breast feed at 2pm from right breast. If baby is hungry at 3:30pm feed from the same breast. When your set time is up, feed baby from left breast for the same amount of time).

    What block feeding does: The breast that you are not feeding from gets "over full" singling your body to slow down the production of milk. Be careful not to get engorged. If you feel yourself getting engorged, hand express for 20-30 seconds just to relieve the pressure. Maintaining the feeling of "overfullness" (if that's even a word, lol) is what will signal your body to slow down.

    I took a slightly different approach and decided to do "number of feedings" instead of "time". I started with two feedings per breast. After 2 days I increased it to 3 feedings per day until my supply went down a little, and then I went back to 2 feedings per breast.

    Here are some links:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html
    http://www.mother-2-mother.com/blockfeeding.htm
    http://parenting.ivillage.com/baby/b...tqn6-2,00.html

    Hope that helps! Keep us updated as to how you and your LO are doing!
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: New and need help please - ready to give up

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovelyloril View Post
    1)I want to stop pumping because I am making more milk then I need - but if I stop pumping and just nurse the baby I am so engorged.
    You probably have a little bit of an oversupply from pumping more than you needed. After you nurse just express enough for comfort. Your supply should even out.


    2) If I cut him off the bottle and nurse him he is not a happy camper. He is awake most of the time and just wants to nurse - but then gets on the breast feeds for like 5 min and then falls asleep.
    This is actually normal. Little ones do like to nurse frequently in the early weeks. It is comforting to them which makes them sleepy. You can try techniques for keeping him awake like lifting his harm, tickling his feet, changing the diaper after he falls asleep etc. Things will get easier as he gets a little older.

    3) even after nursing he is hungry. I know I have the milk to feed him as I am getting 4 oz out but he is barley taking any milk from my breast. His latch is good BTW.
    Why do you think he is hungry after nursing? Are you seeing him swallow? Babies like to nurse frequently, even if it is just for comfort. Is it possible he is upset that you took the breast away as opposed to still being hungry?

    4) I can not continue the routine of nursing, pumping, feeding a bottle then cleaning up as it is draining me.
    for your hard work and committment. I would slow down on the pumping and try to focus on nursing as much as possible. A tip for your pump parts, you can refrigerate them between pumping sessions so then you only have to wash them once a day.
    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    32

    Default Re: New and need help please - ready to give up

    Lovelyloril - I am in the same position as you right now. Baby was in NICU, and could only come home once she could feed on her own - so we got her onto bottles as she couldn't coordinate her breastfeeding. I have been pumping every 3 hours since she was born (day and night) so have a freezer FULL of milk.
    She now can latch and feed using a nipple shield - but even after feeding, then coming off the breast herself, then being offered the other breast and feeding for 5 minutes before falling asleep - I have to give her a supplemental bottle (of about 1 oz) 95% of the time, or she will not settle.
    This morning she 'pretended' to take the bottle, but didn't drink anything from it, and fell asleep, so I put her into her crib. She slept, but only went 1.5hours between start of first feed, to screaming until I fed her again.
    I know that babies can only communicate by crying, but she had a clean diaper, was not gassy, and would not settle even when I held her (all the things that normally cause her to fuss). She was 'rooting', and putting her hand in her mouth, and as soon as I fed her she calmed down, and ate a ton.
    My LC has suggested stopping the supplemental bottles for a set period each day, but I'm not sure we can - or noone in the house will ever get sleep

    Re: pumping, I am slowly cutting back. Sometimes I don't pump after she has BF (if my breasts feel relatively empty), then I just pump both sides after the following feed. Other times if one breast still feels full after a BF session I just pump that side.
    I mentioned this in another post, but I have also made my own 'hands'free' pumping bra (I just cut little slits in the front of an old bra, where my nipples are, and slide the small part of the pump 'horn' through) - it works great. Using this, if I do the football hold I can feed on one side and pump on the other - or sometimes I can manage to slip the bra on and pump while burping the baby. It helps a little in the time spend on the whole 'process'.

    I hope this helps that you are not alone. I have had numerous "I can't do this" moments (or hours)....but it is slowly getting easier....and talking to people on this site REALLY helps.
    You are doing a great job!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    3

    Default Re: New and need help please - ready to give up

    my son was a 35 weeker and spent 3 weeks in the NICU. I had to pump for the first 2 months because he took that long to learn to nurse. I had a HUGE supply from all the pumping, and it was really difficult at times. I can tell you what I did to help the situation. It was really tough in the beginning, and for many weeks, I just wanted to give up. But I'm glad I didn't, because as hard as it was to get here, it was worth it.

    I tried to pump as little as possible as that only tells your body to make more milk. I would only feed from one side at a time, instead of both sides per feeding. To prevent becoming engorged, I would pump just enough to make myself comfortable. I pumped before nursing him because the oversupply and fast letdown would choke him. Plus, pumping off the foremilk will help your LO gain more weight as the hindmillk is more calorie dense. It took a lot of time, but eventually I only needed to pump in the morning when I was really full. and now I don't need to pump at all.

    And ditto the PP about refrigerating your pump parts. I wish I would have done that from the beginning. guess it was lack of sleep and a cloudy head - but it took me months to figure that out!!! Once I started doing that, things got a bit easier.

    Good luck! Keep it up - you can do it!
    Last edited by brandi.head; April 15th, 2008 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    4

    Default Re: New and need help please - ready to give up

    Oh, this is SO just like my life right now! Olivia was a 32 weeker and spent 5 weeks in the NICU, so she came home being exclusively bottle-fed. Now that she is doing good and considered a 'term' baby, they gave me the ok to try feeding her exclusively from the breast and not have to keep track of every little ounce and half-ounce that she takes.

    It is going TERRIBLY. Sometimes (this is rare) she will latch and nurse for 15 min or so and then seem to get almost 2 ounces (my pumping after shows that the nursed breast is down by that much). And then sometimes.....she will just pitch a royal fit and thrash and scream and bat at me, grab my hair when I put her down...she's just VERY unhappy,and I don't know what to do. I'm about ready to give up. I don't know what else to do - she has seen speech therapists, lactation consultants who have told me that "she will get it eventually" as long as she has a good latch (she does), etc. but for the life of me i can NOT get her to actually want the breast. It breaks my heart, and these breastfeeding sessions invariably end with both of us in tears.

    I don't know what else to do either.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    32

    Default Re: New and need help please - ready to give up

    LivysMom - I'm right there with you today (ready to quit I mean). My baby is a 32-weeker too - and is 38 weeks now. She does exactly what you described - the thrashing and screaming, arms flailing around. If I get her to latch it's great....but even then, once she is finished feeding she still wants a bottle (sometimes just 10 or 15mls, other times she'll take 40-50mls more). I feel like I'm wasting my time BF. We spend hours per day trying to 'fill' her up, and still have to do the bottle and pumping routine.
    Like I said, our LC suggested going 6 hours per day with no supplements, but I just can't do that.....she just screams until she is horse if I try to do that (then settles as soon as the bottle touches her lips!!)
    I know I make enough milk....from pumping I could open my own Dairy Queen. I'm confused as after my LO has finished on one side, I squeeze the areola, to see if the breast is drained, and nothing comes out....however, if I pump that breast I get more milk out. So I don't know when each breast is drained. I know they are never truly empty....but I just don't know if by baby is managing to empty a breast, or if she is too uncoordinated to do that yet (hence the need for the supplemental bottles).
    I'm exhausted from the 'routine' during the night last night (even with my wonderful husband's help) - it was a though no amount of milk could fill her little belly -, so have been giving bottles today. I know that isn't the answer, but it helps to keep me from reaching the 'meltdown' stage!

    Anyway, enough about me - will you be staying home with Livy, or are you going back to work? I only ask, because I got so stressed about trying to get my LO to BF exclusively, then I realized that in a few weeks she'll be taking a bottle for half of the time anyway, once I'm back to work. I'm trying to take each day as it comes.....and BF as much as I/we can. If she 'gets' it eventually and we can BF when we are together, than that will be fantastic.....but if she doesn't then I'll keep pumping milk for her. I think I'm addicted to pumping

    One final thing....did anyone suggest you use a nipple/breast shield to get her to latch? My LC gave me one (size xs for her tiny mouth) and almost always my LO can latch using that, when she can't manage it naturally. It doesn't always work (last night the only thing she would latch onto was her bottle!!), but it works more often than not. It's also messier (for us at least) as milk tends to spill out of it if the baby doesn't swallow fast enough, but a few burp cloths and bibs helps with that (I just cover the pillow, the baby, and me, and it works!)

    Sorry for such a long post...I guess I needed to talk too!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: New and need help please - ready to give up

    I know it sounds like even more work, but you can try using an sns instead of a bottle. They will get the milk/formula easier than from just the breast, but it will keep them from preferring the bottle. I did that with my ds. It was work, but very worth it.

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