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Thread: So many opinions - which one is good?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    1

    Default So many opinions - which one is good?

    I just returned home yesterday from the hospital with our first baby. I had a few problems and the baby had a few problems so we were in there for about 5 days. They induced labor and then tried to give me an epidural (sp?). They tried three times and gave up because the guy kept getting into spinal fluid or something - I am a little lost on the details. After the third try he said he would have to give me a spinal shot or something. I was a little dopey from the newban they gave me for pain so I don't remember many details. They gave me two of those and wouldn't give me anything after I started pushing. Long story short I pushed for two and half hours - have stitches in places I don't even want to think about and I don't really remember the next two days.

    I wanted to breastfeed but they gave the baby bottles while I was out of it. When I started trying to breastfeed I had a lot of problems getting her to stay awake to feed and also latching on. I guess those two problems are normal. The nurses were great but they all had a way of doing their own thing. They told me not to hold her in a craddle position (which was easier on both of us it seemed) and to hold her like a football. The baby didn't like it and I didn't like it. Then I had to wear these shells of some sort because I guess I am not set up right to breastfeed. Now when I try to breast feed I have so much pain that it literally makes me cry. The nurses keep telling me it will get better but so far it has gotten worse. They gave me a pump to use at the hospital and I would pump for 20 minutes and get barely 2 cc's of anything. The baby wouldn't use the bathroom and they said I needed to make sure she had so many dirty diapers per day. I finally broke down and gave her formula because I didn't want to make her sick.

    With everything going on I have fed her formula mostly and breastfed her maybe twice. Would I be wrong to get a pump and just use bottles to give her breast milk? The nurse told me I would produce what she needed but I can't tell if I am starving her or not. She kept losing weight at the hospital but they said it was fine - she went from 8lbs 5oz to 7lbs 11 oz.

    I am so lost on this stuff. I don't want to feed her formula. I want her to be healthy. I am in a lot of pain when I try to feed her. What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: So many opinions - which one is good?

    Hi daneNcrystal -- welcome to this forum, and congrats on your new baby!

    It sounds like you two have gotten off to a rough start, with a difficult birth and confusing advice in the hospital.

    I have to rush away this morning, so I will just make two brief suggestions, and then I will come back later today to follow up.

    If your baby is getting formula and not nursing much, then you should get a hospital-grade double-electric pump and start pumping your breasts 8-10 times a day, so every 2-3 hours right around the clock. There is a valuable window of opportunity in the first week or two after giving birth, when your breasts need frequent stimulation and emptying to establish a good milk supply. It's not too late by any means, but the sooner you start pumping, the easier it will be to ensure you have enough milk. I advise you to find a rental pump, perhaps from your hospital, a lactation center, a private IBCLC lactation consultant, or maybe through WIC. Do that today if at all possible.

    If your baby is not nursing well, then it is important and good that you have been giving her formula for the time being. Keep her fed!! Your guideline should be her diaper output -- 6 to 8 good wet diapers and 2-3 dirty diapers in every 24-hour period.

    Get your pump and start using it, and don't worry if you express little or no milk at first. Just pump for 15 minutes or so at each session.

    If you can find a local LLL Leader or an IBCLC to help you and your daughter learn to latch well, that should help enormously. The pain with nursing is almost certainly from a poor latch -- very, very common, and very possible to fix, but you need hands-on help from someone who is trained in lactation support (a LLL Leader or a lactation consultant with the IBCLC credential after her name.)

    Good luck -- do your best to get hold of a good pump today, and let us know how things are going. I'm sure others will chime in with encouragement and advice.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,712

    Default Re: So many opinions - which one is good?

    What you are going through is normal. It's so hard with the crazy horomones. The pain can be awful in the beginning. I promise if you are determined to make breastfeeding work, the pain will eventually go away. Most lc's will tell you two weeks, but for me it was four and really there is no magical number. I cried alot, curled my toes, bit my lip just to get through. It helped me to play relaxing music. It calmed me and the baby so we could work on getting that perfect latch. During my pregnancy, I wanted to excluvisely pump, but my baby is not a good sleeper and likes to be held, so it's much easier for me to feed her with my breast than to pump, feed, wash bottles and so on. You also will need to get a hospital grade pump and start pumping right away. Don't worry about how much is coming out. Try to relax. Keep warm when you are pumping and pump every 2 to 3 hours. Massage your breast and kind of gently tickle them. Also work with a lc or lll leader. The support is the best way to stick with it, and work through these problems. The first month or so can be so overwhelming. My best advice is to just relax and enjoy this special time.
    To help with the latch ...
    Don't prep the nipple
    tickle your babies chin until he opens wide
    cup your breast in the c shape
    make sure the head neck and shoulders are alighned
    To help with the pain...
    use a cream like Lansinoh
    squeeze the colostrum over the nipple. It's ver healing
    expose your breast to the air as much as possible
    Best Wishes!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: So many opinions - which one is good?

    Quote Originally Posted by daneNcrystal
    Then I had to wear these shells of some sort because I guess I am not set up right to breastfeed.
    Do you mean you have flat nipples? Did they give you breast *shells* or nipple *shields*? Here is some info on flat nipples:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/flat.html

    Quote Originally Posted by daneNcrystal
    Now when I try to breast feed I have so much pain that it literally makes me cry. The nurses keep telling me it will get better but so far it has gotten worse.
    Oh no! When do you feel the pain? At the beginning of a feeding? During? After? Are your nipples cracked?

    Quote Originally Posted by daneNcrystal
    They gave me a pump to use at the hospital and I would pump for 20 minutes and get barely 2 cc's of anything. The baby wouldn't use the bathroom and they said I needed to make sure she had so many dirty diapers per day. I finally broke down and gave her formula because I didn't want to make her sick.
    It sounds like your milk had not become more plentiful yet, or "came in". When you pump now, how much do you get? How often are you pumping? How much formula is your baby getting?


    Quote Originally Posted by daneNcrystal
    With everything going on I have fed her formula mostly and breastfed her maybe twice. Would I be wrong to get a pump and just use bottles to give her breast milk?
    It would not be wrong. Many mothers do this. HOWEVER, it is much easier to nurse directly (well, when you and baby both get the hang of nursing, it is ). Would you consider increasing your milk supply, getting some help with latching, and trying to breastfeed directly before making a decision?

    Quote Originally Posted by daneNcrystal
    The nurse told me I would produce what she needed but I can't tell if I am starving her or not. She kept losing weight at the hospital but they said it was fine - she went from 8lbs 5oz to 7lbs 11 oz.
    That's what's so crazy about breastfeeding! Our breasts don't have ounce markers (), so we can't really see what baby is taking in. BUT, we can see what is coming OUT. That's why it's so important to watch the diapers. If it's coming out, it's going in!
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/enough.html


    Quote Originally Posted by daneNcrystal
    I am so lost on this stuff. I don't want to feed her formula. I want her to be healthy. I am in a lot of pain when I try to feed her. What should I do?
    You have come to the right place! You'll find all kinds of support and information here.

    Have you found someone local that you can see in person? An IBCLC? A LLL Leader?

  5. #5

    Default Re: So many opinions - which one is good?

    You got some great info from the PP's, so I won't repeat it all.

    I just want to emphasize how important it is that you find a LLL Leader or IBCLC to help you in person and to walk you through this. It CAN be done!

    Hugs
    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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