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Thread: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    i am at a place now where i dont know what to do. I had an iugr baby born at 3 lbs 10 oz and full term. he didnt need oxygen or anything. however because of his size, i guess, they gave him a bottle about 15 min after birth. and even when i could nurse he would latch on then i had to follow up supplementing formula. Im just guessing this is protocol for small for date babies so their weight doesnt drop too much. when my milk came in though, we took away the formula completely.

    anyway, for about 3 weeks now ive been pumping every 3 hours... even throughout the night.. the problem is with every feeding i try to get him to latch on and sometimes he does wonderful and sometimes he wont even try. he generally latches on for about 10 min then falls asleep. so i have to finish every feeding with pumped breastmilk in a bottle. i am wondering if anyone has a familiar situation in which their baby eventually learned to breastfeed the entire feeding, and a bottle was no longer necessary.. it means so much to me to breastfeed for a year, but pumping every 3 hours to maintain milk is not ideal especially if i have to return to work. help please!! is he not strong enough to eat from the breast the entire time?? also, the hospital got him hooked on the red preemie nipples which flow very fast, this makes it even harder for me i dont know what to do, or when to give up and conclude he will never learn.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    NoVA
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    Default Re: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    Hi mama

    Are you in contact with a Lactation Consultant or your local LLL Leader? The bottles seem to be a big part of the problem with getting him back to the breast. There are some other methods of feeding that you could look into giving a try. Here's some more info!

    Getting baby back to the breast

    alternative feeding methods
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    41

    Default Re: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    Mama, you are having a hard time. Pumping around the clock is tough! I did it for three months before my LO would latch on. TG that's behind us. It sounds like your LO is nursing as well as he can. He's still very young, he'll figure it out eventually.

    There's a bottle feeding method where you sit your LO up in your lap and hold the bottle perpindicular to his mouth. That way gravity doesn't draw the milk down for him and he'll have to suck actively to get it out of the bottle. Here's a link to the full description: http://www.bfar.org/bottlefeeding.pdf

    Once your milk is established, you won't have to pump every 3 hours. If you check in the pumping forum, you'll see there's a variety of pumping schedules women follow.

    Can you tell us a little more about how nursing is going? Do you find that he's more willing to nurse at certain times of the day? After he falls asleep on the breast, will he relatch if you wake him or move him to the other breast?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    awe your very early in the baby and mom dance.....some early babies take long after their due date to get the hang of nursing.
    There are lots of things you can try to get the baby back to the breast, it just might take your baby some time.

    He'll figure it out with some time!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    i appreciate everyones encouragement and advice..
    i am in touch with a lactation leader and she has been helpful, we had an office visit a few weeks ago, and we did a weigh in before and after breast feeding and he took in a little over an oz. and it took him about 20 min.

    he is seeming to be getting better and better at the breast which is encouraging, i never knew breastfeeding would be so difficult. but i know that formula cant even compare, so im trying to stay positive. yesterday he breastfed for about 35 min, but will still take a few oz from the bottle so im not sure how much he's getting from me. if he seems full after the breast would it be okay to stop giving him a bottle afterwards? i know hes a good feeder and if he's hungry he'll let me know. im not sure how to make the transition to completely breastfeeding..

    also about the nipples, i have been introducing slower flowing nipples to try to get his muscles stronger..

  6. #6
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    Default Re: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    Sounds like you'll probably be able to get that baby to breast after all, but as an EPer I can say that if you do have to pump, it gets a lot better. I was waking up in the middle of the night when my baby was a newborn, but now I sleep through the night with him at 9 months. Once your milk supply is well established and you also have to return to work, you might find that you just have to find time for 2 15 minute sessions to pump for him. Good luck!
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  7. #7
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    Default Re: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    Breastfeeding is natural but it is a learned art!! It will get easier

    Are you supplementing with the bottle after every nursing session? If so take it slow to wean off the extra bottle. Also talk with your LO's doc and the LC to make sure everything is good.
    You'll want to keep a close eye on diapers, he should be getting 5-6 (disposable) wet per day and 3-4 bowel movements.
    Perhaps instead of offering the bottle right away you can offer the other side, even if he's nursed both you can keep switching sides. Try a little less in the bottle at a time, see how he does. Drop the bottle sessions where your confident he's nursed well, see how he does.
    You guys can do it, it really sounds like he's doing a great job and you are too!
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  8. #8
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    Alabama
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    Default Re: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    thank you jessica.
    hes so unpredictable though, sometimes he nurses so well and i offer the other breast and he'll latch on again. this past feeding i tried to get him to breastfeed and he just screamed so i calmed him down and tried again and the second i put him to the breast he got mad again. so i think i tried a few times on both sides and finally had to warm up a bottle of breastmilk. breastfeeding truly is an art.. i just pray i dont get too discouraged, its getting hard. i didnt realize how difficult it would be. i am not getting out of the house too much until his 8 week shots, so being homebound gives me a great chance to keep trying.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    It is hard and overwhelming right now, it will be worth it though. I can tell you that for certain!

    Keep trying, your doing the right thing. Keep the breast a safe, distressful place to be. #1 rule is feed the baby, so if you have to give him a bottle after some feedings that's ok.
    You'll start to learn when fussy means hungry and when fussy means something else, that will come with time and make it easier to understand what he needs.

    Do you have an LLL meeting in your area? They can give moms a great boost of confidence and support in person is priceless!
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alabama
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    Default Re: pumping every 3 hours for 3 weeks now

    i'll have to look into that, but ive been talking to a lactation consultant and will probably be going for another office visit soon.

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