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Thread: 3 weeks old and nursing issues....need help!

  1. #1

    Question 3 weeks old and nursing issues....need help!

    My son was born March 10th and within the first hour of his life he latched on perfect and nursed like a champ. We did still manage to get off to bad start though. My milk took 5 days to come in and my little guy was loosing weight. He was born at 37w4d and was 6lbs 9oz 19.2in long. I was induced because of Pre-E. I was on Pitocin and Mag during labor. I did have an Epi and didnt need a C-section.

    During my hospital stay I did see 2 lactation consultants just to ask questions and have them check his latching. Both said that everything looked good and we had perfect latching. When it came time to leave the hospital they wanted a public health nurse to visit me in 2 day because his weight was down. I forgot to ask what his weight was

    The public health nurse came out and weighed my son and said he was down to 5lbs 8oz at 5 days old. Before I finish let me just say that this lady scared me to death and had me in tears. She said he showed signs of dehydration and had lost too much weight and I needed to give him formula till my milk came in. She said he needed 3oz every 2 hours. He would only drink 1oz. It only gets worse as she tells me that he may be too weak to eat and he may need IV fluids. I call his pedi and they want me to bring him right in. Turns out the nurse was WRONG and so was her scale. That same day the Dr weighed my son and he was 5lbs 14oz. The Dr did not see any signs of dehydration but wanted me to continue to give formula. He told me to give 1oz per hour AFTER nursing him on both sides(he said there was no way my son could eat 3oz of formula like the nurse told me) I agreed because I knew his dirty diaper count was very low. I was also still worried because of all the crap the nurse told me.

    He is now almost 3 weeks old and is gaining weight good. His last pedi visit was at 17 days old and he was up to 7lbs even. His Dr actually knows how bad I want to just BF and is all for it. He said to start now and just count diapers....if the diaper count gets too low to give him formula again.

    I have always given him both sides until he pops off and then I give the formula. We have tried to go without the formula but its not pretty. He will stay latched onto me and scream if I take him off. It will go on like this for HOURS AND HOURS. He will sometimes fall asleep nursing but if I try to lay him next to me he wakes up and screams again. I cant even take a bathroom break. I end up stressed, tired and feeling bad because I know he is hungry and im just not enough. I have tired to pump just to see what comes out and its only 2-4ml total and thats both sides together for 15 minutes each

    I know he gets something from me because I can hear him swallow but its never enough. My breasts also never feel full.

    On a normal day he eats every 2 hours. Both breasts then 2oz of formula. I always make sure he stays latched on with active sucking for at least 10-15 mins per side.

    For the past 4 days we have been nursing more and more for longer lengths of time to see if my milk supply will get better. I also started taking Fenugreek (610mg 4 pills 3x day). Today is day 3 on it and I dont smell like maple syrup yet lol. I am still only able to pump 2-4ml total. I dont know if my supply is getting any better since he never gets satisfied from me and I dont get much while pumping.

    Anyone have any other ideas on getting my supply up? Whats the best way to cut out the formula? Could the breast implants I have be causing my supply to be low (I got them in 2003. They are under the muscle in my chest so all my natural tissue is on top of them and they were inserted through my underarm. I did ask the Dr that placed them if I would be able to nurse and he said I should be able to but I question him now that my supply seams low.)?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Re: 3 weeks old and nursing issues....need help!

    Hi mama and

    I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time and also that you got such crap advice

    Other mamas with more experience dealing with low supply and weaning off formula supplements will chime in, I'm sure, but here is an excellent link about milk supply and weaning from supplements to get you started:


    Basically, your milk supply is based on demand: the more you nurse and the more often your breasts are emptied, the more milk you are telling your body to make. Therefore every ounce of formula you give your baby is breastmilk you are telling your body not to make.

    The best way to signal your body to make enough milk for your baby is to nurse and not supplement. However, because of the amount you are supplementing (which sounds like a lot - if I understand correctly, you are giving an oz/hour) and the fact that your baby is still so young, it may not be advisable to cut the formula out cold turkey and you may have to do it gradually. Here is a link with some information on how to do that:


    Some other things to consider:

    Have you considered/heard about a supplemental nursing system (SNS)? It's basically a tiny tube that you tape to your breast that you use to supplement the baby while nursing.

    I don't know how much you are pumping and what kind of pump you are using, but pumping after each nursing session with a good quality pump will also help build your supply. You can also "power pump", which means pumping for 10 mins on, 10 mins off for an hour. Any breastmilk you do pump, you can then use to supplement instead of formula.

    The links above will give you some more tips on increasing your supply (e.g. eating oatmeal, taking a "nursing vacation").

    Finally, you might want to connect with your local LLL leader - she will be able to give you some hands on help and support.

    This all sounds like hard work, and it is, but it is so worth it and you can do it! Keep coming back here for support and good luck.

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