Re: OS, OALD, Fore-Hind imbalance w/3.5 mo old?
First off, congratulations on nursing for 3.5 months! Awesome, especially when you're facing challenges
I think you're on the right track with an OS/OALD issue. So many of the things you describe fit- a baby who gains weight very quickly despite a suboptimal latch, and gassiness, fussiness, unlatching during nursing, pulling at the breast, spluttering, coughing, green poops...
Latching onto the nipple and not the breast can also indicate OS/OALD- my LC compared it to "crimping the straw" as the baby drinks. It's a good way to slow down to speed of milk coming from the breast.
Maybe, maybe not! Babies are such little individuals, and some have higher needs than others for touch and attention. My kid was a fusspot until she was a lot older than yours- heck, she's 4 and still has a high need for attention.
She will be 4 months in two weeks, shouldn't she be getting less fussy by now?
Just FYI, it's totally normal not to feel letdowns. You can usually identify them by the way the baby acts- switching from sucking with little or no swallowing to sucking with a lot of gulping (or choking/coughing/spluttering in the case of OALD).
unfortunately, I NEVER feel my letdowns.
If OS is the problem, the problem isn't likely that the baby can't extract the hindmilk because of her imperfect latch- it's more likely that she can't reach it because she's filling up on foremilk and isn't very hungry when the hindmilk starts coming out.
But because I have OALD, I think DD has gotten used to only when my milk is flowing fast, and doesn't want to work for the hind milk. Or possibly because her latch is at my nipple, can't extract the hind milk??
I understand your frustration, but unfortunately, I think the thorough pumping you've been doing has made the OS issue worse. Every time you completely empty the breast, you're telling your body "please make the same amount of milk again, every drop you just made was needed." Pumping less (less milk, less often, for less time) or even just putting up with the engorgement should tell your body to reduce production.
Finally, out of frustration, I began pumping at night and emptying my breasts completely that way.
My husband gives DD a bottle for her last feeding instead of being at breast. I pump about 6-8 oz total from both breasts, but DD only eats about 4 oz at that feeding. I figured this way she was at least getting hind milk at her last feeding then. And the green poops have gone away.
It's definitely not too late to remedy the situation. And I wouldn't switch to EP because hard as BF is, EP is generally MUCH harder (harder to maintain supply, have to decide between baby care and pumping, have to store, transport, and warm milk, you need to wash bottles and pump parts, harder to express milk in public, etc.). That doesn't mean you can't do some pumping, though- if your baby will willingly go back and forth between bottle and breast, you may be able to have the best of both worlds.
What should I do? I am thinking of throwing in the towel with breastfeeding and switching to EPing. Is it too late to try and remedy our situation?
This link has great tips on coping with OS/OALD: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html It sounds to me like you might really benefit from trying the positioning tricks, and maybe doing some block feeding (especially during those times of day when you have the most issues.).
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