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Thread: Problems at 3 weeks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    17

    Default Problems at 3 weeks

    Help! I am suddenly having problems breastfeeding and it seems like a lot of them. At least it feels this way. Here is some background...

    I have been breastfeeding my LO with so supplements at all since birth. I seemed to have some issues with her latching on at first, some of it due to an inverted nipple. I went out and got nipple shields, problem solved and LO has been eating great. She was back to her birthweight plus two ounces at her first pedi visit at 7 days. I could tell my breasts were full, and I could feel they were soft after a feeding and baby was happy and full. We went through some cluster feeding a week ago and seemed to make it through that with my milk production being just fine. It seemed like LO would get more than enough to eat, sometimes fall alseep, and otherwise be happy.

    Now, within the last two days or so, the problems have started. Starting saturday, I didn't really feel much of a let down like I used to. I was able to tell when it was happening, and I would let down so much the nipple shield would fill up completely and would be dripping with milk. Sometimes LO would pull away because there was such a fast flow. Now, it seems like I am not letting down at all, or at least that I can tell. The milk seems to come out so slowly and now my nipples are getting sore. Sometimes it may seem like I am letting down and my breasts are painful, but it does not happen during feedings. It is getting to the point where LO is extremely frustrated (as am I) during feedings and will thrash and fail and kick and hit me because she is not getting the milk like she used to. She is obviously getting some milk but it just comes out SO slow. I was block feeding because I had so much milk, but now I feel like I need to keep switching back and forth to get her to calm down and not throw a fit during each feeding. She ends up crying and being upset and I end up the same way. When I think maybe she has had enough and I put her down, she ends up crying and begging for more within a few minutes and will start shoving her hands in her mouth and trying to latch onto anything nearby including her clothes because she seems so hungry. The really frustrating part to me is that I am still soaking through every shirt that I wear, and I am leaking so much I have to put a towel in my shirt at night and change it 3-4 times because I am completely drenched when I wake up. So the milk is coming out, just not when I need it to. I do not have a pump to use at the moment, I will not have it for another two weeks so I can't use that to get a backup supply. I have tried doing breast compressions but that does not seem to be getting me anywhere. It just seems like everything is suddenly going wrong after having no problems until now. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,895

    Default Re: Problems at 3 weeks

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! It sounds like you've hit a bit of a bump in the road, but from what you describe I don't think it's a huge one.

    Are you still using the shields? If so, I encourage you to try to ditch them, because in some cases they can slow or decrease milk transfer and lead to supply problems. And even if they don't- hey, they're kind of a pain in the butt, right? (Here's how to wean from the shield: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...an-shield.html)

    Regarding not feeling the letdown sensation- that is normal after you have been nursing for a while. It sounds like you started out with too much milk, and that due to the block feeding you've been doing, you supply is now meeting your baby's needs much more precisely. Once supply is more equal to demand, it's very normal for the letdown sensation to disappear. It's also normal at this point for the baby to be a bit upset at having to work harder in order to get her meals. Swaddling her and switch feeding (as you've been doing) and breast compressions should eventually help. And of course, ditching the shields (if you're still using them).
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Problems at 3 weeks

    First, thanks!

    I have been hesitant to ditch the shields, for some reason I feel like the pain I am having now will be increased without them but I will look into that link. They are a pain because they constantly need to be boiled and washed and LO rips them off when she gets fussy which is always fun. I knew the day I had to ditch them would come... they just seemed to make everything so much easier!

    The reason I feel like the milk supply has gone awry is because before this incident happened, whenever she ate she seemed full and content and would sleep for hours. Now, she is almost always wide awake and she begins to get fussy and demands food within 15 minutes after eating. So I just feel like she is not getting as full. I sit and move her arms and legs and massage her hand to keep her awake and suckling, but I don't see as much milk coming out. But that could be because my body is adjusting like you say.

    I am feeling a let down at times though, it just always occurs when I am NOT feeding LO now, like tonight I fed her around 5:30/6:00, no let down, then around 7:30 I felt this let down that was somewhat strong feeling and painful. LO was asleep and not crying so that was not the trigger. I just really want to get back to that happy, full baby I used to have and I am not sure why she is suddenly wanting to come back for more. Is this the start of all day cluster feeding?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,895

    Default Re: Problems at 3 weeks

    I have been hesitant to ditch the shields, for some reason I feel like the pain I am having now will be increased without them but I will look into that link. They are a pain because they constantly need to be boiled and washed and LO rips them off when she gets fussy which is always fun. I knew the day I had to ditch them would come... they just seemed to make everything so much easier!
    Hey, for some moms shields are the answer. Don't feel bad about using them. I don't want you to think that there's never a place for their use- just that based on the issues you describe, I think it might be helpful if you can put them on the shelf. I could be wrong!

    The reason I feel like the milk supply has gone awry is because before this incident happened, whenever she ate she seemed full and content and would sleep for hours. Now, she is almost always wide awake and she begins to get fussy and demands food within 15 minutes after eating. So I just feel like she is not getting as full.
    That's actually very normal for a 3 week old. There's a big growth spurt around 3 weeks, during which many babies will nurse almost constantly in order to boost your milk supply. It's best to just nail your butt to the couch and nurse, nurse, nurse! In addition, as babies get older they become more alert, and that wake/eat/sleep-for-hours pattern you see in newborns tends to disappear.

    I sit and move her arms and legs and massage her hand to keep her awake and suckling, but I don't see as much milk coming out. But that could be because my body is adjusting like you say.
    Watch her diaper output. As long as it's normal, she's getting enough milk. And again, try to ditch the shield. One of the worst things about shields is that for some mom/baby pairs, shields impede milk transfer and decrease stimulation to the breast. Not all, but enough that I think shields should come with warnings that they are for use w/ professional guidance only!

    I am feeling a let down at times though, it just always occurs when I am NOT feeding LO now, like tonight I fed her around 5:30/6:00, no let down, then around 7:30 I felt this let down that was somewhat strong feeling and painful.
    One option that could explain this would be that you were feeling your milk ducts refilling, which some moms describe as being tingly and letdown-like.

    I just really want to get back to that happy, full baby I used to have and I am not sure why she is suddenly wanting to come back for more. Is this the start of all day cluster feeding?
    My money's on a growth spurt.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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