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Thread: Need some help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Need some help!

    Ok...I thought I had this BFing down, but now it seems we are having problems again. My 2 week old latches on nicely (a little sore for the first 5 seconds...normal?) and will nurse actively for the first few minutes. Then, he resorts to light sucking and seems to be more pacifying himself rather than eating. Nothing seems to wake him enough. I have tried cold washcloths, undressing him, rubbing his feet, cheek, head. This can go on for an hour. When I do take him off (enough is enough already) he cries after only a few minutes and begins to root around and suck on his hands. It is obvious to me that he is hungry and that he is not getting enough because I can't keep him going. As a result, I have started to give him a bottle after some feedings, which he eagerly gulps down and is then content. I don't know what to do to get him to stay focused on BFing so that we won't need to use the formula. I know I am producing enough because his weight gain before supplementing with formula was fine according to the pediatrician. I just CAN'T sit on the couch for 5-6 hours and nurse. Please help! Is this normal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Need some help!

    Since your baby's weight gain prior to supplementing was normal, then yes, what you're experiencing is probably normal. Most likely the best thing you can do is to ditch the bottles, and try to keep your LO awake and active when he's at the breast. You've tried a lot of useful techniques, but in addition you might want to try breast compressions and switch nursing (the moment nursing slows and the baby starts to drift off, take him off the breast, burp him, and switch him to the other side. Repeat ad nauseum until the baby seems full.)

    Some questions for you:
    - How old is your baby?
    - Was the constant feeding happening at any particular time of day, perhaps in the late afternoon or evening? Or was it going on all day?
    - Does your baby ever seem uncomfortable after feeding, particularly when spitting up? Does he ever arch his back and cry?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Need some help!

    your flow might not be fast enough for his liking ... Some mothers find that doing breast compressions while nursing helps make the flow faster and keeps the baby interested.

    How to do breast compressions (taken from this link):

    Hold the baby with one arm.
    Support your breast with the other hand, encircling it by placing your thumb on one side of the breast (thumb on the upper side of the breast is easiest), your other fingers on the other, close to the chest wall.
    Watch for the baby’s drinking, (see videos at www.drjacknewman.com ) though there is no need to be obsessive about catching every suck. The baby gets substantial amounts of milk when he is drinking with an “open mouth wide—pause—then close mouth” type of suck.
    When the baby is nibbling at the breast and no longer drinking with the “open mouth wide—pause—then close mouth” type of suck, compress the breast to increase the internal pressure of the whole breast. Do not roll your fingers along the breast toward the baby, just squeeze and hold. Not so hard that it hurts and try not to change the shape of the areola (the darker part of the breast near the baby’s mouth). With the compression, the baby should start drinking again with the “open mouth wide—pause—then close mouth” type of suck. Use compression while the baby is sucking but not drinking!
    Keep the pressure up until the baby is just sucking without drinking even with the compression, and then release the pressure. Release the pressure if baby stops sucking or if the baby goes back to sucking without drinking. Often the baby will stop sucking altogether when the pressure is released, but will start again shortly as milk starts to flow again. If the baby does not stop sucking with the release of pressure, wait a short time before compressing again.
    The reason for releasing the pressure is to allow your hand to rest, and to allow milk to start flowing to the baby again. The baby, if he stops sucking when you release the pressure, will start sucking again when he starts to taste milk.
    When the baby starts sucking again, he may drink (“open mouth wide—pause—then close mouth” type of suck). If not, compress again as above.
    Continue on the first side until the baby does not drink even with the compression. You should allow the baby to stay on the side for a short time longer, as you may occasionally get another letdown reflex (milk ejection reflex) and the baby will start drinking again, on his own. If the baby no longer drinks, however, allow him to come off or take him off the breast.
    If the baby wants more, offer the other side and repeat the process.
    You may wish, unless you have sore nipples, to switch sides back and forth in this way several times.
    Work on improving the baby’s latch.
    Remember, compress as the baby sucks but does not drink. Wait for baby to initiate the sucking; it is best not to compress while baby has stopped sucking altogether.
    In our experience, the above works best, but if you find a way which works better at keeping the baby sucking with an “open mouth wide—pause—then close mouth” type of suck, use whatever works best for you and your baby. As long as it does not hurt your breast to compress, and as long as the baby is “drinking” (“open mouth wide—pause—then close mouth type” of suck), breast compression is working.

    You will not always need to do this. As breastfeeding improves, you will be able to let things happen naturally. See the videos of how to latch a baby on, how to know a baby is getting milk, how to use compression at www.drjacknewman.com

    mother of 2 boys!

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: Need some help!

    My LO is 2 weeks old. He doesn't spit up, but does burp (although it is hard to get him to.) He does have gas...I can feel and hear it moving through his belly, but it doesn't seem to bother him much. He does fuss a bit before passing it. I pumped a little while ago from each breast and was only able to pump about 1 oz. total. I had fed him about an hour before. Now I'm worried that maybe I'm not producing enough? When I DO give him the formula after BFing, he will eat 2-3 oz. I'm so confused!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Need some help!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jmcelliott View Post
    I just CAN'T sit on the couch for 5-6 hours and nurse. Please help! Is this normal?
    Why not? Why can't you? It's what we all do in the beginning. Your baby is so young. Learning to nurse takes practice. Doesn't he deserve the patience it takes the first few weeks to get it figured out? Most of us sat in one spot all day for the first 6-8weeks in our PJs. With the phones and the remote. I got up to Pee, change diapers and get more food. That's it. I didn't leave the house for 5weeks except for those doctor appointments. Feed the baby. It's the most important job you have right now.
    And a child that WILL suck down a bottle because they haven't learned to self regulate. It doesn't mean they need it. And all that stands to happen is you damaging your supply. Because your body isn't getting the que that it needs to continue to make more milk. AND formula take longer to digest so now your body is going to miss the next normal que to make milk because the top off is sitting undigested in his tummy for longer than your milk would be.
    Ditch the bottles. Don't let self doubt ruin this for you and your child. Set up a nursing station. Wake up in the morning with one purpose in mind. To PRACTICE breastfeeding. To allow your child full access to your breasts so that he may LEARN to eat well and also regulate your supply. To get to know each other and find your nursing groove. They are only this small for the blink of an eye. You CAN just sit in one spot for hours and hold your little one. Let him look at you and get comfortable in this huge new space. Remember, even if you sat and held/nursed your baby for 12hours a day, that would still be a 50% reduction in terms of what he is used in terms of being with you. The house work will wait. Have your partner bring home take out. Feed the baby.

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Need some help!

    2 weeks is so early - it is really hard in the beginning but it will get much easier so take heart! If your baby has been gaining okay before supplementing then you are making enough milk. I had a LOT of trouble getting my LO to actively breastfeed early on - did a lot of switch nursing, changing diapers between sides, taking off all of his clothes and getting him down to the diaper to get lots of skin to skin going to keep him awake and interested in feeding. I fretted about my supply - and looking back I now realize I had too much milk - not too little - but in the beginning it's just hard to know as a new mom.

    I agree with the others that you should ditch the bottle. Your own supply will be better without these supplemental feedings and he won't get accustomed to the faster flow of the bottle (which is probably easier).

    It took me 5 weeks to go to a breastfeeding support group - if there are any in your area I urge you to go. What I learned there is that you can actually SEE let down (I didn't feel it early on). If you watch your LO you'll see him suck-suck-suck-suck in a fast motion and then soon this will change to a slower suck - that means you let down. For me, being able to see that was reassuring because I could tell that he was getting milk. Some babies are just a little "sloth-like" and very slow nursers so will just stay on the breast forever. It's really hard in the beginning but it becomes MUCH MUCH easier and is worth it in the end!

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Need some help!

    I also pumped (and still pump) very little milk. I get two ounces tops from both breasts. Pump output is a poor indicator of how much milk your baby is getting for you.

    You might decide not to bother pumping if the amount is discouraging to you.

    And just a ditto to what pp have said.

    I sat in the chair for hours and hours a day nursing my kids. Then I laid in bed next to them for hours every night while they nursed.

    This is still so new. Soon you'll be an old pro

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