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My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns. (Mini-Update)

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Goldi0218
My miracles!

Member since 12/05

23902 total posts

Name:
Leslie

My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns. (Mini-Update)

Ok so I have been trying my darndest to breastfeed Abby. She had spent some time in the NICU after my emergency c-section, so latching continues to be a challenge for both of us. Since I was able, I pumped in the hospital. Once I was able to try to feed from the breast, we tried each and every feeding we were there with her. Overnight was an impossibility - we were not permitted to be there. In the NICU, they have a very structured feeding schedule which did not really lend itself to taking one's time. Not to mention that it was not exactly a warm environment with having to be screened off each time I tried to feed, listening to all of the beeps and monitors as well as getting tangled up in wires.

At home, a single feeding can take up to 40 minutes (ideally with 20 minutes on each side IF I am luckyChat Icon ) but I have the time to do it. At night, it gets VERY frustrating. I have to do it sitting up and my back is killing me. Since she is to be fed every 2-3 hours, I feel as soon as I am done with one feeding, I have to start another or at least pump. She doesn't take each time so in order to save my sanity, I give her breast milk in a bottle. I KNOW that this may confuse her and it has. She wants the quick fix. Even though the nutrition is there, the bad habits of eating too fast was what I was trying to avoid in the first place so she doesn't grow up with food issues like her Mommy.

Things are slowly getting better, but I am seriously wiped out.

I keep track of her wet and dirty diapers and she is right on target with how many of each she is to have a day (at least since she has been home).

For those of you who breastfed your newborns or who were in similar situations, how did you deal with the feedings? Any advice and support would be appreciated.

TIA

(Oh and here is a picture - I can't help myself)

External Image

Two good things about today:

1) Abby was fed from the breast all day and I did not pump once. Though I may overnight just for relief.

2) I learned that the Grilled Ranch Snack Wrap is an excellent food to grip and eat while breast feeding

MULTI-TASKING MOM HERE!!!!

Message edited 9/8/2008 10:20:25 PM.

Posted 9/8/08 2:28 PM
 
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pinkandblue
Our family is complete, maybe

Member since 9/05

32436 total posts

Name:
Stephanie

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

I felt the same as you. I felt like I was feeding my dd all the time. I had to feed her every 3 hours and it somtimes took her an hour to eat so it was really like I had to feed her after 2 hours. It was exhausting, there is really nothing else to say excpet hang in there.

Posted 9/8/08 2:34 PM
 

Bxgell2
Perfection

Member since 5/05

16438 total posts

Name:
Beth

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Ohhh Leslie, she is simply adorable Chat Icon

All I can say is this - the first few weeks can be hell, even when you do have a good latch. Your body is still adjusting, and your milk supply will ebb and flow as you try to establish a feeding pattern. Keep in mind, too, you might still be establishing your milk supply and it might not be in quite as much abundance as it will in a few weeks once your body regulates. Also, she's still figuring out the process for herself.

I would say, for me, I didn't get into a good routine until she was about 6 weeks old. Until then, it was much of the struggle you describe. To help her, and myself, get into a consistent routine, I stuck with EBF until she mastered it, and then I introduced the pump and the bottle. For some babies it's simply no issue to transition back and forth between breast and bottle - for others, it just doesn't work. If she adapts easily, I'd keep doing switching between the two so you can get a break every once in a while. But, if it's a struggle, it might be easier for her to have one consistent feeding source, whether it's breast or bottle.

I can say, DEFINITELY, for the first 3 weeks, feedings took upwards of 30-40 minutes each. Forget about growth spurts - I was a human cow, stuck on a recliner, for 24 hours a day for those times.

Are you using the boppy when you nurse her to support her? Maybe it would help your back if you use one, or maybe change her position?

Posted 9/8/08 2:36 PM
 

smdl
I love Gary too..on a plate!

Member since 5/06

32461 total posts

Name:
me

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

In the beginning, it does feel like you feed them all the time.

It's 2-3 hours from the time they START BF not when they are done. So if she starts at 1am and take 40 minutes. She will due back at 3 or 4 am again. Regardless you finished at 1:40am.

Have you talked to a LC about the latching?

Posted 9/8/08 2:42 PM
 

nickipa
love my boys!

Member since 4/06

5648 total posts

Name:
Nicki

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

First of all, congrats & your daughter is beautiful!!! My DS was in the NICU for a month and while he was there he was primarily bottle fed---they didn't let me start to nurse him until he was about 2-3 weeks old, and then like you, I was only able to do it when we were there. Before we came home I spoke to the LC and the nurses in the NICU, who all encouraged me to continue to BF and not try to get too caught up in the numbers (I was so used in the NICU knowing exactly how much he ate, how much he weighed etc)----it was definitely a challenge, but I was successful in "converting" my bottle feeder to EBF. I read kellymom.com (this page in particular kellymom )----but most of all, I tried not to put too much pressure on myself. I told myself if it didn't work out, it was okay, I tried my best. It does get easier, much easier---they become more efficient, you become more comfortable and you start to feel better after your csection. I did not hesitate to call the LC (we had one from the hospital we could call whenever). It is tough with the feedings, I would try to nap basically anytime he did during the day so I was able to handle the night better. It will get easier Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 9/8/08 2:42 PM
 

Goldi0218
My miracles!

Member since 12/05

23902 total posts

Name:
Leslie

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

I do use the Boppy. I rotate back and forth between each breast - trying to start with the on she has more difficulty with. She often falls asleep before she hits the second one so I may pump from that side just to make sure I am relieved or don't end up lopsided. I am also assuming she gets what she needs as her diapers are filled with all sorts of surprises in all the right numbers.

When we were in the hospital, the pumpings and feedings were so inconsistent that I ended up with small lumps under my arm pits (I assume either clogged milk ducts or lymph nodes) which have somewhat subsided with warm compresses, showers and a more consistent feeding/pumping schedule. But still it freaked me out. It is not mastitis as they are not red and I do not have flu like symptoms at all. I plan on asking my doc about it next week at my post-partum appointment.

Posted 9/8/08 2:42 PM
 

Janice
Sweet Jessie Quinn

Member since 5/05

27567 total posts

Name:
Janice

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

I found myself a super comfy chair, that was my nursing chair. I lived in this chair.

Before I nursed, I would get my book, diapers, wipes, remote, drink...and plant myself there. I felt like I was never going to escape this chair.

Can I ask what day your milk came in?

Do you have a strong supply?

If yes, I would hold up on the pumping for now...or give her just a bottle a day to keep her use to taking it.

You are doing great!

A nurse told me that a big benefit to nursing is that it is so time consuming...It allows the new mom to sit, relax, heal, bond.

Posted 9/8/08 2:44 PM
 

smdl
I love Gary too..on a plate!

Member since 5/06

32461 total posts

Name:
me

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Is she actively sucking or taking her time?

DS was the lazyiest!!!!!! To "stimulate" DS they told me to "tickle" his chin with my finger while on the breast.

Posted 9/8/08 2:45 PM
 

Bxgell2
Perfection

Member since 5/05

16438 total posts

Name:
Beth

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Posted by Goldi0218
When we were in the hospital, the pumpings and feedings were so inconsistent that I ended up with small lumps under my arm pits (I assume either clogged milk ducts or lymph nodes) which have somewhat subsided with warm compresses, showers and a more consistent feeding/pumping schedule. But still it freaked me out. It is not mastitis as they are not red and I do not have flu like symptoms at all. I plan on asking my doc about it next week at my post-partum appointment.



I used to get those all the time - for me, it was clogged ducts. I had a very inconsistent flow in the beginning nad it took a few weeks for my body to regulate. Some weeks I'd have an overabundance, and I wasn't pumping, so if she didn't eat regularly I'd get those lumps. No fever associated with them, but they were uncomfortable. Like you said, hot compresses helped, as did feeding, and massaging the lump.

Posted 9/8/08 2:45 PM
 

ckdk
My girls

Member since 5/05

7027 total posts

Name:
Cheryl

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

I totally understand your frustration but if you can hang in there and keep offering the breast, the feedings will get shorter and easier but the first few weeks are crazy...

For the back support, I used My Breast Friend Pillow, I thought it was great. I actually have one that I was going to throw away, if you want it, it's yours.

I would try not to offer bottles for the next few weeks if you can avoid it...

Posted 9/8/08 2:45 PM
 

MST9106
My life:)

Member since 6/06

9589 total posts

Name:

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Leslie, she is adorable!

In the beginning, it does take to feed appx. 15-20 minutes on each side. Eventually your supply will increase and your little one will be able to feed off much quicker. The bottle will NOT confuse her so you don't have to worry about it. As long as you're feeding her the appropriate amount of milk, you don't have to worry about her developing unhealthy eating habits, etc. She is a newborn should be fed the way she wants to be fed.

I alternated nursing and bottle feeding and my little big guy turned out just fine. I nursed up until 4.5 months so if you have any other questions please feel free to FM me!

Chat Icon

Message edited 9/8/2008 2:48:09 PM.

Posted 9/8/08 2:46 PM
 

itsbabytime
LIF Adult

Member since 11/05

9412 total posts

Name:
Me

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

I have to be honest, even though in retrospect it seems 100 times better than I know it was and I am looking forward to having another baby (you will be amazed how that happens and the bad memories fade SO quickly) this was one of THE most difficult times in my life. After a wonderful pregnancy and delivery I was NOT prepared for how difficult the post-partum period would be - 99% of which I attribute to BF.

The first 8 wks were SO SO SO SO SO beyond hard for me - like you, my DS was nursing for an hour at a time what seemed like all day long - what is worse is that it hurt SO BAD the entire time those first few weeks - I won't get into the gory details but suffice to say I ended up with mastitis. I cried all the time sometimes even when nursing - it was worse than labor b/c the pain was NEVER ending.

That said - I nursed for just about 10 months and was actually SAD to stop. Stick through the tough time if it is what you want to do - you WILL get past it - and you will be surprised at how one day it is just COMPLETELY better! I will say though if you are planning on EBF for a while I would try as hard as you can (and i know it is hard) to avoid the bottle - I have found in stories from freinds that failure to establish continuous latching in the beginning leads to either 100% pumping (which may seem easier now but, trust me in the long run it is not) or the end of BF.

I hope this helps Chat Icon I remember that time and let me tell you it gets SO SO SO MUCH BETTER and the time goes by very fast Chat Icon

ETA; Of course, how could I forget to mention how BEAUTIFUL DD is!!!!!!Chat Icon Chat Icon

Message edited 9/8/2008 2:47:22 PM.

Posted 9/8/08 2:46 PM
 

Goldi0218
My miracles!

Member since 12/05

23902 total posts

Name:
Leslie

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

I have renamed myself DAIRY BARN! I have so much milk that I could be a wet nurse for the Eastern Seaboard. I can't remember when the supply came in but I remember seeing the difference between the colostrum and the regular milk while I was still in the hospital - Im going to say MAYBE around day 3?

I have spoken with Lactation Consultants and we were fortunate enough to have a visiting nurse see us the day after she came home. I do plan on going to support groups once I can drive and arranging for a consultant to come here if I can.

Posted 9/8/08 2:47 PM
 

Rycois
Blessed with 2blue/2pink

Member since 12/05

13341 total posts

Name:
J

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Ok, how cute it she!?

Ryan was in the NICU too so he got a little formula there. Apparently he had a hard time adjusting to entering this world so quickly and needed some help. I was petrified I wouldn't be able to provide him with what he needed when we took him home and actually cried at his first ped appt b/c I thought he lost too much weight.

Nursing at that point took a LONNNNNGGG time. Sessions lasted an hour - hour and a half. Obviously some of that was comfort nursing. He was on me 24/7. Eating for an hour, napping for an hour then up again to eat. I thought it would never get easier and thought about quitting early on.

Fast forward to today - at 5.5 months he's a monster - 90 percentile for weight, and now a very efficient eater. It now only takes him under 10 minutes to eat.

Hang in there - it's frustrating and exhausting in the beginning but we promise, it gets SOOOO much easier.

Chat Icon

ETS: I don't know how you feel about co-sleeping but early on this helped me - lying side by side. When I didn't do this I would have him on the boppy in the glider and often end up sleeping there for the night b/c I would fall asleep.

Also, it was SO hard to have visitors in the beginning b/c I was always nursing and when he decided he was hungry there was no putting it off. I just kept giving myself small goals - get to 6wks, 8wks, 12wks. Once I got to 10-12wks it was a lot easier and now at almost 6 months I can't imagine stopping (and I pump often so I have 500 oz in the freezer at home to help in case there is ever a reason I need a break).

Message edited 9/8/2008 2:57:06 PM.

Posted 9/8/08 2:50 PM
 

Goldi0218
My miracles!

Member since 12/05

23902 total posts

Name:
Leslie

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

I am only going to be able to feed from the breast exclusively until I go back to work or unless an appointment takes me away from Abby where she can't join me. At that point, bottles will be a necessity and I would also like DH to be able to feed her. He will be home with me for the next 2 weeks which makes things easier in terms of time management and organization here, but once I am on my own until I go back to work, I am going to have to find a happy medium. I also have to say that my DH is 100% on board with BFing as HE and his siblings were all breast fed in the early 70s and 80s when it was hardly ever done. I say that my MIL was a "pioneer" of sorts.

Let's just say that all plans to do the right thing by her in this matter, are just plans and I am REALLY trying to do my best.

Posted 9/8/08 2:51 PM
 

CookiePuss
Cake from Outer Space!

Member since 5/05

13076 total posts

Name:

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Posted by Goldi0218



At home, a single feeding can take up to 40 minutes (ideally with 20 minutes on each side IF I am luckyChat Icon ) but I have the time to do it. At night, it gets VERY frustrating. I have to do it sitting up and my back is killing me. Since she is to be fed every 2-3 hours, I feel as soon as I am done with one feeding, I have to start another or at least pump. She doesn't take each time so in order to save my sanity, I give her breast milk in a bottle. I KNOW that this may confuse her and it has. She wants the quick fix. Even though the nutrition is there, the bad habits of eating too fast was what I was trying to avoid in the first place so she doesn't grow up with food issues like her Mommy.

Things are slowly getting better, but I am seriously wiped out.

I keep track of her wet and dirty diapers and she is right on target with how many of each she is to have a day (at least since she has been home).

For those of you who breastfed your newborns or who were in similar situations, how did you deal with the feedings? Any advice and support would be appreciated.



Unfortunately, this is pretty much what it is like to breastfeed in the beginning for a lot of us.

40 minutes isn't too bad...Ds would feed for 2-3 hours sometimes. I did let DH do one of the night feedings so I could get at least 3- 4 hours of sleep. I did not have any problem with nipple confusion and ds still takes the breast or bottle without problem.

It started getting a little easier around 8-12 weeks.

Posted 9/8/08 2:52 PM
 

Janice
Sweet Jessie Quinn

Member since 5/05

27567 total posts

Name:
Janice

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

In the very beginning, I feel its better to have an oversupply then an under...you know the milk is there.

I would hault on the pumping...I would only do it on a need basis.

My kid was the laziest baby...my supply was so much that it would just spray into his mouth without him even sucking.

With a full supply, don't even think about any bra with underwire. Its a mastisis disaster waiting to happen.

Posted 9/8/08 2:52 PM
 

Bxgell2
Perfection

Member since 5/05

16438 total posts

Name:
Beth

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Just know you are doing a fantastic job and that most of us have struggled through this period. It is HELL for the first few weeks, but as long as she has a sufficient number of wet and poopy diapers, you're doing great. Eventually, within a few weeks, your supply will regulate itself, she will get more efficient with her feedings, and it will become smoother.

In the meantime, invest in a good chair, boppy, pillows, TV and remote.

Also, Alex fell asleep OFTEN when she was nursing. I would tickle her back, down her spine - it always woke her up.

Last, a newborn will never overeat, even though it might feel like she is when she sucks down the bottle, so don't worry about her future eating habits.

Posted 9/8/08 2:52 PM
 

ARIELSMOM
Love my Babes

Member since 8/05

5889 total posts

Name:
MEREDITH

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

She is ADORABLE!!!
I would say your at the peak of frustration. I felt the same way, and DS was feeding every hour and a half, not to mention the pain my boobs were in. I think if you give it a few more days (maybe a week) you'll have a clear picture if this is for you or not. I tried my best and only lasted 2 weeks. I got nothing out when i pumped, and i cried in pain. keep trying, its not for everyone, so if you need to stop, try not to be too hard on yourself.
Chat Icon

Posted 9/8/08 3:01 PM
 

waterspout4
My loves

Member since 5/06

19150 total posts

Name:
Kelly

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Leslie,

I fully understand where you are coming from! NICU was a hard time for me too and when he got to be home with me still in the hospital I was ready to give up. Once I got home, I felt like I was continually feeding!!! The first month was a blur.

I do remember contacting La Leche. I think their website is llli.org and on there you can find local girls to help. You just call them up and explain what you're going through. They were my lifesavers!!!!!!!

Ask me any questions you want!

She is so cute!!!!!!! Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 9/8/08 3:17 PM
 

Janice
Sweet Jessie Quinn

Member since 5/05

27567 total posts

Name:
Janice

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Posted by Goldi0218

Let's just say that all plans to do the right thing by her in this matter, are just plans and I am REALLY trying to do my best.



you are doing great! take it feeding by feeding.

honey, if you have someone there who will hold the bottle...pump away. get to sleep.

I had my baby in isolation with a DH in shock who worked 60 hours a week. Pumping only exhasted me.Chat Icon

Posted 9/8/08 3:45 PM
 

Mrs. Patticakes
SPREAD KINDNESS

Member since 9/06

17330 total posts

Name:

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

Leslie-it sounds like you are on the right track! An oversupply is better than an undersupply. DD was born 3 weeks early and was jaundiced. I swear I saw her awake once in 3 days. Trying to BF her was next to impossible. Yes, you do feel like she is permanently attached to you but this time is important. Take this time to get as comfy as you can, pillows, remote, lots of water because you will get very thirsty while nursing, and just let her nurse.

You are doing a great job! This time is hard while you are trying to heal (I had a C-section also) and nurse but it can be done.

Try and rest and leave the pumping for right now....Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 9/8/08 4:19 PM
 

rojerono
Happiest.

Member since 8/06

13803 total posts

Name:
Jeannie

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

I had a similar challenge with Robbie. He had low blood sugar at birth and I was under general anesthesia so they fed him with a bottle. I didn't get to feed him until later and he refused to latch and latching remained a problem until he was at least 2-3 weeks.

I did pump and bottle feed and I have to tell you that once he latched I had NO PROBLEMS switching between breast and bottle - the initial latching challenges seemed to be a blessing in disguise for that reason.

I did a lot of side by side feedings on the bed which helped my back and my C-section scar. I also found that the reverse hold was helpful too - you tuck the baby under your right arm feet to the back when you feed on the right breast and under your left arm - feet to the back when feeding on your left breast. This position seemed to be a lot more comfortable when my back was sore than the normal cradle hold. Also - you need to make an effort not to hunch your back when feeding - bring the baby up to you - don't bring your boobs down to her.

She is beautiful.. but you already know that!
Chat Icon

Posted 9/8/08 5:45 PM
 

cjb88
Little Brother

Member since 5/05

3540 total posts

Name:
C

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

i found recovering from the c-section and nursing at the same time to be SO hard... my back was killing me too! I found it to be the best when i made sure my back was supported... it does get better- but it is tough...having some good nursing bras helped me so much- i got a few sleeping ones from medala and a day one- once i felt more supported, it really helped my back and made feeding much easier... once DD was a bit older i also slowly went away from feeding on demand and put her on a 2.5-3 hr schedule. She wasnt a happy camper the first day, but then totally got used to it, and it made it a lot easier for me to get through the days...

Posted 9/8/08 5:52 PM
 

lululu
LIF Adult

Member since 7/05

7508 total posts

Name:

Re: My first parenting question. RE: Newborn breastfeeding concerns.

oh man are you bringing back the bad bad memories.

first, I commend you for sticking it out. I know first hand how difficult it can be when your little one has difficulty latching. We had to use nipple shields for 6 weeks and it really slowed my son down. Feedings could take up to an hour and a half and because he was so little i was forced to feed him every 3 hours.

All I can tell you is that it does eventually get better, but for me it was never the oh-so-convenient breast feeding experience. I think you asked how you get thru it and
i honestly cant tell you how but you just do. My son ended up refusing the bottle for a while so i was stuck breastfeeding him all the time.

I wouldnt worry about her developing problems with eating too fast this early on. if you are really concerned i would just keep her on a level one nipple until she is a year old. that will certainly slow her down! In fact, by the time my son was three months old i *think* (because you can never be sure with BFing) that he was wolfing down milk way faster at the breast than on the bottle.

In a few more weeks you will probably be able to master nursing in bed. i was seriously attached to my nursing pillow for so long that I had such bad back pain too. i wouldnt even take it off. i would just walk around my house topless with my nursing pillow knocking down everything in my path. i had to have someone show me how to nurse without the pillow and once i learned that i was able to pick him up out of the bassinet, nurse him and put him back. that helped A LOT.

good luck and FM me if you need an ear to listen...

Posted 9/8/08 6:33 PM
 
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