Sunday, 27 June 2010

milk

O.K, the good news is that little girl has reached the target! She is now back to her birth weight :-). The less good news.. am I overfeeding her?? In the last few days she is so restless during the day, doesn't sleep at all and seems struggling, very uncomfortanle. Nurse at child development said these are probably growth pains. Urg, didn't know they have that at this age, but with all the extra feeding, it does sound logical. And well, probably wrong to call it extra feeding, more that before I might have under-fed. See, I'm now supplementing each feed with formula. She first eats at my breasts (more should I say chews and hurts. Does it ever become the enjoyable mother child moment??), and then I give her formula through a tube (so that not to give her a bottle whose nipple is easier to manage). And then, technically I pump [to increas milk flow and to supplemt meals with my milk and not a cow's product, though that has not yet happened], excpet too many times I don't (like when she is restless all day and I really don't have time for it, or when I just put it off for this feed). Problem is I really hardly have any milk and she is probably getting the majority of her nutrition from the formula. And oh, I so want to do breastfeeding. I want to give my child the best, which I do believe is breast milk. I want to be able to go with her to wherever and not worry about bottles and sterlizing and bringing the powder and water etc, just me my girl and my boobs. And the bonding. (truth right now it more hurts and I am mostly way too tired for anything). But I don't have enough milk. Obviously she can't live on my breasts alone and right now I need to supplement and I'm doing that because more than all it's important she gains weight. But I really do hope the flow will come. Nurse at child development hinted how soon I might concider giving up the breasts. Oh, please don't say that to me, please don't tell me I'm failing at this very natural procedure. I didn't have the natural birth I so dreamt (and read and learned and prepared myslef for), and now I can't do this!?

[and I really should wake her up now for a feed, but how do you wake a peacfully sleeping baby when you know what will come next???]

18 comments:

bleu said...

Congrats on birth
weight attainment!!! I want to offer some info I wish so much more women knew.

1. So long as there are wet diapers and baby is gaining, even a little little bit all is good with breast feeding

2. You DO make enough, and it has also been found that this critical period of milk production can be interrupted horribly by any supplementation. This is when your breasts build up productionand that is ONLY done through the baby nursing exclusively or else your breasts will be sent the message they only need to produce a smaller amount than necessary to sustain the baby.

3. Babies , unless very ill, are made pretty perfect,, they do not need to be woken up for feedings, or put on schedules. They and us are on demand creatures made perfectly biologically by nature. They will feed when hungry as long as they need so long as we simply offer them breast often and feed as long as tho desire.

4. Babies do not usually cry from "growing pains" or "colic" or any other catch all term, they are usually hungry, wet, tired or in pain when they cry. Trust your instincts on these things, for you are the expert when it comes to YOUR baby.

5. Everything you could ever wish to know about all things breastfeeding can be found at the awesome breastfeeding information site www.kellymom.com

6. YOU are doing a TERRIFIC job Billy, do not let anyone make you doubt that or feel insecure in any way!!!

Meg said...

I'm sorry that you are having such a tough time with breastfeeding. You and the girl are still learning how it's done but it does get easier with practice. If it's important to you don't listen to that nurse and keep trying. It's very easy for her to say just give up because it makes her job easier. Try not to let it stress you out and do what you can and what's best for you and baby.

Navigating The Rapids said...

L was tiny when she came home and couldn't breast feed very well, so I pumped and fed her with a bottle. My supply started going down and then my Dr. prescribed meds to increase the supply. That worked for a while. Overall I think she did 12 weeks on breast milk and then I had to switch to formula because my BP was out of control and they had to switch to a not breast feeding friendly meds. I was disappointed not being able to breast feed but she seems no worse for wear. Maybe some of the other moms who breast fed will have better advice. Hang in there, and don't be too hard on yourself.

Shannon said...

I'm so sorry that BF isn't coming as easy as you'd hoped. Just remember that even if the birth didn't go the way you'd planned, and if you can't BF as much or as long as you'd expected, that in the end you still have your beautiful, healthy little girl!

I hope you're able to get some good sleep and that your little one continues to grow...and I hope you're feeling well enough soon to post more pictures. :)

Ms Heathen said...

I think that Bleu has already offered you some brilliant advice - in particular her second point. The best way to increase your supply is to allow your baby to nurse for as often and as long as she wants. Don't worry about overfeeding - one of the most helpful things I remember reading was that, if it feels like your baby is feeding too much, then you've probably got it about right. Don't stress about housework, laundry etc - just settle yourself down with your baby and enjoy this time together. If you're finding breastfeeding painful, then it may be because the baby isn't properly latched on. If that is the case, get help from a lactation consultant (I'm not sure where you're based, but if it's the UK, then let me know and I can recommend several organisations which I found helpful).

You are doing a brilliant job, Billy, and don't let anyone else convince you otherwise!

Tiara said...

I'm sorry that BF isn't happening the way yuou want but don't blame yourself...big hug!

VA Blondie said...

Congrats on the weight gain! That is fantastic!

BF is hard! The first few months I felt like I was always nursing. Baby may need to eat every two hours, but they forget to mention that it takes about an hour and a half to do a feeding!

Latching does get better. Keep trying. I had to position the baby's head to get a correct latch. Make sure your nipple id far enough back in the mouth. Also, lanolin helped a lot in the early days of nursing. Very soothing for nipple pain.

I agree with the feed on demand, and try not to supplement. Breast milk production on based on demand. The more you breastfeed, the better your milk production will be. And it is best to feed on demand rather than on a schedule.

Have you thought about contacting the local La Leche League? They are usually very willing to help male BF successful.

You can try using a baby carrier, such as a sleepy wrap to keep baby calm. It also helps them sleep. My sleepy wrap saved my sanity when my baby was still a newborn.

Hang in there, it will get better. Really.

Melody said...

Here from LFCA. Breastfeeding is HARD. No one can really tell you how hard before you do it. I too supplemented with formula and tried to pump after every feeding on the instruction of my hospital LCs. It did nothing but stress me out and turn me into an OVER-producer. I got engorged and my baby could not grasp my nipple. I had no choice but to soak them in a hot water bath and let that precious milk drain out. My baby and I never developed the natural rthymn, and she had so many doctors appointments (heart defects and other problems) that we gave up after 9 weeks. Someone was always interferring with us developing this relationship on our own.

You are not failing. If you can, try to tune out the other voices and just listen to your baby's and the one inside your head. I think Bleu's advice is excellent, but if it doesn't work for you, just get your baby what you believe in your heart she needs-- whether that comes from your breast or a bottle. And my ass-vice? Tell that whiny pump to shove it. Time pumping is better spent staring lovingly at your baby. The pump just made me resent mine.

Billy said...

Thanks for the advice.
Just want to mention that I am working with a lacatation consultant (did have an encouraging talk with her after I posted..).

And to clarify - I am feeding mostly by demand. The every three hours is if baby does not wake by herself and demands to be fed. As I am currently supplementing her (I really don't like the idea of it, but she NEEDS it), which means she won't necessary wake up by herself for a feed (one advantage to formula is that it takes longer for the body to digest and therefore babies do not wake up as often as breastfed babies do). And if I want my breasts to be working...

I am supposed to also be expressing milk, but that unfortunatly isn't quite working out (in days like today when from the 2am feed till almost 3pm, young lady hardly slept [two short naps, and then only on me..], I really can't find the extra time to sit in front of the machine).

Glad to hear that latching improves. I know it's a latching issue, and basically "know" how to do it, but I'm still not there, so glad to hear it does improve.

As for the la leche league, I went to a meeting before I delivered and plan to go again, just not right now.

justine said...

Hang in there ... it's NOT "normal" or "natural," but it's a learning process, for both of you! She will be OK ... and honestly, one thing I now regret is waking my son up in the middle of the night!!

Naomi said...

I'm with the group...I fed on demand and latching properly is very important. But let me say this, being with her is bonding...holding her, feeding her, loving her...all that counts. Just enjoy her, all the breastfeeding issues will work themselves out. Make sure you're eating and drinking plenty of water. It took a few weeks for my milk to come in properly and had to supplement during that time. It's not the end of the world. You're not failing in anyway. You're being awesome and amazing and doing everything you can to make it work. What more could she want? Hang in there xo

Calliope said...

thinking of you. Those first weeks are effing brutal. It took a while for my milk to come in and a while for it to not hurt. And even longer for the process to become comfortable. I am glad that you have some help because that will save you. Call as often as you need to and reach out here too.

(((hugs)))

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

Hi Billy,
We had tremendous trouble with BF. I wrote two long posts about the things that helped me:
http://babysmiling.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/breastfeeding-part-1/
http://babysmiling.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/breastfeeding-part-2/

Good luck!

Alexicographer said...

Here from LFCA.

I just wrote a dissertation and then it got lost ...

Highlights: I'm sorry you're having trouble. Infants often do need to be awakened to BF as you (and Kellymom) clearly know; their blood sugar drops and they get drowsy and fall asleep instead of (as they should) nursing to bring their blood sugar back up.

Your experience sounds a lot like mine. I used an SNS on the advice of my LCs; my SNS was a 10cc syringe with a tube attached and they had me use it while, not after, nursing. Once all-the-milk-he-could-suckle + 10 cc more wasn't enough for my DS (maybe 2 or 3 weeks in?), I went to using a bottle after nursing rather than the SNS; dealing with filling the syringe while nursing was more than I could take.

I also pumped after nursing, and for a month or so I'd say one hour out of every 2 daytime hours was spent feeding -- say 45 minutes nursing and the rest on bottle, pumping, and cleanup. Then a one-hour interlude and start all over. It was grueling but ... we survived, it got better, and for us, it was worth it. I never did get him exclusively onto milk (only the first week of his life, after that I used formula if I didn't have enough expressed milk available -- and while I did for some post-nursing feedings, I didn't for others), but he switched readily back and forth between breast and bottle once his latch had been established (didn't introduce the bottle earlier so can't say how that would have affected things) and nursed until he self-weaned at 13 months. Also, things got much easier by 1 month, and really easy by 3 or 4, and BFing became a wonderful thing for us. All of which is my long, convoluted way of saying (a) if this is important to you I hope you'll find a way to stick with it; (b) it can be worth it; and (c) even if you don't, in fact, BF exclusively it can still be quite possible to BF as a significant portion of your baby's diet and to do so for a (relatively) long time. I wish BFing were not so frequently framed as an all-or-nothing choice; knowing that (at least for me) even failing to achieve my goal of BFing exclusively, we'd still get to do it regularly, often, and for a long time would have made those difficult early days easier for me, I think.

Mostly ... take as gentle care of yourself as you can, sleep as much as you can, eat as well as you can, drink lots, and congratulations on the arrival of your daughter!

Dora said...

Good advice here. I agree with Alexicographer, though. It doesn't need to be all or nothing. And about her restlessness, newborns are just like that. Not all of them, but many of them. Think about it, they spent all this time in a dark, warm place, now suddenly there in this bright, busy world. Many infants have a particular fussy time of day. Sunshine's was from about 6-7pm until 10:30-11:30pm. I realized this was a blessing when I read Murgdan's post where she said her son's fussy time STARTED at 10pm. Sunshine would nurse for HOURS in the evening. She would nurse for 15-20 minutes, fall asleep, then wake up 5 minutes later demanding more. This would go on and on. Finally, a couple of weeks in, after about 3 hours of this, I supplemented with some formula. Belly full, she settled down and went to sleep. I did this most, but not all nights. Only about an ounce or two. And I used a bottle. She has never had nipple confusion. Right from the start she went back and forth from boob to bottle without a problem. I tried the SNS in the hospital. What a nuisance!

About the nipple pain. Lots of lanolin. Even just before nursing, it's perfectly safe for her. People will tell you that if it hurts, you're not doing it right. Bullshit. In the beginning you're nursing so often, you'll be sore. For me, one factor was that I was so big and her mouth was so small, that she could fit that much in her mouth. It gets better.

Please don't worry about bonding. There are so many ways you'll bond with her. The first few weeks are about coping.

Wishing 4 One said...

Um first off a belated, I know sorry, congrats on your goregous little girl, my goodness such a sweetie! Secomnd Bleu hit everything right on, I did not know any of it, but makes perfect sense. So heres to more milk, a happy growing little girl and a happy mommy. Congrats again Billy, just thrilled for you my friend. xoxo

Roadblocks and Roller Coasters said...

Breastfeeding can be rough, especially when you're in pain. Have you considered pumping for a bit and supplementing with that through the tube? Basically, your boobs will create based on demand. If you pump frequently (every 2-4 hours and especially at night as your prolactin spikes at night), that should help. You can also take fenugreek.

Honestly though if she has enough wet diapers she is likely getting enough. Hang in there and don't listen to those who will try to discourage you! It does get better! :)

MommieV said...

Keep going! (I haven't had time to read the other comments.) I would say do what you think is best, and breastfeed all you can because even a little bit goes a long way toward your goals. You're doing great mama, keep up the good work!