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SOOOOOOOOO many issues.......

SOOOOOOOOO many issues.......

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  • DEE DEE's Avatar 10-04-06 | 03:16 PM
  • Hi! My name is Dee and my daughter Julia is 5 days old. I am trying my hardest to breastfeed but it is not going well at all. We are having and have had issues since the beginning.

    Due to a very difficult labor and delivery Julia had respitory problems when she was born and spent 2.5 days in a level 2 nursery (one step up from ICU) mainly for observation and because she needed to be on IV's, monitors, etc. She was not allowed to eat for the first 36 hours of her life due to fluid being in her lungs and the ped waiting for blood cultures to come back. Once she was allowed to eat her ped wanted her to have sterile water from a bottle first and then a 1/2 oz of formula from a bottle to see how she would tolerate it. After that we were free to breastfeed but she would not latch! After trying a few different methods we did get her to latch once in the hospital.

    Since being home I've been able to get her to latch a few times but only for a few minutes and it's a HUGE fight. She cries, and kicks and screams and acts like I'm trying to kill her. It's heartbreaking but I'm determined. I'm doing what I can to get her to latch and stay latched but I'm having to pump and then bottle feed since she's having such a hard time. Here's another issue. My milk is definitely in but I am getting almost NOTHING out of my left breast. For example, I just pumped and got 44 ml out of my right breast but only 9 ml out of my left breast. This is normal and how it's been since my milk came in. What can the problem possibly be? I am using a Medala pump, the best out there. I'm also pumping every 2.5 hours and can't do it any more often because I am so sore and miserable. I just don't know what to do.

    Needless to say, since I'm not producing enough milk I am having to supplement with formula which I am not happy about at all.
    Things are not going the way I want them to or the way I dreamed they would. I keep trying to remind myself that I'm doing everything I can and at least she is getting some breastmilk which is better than none. I'm still having a difficult time with the whole situation and want to just sit here and cry.

    If you've read this far thank you for listening to me vent. I know everyone on this board will understand what I'm going through physically and emotionally. I have a call in to my OB about my supply issues, I'm just waiting for them to call me back. Julia and I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon with a lactation nurse so I'm hoping she'll somehow be able to help "us".
  • Chickie Chickie's Avatar 10-04-06 | 03:46 PM
  • I do not have any great advice. I just wanted you to know that I understand how difficult it can be, especially when you want it to work so badly. I loved BF, but the first few weeks were difficult. I have raw nipples and it was excruciating to nurse. Then I ended up with mastitus which was even more painful. All I can tell you is to hang in there, so not give up if this is what you want for you and Julia. I bet that by this time next week you will be 110% better. I am pulling for you both
  • skyqueen skyqueen's Avatar 10-04-06 | 03:47 PM


    I know how frustrating and heartbreaking it is when you've assumed you'd be a BFing mom and then run into such difficulties!!

    I'd say you have basically 2 options. Well 3 really..

    1) keep pumping and trying to nurse like you're doing now..

    2) give up the pumping and the nursing and just switch to formula

    or 3) and this one will be a little rough but will work if you're determined enough. : stop pumping, stop formula feeding. And force her to nurse at the breast. Make sure that you've seen a lactation consultant because you might have inverted nipples or something like that and some breast shields might really help for that... but you can force the breast. Things to look out for. Babies will know that the milk from the bottle comes out faster. So make sure that you "prime" your breast before attempting to latch her on. And make sure its with the one that gives out more milk (which btw is quite common for one to give milk and the other to be a failure at producing nearly as much - don't worry - the body adjusts accordingly). So to prime the breast. hand pump into a burp cloth or cloth diaper to stimulate let down. Then the baby won't be frustrated and will get that instant gratification like she does with the bottle. Also, make sure you try all the different positions. if the traditional hold across the chest doesn't work, try the football hold or try it laying down etc.
    Try feeding her before she's crazy hungry. When she's beyond that patience boundry, she's alot less likely to latch on.

    Lastly, for me, my breasts were too large and I actually had to use one hand (my free hand) to 'press' my breast away from my baby's nose so that there was a little indentation in my breast to prevent the poor baby from suffocating while trying to latch on. This was mostly only necessary in the beginning when my breasts would be super full (I had pleanty of milk) and rock hard. (engorged)

    I know it's frustrating. I know you just want to sleep... but just remember to drink a full glass of water every 2-3 hours to keep your milk supply up and just keep plugging away. it'll happen eventually.
  • 3Princes 10-04-06 | 03:48 PM
  • First of all..... breathe! Breastfeeding will not make or break you as a mom
    Also, you still have time to establish a good breastfeeding relationship-- they (books, LCs) kinda make it sound like it's immediately or never.
    Some questions/suggestions:
    Can you pump and give her some EBM combined with formula in a bottle?
    Are you drinking lots of water and eating like you did 9 months pg? My left side always produced more than the right, but I would still call the ob or a LC to ask for their thoughts on that if there's an extreme difference.
    Could you be too full when she's trying to latch on?

    I had sore, cracked nipples from an effective but extremely painful latch. What I did was nurse him for one feeding, and then pump right before the next feeding and give him fresh bm in the bottle. Pumping was actually BETTER than him trying to latch on. It did take awhile but I got used to it, and we were on nursing most of the time. I knew i was returning to work so I did give him a bottle every now and then.
    Hope something in here helps!
  • Dopey406 Dopey406's Avatar 10-04-06 | 03:50 PM
  • Dee, I've been in your shoes. Charlotte was born vaginally when I was only 6 cm because of a placental abruption. She also had to be in the NICU for a bit because of fluid (mostly blood) in her lungs. They finally fed her sevearl bottles of formula over the course of a few days to stablize her blood sugar numbers. Meanwhile, I didn't realize that I wasn't producing milk because of the trauma of the delivery--I just thought my milk wasn't coming in yet (it took 5 days with our first DD).

    When Char was about 5 weeks old, I talked to the Lactation Consultant at the hospital and casually mentioned the abruption--she freaked out! She said, "That's the reason you're having trouble producing milk." So we put into motion a series of things to improve the situation.

    **I rented a Lactina pump from the hospital. My Medela at home wasn't enough. It was $2/day to rent. I pumped about every two hours.

    **I started on Fenugreek--3 pills, 3 times a day. (I later switched to More Milk Plus tincture--worked much better!

    **I got a syringe feeder from the LC. It's a large, plastic syringe with a long, thin tube. I'd fill that with my EBM and put it on my finger while tongue-training Charlotte. She had a latch problem because she wasn't getting her tongue down between her bottom gums and my nipple--I was cracked and bleeding like a son of a gun, and she would just scream the whole time.

    **I bought (from the LC) a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) and used EBM or formula as needed. I'd hang it around my neck and attach the little tube to my nipple. This would allow Char to stimulate my milk production and I was sure she was getting enough nutrients.

    **I ate oatmeal and drank more water than a fish!!

    **I rested as much as possible.

    **I didn't expect her to get it immediately, although in the heat of the moment it certainly felt like I should just give up. The idea of not nursing her 3 months down the road (when nursing is much sweeter and enjoyable) make me feel ill. So I kept at it.

    Charlotte recently weaned---at 18 months!!

    It CAN be done. Please PM me if you need any kind of support. It is vital to your success to feel supported through this.

    You and Julia can succeed in your breastfeeding relationship.
    Try to focus now on what needs to get done to ensure that in a few months, you'll be looking down at her sweet face as she glares back at you with that look of "Thank you, Mama" that only a breastfeeding mother can know.

    ........And I was serious about PM'ing if you need anything!.........

    Last edited by Dopey406; 10-04-06 at 03:53 PM..

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