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Thread: Need some avice and encouragement.

  1. Sometimes the best gifts come in the smallest packages.
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    #1

    Need some avice and encouragement.

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    I hate that my first post back after having Emma is a hard one to write.
    From day one, first feeding, Emmaleigh would fall asleep at the breast. I was told that is perfectly normal. She started off eating the right number of times a day, but has increased dramatically over the last two days. She has also reached her "weight loss limit" of 10% as of this morning (9/21) at the doctor. He asked if my milk had come in, and at the time it hadn't. To be honest, I still havent felt what people describe it as, but there is definitely something in there, and they are swollen and were somewhat painful earlier (but not very much).

    Anyway, back to this morning. Doc said that if my milk hadn't come in by tonight I needed to start supplementing with formula. I freaked. Emotionally I feel like I am failing her because I cant give her what she needs, but logically I feel like there has to be a latch problem. She will feed for 20+ minutes sometimes and Ill still be able to hand express right after she is done. But she still acts hungry.

    I kept putting off supplementing until about 6pm tonight. And when I finally gave in, she had been feeding for about 45 minutes. She took an ounce and a half. I bawled the entire time. Not only because I cant give her what she needs, but I also feel like Im failing because we honestly can't REALLY afford the formula. I mean, of course we will make it work, but Im just terrified I guess. We both had our hearts set on her exclusively breastfeeding.

    The last three days have been a real struggle, and I feel like Im screwing it up.

    How can I know if my milk has come in? How do I know if maybe this is a latch problem and not a supply problem? How can I feel like Im not such a failure?



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    #2
    First, YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE, REPEAT NOT A FAILURE!!! Failing her would be never feeding the child and not caring which you are clearly doing both so you're succeeding!

    Now that I've said that - when you hand expressed, what came out? If it was super thick, golden-ish, then that's colostrum. If it was whiter, thin, milky looking, then you've got milk, mama. Every mom doesn't have the same milk coming in sensation. When my milk came it, I knew right away because I was like a leaky cow and my boobs were hard and about three sizes bigger. On the lip side, my best friend had her milk come in and she said that she just knew from baby eating and spitting up, no other "classic" signs.

    Now, as for being able to hand express after feeding, that is not a cause for alarm, your supply is brand spanking new so it doesn't know when to stop yet. And even when it does, you may still be able to hand express right after feeds - did all the way until Wyatt weaned himself off.

    When she latches on, do you have pain? Like pain from this can't possibly be correct, not pain because my nipples are new to the job. If you are in constant pain and she's not going from fast, shallow sucking to a slower, deeper suck with noticeable swallow in the time she's feeding, then she just may have a latch issue. Get yourself to a lactation consultant and have them check out your latch. It may be a very simple thing that someone looking as a third party can tell right away. While pediatricians are great and all, most aren't also LC so they don't know how to help you out or sometimes they don't know what they're talking about with breast feeding at all. I had a very pushy pro-formula ped who didn't like that Wyatt wasn't a butterball turkey by 2mos and told me I had to supplement when he was clearly eating fine so until you get in with someone trained to help you and diagnose the problem, don't start worrying about paying for formula and everything.

    If you're milk has not come in yet, don't fret, plenty of moms have milk come in later. She's only 4 days old so it's not uncommon for it to be more than than. Again, another friend of mine waited a week on hers but baby gets everything from colostrum.

    More hugs, mama, you're doing great, hang in there! breast feeding is natural but has a steep learning curve for you both! it takes time to build the relationship
  3. Sometimes the best gifts come in the smallest packages.
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by huladangelo View Post
    First, YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE, REPEAT NOT A FAILURE!!! Failing her would be never feeding the child and not caring which you are clearly doing both so you're succeeding!

    Now that I've said that - when you hand expressed, what came out? If it was super thick, golden-ish, then that's colostrum. If it was whiter, thin, milky looking, then you've got milk, mama. Every mom doesn't have the same milk coming in sensation. When my milk came it, I knew right away because I was like a leaky cow and my boobs were hard and about three sizes bigger. On the lip side, my best friend had her milk come in and she said that she just knew from baby eating and spitting up, no other "classic" signs.

    Now, as for being able to hand express after feeding, that is not a cause for alarm, your supply is brand spanking new so it doesn't know when to stop yet. And even when it does, you may still be able to hand express right after feeds - did all the way until Wyatt weaned himself off.

    When she latches on, do you have pain? Like pain from this can't possibly be correct, not pain because my nipples are new to the job. If you are in constant pain and she's not going from fast, shallow sucking to a slower, deeper suck with noticeable swallow in the time she's feeding, then she just may have a latch issue. Get yourself to a lactation consultant and have them check out your latch. It may be a very simple thing that someone looking as a third party can tell right away. While pediatricians are great and all, most aren't also LC so they don't know how to help you out or sometimes they don't know what they're talking about with breast feeding at all. I had a very pushy pro-formula ped who didn't like that Wyatt wasn't a butterball turkey by 2mos and told me I had to supplement when he was clearly eating fine so until you get in with someone trained to help you and diagnose the problem, don't start worrying about paying for formula and everything.

    If you're milk has not come in yet, don't fret, plenty of moms have milk come in later. She's only 4 days old so it's not uncommon for it to be more than than. Again, another friend of mine waited a week on hers but baby gets everything from colostrum.

    More hugs, mama, you're doing great, hang in there! breast feeding is natural but has a steep learning curve for you both! it takes time to build the relationship
    thank you. Really. Ive been struggling a lot since we got home.. baby blues have hit me really hard and this was just the topper to the cake you know?

    And when I express, it honestly looks like skim milk, but my colostrum before she was born was also like clear with a little milky swirl in it, I never had the golden colored liquid come out.

    I partly blame myself if it is a latch issue because her second day was ROUGH and around the 20th time feeding her that day, I had to take a breather and I gave her a pacifier. DH seems to think that it wont affect her and uses it ALL THE TIME. Ive asked him to slow it down. But it almost seems like the last two days she has been getting... lazy with her latch. I cant see her lips usually, they are tucked in instead of puckered. Im trying to not give up, but its just so hard to hear her cry even after shes been latched and sucking for 30 minutes. I can hear her make the swallowing sound but its like shes never full when I feed her, only when she gets the bottle.
    But Im definitely not in pain. I get a little tenderness for the first 30 seconds to a minute, but its usually gone pretty quickly.
    She also pulls herself away multiple times in a row. Like she will be latched and sucking and just push herself off and then start crying.

    We have to go back at 8:30 tomorrow (today? Sunday) to get her weight rechecked. When we go in Im going to tell the pediatrician that I think it is a latch issue. Because if we can get the latch fixed, I would much prefer to breastfeed. Im not even big on pumping yet, I still feel like I need her to be that close to me.

    I feel like there was more info I wanted to share, but Im so sleep deprived that I cant think straight. But I also cant sleep because shes up every 20 minutes wanting more to eat.

    OH! I do have another question. I was told she needs to eat every two hours. Does that mean two hours from the start of the feed or after its over?



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    #4
    Well first off breast feeding is hard, it takes lots of work and drains you! for trying! Supplementing is ok., but beware of bottles and endless sucking. Newborns are designed to suck to get your milk in. If you need to supplement again nurse first, always nurse first then do an oz of cup feeding or finger feeding with formula. Newborns tummy aren't much be pigged then an egg by 1 week, so that's well less then 2oz!
    Keep at nursing. I really do believe that people that nursing is a mindset you have to have. (For me nursing was a mist because we couldn't afford formula, so I kept at it learned to cup feed for the two feedings we needed it form and made it to 10 months nursing where I dried UPC rom being pregnant)
    and more ! Just keep at it, make sure she nurses every 2-3 hours roughly.
    For night time feeding have you tried lying down and feeding her yet? I know that many moms it's a life saver in the early days.
    Oh and try to slow down on the pacifier use, it can hinder your milk coming in since your "masking" her needs.
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    #5
    You are not a failure at all

    I had the same problem, when I was in the hospital with Paityn she was literally crying from being hungry and my milk wouldn't come in full force. I'm sitting there bawling to my mom how I feel like I failed my daughter because my damn boobs can't do the one thing they're naturally supposed to do and my doc said it may just take a while for my milk to produce. So we supplemented her. I was doing about half breast feeding and half formula feeding. When I would pump I would only get maybe 2-3 ounces which isn't even enough for one bottle.

    After two months of trying and trying I finally gave up. But she was born small and premature so I wanted her to get that nutrition she needed to grow. I was depressed. It sucked. But when I saw DD thriving just like any other child her age, I got over it.

    Basically though, don't give up. Your milk could come in any time you just have to keep trying. And if for some reason it doesn't, you're NOT a failure as a parent. I hope things get better!

    ETA: I know you mentioned being worried about affording formula, if it comes down to that look into WIC. You could even look into WIC now and they give you tons of breast feeding tips and have lactation consultants who could help.


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    #6
    My milk didn't really come in until day 3-ish. Are you switching sides when nursing? I would just make sure to offer the breast constantly and rotate sides. It takes babies a LONG time to nurse in the beginning. I remember with my daughter, she would easily nurse for 40 minutes per feeding (20 on each side). Make sure to try to burp her too, since their tummys can hurt and they cry because of that, but then they still think that nursing will help them, so you end up in a never ending cycle. I was always able to handle express after each feeding. I nursed for 14 months. That doesn't mean anything, imo.

    Oh and definitely slow down on the pacifier, for now. I don't think we started using one until about 3-4 weeks.

    Oh and make sure you are drinking lots of water and staying hydrated. Hang in there! It's so hard that first month, but it gets much easier as time goes on.
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    #7
    Thank you ladies I feel much better. Actually, I think my stress level may have contributed to my milk not coming in. Right after I posted this, I tried to feed her again. She was on each side for about 15 minutes and then I gave her formula and she only took half an ounce. And then we just slept skin to skin for a while. She left for the longest time since she was born, and I think she felt that I needed sleep, and just needed a break for a couple hours. Then, when I woke up about 4 hours later (which was the max I was going to let her go without eating, and the doctor said that around the 3rd day she would probably try to take a couple four hour naps from growth spurts), and I woke her up. By the time she started crying, I was leaking everywhere and I was so swollen and painful. Then she ate and in less than five minutes was full and content.
    Even now she just ate and while it took a while to get her to latch and stay on, she finally ate and is now sitting in her swing staring around which she has only ever done after having a full tummy from formula.

    Since my milk came in this morning, she hasnt even wanted the pacifier. So we are going to put it in the diaper bag and pretend that it didnt happen. Then, if we need it in the future, it is there, and if we don't, fine, she doesnt really need it.

    I think part of the problem yesterday was that I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that I didnt even have an appetite and ate very little, and didnt drink much water. So today Im making sure that Im eating enough and drinking enough water to make sure Im taken care of, so that I can take care of her.

    However, we are probably going to start pumping if we cant get her latch issue figured out this week. Ive got a list of lactation consultants in the area and we are going to see if we can set up an appointment for someone to give us some tips. But even after she eats her fill, I still feel very swollen and it hurts, so we are going to pump the extra per Doctors orders. She said it will help my milk stay maintained even if she is having trouble latching.

    We bought a container of formula, and Im hoping to not have to open it. But it is there if we need it. I really appreciate all of the advice and hugs, it helps a lot to know that Im not alone in this.



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    #8
    If she is getting full after feeding, you still having milk doesn't mean she has a latching problem. Your body overproduces at first to assure that there is enough for baby, and then the baby tells the body by how much they eat how much to produce. If you pump you could risk staying in a perpetual state of engorgement.

    That being said, you are the momma, you know better than anyone what she needs and what you need. I think meeting with LCs about latch is a great idea, and be sure to have them check for tongue AND lip ties. Also, if she has a small tongue that can effect latch, and is something you can both learn to work around.

    Good luck hun! I am sure you will figure out how to make it work the best for you.
    Last edited by Twinderella; 09-22-2013 at 07:54 PM.


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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by megan_laine View Post
    I hate that my first post back after having Emma is a hard one to write.
    From day one, first feeding, Emmaleigh would fall asleep at the breast. I was told that is perfectly normal. She started off eating the right number of times a day, but has increased dramatically over the last two days. She has also reached her "weight loss limit" of 10% as of this morning (9/21) at the doctor. He asked if my milk had come in, and at the time it hadn't. To be honest, I still havent felt what people describe it as, but there is definitely something in there, and they are swollen and were somewhat painful earlier (but not very much).

    Anyway, back to this morning. Doc said that if my milk hadn't come in by tonight I needed to start supplementing with formula. I freaked. Emotionally I feel like I am failing her because I cant give her what she needs, but logically I feel like there has to be a latch problem. She will feed for 20+ minutes sometimes and Ill still be able to hand express right after she is done. But she still acts hungry.

    I kept putting off supplementing until about 6pm tonight. And when I finally gave in, she had been feeding for about 45 minutes. She took an ounce and a half. I bawled the entire time. Not only because I cant give her what she needs, but I also feel like Im failing because we honestly can't REALLY afford the formula. I mean, of course we will make it work, but Im just terrified I guess. We both had our hearts set on her exclusively breastfeeding.

    The last three days have been a real struggle, and I feel like Im screwing it up.

    How can I know if my milk has come in? How do I know if maybe this is a latch problem and not a supply problem? How can I feel like Im not such a failure?

    Oh honey....you are NOT screwing this up and you are NOT (do you hear me? NOT) failing her. You would be screwing up and failing her IF you didn't listen to the dr and supplement.

    OK, now that I have mini kicked your butt for thinking that. I don't personally know how to tell if you milk has come in. I don't know how long it can take. And it could be a latch problem. Have you seen if there is a lactation coach on base or in town anywhere that can help you make sure she is latching properly. If there is connect with them. See if it is a latch problem. If it isn't maybe you are just one of the women who can't breastfeed. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. I know it isn't what you wanted to do, but formula is a perfectly perfect replacement for breastmilk. And you can try with your next baby.

    Now, go look in the mirror and tell yourself you are not messing up, you are doing what you can and for now this means using formula to make sure your baby is healthy and happy. Good luck sweetie. I will hope for you that it is just a latch problem.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinderbelly View Post
    If she is getting full after feeding, you still having milk doesn't mean she has a latching problem. Your body overproduces at first to assure that there is enough for baby, and then the baby tells the body by how much they eat how much to produce. If you pump you could risk staying in a perpetual state of engorgement.

    That being said, you are the momma, you know better than anyone what she needs and what you need. I think meeting with LCs about latch is a great idea, and be sure to have them check for tongue AND lip ties. Also, if she has a small tongue that can effect latch, and is something you can both learn to work around.

    Good luck hun! I am sure you will figure out how to make it work the best for you.
    I sterilized the manual pump I bought but I haven't used it yet strictly because of this. I figured my body would know how to adjust. But I was a little afraid that for some reason my milk would dry up. I guess so much as gone awry in the last week that I was afraid this would get messed up too. But so far, its still there. She ate for ten minutes on one side and refused the second side and has been passed out since then. Ive been waking her up every two hours to feed, so that could be part of the reason why she isn't eating as long, but I feel so good knowing that I am making enough for her now. Even though she is getting full and has doubled the number of wet/dirty diapers, I still have a fear that she will lose weight which I guess is normal.

    Let me tell you, I knew post partum emotions were crazy, but this is nuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern-queen View Post
    Oh honey....you are NOT screwing this up and you are NOT (do you hear me? NOT) failing her. You would be screwing up and failing her IF you didn't listen to the dr and supplement.

    OK, now that I have mini kicked your butt for thinking that. I don't personally know how to tell if you milk has come in. I don't know how long it can take. And it could be a latch problem. Have you seen if there is a lactation coach on base or in town anywhere that can help you make sure she is latching properly. If there is connect with them. See if it is a latch problem. If it isn't maybe you are just one of the women who can't breastfeed. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. I know it isn't what you wanted to do, but formula is a perfectly perfect replacement for breastmilk. And you can try with your next baby.

    Now, go look in the mirror and tell yourself you are not messing up, you are doing what you can and for now this means using formula to make sure your baby is healthy and happy. Good luck sweetie. I will hope for you that it is just a latch problem.
    I needed that butt kicking. Thank you.
    I am definitely looking into getting with a lactation consultant. There is at least one at the hospital, and then there is a team here that can come to your home and see you nurse in your typical location and help that way. So Im going to see what we can do there. She is eating well now and seems to be getting her fill, but seems to be EXTREMELY picky about how she sits to eat.

    Thank you again.



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