T.C. asks from Grand Blanc, MI on August 14, 2009
Frustrated with Breastfeeding
Hello ladies...first off I am looking for support and advice. Please keep any negative comments, criticism or lectures on breast is best to yourself. I apologize if I sound rude but there are some people on here that tend to be very judgmental and that is not what I need right now. Thank you in advance to those of you who are here to truly help.
My daughter is almost 4 months old and I am really having a hard time with breastfeeding. She is really active when I try to feed her during the daytime. She wiggles, squirms and will not stay latched. This is becoming very painful because she is just pulling off without unlatching first. The only way she will eat somewhat calmly is if we are laying down on our sides on the bed...which is not always possible with a 3 yr old running around and getting into things too. Not to mention that I am exhausted and fall asleep easily when I lie down. Needless to say I tried to start weening her and got down to only nursing her in the mornings. However, she cannot tolerate formula of any kind so far. She is lactose intolerant and has reflux. Needless to say this made me feel guilty about not nursing her because she keeps throwing up over and over. I am now trying to get my milk supply back up so that I can keep nursing her since several kinds of formula have not worked. I can't pump enough to bottle feed her all the time (I have never produced much more than 4 oz by pumping). I also think that with me working the bottles are why she is having such a hard time nursing during the day and her latch is just terrible now. Any suggestions on how to get my milk supply back up and how to improve her interest and her latch? I am back to nursing her most of the day now and only giving her one or two bottles of formula.
Also, I am having a really hard time with the lactose intolerance. I am craving milk and dairy so bad myself that I am eating everything under the sun and gaining weight. I am depression eating and just can't seem to make myself stop. I am finding it harder and harder to continue nursing!
D.S. answers from Grand Rapids on August 15, 2009
T.; every chidl is different and so is every breast feeding experience, i would say its ok to ween her, if ou want to , ang give her some infant cereal, she may want more food, other than breast milk , for you to make more milk, you would need to pump more often and working may not provide that for you, i say great job for going that long, my son quit breastfeeding at one month and that was hard to take, youve gotten 4 months in, congratualations, keep being the good mom that you are, and find what works for her and you , if you need milk and she cant have it, then i would definitely get some milk in me some how, she can get calcium in her in other ways, either way , keep up the good work and have a wonderful day, D. s
V.R. answers from Lansing on August 15, 2009
Hi T.. I too had a big problem with latching. I had lactation consultants and pumps. I tried and tried until I could not do it anymore. My milk supply just "went away" and I never was able to get it back up even with (what seemed like) constant pumping! SO...my babies drank a good quality formula and they are fine. I know my daughter did not drink much but she still held a healthy weight and eventually started to move up in ounces. Good luck.
P.R. answers from Detroit on August 15, 2009
T., in addition to a lactation consultant, have you had an occupational therapist or speech therapist look at her mouth and her latch? Early On offers free screenings if your insurance won't pay for you to see a pediatric OT or SLP.
Sounds like the baby may have some sensory issues w/ your holding her, and lying side-by-side on the bed eliminates her sensory discomfort. Sensory issues are part of an underdeveloped nervous system. Some occupational therapists are trained in sensory issues and may be helpful here. She may feel like she's falling unless she's on a solid, hard surface like the bed. Have you tried putting her on a really firm/solid nursing pillow? There's a new nursing pillow that I see Michelle Duggar wearing on the TV show "18 Kids and Counting". It hooks around Michelle's neck and shoulders somehow and she's able to walk around and nurse a baby at the same time. I don't know how firm it is, but it might be worth looking into.
Swaddling her in a blanket before you nurse her may be helpful to her sensory system.
Some herbs increase breast milk -- I took one called fenugreek and it worked. I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. Please check w/ your doctor or nurse practitioner before you take an herb.
Also, you might try digestive enzymes with all meals and snacks, either one for lactose (lactase), or a broad spectrum enzyme that includes lactase. Again, ask your doctor first -- I am not a doctor. All of my kids had different reactions to foods and I stayed on a very bland diet while I was nursing. I went gluten and casein (wheat, all milk products, oats, barley, rye) for one child. You nurse for a short time -- you can handle dietary changes for a little while! If I can, ANYone can! (I'm trying to be encouraging!)
A.H. answers from Detroit on August 17, 2009
Nursing is hard at times I remember! So great job for trying so hard. So many kids don't even get that 4 months. I learned about when mine was going to pull off and could unlatch her before she she yanked it off. That helped a lot. And if she was to wiggly I'd take her off, so if she was hungry she'd want back on and learned to settle down. I also would pet her cheek and talk to her trying to be more interesting than the sounds around us.
I found a manual pump worked better for me. And a nursing tea like mothers milk really helped me make more milk. Also drinking lots of water and eating enough protein support milk production. I'd suggest eating more calcium rich foods like greens (saute onions, garlic add and a heap of chopped kale, the water from washing will steam it, cook till tender and bright green, add a bit of olive oil some lemon juice salt & pepper to taste), and try some dark chocolate it's good for the soul. That might help the dairy cravings. I also went through a depression and ate for emotional comfort I wasn't getting from family. It took me a long time to loose the pg weight because of it. Maybe a support group of some kind for comfort. I try to do more exercise when I'm depressed, it helps increase your bodies serotonin naturally. Maybe a yoga video and the 3 yo could do it with you, while playing peekaboo w/ the 4mo. And eat more veggies when you eat. I find if I have a bunch washed and ready I'll eat more of them.
And try tut.com for a happy thought, they"ll email them to you.
Good luck, hang in there you'll make it. A. H
K.M. answers from Detroit on August 19, 2009
I think your doing a great job!!! First there are two expensive formula s out there that may help with your babies reflux. One is by enfamil and the other is by good start. Also you may have to supplement. With only 4 oz thats not enough. Call the lactation consultant at the hospital you delivered ask ? to them. Also if you are supplement her you need to either cup or dropper feed so its not a nipple. it sounds like niple confusion. Good luck keep up the awesome job and get rest.
H.H. answers from Detroit on August 18, 2009
First off your doing a great job nursing your baby even to 4 months. I suggest that you work with a IBCLC certified lactation consultant to get your problems worked out, then can give you recommendations for supplements to increase your milk supply and how to overcome your issues with feeding.
I see Barbara Robertson, IBCLC at the breastfeeding center of ann arbor she has a free clinic on Fridays http://center4cby.com/breastfeeding-center.html
K.F. answers from Kalamazoo on August 15, 2009
I don't have any advice, but I did want to wish you luck!
T.K. answers from Detroit on August 16, 2009
You are busy for sure!! I will suggest to try a different hold( football works nice)My sister in law told me that is that helps for a better latch. Nursing my 4th child now and I am so relieved!! And also to try best best to get your 3 year old to settle a bit while you try to nurse. Does she ever get fixed on a fan?
I also too get about 4 to 5 oz when I pump. Which may be all she is getting too!! When we bottle feed we get all caught up in that the baby has to finish the whole thing. Which is not true with breastfeeding babyies take what they want or is there. So you may be giving her just the right amount pumped too!!Is you pump electri or manual? I have found my manual to be quite a bit faster.
My children won't take food early, but have you tried giving her some solids ?
Another crazy idea, not for everyone. But I read about using a milk bank. The women are well screened and with a doctors prescription your health insurance may pay for it.Hang in there.
N.W. answers from Detroit on August 14, 2009
First of all-- don't feel bad or beat yourself up. I think we all know that breast is best is most situations...but it isn't alway possible or "best". I breast feed my son for 4 mos and then stopped when I went back to work. I could only breast feed my daughter for 6 weeks. I had horrible crippling pains in my breast during and for about an hour after feeding her. My pediatrician said, if nursing is preventing you from being able to care for your children because you are in so much pain... it isn't best. Formula is ok. Anway, we switched to formula and though I sometimes feel quilty still... she was fine.
I would work with your pediatrician to find something she can tolerate or keep pumping. You may need to pump more frequently and for longer than you would nurse to get the same milk supply. Sometimes the type of pump matters too. You can rent the industrial powered ones from the hospital...and sometimes your insurance will cover it (esp. if your baby has allergies/reflux).
G.B. answers from Detroit on August 15, 2009
My heart goes out to you, T., with so much on your plate! Sounds like your baby girl may be going thru a growth spurt. First, can you yourself drink rice or almond milk? I'm a big fan of the unsweetened almond milk in my cereal. It does sound like bfg may indeed be your only option, and I am sure it won't always be this difficult. Check out the latching video clips and info on drjacknewman.com. I think they may help you figure out what Little Miss is doing that's driving you nuts. Also, watch closely so you can break the latch before she does until she gets thru this phase. I'd try to have her empty one breast at each feeding so she's getting the rich hind milk that comes later in each feeding. Then, if she's willing, let her drink from the 2nd breast, maybe burping her between. Sounds like she's a bit gassy maybe. I wouldn't pump more than what you need for working. It's easier to just put her to the breast - less time-consuming. Is it possible to take this semester off either school or work? Will your younger son be in preschool at all? Are you trying to rest when you can? Maybe that's a dumb question! Hang in there. This is temporary. The main thing with the baby is to get enough nourishment and liquid into her to keep her healthy and growing well. I could send you some attachments on increasing milk supply etc. if you want. Take care of yourself in the midst of all this, T.!