J.G. asks from Prairie Village, KS on December 15, 2007
How Much Is Enough?
I have a one week old that has not yet gotten the art of breastfeeding. I am pumping about every two hours but she seems to want more than I can pump. I have had to supplement with formula in the middle of the night because she seems to eat non-stop. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Just looking for support or advice, i am finding this feeding thing very frustrating :)
So What Happened?™
SO SO SO happy, my daughter decided to start nursing a day before he actual due date (3 weeks old) so proud of her.
J.C. answers from Kansas City on December 19, 2007
If you haven't yet, please go see a lactation consultant. The first week or two are really critical for breastfeeding success, so please get help if you can. And keep practicing even though you are pumping. It's frustrating, but worth it. I had a really hard time with my first, but everything I read and tried really helped me to be successful with my second. From what I've seen, the hospital LCs will help you as much as you need, even if you didn't deliver at that hospital. (I rented a pump from a hospital that was closer to me than the one I gave birth at, and the LC there helped me as well.) Good luck!
C.O. answers from Lawton on December 16, 2007
I went through the same thing. My son never did get the hang of it. I wish I knew then what I know now. I needed a lactation consultant to come and help me. I would have given anything to breastfeed my son. Now there is a consultant that moved into my area so the next time I have a baby, I am definitely using her. Good luck, and if it doesn't happen for you, like my doctor said, it is not the end of the world. My son is a very healthy little boy and did fine on formula.
A.C. answers from Kansas City on December 16, 2007
My little boy also had a hard time with breastfeeding and while mine was not an issue of whether or not he had enough, it was that he could not latch right and I was VERY sore. I considered MANY times quitting and doing strictly formula. Through the help of lactation consultants, breastfeeding group, and friends we have made it through the hard part and he is now 4 months on Christmas Day. I would advise working with a lactation consultant and finding a support group. The hospital I delivered at offers free lactation services and a breastfeeding group that meets 2x a week. If you would like to know the hospital and contact info I can give it to you. Just let me know! Try to stick with it as it is worth it once you are over the initial hump. Just know you aren't alone with breastfeeding problems.
W.H. answers from Springfield on December 17, 2007
Hi J. - congrats on the new baby! I'm not sure how common this is but it took my milk over a week to come in and I also had to start supplementing with formula when my daughter was about 3 days old because she was loosing too much weight. If she's not getting enough that could be why she seems to be eating non-stop. I too pumped and it helped some, but even once it had "come in" I just wasn't producing enough for her. I agree with the others below, a lactation consultant is your best bet to figure out for sure what's going on. I went to one and even though I was nervous I felt much better afterwards just knowing that I wasn't doing anything wrong. For me breastfeeding was probably the most difficult part of being a first time mom. And though I wanted badly to breastfeed my daughter I made it ten weeks before I decided supplementing, trying to Breastfeed and pumping was just too much to handle. My daughter did great on formula and was (is) very healthy, so don't feel guilty, do what's best for you. Good luck!
T.Z. answers from Topeka on December 16, 2007
I recommend that you contact La Leche League. They have a lot of great resources on pumping your milk and building your supply. If your daughter is getting plenty of milk, they can reassure you that you are doing a good job. You can find information on the web at www.llli.org. There's a section where you can look for local groups near the top left of the page.
R.N. answers from Kansas City on December 16, 2007
You have already received lots of good advice -- but make sure you aren't switching from breast to breast too quickly. Let the baby empty one breast completely if you can. If you switch too soon, she will never get the nutrient-rich "hind" milk and she won't gain weight properly.
Also, take care of yourself, keep taking prenatal vitamins and eat right. Newborns eat all the time - much more than might seem reasonable to you. My first baby nursed constantly - I thought I would never get off the couch! Keep up the good work.
J.H. answers from St. Louis on December 31, 2007
It is frustrating but she is going through a growth spurt during this time that will boost your milk supply as she gets older. As they get older they drink more, so they nurse constantly during that time to boost your milk in the following days. This is what is supposed to happen. Just nurse her a lot. It's not that your not producing enough, she is just growing. Also the more you actually nurse the better she will get. Make sure her mouth is open enough and she is taking in a lot of your areola. Breastfed babies do eat non-stop but it's so worth it. Just stick to it and know that it's ok to be frustrated. Lots of mothers (including myself) get frustrated with it, even my dog who is nursing puppies gets frustrated with them too. I always just took the baby to bed with me and let them nurse while I was sleeping. Good luck to you!
S.M. answers from St. Joseph on December 19, 2007
I had the same problem. When I left the hospital we were breastfeeding fine until I started pumping and also using bottles. I also had to suplement formula but you may want to try switching nipples on your bottles. I switched to the playtex nipples with the bottles you put a little bag in. That helped a lot! Once my son had the new bottles he started latching on again. I called the La Leche group for help and they had a lot of advice. The number I called was ###-###-#### and her name is Melissa. She had a lot of good advice. Good luck to you two!
G.F. answers from St. Louis on December 17, 2007
Keep with it and nurse your baby as often as she cries for it. The more you do it, the more your milk will increase. It also took me a week for my milk to come in and I was freaking out at first. My boy seemed like he was hungry every hour for a while. Eventually, he slowed down. If you are still having trouble I would suggest calling the lactation consultant at Kangaroo Kids in Webster Groves. They are a great help! Good luck.
H.B. answers from Kansas City on December 16, 2007
I think the advice you have gotten is great. BF doesn't work for everyone. I did want to add that with frustration, the BF becomes more difficult and your let down will be slower. When I start to get frutrated, I would stop the nursing session for a few minutes while I walked, sung and loved on baby. Then we tried again. With my first I learned that she was lactose intolerant so we couldn't BF. My second was doing great until I got sick and then I couldn't produce enough and we ended up switching 1/2 BM and 1/2 formula for a few months and then fully over to formula when my body finally dried up due to the lack of supply/demand. I plan on trying again with the BF when I have another child but it does take time and it can be frustrating. But your child will sense your frustrations and not eat as well.
R.S. answers from Kansas City on December 15, 2007
The more you allow for her to eat, the more milk she will have for the next feeding. You have to build up your supply to meet her needs. I feed my son until he was a year and my daughter is almost 7 months old and is still going strong on the nursing. What worked best for me is to let her eat as much as she wants and then pump for 15 minutes on both sides. You will have more milk then she can eat, but you will also be able to build a supply that you can store when you go back to work.
One thing that some moms aren't aware of and the reason that some quit at around 7 weeks is that your baby will hit a growth spurt. You will feel like she isn't getting enough to eat, but believe me she is. Once you make it over this bump, at around 7 weeks, you can make it through anything!!
Good Luck to you, I wish you the best with it all.