32 answers

Need Help from Other Moms with Breastfeeding

I have a 1 week old son and I am AGAIN, having difficulty with breastfeeding. I have a daughter and I had the same problems with her. Even though I have tried to figure out the problem, I really think it is low milk supply. I find it hard to believe that it truly is that and so I find myself researching, researching, and researching whether it is me, the shape of my breasts, stress, pain because of blisters on my nipples. I don't know, but I am frustrated about it. I have been nursing him every 2-3 hours and I even started pumping in between to stimulate more milk, and I don't find it has increased. I also have alot more milk in 1 breast than the other. I am anxious to get him started on one side because it hurts soooo bad because of the healing blister. I had the lactation consultant come and watch me nurse while I was in the hospital and she said everything looked good. I don't feel like he is getting enough milk, because he is not satified after the feeding and wants to eat shortly after.
First, I would like to hear responses from other moms that have gone through the same thing, more for moral support and then for suggestions of things to try. I won't do any medications.
I just feel that if I have someone to talk about it with and discuss the situation with someone that has been through something similar then I will feel better. This whole situation is making me feel miserable and depressed and I don't want to feel that way.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Personally, I found the lactation consultant at the hospital worthless. They really didn't show me anything.

Find another lactation consultant and get help. I got shingles right after giving birth and it royally screwed things up. It took a few months, but I was able to breastfeed my son till he was 2.5 and it was very comfortable. Don't wait. It'll help a lot. :)

1 mom found this helpful

With my first one I had a very hard time. It took about 4 - 5 weeks until we had really established good feeding habits. I always felt that at the beginning he was too small to really latch on properly. I also had an infection which made the whole thing extremely painful until it was treated properly with medication. If you have blisters from feeding he is probably not latched on correctly and may not get enough milk. I think pumping to keep the milk supply up is a good idea. Don't give up yet!

More Answers

Don't judge hunger by whether your son wants to eat shortly afterwards. That is not helpful, and it will drive you crazy. Both of my children nursed CONSTANTLY (no breaks) for the first two or three weeks. It is normal for a newborn to need food up to every half hour, every two hours is just a standard that doctors tell people. My son wouldn't even wait a half hour. I got 15 minute breaks. It was hard, but completely normal.

If you are worried that your child is not getting enough milk, go into the hospital where you gave birth (or your pediatrician office should be willing to do this, too). Weigh the baby, and then nurse. Then weigh the baby again. This will tell you how many ounces the baby is getting. A newborn only needs about two ounces per feeding (less if they are feeding as often as you say), so as long as your baby's weight goes up, milk supply is not an issue. Actually, I am pretty sure Le Leche League will do this for you, too. It is a very standard test to see about your milk supply, and it is usually FREE.

It is VERY common for one breast to have more milk than another. You can try to even things out, but I have never had any luck with that. I ended up feeding my daughter on one breast alone - the other side dried up completely. It is maddening because you look lopsided for a while (I wore padded bras to help even it out), but the good news is that the breast that is in-use shrinks back to pre-nursing size, so you won't be lopsided after you wean.

Pain...sadly, that comes with the territory. Try some lanolin - that was the only thing that helped me. But the pain does get better after about 4 or 5 weeks. I know that's hard to hear, but it's also completely normal.

Go to http://www.llli.org/ to find a Le League League near you. They will provide free help and information for you about what is normal. They may also be able to act as lactation consultants (or at least recommend someone who can) if it turns out that you do have supply issues.

I'd be happy to talk to you in a private message as well, although I have also struggled with breastfeeding so I am perhaps not the best resource. But I can at least let you know what worked for me.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

You're doing great Mama! If you are concerned about how much he is getting, focus on how many wet and dirty diapers he's producing and his wieght gain...those are reliable indicators of "getting enough". Usually I chart feeds and diapers for a couple of days once my milk comes in to satisfy my concerns and then I go to the doctor for the two week check up and lo and behold, the kid has gained wieght! It is totally normal and does NOT mean he isn't satisfied if he constantly wants to nurse! It's also normal to have one breast more full than the other, I personally prefer to nurse on my left side, so that one tends to be bigger and have more. Kellymom.com is a wonderful resouce, this link should make you feel better
If you search on the site for "is my baby getting enough milk?" you will get lots of good articles ranging from low milk supply to common questions bf newborns... Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful

I think the answers below from LivTokyo and Melissa are awesome. I just wanted to reply because I was just thinking this morning about a year ago this week - my daughter was 10 days old, eating constantly, I wasn't sleeping, it hurt horribly. I had gone from so laid-back "I've done this before, no problem, she can just eat when she wants" to an emotional wreck. My pediatrician gave me "permission" to feed her only every 90 minutes, and that's when she ate - for 8 weeks(!). And then she turned into wonderful baby who slept all night and ate every three hours - and we lasted the whole year breastfeeding. So I just want to say it does get better, even when these first few weeks are simply awful.

2 moms found this helpful

I just wanted to empathize with you and let you know I went through the same thing with both my kids. The lactation consultants became like a part of our family we saw them so often. I tried everything under the sun...ALL the tips and tricks they say to do. At a last resort I even tried 2 different medications. I ate tons of calories. I drank tons. I drank the tea...lots. I took the herbal supplements. I relaxed. I did the pumping. The latch was perfect. Nothing really worked for me and my lactation consultant said I was the first person she has ever seen who was doing EVERYTHING right but was not seeing improvement. I did these things for 4 months straight with my first child. From month 4 to month 6 I finally stopped with the pumping to increase my supply. I was so incredibly tired of doing this. When my son was 6 months old I just stopped having any milk. I gave up then and started using formula. When my daughter was born...the same thing happened but now I also had an older child who desperately wanted my attention. So many times he would be begging me to read to him or play with him and I had to pump in between feedings. I cried out of sadness for my son. When my daughter was 6 weeks old I was only able to pump about 1-2 ml of milk...practically nothing. I gave up then and just switched to formula. I felt guilty and I still feel awful about it. I still HATE being around other moms who love to constantly talk about breastfeeding. I just have to leave the room. My kids are both awesome though...they are both whip smart, very active, strong, and super healthy. I just want to send you encouragement to do what you can...but also try not to feel too guilty if things don't work out like you want them too.

2 moms found this helpful

Ok take a deep breath. You may just be overthinking this. I had more milk in one breast with all 3 of mine - perfectly normal.

Is he having wet diapers? If yes then you truly should be fine. Newborns like to suck so have you tried a pacifier for after nursing? He may also have reflux or gas which is making him want the comfort of nursing after he nurses which is why he is rooting and fussing for more. Try to keep him upright and over your shoulder after he eats and walk around to distract him. Give him a paci to help him self soothe a bit. Then at a max of 1.5 hours later nurse again and do the same thing. Don't try and wait 2 hours right now, nurse when he wants to nurse. Then when finished distract and hold upright again. Get a Moby wrap so he can sleep upright on your chest. Make sure you don't do anything else besides - nurse, eat and take care of your other child.

Finally, stop worrying!! I know easier said than done but it will make this much harder on yourself. Low milk supply is pretty rare so if he has wet diapers you are making enough. Stop pumping too just nurse. He is much more efficient at getting the milk out than any pump. Relax before nursing, breathe, music whatever it takes.

Good luck and don't let any pediatrician talk you into supplementing with formula unless your child is not peeing.

ETA - oh and when nursing him make sure his ear, shoulder and hip are in a straight line. Also make sure his lips are spread apart like a fish. This will reduce nipple soreness.

2 moms found this helpful

Contact the lactation consultant again. She can weigh your son before he feeds and after to determine exactly how much milk he is getting. And, she can reexamine the latch to see if there are any problems. When breastfeeding my twins, after about a month one of my boys had a terrible latch, and my nipple was getting blistered. She watched me feed, and it turns out I wasn't helping him latch properly.

Another thing is he's only a week old! Sometimes they go 30 minutes between feedings, sometimes 3 hours. The best thing you can do is to NOT supplement if you truly want this to work. Once you start supplementing, your supply is already behind.

2 moms found this helpful

u have to breastfeed constantly, it isnt like a bottlefeeding schedule....breastmilk digests faster then formula so they get hungrier more often. feed every 2 hrs or so....im sure u are fine, u just need to take a breath and relax.

2 moms found this helpful

If I can remember my own situation, my boobs hurt like hell for a week or two after having my both of my daughters. I mean they hurt the whole year I was nursing, but before my milk let down I thought I would die! I put purple cabbage in my bra. For me it helped to open up the milk glands. Eventually things got going and the milk supply picked up. Also drank mother's milk tea. That stuff helped tons with my supply. http://www.traditionalmedicinals.com/mothersmilk/ - Hang in there!

2 moms found this helpful

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