Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Breastfeeding woes....

Growing up I always assumed that I would breastfeed my children - in my mind it was that natural thing that all Momma's do. Not only that, but the benefits of breastfeeding are numerous. I was excited when our Little Guy came along, I had plans to feed him all summer and then to pump when I returned to work so he could have the best milk around.

After Little Guy was born he was brought to me in the recovery room so I could feed him, he was less than an hour old at this time and seemed to latch on without a problem. Over the next few days we woke him every 3 hours so he could eat; I felt that something wasn't right but since I had never done this before I listened when the nurses reassured me that this was breastfeeding. It hurt like crazy (I was bleeding before we left) and he kept falling asleep; I know that these are both normal but something just wasn't right! Be we were released I asked to see a lactation consultant (I had seen them throughout my stay but never during a feeding)but she was busy. Yes, we could have waited but after 4 nights we were ready to go home! Instead, one of the nursery nurses walked me though it again and gave me a few pointers - this time I felt good about it. My other concern was that Little Guy hadn't had a wet or dirty diaper in over 24 hours; the nurses were a little concerned but said that since he had so many in the 1st day he was probably okay.

The next afternoon the lactation consultant called to see how we were doing and I mentioned that he still had only had one wet but no dirty diapers. She told us to bring him in and we weighed him, then fed him before weighing him again. Besides the fact that it hurt and he wasn't latching on well, he only gained 0.1 ounce!!! I felt that I was neglecting my son because I wasn't feeding him enough.... Since he really needed to eat more but we wanted to breastfeed she suggested that we feed him for 10 minutes on each breast and then use a syringe and tube to give him more. The tubing would be tucked into the corner of his mouth and he would suck it out- this would improve his sucking (immediate reward) as well as help me produce more milk. While this was quite a production it was definitely worth it to help our little one grow!! She also suggested that we start pumping and giving him my milk and supplementing with formula as needed.

We did this for 3 days before going in for our next appointment with the lactation consultant...

These were 3 very long days...the feedings took over an hour and then we had to turn around and start over again three hours from the start time. This left no time to enjoy our family that was visiting, no time to sleep, and we were VERY stressed!! We went in ready to just bottle feed and while the lactation consultant wanted to help us out I was almost in tears so she suggested that we simply bottle feed and I continue to pump.

The pumping is going okay. It is definitely tough to make time for it while I am home alone with the Little Guy but I know how much better my milk is for him. Do we get enough for him to live solely on breastmilk? No way!! In fact I have tried many different things including fenugreek, blessed thistle, eating oatmeal, homemade oatmeal lactation cookies, etc.

Do you have any suggestions to increase milk production? I would love to hear them!


  1. You don't know me (I came to your blog seeking Skoy cloths and saw this post) Did they check to see if he was tongue tied. My sister had problems feeding her second son, and they figured out later he wasn't latching well because he was tongue tied. Its a simple clip of that thing under you tongue if he is to fix it. I read carrots. green beans, asparagus, apricots, and peas help with production.

  2. The lactation consultant said he was a little tongu tied but not too bad. hmmm...veggies- great excuse to get them in a little more :)

  3. I just came across your blog from your Skoy cloth giveaway and saw your post here. I wanted to offer you encouragement!
    I had similar trouble in the beginning as well. Feedings would take over an hour, but he wanted to eat all the time. I didn't know that his latch was bad and my nipples ended up cracked and bleeding. I was not getting help from the lactation consultants at the hospital or my MIL (who is a doctor!). They didn't even say his latch was wrong!! I finally figured it out from coming across Dr. Jack Newman's website. He has wonderful videos, etc. I used his breast compression technique to help him get more milk and help the milk release (I was also having issues with the lack of let down and emptying correctly). On top of all that I had supply issues as well. Like you I tried everything. Nothing worked. I ended up supplementing with a little formula. Sometimes he would have 3 or 4 bottles in a day. Finally I decided not to stress about it. Pumping wasn't getting me anywhere either. I stopped pumping, ate lots of oatmeal and stopped worrying (I think it was the last one that really helped). I gave him a bottle of formula when I had to, but I wouldn't beat myself up for it. I told myself to stop stressing about if I was going to be able to keep breastfeeding. Slowly everything got better. Around 3 months old my supply was much better and he refused to drink anymore formula! We continued breastfeeding until 14.5 months when I decided I was done (I wish I kept going, but that's ok).
    I also want to add that if he is still having enough wet and dirty diapers he is perfectly fine! My baby was always very thin and was around 90% on length and 15% on weight scale. Remember those scales are going by formula fed babies. He was perfectly healthy and I knew he was getting enough from the "output" in his diapers. Does your Ped say he is gaining ok?

    Keep going, don't give up!!!

  4. Thanks Chari! I was actually just going through a moment of again considering formula - it is so expensive though! Reaing your story encourages me to keep trying. I'll also check out the website.
    We went to the pediatrician at 2 weeks and again at 4 and he had gained 9oz. But a week later with the visit to the lactation consultant he had only gained an ounce and that was the week that I had tried breastfeeding more....

  5. do you know if hes relay gassy cus that might contribute to not liking it

    my itty bitty gets gassy when i drink alot of milk and beans and culiflower ext

    ive had the opisite problem to much preoduction

    but it is REALY good your still trying my sister couldnet ger her dauter to latch right away so she gave up wile still at hospital and i think nursing is rely great thing for bonding and such with your new little one as well as the health benifits ^.^

    and congrats on your new lil one

  6. o and for the bleading and soarness try the lanolin stuff

    and the extra soft nursing pads help to