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Old 06-26-2014, 07:54 PM   #1
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Last chance

I had always looked forward to breastfeeding my children and knew that it was something I wanted to do but it has been very challenging from the beginning. I feel like I am close to giving up nursing and for exclusive pumping. My DS has only received breastmilk and is now four months old.

At birth he was not interested in latching and after 12 hours with help from the lactation consultant we were finally successful. I experienced some pain but I didn't really know what to expect. By ten days old my nipples were cracked and bleeding and I visited the lactation consultant again. DS would alternate between nursing correctly and biting. At that time she recommended a nipple shield and things seemed to be going well. I attempted to wean from the nipple shield for the next few months but he wasn't interested and I didn't push him too hard. He did receive the occasional bottle (1-2 weekly) but usually just nursed.

When I returned to work I realized that my supply was very low. I don't think DS was nursing very well so my supply dropped. After the first day of daycare he was on a nursing strike and I couldn't get him to breastfeed. I spent the next week pumping and taking supplements and was able to get my supply back up. During that time I attempted to nurse at every feeding, while home, and fed DS with a syringe when he refused. After a few days he did begin nursing again but started ripping the nipple shield off. I was excited to be rid of that thing!

Now, he is at it again. At every nursing session he pulls away while sucking, which isn't very comfortable, and yells. He does this multiple times while nursing and will stop eating after a very short period of time. I have been pumping after most nursing sessions and usually get 1-3 ounces each time.

He had his four month appointment a few days ago and is now at the 3rd percentile for weight, at 2 months he was at the 50th percentile, so we started feeding him what I pumped with a syringe after he finished nursing. I feel like I have been through so much to give up now and pumping just doesn't work well with our lifestyle. We have already taken him on an overnight canoe trip and plan on backpacking over 4th of July, nursing makes those trips SO much easier.

Sorry for the novel but please give me any last advice. Is there anything else I can try??

Thanks!

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Old 07-04-2014, 07:57 AM   #2
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Re: Last chance

Honestly the yelling is pretty typical & parcel for many babies & my kids did it whether they gained like monsters or were teeny beenies (as I've had both types).

I've had one biter (bit since birth) & we eventually took him to a chiropractor & that fixed it for us.

You do not have low supply if you can pump 1-3 ounces after nursing. I don't have time right now to give you all the links to help you out - but hang in there...I'll come back & update. I just saw you had no responses & wanted to tell you that there is no reason you have to go to exclusive pumping. That would also likely ruin your supply. It is FINE to EP if you want to or need to, but it is not sustainable for most moms long term...and it doesn't sound to me like you want to (or need to), but rather that you need help to continue nursing in a way that is doable & you haven't had the help you needed up to now to make this a little more enjoyable & a lot less frustrating.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:04 AM   #3
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Re: Last chance

Have the damage to your nipples been healed? So at this point your main concern is his pulling back and "biting" down on the breast at feeds?

As another Mama said, if you can pump even an ounce after a nursing session, your supply is not low!
What made you think your supply is low?
Babies drain boobs better than any machine or Mama's hand can.

I believe a few things could be in factor here or in combination:
Fast letdown
Slight foremilk to hindmilk imbalance or baby not getting to hindmilk

These are easily fixable issues and once addressed may completely change your nursing relationship

What position do you nurse in? For fast letdowns, a more upright position is pretty key. A sitting over your leg facing you position worked well for us. When they were too small to sit by themselves it took both my hands to nurse, which stinks, one arm to hold them up and the other on my boob. Your anatomy might not require a hand on your boob which frees you up to do other things.
Sometimes babies are silly and won't nurse long enough, or there's too much foremilk in the way, to get to your fattening rich hindmilk. This could explain his percentile drop (have you discussed this with a lactation consultant?) I personally had an oversupply and a fast letdown with all my babies. This meant baby could not drink enough through the foremilk to get to the hindmilk, which caused belly upset/pulling/yelling/frustration. That's if they weren't drowned off my boob by the letdown first (which caused them to clamp down on me to slow the flow.)
Some Mamas can letdown into a towel or cup first to shed off a bit of formilk before baby latches, but I understand this is not a long term solution. It is better to ease your supply down to what he really needs. Please remember that nursing babies will adjust their needs sometimes weekly, even during different times daily! If he is latched on constantly, it does NOT mean you have low supply, he just needs Mama milk/love more at that time. Your body will make what he tells it to make, with sometimes too much extra.

I had to carefully implement block nursing to lower my supply. This is best done with a lactation consultant to help you along and fully describe the process because you can do more harm than good if it is not done properly. While my third child had never had a bottle, I did have all the same issues you are experiencing with her. Upright nursing positions and adjusting my supply to her needs fixed everything. We went from another miserable breastfeeding experience to nursing for two years exclusively.


On another note, while exclusively pumping is admirable, it simply is not worth the effort it takes. I attempted to exclusively pump for my second child after he was born with a posterior tongue tie. Our insurance and accessible doctors failed to help me at all. I EP'd for 8.5 months. I was hospitalized twice with life threatening mastitis. I was pumping every 3-4 hours around the clock for about 45 minutes per session (I don't respond amazing to even the hospital pumps). Plus bottle washing, pump part washing, crying over bottles of spilled milk, NO extra left for the freezer...Also to factor in, he was drinking 64 ounces per day which is just asinine and I have NO explanation for. He maintained a steady 35 percentile weight gain his first two years of life and has only recently jumped up around 50%(WHERE was he putting it all?!) I did more pumping than parenting and it was killing me. I threw in the towel at 9 months and bought organic formulas and goats milks, which we used until he was 18 months (Autism, would NOT eat solid food reliably.)

I wish you the best, and I hope I maybe had the simple answers for you!
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:35 AM   #4
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Re: Last chance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy Kaley View Post
I had always looked forward to breastfeeding my children and knew that it was something I wanted to do but it has been very challenging from the beginning. I feel like I am close to giving up nursing and for exclusive pumping. My DS has only received breastmilk and is now four months old.
Well first off congrat son the baby & WTG on making 4 months exclusive. That is a huge accomplishment when things have been so rocky starting out!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy Kaley View Post
At birth he was not interested in latching and after 12 hours with help from the lactation consultant we were finally successful. I experienced some pain but I didn't really know what to expect. By ten days old my nipples were cracked and bleeding and I visited the lactation consultant again. DS would alternate between nursing correctly and biting. At that time she recommended a nipple shield and things seemed to be going well. I attempted to wean from the nipple shield for the next few months but he wasn't interested and I didn't push him too hard. He did receive the occasional bottle (1-2 weekly) but usually just nursed.
I could have written this with my #2...except I knew it was wrong & everyone kept saying it was fine...despite my nips being so torn up they looked detached.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy Kaley View Post
When I returned to work I realized that my supply was very low. I don't think DS was nursing very well so my supply dropped. After the first day of daycare he was on a nursing strike and I couldn't get him to breastfeed. I spent the next week pumping and taking supplements and was able to get my supply back up. During that time I attempted to nurse at every feeding, while home, and fed DS with a syringe when he refused. After a few days he did begin nursing again but started ripping the nipple shield off. I was excited to be rid of that thing!
Why did you "realize"? Are you basing that on pump output?
Supply does often drop when you are away from baby & not able to pump every 2 hrs, but that shouldn't typically effect supply in the evenings when stimulation remains constant & typical. Now the week of only pumping often does make supply drop, but if you are early enough on, it often will come back up with a ton of effort...and it sounds like you did that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy Kaley View Post
Now, he is at it again. At every nursing session he pulls away while sucking, which isn't very comfortable, and yells. He does this multiple times while nursing and will stop eating after a very short period of time. I have been pumping after most nursing sessions and usually get 1-3 ounces each time.
Does he do the thing where he gets his mouth RIGHT on the nipple, but does not latch & shakes his head back & forth while yelling? If yes, relax. It's typical. Every baby of mine has done this & some were porkers, some were tiny & some I worked with & some I've been able to stay home now. I have also seen EVERY nursing baby I know do this in the evenings. If you watch - is he doing this early in the day when you are off work, or only in the evenings. It seems to be part of fussy nursing behavior that follows an evening pattern. Regardless of whether you said "yes" to the description I gave of behavior - this is worth a read: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/chil...while-nursing/



Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy Kaley View Post
He had his four month appointment a few days ago and is now at the 3rd percentile for weight, at 2 months he was at the 50th percentile, so we started feeding him what I pumped with a syringe after he finished nursing. I feel like I have been through so much to give up now and pumping just doesn't work well with our lifestyle. We have already taken him on an overnight canoe trip and plan on backpacking over 4th of July, nursing makes those trips SO much easier.

Sorry for the novel but please give me any last advice. Is there anything else I can try??

Thanks!
Now they used to have a chart that showed how BF babies & FF babies gained differently, but the WHO changed their chart to make it really hard to read & kellymom got revised & their links are broken... http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gain/ But it is not uncommon for moms to be told that their baby's are not staying on target, when what is happening is they are growing normally. So at least you can calculate if your baby has been staying within the 5-7 ounces per week area.

And you got tons of good advice already too.

How is his poop though? Is it mustardy & full of curds? If it is not, I'd first suspect the foremilk/hindmilk issue already brought up my another poster & if that would be the case, it would help fussing, biting AND weight gain. It's be nicest if that were the real issue, as it's totally resolvable & addresses every issue you've mentioned.


As for how much to pump/how much does your baby actually need? http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

And to show you that your supply is fine:
Quote:
It is typical for a mother who is nursing full-time to be able to pump around 1/2 to 2 ounces total (for both breasts) per pumping session. Moms who pump more milk per session may have an oversupply of milk, or may respond better than average to the pump, or may have been able to increase pump output with practice. Many moms think that they should be able to pump 4-8 ounces per pumping session, but even 4 ounces is a rather large pumping output for a mom who is breastfeeding full-time.
from here: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/p...ping_decrease/

I have never pumped 1-3 oz after nursing. The best I ever could get is maybe just shy of an ounce from both breasts. While away from baby, the best I ever topped out at was 5 oz & I had gone wayyyy too long before pumping.

Any further input or questions & I'll see what I can do to help.
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:01 AM   #5
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Have you checked for lip and/or tounge ties?
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:32 PM   #6
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Have you checked for lip and/or tounge ties?
Didn't read the other replies but your story sounds similar to a friend & she found out much later her son had just enough tongue tie(it wasn't obvious) to cause the problem.

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Old 07-15-2014, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: Last chance

My son was a month early so his sucking reflexes hadn't fully developed, so I had no choice but to bottle feed initially. Trying to get him to latch took awhile (felt like forever!), but with much perseverance he finally got the hang of it, then the problem was my supply was low. It was a struggle to get my supply up, but again with much perseverance I am now breast feeding him exclusively at 3 months old. He also likes to suck for a bit then push himself off the breast, makes feeding take longer & is frustrating. All I can say is hang in there & don't give up I use Earth Mamma & Angel Baby nipple butter, works great!
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:41 AM   #8
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Re: Last chance

My last 2 kids gained differently. One was a slow gainer and other was big gainer and fast... 3year old was 5% and baby bro was 95%. She is 30 pounds roughly at age 3 and baby brother 30 pounds at age 17 months.

Also side note as they learn to move more I notice they don't grow as fast either.
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