Breastfeeding

Questions about nursing problems and pumping

DD was born Friday.  She has a great latch, and sucks so well on just about everything but my breast.  Her pedi has looked and it isn't an issue with her tongue or anything.  I keep trying, and it is ever so slowly getting better, but I'm not going to lie.  It's frustrating and a very slow improvement.  I can already pump much more than she can eat in one feeding.  I want more than anything for her to just eat directly from me instead of the extra step in between.

If you had issues and pumped and worked on nursing, did it eventually work out?  If it didn't, did you decide to EP?  At what point did you give up trying to get your child to actually eat at the breast?

I'm determined to make this work one way or another.  I also had issues trying to breast feed ds and due to lack of support and knowledge gave up and I still regret that to this day.

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Re: Questions about nursing problems and pumping

  • Big hug!  I have been at it for 2 weeks, DS had jaundice so he wouldn't feed very well at first but every day gets better.  Does your pediatrician have a lactation consultant on staff that can give you more support?   Good luck!  
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  • I had problems nursing for the first couple weeks.  She seemed to bob her head at my breast but wouldn't latch on.  She would be crying and I would be crying...it was so frustrating.  (I actually did not pump during this time.  Trying to figure out the pump would have taken more energy than I had at the time.)  Since you said that it is slowly getting better, be encouraged that it will continue to get better!  I know it is hard, being exhausted and wondering if your baby is getting enough nourishment.  One thing I had wished I tried earlier was lying side-by-side to nurse.  I don't have to support her head while also trying to support my breast.  But give it a couple more weeks if you can.  Just because it hasn't "clicked" yet doesn't mean that it won't.
  • It's probably just going to take her some time to learn. 

    Are you pumping and giving her bottles because you are afraid she isn't getting enough?  Have you taken her for a weighted feeding?  I remember being convinced Isla wasn't getting enough milk (because she was eating all the time, which turned out to be normal and the right thing for her to be doing) and then when I took her for weighted feedings she was getting just as much as I gave her in a bottle.  

    If this is the case with you, you might want to not let her suck on anything but your breast until she gets used to it.  Some babies don't have a problem with bottles or pacis but some do and they begin to prefer it and you don't want that to happen.  

    If it isn't the case and she really cannot effectively nurse, try seeing a lactation consultant.  They can help you immensely with NB issues because it happens to every new mom.  Promise.  (I see you have an older LO, I just mean having a new baby.)

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  • New borns have small bellys.I see moms all the time in the hospital I work at do they same thing.They think baby is not getting enough so they supplement right away.There is no need.They do not have very much room the first few weeks.My baby didnt eat for a whole day the 3rd day she came home.she was right where she needed to be when weighed a few days later.They eat till they are full.sometimes they go hours with out eating other times they nurse for 2 hours.Bays cry.It doesnt mean they are not getting enough to eat.as long as you have dirty dipes. the doc will let you know if they do not weigh enough.Baby might have gerd.too much food can give them a belly ache.And they could have gas.Try different things to calm baby.Avoid the bottle till they are at least 3 weeks.I had a hard time with latching on one side the first few days.A nipple sheild worked wonders a I only had to use it a couple days.
  • We had lots of issues to start.  Long story, but DD was in the NICU for 5 days (she wasn't a preemie) and had to be fed w/ IV, then bottles.  When we came home she was nursing w/nipple shield and I was pumping and giving her a bottle to supplement.  She was little (5lbs5oz) and not a very efficent nurser and she really needed to gain weight, thus the supplement.  We saw a LC who helped me w/her latch and gave us tips for bottle feeding her so she didn't prefer the bottle.  We started giving her an oz or 2 of supplement 1st and then she did better at nursing after b/c she wasn't so ravenous.  Once she got better at nursing we slowly weaned off supplementing--I just dropped the bottles before nursing slowly.  That was around one month old I think.  It took another month to wean off the nipple shield, and we haven't looked back!

    It helped me to remember that babies really need time and opportunities to learn how to nurse well--they don't all just come out knowing what to do.  Anyway, I hope some part of that helps you! 




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  • Thanks, ladies.  We had to start giving her the pumped milk because she lost nearly a pound in her first couple days and was only 7lbs to begin with.  It's so frustrating to have a session that seems like it is going so well, then another that is just a disaster.  I've got a good support system.  LC's I can get in touch with, a very pro-breast feeding pedi who is so encouraging to stick with it, great support from family.  I know it will work out, it's just so hard to not be impatient.  Like pp said, it's slowly getting better and can only continue to get better.

    She sleeps so much, obviously since most newborns do.  I think I'm just going to have to try to wake her up quicker than I have been so she isn't as ravenous by the time we try.

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  • The first three weeks were awful for me. DS was in NICU and I couldn't feed him for 3 days, so he was getting formula from a bottle. Once we got home we did a combo of nursing/BM in a bottle/FF because we were both getting frustrated and it hurt me A LOT!! We were basically all over the place.

    I was determined to nurse him though, so after about a week and a half of being home I decided I was done with formula. At that point I decided a bottle would not grace his lips until we were in a good nursing groove. I nursed him on demand, and at first it felt like we were breast wrestling (ha!) instead of breast feeding and he was at the breast CONSTANTLY because he was hungry and we weren't quite doing it right yet.

    Over the next few weeks we got consistently better and by 6 wks we were in a great groove. It was frustrating and a HUGE pain in the butt, but I'm so glad we stuck it out. DS does great at the breast or with a bottle now and we're in a very good place.

    So my advice is to pick what you're going to (BF or FF), then dig your heels in and stick it out. You will get to a point where things are WAY better...the frustration you're dealing with is only temporary as long as you stay consistent and determined. And, as long as you're nursing on demand, your baby is going to get what she needs to grow and thrive!

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