January 2012 Moms

Mommies who've breast fed-I need some encouragement

Mommies, who've breast fed before- I need some advice/encouragement on breast feeding.

Here's a the background story (sorry, it's long): 

My baby girl is 5 days old today.At the hospital I was asked about my plan to feed her and I said breast feeding only. For the first 2 days I did well (considering that I'm a FTM) feeding her with colostrum, then she got fussier and fussier.I was determined to breast feed her, exclusively.

She spent hours "nursing" and would not want me to put her down. 

When we met the pediatrician on her 3rd day, she told us, that the baby is hungry and I do not have enough milk.At that point I was running on 3 hrs of sleep (I was induced and in labor for 18 hrs, with no sleep).The doctor said to rest and to take care of myself and the milk will come.In the meantime I was told to feed her with formula.I've been doing it since, and the baby loves it. My breast are getting heavier and I do have some milk coming but I don't think it's enough to feed the baby.She latches pretty well.I had the lactation consultants checking on me in the hospital, but none of them seemed to be concerned about my milk supply. 

I try to nurse her a few times a day, just to get some stimulation. But I'm a little anxious to have more milk-I really-really want to breast feed her.

Did any of you had milk come in late after delivery?? Is it normal to not have enough milk yet?Anything I can do?

Will my baby get used to formula and not want to nurse?

Thanks so much!


Re: Mommies who've breast fed-I need some encouragement

  • The only thing I can say is that it took my friend a week for her milk to come in and her baby did fine switching from the bottle to the breast. Good luck!
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  • Aww, it is so hard in the beginning. When the baby is first born, their stomach is the size of a marble. So they really really don't need a lot. And it sounds like your milk is in now, or coming in which is great! What I would do now is breast feed first every single feeding. If she still seems fussy and rooting, give a little formula. But remember too that the more formula you give, the less your body thinks it needs to make. It is all supply and demand, so even though those marathon bfing sessions suck it is telling your body to make more. I would find that I got a boost in supply the following day. And fwiw - day 3 is a growth spurt day (along with 10 and 21 so you can anticipate). But day 3 is horrible since the milk isn't in and you are recovering. It will get better - take it 1 day at a time! 
  • It takes a while for your milk to come in.  It is supply and demand - the more you nurse, the more milk your body makes.  If your baby isn't on the breast often, your body won't make as much milk.  I'd probably try her on the breast at first and then do the bottle, so she's at her hungriest while she's sucking on you to stimulate your milk.  BFing is tough - I've cried a ton and come so close to giving up over the last week and a half.  Hang in there.  Just remember that the more formula your give her the less BM she will want.  That's why I'd try nursing at the beginning of a feeding session then switch to the bottle.  Good luck!

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  • Agreed, you really do have to offer the breast at every possible chance you can get. It may not seem like she's getting much, but you'd be surprised how much colostrum she can get between your two breasts. 

    I remember 45 minute nursing sessions in the hospital with my son, with an hour of rest, then another 45 minute session again. If it's something you want to do, you really have to spend the time/lack of sleep to work at it.

    That being said, don't be upset if it doesn't happen...despite all my best efforts and tears and love and frustration, DS stopped nursing around 4 months! The hardest part was over...but it just stopped working for us. Yes, I felt upset but at the end of the day it's for the best of the kid right? 

  • I'm still waiting on lo to show up, but my best friend gave me what I think is great advice that I intend to use if needed. She was struggling horribly with BFing and her DS was not gaining weight. The pedi said if he had not gained at least 4oz after the weekend, she'd have to give formula.  She reached out to her friend/lamaze coach who told her that if she really wanted to BF that she needed to take a warm shower, put on her robe and climb into bed with DS and do nothing but BF on demand for the entire weekend. She did just that and was successful until 18 mos. He had gained 7 oz. Good luck!
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  • I had the same problem. I was devastated when they came in and told me she lost nearly 10% of her weight and her fussiness is because she's hungry. I really didn't want to supplement but if it was going to feed her, it was obviously worth it. What I did was I would BF for 10-15 minutes, and then give her formula to keep my breasts stimulated and keep her latch strong. My only advice is to stay calm and don't worry! Your milk will come in and as long as you're still latching her while FF, she will have no problems switching over from formula to milk.
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  • Do you have a pump?

    My lo is jaundiced and they told me to formula feed her which dh and I were not looking forward to.  He set up my pump, prepped everything and I kept bfing her every.single.time she was awake enough to consider latching (jaundice babies sleep A LOT).  When she was 'done' I pumped and then dh fed it to her in a bottle 1 itty bitty ounce at a time.  We've only done 3 ounces so far and 1/2 an ounce of formula (all she would take after nursing for 45 minutes).  We also woke her up every hour and a half to feed, stripped her naked, blew cold air on her and dripped water on her back to keep her awake.  It sounds awful and it really was, but she ate a whole lot more this way.  Today she's more awake and her blood tests showed her jaundice is improving.  I suspect we will have another night of frequent feedings, but just do whatever you can to keep your lo eatting.  If that means a bit of formula after she nurses for an hour then so be it, just make sure her little lips are sucking!

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  • My milk came in at day 5.  DS had some chrystals in his urine so I had to get him hydrated quickly before my milk came in so the pedi had me supplement a very, very little bit (like .5 to .75 oz. of formula after every other feeding for only 2-3 days) but I only did that AFTER BFing him so my body would also get the stimulation to produce milk. 

    If you want to keep BFing I would call an LC if you can.  That really helped me.  GL. 

  • As others said, it sounds like your milk is in or coming in.  It can take some women up to 7 days for their milk to come in, so don't worry too much about it being day 5!  As for the feeding part, your baby can survive off of just colostrum for a few days and as long as they don't lose much more then 10% of their body weight they will be fine.  My first was born at 6 lbs 10 oz and lost 8 oz in the first two days, which is almost 10%.  She was also jaundice so we had that to deal with too.  Once my milk came in she gained an ounce a day for a few days!

    I would second/third/whatever everybody else is saying.  Put baby to breast first, let her stimulate you and then if she still is hungry, give her formula if you want.  Or just let her breastfeed constantly until she is satisfied!  My newest daughter fed for 1 1/2 hours last night.  She did the right side, left side, then the right again for about 1/2 hour each.  Then just under 2 hours later she took the left again.  A long haul yes, but worth it!

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  • Mine didn't come in until about day 5...your supply will keep up with her demand. I'd say do not give her a bottle until she nurses...the more bottles she gets, the less she will nurse, thus the less you will produce.

    Take fenugreek, drink lots of water, and try to relax. Also, pump (rent one from the hospital if you can) between feedings to help boost your supply. You can do it!! Good luck!

  • drink tonnnnsssss of water, eat lots. the warm shower really works, i leak like a faucet when i get out. so does the skin to skin.

    personally i wouldnt bother with the formula, your body knows what its doing and will produe enough for lo. watch for dehydration - crystals in the urine are ok at this point, its normal, but watch for lethargy (wont stir at all to eat) and that the skin on her chest snaps back quickly if you pinch it gently. look for nice bright eyes when she is awake and for her mouth to be wet/damp. (this is what my midwife told me when i was concerned about supply and he is now gaining double the average a day) 

    if you arent sure anything is coming out listen for the swallowing sounds. sounds like a clicking or a "cah" sound.  

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  • The best advice I got was from my favorite nurse. She told me "mom to mom", not nurse to patient, to drink a beer. Any kind, even low or non alcoholic beer.  It's the brewers yeast and it worked like a charm. 
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  • Don't give up!  You are doing just what you should be! My milk came in 5 days after he was born.  Just keep offering the breast first until she gets really crabby and then give a bottle if nothing is coming out still.  Good luck!  I had to supplement with formula for those first couple days but once my milk came in I ended up breastfeeding DS for over a year!  It's the best!
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