May 2013 Moms

Breast feeding Woes update

I need some help!

I have been breast feeding DS and I'm having issues. My left nipple has cracked so bad it's bleeding and I can't nurse from it. That leaves the right one which has a much lower supply for some reason.

I have been pumping the left side and feeding him that way. I nurse on the right side for about 15 minutes then feed him about 1 to 1.5 oz of the pumped milk. I'm not able to keep up. He's still acting hungry after that.

My doctor said to pump right side after nursing but he runs me dry nursing. I'm pumping 1 to 2 oz from the left but he always eats what I pump and I can't get ahead.

Any suggestions? I really don't want to supplement but I'm not sure what else to do. If he's hungry I need to feed him obviously.

Update: I sent DH to the store for formula after DS refused my "good" breast which has started to crack from the extra nursing. I'm still pumping but only getting a little over an oz. I guess I'll be supplementing while I'm waiting for the nipples to heal and just pump as much as I can to try to hold on to my supply.

I'm really bummed but he has to eat. I feel like a failure at breast feeding. I had to stop at 3 months with DS1 bc I got too stressed over it and he wasn't gaining good weight. He's not even a week old and I feel like I've given up.

Note this is not a failure compared to those who do or don't use formula...just to myself. I really want to be able to BF but for some reason I hit a wall and can't get past it.
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Re: Breast feeding Woes update

  • Can you try a breast shield on the sore side?
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  • I have a breast shield but he refuses it. I can't even get him to open his mouth for it. I will continue trying to use it. Hopefully the left side heals soon so I can start nursing from it again.
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  • There were times I had to supplement with DD because I just couldn't keep up or was so ungodly sore. 

    While nursing is supposed to be so natural, sometimes it seems like the most unnatural thing on the planet!!

    Hang in there!! 

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  • image cromie713:
    Try mothers milk tea or fenugreek. I took fenugreek while nursing DS and it did wonders for my supply ! Also water water water. More water always helps boost my supply. Can you pump longer ? Try pumping 15 per side when you're done feeding him... Even if nothing comes out it should help signal your body that you need more milk. Look on kellymom.com too that's a great breast feeding resource

     

    These are all great ideas and helped me a lot with my first.  Also just keep nursing baby frequently, even if only for a few minutes. Good luck and hang in there.

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  • jparlijparli
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments
    member

    My little boy is named Declan, too :)

     

    My LC recommended I try relaxation techniques when I pump. If you're stressed out about the process it will be that much harder. Good luck!! 

  • With my first I ate oatmeal every day and was pumping 10 to 12 oz each feeding and driving myself insane.   This time I have oatmeal every few days.....it seems to increase my supply.  Good luck!
  • emmy236emmy236
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
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    At your night time feeding id supplement with a little formula with the breast milk. Supplementing doesn't negate the benefits of the breast milk at all. It just might fill him up more and give you a little more time between feedings and allow your body to catch up and start to heal. Some people think any formula means your failing and that's completely not true, all the benefits are there plus a little extra ummpf to make sure your LO is satisfied.
  • image jparli:

    My little boy is named Declan, too :)

     

    My LC recommended I try relaxation techniques when I pump. If you're stressed out about the process it will be that much harder. Good luck!! 

    This is TOTALLY TRUE.  The more you worry about it and watch it, the less you will produce.  Kind of like that saying "A watched pot never boils"

    You really do need to relax and just not think about it.  Also, pumping can be hard on your nipples too.  Ensure you have the correct sized flange (you can buy other sizes).  If the flange is too small it will irritate the heck out of you and if too large, you won't be productive.

    Keep pumping even when the milk stops (or if it never starts). You body will get the idea.

    And when all else fails, it's OK to supplement with formula here and there.  We did during the first month or so on a few occasions.  You just don't want to do it too often.

    ETA:  And if you don't already have a hands-free pumping bra - get one.  It will help with the "not watching" part and allow you to relax better.

    BeesMomma00 formerly LauriJean_2009
    BFP#1 Nov '09; Missed Miscarriage Dec '09; D&C Jan '10
    Diagnosed with Asherman's Syndrome May '10; Corrective Surgery June '10
    IUI #1 Jan 9, 2011; BFP#2 Jan '11; DD Born Sep 29, 2011
    BFP#3 Sep '12; Conceived Naturally; EDD May 25, 2013

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  • Can you see a lactation consultant? I'm a FTM but my sister and friends have all encouraged seeing an LC with any bfing difficulties. They said the LC can really help find the source of the problem and get you on track.
    Hopefully your insurance will cover one and or your pedi may have one he or she works with?
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  • I know how you feel about supplementing. I had to feed my daughter some formula in the hospital cause he had a blood sugar problem and wasn't latching at the start an rejecting me. What we did is put the formula in a syringe and fed it to her that way. Not as good as the boob and she learned to like mine right away. Also a feeding tube is another option you just slide it beside your nipple that way he is getting more but still nursing.
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  • Guinness.....though I don't know for sure that this works I've just heard t so many times that it has to be true...right...right?
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  • When I had bleeding nipples with my oldest, I used a nipple shield until things were healed up so I could still feed from that side.  Also, at my LC's recommendation, I used bacitracin ointment to help it heal.

    Best advice is of course to find out why your nipple is getting sore to the point of cracking and bleeding and fix that - bad latch, engorgement, etc. Talk to a lactation consultant - I felt like having a good one saved my sanity and was the only reason that I was able to continue to breastfeed my son.  I for sure would have given up without her help to make it a comfortable experience instead of something incredibly painful.    
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  • First, supplementing is not the end of the world.  I know you don't want to start out doing that, but just because you supplement a little doesn't mean that bf is over or failed.  I am no expert, but this is what is working for me.  My left breast is pretty much out of commission because of soreness and cracking.  I will nurse her on the right side and pump at the same time the left (the letdown effect helps).  We have a few sessions a day where I will nurse her and pump, pump some more, and then nurse her again.  This is building my supply and ensuring she is satisfied.  The only bad thing about it is it can take up to an hour or over to complete these sessions.  I have noticed that in only a couple days I am getting a few more ounces out and the engorgement is not as bad.  Good luck.
  • This, when my son was in the NICU they said take pictures and look at them while pumping.  If possible keep your baby near you. 
  • I'm sorry that you're going through this! I was in so much pain at first that I broke down and gave my baby formula during our first night at home. I put lanolin on my nipples and tried to keep them hydrated and open to air the entire night. Having the whole night off helped them heal up enough so that I could nurse her again the next morning.

    Good luck to you and definitely try to talk to a lactation consultant! I was told at my breastfeeding class that cracked and bleeding nipples rather than just sore is usually a sign of latching problems.
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  • My LC recommended Neosporin on my nipples and I've been wearing the plastic soft shields non stop to help them air out.  

    I had a breast reduction 9 years ago so unfortunately for me, I can't get my supply up enough to ebf.  We started supplementing yesterday.  It's not been the end of the world, as a PP said, it's not negating the benefits of the breast milk I am able to give him.
     
    I have also had days where he's refused to eat on one side and I'll just pump extra and it ends up working itself out by the next day.
     
    Hang in there!  I know how you're feeling and you can do this.  So far, our board and my pedi's LC have been great support.  Don't hesitate to reach out again.   
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  • AmyG*AmyG*
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
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    This will probably come out as a duplicate cause the bump burped.

    get yourself to an IBCLC lactation consultant asap to get help with healing, pumping, latching to prevent that kind of damage again. if the LC says to just pump til it heals and doesn't offer better or more helpful advice than that, then go see a different LC or an LLL leader.

     check out the bf board here at the bump for more support as well.

    If baby won't latch, get evaluated for tongue tie to ensure that is not the issue. with such damage to the nips, I would expect tongue tie, and definitely not a deep enough latchis your issue. you can try watching latching videos and sometimes you can see what is goig on and get it fixed,   but in person help is imperative for most moms to have success.

     

    remember, your dr is not a breastfeeding specialists, even OBs and pediatricians receive very little instruction on breastfeeding in med school so for this issue you need a specialist.

    for nipple healing.  nipple shells can keep your bra or nursing pad from sticking to the end of the nipple.  nipple creme after every feeding, but rub breastmilk in and air dry first. warm water soaks, or warm water saline solution soaks will speed healing.  cool compresses and motrin help with pain relief and swelling and inflammation.  change bra and nursing pads if they are wet so that you don't get a yeast infection in your wounded nips.  fresh air and sunshine speeds healing, but don't flash the neighbors.  if your nipple creme doesn't feel good, or if you get really itchy when you wear wool and you don't like lamb, you could have a lanolin sensitivity, so you'd want a non-lanolin nipple creme.

    a bandaid and neosporin is ok between feeds.  all purpose nipple ointment (usually need a prescription, it's a mix of several ointments) can help healing too.

    if you do nurse you can try a nipple shield.  if you nurse with one, you still need to get latch evaluated because sometimes if baby has a bad enough latch to damage nips, they will have a bad enough latch to not effectively empty the breast and your supply may suffer, in addition to baby may not get enough milk thru the shield.

    if you nurse without the shield, use a different position to nurse baby for every feeding, so baby's mouth will put pressure on a different "side" of the nipple.  alternate the side you start on and encourage baby to stay on side #1 as long as possible, and it is perfectly fine to just nurse on one side ONLY.  Other mammals never switch their babies, humans do it cause we think we are supposed to.  we have 2 breasts to feed 2 babies, we dont' need 2 breasts to feed one baby.  mine only ate on one side except during growth spurts and illness/crankiness.

    google deep latching techniques ike  laid back nursing.  if baby sucks on the tip of the nip instead of latching deep enough to get areola you'll get sore nips with scabs on the end.  also if your nipple is getting pointed up toward the roof of baby's mouth, your nip will rub on the roof of mouth and get sores and cracks.

    for a deeper latch with a traditional nursing position, make sure you are holding nipple closer to baby's nose, so they have to reach up, open mouth wide, top of head goes back and holding breast with fingers underneath and thumb on top, sort of smush the boob flat and stuff it in. if you hold nipple closer to baby's lower lip, they'll reach straight out or down, try to open wide and their chin will touch their chest and they will not be able to latch on deeply.  be sure you are holding baby's head in a manner, lower and closer to their neck so they can more easily tilt their head backwards and open wider.  pull butt in closer to your body, make sure shoulders are square facing you not one shoulder closer than the other.  do not press on the edge of your areola to make room for baby to breathe, as that will move your nipple in baby's mouth so it will rub and get damaged.

     

    be sure you are trying to nurse often enough, so that you catch baby at the 2 hour since start of last feeding mark, where they are not fully awake usually, they are just starting to lick lips, root around etc.  if you wait til they are fully awake and crying, they will be overstimulated and not be able to "concentrate" to get a good latch, they'll franticaly grab at nip and more likely to damage it with a shallow latch.  calm baby down for a few minutes and try again, don't keep trying.

     

    If you are going to supplement whether with breastmilk or formula remember the amounts to give are really small.  when baby is born their stomach is the size of one swallow of amniotic fluid, about 1 teaspoon or the size of a marble.  a few days later their stomach is the size of a shooter marble or golf ball maybe.  and by a week or so, their stomach is the size of their fist, about 2 oz, sometimes a bit less.  intake should never be much more than 2.5-3 oz when they are much older. 

    It is normal for your supply with a newborn to be 1-2 oz.  that's the size of their stomach.  don't give more than that, or they will be overful, so they will sleep better(sounds good) but they won't wake often enough to nurse and eat as often as their newborn metabolism requires.  frequent feeding = frequent practice at the breast (when possible) to grow the mouth, jaw and tongue muscles they need to improve at latching and nursing effectively.

    for pumping,be sure you are using a high quality pump.  increase your water intake past 25 oz a day, eat oatmeal and high quality protein.  relax and do not watch the pump and how much milk is comig out.  many women have to LEARN to let down for the pump.  If you can latch and nurse and then pump the other side that may help with let down and learning to let down for the pump.  warm compresses and massage as well as taking off bra  and bending over in your chair and lettig the boobahs hand and swing a bit may help with let down.  pumping while holding baby, and as skin to skin with baby as possible will help with prolactin which is the breastfeeding hormone which increases supply.

     

    but get help to get this fixed.  don't suffer alone.  keep trying, be stubborn.  and don't stress over how much you are pumping.  for a really young baby, they just don't need much more than 1-2 oz,  their stomach is really small and your milk is still not fully mature, so it's more concentrated in fat and calories per ounce, more like colostrum.  And don't freak about the idea of baby getting a little blood if you do nurse and have scabs or bleeding.  under the microscope breastmilk looks very much like blood with the red and white blood cells and such.  it's living bodily fluid either way and it's not going to harm baby. 

    I hope you heal well and fast!

     

    AmyG*

    I don't type posts; I type novels.

    I don't get tags, sorry.

  • Find a lactation consultant! Not just your doctor. I had jaundice issues with my first son and the LC, while pushy, saved our breastfeeding relationship. :)
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  • image caymarks:
    Update: I sent DH to the store for formula after DS refused my "good" breast which has started to crack from the extra nursing. I'm still pumping but only getting a little over an oz. I guess I'll be supplementing while I'm waiting for the nipples to heal and just pump as much as I can to try to hold on to my supply.

    I'm really bummed but he has to eat. I feel like a failure at breast feeding. I had to stop at 3 months with DS1 bc I got too stressed over it and he wasn't gaining good weight. He's not even a week old and I feel like I've given up.

    Note this is not a failure compared to those who do or don't use formula...just to myself. I really want to be able to BF but for some reason I hit a wall and can't get past it.

    There is one rule when it comes to breastfeeding that I believe every woman should follow:  "NEVER QUIT ON A BAD DAY" (It always gets better).  Then you have another kind of bad day, then it will get better.  I think I "quit" 3x in the first month and ended up BFing DD until she was 1.

    Hang in there and PLEASE see a Lactation Consultant if you haven't already.  If you are unable to do that, call the LLL Helpline:  1-877-452-5324 http://breastfeedinghelpline.com/

    You are not a failure.  Breastfeeding is HARD at first.   Hang in there and good luck.

    BeesMomma00 formerly LauriJean_2009
    BFP#1 Nov '09; Missed Miscarriage Dec '09; D&C Jan '10
    Diagnosed with Asherman's Syndrome May '10; Corrective Surgery June '10
    IUI #1 Jan 9, 2011; BFP#2 Jan '11; DD Born Sep 29, 2011
    BFP#3 Sep '12; Conceived Naturally; EDD May 25, 2013

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