May 2013 Moms

EPing to BFing-long

I have also posted on breastfeeding board but wanted to see if any May mommas had any advice or answers! 

LO is a month old and I have been EPing since she was born. She was in NICU for over a week and we live over an hour from the hospital so that was the only way I could get BM to her.

I tried getting her latched on in the hospital but struggled due to stress and her fussiness. Just was not a good experience.

Since we have been home I have put her to breast a few times when she is really fussy so that she will calm down a bit while the bottle is getting ready. I think she latches on allright, but sometimes I feel like she just has a hold of my nipple and it is painful. Anyway, EPing can be a pain sometimes. It takes alot of time to pump and planning when we go out for a few hours.

So I want to try to get her to BF on a regular basis atleast until I go to work in a few weeks and then I will have to pump at work. I just don't know how to start... How do I know LO is getting full? Right now we have her eating every 2hrs and on demand a night. Do I keep her on this schedule if I BF?

Has anyone else been in a similar situation or have any advice??

TIA:)

Re: EPing to BFing-long

  • I would say try to set up an appointment with a LC, they can help to make sure there is a good latch and they can do a weighted feed so you know how much LO is taking in. Other than that keep trying with LO, if after a feeding the baby seems full and satisfied then they must have gotten enough, good luck!

    Edit: Had to finish the post since my DD pushed the keyboard buttons and posted before I was finished.




     

  • Short of weighted feedings, there is no way to know exactly how much LO is getting when BF'ing, which is why I personally prefer to pump.

    However, I think the general consensus is that as long as LO continues to produce the normal amount of wet and dirty diapers, they are getting enough.

    I feed LO on demand, so I don't have any advice to offer as far as if you should continue with your schedule of feeding every two hours.
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  • Minus the NICU bit, I could have written this myself! I posted this very thing on the BF board about a week ago, and have done some research and consulted with my LC, and it seems like the consensus is to do a "nursing vacation" for a few days until LO gets the hang of boob-only. This consists basically of hanging out with baby (skin to skin if you can) for a couple of days and putting them on the breast as often as humanly possible (or as often as LO expresses any sort of hunger cues). This technique is most often used to increase BM supply, but seems like it will work for our purposes too.

    We are doing this for the next 3 days and hopefully it will work! I don't have a scale to do weighted feeds, but LO is gaining well so far, so I'm just going to rely on wet/dirty diapers to see if we are making progress. I'm cautiously hopeful that we can go from EPing to BFing by next week.

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  • image AllieAGame:

    Minus the NICU bit, I could have written this myself! I posted this very thing on the BF board about a week ago, and have done some research and consulted with my LC, and it seems like the consensus is to do a "nursing vacation" for a few days until LO gets the hang of boob-only. This consists basically of hanging out with baby (skin to skin if you can) for a couple of days and putting them on the breast as often as humanly possible (or as often as LO expresses any sort of hunger cues). This technique is most often used to increase BM supply, but seems like it will work for our purposes too.

    We are doing this for the next 3 days and hopefully it will work! I don't have a scale to do weighted feeds, but LO is gaining well so far, so I'm just going to rely on wet/dirty diapers to see if we are making progress. I'm cautiously hopeful that we can go from EPing to BFing by next week.

    Did you have LO on a feeding schedule when you were EPing and if so did you try to continue this schedule when putting LO to breast?

  • image CNJ4EVA:
    I think the general consensus is that as long as LO continues to produce the normal amount of wet and dirty diapers, they are getting enough.

    This. I use an iPhone app called "baby connect" to monitor how many diapers she has per day and it has made me feel more confident that she is getting what she needs. I BF and pump. She also gets 2 oz of formula per day. 

  • I switched about 10 days ago and again I thought she was doing wellbut I guess she wasn't because my supply tanked and now I'm pumping like crazy to get it back just to warn you.
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  • I was told to BF on demand and keep track of wet diapers.  The NICU nurses just told me not to let her go longer than 3.5 hours between feedings (she's 7 weeks now and sometimes goes a lot longer - i still feed on demand).  As far as latching, the LC in the hospital told me to look for the muscles moving along her jaw/side of her head to indicate that she's sucking well..but she should have more than just the nipple in her mouth.  I used a nipple shield at first to help transition her from bottle ( and because it was painful for me)  But I would try to get her to latch w/o one if you can do it.
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  • image mommacakes4u:
    I would say try to set up an appointment with a LC, they can help to make sure there is a good latch and they can do a weighted feed so you know how much LO is taking in. Other than that keep trying with LO, if after a feeding the baby seems full and satisfied then they must have gotten enough, good luck!Edit: Had to finish the post since my DD pushed the keyboard buttons and posted before I was finished.

    This. I think you should really try to meet with an LC to check the latch and give you the best advice for how to go about your "nursing vacation." Good luck
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  • krwactkrwact
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    I can relate to a lot of this.  DS was able to EBF while in the NICU but wasn't gaining well after we got home so he's been getting bottles of breast milk in addition to BFing.  I'm still working hard to transition him to EBF and we're making progress but it's SLOW.  I'll tell you what's helped us.

    First, the LC.  This has been a must.  I've been VERY lucky to continue seeing the LC from our NICU weekly.  She identified his tongue tie and has been able to offer lots of solid advice as we've gone on.  It sounds to me like you're having a latch issue and an LC could help a lot with that.

    Second, weighed feedings.  One of the other LC's stopped doing home visits so she's letting me borrow her scale to use at home.  This has been essential so that I know how much he's getting from the breast and how much (or if) I need to supplement with a bottle.  If you can rent one, do it.  Totally worth it.

    Third, keep pumping.  It's a gigantic pain in the a$$ to do both (literally - all this time on the couch is really hurting my back) but continuing to pump has been the only reason I've kept up my supply while working with him.  I also find that he eats better the more I have in the breast.  Pumping after (almost) every feed helps that a bit.

    A couple of things that have helped make it less of a pain: because DS is still really inefficient at the breast, I skip the breast at night and just give him a bottle while I pump.  It saves TONS of time and gets us both back to sleep much faster.  I keep the pump parts in the fridge overnight so that I don't have to wash them right away.  I also have multiple flanges for my pump which means fewer dishes during the day.  I just got a car power adaptor to make it easier to go out and about.

    As for a schedule, we kept him on an every 3 hour feeding for a LONG time (can't remember exactly when we switched) but we're doing totally on demand.  He eats far more frequently during the day, cluster feeds in the evening and has been sleeping like a champ lately (knock on wood).

    This has been SO hard and I can relate to what you must be going through.  I'm sometimes amazed that I've stuck with it at this point bc it has been so frustrating at times (I guess my lifelong stubbornness has finally paid off) but I'm glad I have.  DS has now tripled his lowest NICU weight, going from 4 lbs to 12 lbs in the last 10 weeks.   

    Good luck, you can do it! 

    Kim 

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  • I would say feed on demand and pump afterwards to keep supply up and just in case she won't take to the boob. But I am no nurse. She will develop a schedule for bf'ing
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  • whenever I know DD is full, she starts to suck shallow, and its a lot more spaced out, like a good 15-20 seconds until her next suck. Sometimes she unlatches herself. 

    Babies are good little suckers, they're a lot more efficient than those pumps. I've only pumped at the most 3.5 oz, when I know DD is getting more than that. You'll also notice that BFing is quicker as well.  

    As long as your DD is above her birth weight, I say just feed her on demand. It's a lot less stressful, and better on your breasts. If you notice your breasts becoming uncomfortable in between feedings, you can pump to relieve it. 

    It might take a few days or a week for your DD to adjust to the on demand; she's use to the 2 hour feeding schedule. Just be patient and in time she'll adjust.

    Also, when she latches, it might feel a little uncomfortable the first minute, then you adjust, if it still hurts, take her off, and have her relatch. Her whole mouth should be around your areola.  

     

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