Rough time: lopsided, not latching, pumping, supplementing — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Rough time: lopsided, not latching, pumping, supplementing

Hi.  New here.  My baby girl is 8 days old.  In the hospital, we were doing pretty well.  She latched pretty naturally immediately in the recovery room after my c-section. She was on the boob, doing what I thought was well.  My nipples were pretty cut up after the first day.  She was born in the middle of the night and lost 8 oz by that first evening (about 16 hours).  The pediatrician was concerned and talked about supplementing with formula.  By the second night, she lost another 5 oz.  She was down 9% of her body weight already.  I don't care about supplementing.  If she needs it, she needs it.  Clearly, I wasn't making what was needed.  Now, she's on watch by the pediatrician and hasn't put much back on.  They want her up 5-6 oz in the next week. 

I've been supplementing since day 3.  I started pumping on day 4.  Somewhere along the way, we lost the latch.  I fell off and have been pumping and supplementing exclusively for the last few days.  She doesn't want to latch, or stay latched.  She is very sleepy during feedings, and sometimes it's even hard to get her on the bottle.  I'm pumping about 20-35mL per feeding, but she's instructed to eat 30-45mL (up to 60, if she's hungry), so I'm constantly supplementing.  I can't catch up.  I pump, and try to hand express.  I need to get her back on the boob, but I'm having trouble.  

And finally, my right boob is only producing about 5mL during my pumping session.  I'm noticeably lopsided now.  I don't know how to get more out of this boob.

Summary:
- slow weight gain, low production, pumping. 
- how do I get her to re-train in latching?
- what can I do to stimulate production in the low supplying boob?
- again, I'm okay with supplementing if absolutely necessary, but I'd like to use that as a last resort. 

Any advice? TIA. 
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Re: Rough time: lopsided, not latching, pumping, supplementing

  • First off, your baby was within normal and safe weight loss and probably didn't need to be started on supplements. Second, five to six oz in a week is possible, but normal weight gain in 7 days would be 3.5 to 7 oz, so they're pushing it, in my opinion. To avoid supplements, retrain her latch and increase production the best thing for all three is to put away the pump and supplements and nurse around the clock. Given that your supply may have taken a hit, at this point you may have to continue supplements while you increase supply and whenever possible, supplement with pumped milk. You should be nursing or pumping with a hospital grade pump every 2 hrs during the day and every 3 hours at night. Read up on kellymom.com about paced bottle feeding, which is more breastfeeding friendly. Consider calling an LC to assess latch and do a weighted feeding.

    Good luck! It will get easier!
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