September 2017 Moms
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Breastfeeding Support

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Re: Breastfeeding Support

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    @Ae_Lovely321 Look into paced bottle feedings and always make sure you're using a slow flow nipple. Both of those are good ways to make sure baby doesn't develop a preference for bottle over breast. A big reason they do, is because it's less work if the milk is easier to get from the bottle. And as long as you respond to a pump, and then pump when DH gives her a bottle, your supply should be okay. 
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    @jessieR358 that's a good point. Thanks.  @Carebella this may be a stupid question, but are slow flow different from the month sizes? 
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    I plan on BF & pumping but I'm torn on the whole not introducing a bottle until 6 weeks. I have a couple different types of bottles that are to suppose to help swapping back and forth between breasts and bottle (according to the label). I really want DH to be able to feed her too, but I don't want it to interfere with my supply. I also wonder though if with how much she'll be feeding the first month if there will even be time to pump. 
    I kind of found that it was more effort for DH to feed DD than to just do it myself. Obviously, I liked being able to go places, so he would do it then. But if she needed to eat when I was at home, it wasn't worth the effort it took to pump, make bottles, do dishes, etc. I didn't feel like it saved us anything.
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    Any STMs have any tips for introducing bottles while breastfeeding? In a perfect world, I'd exclusively breastfeed. But I have an all-day medical treatment every four weeks (and the first post-baby treatment will be about two weeks after my daughter is born).

    She can't be at the hospital with me all day, so my husband will have to bottle feed her that day (hopefully with breast milk I've pumped).

    It's something I'll bring up with the lactation consultant at the hospital, but I'd love to hear any tips you guys have.

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    Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 member
    edited August 2017
    @missyrosek I think you can feed baby, then pump both sides an hour after feeding? And then you should have enough milk again by the next feeding. But thankfully they drink so little that early that maybe it will be doable without supply issues?

    ETA: maybe you can pump immediately after feeding to drain your breasts completely

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    @missyrosek You can choose to pump after every feed in the beginning or pick one time of day like after the first morning feed/last feed before baby goes to sleep for the night. You'll get the most in the AM. Pick one method depending on your supply level and you will have a good stash quickly. A good thing to know is baby's stomach is very very small in the beginning, so you won't need a lot of milk and breastfed babies don't usually drink as much as formula fed. Supplementing with formula by mixing it with your breastmilk is also an option if you don't have enough in the beginning. If you are totally against using formula, you can look into a breast milk donation. Make sure that when you are away from the baby, you pump when baby would eat, to keep up your supply. 

    As for bottles. We had the most luck with having H give baby a bottle while I left the house for a little while. Something as simple as a walk. If the baby could see or smell me, he didn't want to take a bottle, in the beginning. 
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    @Ae_Lovely321 I'm not 100% sure but I think the older month ones keep increasing to higher flow levels. So unless baby is getting frustrated and refusing a bottle, I'd stick with the slowest/smallest size offered. 

    The few times I pumped so DH could give DS a bottle... DH never got around to actually trying  :(
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    @lilpoots very true! My son would not take a bottle AT ALL if I was in the house or he knew I was around. He wanted me only. 
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    I was able to BF for about 14 weeks (combo feeding and pumping) with my first daughter and do not plan on BF with my second daughter, due Sep. 8th. I had a very low supply, developed mastitis, and ultimately had to have surgery to remove a breast abscess. Very rare, but my main reason for stopping BF! Here is some of the things that I learned along the way:

    - Call your insurance ASAP about getting a breast pump before the baby comes.
    - Pick out a good breastfeeding pillow and bring it to the hospital with you.
    - Stock up on comfortable nursing bras, tank tops, and nursing tops (or just go topless at home like I did, ha!)
    - Lots of snacks!!! I had a basket of granola bars, trail mix, etc. next to our rocker in the nursery ... BF makes you hungry! You'll drink a TON of water, too.
    - Get Lanolin/coconut oil for your nipples and ice packs for your breasts.
    - Before you leave the hospital, get the information for the LCs at your hospital, they should also have a "hotline." My hospital also had a weekly BF support group.
    - Have a couple of bottles and some formula on hand. It's normal for your milk not to come in immediately and there is no shame in supplementing while this happens. You'll also need some cleaning supplies (soap, brushes, steam bags) for bottles and pump parts, if you go that route.

    Even though I don't plan on BF with my second daughter, I have mad respect for mamas that do! Try your hardest, but don't sacrifice yours or the baby's health (or sanity) in the name of BF. My toddler has been exclusively formula fed since 14 weeks and she is super healthy and SMART.

    Good luck, mamas!!!
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    Hi ladies! A few of you touched on this, but I'd say the most important thing to know about breastfeeding and pumping is every time you give your baby a bottle of pumped milk, you MUST pump the same amount the same day!

    An example will work best for this. Everyone talks about building up a "freezer stash," and the general idea is if you have a huge supply in the freezer then you can grab and go as needed or partner can grab if you're too tired, or if your baby suddenly jumps to eating 6oz at a time from 4oz you don't have to worry because you have extra in the freezer.

    The issue with this is every time you reach in the freezer for that stored milk, you are telling your body NOT to produce that same amount of milk. The only way for your body to know it needs to keep producing the same amount of milk is for it to actually produce that amount. 

    I never had more than 3 or 4 bags of milk in the freezer at a time with my first baby, because every time I used a bag I made sure to pump and replace the same amount that same day. That way, my body knew I still needed to produce x amount of milk per day. What happens otherwise is your body starts to produce less, and you can end up losing your supply.

    I'm 34w5d right now, and am STILL breastfeeding my 23 month old 2-3 times a day (I swear we were almost weaned 4 months ago and even though my milk is colostrum now she doesn't even care! She won't stop lol!)

    I'd also say take the time to learn how to latch and learn what a good latch looks like before giving birth. I was totally unprepared and the first 6-8 weeks were some of my hardest because I hadn't been prepared for how HARD breastfeeding is. It doesn't stay that way, but as a FTM I genuinely couldn't believe how difficult it was!

    Also, be prepared for cluster feeding. This is when babies seem to want to feed nonstop for several hours in a row, usually at the worst possible time (like 10pm-2am). It's important to tough it out and give the baby the boob because this is how your supply increases!

    Otherwise, I agree with other posters about finding a LLL and utilizing Kelly Mom. I learned a lot initially from the STMs in my Bump forum, who were kind enough to answer all the questions of the frantic FTMs in those first months after the babies were all born!

    Whew, long post!
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    Those of you who have had your babies, how is it going for you?
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    khenry12 said:
    Those of you who have had your babies, how is it going for you?
    My little guy is 10 days old and so far I think breastfeeding is going fairly well, but there's room for improvement. He is eager to eat and has been gaining weight and meeting the daily targets for pee and poop diapers, so I feel confident he's getting enough milk. I definitely think the latch could be improved because I'm still pretty sore and my nipples are cracked. Getting him latched can also be frustrating sometimes because he gets his hands in the way or is just worked up and moves his head around a lot. I found a couple of local breastfeeding support groups run by lactation consultants and I plan to go to one of them tomorrow, so hopefully that will be helpful.
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    @Rhubarb7216, I hope you find a supportive group! With DS, both the lactation consultants and the breastfeeding support groups that the hospital offered were lifesavers. 
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    I delivered last week and have to EP due to tongue tie/shallow latch. Any STMs that might have advice? 
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    I've been meaning to post in this thread about my bf experience with DD in case it might help someone else that has a rough time, so it might be kind of long...

    Started out well enough with her instinctively trying to latch and go for it, but not too long after we got home, problems started. I heard about nipples 'cracking', but this was way, way beyond that. I guess at the time, I didn't totally realize how not normal it was. I was developing huge... well, basically holes/gashes, like the size of an M&M around my nipples where she was latching on so hard. It was *extremely* painful, and I was to the point where I was crying just knowing I'd have to feed her again soon.

    I think it was partially just being so overwhelmed with a new baby and hormones, and partially because I do tend to wait until things are really bad before going to the Dr in general, but I should have gotten help way before I did. By the time I finally did, probably a month later, DD was throwing up blood because she was drinking probably as much blood as she was milk. Anyway, I finally went to the LC at the hospital and her latch wasn't awful, but it was probably a bit shallow. I think by the time I had tried to correct the latch, the damage was so bad, that there was no way it could heal while she was still bf-ing all the time.

    The LC gave me another nipple shield (they had given me one at the hospital, but for some reason I forgot about it or thought that using it would ruin bf-ing completely, or something stupid probably, so I never used it), and it was like the answers to all of my problems. I was able to use it, nearly pain free, and allow my poor abused nipples to heal up, and then transition back to not using it once they were better. I ended up bf-ing (and pumping for day care, etc) until she was 2.

    So I guess my main points are - if you are in severe pain and having terrible nipple damage, for the love of God, use a nipple shield and don't suffer through without help. I read some quote when I was in the first month or so, having terrible issues, that said on your worst day of bf-ing, just vow to go one more day. As stupid as it sounds, that actually is probably what got me through the rough beginning.

    I had a few bouts of clogs/mastitis, which also really sucks. The best thing I found is address it immediately and have the baby suck with its chin pointing in the direction of the clot. Warm compresses and showers also help, but nothing will help as much as just having the baby to suck it out.

    Also, in reference to people asking about pacifiers and nipple confusion, we never had any issues with that. She went from breast to pacifier to bottle with no problem. Unfortunately, she is like I was when I was her age, and is absolutely addicted to that stupid pacifier. Still sleeps with it at night at 3 years old. But at least it helped a lot when she was a baby because it would almost always calm her down.

    Anyway, this was just my experience, and I hope it helps someone!
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    lilpootslilpoots member
    edited August 2017
    @sbl0609 my son had tongue and lip tie, leading to a shallow latch. We were able to resolve it by laser revision at a pediatric dentist and using the guidance of a private ibclc who supports treatment of ties. I found a ton of information in a facebook group for tongue and lip ties in my area.

    I am more than happy to answer any questions I can.
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    Thanks @lilpoots. Our own pedi doesn't think he has it so we're in a tough spot since the pediatric ENT thinks he does. We might take him for a second opinion.
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    sbl0609 said:
    Thanks @lilpoots. Our own pedi doesn't think he has it so we're in a tough spot since the pediatric ENT thinks he does. We might take him for a second opinion.
    Most peditricians aren't able to diagnose tongue tie. I would look into a fb group for tongue and lip tie, see if they have preferred providers. Then take baby to a recommended pediatric dentist or ent who does laser. You can pay cash up front and then submit to your dental insurance or health depending on what kind of provider you see.

    Here is a list of some of the symptoms of tongue and/or lip tie. You don't need to present with multiple symptoms to have a tie. They also don't mention that milk over supply also can be a symptom.

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    @sbl0609 I'd trust the pediatric ENT over the regular pediatrician. I would also consult a pediatric dentist. With DS, our ped wasn't sure, but two different dentists said absolutely yes he had a lip tie. Once we got that fixed, it was near smooth sailing from then on. Also, getting it fixed now can prevent future dental problems, so this goes beyond your BF experience.

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    What @wannabeamongoose said. Ties can cause dental, speech and eating issues beyond breastfeeding. There is evidence that very restrictive ties lead to postural issues as well.

    You may not experience any of these things, but it's good to have all the information.

    My son was restricted in his shoulders, head and neck, which made him struggle with tummy time and other physical development. 
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    Is this (tongue and lip ties) something they  (LC/pediatrician/nurse...?) can check for and correct in the hospital after birth? As far as I know DD didn't have those issues, but it's definitely something I'd like to have checked when the baby is born and seems like it would be much easier to just have it checked for right off the bat than waiting until you start seeing issues crop up.
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    hatrats said:
    Is this (tongue and lip ties) something they  (LC/pediatrician/nurse...?) can check for and correct in the hospital after birth? As far as I know DD didn't have those issues, but it's definitely something I'd like to have checked when the baby is born and seems like it would be much easier to just have it checked for right off the bat than waiting until you start seeing issues crop up.
    They can, but they don't always catch it, because they may not have much experience. My son had both and it wasn't caught in hospital. If your DD didn't have an issue, it is less likely your baby will have ties, but it is possible. It tends to run in families.
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    Since birth (he's now about 2 weeks old), my son has had a routine of nursing on one breast until he falls asleep, then my husband or I change his diaper to wake him up, and then I nurse him on the other breast until he falls asleep. After this he'll take a nap. Sometimes he wants to cluster feed so he'll be wanting to repeat the whole sequence again pretty quickly. However, the past two days he's had some sessions where once I put him on the second breast, he wants to keep nursing forever. He'll fall asleep temporarily or take himself off the breast, but once I start burping him, he's already asking to eat again. This will just repeat over and over for an hour or more. I'm happy to feed him if he's hungry, but at some point he can't be hungry anymore and it's like he forgot how to shut himself off. Meanwhile my nipples are incredibly sore. Anyone else experienced this before?
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    @Rhubarb7216 is he making enough wet diapers? If he is technically getting enough hydration, then it is fairly normal for babies to start cluster feeding at 2 weeks. It can be very stressful and tiring for you, but it is pretty normal. Most of the time babies cluster feed to encourage your breasts to make more milk, sometimes they are just fussy.

    This link may be of some help.
    https://kellymom.com/parenting/parenting-faq/fussy-evening/
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    @lilpoots yes he hits all the targets for wet and poop diapers.
    I probably didn't explain very well, but I was trying to distinguish between what I've seen as "normal" cluster feeding where he'll want multiple nursing sessions close together vs what I've seen him do the past two days where one nursing session is never ending. I think he would keep going on one breast for 2 hrs straight if I let him.
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    lilpootslilpoots member
    edited August 2017
    @Rhubarb7216 is he awake and nursing the whole time? Long nursing sessions are usually only a concern if baby isn't sufficient at removing breast milk. Do you have access to a LC or a nursing clinic? They can evaluate baby while nursing and weigh him to confirm how much he is drinking. 
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    He will fall asleep for short periods of time but then when I burp him he wakes up and wants to eat again. I don't mind long nursing sessions or frequent nursing sessions but this is never ending to the point it doesn't seem normal. he's also having issues with gas and spitting up so I'm afraid of him eating too much and making it worse. I called to make an appt with an LC this morning and am waiting for a call back to schedule. I have other questions/concerns in addition to this issue, so hopefully the LC will be helpful.
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    I was told with my oldest that babies that young can not tell the difference between hunger and gas pain so they just keep eating. I'm not sure how helpful that is but maybe it's gas related?
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    What @tfrangul said. Babies at this age will sometimes confuse gas pain or general stomach discomfort with hunger. Our first son had reflux and gas in his belly like crazy, due to his tongue and lip tie. I also had an over supply issue that led to him ingesting higher sugar levels. Fun question, what do his poops look like? As in color and consistency. Any frothiness?
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    @tfrangul and @lilpoots that is actually really helpful to know! The non stop eating coincided with his gas starting so it all makes sense. And then eating more probably exacerbates the situation. His poops are mustardy yellow and seedy. They are not frothy. I have an appt with an LC on Wednesday morning and hoping she can help!
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    Good luck and I hope you can get it figured out soon. No one needs sore nips and a fussy babe! 
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    @Rhubarb7216 that is exactly what his poops should be like, so good news. Good luck at the LC.
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    My DS had reflux when we started vitamin D drops and he wanted to nurse ALL the time. My ped said that the sucking and eating soothed his indigestion, but then would cause more reflux and spitting up. Once we quit the vitamin d drops it stopped. 
    My DS was also a snacker too and like to take his time. So I tried really hard to make sure he was really awake the whole feed so he didn't get a little here and a little there. 
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    FTM here, home with my 9 day old. He spent the first 6 days of his life in the NICU for low birth weight, and breastfeeding has been a struggle. We met with an LC on day 1, his latch was great and he was off to a good start. We've tried breastfeeding each day, and have only had success a handful of times now. He gets super fussy and refuses the breast, sucking his hands, sometimes latching for a second and then crying, only to be satisfied when he finally gets his bottle of formula or pumped milk. 

    He has to be supplemented with formula to get his weight up, but I'm worried that he's so used to the bottle now, that he's not willing to do the work to nurse. Our pediatrician suggested putting him to breast every feeding, and we're doing that, but with limited success. 

    Any advice? 

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    @MrsVP614 it could be worth following up with the LC. But the first idea that comes to mind is if you have a pump or can manually express milk just long enough to get past let down, that could help. It could be he doesn't like doing the work to get milk started, especially if he's grown to like bottles. Also, nursing skin to skin could possibly help. And are you guys doing paces bottle feedings? Fingers crossed it gets easier quickly!
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    Hope breastfeeding is going well for those of you who are doing it with your babies already! I just picked up the Milksaver to try out with this LO. Never had it with DS. Essentially it collects the leaking milk from the side you're not using while BFing or pumping. I remember soaking through nursing pads a lot so hopefully I can actually use some of that extra. Anyone used it before? https://www.mymilkies.com/milksaver
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    Not strictly related to breastfeeding, but any tips for gassy babies? My little guy hardly ever burps when we burp him and then ends up with gas pains. We've tried bicycling his legs, rubbing his tummy, simethicone gas drops, but he is still uncomfortable and fussy.
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    @Rhubarb7216 not sure about after he already has it. But you might want to take note of when he is getting milk, that his head is higher than his belly. That can definitely help prevent gas. 
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    @MyNamesTaken I got a set to use with DD. I liked them. I would save up all the foremilk they gather and then hand express when lo was done feeding to add some hindmilk to it. Or just plain add it to pumped milk. I used to get an extra three to four oz in the early days and one to two oz after she was three months or so old. I was grateful to not waste it though!
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