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hi! new breastfeeder here:)

Posted by on May. 2, 2010 at 9:52 AM
  • 10 Replies

My super cute little man was born on April 28th, and I'm a first time mama:) We both had a lot of issues to start out with. For the first 24 hours, he wouldn't latch onto a thing...not a finger not anything. With the help of the LCs in the hospital, we expressed some colostrum for him to eat out of a little medicine cup for his first feeding. But, then my swelling got even worse, we couldn't hand express, the pump wasn't doing anything, so the LC brought in a little cup with formula for the next feeding. As time went on in the hospital...he slowly started making progress, and when I left the hospital two days ago he could latch onto a nipple shield, with a little tiny hose going into it containing forumula hooked up to a dropper. It looked like quite the system..lol. Yesterday, I started actually getting some colostrum out of the pump:) And at 2am today, now the formula can be done away with, because he can latch onto the nipple shield and nurse! yay! I still keep trying to get him to latch without the shield and will continue to do so...but he has nothing to grab onto because my nipples are so flat and his latch isn't super strong yet (but gets better each time)....Its amazing how you can tell how much better he feels not eating the formula...he was so crazy gassy and miserable and now hes great:)

So, I have continued to pump, because I can feel my breasts now getting full and hard...and need some relief even though I am nursing him on demand. I was wondering if my milk had come in yet, because the production is so much more...but it looks almost exactly the same. yellowish, thick. Is it really possible I have a little bottle here full of 5 oz of colostrum now?? Or is this some transitional stage? If it is still colostrum (because in the first 2 days of his life, I only had 7ml able to be expressed....if he got any while using the nipple shield/formula thing I won't ever know....but know he didn't get any when I would just try to get him to latch to it without the formula before) I want to make sure he still gets this into his system. Which would be the best way to do this? the medela bottles? the dropper? Or should I just start storing it already?

Thanks, I know this is kind of confusing and filled with random questions plus looking for input...if you can interperate this you are awesome:)

by on May. 2, 2010 at 9:52 AM
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Replies (1-10):
boom_maker
by on May. 2, 2010 at 10:49 AM

i can understand all your anxieties. my son did not latch for 2 days. i too have flat nipples. i never tried using a shield. i would just kinda squish my nipple with my thumb and index finger to get it in his mouth, it eventually worked. i would avoid the pump for now, it will no relieve any fullness that you're experiencing, only baby will. i tired to not worry about how much he was eating and just nursed him whenever and for how long he wanted.  it sounds like your milk is in the process of coming in.

my son never had formula. i successfully nursed him for 2 1/2 years. it was hard at first and oh so confusing but it will work itself out over time. it took me almost 2 months for bf relationship to be established. now i'm pregnant with #2 and i'm so excited to nurse this one too. all i can say to no matter what, don't give up. if you don't have a good support system around you come on here and ask away. i know you can do it.

oh and by the way, i totally don't have flat nipples anymore. nursing for over 2 yrs really changed them. i have to wear a padded bra because it's embarassing how pointy they are now!

hoping4number3
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2010 at 11:10 AM

yea..your milk is in :) you are doing good girl! Keep it up...and try to do as many nursing sessions as you can (vs. pump)

way to go! :)

rosatr5
by on May. 2, 2010 at 11:16 AM

 Congrats on the beautiful baby boy!! The first two weeks was sooo hard for me! I just kept thinking it will get better! Just keep on trying, sounds like you are on a roll!  It is well worth all the hard work and you will not regret it!   Your doing a lot better than I did, I didn't pump until after about a month where I really could fill a bottle...even though my son would refuse a bottle.

SillyJessi
by on May. 2, 2010 at 4:22 PM

The very first time I BF was so confusing for me too!!  This sounds alot like what I was doing.

Basically, good job cutting out the formula! 

And the more you put the baby to your breast, with no supplements or anything, the less you pump, and the less you give him from anything other than the breast, the sooner he will get a good latch and your breasts will feel better!!! 

I know I actually created an oversupply of milk in the first few weeks by pumping so much lol...  It was a vicious cycle!  Tons of milk and a baby who didn't need to nurse enough to get it out!  But eventually things evened out.

You'll be in some pain in the beginning with the engoregement from milk coming in, but basically your body makes a boatload of milk at first, your baby takes what he needs, to signal your body "ok this much, you can make This much now!!"  and then your milk supply tapers down to a comfortable level.  When you're pumping too, it's telling your body you need to make the amount your baby drinks from you AND what the pump wants from you lol.

Hope this makes some sense.

TiffanyMarie80
by Tiffany on May. 2, 2010 at 4:32 PM

 Good job so far  :)  It can be such a struggle at times, but it is worth it!!  It sounds like yes, your milk has come in.  I agree with a previous poster about less pumping - by feeding on demand AND pumping, you are creating an oversupply that can cause problems down the road - -so unless you need the extra milk stored for an iminent return to work, cut back.  Do it slowly to help with engorgement - pump fewer times and for less time each pumping session - cut back a little each day until you aren't using your pump anymore. 

The nipple shield - - I had flat nipple too, and what worked best for me was to use a breast shell rather than a shield - you wear it in between feedings father than during the feedings, and it encourages your nipple to stick out more.  You won't have to wear it for long - your nipples will adjust  :)  The sooner you get your baby away from using the shield to nurse, the easier it will be for you.

How to know he's getting enough - count diapers.  1 wet diaper for each day of life until 1 week, and then 6-8 wet diapers per 24 hours after that.  If enough is coming out, then enough is going in  :)

Katharine1229
by on May. 2, 2010 at 8:56 PM

thank you so much ladies:) i'm hoping me and the little guy get over our issues soon:) oh and I DO have those breast shells, but right now I have a fear of putting them in...as I know now that my milk has definately come in. He was on one breast earlier..and I think my other breast flooded everything. I have gone through 5 shirts so far today...thank god for nursing pads...hahaha...should I stick on the breast shells and then try to fit a nursing pad over them?

I'm going to work at this and I refuse to give up. We had a few more hangups throughout the day..so I was happy I had a little milk pumped. He gets impatient waiting for the let down when hes hungry...and gets so worked up from getting hungry that he really won't nurse....had to give him a taste from the bottle to calm him, and then get him back on.....ah I know we will eventually get it all figured out:)

thanks again:)

gdiamante
by Gina on May. 2, 2010 at 11:07 PM


Quoting Katharine1229:

tshould I stick on the breast shells and then try to fit a nursing pad over them?

My trick with shells was to cut a sanitary pad in half and put it inside.

I'm going to work at this and I refuse to give up. We had a few more hangups throughout the day..so I was happy I had a little milk pumped. He gets impatient waiting for the let down when hes hungry...and gets so worked up from getting hungry that he really won't nurse....had to give him a taste from the bottle to calm him, and then get him back on.....ah I know we will eventually get it all figured out:)

Try hand expressing before latching to get the letdown going. And anticipate him a little more. First sign of hunger, stimulate your letdown and get him latched....if he sucks his hands or roots, feed immediately no matter how long it's been since the last time. Getting worked up is a sign he's been cueing ytou for a while. It's OK..it takes time to learn to read the cues.


thanks again:)


Katharine1229
by on May. 3, 2010 at 7:36 AM

I watch this little guy constantly lol. I'm feeding on demand (or waking him up if its been too long)...and when he gets in that almost awake state..where his eyes are still closed and hes going for his hands or rooting I put him to my breast....and he still ends up getting really frustrated and crying about half the time.

Quoting gdiamante:


Quoting Katharine1229:

tshould I stick on the breast shells and then try to fit a nursing pad over them?

My trick with shells was to cut a sanitary pad in half and put it inside.

I'm going to work at this and I refuse to give up. We had a few more hangups throughout the day..so I was happy I had a little milk pumped. He gets impatient waiting for the let down when hes hungry...and gets so worked up from getting hungry that he really won't nurse....had to give him a taste from the bottle to calm him, and then get him back on.....ah I know we will eventually get it all figured out:)

Try hand expressing before latching to get the letdown going. And anticipate him a little more. First sign of hunger, stimulate your letdown and get him latched....if he sucks his hands or roots, feed immediately no matter how long it's been since the last time. Getting worked up is a sign he's been cueing ytou for a while. It's OK..it takes time to learn to read the cues.


thanks again:)



mamalinzie
by on May. 3, 2010 at 7:45 AM

I would try to let him self attach a few times.   Sit semi reclined with your breasts exposed and him in just a diaper. If its cold, youcan put a blanket over the two of you.  Do this when he is rooting, but before he is crying out of hunger. You dont want him to be overly frustrated.

Put him on his belly near your breast and see if he will root around for the breast. Try not to guide him too much, but keep his hands out his mouth if he keeps going for them.  As a breastfeeding educator, I have had great success at getting the reluctant latchers to figure it out using this "technique."

This is a great video of it happening.

ETA: Watch the whole thing. Dont get discouraged when you see the second baby unable to do this. They are able to do it later  on.  =)


Why does my Pre-Schooler ride Rear-Facing? Because she is not a minimum. She deserves more than that. If we get into an accident, I want to know that I have done everything in my power to protect her.  Rear-Facing is endorsed by every car seat authority in the US. It is PROVEN to be safer. Why would I choose to take an unneccessary risk with the most precious gift that I have been given? PM me for more info!

Gruntlings
by on May. 3, 2010 at 9:48 AM

It's probably transitional milk. 

Try a "latch assist"- Lansinoh makes them. I know they sell them in some Walgreens. (Little purple box). This can help you draw your nipples out. You can also try nipple shells (not shields)- you wear them in your bra to pull out the nipples before nursing.

The best way to make sure he's getting enough with or without the shields is to count wet diapers. If he's getting 6 wets per day after the 6th day of life, he's good. Before day 6, the wet count should match the day of life. (ie: on day 5 he should get 5 wets). No need to "make sure" of anything else beyond that. 

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