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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

New to group..33 weeks pregnant and hoping to have a successful bf'ing experience for round 2

Posted by on Feb. 18, 2014 at 11:34 PM
  • 11 Replies

My name is Amanda. I'm 25 and I'm from Texas. I've been married almost 4 years. DH and I have a DD who will be 3 in June and he has primary custody of his DD from a previous relationship who will be 5 in June. I'm currently 33 weeks pregnant with our 2nd DD.

When I was pregnant with my 1st DD I never considered formula. I knew from the start I wanted to breastfeed. She was born via c-section. I told nurses I didn't want her to have bottles, asked for her to be able to breastfeed as soon as possible and they facilitated that. (Except for one older bossy/grumpy nurse who kept trying to sneak her bottles) 

My first struggle was I couldn't keep DD awake long enough to get her to feed. They made sure she was with me every 2 hours and attempting to feed her but she just wasn't interested. I had her undressed, blowing air on hair, wiggling her little arms..whatever I could do to get her awake to latch. The lactation consultant came and tried to help me but with DD not waking up there was little she could do.

During my recovery in the hospital, after they took the IV out, they kept offering me hydrocodone. I kept refusing. I felt pretty good and was walking a lot. All I took for pain relief was tylenol. My last day there I overdid it and finally accepted a hydrocdone prescription. That made the sleeping issue way worse. DD slept for 14 straight hours. It freaked me out. I called and asked my doctor's office if I could take something else because I felt like it was passing through my breast milk. They said there was no way the hydrocodone was affecting her, that newborns just sleep alot and I could take tylenol. I said that tylenol was not touching the pain and asked if I could at least take ibuprofen. They said no because it would pass through my breastmilk. ?? I questioned that and the nurse on the phone put me on hold and questioned a doctor in the office and said that I could take ibuprofen.

After that I was able to wake her for feedings.

Next obstacle.

DD starting sleeping about 6-7 hours through the night at 5 weeks old. So I didn't do nighttime feedings. Also, when DD was 4 weeks old I went back to work full time. (Not because I wanted to..I really couldn't afford to be home any longer)

So..I was at work from 3pm to 11pm. I would come home, do a feeding and she would go to bed. She would wake up around 7am the next morning, we'd feed again. I would spend all day until 3 alternating feedings and pumpings. 

Pumping was terribly unsuccessful. Each pumping session would only yield about an ounce total. It took me 4-5 pump sessions to get enough for one bottle while I was away..which I did not have time to do before work. It got so bad I literally hardly left the couch because I was either feeding or trying to pump. I also did 2 pumping sessions while at work and my DH would have to come pick up what I had pumped just to have something to feed her.

Over the next few weeks, things got worse. I tried taking fenugreek, I was constantly either calling or visiting my lactation consultant. I tried eating oatmeal (which I hate). But I broke. When DD was 8 weeks old I completely switched to formula. I cried. A lot. I never wanted to use formula but I think I just made too many mistakes early on to overcome without having a nervous breakdown. 

Once we stopped breastfeeding, DD and I were both happier. I was still very upset in the sense that I felt like a failure and wanted my baby to have breastmilk..but the relief from the stress of bfing allowed us both to enjoy each other more. DD started sleeping 9-12 hours through the night by 9 weeks. (She is still an awesome sleeper)

Now that I'm pregnant and about to have my second and last baby..I really want this story to go differently. I still have no desire to formula feed and I want to correct the mistakes I made the first time so that I can be successful this time. Also, I never leaked..is that normal? I never felt that "let down" feeling. I know I was producing but I'm not sure how much I was. I know pumping isn't at automatic indicator of how much milk you're producing because it doesn't remove milk the same way a baby does.

I tried all the tips I could find at the time. I recorded DD's cry to listen to while pumping..looked at pics..stayed hydrated..

Help. I don't want to experience this stress all over again.

by on Feb. 18, 2014 at 11:34 PM
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Replies (1-10):
ishldbcooking
by Member on Feb. 18, 2014 at 11:51 PM
Fenugreek is a great herbal supplement to help increase supply but DO NOT TAKE WHILE PREGO!!!! I will say again, NOT WHILE PREGO!. It can take up to a week to get your milk in and even then it could take longer to make enough but it will happen! It's scientifically proven that the number of women who don't produce enough milk is much lower than we think. Some just switch to formula bc it doesn't happen fast enough or any other various reasons. Just be persistent and don't give up. It will happen for you! Also, I have heard great things about 'mothers tea' or something like that. I think you can get it at target.
ishldbcooking
by Member on Feb. 18, 2014 at 11:53 PM
Just realized you mentioned fenugreek lol sorry. The first couple months is constant feeding/pumping. Are you going to be able to stay home longer this time? I guarantee you that was part of the issue last time. Pumping is no where near as effective as nursing and especially when you haven't established a good supply yet anyway
Mrsmayaguy
by Member on Feb. 19, 2014 at 12:02 AM
First I would beg you to get a great lactation specialist.
Now here is my humble 2 cents. You are already a fantastic mom! Breastfeeding is natural but it isn't always easy! I've breastfed 4. #3 was a picture perfect experience, #4 had me crying (from pain and possible defeat).
Remember breast is best so if you choose to supplement like I had to that's ok! Isn't it better for the baby to get some breast milk instead of none.
Are you working this time?
While nursing my first 3 I had no problem at all pumping. Remember if you are pumping for your first child and it's a newborn....you will probably get just an ounce. My fourth child....I pump for 30 mins and it's dry. Just nothing but when she nurses my flow chokes her. So I don't pump. I would like to but it doesn't work and trying over and over again stressed me the hell out if me. my mom who ebf me told me it was ok to use formula. After that the weight of the world lifted. I'm sure women here will admonish me. I don't give a damn. The stress and disappointment and just the difficulty had me ready to quit all together, now it's months later. I'm happy, she is happy. She rarely gets formula but even if she gets formula. My baby gets breast milk. ANY amount is better than zero!
I will say my kids all except one slept for ten hours straight in the hospital so that to me is normal. They sleep all the time whether bf or formula from what I've been told.
Also, this time I NEVER LEAK ever. Til I started taking nursing blend supplements. Also I did fenugreek too. Never felt it helped. Then I read you must take it with blessed thistle to work. I also bake lactation cookies with brewers yeast! That works too!
Good luck mama. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. Just allow your picture to be painted as you get to know her. And if you choose not to nurse you are still a great mom.
amanda_mom89
by Member on Feb. 19, 2014 at 12:18 AM

I'm planning on staying home 6 weeks this time. I could stay home up to 12 weeks but if I stay past 6 weeks I'll be out of paid time off to use and I'll be giving up $1,000 that my family could really use. The first time I didn't get paid for any of my maternity leave but I do at least have some benefits this time to reduce the stress.

I do feel like that was the final blow that killed us. I feel like the other mistakes were just little stumbles that we could have recovered from but being away from baby 40 hours a week is a lot when you're trying to establish breastfeeding.

Quoting ishldbcooking: Just realized you mentioned fenugreek lol sorry. The first couple months is constant feeding/pumping. Are you going to be able to stay home longer this time? I guarantee you that was part of the issue last time. Pumping is no where near as effective as nursing and especially when you haven't established a good supply yet anyway


gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Feb. 19, 2014 at 12:22 AM

Welcome!

Quoting amanda_mom89:

My first struggle was I couldn't keep DD awake long enough to get her to feed. They made sure she was with me every 2 hours

We'll start here: The ONLY reason baby leaves your side is you're in the morgue. Baby stays with you otherwise, you with top off, baby at the breast. One of the biggest hazards to breastfeeding is taking baby and putting her in the nursery.

and attempting to feed her but she just wasn't interested. I had her undressed, blowing air on hair, wiggling her little arms..whatever I could do to get her awake to latch. The lactation consultant came and tried to help me but with DD not waking up there was little she could do.

During my recovery in the hospital, after they took the IV out, they kept offering me hydrocodone. I kept refusing. I felt pretty good and was walking a lot. All I took for pain relief was tylenol. My last day there I overdid it and finally accepted a hydrocdone prescription. That made the sleeping issue way worse. DD slept for 14 straight hours. It freaked me out. I called and asked my doctor's office if I could take something else because I felt like it was passing through my breast milk. They said there was no way the hydrocodone was affecting her, that newborns just sleep alot and I could take tylenol. I said that tylenol was not touching the pain and asked if I could at least take ibuprofen. They said no because it would pass through my breastmilk. ?? I questioned that and the nurse on the phone put me on hold and questioned a doctor in the office and said that I could take ibuprofen.

After that I was able to wake her for feedings.

Newborns DO sleep a lot, but drowsiness is a known issue with painkillers too.

Next obstacle.

DD starting sleeping about 6-7 hours through the night at 5 weeks old. So I didn't do nighttime feedings. Also, when DD was 4 weeks old I went back to work full time. (Not because I wanted to..I really couldn't afford to be home any longer)

Both are fine. Neither is a problem.

So..I was at work from 3pm to 11pm. I would come home, do a feeding and she would go to bed. She would wake up around 7am the next morning, we'd feed again. I would spend all day until 3 alternating feedings and pumpings. 

Did you pump at work?

Pumping was terribly unsuccessful. Each pumping session would only yield about an ounce total.

That's a normal amount. VERY SUCCESSFUL! Baby's need for your shift was eight ounces total.

It took me 4-5 pump sessions to get enough for one bottle while I was away..which I did not have time to do before work. It got so bad I literally hardly left the couch because I was either feeding or trying to pump. I also did 2 pumping sessions while at work and my DH would have to come pick up what I had pumped just to have something to feed her.

Ah, that answers the previous question. Thing is, night shifts can be tough for pumping because output tends to be low at night. I'd also want to know what pump you used; some are crud.

Over the next few weeks, things got worse. I tried taking fenugreek, I was constantly either calling or visiting my lactation consultant. I tried eating oatmeal (which I hate). But I broke. When DD was 8 weeks old I completely switched to formula. I cried. A lot. I never wanted to use formula but I think I just made too many mistakes early on to overcome without having a nervous breakdown. 

Actually, I see only ONE mistake. Baby went in the nursery. 

Once we stopped breastfeeding, DD and I were both happier. I was still very upset in the sense that I felt like a failure and wanted my baby to have breastmilk..but the relief from the stress of bfing allowed us both to enjoy each other more. DD started sleeping 9-12 hours through the night by 9 weeks. (She is still an awesome sleeper)

Now that I'm pregnant and about to have my second and last baby..I really want this story to go differently. I still have no desire to formula feed and I want to correct the mistakes I made the first time so that I can be successful this time. Also, I never leaked..is that normal?

Yes.

I never felt that "let down" feeling.

Many women don't. I envy you.

I know I was producing but I'm not sure how much I was. I know pumping isn't at automatic indicator of how much milk you're producing because it doesn't remove milk the same way a baby does.

Correct.

I tried all the tips I could find at the time. I recorded DD's cry to listen to while pumping..looked at pics..stayed hydrated..

Help. I don't want to experience this stress all over again.

I suspect you were doing perfectly and didn't know it. Most new moms have unrealistic expectations. "Enjoy" the baby? **grin** More like "endure" in the first six weeks or so!

I'm going to read the rest of the way through, and I want you to pick up a copy of "So That's What They're For" by Janet Tamaro.

Otherewise: You've never had a baby before, let alone breastfed one. Tabula rasa: Blank slate. That's you!

amanda_mom89
by Member on Feb. 19, 2014 at 12:23 AM
1 mom liked this

Really the only lactation consultants available in our area are through WIC. Which is the only reason I signed up for it..because I knew they had staff to assist with breastfeeding. I don't know very many people who breastfeed and only one of them lives remotely near me. :/

Thanks :) It took me a long time to accept that it was ok that my baby was formula fed. Yes I would have preferred breastmilk by a mile. But at the end of the day I know that I did give it my all at the time. I was just somewhat ignorant of the mistakes I was making. Now I want to learn from it and hopefully I can give this baby breastmilk a lot longer than 8 weeks.

Quoting Mrsmayaguy: First I would beg you to get a great lactation specialist.
Now here is my humble 2 cents. You are already a fantastic mom! Breastfeeding is natural but it isn't always easy! I've breastfed 4. #3 was a picture perfect experience, #4 had me crying (from pain and possible defeat).
Remember breast is best so if you choose to supplement like I had to that's ok! Isn't it better for the baby to get some breast milk instead of none.
Are you working this time?
While nursing my first 3 I had no problem at all pumping. Remember if you are pumping for your first child and it's a newborn....you will probably get just an ounce. My fourth child....I pump for 30 mins and it's dry. Just nothing but when she nurses my flow chokes her. So I don't pump. I would like to but it doesn't work and trying over and over again stressed me the hell out if me. my mom who ebf me told me it was ok to use formula. After that the weight of the world lifted. I'm sure women here will admonish me. I don't give a damn. The stress and disappointment and just the difficulty had me ready to quit all together, now it's months later. I'm happy, she is happy. She rarely gets formula but even if she gets formula. My baby gets breast milk. ANY amount is better than zero!
I will say my kids all except one slept for ten hours straight in the hospital so that to me is normal. They sleep all the time whether bf or formula from what I've been told.
Also, this time I NEVER LEAK ever. Til I started taking nursing blend supplements. Also I did fenugreek too. Never felt it helped. Then I read you must take it with blessed thistle to work. I also bake lactation cookies with brewers yeast! That works too!
Good luck mama. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. Just allow your picture to be painted as you get to know her. And if you choose not to nurse you are still a great mom.


gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Feb. 19, 2014 at 12:27 AM

The most successful nursing moms I've known in the last 14 years worked more hours than you did. The LEAST successful nursing mom were the SAHMs. So no more of this blaming yourself.

Let's set some realistic expectations:

.5 - 2 ounces per session is normal at the pump. 

The pump you want: Hygeia Anjoye, Ameda Purely Yours, Medela "Style." Other pumps don't perform.

Your pump schedule: Once each morning during the first nursing of the day. baby one side, pump on the other. At work, once for every three hours away.

Nurse baby on demand at home, NO SCHEDULE. 

Bottles: 1 - 1.25 ounces per hour of separation, servings of no more than thee ounces. Feed SLOWLY... one ounce, burp. One ounce, burp. Bottle held parallel to the floor at all times, slowest flow nipple forever. (All these instructions are "forever" instructions.) Paced feeding makes the bottle last longer and lets baby get the "I'm full" signal before he's too full.

Quoting amanda_mom89:

I'm planning on staying home 6 weeks this time. I could stay home up to 12 weeks but if I stay past 6 weeks I'll be out of paid time off to use and I'll be giving up $1,000 that my family could really use. The first time I didn't get paid for any of my maternity leave but I do at least have some benefits this time to reduce the stress.

I do feel like that was the final blow that killed us. I feel like the other mistakes were just little stumbles that we could have recovered from but being away from baby 40 hours a week is a lot when you're trying to establish breastfeeding.

Quoting ishldbcooking: Just realized you mentioned fenugreek lol sorry. The first couple months is constant feeding/pumping. Are you going to be able to stay home longer this time? I guarantee you that was part of the issue last time. Pumping is no where near as effective as nursing and especially when you haven't established a good supply yet anyway



polkaspots
by Gold Member on Feb. 19, 2014 at 12:29 AM
1 mom liked this
Ibuprofen is the safest thing to take for pain while nursing... I'm not sure why they lied to you. Every time I gave birth I left the hospital with a prescription for 400mg ibuprofen.
When baby is born you are starting fresh with breastfeeding, keep the little one with you in your room and relax. Nurse your little one every time they wiggle or cry. You'll be fine.
Kellymom has all the info you need for pumping for and at work.
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amanda_mom89
by Member on Feb. 19, 2014 at 12:30 AM


Quoting gdiamante:

Welcome!

Quoting amanda_mom89:

My first struggle was I couldn't keep DD awake long enough to get her to feed. They made sure she was with me every 2 hours

We'll start here: The ONLY reason baby leaves your side is you're in the morgue. Baby stays with you otherwise, you with top off, baby at the breast. One of the biggest hazards to breastfeeding is taking baby and putting her in the nursery. I only let them take her the first night because after my c-section I wasn't really lucid. I don't remember much from the first night. Just blurs. After that they kept taking her a lot for tests but I didn't let her go back to the nursery.

and attempting to feed her but she just wasn't interested. I had her undressed, blowing air on hair, wiggling her little arms..whatever I could do to get her awake to latch. The lactation consultant came and tried to help me but with DD not waking up there was little she could do.

During my recovery in the hospital, after they took the IV out, they kept offering me hydrocodone. I kept refusing. I felt pretty good and was walking a lot. All I took for pain relief was tylenol. My last day there I overdid it and finally accepted a hydrocdone prescription. That made the sleeping issue way worse. DD slept for 14 straight hours. It freaked me out. I called and asked my doctor's office if I could take something else because I felt like it was passing through my breast milk. They said there was no way the hydrocodone was affecting her, that newborns just sleep alot and I could take tylenol. I said that tylenol was not touching the pain and asked if I could at least take ibuprofen. They said no because it would pass through my breastmilk. ?? I questioned that and the nurse on the phone put me on hold and questioned a doctor in the office and said that I could take ibuprofen.

After that I was able to wake her for feedings.

Newborns DO sleep a lot, but drowsiness is a known issue with painkillers too.

Next obstacle.

DD starting sleeping about 6-7 hours through the night at 5 weeks old. So I didn't do nighttime feedings. Also, when DD was 4 weeks old I went back to work full time. (Not because I wanted to..I really couldn't afford to be home any longer)

Both are fine. Neither is a problem.

So..I was at work from 3pm to 11pm. I would come home, do a feeding and she would go to bed. She would wake up around 7am the next morning, we'd feed again. I would spend all day until 3 alternating feedings and pumpings. 

Did you pump at work? 

It took me 4-5 pump sessions to get enough for one bottle while I was away..which I did not have time to do before work. It got so bad I literally hardly left the couch because I was either feeding or trying to pump. I also did 2 pumping sessions while at work and my DH would have to come pick up what I had pumped just to have something to feed her.

Ah, that answers the previous question. Thing is, night shifts can be tough for pumping because output tends to be low at night. I'd also want to know what pump you used; some are crud.

Over the next few weeks, things got worse. I tried taking fenugreek, I was constantly either calling or visiting my lactation consultant. I tried eating oatmeal (which I hate). But I broke. When DD was 8 weeks old I completely switched to formula. I cried. A lot. I never wanted to use formula but I think I just made too many mistakes early on to overcome without having a nervous breakdown. 

Actually, I see only ONE mistake. Baby went in the nursery. 

Once we stopped breastfeeding, DD and I were both happier. I was still very upset in the sense that I felt like a failure and wanted my baby to have breastmilk..but the relief from the stress of bfing allowed us both to enjoy each other more. DD started sleeping 9-12 hours through the night by 9 weeks. (She is still an awesome sleeper)

Now that I'm pregnant and about to have my second and last baby..I really want this story to go differently. I still have no desire to formula feed and I want to correct the mistakes I made the first time so that I can be successful this time. Also, I never leaked..is that normal?

Yes.

I never felt that "let down" feeling.

Many women don't. I envy you.

I know I was producing but I'm not sure how much I was. I know pumping isn't at automatic indicator of how much milk you're producing because it doesn't remove milk the same way a baby does.

Correct.

I tried all the tips I could find at the time. I recorded DD's cry to listen to while pumping..looked at pics..stayed hydrated..

Help. I don't want to experience this stress all over again.

I suspect you were doing perfectly and didn't know it. Most new moms have unrealistic expectations. "Enjoy" the baby? **grin** More like "endure" in the first six weeks or so!

I'm going to read the rest of the way through, and I want you to pick up a copy of "So That's What They're For" by Janet Tamaro.

Otherewise: You've never had a baby before, let alone breastfed one. Tabula rasa: Blank slate. That's you! Ok I think I accidentally erased one of your replies but I was going to say..I never got 8 oz in a day. Nowhere close. Each pumping session yielded less than the previous. That's why DH was having to come get what little I had pumped in the 2 sessions at work. But thank you for all the advice :) I think this group is going to help me a lot.


ishldbcooking
by Member on Feb. 19, 2014 at 8:15 AM
1 mom liked this
Well breastfeeding can be really hard. That first month is constant and stress can affect your supply as well. I think you got it this time! Just remember we are here for any questions or concerns you have. I'm BF #2 so i have a little experience :)!

Quoting amanda_mom89:

I'm planning on staying home 6 weeks this time. I could stay home up to 12 weeks but if I stay past 6 weeks I'll be out of paid time off to use and I'll be giving up $1,000 that my family could really use. The first time I didn't get paid for any of my maternity leave but I do at least have some benefits this time to reduce the stress.

I do feel like that was the final blow that killed us. I feel like the other mistakes were just little stumbles that we could have recovered from but being away from baby 40 hours a week is a lot when you're trying to establish breastfeeding.

Quoting ishldbcooking: Just realized you mentioned fenugreek lol sorry. The first couple months is constant feeding/pumping. Are you going to be able to stay home longer this time? I guarantee you that was part of the issue last time. Pumping is no where near as effective as nursing and especially when you haven't established a good supply yet anyway


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