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

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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 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
Replies (11-11):
by on Feb. 19, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Thank you so much for the help and support! :)

Quoting gdiamante:

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

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