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Please help me fatten up my little man!!

Posted by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 3:28 PM
  • 30 Replies

Levi Jameson was born Monday June 23rd weighing 6lbs 5oz. He has only had bm, other than 2oz of formula the nurses gave him. He has a few problems with his heart, a small hole, tube not closed and a small pinch. In order to help improve the chances these problems fix themselves I need to help him gain weight. He must be breast fed, formula isn't an option as I am on methadone and even though a very, very small amt gets into the bm, we can't chance he withdrawals and stresses out his heart. 

My biggest problem right now is he hasn't been eating very well on the breast, I have a pump but it's not producing much. When he gets on the go on these last couple times he just cries hysterically but he won't stay latched. He's been checked out and his mouth is perfect. 

So any advice on how to get him to stay latched and also I need lots of tips on how to increase my supply so that pumping will actually do something. I need as much and as healthy of milk as I can get!!

by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 3:28 PM
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by Member on Jun. 29, 2014 at 3:30 PM
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Put him on the breast and leave him there. Lay in bed all day with your shirt off and him in just a diaper, and nurse him every time he moves or wiggles. The constant contact from skin to skin and the constant demand from him suckling frequently will boost your suppl drastically.
by Kate on Jun. 29, 2014 at 3:36 PM
What's his diaper count?
by Ruby Member on Jun. 29, 2014 at 5:37 PM
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If you need to, put whatever you're pumping in an SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) so he can receive it at the breast. What is his complete weight history so far, including lowest weight after birth?
by Ruby Member on Jun. 29, 2014 at 5:46 PM
Sounds like he may have a bottle preference or you may have overactive letdown/oversupply. The SNS will help with the bottle preference. Reclined nursing will help with the other: you lean back, he goes tummy-to-tummy with you vertically rather than horizontally, mouth over rather than under the nipple.
by Group Admin - Stacy on Jun. 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM
I'm also wondering if he's crying because of oversuppky/overactive letdown. My one ds would cry and try to unlatch repeatedly because the milk was coming too fast, spraying the back of his throat and choking him.
by Gina on Jun. 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM
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Put him to breast and leave him there really IS your best bet. He shouldn't be looking anything like getting fattened up for at least another week, I'm afraid. He's still in the "loss" stage of his life and gain won't start till he hits the two week mark.

Normal pump output is half an ounce to two ounces; his tummy is TINY and can't take much more than a syringe full at this time. 

by Gina on Jun. 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM
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Forceful Let-down (Milk Ejection Reflex) & Oversupply

AUGUST 20, 2011. Posted in: SUPPLY WORRIES

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

 Is forceful let-down the problem?

Does your baby do any of these things?

  • Gag, choke, strangle, gulp, gasp, cough while nursing as though the milk is coming too fast
  • Pull off the breast often while nursing
  • Clamp down on the nipple at let-down to slow the flow of milk
  • Make a clicking sound when nursing
  • Spit up very often and/or tend to be very gassy
  • Periodically refuse to nurse
  • Dislike comfort nursing in general

If some of this sounds familiar to you, you probably have a forceful let-down. This is often associated with too much milk (oversupply). Some mothers notice that the problems with fast letdown or oversupply don’t start until 3-6 weeks of age. Forceful let-down runs the gamut from a minor inconvenience to a major problem, depending upon how severe it is and how it affects the nursing relationship.

What can I do about it?

There are essentially two ways you can go about remedying a forceful let-down: (1) help baby deal with the fast flow and (2) take measures to adjust your milk supply down to baby’s needs. Since forceful let-down is generally a byproduct of oversupply, most moms will be working on both of these things. It may take a couple of weeks to see results from interventions for oversupply, so try to be patient and keep working on it.

Help baby deal with the fast milk flow

  • Position baby so that she is nursing “uphill” in relation to mom’s breast, where gravity is working againstthe flow of milk. The most effective positions are those where baby’s head and throat are above the level of your nipple. Some nursing positions to try:
    • Cradle hold, but with mom leaning back (a recliner or lots of pillows helps)
    • Football hold, but with mom leaning back
    • Elevated football hold – like the football hold, but baby is sitting up and facing mom to nurse instead of lying down (good for nursing in public).
    • Side lying position – this allows baby to dribble the extra milk out of her mouth when it’s coming too fast
    • Australian position (mom is “down under”, aka posture feeding) – in this position, mom is lying on her back and baby is on top (facing down), tummy to tummy with mom. Avoid using this positioning frequently, as it may lead to plugged ducts.
  • Burp baby frequently if she is swallowing a lot of air.
  • Nurse more frequently. This will reduce the amount of milk that accumulates between feedings, so feedings are more manageable for baby.
  • Nurse when baby is sleepy and relaxed. Baby will suck more gently at this time, and the milk flow will be slower.
  • Wait until let-down occurs, then take baby off the breast while at the same time catching the milk in a towel or cloth diaper. Once the flow slows, you can put your baby back to the breast.
  • Pump or hand express until the flow of milk slows down, and then put baby to the breast. Use this only if nothing else is working, as it stimulates additional milk production. If you do this, try to express a little less milk each time until you are no longer expressing before nursing.

Adjust your supply to better match baby’s needs

  • If baby is gaining weight well, then having baby nurse from only one breast per feeding can be helpful.
  • If baby finishes nursing on the first side and wants to continue nursing, just put baby back onto the first side.
  • If the second side becomes uncomfortable, express a little milk until you’re more comfortable and then use cool compresses – aim for expressing less milk each time until you are comfortable without expressing milk.
  • Avoid extra breast stimulation, for example, unnecessary pumping, running the shower on your breasts for a long time or wearing breast shells.
  • Between feedings, try applying cool compresses to the breast (on for 30 minutes, off for at least an hour). This can discourage blood flow and milk production.
  • If nursing one side per feeding is not working after a week or so, try keeping baby to one side for a certain period of time before switching sides. This is called block nursing.
  • Start with 2-3 hours and increase in half-hour increments if needed.
  • Do not restrict nursing at all, but any time that baby needs to nurse simply keep putting baby back to the same side during that time period.
  • If the second side becomes uncomfortable, express a little milk until you’re more comfortable and then use cool compresses – aim for expressing less milk each time until you are comfortable without expressing milk.
  • In more extreme cases, mom may need to experiment a bit with time periods over 4 hours to find the amount of time per breast that works best.
  • Additional measures that should only be used for extreme cases of oversupply includecabbage leaf compresses and herbs.

Even if these measures do not completely solve the problem, many moms find that their abundant supply and fast let-down will subside, at least to some extent, by about 12 weeks (give or take a bit). At this point, hormonal changes occur that make milk supply more stable and more in line with the amount of milk that baby needs.

Sometimes babies of moms with oversupply or fast let-down get very used to the fast flow and object when it normally slows somewhere between 3 weeks to 3 months. Even though your let-down may not be truly slow, it can still seem that way to baby. See Let-down Reflex: Too Slow?for tips.


 Additional Information

Too Much Milk? by Becky Flora, IBCLC

Oversupply by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

Tips for taming a monster milk supply by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

Gaining, Gulping, and Grimacing? by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC

Oversupply: Too Much Milk by Anne Smith, IBCLC

Colic in the Breastfed Baby by Jack Newman MD, FRCPC

Am I making too much milk? from La Leche League International

Fighting the Battle Against Oversupply  by Vanessa Manz

Finish the First Breast First by Melissa Vickers (LEAVEN, September-October 1995, p. 69-71)

Overactive Let-Down: Consequences and Treatments by Mary Jozwiak (from LEAVEN, September-October 1995, pp. 71-72)

Common Side Effects of an Overactive Let-Down by Mary Jozwiak (from LEAVEN, September-October 1995, p. 69)

Too Much of a Good Thing by Kate Drzycimski, from New Beginnings Vol. 19 No. 9, July-August 2002, p. 129.

PDF Resolution of Lactose Intolerance and “Colic” in Breastfed Babies by Robyn Noble & Anne Bovey, presented at the ALCA Vic (Melbourne) Conference on the 1st November, 1997

by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 9:33 PM
1 mom liked this

Were you on methadone during the pg?  Or taking something else that the methadone is now replacing?  It is entirely possible that he IS going through withdrawals.  Maybe the amount of methadone that he's getting through the milk isn't enough, especially since most meds pass through the placenta at MUCH higher rates than they pass through the breast milk.

Check with the doctors who are treating you.  They should be able to either adjust your dose or start him on his own if he does need one.

by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 10:19 PM
Chd babies burn more calories while nursing then they can take in. My chd baby I had to feed more often. & add 20ml of bm in a bottle that was easy for him to get milk out of no hard work. So its pure calories he's not burning. By 5 months we had to get help, by using mct oil & adding more snacks ( 1oz after q nursing session in bottle). At 6 months added solids with high fat. He hardly gained weight, it was hard. Once we got him to 14#@9 months he had ohs. After that he gained very well. (also my son was Tounge tied fixed at a week old, and
Silent reflux, that needed 2 meds along with heart meds).
by Group Admin -Tabitha on Jun. 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Im worried the nurses screwed yu over with that 2 oz of formula.  Was that in one feed? If so thats a BAD thing because now baby has a stretched tummy that should only be abou an ounce or less in size and is confused by the boob.  

Put him to the breast at every peep, he moves, boob, he yawns, bob, diaper change pisses him off, bob, etc etc.  I highly recommend you tell thse nurses to back off the bottles, ditch an pacifier and try not to have baby away from you AT ALL, baby needs skin to skin on your chest at all times.  

Remember that babies are supposed to lose weight at first 10% is normal, so do not stress here at the beginning over a loss.  You want to see a gain after a week old.

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