we had a horrible night last night with breast feeding. It was excruciatingly painful for me, I checked and checked and I'm sure I had her latched properly but it still hurt like crazy. She also again would only nurse for about half an hour the first time so we ended up supplimenting with formula both night feedings cause she wouldn't take enough breast milk in. I really want to BF this one, I"m not against buying a pump if it'll help, but I'd really like not to. Any tips on this? she was really alert for the last feeding but she just couldn't seem to get on to the nipple properly. I have a PP nurse coming in a couple of hours to see us so hopefully she can help, but I'm so upset over giving her formula, but I didn't want her to be hungry. :crying:
05-20-2006, 09:06 AM
:hugs: sorry you had a hard night. i'm definitely not an expert but what do you mean when you say she wasn't taking enough in?
i remember when i was getting started with DD i was just riddled with anxiety about whether or not she was eating enough, doing ok, etc. unless you have a particular reason to believe that she's not getting enough then she most likely is. i found it helpful and reassuring for me to see a lactation consultant. not b/c we were really having problems but b/c she was able to help me be less anxious.
like i said, i don't really know any specifics about your situation or what caused you to have trouble nursing in the past so what i'm saying may be way off. but supply is very important in the beginning as your body is learning to regulate itself and supplementing with formula doesn't give your body the feedback it needs to know to produce more milk, etc. only nursing more will do that.
i hope the nurse is able to help you out. www.kellymom.com is also a wonderful resource for breastfeeding. get support from somewhere - a lactation consultant, LLL, etc. it really can be tough at first and having knowledgeable support is SOOOOO important.
05-20-2006, 09:23 AM
I too remeber those days, I did cry! :hugs: The pump might be a good idea just to aid in increasing your milk supply. Or maybe even massaging your breast to stimulate milk production.
My only encouragement is to give it time. It was until the 6 week mark that I really felt a true comfort, dd began to latch on without my help. Remember, this is new to both of you, it will take time to get the hang of it. It will get better and when it does it is amazingly better and well worth the struggle. Good luck!:hugs:
05-20-2006, 09:43 AM
I've been there with the pain thing. What helped me was to see a lactation consultant. She checked my dd's latch and said that everything was fine. She gave me a silicone nipple shield, too. You're not supposed to use them long-term, but I used it for a couple of weeks just until my milk started flowing and the baby wasn't sucking so vigourously. It really helped the pain to go away.
ALso, I was freaked out in the beginning bc I though dd had to nurse for 10 min on each side. I thought she wasn't getting enough when she didn't spend that amoiunt of time. Every baby is different. If your baby is still making the required amt. of wet and poopy diapers per day and seemsstatisfied, then everything is probably ok.
05-20-2006, 10:02 AM
:hugs: I cried until I reach the 4 week mark. The pain was terrible, but now at 8 months old I am so glad I did not give up. I had to see a lactation consultant and I also had to use a nipple sheild for about 4 weeks. It was hard at that point to break her from the shield but it did help her to learn how to latch on and how to suck for the milk.
About the whole only nursing for 30 mintues, there is not time limit on how long they need to nurse. Your baby knows how much to eat. My dd nursed 5 mintues per side, and after 10 minutes we were done. She did this when she was a newborn and still does it. She is a big healthy girl....if I had listened to the doctors she would have been getting formula, but I didnt I listned to my dd. As long as she having enough wet diapers I would not worry about how long she nurses. I was not going to supplement formula b/c that also helps to the latching on problem. The baby is getting nipple confusion b/c nipples and bottle nipples are two totally different things with 2 totally different shapes.
I hope this helps!
05-20-2006, 10:08 AM
Oh hon, take a breath. Know that you are going through lots of postpartum hormones and changes and your body is trying to figure itself out on top of you trying to learn nursing.
I too hurt for the first 6-8 weeks. I would literally go "ow ow ow" until he had been sucking for a few minutes and I could relax. After all, you're not used to someone sucking on your breast that much in one day :laugh: . Also, your milk supply may be lower at night so she may be wanting to nurse more because she isn't getting as much. If you keep up nursing often, then your milk supply will adjust and she will soon be able to pull lots out. She is learning to latch on and nurse too so just take your time getting to know each other.
Don't knock yourself for giving her formula either. I too wanted so badly to exclusively breast feed but my son wasn't gaining any weight so I ended up formula feeding to boost his caloric intake until we learned a proper latch. boy am I glad I stuck to it. That boy loved to nurse!
Another thing that's awesome? Soothies. They're these little gel discs that are nice and cool that you put over your nipples...ahhh such sweet relief. They were awesome!
:hugs: mama! Know that we've been there and are here to support you.
05-20-2006, 10:48 AM
we supplimented formula cause the nurses at the hospital were saying that she isn't feeding long enough and needed more cause she was loosing too much weight. She did take in 2 oz of formula right after breast feeding though. I just did another feed a few minutes ago (well just ended a few minutes ago, she went for 30 min) and it went a lot better still hurt like the ****ens but not as bad as last night. so she's fine to feed for like 20 minutes at a time? Where would I buy soothies? the LC at the hospital really didn't help too much, she just wanted me to stay in the hospital to observe the breast feeding and I'd been there five days already and hadn't heard anything new from her and had dd latching on properly. I'll maybe give the local LLL a call and see what they say
05-20-2006, 11:14 AM
UGh... Sometimes the hospital staff really insn't very helpful. They probably do more damage than anything... Especially for new moms. Most importantly trust yourself. Your body and the baby will help you know what to do. It is completely normal for babies to lose weight in the first few days. I too gave DS formula while I was at the hospital bc thats what the nurses thought I should do. And I had excruciating pain for about 6 weeks when he first latched on. How are you suplementing? My doctor reccomended using a medicine dropper to reduce the nipple confusion. The baby may have a hard time adjusting to the difference. I know it is hard and frustrating. Just don't give up. It will be OK!! :hugs:
05-20-2006, 11:48 AM
Oh honey big hugs! The first couple of weeks are hard. But, don't supplement anymore if you can help it. It is detrimental to your milk supply and your long term breastfeeding success. Definately call the LLL, and get someone over to help you. You can do it mama! It's so rewarding and SO easy once you get the hang of it. And the baby is ok eating 20 minutes, and really in the beginning they don't need much food. Also, if she was really awake and alert but not latching on, perhaps baby wasn't hungry? Sometimes my Bella would go a long time w/o eating in the very beginning. I hope you get the help you need!
05-20-2006, 04:55 PM
:hugs: I've been there too. Keep trying to find an LC who can help you, the ones in the hospital & the pp visit didn't help me, I saw one weeks later on my own who was amazing!
What kind of pain is it? Nipple, let down pain, in the breast? I had all three :(
Soothies can help, nipple shields help with nipple pain. Editing to add that for me it was caused by my daughter's palet shape, she eventually grew out of it & in the mean time the lc showed me what to do to be comfortable.
For painful let down, I used a warm rice pack or warm washcloth on my breast right before nursing to help ease let down.
I also ended up w/thrush in my ducts (not on the nipple & the baby didn't have it), symptom was extreme pain towards the middle/end of nursing, shooting pains that went around to my back. If you took antibiotics in the hospital & have that kind of pain, it's a possiblity. Had to take difulcan (sp) for 2 weeks, but it was better after 2 days on it.
Hmmm, what else, the lc told me it was ok to take a tylenol or advil to help w/pain &/or inflamation but ask your md or lc if it is ok cause some say not to.
If you can pump & finger feed, that will keep your supply up until things work out.
05-20-2006, 05:05 PM
It's really hard at first and OK to cry. I just want to let you know that we just got past the hard part and once 8 weeks hit everything went like clockwork!
First, don't supplement if you can help it. Also remember that just b/c they don't eat for x amount of time it doesn't mean they aren't getting enough. Tyler has been an efficient sucker since birth. I have NEVER had a 30 minute nursing session with him. My suggestion to you is to hold off on supplementation and wait until she's 1 or 2 months. That way you can gage to see if she is gaining and more than likely she will be.
Just keep offering the breast (as painful as it is) and your supply will naturally increase. You can do it! Don't worry, your body was created to support your baby this way and you definitely don't need to resort to formula yet!:thumbsup:
I'm no breastfeeding expert but if you need anything feel free to pm!
Also, another thing you can try is different positions. When my son was really little he nursed way more efficiently in the football hold than anything else (and really helped with soreness). Once he learned to latch on by himself (without me having to hold my breast and get him all positioned and everything), I could nurse him in any position and he would just go at it. Hang in there mama. You are doing great.
Also, if it's your nipples that are really sore, let them air dry a bit and it will help a little. Also, I used disposable nursing pads (because I didn't know any better - next time around I'm using cloth). I think if you use cloth nursing pads they might allow your nipples to breathe better and help with some of the irritation.
Another thing you can do is switch nursing. I had to do this when I was first nursing because it was so painful. I would start him on one side, let him nurse for 5-10 minutes, then switch him over to the other side and then back to the other side so he could get the hindmilk. This was relief for my poor little nipples! ahhhh
HTH! LMK if you have anymore questions as I did lots of research on the subject. Hope you find an LLL group. Mine was always really helpful! :hugs:
05-20-2006, 07:32 PM
Big hugs....those first few days (and honestly, weeks) are really, really hard. You've already gotten great advice, but I wanted to emphasize a couple of things that really made me go "Oh yeah!".
* Your baby is probably getting enough to eat, even if she only nurses XX amount of time. She would let you know if she wasn't getting enough.
* Lactation consultants are wonderful! Even if all they tell you is that you're doing everything right (even though it feels like you're doing it all wrong), at least you have that reassurance.
* Dr. Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment (it's a compound with an antifungal, antibacterial, a little something for pain, and a couple of other things I can't remember) is your friend. It's prescription only, and even tho my insurance didn't cover it (it was about $35 for a small amt, but it was more than enough), it was worth the money.
* Go braless and topless as much as you can. It lets your nipples air out, and keeps stuff from rubbing on them and making them more raw.
* Lanolin is great too for soothing and preventing further chapping of your nipples. You don't even have to clean it off prior to nursing, if I remember right (you also don't have to clean off the Dr. Newman's).
* Many drug stores and stores like WalMart have things like Soothies (cooling gel thingies)....very helpful!
My LC recommended ice packs for brief amts of time. It helped numb the pain, and if I did it right before nursing, it helped numb that initial **OUUUUWWCHH** of latching on.
Good luck, and hugs to you :)
05-20-2006, 07:33 PM
I'll 2nd the helpfulness of bf essentials....it's actually located where I live and I got to go in and see Becky when I was bf'ing #2.
05-20-2006, 07:34 PM
In the early days, remember that baby's tummy is the size of her fist - that's NOT very big, so there's not much room for milk! Breastmilk is made to digest very easily, as well. Add those two facts together, and many many many newborn/young babies like to nurse FREQUENTLY and for a SHORT amount of time. (My boys would often nurse for 10-15 minutes, every hour to 1 1/2 hours).
If you're worried about supply, nurse her whenever you can, whenever she shows the slightest interest, and definitely offer the breast about every 2 hours during the daytime. The more she sucks, the more milk you will make! Time spent sucking on a bottle or pacifier will decrease the amount of time she sucks at the breast.
:bighugs: Hang in there momma, you will both be fine! The first weeks are hardest, you WILL get through this. Remember every mom's breasts are different and every baby is different. Listen to her, she knows what she needs! :hugs:
05-21-2006, 08:18 PM
I'm so sorry it's hard on you! I think that 30 minutes is just fine! How much did she weigh when she was born and how much does she weigh now? They say that babies lose approx 10% of their weight after birth.
I would definitely go to an LLL place. They can help with latch on and tracking the babies growth so that you know for sure that everything's going okay.
Your routine doesn't sound much different than mine. Savannah eats a about 15 minutes, then falls asleep, then wakes up about 2 hours later, eats, falls asleep, etc. I agree with the pp about the short feedings.
05-22-2006, 11:00 AM
First a big :hugs: and second it will get better. And just like everyone else has mentioned don't but a time limit on BFing. My DD, at first, would sometimes eat only 10 minutes!!! But she was over her birth weight at two weeks. She too lost a lot in the hospital. She was 6.11 when she was born and left at 6.1! Even now at 9 weeks she still barley nurses for longer than 20 minutes. And shes also a one boobie baby! Meaning she only eats off of one breast per feeding. Don't worry about supplementing. Baby will let you know when hungry. And don't let weight be an indicator either. Pees and Poos is what you want to look at. As long as babys having enough pees and poos everything is fine and babys getting enough. I can remember the number of how many pees and poos they are supposed to have in the early weeks. Someone else might (if it wasn't already stated). Also like someone else mention www.kellymom.com is an AWESOME site!
05-22-2006, 11:37 AM
Throw that formula away! That is the way that you have to do it to be successful in breastfeeding. Let your baby be the guide. Latch on correctly, and let baby nurse when she wants to. Even if like my son, it is constantly... heehee they grow up so fast and the time will fly... When my ds was newborn I had all these expectations (based on what others say)and thought that him wanting to nurse all the time was bad. It isn't! Let her! Anyway, I have heard that wearing her in a sling will help too. Go braless and shirtless with baby in a dipe next to your bare skin. That helps wonders!
Talk to LLL and get them over to your house and use them as often as you need to. Even women that are not LC's can be a big help. Have THEM look at your latch. It is hard to look at your own latch and keep the latch correct at the same time. Another help to make sure that baby is getting enough areola in mouth is to squeeze nipple together and shove into baby's mouth. If she doesn't get enough in, try again.
I am with everyone else. 30 minutes is plenty. (IF you are latched on correctly) Thompson nursed for 7 minutes at a time in the hospital but was a very efficient feeder.
Please stick with it! You will be so happy that you did. Mine is 18 months and if I had given up, I would have never felt the joy that I have now.
Hope this helps. :)
P.S. If it hurts, you are probably inproperly latching. Jack newman is great for this he had videos and all. http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html. There is also a book by him called the Ultimate BF Book of Answers. GREAT!
05-22-2006, 11:42 AM
i remember being mad at people who told me nursing shouldnt hurt. Yikes!
The sheer amount of usage you are experiencing is what is causing your pain. It WILL get better. It Will.
For me, day 9 was the day when it wasnt so horrible anymore with dd, and it was three weeks with ds. he was just slow and lazy .
i didnt do lanolin with dd, but i did with ds. i really coulnt tell much of a difference....I cracked with ds. dry skin and lots of usage....ow.
keep it up...in threee weeks, things will be so much better...and in two months you will be old pro's!!
05-22-2006, 12:57 PM
my dd literally nursed 50 minutes out of every hour for the first 3 months of her life.
That is not an exxageration, or hyperbole
I mean literally 50 out of every 60 minutes she was latched on.
she had a bad latch too, at first, i was in horrible pain. Also screaming and crying.
We went to LLL, a local hospital BF group, and paid a private LC to come to the house.
I am one of those women who has TRUE low-supply, due to hormonal issues (same reason why i can't get preggo on my own without drugs), but i still made it through and my still-nursing, WAY ABOVE the 99th percentile for weight!!, 20 month old has never had an ounce of formula.
Your hormones are crazy, your exhausted, tired, upset. It's ok.
You will make it through.
It will get better.
It will get easier.
You CAN do it!!!
I believe the LLL saying is that you have to give it at least 6 weeks?.....it's not something that happens overnight, or even within a couple weeks for some women....for me, it was in the 7th week that things finally "clicked" and it just wasn't so hard anymore.....by week 13, it was that natural "second nature" easy you hear about...now at 20 months...it's like breathing...literally effortless, and has been for quite some time...except i have thrush coming on again...so off to vinegar-rinse the nipplies yet again...!
05-22-2006, 03:59 PM
Thanks ladies, it is starting to get better! doesn't hurt nearly as much now! she's still supplimenting a little, but I put her to the breast first and get her to eat as much as I can then let her have a bottle, so she really isn't taking much formula anymore (maybe an ounce?) when she does take it. So she's getting about 2 bottles during the night and thats it (not two full bottles just about an ounce from each). and will hopefully have that cut off by the end of this week! my milk is in now and I feel like i'm overflowing so I've been waking her to feed too lol. Now I just wish I could buy a breast pump so I could pump and nurse her, why do those darn things have to be so expensive? Even a rental here you're looking at $100 initial cost! sigh, but it is getting better and I'm really happy now that I didn't just give in and switch to formula! Now off to try and make some breast pads as I don't have any and I'm making my shirt dirty lol!
05-22-2006, 04:02 PM
I'm glad it's getting better. I had terrible pain when breastfeeding, also. It made me give up very easily with my first two children, but I stuck it out with my third. He had a great latch and there didn't seem to be anything else going on that was causing all the pain. The LC at the hospital said that some women just go through this until their nipples toughen up. She told me to give it two weeks. It took 5 weeks, but it was well worth it. Hugs.
05-22-2006, 04:07 PM
Now I just wish I could buy a breast pump so I could pump and nurse her, why do those darn things have to be so expensive? Even a rental here you're looking at $100 initial cost!
Are you in the US? You may be able to get a breast pump through your county's WIC program. Even if you don't qualify, they may be able to tell you where you can get one for low cost. Also check with local hospitals (and your LC).
Another thought is if there is a crisis pregnancy center near you...they provide a lot of resources for new moms, even if they're not single or in a "crisis" situation. They might be able to help you with the up-front cost of renting a good pump.
Glad things are better, regardless!
05-22-2006, 06:48 PM
After you nurse her, you could try hand expressing and feeding with a bottle. The problem is formula is higher calories and takes longer to digest, so it may interfer with her next nursing session because she'll still be full from formula.
05-22-2006, 07:51 PM
After you nurse her, you could try hand expressing and feeding with a bottle. The problem is formula is higher calories and takes longer to digest, so it may interfer with her next nursing session because she'll still be full from formula.
How much pumping are you planning on doing? I just have a manual (Medela Harmony) for occasional use - it works great and is way less than $100!
05-22-2006, 08:42 PM
I used to put baby in her swing in the bathroom, hop in the HOT shower, get milk going, hop out, and nurse. It helped me A LOT in the beginning.
And nipple shields.
And a program at our hospital where you could weigh the baby every 2-3 days to SEE that she was indeed gaining weight. This alone was the biggest reassurance to me - because I couldn't SEE how much she got from nursing.
With my son, I actually used my Ebay digital scale to see his body weight going up in ounces - he is a PERFECT nursling, but I struggled with my twins for the whole 18 months I nursed them.
My pump is a small manual one - $40 at Target. Avent. LOVE LOVE it - I don't work in an office to need it every day or anything (prob'ly need electric for that), but this thing has been worth its weight in gold.
And we gave the girls formula in the early days for some relief for me until things got going - I don't really understand the "all or nothing" camps on nursing vs. formula (and believe me I am NOT trying to go there). You know what works best for your family.
I'm glad it's going better. Keep it up! You'll be happy you did! (Nursing for 12 months can reduce your own risk of breast cancer AND help your daughter reduce her own risk, too.)
05-22-2006, 09:07 PM
Even the Avent pumps are around $40 if you can find them outside of the kit. And, Target has the $60 kit on sale for $47 right now. It's just manual, but I just got one because I wanted something less that my big electric pump for the occasional pumping session, and it works quite well once I got the hang of it & all. I even was able to get a letdown. My other syringe style manual pump that I got for free from the hospital I cannot stimulate a letdown, no matter how long I pump. Of course, I can with my big electric pump, but that's a bit of an overkill for wanting an oz or two to mix with cereal - LOL.
My ds nursed for 45 min at a time every hour (quite similar to bobandjess99) and my sister's ds, who was born 2 weeks later nursed for about 10 min total on a long session, and went 4 hrs between nursings. I worried that ds wasn't getting enough because he nursed for so long. She worried that her ds wasn't getting enough because he nursed so quickly. My ds, still basically EBF, is 27 lbs at 8 mos old, and is wearing 24 mo clothes. My sisters ds (also EBF) is in 18 mo clothes, also at 8 mos (don't know his actual weight). They both were getting plenty, obviously.
Unless your baby isn't pooping and peeing enough, she will get plenty from your breasts all by herself if you let her.
05-22-2006, 09:17 PM
I have a Avent Pump listed over in the personal care section...asking $16 for it. It's yours if you want it! I barely used it...it was my spare Avent. I had two.
05-24-2006, 03:32 PM
I did cry too! It was so hard... but at just shy of six months we are still going.. which may not sound long to you marathon nursers but we are happy that we've made it...and we are still going!
I remember one of the worst things was seeing the strawberry milk mustache on my baby's mouth because my nipples were bleeding so bad. I was far from home and any sort of LLL, and my inlaws pushed really hard for me to switch to formula. Our baby had awful colic and would almost cry contiously unless he was sucking, and that usually meant on me. Now we joke that I am his favorite pacifier. But at the time everyone (except my wonderful husband and our ped.) thought my milk was no good or that i didn't have enough. He would nurse 1 hr + each side and then nurse again in a couple hours, crying all the time in between. But then after gettng back home and meeting with a LC and learning how to see when the baby is just sucking and when they are eating from the videos that Dr. Jack Newman has online, we found out he was just sucking. He really only nurses no more than 20 mins each side. I know a lot of LLL will suggest you let them suck all the want but I had to make him stop for awhile when he wasn't eating so I could heal some. Now I only let him spend a lot of time with his fav paci when he is teething, sick, or upset..... that way I can get to keep nursing him.
p.s. I second Dr. Jack's cream over the lasolin... it helped more :)
05-24-2006, 03:35 PM
even though i feel like a goat i can hand express a lot faster and get more than using a pump. i tried advent and my cousins expensive medela. i expressed an oz or 2 after nursing and then gave it to him
but giving a bottle before 6 weeks can hinder proper latch learning, and some babies will opt to only wait for the bottle because the milk comes so much quicker