Trouble feeding, please HELP!!!!!!!.

[deleted account] ( 20 moms have responded )

My little girl was born 5 weeks preterm and had to start on formula while I pumped. We slowly started the breast and supplemented with formula or expressed milk. Now we are 3 weeks in and I am trying to only give her the breast but I keep running dry. All day long she feeds every 2 hours and then around 8 or 9pm she gets super hungry and I can't keep up. I have nothing for her after multiple feedings sometimes only 45 mins apart. I am sad and frustrated and don't know what to do because of her early arrival she didn't start out the traditional way and all the advice I read doesn't apply. I cry every time I am forced to give her a bottle. On a side note I am not pumping and trying to focus solely on the breast, not too mention nothing comes out when I pump.

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[deleted account]

I think Terra just ment, the worst thing for your milk supply, which in fairness is kind of right. Clearly, if your baby isn't gaining weight and doesn't produce enough wet diapers, then you will have to supplement, but it wasn't really clear in the OP if that is actually the case, or if Christine just feels she doesn't have enough milk, because her baby is feeding so frequently.



I think a lactation consultant is a really good idea, or ring your local La Leche League group, they give really good advice for free. My baby wasn't a premie, but she certainly was feeding just like yours - CONSTANTLY. For a few nights she literally fed around 8 hours straight, I thought I was going insane. We never had a problem with enough wet nappies or weight gain though (quite the opposite actually) so I knew she was getting enough.



Pumping obviously does help increase your milk supply, but your baby will suckle much more efficiently and therefore having her on the boob often will help you more in the long run.



But as I said, go talk to a professional. When I had trouble with over-production at 3 months (from too much pumping incidentally...) it felt sooo good to finally talk to someone who knew her stuff, rather than trying to figure it all out by myself.

Good Luck!!!

Terra - posted on 02/02/2012

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First of all you are never out of milk. It's a constant production so there will always be milk for the baby. A LOT of babies go through a "witching hour" and cluster feed in the evenings. It's totally normal newborn behavior. The WORST thing you can do is give a bottle. This disrupts the natural supply and demand. Just settle in on the couch and nurse, nurse, nurse. This behavior, though frustrating, will actually increase your milk supply. It honestly sounds like you are doing awesome! Just keep nursing and this time will pass.

Ashley - posted on 02/02/2012

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I agree, keep pumping and feeding and dont give up! Make sure that you are drinking lots of water and taking your prenatal vitamins still. And if you know of a lactation consultant in your area or the hospital where your baby was born, see if they can come to your home or arrange a meeting with you so that they can give you professional help and advice. Exclusive breastfeeding with your newborn is still possible, so dont give up! :)

Katherine - posted on 02/01/2012

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my baby was also premature and in the nicu. I wasnt able to jump right in and do what i would normally do with a new baby. They had her on a feeding tube and then they slowly introduced her to formula. I had them mix it with breastmilk but it was a loosing battle. I pumped every 2 hours while she waws in the nicu and I found out later that the breast milk was not putting enough weight on her so I had to put her o formula. I also had to resort to putting rice cereal in her bottle because she was always hungry her Dr. also recommended me using the cereal. I did adn it worked she is now 7 months. has to be fed every 3 hours but its progress.



it sounds like you are tired and stressed out. Explains the lack of milk. You will make it through this. Keep pumping and feeding her. It will work out for you.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/01/2012

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If it were me I would continue trying to pump as often as possible. The more suckling on the breast (whether it be via pump or baby) the more milk will produce... Your body knows how much milk to make by how often it is sucked.... It is very important to keep trying, if you want to breastfeed exclusively.



However, don't be so hard on yourself. Yes, breast milk is best but remember that your baby eating is most important. Your sadness can be felt by your baby and it may also contribute to a lower breast milk creation.



Don't fret, your baby will still be very healthy regardless of which way they get their food or whether it is breast milk or formula... Try your hardest to enjoy your lil' one, she will be grown before you know it!! ;)



I am not sure where you are from but here in Canada we have health nurses that will come to your home. I asked for one when I had my 2nd child (my son), my daughter (1st child) breastfed like a pro but my son was so hungry that I had to learn different ways to help him and to bring more milk in for him....If you have that type of service, I would give it a try, it was very rewarding to get some professional help and it is free.



Good Luck..

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[deleted account]

Thank you ladies for all your advice. I understand all points and maybe that is part of the problem because I don't think there is one right way and there are so many different schools of thought. Nipple confusion is not an issue since she started on a bottle for one whole week, then the nipple shield, and now the breast, she seems to take to all of them. I would love to pump more but it is the least of my worries right now. The one thing that I learned is that cluster feeding is normal. In the evenings when she just wanted to feed and feed I thought something was wrong with me. My first night suffering through ended with a good nights rest.



MeMe-Moi - Thank you for understanding my frustration and not making me feel worse than I already did about giving my girl a bottle in what I would consider a time of desperation.



Ania - Thank you for all the information on cluster feeding. I needed to know that it was normal and it just had to play itself out and I am so glad that I did. We are both happier and saner.



Seems like this topic brought on a healthy debate and I am sure all of us new and experienced Moms only want our babies to be the healthiest they can be. Thanks again for all the support!!!!

Ania - posted on 02/03/2012

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My LC consultant who spent with me 2 days in my home told me what I repeated above. Well we don't know what is best for her. She will choose the method, we can provide her with information and methods that worked for us. For me it was best to keep my baby at the breast and not to pump, becasue every time I saw my son trying bottle I was more stressed that he was getting a bottle and could have a nipple confusion, and that would not help me at all. Pumping right after feeding is not pleasant at all nor relaxing, I would recommend only to relax and not pump and if baby wants to eat after 45 min then offer breast again. It worked amazin for me. I spent most of my evenings stuck to the couch, but it did not last forever.

I understand your point completely and maybe it is good that we have this discussion, because it shows what we really mean by our statements and they are clear to read for others too.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/02/2012

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No offense taken, I am going by what my lactation consutant told me in my home, that she spent 5 hours at talking about breast feeding. She seen my breast pump and well I explained what was said already. If the baby is not getting enough, which btw can happen, then you need to pump...simple as that.



I also spent a week in the hospital because I had a c-section and had nurses 24/7 in and out of my room. They rolled the breast pump in. In Halifax, NS we have an IWK, it is only specialized in children and mothers to be. I would hope that what they told me would be accurate... There is nothing wrong with taking a break and using a breast pump, there is nothing wrong with letting daddy feed the baby every once in a while. As long as you pump your milk to ensure the supply and demand is still there.



Yes, of course a baby sucking is best but for some it isn't the best for them. If you are upset and crying, give yourself a break and pump while daddy feeds baby... Seriously, you think it is best to feel like crap and still try to feed you baby? That does not sound sensible or a very good approach...



I mean, it is obvious Christine wants to breastfeed but if there are certain times you are feeling overwhelmed it isn't a good idea to beat yourself up about it. Go and relax, take a break and pump, let daddy step in and feed or console the baby.. I never said to strictly use the pump, just when needed it is a great option and will keep the supply coming in just as a baby would! ;)

Ania - posted on 02/02/2012

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Me Me - Moi with all do respect. If you want to establish good supply early on you should not pump because it is not efficient, instead of pumping keep your child at your breast, much easier to do...believe me I consulted Lactation consultant on this and then did some research and then common sense kicked in. If baby is more efficient and it is all about demand and supply it only makes sense to let the baby nurse all the time if they act fussy like in the example above.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/02/2012

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Again, there is nothing wrong with pumping... However, I think Christine knows this already. ;)



Yes it is common for a baby to be fussier at night, it does not mean you don't have enough milk.



Although, if you do not see milk around her lips or on her tongue after, then PUMP also inbetween feedings. This will get the milk in faster and more of it...



I am not sure what type of pumps some of you are using but I used the Hospital grade Medella double auto pump, it cost me $100/month to rent. It is the best and it is just as good as a sucking baby, I mean why would they have them in Hospital otherwise and why would they have given it to me to bring more milk in when my boy was right there? It was because he could suck on one side and I could pump on the other, then switch... Like I said I had very little milk for the 1st 4 days, this helped big time.



I continued to pump for 8 weeks later because I could pump into a bottle and let my husband feed as well... That is also important, it is important for them to bond tas well.

Ania - posted on 02/02/2012

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Don't worry!!! That is completely normal. My son even though he was born at term had fussy evenings like that too. Kepp feeding her even if you think you are empty. She is still getting milk no matter what, just nurse whenever she wants and drink a lot of water. Don't give her bottle, because that will mess up your supply. Your breasts are never empty, they are always producing. And don't pump either, babies suckling is the most efficient pump outhere. Just relax and at night keep her close, in a sling or just sit on the couch with her next to your boobs, and change from one to another that's what I did and after a while my son stopped doing that. I don't remember how old he was...it was around 6 weeks...maybe sooner

[deleted account]

Sorry Christine, I wrote this while you posted. I'm glad you had such good support in the hospital. Again, good luck.

Terra - posted on 02/02/2012

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Good luck! I hope it all works out well for you and your little one! I'm sorry if you found my advice uninformative and insensitive. It was not meant to be. Please read the links I posted though, I think they could be really helpful (and the site they come from is a GREAT resource for breastfeeding as well).

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/02/2012

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That's perfect - you are doing the right thing! Keep it up and everything will fall into place... ;)

[deleted account]

I know giving a bottle is not the best but when I am crying and my baby is upset screaming (burning calories) no one is having a good time. I do give her expressed milk when I can and I ALWAYS pump while DH is giving her a bottle, mostly to stay on her schedule. Yesterday I was able to stay on her schedule but it is day by day. I had the luxury of staying in the hospital for a week so I had one on one meeting with the lactation consultants.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/02/2012

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No reason to back it up Terra, I just think it is insensitive to say that bottle feeding is the worst thing you can do, Christine already feels bad about having to give a bottle. If you pump or use the breast it is the same thing. Suckiling of the breast is what produces milk and a baby or a pump does this very action.



I had a lactation consultant come to my home (health nurse specializing in lactation) and I rented a Hospital grade pump for this very reason... ;) Let's remember the top priority is to feed the baby! I have experience as well, 19 months worth....



You see I did not have a whole lot of milk with my 2nd but it did get better and eventually from pumping and feeding I had WAY too much. ;)



BTW: You only have as much milk as the baby eats...Your body produces milk according to the babies needs and learns quickly what those needs are. This is why alot of mothers do not have milk immediately after birth, only collustrum and it typically takes 2 - 4 days for their milk to come in...

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/02/2012

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I just want to interject that giving them a bottle is not the worst thing, as long as you are trying to pump while doing that if you feel there is no milk at the time for the baby. I would prefer my baby to be fed and full then to be worried they are not getting any milk just because I "want" to breastfeed.... I think you feel bad enough about giving your baby a bottle, but, if you are concerned there is no milk and they are not getting enough at that time, then pump while giving a bottle. Remember the "most" important thing is your baby is eating and thriving, whether it is breast milk or formula... Again, breast milk is always best but there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula either! ;)

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