Having difficulties. HELP!!!

Jennifer - posted on 11/19/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 12 weeks old and I am only breastfeeding her. I have only introduced the bottle a few times, like when I had a wedding to go to and such. So, she doesn't like anything foreign in her mouth at all. My problem is, that lately my nipples have become sore and she is snacking constantly instead of filling herself. I feel like I am her pacifier. :( That, and I produce too much milk and she isn't draining me properly. I don't always have time to pump after each feeding, not to mention that I don't have time to wash the breast flanges and let them air dry all of the time so that I could pump after each feeding. (I daycare for a two year old all day as well.)
I feel like I'm doing something wrong. What do I do? Any suggestions? I know that it's still really early to be thinking about stopping, and I don't want to, but I just don't know what to do to make BF better for both of us. When I feed her, it's like she drowns when my milk lets down and after a few minutes, she wants nothing to do with me. I was thinking about pumping and feeding her that way, but I love the time with her.
Sorry, I'm kind of rambling... I just want to know how to make our nursing time more enjoyable and for her to eat more. I need her to start draining me. I have also been using lanolin for my nipples to decrease the discomfort, but I'm not sure why they are hurting at all. *sighs* I worry about getting more plugged ducts and all that implies as well. Any help would be much welcomed. Thanks!

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[deleted account]

You don't want to pump off the excess unless you need to build up a freezer stash. If you pump it off each time then your body will keep making lots of extra milk. She may have just went through a growth spurt and is now passed it so you have extra milk from that. There is no time limit to nursing. She may be faster because she is more efficient. Keep her on one breast until she falls off. If that breasts still feels full and she's still wanting more then put her back on the same breast until it feel empty. If you are uncomfortable you can hand express some milk out until you feel comfortable. It sounds like you have overactive letdown caused by oversupply. You could try pulling her off during the letdown so she's not flooded with milk. When the letdown slows you can put her back on. You could also block feed. You offer the same breast for a time frame (usually about 3 hours). She may nurse several times from that breast in that time period. Then offer the other breast for the next 3 hours. If your unused breast gets engorged express out some milk until you feel comfortable. Here's more info on overactive letdown:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-l...

As for the pain, first thing to do is check your latch. Even a baby that's gotten the hang of breastfeeding can become "lazy." She may be slipping off and only taking in the nipple. If her latch seems to be fine then check for lumps. You may have a clogged duct that's causing nipple pain. It could also be caused by thrush. Are your nipples shiny, flaky or red? Here's some more info on causes of sore nipples:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/so...

You could always call your local La Leche League leader. They are so helpful. You can find a local (or the closest group here: http://www.llli.org) or your hospital should have a lactation consultant that you could speak to. Hope some of this helps! Good luck!

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April - posted on 11/22/2010

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A lot of other people have said it all, so I am just going to say this: it's a roadblock and it will pass. most likely, it won't be the only roadblock. you might experience other things such as blocked ducts or nursing strikes. your nursing relationship will continue to change. things may be easy peasy for a while then get hard...then get easy again. Then eventually, it will probably be super easy for the rest of your nursing relationship. It takes time. You'll do it!! You already did the best thing by asking for help. It means you are determined! you go girl!

Lisa - posted on 11/22/2010

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There were days when my little guy would feed for 5-8 hours almost straight - lactation consultant called it a "cluster feed". It was hellish - felt like he was only using me for pacification, too. Stick with it - it's the best thing you can do.

For the soreness, get some nipple cream and coolers (Medela has some great stuff) - it won't be long before you're feeling much better.

Hang in there!

Cat - posted on 11/20/2010

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Keep in mind that young babies have tiny stomachs - they can only eat so much at once ;-) The snacking stage IS hard, but it'll get easier. I would focus on nursing her on demand as much as she likes, and if you're still full, I recommend expressing, although this can exacerbate oversupply issues. Try to let her control the nursing as much as possible - it'll help you to make closer to the amount she needs :)

Patricia - posted on 11/20/2010

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you might want to get some nipple cream as well there are many different ones that are safe for your baby) and try a heating pad or a hot shower I found all of these helped me. I was the same way and thought I might have to stop, but I got through it and things are much better now. Also if your baby is just lighting sucking and using you as a soother and not eating, the lactation nurse told me to take him off and either offer a soother or my finger.

[deleted account]

I know it can be confusing when your in this position, getting a bunch of different angles. Like I said, I had this same problem with my son. He would get so worked up about the forceful let-down it almost made me stop BF because I just wanted him to be happy. I went from a 34B to a 36D because of the engorgement! Now that Im stabalized Im a 36C. Best thing to do is not pump and deal with the discomfort until she herself can empty the breast because pumping can also confuse your supply and demand. But listen to your body, if you need to express some to be able to live for the next 5 minutes(its uber painful when those puppies are backed up) then hand express, its not the same suction motion as pumping so your body wont reproduce milk, especially if your only squirting a little to get by. Now if your pumping out 3 ounces for relief that will have the reverse affect and you will just be in this situation longer. Honestly for me what worked was the feed from one side for a couple feedings tecnique. Everyones different though and everyones body reacts differently, like I said before doing that makes you more prone to plugged ducks(though I never had any) because of the exccesive amount of milk your letting build up, but it does help your body realize its producing too much milk. Anytime you try to do anything to your milk supply, whether its up it or decrease it, it usually takes 48 to 72 hrs for your body to get the message. Regardless of what you do your milk supply will stabalize naturally with time. Hope you get through this soon, persevere!

Jennifer - posted on 11/19/2010

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Thanks everyone! I don't pump all that often. I mainly do it to help alleviate the discomfort and engorgement. The last few days, she latches until my milk lets down and then pops off and refuses to latch back on even after my milk slows. And I have had too much milk since the beginning and I keep getting mixed advice. People tell me to pump after feeding her to drain my breasts, some say to pump before, and others say not to pump. I'm confused as to what I am supposed to do. Lol! And I don't really understand my nipple pain either since she has most of my areola (sp) in her mouth as well. They just seem super sensitive or something. Not sure...

Jessica - posted on 11/19/2010

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Sara is right! You produce what she needs and when you pump you produce too much. I would also check her latch when you nurse, your nipples shouldn't still be sore. You could also try nipple shields, they sell them at Target and they help rid nipple pain.

[deleted account]

I went through forceful let-down and engorgement, but thankfully it has gotten better. What I did is when your let-down begins and milk is just a-sprayin-away catch it with a cloth or burpee so she doesnt choke and then become mad/frustrated/fussy, as soon as the flow lessens/stops but her back on your breast. Also try feeding with just one breast for a couple or even 3 feedings in a row and pump or hand express the other breast so the engorgement isnt so painful(but not too much because then you will only produce more, just enough to feel relief). Then do the same with the other for the following couple feedings. This tells your brain you dont need all that milk and eventually your production will normalize to what your baby needs. Also you should know that by letting one of your breasts just sit while you feed a couple times from the other your more likely to get plugged ducts(didnt happen to me, but its what they say). This worked in about 2 and a half weeks for me. I can now feed sitting up as where before I had to lay flat for my son to be able to nurse and he would still choke at times. Just be patient. I almost gave up too but felt guilty and that I didnt try my best so I continued. It will all get better soon, just help your baby deal with your flow. Also for the pain of enrgorged breast I used cold little towels(Id wet them and put them in the fridge). Good luck!

Brandy - posted on 11/19/2010

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She might be going through a growth spurt. Keep strong and remember your doing what is best for your baby. My LO has the same problem with me. Sometimes when I feel the let down, I will grab a storage bottle and let it flow into the bottle until it stops forcing out the milk. Then reattach my lil girl. To lengthen feedings I switch feed. I will feed on the right until she pulls off, then put to left, then back to right....until I feel comfy and she seems full. Hope this helps.

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