breast feeding trouble please help

Laura - posted on 02/18/2009 ( 26 moms have responded )

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My baby is three months old and I breast feed her but i also give her formula. I give her the formula because she never seems to stay on too long and when i tried pumping i never got enough so i gave up. I am just really frustrated and do not know what to do

26 Comments

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Iris - posted on 02/19/2009

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She may not be staying on very long because there are too many distractions to look at. You may need to find a quiet room.

Anna - posted on 02/19/2009

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Hello there, I had the same problem when I started on BC, I ended up stopping the BC and using Fenugreek to increase my milk supply back to where it was, along w/ some pumping as well just for the extra stimulation to produce more milk. The Fenugreek is all natural, they sell it at GNC, this what my pedi. recommended as well as mother's milk tea. I believe you are suppose to take 2 w/ every meal for 2 days then 3 w/ every meal, but I would double check w/ your pedi. I only had to take the Fenugreek for 2 weeks before my milk supply increased and we are now going on 12 mths of BF. Good Luck!

Sarah - posted on 02/19/2009

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Yes, please don't give up! You can turn it around and she sounds healthy. I have 8 month old twins and these are my first. They could not latch until they were almost 3 months old. I wanted to quit soooo bad but felt guilty. I nurse all day but since my girls sleep all night, I wake up during the night to pump...just to keep up my milk supply. It is hard but I think it is so worth it. Everyone gave you such good advice so I will just try and encourage you. The medicine to increase milk supply is amazing, I hear. Also my girls nurse only for about 10 minutes each time. It worries me sometimes but they are growing like little weeds. :) As long as she is growing and happy with enough wet diapers, you are good.



Also this helped me sooooo much...remember that even if something happens and you cannot breastfeed anymore, that does not make you any less of a good mother! Breastfeeding is hard! You sound like you are doing great but don't forget to ask for help!

Denise - posted on 02/19/2009

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Breatfeeding is really hard. For some women and their babies, it comes easy/naturally. I would cry because of lack of sleep, the pain of it, and feeling less of a mom if I didn't continue with it. DON'T WORRY! It will get easier. It takes a while for your milk supply to build up anyways. My first born got up every hour to nurse. My second nursed every 2 1/2 hours, and my third nursed every 1 1/2 - 2 hours for the first few months. I can't wait to see what my forth will do [I'm due in 10 days].

Keeping baby awake is the key!! If you have to strip her down to her diaper to keep her awake, then so be it. Once the baby is on the bottle, it's harder to get them back on the breast because with the bottle they don't have to 'work' for their food.

Just be calm and stay as relaxed as you can because the baby can sense your frustration. It's just as frustrating to your baby as it is for you, if they are unable to nurse and get enough to eat.

Try the 'football' position to nurse. Stimulating your nipples to prep before breastfeeding can be helpful as well. Ask her pediatrician how to nurse, that's what they are there for.

I actually had the nurse at the hospital grabbing my nipple to show me how to get the baby on there. I felt a bit uncomfortable but if she had never shown me that, I would have never knew how to do it properly

Sam - posted on 02/19/2009

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ive also had worries with b.feedin,didnt think she was getting enough.i had mastitis at 1.5 weeks but feed all the way through,sometimes she only stays on for 15 mins sometimes up to 3/4 of an hour!!! found out yesterday she now weighs 1st 2lb 3/4 at 18 weeks,she was 15 lb 6oz on the 3rd feb.she has the occasional top up with formular but not much really maybe 5oz every other day so even if she only feeds little and often i wouldnt worry too much.

Marie - posted on 02/18/2009

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I would recommend pumping for ten minutes on each side weather or not you get much, do that like three times a day and your supply could come back......the problem with our supply as mothers is that if they breast aren't getting drained and or stimulates long enough then our bodies tell the milk to slow or stop. You can also get some herbs from the health food store that can restore your supply, breastfeeding is soooo good for our little ones since it has natural antibodies and can help the baby in so many ways so it is def worth trying to re-establish supply. Good luck!

[deleted account]

The biggest thing you want to look at is whether she is having enough wet & dirty diapers, along with weight gain. It sounds like she is doing fine with weight! Are you feeding on demand? I would just ditch the formula -there is really no need for it if she is gaining fine and having enough wet diapers. Like the others said, some babies are very efficient at removing the milk - much more so than the pump. So you can't base how much she is eating on how much you can pump.

I also agree with the idea of seeing a LC or calling LLL for some advice. Don't give up! Breastfeeding is hard but it is worth it for our babies! I remember going through a rough spot around 3 months as well, and I still have days when it is exhausting (like today, when she wanted to stay on for an hour and a half at a time!)... but I want to give her the best start!

Good luck!
~Esther
http://meaningfulalbums.blogspot.com

[deleted account]

First, you need to relax.If you begin to stress out every time you nurse, she will sense that and it may affect the feeding. How long does she nurse for on each side? Every baby is different..Some may go for 40 minutes, some go for only 10 minutes on each side. One idea you can try is to pump for a couple of minutes before you nurse so you have your letdown and she doesn't have to work so hard. If you feel you are not producing enough milk, I have to agree with the one reply that a lactation consultant will tell you to nurse, nurse, nurse. Every time she wants to eat, let her nurse. Don't go by schedule or a clock. That's the only way you will produce more milk. You don't have to give up the convenience of the bottle forever, but maybe for a couple of weeks. I do think it's a good idea if you find a lactation consultant. Call your pediatrician's office, they will either have one of staff or give you the phone number to one. They are very helpful. I had latching on issues with all three of my babies. They will watch your "technique", do a weight check, and give you advice. Finally, if you truly want to continue to nurse your baby, don't give up. I know it's tempting, but once you overcome this hurdle you will be so happy you stuck with it.

[deleted account]

Fenugreek is great, but if you have a peanut allergy you can't take it.  Just a FYI type thing.

[deleted account]

I had a similar problem with my first baby and being overwhelmed with being a first time mom, I didn't seek out too much help other than one lactation consultation. I ended up stopping nursing at 3 months and really regretted it. With my second (born this June), I really wanted to make it work, so I did nothing but nurse, nurse, nurse for the first few weeks to build my supply. I also take Fenugreek, which I find really increased my supply noticeably. I get it at a vitamin store in capsule form. It takes about 2 days for the Fenugreek to build up at first, but it really does work! Hope that helps and keep trying!!

Brenda - posted on 02/18/2009

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I had the same problem that my birth control lessened my milk supply. One thing that the lactation specialist had me do was before bed I would power pump. I would pump for 10 minutes, off for 10, on for 10, off for ten, etc. I would do that for an hour, to try to get my milk supply back up. I also finally quit taking my birth control and switched to another method. I hope that it works out for you. I know how special that is.

Jennifer - posted on 02/18/2009

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She may be able to get enough from you in a short period of time, the other thing to consider is that when you pump you get less then when you nurse, so you always have to pump twice as much to get what your daughter would nursing once.

Jacqueline - posted on 02/18/2009

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hi laura im a mum of 4 and it can be bloody hard with feeding my last daughter was breast and formula fed til she was 18 months old she did only ever feed for 5 mins each side but feed every two hours till she started eating solids and i only gave her formula before i put her down of a nite.i did have countless mums tell me she wasnt feeding long enough so i went along to breast feeding groups and they  all said the same thing just keep offering breast first and if you want to keep bf .the rule of thumb is to make more  you have to feed more  just  keep offering ,if she isnt hungry and is getting enough maybe she is a good sucker and is getting all she needs in the short time like mine was..good luck and take care xoxo

[deleted account]

If you are in the US you will be given a medication that may increase your milk supply, but can have major side effects.  I did take this medication, but I would try to avoid taking it if possible.  The side effects include severe depression.  I would try to switch to the mini pill and nurse nonstop for a few days before taking the medication to increase your milk supply.  If you aren't in the US, then the medication you'll be given is actually really great and I have no warning about it.

Jennifer - posted on 02/18/2009

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I would check with your doctor about the birth control pills and they will probably recommend you take a pill (i can't remember the name of it off the top of my head) that will increase your milk supply, i had to start taking it when my daughter was around 4 months because my daughter was sleeping so well through the night my milk supply decreased. I didn't take any form of birth control while i was breastfeeding because we wanted to start trying again after a few months, and because it took me over a year to get pregnant with my first baby, but i remember her suggesting a form of birth control  that doesn't decrease your milk supply. Hope this helps a little!

Tracy - posted on 02/18/2009

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Oh, click on Resorces and there is another orange square there that says need help.........go there!!

Tracy - posted on 02/18/2009

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I nursed for 9 months, twins, so i say i nursed for 18 months!! haha anyway, the best way to keep your supply up is nursing ironically. The La leache leauge has a great website, http://www.llli.org/ You can click your state and so on and get local or close to local one on one advice through emails! I loved it and got great help from my lactation consultants!

Tracy - posted on 02/18/2009

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I nursed for 9 months, twins, so i say i nursed for 18 months!! haha anyway, the best way to keep your supply up is nursing ironically. The La leache leauge has a great website, http://www.llli.org/ You can click your state and so on and get local or close to local one on one advice through emails! I loved it and got great help from my lactation consultants!

[deleted account]

Some women don't have any issues with the birth control pills and their milk supply, but I guess you are one of the unlucky ones.  Atleast you were able to figure out what the problem is, that is a relief.

Laura - posted on 02/18/2009

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i was doing fine and my doctor said it was safe to use during breast feeding but after just going to kellymom.com i never thought of it

[deleted account]

Oh my goodness YES!   There is your answer, Laura.  I didn't even think to ask about that.  Yes, birth control pills can decrease your milk supply.  My doctor wouldn't even give me the mini pill because I had milk supply issues.

[deleted account]

Oh my goodness 15 pounds!  What a good size!  Did you just start giving the formula?  Are you nursing on demand?  

Laura - posted on 02/18/2009

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she is good at latching on and she is not starving she weighs 15 lbs i just feel lately that i have not been producing enough and pumping just does not seem like an option any more

[deleted account]

Some babies are fast at getting the milk out.  I know a woman that had three children and all three took five minutes to nurse during each nursing session.  That being said if you are giving formula you are probably not making enough milk at this very much moment, BUT that doesn't mean you can't start to.  If you want your daughter to only nurse you need to stop giving formula and NURSE NURSE NURSE NURSE and NURSE NURSE NURSE some more!  Lol.   You need to set yourself up and just nurse.  Don't do anything else for atleast three or four days.  Just nurse your daughter.   After that time your body should be making enough milk for your little one to not need formula and to feed her like normal.    I would go to www.kellymom.com for more you can do.  It's a great resource for breastfeeding.  Your little one is adorable.  I know how frustrating it is to not make enough milk, but you can overcome it.  Right now you are not making enough because your baby is getting another food.  You can easily (most of the time) fix that.

Kate CP - posted on 02/18/2009

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Have you contacted a lactation consultant? The La Leche league is really awesome and very helpful. She may not be getting a good enough latch and you may need to switch your holding position.

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