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So we got home on Thursday night after giving birth on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 and everything was going well. The nurses and lactation consultants came in to check on her latch and just give me pointers on breastfeeding in general. We all thought everything was going really well. As we were discharged, her weight loss was down 7%. Completely normal.
On Friday, a home care nurse came in to continue to make sure she was latching on well and that I was doing fine with the breast feeding still. She weighed Rachel at that time and unfortunately her weight went down 10%. The home care nurse didn't really seem too concerned and since we had a pediatrician app't on Monday (yesterday), she said to just continue to do what I'm doing (in regards to bf'ing).
Well Saturday seemed fine. I thought she was latching on well and because I had been leaking a little bit, I figured my milk was coming in.
Saturday night, however, was a completely different story. Starting at around 4pm, she was literally asking for momma's milk every single half hour. I couldn't understand why she kept wanting so much as I had just literally finished feeding her - or so I thought. In the middle of the night, Rachel was just screaming at the top of her lungs and no matter what we did, she would not sleep nor would she eat. She just wouldn't latch on but kept going toward my breast and smacking her lips together wanting more and more. We were so caught up in trying to calm her down and feed her that it didn't occur to me that she hadn't pooed since 3am early Saturday morning. At the time I realized this, it was basically 3am Sunday morning. Everyone had said as long as she poos 2x in 24 hours, then you know she's getting enough. So I waited it out and by 7am I got really worried. Mind you, she was still continuously crying. I phoned the nurse line and they seemed a little concerned that she hadn't pooed in now about 29ish hours. They told me to wait it out until about noon and if still nothing, then go to ER.
But knowing me, there was no way I was going to wait another 5 hours to make sure she was pooing. So Jon and I bundled her up and headed to Children's ER. And good thing we did. When we finally went in to be seen, they weighed her and realized her weight loss had now dropped to 16.6% since her discharge weight . They did some blood work on her and her water content was VERY low and salt content was VERY high (they basically have to balance out or something and b/c the salt content was high, it was indicating that she wasn't getting enough milk).
So they brought in an LC and I tried feeding her and pumping and nothing. I'm so angry at myself because I'm seriously not producing I managed to get a little bit out but obviously not nearly enough for what she needs. The Dr's were pretty concerned about it all, so we were admitted. The original plan was to get her on an IV - my poor little girl but the Dr. changed his mind and decided we go the formula route because an IV is just a temporary fix and once we get home, I'll still not be producing very much.
So the plan was for me to pump as much as I can (which is a very pathetic amount) and then top her off with formula. I completely wanted to bf her, but at this stage, I could care less how my baby gets food and just want to make sure she is getting enough.
I'm just so upset with my body that it's not doing it's job properly. And I realize this happens to a lot of women, but for some reason it got way out of control for Rachel and me. She has a very good latch when she finally does latch, but it's just a matter that nothing was coming out for her.
They decided to keep us for 2 nights so they could keep a very close eye on her. But I'm EXTREMELY happy to say that she has gone from a 16.6% weight loss down to a 7% weight loss (basically her hospital discharge weight). So now they have prescribed Domperidone - it's an rx that is supposed to help bring in more milk, but unfortunately only works on 80% of women, so I really hope I'm one of those 80%! It would be nice to go back to breast milk consistently - but I don't care if that's by her or by pumping. I just worry now that I won't know if she is actually getting enough when I start to breastfeed her again. Again, I really don't care at this point what she gets fed with, as long as she's eating and gaining weight. She has been bf'ing while at the hospital and she appeared to be latched on well, but again, who knows how much she's getting and how well she's latched on.
Anyway, just wanted to fill you in on our past couple of days. But we're home now and hoping this feeding thing gets easier and easier and that she only continues to gain weight and stay healthy!
I am so sorry hun. I had a similar experience with Eva (she lost too much weight and wasn't gaining, I wasn't producing enough milk, etc). and it was soooo stressful. I tried everything to up my supply with the final thing being going on a prescription medication that made me so tired that I couldn't function enough to take care of myself, let alone a new baby. I finally gave up at about 3 months (still one of the hardest decisions I've made as a parent) and started full formula feeding and we were able to bond so much better that way because I didn't dread feeding time. I still did skin to skin while bottle feeding her and other things that helped with bonding. I am totally an advocate for breastfeeding so do what you can to make that work but don't feel bad if it just doesn't work (I know this is easier said than done).
Last edited by noworries; March 24th, 2010 at 11:14 AM.
I'm so sorry you are having issues. Go over to the breastfeeding board too, as those ladies have some great ideas for getting your milk supply up. If you want to keep breastfeeding (I encourage you to!) put Rachel to the breast at each feeding BEFORE a bottle. And then you can "top her off" with the bottle to be sure. Pump while you do that. It's a little awkward to pump while bottle feeding at first, but do it a few times and you'll be a pro.
Remember to drink a TON of water. Like way more than you think you should. And get as much rest as you can (sleep when she sleeps) and eat healthy, full meals. Many times we moms forget to eat because we're taking care of everyone else, but it's very important for you and HER to eat well.
One other suggestion is to get a baby scale (you can get them almost anywhere these days). Then when you feed her, weigh her at first and feed her and then weigh her again. Don't change anything between feedings except the feeding her part. That will tell you how much she got. Get a scale that reads in 1/2 ounces if you can for more accurate reading. We did that with Sarah Beth when she came home because we had to be very strict about how much she was getting.
Good luck! Remember that whatever you need to do for you and her is FINE. But don't give up on breastfeeding just yet if you really do want to do it.
In addition, I've read that eating oatmeal boosts your milk supply and taking fenugreek boosts your milk supply (fenugreek didn't work for me, however). And keep yourself hydrated, hydrated, hydrated!
I didn't have great success with BFing neither Julia nor Sydney because neither would latch on properly without a nipple sheild. Julia actually had to be taken off of breastmilk for quite some time and Sydney needed to be supplemented with formula because she was jaundiced. I ended up pumping every two hours (and yes, I set my alarm in the middle of the night to wake up and pump): pumping 'n bottle feeding and / or pumping 'n freezing for each girl for three months so they at least got their breast milk in some manner.
Most of all, please note that whichever method you choose to feed Rachel, neither one should be up for debate from you to others; this is such a personal topic and you need to do what is best for your daughter. And PLEASE don't let anyone make you feel guilty if you should choose to formula feed. I felt so guilty when I had to formula feed Julia at home for the 1st three months of her life due to her intestinal issues in NICU, but the neonatologist assured me that I was only doing what was best for Julia's health and well-being. I felt so better hearing that from a DOCTOR that I wasn't feeling that guilt when I had to formula feed Sydney as well.
Good luck to you, hon!
Thank you to Jaidynsmum for my beautiful siggie!
I'm Barb, Mom to Angel on Earth Julia Rose (7*22*08), her twin brother Angel in Heaven Noah (7*22*08), and rainbow baby Sydney Noelle (12*4*09).
*a special 'thank you' to all the blinkie creators for their talents*
My mother had this issue. She was never able to nurse any of us. And we're all healthy and my two youngest siblings are the SMARTEST people I know.
But I know that feeling of guilt that you failed. I had to switch Erin at 6 months. Not because she wasn't getting enough but because I was so cracked and blistered that I was in so much pain I couldn't handle feeding her like that anymore.
I cried for 3 hours straight when I made the decision and cried for her first several bottles of formula. You're allowed to do that you know. But in the end you'll do what's best for Rachel because you're a good mom, and what's best for someone else's baby may not be what's best for you and her.
You won't be missing out on some sort of magical bonding time if you don't bf. You'll bond with her because you're her mother and she's your baby. Feeding is special, whether it's with a bottle or with a breast (actually, Erin and I had more interaction after she switched to bottles because she wasn't restricted to one position with a boob in the way).
You'll both be happier with feedings as stress-free as possible. Even if you manage to up your supply, if you're stressed during the feedings, she'll be able to sense it.
Anyway, the baby scale idea is a great one. I might have to get one with my next baby.
(((oh, I also have to say, my babies gained weight great and obviously were getting enough milk, but only pooped once every 3 days, so that's not always a great indicator. I think the wet diapers are better, since it shows how hydrated they are.)))
I am sorry. I had problems with breastfeeding with my daughter too primarily because she just wouldn't latch on. I ended up pumping milk and feeding her with a bottle for 8 months. I think the problem started because during the first week or so I didn't have enough milk and so I started to supplement with formula. I think she was getting frustrated because there was not enough milk and I kept on giving her breast till I just decided to pump. So whatever you end up doing, it's all for the best. So don't stress too much about it, as long as she's gaining weight and growing well it doesn't matter if it's a breastmilk or formula.
I don't know what my supply will be like (my milk never came in with Ethan even though it was supposed to) but I am not allowed to breastfeed because of one of my medications. So don't feel bad about formula, it's what I'm doing. In fact my dad and all of my uncles were formula fed, about 60% of US babies were in the 50's.
As for building your supply, a lot of my friends took the herbal supplement fenugreek, and it really seemed to help them!!
Have you tried pumping while she is eating? It is the ONLY way I can pump. If i pump when the baby is not around I get just a few drops of milk. If I pump while baby is latched I get much more 2-3 ozs.
When they persisted in questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7 Sail Back to Me