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feeding problems small full-term baby

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feeding problems small full-term baby

Postby jules2 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 01:48 pm

by jules2 (514 Posts), Tue Dec 28, 2010 01:48 pm

Hi,

I had my baby on 17th dec by c section at 38+2 gest due to transverse lie [no pe this time!] she was 6lb 5oz, dropped to 5lb 13oz, now 6lb 0oz. We've had feeding problems since day 2 (when my milk came in). I've been terribly engorged and cracked / bleeding at times. I exclusively pumped for a day or two (my nipples were just too sore) then went back to breast; I guess partially successfully. But she has days (like today) where she just cries all day and I just keep trying to feed her but it doesn't seem to be "working" somehow. She has difficulty getting latched on, comes off and starts sucking my nipples, she gets frustrated, comes off again, takes up to 2 hours per feed and I feel the milk is being produced too slowly or something (or there is not much of it) and she's not really getting it. I had post-partum haemorrhage and my haemoglobin went down to 7 so I know I've taken quite a hit physically which might not be helping either.

I've tried massaging / hot baths etc. etc. but nothing seems to make much difference. She is now starting to gain weight, but this has been very slow, and she will not be anywhere near her birthweight by 2 weeks, as I've told she should be.

To be honest I am also getting very down and frustrated by it and feel like I just want to pump to make sure she is getting some! If I didn't have a lot of help at home from DH and his family I think I would have given up BF by now; all I'm having to do is feed her right now. But he goes back to work on Jan 11 and not sure how I will cope on my own all day after that.

Has anyone been through anything like this or have any other suggestions?

Thanks

Jules
May 2009 - Alice stillborn at 26 weeks due to severe PE and HELLP post-partum

2 early miscarriages

And then 4th pregnancy baby girl due 29th December 2010! Born safely after totally normal pregnancy on 17th December.
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Re: feeding problems small full-term baby

Postby panguitch02 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 02:29 pm

by panguitch02 (375 Posts), Tue Dec 28, 2010 02:29 pm

Jules,

Were you able to consult with a lactation specialist in the hospital? I highly recommend a session with a specialist if you have not already. If the baby isn't latching properly it can cause lots of pain. Being engorged can lead to mastitis. Your local hospital might have a baby line for you to call to find a consultant or there might be private consultants in your area. Your nipple will also become less tender over time.
Shannon (34) & Jason (35)
Jameson 6/1/07 33 weeks to Severe PE... 5 weeks NICU
Lilah Noel 1/2/11 PIH from 19 weeks... VBAC at 40 weeks
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Re: feeding problems small full-term baby

Postby heather j » Tue Dec 28, 2010 03:03 pm

by heather j (4882 Posts), Tue Dec 28, 2010 03:03 pm

I agree that it sounds like a possible latching issue. Is she taking the entire areola In her mouth or just the nipple? You should also be able to hear her suck and swallow pattern (if she's making a clucking sound with her tongue, use your finger to break her suck and try to put her back on). Do you have any nipple cream? Lansinoh is popular, and Earth Mama Angel Baby makes a good one. There are also "soothies" that you can buy and chill to help with the pain. I think Lansinoh and Ameda make some. :( I hope it gets better for both of you.
Heather (PAI-1 4G/4G) mama to:
Nicolas Edison (6/2004) 36 weeks, PE, HELLP, and placental abruption
Ella Amelia (3/2007) 37 weeks, lovenox, PE-free
Oliver Lyon (1/2011) 37 weeks, lovenox, PE-free
Milo Mason (2/2014) 39 weeks PE-free
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Re: feeding problems small full-term baby

Postby amandaoasis » Tue Dec 28, 2010 03:12 pm

by amandaoasis (541 Posts), Tue Dec 28, 2010 03:12 pm

Hi Jules,

I just wanted to chime in a couple of things. My first born was 9 weeks early and we never did get the hang of breastfeeding. I tried from weeks 37-41, but could never get him latched on properly. I was soooooo stressed out over it and had the same issues you are having (sore/bleeding nipples and a really fussy feeder). So I decided to pump for him and continued with that for 8 months. Although I was glad to be able to provide him breast milk, pumping was not much fun.

Fast forward to Vivian's birth. I had the same nipple issues, but was more prepared for it. I was absolutely committed to getting her on the breast and though we still have some trials, she is there right now. I second the advice that your nipples will settle down with time, but a decent latch is essential. I have been very vocal seeking out the help of LC's this time and it has helped tremendously. Can you try a feed and weigh session? You can feed your baby at the consultant's office and they will weigh before and after. You might be surprised at how much baby is getting. And if not, it might be easier to pinpoint the issues.

These first few weeks are the most trying, but if you can get through them, I promise things get easier. But I remember the feelings of complete desperation and frustration. Hugs to you.
Amanda, mom to:
Bennett, born 11/24/08 at 31 weeks 2 days due to HELLP. 3 lbs. 7 oz. 16 inches
Vivian, born 10/28/10 at 39 weeks 1 day. Induced due to mildly creeping BP's. 7 lbs. 10oz. 20 inches.

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Re: feeding problems small full-term baby

Postby jules2 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 03:47 pm

by jules2 (514 Posts), Tue Dec 28, 2010 03:47 pm

Thanks - I think one of the problems is that all the local lactation consultants / support groups etc. are "shut down" for xmas and new year, so although I've been trying to access help its a bit difficult at the moment and will be until mid january. I am in the UK and the xmas holiday period is quite long here, as well as routine post-natal care being very limited (midwife comes around to check my wound every few days; they also have a quick look at the baby and weigh her but that's all they get time to do).

I've tried the lansinoh etc. I guess I will just keep trying a few more days but if need be will then give up and pump if she is still not gaining weight well. I'm not clear how long its "safe" to allow my baby to continue like that, if you see what I mean?

Best wishes and thanks

Jules
May 2009 - Alice stillborn at 26 weeks due to severe PE and HELLP post-partum

2 early miscarriages

And then 4th pregnancy baby girl due 29th December 2010! Born safely after totally normal pregnancy on 17th December.
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Re: feeding problems small full-term baby

Postby glimmer » Wed Dec 29, 2010 00:56 am

by glimmer (173 Posts), Wed Dec 29, 2010 00:56 am

Hi Jules,
first of all - congratulations to your daughter! I have been following your story and am so happy she is here!

I think you are very considerate. I had my son in the UK and support is so much more difficult to get to there.
I started as you - with cracked, bleeding nipples and engorged breasts and all the pain. But then I ended feeding my son for three years.
So - you can get through this stage.

I think the engorgements is normal and does not necessarily mean that your baby isn't getting enough milk, but her weight gain is
obviously important. I second the Lasinoh. You can actually leave it on for the next feed. It's all natural. Also, I found it very easy to feed in the bath-tub. The milk so to say squirts out all by itself, and it's all warm and pre-birth like.... Also the newest things is no longer to bring the baby to the breast, but the breast to the baby. This definitely has worked better for me. In the worst times, I put the baby on it's back and leaned over it, free-swinging so to say. I am just saying here, experiment a little. This does not replace professional help, but
maybe you find something that works for you.

Were are you located? Could you call an independent midwife in your area. I am sure they would be happy to give you some consultation and they tend to be available during the holidays. Also, give La Letche a call. Finally there is excellent advice on http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/index.html and mumsnet.com has a really good breastfeeding forum with lots of knowledgable women with local advice.

All the best. I would encourage you to persevere. The pain of the cracked nipples was about one week for me.
Agony, but a price worth paying.

Just to be clear, I very much respect women that decide not to breastfeed. But it seems to me just just need to get a little help with the start.
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UPDATE: please advice? Re: feeding problems small full-term

Postby jules2 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:38 am

by jules2 (514 Posts), Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:38 am

Hi,

I've had the midwives visit again today and my baby is still only 2.7 kg (meaning she has gained no weight at all for one week, and is still half a pound below her birthweight at 14 days only). She was not that small (6lb 5oz nor premature at birth - 38+2 - so I can't blame that.

The midwives advised me to feed for half an hour only then pump the rest and feed her the expressed milk - I've been doing that today but finding that I can only pump off about 5ml at a time (whilst I could manage up to 80ml a week or so ago) so am wondering whether my milk production has really dried up for some reason, or whether neither baby nor I can "get" at it? I phoned the midwives back and they suggested starting formula now - which I never wanted to do but now feel that I have to given that I just can't let her continue at barely 6lb and not gaining weight. Other than that she seems quite well, but is frustrated when feeding, coming off every few minutes and sucking her fingers instead (understandable if she's not getting much I suppose). I feel really down that I can't do this and am wondering why this has happened? The midwives observed me latching her on this morning and thought that was ok, my haemoglobin is up to 11.3 and I am feeling better post-c section and infection so there is no obvious reason why this might happen?. My mother had exactly the same problems and gave up BF within a week or two for this reason?

Thanks again for any support

Jules
May 2009 - Alice stillborn at 26 weeks due to severe PE and HELLP post-partum

2 early miscarriages

And then 4th pregnancy baby girl due 29th December 2010! Born safely after totally normal pregnancy on 17th December.
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Re: feeding problems small full-term baby

Postby glimmer » Fri Dec 31, 2010 06:34 pm

by glimmer (173 Posts), Fri Dec 31, 2010 06:34 pm

Hi Jules,
How important is it for you to breastfeed (BF)? If it is, get some professional help!!! It's not clear from
your post if you like the midwife, or if she tells you to supplement with formula as not to have any more work to do.
I could never pump more than 2oz at a time and I BF exclusively two children for 6months.
The amount you can pump is not an indication of how much you have. (Scientific references for this e.g. on the Kellysmom webpage). Infants are a lot more efficient at removing milk than pumps.
If you go to a breastfeeding clinic in the US,they weight the child before and after a feeding. This way they know exactly how much the child got.
Now if your mother had some problems, too, you might have real supply issues. They can give you medication to stimulate milk production. I think it's called domperidone. A natural, over-the counter, stimulant is Fenugreek. It sounds like you might relax a little more if you also offer formula and your baby should gain a little. But if you want deep down to breastfeed, then I would push a little more. (At least that's my experience with the British system). Again, there is nothing wrong with formula, it just depends what you really want. If you give up breastfeeding now, will you be fine with this decision or will you think you'll regret it? This is the question only you can answer. But if you want to continue, don't give up just because it's easier.
If you want to pursue and if the lactation consultants are still closed, go to the mumsnet breastfeeding forum. There are a number of experienced lactation consultants online there, who give advice for free.
They could tell you with more authority and knowledge what the next step is. You can always mixfeed and then cut the formulate out over time, if that's the best avenue for you. I don't want to be pushy, but my experience of the UK health system is that you have to be pushy if you need something
(I could tell you a 5h story about being sent home 20 times, when I had a complete cervical stenosis and could have died any moment from sepsis (my blood pooled in the adomen). Since I wasn't bleeding, I was not taken in for investigation). Do by all means what is right for you, but don't give up because it's easier!!!
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Re: feeding problems small full-term baby

Postby amandaoasis » Fri Dec 31, 2010 09:25 pm

by amandaoasis (541 Posts), Fri Dec 31, 2010 09:25 pm

Are you using a hospital grade pump? I found this was the only pump that worked for me.
Amanda, mom to:
Bennett, born 11/24/08 at 31 weeks 2 days due to HELLP. 3 lbs. 7 oz. 16 inches
Vivian, born 10/28/10 at 39 weeks 1 day. Induced due to mildly creeping BP's. 7 lbs. 10oz. 20 inches.

2011 Denver Promise Walk and 5K Run Co-coordinator
Register here:

http://www.promisewalk.org/pfpw/fundeve ... ffundid=28
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Re: feeding problems small full-term baby

Postby jules2 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 06:28 am

by jules2 (514 Posts), Sat Jan 01, 2011 06:28 am

Thanks again - I don't really want to give up the idea of breast feeding without a fight, so to speak. I really wanted Rachel to have the "best" start in life I could give her, and also the convenience of breast feeding rather than all the sterilising and making feeds up. I should be able to get more help after next tuesday as the world comes back to life in the UK; I am also looking for private help now.

I am only using a manual pump (and that's starting to give me repetitive strain injury!) so am going to get a better one today if I can as well.

Thanks agaun
May 2009 - Alice stillborn at 26 weeks due to severe PE and HELLP post-partum

2 early miscarriages

And then 4th pregnancy baby girl due 29th December 2010! Born safely after totally normal pregnancy on 17th December.
jules2
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Posts: 514
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