View Full Version : BTDT, but it's not the same!
01-24-2004, 06:05 PM
Nursing help, please!! The milk is definitely beyond plentiful at this point, as my large bosom will illustrate. The engorgement is actually not as painful as I remember it to be with Gannon, but it doesn't mean it's comfy cozy either.
With Gannon, he literally was born and dove to the boob. Every 1-2 hours, just sucking away. My milk didn't come in until day 4, and my nipples were suffering from (aside from the bleeding, cracking, and soreness) trampoline effect...He couldn't get a good latch and would just boing! off them. Soon, it all settled down and we happily nursed for 15 months.
Now, with Sorrel, things are totally different. My nipples aren't as taut, but she's *much* smaller than Gannon. My breast IS bigger than her head, that's not an exaggeration. (sp?) Heck, I might even venture that my nipple is too. Gannon was quite the voracious eater...She's really mellow about the whole thing.
Plus, she's still sleeping tons. I have to basically strip her down to her diaper to get her to eat. But then she falls right back asleep. She doesn't open her mouth wide, so is not getting as much of the areola that she should be. I usually have to fiddle a bit to get her lips in the right position.
I guess my problem is, what is this doing to my supply? I haven't sterilized the PIS yet, and really don't want to have to drag the thing out now with everything else going on. She feeds every 2-3 hours, but can go for much longer if I don't wake her up. We went to the ped today and she's gained 3 oz, so I'm not overly concerned about weight loss/gain.
I don't know if it's conventional or not, but my thinking is that she'll wake up when she's hungry. I DO wake her, but only when I feel like I'm about to explode, and not because I am trying to maintain the every 2-3 hour schedule. But her lazy eating habits might diminish my milk supply, right? I constantly have to tickle her chin or feet to kickstart the sucking. I just don't want her to decide she's actually quite hungry in a few weeks and I don't have enough for her. And when she does nurse, it's minimal. Like, 5 minutes MAYBE. Then I do switch sides, just trying to get things regulated and balance out the discomfort. (With Gannon, I always stuck to one side per feeding.)
Also, I don't feel any letdown. I don't know what's normal, and I don't know if much of this has been affected by the fact that I weaned Gannon only four months ago.
Sorry so long, any help? Pointers? People willing to tell me to chill out and shut up? :) Thanks!!
01-24-2004, 06:46 PM
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! I'm just here to offer support, as you are more a bf veteran than I am, although we're still going at 14 months.
I remember getting dd naked and rubbing her head to get her going too. She was small and seemed to nurse well, although only lasted through one breast at each feeding. I also never woke her to eat unless I was engorged. I just kept my confidence up by tracking her diaper changes. As long as she had enough wet & poopy diapers every day (which she did), I told myself she was getting enough. That is what the lc had told me and I believe it. I just didn't want to freak out and start supplementing, further reducing my supply.
I also didn't feel letdown until she was much older. She did nurse for 30-40 min. the first few months so your daughter's sessions do sound a little short. Have you called a nurse or lc to discuss your concerns? I can't believe you just weaned and are at it again. Good for you! What a committed mommy you are! I will hopefully be in the same situation sometime next year.
I hope everything goes well. If it was me, I wouldn't wake her up unless it was more like 4 or 5 hours, especially if she's eating and has wet diapers, but that's JMHO.
01-24-2004, 07:41 PM
I think you're doing really great - my only input to you would be to stop worrying about your supply. She's eating as much as she needs right now if she's gaining as you say. If she does start needing more in a few weeks, you'll feed her more frequently & your supply will catch up.
You're doing great! Just try to relax & enjoy her! :)
01-24-2004, 07:51 PM
joanne, gosh you're doing great. i'm so in awe of you right now. i'd never have guessed you are dealing with just having a baby never mind having 2 kids.
in the beginning, before my milk came in, i woke lauren up, but once my milk came in, she woke up when she was hungry. even if i tried to wake her, she would just fall asleep while eating, so it was pointless. i say feed her when she wakes up on her own to eat. she won't starve herself. as for your supply, our bodies are amazing at that. i remember near the beginning, lauren would sleep for say 5-6 hours and then wake to nurse. it didn't affect my supply at all. now she wakes to nurse every 2 hours and sometimes every 30-60 minutes (ack) and my body just keeps producing enough for her.
i think you're doing a great job. i say let her sleep (and you sleep too!) and she'll wake up to eat when she's hungry.
Mom to Lauren Genevieve
01-24-2004, 08:27 PM
chill out and shut up!! :)
Congratulations on your new daughter, how exciting for you. Sound like you're doing wonderfully.
DD needed to be woken every 2 hrs for the first few weeks (maybe months, I can't remember!) and I had to tickle to keep her feeding. She fed on both sides for the first 6 mths as well. I don't think that your supply will be messed up, you'll produce what Sorrel needs, maybe less than Gannon. If she wants to eat more down the road, your body will adjust. All babies are different and I'm sure girls are even more so than boys. She's already gaining weight so you're doing great. I didn't feel letdown until about 8 mths (didn't even know what it was!!) and dd was in the 95th % until 6 mths.
I expect you've tried, but a nurse told me to pull down on the chin to get the mouth open and a good latch.
I woke dd up all the time to feed, I guess being a paranoid first time mum but a friend of mine didn't with her dd (also slept all the time.....I was v. jealous!)and she's fine and healthy.
If it works and she's doing well, don't worry, plus she's not even a week old yet, she'll get into it I'm sure.
Congrats again and try not to stress.
01-24-2004, 10:46 PM
Not that I was all that successful with BF'ing Sophie, but you mentioned in one of your other posts that Sorrell was looking a little yellow. If she's a bit jaundiced, that's what's making her sleepy.
Try washing her face and the back of her neck with a cool washcloth.
Also, I was told that you aren't supposed to let them go longer than three hours between feedings unless it's at night. The whole night/day confusion.
Any good LCs out in EH? I would find one ASAP if you can, even if it's just for some input over the phone.
01-24-2004, 11:12 PM
Thanks girls. Of course, I was too quick to set off my yap, because the tatas are hurting quite badly right now. :( I am waking her to try and relieve some of the engorgment, but she doesn't nurse long enough to really make any headway.
Marisa, first of all, beautiful new avatar!! Sophie Soph is too cute! :) And we went back to the ped today, and the doc said that her color was perfect, so no worries about jaundice.
I suppose I should be happy she's sleeping! I just can't believe how DIFFERENT she is from her brother...Babies like this actually exist?? :P
Thanks again, here's hoping my boobs chill out soon! :)
01-24-2004, 11:17 PM
Do nurse her during the day as much as she'll take. It's normal not to feel letdown, especially with a second baby. Don't worry too much about supply. If you're engorged, there's no shortage. She'll wake up within a week or two.
If she won't nurse enough to relieve the engorgement, you need to pump a little or hand express so that you don't court plugged ducts and mastitis.
Mom to Abigail Rose
01-25-2004, 12:03 AM
just keep an eye on the jaundice. have you seen the ped yet? schuyler ended up with a bili light at home, but he was REALLY close to going back to the hospital. i don't want to freak you out! but schuyler slept ALL THE TIME in the first few days home, and it was the jaundice. it was really hard to wake him to eat and the jaundice just got worse, until we ended up with the hassle of the annoying light.
i hope you are just lucky to have a sleeper and you don't have any jaundice issues. but might as well check it out since she is a little yellow, ya know?
by the way- so excited about sorrel's arrival. didn't get a chance to welcome her in the lounge posts. :)
01-25-2004, 02:33 AM
I had the same exact differences with my two babies. :) Jake was born ready to eat and knew just what to do. Logan didn't really get the hang of it for awhile. I just had to do my best and wait for her to grow enough so her mouth was big enough to latch on well.
Just hang in there and tough it out, it will get better. I would wake her every 3 hours during the day to eat, and try to keep her awake to eat. Logan got so she could eat in her sleep and that was nice for both of us.
Jacob Nathaniel Feb 91
Logan Elizabeth Mar 03
01-25-2004, 03:50 PM
And don't forget to keep on counting wet and dirty diapers to help track her intake (if she's gaining, she must be doing better than you think, but I know that you have to watch the jaundice). Someone suggested making a stack of diapers each morning equal to the number of wet diapers needed during the day, and you know that she's had enough wet diapers at the end if the stack is gone. Just an idea, if keeping a log is too much work right now.
Hang in there, Joanne!! And welcome to little Sorrel!!
01-25-2004, 04:44 PM
I never knew what a letdown felt like for weeks or even months after James was born. Then one day it was "Ah! That's what they mean!" But James was gaining very well, so there were no supply problems.
Also, I found that the football hold worked best for dealing with the big boob and very small baby head combo. For a long time, I really had to use my hand to position h is head and hold it, but eventually we didn't need to do that anymore.
Sounds like things are going very well - I'm so glad the jaundice is disappearing!
Elizabeth, Mom to James, 9-20-02
01-25-2004, 07:11 PM
Hi Joanne. I didn't read all the responses, so you may have gotten some good advice. First, you are doing an awesome job. I KNOW how time-consuming it is to be working on nursing a tiny baby--esp. with a toddler in the house, it's very difficult. I commend you for trying. It would be easy to give up.
Here are a few suggestions: do wake Sorrel every 3 hours, day or night, until she's regained her birth weight (if she's under--I know you said she gained 3 oz., but I wasn't clear on how much she lost). If she is already over her birth weight, I would let her go--probably up to 5 hours at a time.
In the meantime, I would pump to relieve discomfort and to help establish your supply. This is what I did with Joshua since he was a preemie and was too small to latch and would fall alseep with every feeding. Even though Sorrel isn't a preemie, since she isn't nursing effectively yet, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pump after your feedings. If it is too much work to do after every feeding, you could just do it as often as possible (when there is another adult present to help, etc.).
Pumping helped relieve engorgement for me and prevented more clogged ducts (I did have one at the beginning).
Sorrel will get it--babies vary so much with how long it takes then to catch on to BF. Jack took 4 1/2 months. My tiny baby Joshua only took 3 1/2 weeks.
Best of luck, and post again if you need more suggestions or support.
& Jack, 4/20/01
& Joshua, 11/16/03
01-25-2004, 08:53 PM
you know what really helped me with getting my ds to latch at first - shields - they made my nipples just pop right out there. i wore them all the time for the first two weeks and i also just expressed by hand 7 or 8 good squirts b/f i started a feeding. gosh, i remember i even wore those shields to the grocery one day by accident! sounds like everything is going well so far, hope it continues, congratulations!
and i love her name!
01-26-2004, 12:04 PM
Congratulations!!! And I love the name!
One more thought. I had serious over engorgement problems as well. I discovered that DD could not nurse comfortably when I was that full, since not only was the nipple area an entire mouthful for her, but then she had this constant fluid stream shooting into her mouth. I started hand expressing milk right into the sink before I fed her to alleviate the volume - just enough until it wasn't flying out. It helped her nurse more comfortably.
DD born 7/03
01-26-2004, 11:57 PM
Ds was a very sleepy newborn (except at night when he was a wide-awake screamy one). Once he was latched on, he would nurse/snooze/nurse but stay latched on. I finally gave up on the notion he must nurse from each side and things went MUCH better. He also seemed much smaller than my breast. I would do this complicated hold (cross-cradle) and then use my other thumb & forefinger to help pull his chin down to widen his latch. If your breasts are pretty heavy, putting a roll-up washcloth under it helps hold it up so your hands can be a little more free to help latch.
Also, pumping is a good way to relieve some engorgement and pain, but you don't want to do it TOO much or your body will get the signal to produce even MORE milk.
I'm glad to hear she's not jaundiced, that is wonderful!
Good Luck and don't wait too long to see a Lactation Consultant if you are having problems getting things worked out. I waited way too long and it just makes the road harder to come back down.
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