Thursday, April 26, 2007

Breastfeeding

It's been my intention to write a nice, long post about my experiences with breastfeeding. But, of course, there is not enough time nor mental capacity to write it. I can't imagine that this post will be worth reading but I really wanted to jot a few notes down.

On Tuesday, Kylie was off her wallaby bilirubin belt and was a bit lethargic. We had to wake her to feed her and she kept falling asleep at the breast, even with all our attempts to wake her. We have to make sure she's getting enough nourishment to combat the jaundice. So for the majority of her feedings, she got breast milk by bottle. For her one week birthday, she got breast milk all day (for the first six days we supplemented with formula).

On Wednesday, she made up for lost time by staying on the breast for most of the day. Her feedings were an hour long and came in clusters. I still managed to get in some pump time and had three bottles waiting for her last night. Bottles are a godsend at night. If we bottle-feed her breast milk, a feeding takes around 30 minutes. If we breast feed, it takes a good hour and a half to two hours. So bottles rule at night so that 1) Karen can do a night feeding and 2)so that we can all get some more sleep.

When Kylie breast feeds, she tends to latch on, have a few good sucks, then pops off the breast to "talk" about it. Sometimes the "talking" is grunting and sometimes it's an all-out scream. Then she latches on again and we repeat the process. I have no idea why she does this. But here are my guesses:
1) she's still learning and is vocal about learning
2) she voicing her frustration at not having her mouth instantly filled like she does when she bottle feeds
3) she hates the breast shield I'm using (but she can't latch on without it)
4) she just screams because she can!

Did your babies do this? I'm not concerned enough to call the lactation consultant but am interested to hear from my blogger friends about it.

-Wendy

14 comments:

annab said...

hi wendy,
i have been reading your blog for the last few months, congrats! kylie is so beautiful.
i worked as a post-partum doula for a while and took some in depth classes on breast feeding, although i have never done it myself. anyway, the main thing that people seem to recommend for these types of situations is skin-to-skin contact while feeding. it's worked for several of my friends. good luck!

Toes in the sand said...

Hi Wendy~
I am no expert, though I did breastfeed both my babies (my youngest for 30 months). I would be careful with bottle and breastfeeding, especially in the beginning while she is learning. I know it is a saving grace, but babies can get nipple confusion. The latch onto a breast and bottle are done 2 different ways.

Also, it is harder work to get milk out of a breast vs bottle, so it could be that she is wanting instant gratification like she gets with a bottle.

I personally would see about visiting with a lactation consultant before the frustration sets in.

Just my .02.

MaMaMia said...

Hi Wendy.

I have never had to use breast sheilds, so I can't comment on that.
Speaking from experience, it is so important to get off to the right start, and it sounds like you are doing what you can to make that happen. Only because I had such good experiences, I recommend you contacting your lactation consultant and possibly do a feeding in front of them so they can observe Kylie breastfeeding. I could tell you all my stories, but a lactation consultant could tell you many. Good luck and stick with it! If you really want to hear my story, let me know!

Stacey said...

well I had a lot of screams because Riley wouldn't latch. When she would, using the shields, sometimes she screamed and stopped and other times she went back on.

I've heard from lots of people that nipple confusion is a myth. *shrug* Lots of people use a bottle successfully but some wait until the baby is a couple of weeks old.

We were told Avent bottles are supposed to be the best for going back and forth.

You're doing great! To keep her awake, try stripping her down to just a diaper. Breast feeding is a workout so she'll get warm while doing it and being hot will make her drowsy. Also flick her feet and just keep her awake however you can.

Lynanne said...

I'm also not an expert (even on my 4th, I can't get this right!) but all your guesses sound like they fit. I've heard #2 is a common problem. #3 may be akin to nipple confusion. Though, I've given pacifiers and bottles to all my newborns before 4-6 weeks of age so I know it's not a problem for all babies. I just started using a nipple shield and my son hates it. I think he doesn't like the shape because he's fine without it (my nipples, however, are NOT fine)

I feel for you - breastfeeding can be so frustrating. I do know that if you get through the first couple weeks, it gets MUCH easier.

AJ said...

Wendy,

I just wanted to wish you well with breast feeding. I had completely different issues with it so unfortunatly I have no personal advise to give. However, with myself, and other women I know, eventually we all found our way with it. If it is important to you don't give up! Your doing great!

Funny - I never heard of a breast or nipple shield until now. I had to look it up on google!!! HA

Alayna said...

hey Wendy,
We have a slightly different take. Mateo did something similar when he was about a month old and it turned out he had reflux. He would eat for a bit, then arch his back and scream, then repeat. He also did a lot of crying after eating. Not sure this is exactly what's happening with Kylie, but it might be something to keep in mind if it gets worse. Our doctor ended up putting him on a baby dose of Zantac and it made a HUGE difference. Also, reflux doesn't always just mean spitting up - it can be silent so you don't even know it's happening. Just wanted to put that out there. Sounds like you're doing great!

-Alayna and Sacha

Alayna said...

Oops - also meant to say that we agree with the previous commenter that calling the lactation consultants was always helpful for us. We talked to a number of them in the Legacy system and they were all awesome. They were always happy to talk, answer questions, have us come in for a consult, etc. Big part of the reason why I'm still breastfeeding the little guy.

Traci said...

I had some 'issues' with my first baby and breastfeeding. She had a few sensory issues and touch was often uncomfortable for her. She was also extremely colicky. I breastfed her for about 4 months and it simply was too much for both of us. My 2nd and 3rd babies were completely different and the breastfeeding experience was amazing. It's all a learning thing sweetie. I'm sure you are doing a fine job. I love that Karen gets to feed her too! If you feel the need to chat with a lactation consultant, do it! You are doing a fabulous job and she is so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

My vote is that she's frustrated with the slow(er) milk let down - especially since she is using a bottle which is instant gratification. Check out Dr. Jack Newman's site (drjacknewman.com). He is the guru and his information has helped us tremendously.

Scoutgjee

Jean said...

Having had a 11 and a half pound baby who needed to eat all the time in the beginning, I can sympathize with wanting the rest and some bottle time, but I had to quickly give this up because he wouldn't want to do the work it took to feed. So with many visits to the lactation consultants (they came free for a year with the hospital birth, and I highly recommened using them anytime you have a problem) we were able to get where he only got the breast for the first few months and we learned to lay down and nurse, so that at night I could just lay him next to me and sleep while he ate. I highly recommened either co-sleep as breastfeeding is much easier this way or a bassinet right next to you where you can sleep and feed and when she is done, just lay her right down. As soon as he learned to feed lying down I never experienced sleep deprivation again, except the few times he has been sick. Charlie hated the breast shield as well, but for awhile I needed it as I had caused such damage letting him nurse however he would right after my section that he casued some horrible cracking and blistering of my nipples. But the lactation consultants were great about helping me get him to latch without the shield, which makes feeding easier. And I would guess her fustration comes because either the milk is too slow or too fast. If it doesn't come down fast enough then she pops off and complains, or if it is too fast she has to come off to catch her breath. My milk was too fast once it came down, so I had to slow it down otherwise he would be off and on because he was drowning. That's just my two cents. But definetly use the lactation consultants, and if they are not free for you, fing the closest La Leche, they are a great help too.

Estelle said...

Heh, my girlfriend beat me to it. She never comments, you must be special.
Cosleep. Seriously. Okay, if you're really against it, don't. But we were never really sleep deprived because Charlie was on a boob all night long. These days (21 months) he nurses from me more than her, but I don't even notice anymore. He knows what he needs, and how to get it. After about four months, he knew how to take care of himself and AJ slept through his night feedings 95% of the time. Before then, she just had to help him get it in his mouth and then would go right back to sleep.
Bottles promote weaning. There is no way around it. You've already noticed she wants a bottle because they are so much easier. I'd lay off the bottle for a bit if you possibly can.
And definitely call a lactation consultant. Little things turn into big things very quickly. Gosh, we saw them SO often, I swore they were going to kick us out... but they were always wonderful and it's primarily because of them that Charlie is still nursing at 21 months old. They were also wonderful with getting him to accept me as well, though we were their first 4 breast project!

Anonymous said...

Instead of using a bottle for extra feeds you can use a small medicine glass or a spoon. That way you can avoid nipple confusion. This is what the nurses use in our local maternity hospital in the premmie ward so that babies do not come to prefer a bottle. My little niece was jaundiced and needed extra fluids which were given to her by bottle. She soon refused to latch on at all and was fed pumped breast milk by bottle for many months.
I am not sure why you are using the nipple shields but they can also impede the flow of milk. So it is best to stop using them as soon as possible. it is best to see a lactation consultant before problems start or get entrenched.
Such a beautiful baby! Jeanette

party b said...

being bossy but:

1) call a lactation consultant asap

2) nursing between 12-5am gives you the best results because prolactin levels are the highest then. Save the bottles for 3weeks+ and then once every other day

3) it takes practice for both of you - I don't believe in nipple confusion but I do believe in babies taking the easiest path