Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

*Sigh*

20 Mar

Another growth spurt.

Not enough milk. Again.

This time I do have my milk in the freezer.

And pills which I had stopped taking – and started taking again now.

Never-ending battle…

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When and How to Put to Bed?

19 Mar

Got this interesting chart in a newsletter today:

Image

So somewhere between 1 month and 3 months, Timothy is supposed to be transfer from sleeping 8 hours a night to 10 hours a night.

Right now He goes to sleep after a feeding somewhere between 10 and 11, then eats somewhere between 4 and 6, and then wakes up between 7 and 8. Which is the suggested 8 hours, but not the desired 10 hours. He naps a lot during the day (like right now).

Hmm. Maybe I should start putting him to sleep at 8-9 pm and let him sleep (with 2 feeding breaks) until 7-8 am? Right now he has a nap before his 10-11 pm feed. Perhaps this should be turned into the first phase of night sleep?

In the article, they also recommend putting baby to bed sleepy, but somewhat awake – and NOT after a feeding. Hmm. Right now I usually wait for him to nurse in the evening – and then put him to sleep. Perhaps I am on the path to create a bad sleeping habit? Maybe I should just decide that from now on Timothy goes to bed at 9 pm. He’ll demand his milk when he wants it.

What do you think? When your night time starts?

Breastfeeding Challenges and Solutions

15 Mar

Some of you following me know that I had some bumps in the bf road.

It all started well. As they wheeled me from the OR and gave me Timothy, he latched right on and started sucking, minutes after birth. I don’t really remember the details, but the nurses said he had a perfect latch.

Because of the c-section scar, I couldn’t place Timothy on my tunny – it hurt. So I sort of put him across my chest, face down on my boob (because I was not allowed to sit up for the first 36 hours or so). And my nipples started to hurt a lot. One had a red bloody crack across the middle of the nipple, the other got a bloody blister. They even got dry and sharp (I was wondering how Timothy can eat – so sharp the blisters were).

Every nurse seemed to have her own idea of how things should be done. I’ll share what worked for me.

Use the football hold position: the baby is not on your belly, AND you can see how he’s latched. Always make sure his lips aren’t curled inwards as this will cause him to suck on the nipple, not the areola!

Put cream BEFORE as well as after each feeding. This way when your baby sucks, the areola slips into his mouth along with the nipple, allowing for a much better latch. Of course, make sure the cream is safe for bf.

Let him take his time, but be realistic. If he stays on one boob for over 30 minutes, then he’s probably asleep, using your boob as a pacifier. It’s not a bad thing altogether – his sucking stimulates milk production increase for later – but I wouldn’t recommend going beyond 30 minutes per boob.

Don’t drink too much around the time your milk is supposed to come (3-5 days postpartum). Your body will turn pretty much all the liquid you drink into milk and you’ll get uncomfortable engorged. And feed at least every three hours – also to avoid gross engorgement (huh, I am feeling milk let-down as I write this ;))

Colostrum (the substance that comes before milk) is yellow. Like almost orange yellow. I was surprised. And then I knew when it turned into milk – because of the colour change 🙂 Although my milk is still yellowish.

I started having milk supply issues at some point – Timothy (as I figured it later) was going through a growth spurt and I didn’t have enough. I did lots of things combined – medicinal as well as old wives’ tales – and it worked:

  • Pumping both breasts for 20 minutes after each feed (painful… especially at night when all you want is sleep… especially when he feeds every hour…)
  • Collecting this milk. It was 10 ml here, 20 ml there – but it helped: when I still didn’t have enough milk, I could give Timothy my breast milk as opposed to supplement
  • Eating fatty foods: it’s not all about the volume of milk, but its richness, too. I ate lots of cheese and walnuts.
  • Drinking a lot. Your baby needs about 100 ml a day per each pound. So if Timothy is about 5 kg, he needs a liter of milk – daily! Now how can you produce a whole liter of milk if you don’t drink enough? I had one awful day when I forgot to keep myself hydrated. I ended up with a very frustrated baby for there was no milk for him!
  • Drinking hot tea with milk. I don’t know what is it about hot tea with milk, but Russian mothers swear by it.
  • Taking Dom Peridon (this requires a prescription)
  • Drink a glass of milk during your night feeding. I usually bring a glass of cold milk before the last feeding of the day and leave it by the glider so that it’s there for me for the middle-of-the-night feed. It doesn’t go bad that quickly. And it helps against hunger pangs that sometimes arrive in the middle of the night. Feeding another human being can do that to you!

There are more things you can do, but the above ones worked for me, so I didn’t take fenugreek or boob massage that’s supposed to open up milk ducts…

The other night Timothy ate one boob and fell asleep so deeply that I had to pump the other boob. I was thrilled to get 100 ml out of one boob! Although, I have to mention he slept for 5 hours prior to this, so there was more milk there than usual.

And the best sound in the world is hearing Timothy’s gulp-gulp-gulp. That tells me I got lots of milk. Even though he often chokes on it now and it’s hard for me to not get scared…

weight gain

1 Mar

We went for another pediatrician visit yesterday. I suspect she made a mistake last time when she said Timothy is not gaining enough. How could it ne that back then he gained only 20 g in 5 days and now 170g in 5 days??? Anyway, the main thing is all looks well. It seems I have enough milk, Timothy is looking great, and we are to come back in 3 weeks.

In other news, Timothy is 3 weeks and 2 days old. How time flies!!! He smiles more frequently – he smiled at my hubby and my sis. He tries to reach toys. He follows rattles with his eyes. He spends more time awake.

And he still sleeps great at night!!!

All my desperation over milk supply problems is gone. In fact, I feel like we bonded through this experience. We worked as a team, Timothy and I, to establish my milk supply. I pumped, he sucked, I ate pills, he demanded feedings… as a team, we worked it out! We are a team. A family. And I love him even more for this!!!

Yesterday we went to the shopping mall and he behaved great. And I discovered there are nursing rooms in malls- very calm, awesome environment!

Although all the mommies around me were discussing their “useless” husbands. Mine is awesome so I didn’t take part in the conversation. Just listened, a bit perplexd. Could it be that all of their hubbies (there were half a dozen women) are that useless?

Anyway. The main thing is my son is doing great and my hubby is awesome.

Thank you all for your support and cheering me up throught the milk supply battle.

getting better

27 Feb

So I grit my teeth and persevere. Following an advice from la leche league consultant, I didn’t take Timothy from the breast when he emptied it thoroughly. This resulted in him hanging on my breast for 6 hours straight with only bathroom breaks on Saturday. Then we went for a walk to get him to sleep and he was back on my tit for another suckling marathon session. He still needed a formula supplement in the evening, but only 60 ml this time.

And on Sunday he was eating normal. And I was pumping and collecting after each feed and gathered 50 ml – enough to leave him with hubby and get for a little while for the first time. So rejuvenating. And then I got back and started pumping even more after each feeding. Now even if he is hungrier than what I have in the breast, I can feed him my milk from a bottle and not formula. I have 65 ml already in the freezer and about 40 ml and counting. All collected since I got home at 6 pm yesterday.

I so so hope the meds and pumping will do the job! Looks like my milk supply is increasing already. We didn’t supplement AND I was able to store some milk away! The world is getting brighter.

Sorry for typos. Mobile posting isn’t the most convenient thing 🙂

lost battle

24 Feb

He is screaming.
I have no more milk.
Hubby is giving him formula.
I am hysterical. I lost this battle. I feel useless. A failure of a mother. Defeated.

I know. It’s all about his well-being and much worse things happen. Nevertheless. I am highly distressed.

Prenatal Class #6 – Breastfeeding

6 Dec

We had the 6th, and final, prenatal class today – it was devoted to the topic of breastfeeding.

We went through all the benefits of breastfeeding (immune system, comfort, quicker weight loss…), watched some videos… Most of the class was not helpful – I already read all this.

What was helpful is her telling us why our mothers and older siblings had so much problem with breastfeeding: because back then babies were taken away for 4 hours right after birth and were brought back every 4 hours. Babies were often given formula and water – from bottles.And the way moms were instructed to breastfeed… they used to squeeze the nipple in what was a called a cigarette hold! I bet it hurt. I bet the baby couldn’t squeeze much milk. And – goodness! –  “cigarette hold” is just wrong on so many levels…

What was also helpful is her giving us a very good comparison: it might seem like baby is not getting enough nutrition those first few days when all you have is colostrum – but actually colostrum is very, very reach – like concentrated frozen juice. The concentrated frozen juice is so sweet that you simply can’t have too much of it – same with colostrum. So in the first day it’s okay if you get only 1 wet diaper (well, not you… the baby). Then there should be 2 on the second day, 3 on the third, and so on until day 7 – but pooping should be at least a daily occasion.

I do suspect this might have been the reason my mom and sis had ‘insufficient milk supply’ – their breasts simply weren’t stimulated for milk production because they were not let to breastfeed on demand.

Using real-sized baby dolls and experimenting with some breastfeeding positions was also helpful – before I only read about these positions, but having a “baby” in your hands is different, much more helpful.

Other than that it was okay at best. Oh, and the argument that breastfeeding is “cheap”? Puh-lease. Breast milk is NOT free – you have to eat much more to have enough calories to produce milk. We do pay for that extra food that turns into extra calories that turn into milk. Jussaying.