on breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has been by far the biggest trial of early parenthood. S latched on pretty well from the beginning and fed every 4 hours in his first couple of days. The hospital and lactation specialists pushed to do every 2-3 hours, but when I tried he wouldn’t do it until the 4 hour mark. Then we discovered he was jaundiced and I was told that is why he was not eating regularly – jaundiced babies are more interested in sleeping than anything else. when we got home from the hospital, I finally got him on a 3 hour schedule, though he was still slow to latch. His birth weight was 8 lbs. and he went down to 7 lbs, 8 oz in his first week, which was fine according to the doctors. After a few days, he went up to 7 lbs, 11 oz but he didn’t go above that the next time the doctor weighed him. They checked his bilirubin number and it was fairly high (17), so they referred us to a lactation specialist. Thank God for that because he started really fussing the day I got her number and did a back to back feeding, which worried me.

We went to the lactation specialist on Tuesday and she recommended getting a hospital grade pump and using that to pump an ounce after his regular feeding and giving it to him as well. So we were on a 3 hour schedule, but it took about an hour or so to get through the regular feeding (damn latching issues) and then 20 minutes to pump and another 10 or so get him to eat it. I was getting like an hour of sleep between feedings. YIKES! Anyway, I went to the pediatrician today and he has gained 9 oz, putting him at 8 lbs, 4 oz – finally gaining! So I’m scaling back the pumping and only doing it during the day. I hope to get some halfway decent sleep tonight. It feels like I’ll never get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time again, but I know this will eventually pass. One good thing is that my nipples are not that sore and my supply seems to be decent, so at least there’s that.

In other news, my mom is staying another week to help out with the feeding schedule. She has been a real help, though it will be nice to have our house back to ourselves and experience life as a 3 person family. Still, it’s pretty great to hand him off to someone I trust to do what she can when I’m done nursing.

Other BFing mamas, how’s it going for you?

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4 Comments

Filed under breastfeeding, parenting

4 responses to “on breastfeeding

  1. >Those whole "Breast is Best" posters in the hospital make it look so natural and easy. That is so misleading. Breast feeding is so friggin complicated in the beginning and then suddenly it wasn't. I did a lot of pumping especially while she was sick in the nursery. We were on a crazy schedule like you with no sleep and huge nipple pain. I was seriously considering only pumping or using formula it hurt that much when she latched. She is an over achiever in that area. Also everyone we talked to told us to do different things. I am so happy that we kept going. Now there is no schedule and I don't even know what time I last fed her and for how long. Somehow it all worked out. I don't know if I will ever again have feeling in my nipples, but for now that is working for me.I just know how hard it was, how lucky I was to have lots of help and that now it is working.

  2. >Breastfeeding did not come naturally to me – I really had to work on it. It was easily the most challenging part of havin a baby so far – harder than the IVF procedures, morning sickness, c-section recovery, etc… Somewhere between 3-4 weeks, it got much easier. I'm 8 weeks postpartum now, and it's effortless and SO rewarding. Hang in there, you can do it. Also, all lactation consultants are not created equal. It may be worth it to talk to some others. We were on #4 (through our hospital) before we found the one that really made a difference and helped us work out the issues we were having.

  3. >I second everything said above. I had a very rough first week and I swear I felt that every consultant we saw told me I was doing something else wrong. Then, it just sort of got easier. I think they both finally got on some sort of schedule around 6 weeks and I figured out how to nurse lying down around 7-8 weeks. That was awesome because I could rest or sleep while nursing. I remember the first night I didn't have to get out of bed. I almost jumped for joy that morning.So despite the steep initial learning curve, I have never regretted it and actually been extremely thankful for it numerous time (mostly during illness or fussy baby times).

  4. Jen

    >I have to admit that breastfeeding has been a lot easier for us than I anticipated. In the hospital, we were feeding him forumla and supplimenting with my pumping until my milk came in 3 1/2 days later. I was really lucky that it came in so fast, esp with a c/s. The first couple of days he would latch well most times, although some would be a struggle and his Irish temper would kick in. My mom informed me that I am from a long line of jersey cows (no joke) and my supply is crazy! I am able to feed him, pump enough for a bottle or two a day (Tiff takes one feeding a night so I can sleep) and pump for a freezer supply. I do consider myself very lucky! The one problem I am finding is that he tends to eat more in each feeding with a bottle than the breast. This causes him to sleep less between my feedings than the botle, but it is still about 3 to 3.5 hours between feedings. I definately have a "boob man" who likes to snack and fall asleep at the breast. We are exhausted as well and that is just a part of the newborn lifestyle. I am trusting that it will all get easier and more sleep will be in our future.

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