Wednesday, June 4

News alert - umbilical cord dropped and breastfeeding quandaries

Brijin's umbilical cord dropped off! Yippee! Now I don't have to worry about getting that thing wet anymore. YAY! Plus it kind of grossed me out. She is now completely untethered and on her own! Well, in theory, that is. ;) As her grandma still says to me to this day - and I'm 30-years old - she'll always be my baby girl. I guess she can take a real bath now versus a sponge bath, but I'll check with the doctor today at her weigh in.

Please pray she's put on weight. WARNING - about to talk about breastfeeding for those few men I have reading my blog... :)

At her last appointment on Monday, she had lost another 3/10 of a pound from Friday (I think that's right but math is not my forte!). The nurse said feed her often and until she practically pukes. So that's what I've been doing. Breastfeeding and pumping so that I can bottlefeed her my "juice" when she gets all fussy on the boob. We'll see if all the hard work paid off. Otherwise we may have to supplement with - gasp! - formula.

I know I have quite a few breastfeeding experts out there, so if you have any suggestions, PLEASE COMMENT. Our main issue is she just won't continue to suck. She gets a great latch and sucks for a while, but then either falls asleep or pushes off (she's a strong week-old chica). So I have to constantly relatch her, which she can do for about 10-13 minutes on the first side on a good day (maybe six or seven on an iffy one) before she gets all lazy with her latch. So then I burp and switch her. I'm lucky to get another good time on the other side - average is probably six minutes. And then I usually have to give her at least an ounce of pumped breast milk in a bottle.

Which brings me to another question. Does anyone have recommendations for good bottles/nipples if you're trying to continue breastfeeding while supplementing? I've been using Avent Naturally and nipples for 0+ since that was the only brand with nipples specified for newborns at Target.


Mary said...

Hi Marjie,
Sounds like typical 1-week-old baby stuff. Remember, she's just a little peanut (much smaller than any of mine) and it takes a LOT of energy to latch on and suck for an extended period of time. My gorilla babies barely made it 10 minutes on each side, for example. Also keep in mind that if you were totally bottle feeding, she'd be getting 2-3 ounces at a feeding -- and not have to work nearly as hard for it. Bottles are MUCH easier for them to suck out of. (Bad sentence structure, huh?) In fact, one of the reasons I was so hesitant to use bottles, is once they figure out how much easier it is out of the bottle, they're less likely to nurse well.

Now, for Brijin's style. Each baby has his or her own style. She might very well be what I call a "snacker." My Ethan was like this. Nurse for a few minutes then totally sound asleep. Feeding him was definitely a long-term commitment. First, I made sure he was good and mad and hungry before feeding. Total red face. Then, between breasts -- time to wake up. Change diapers, thumped him on the bottom of his feet, tickled him under the chin... Things like that. Might take 10 minutes between sides to get him awake again. Even then the second side was not nearly as long as the first. Just be sure to alternate which side is first.

Sorry to post such a long one! You can always call me if you'd like! (But not at 4 a.m., please? LOL)

She's a gorgeous baby!
(BTW -- Ethan is STILL a snacker!)

Marie said...

Hey Mommy!! (Don't you love the ring of that?!?!)

It sounds as though you are doing a good job! Slight weight loss those first days is completely normal. I just hate when health care providers dangle "threats" of supplementing over new mommies heads. As though you don't have enough to deal with!

The first thing I would say is that every family has to find their own best way of doing things. What was the 'right' way for me might not be the way YOU want to do things.

If I could make just a suggestion from experience. If you could avoid bottles for the first few weeks that is really helpful in getting the baby completely proficient and comfortable at the nursing process. Babies have to learn as much as you do. If you don't have to give her a bottle, I wouldn't yet until you are both naturals. :)

Make sure your position is good, too, with the baby completely facing your with hers, not with her body facing the ceiling and only her little head turned towards you.

I am sorry you are so far away. The hospital I'm sure has a Lactation Consultant that can help. La Leche League is also wonderful and there is certain to be a group in your area. Either of these would be happy to talk to you on the phone and some even will come to the house.

If you can figure out a private way we can exchange contact info, please let me know. I would be more than happy to talk to you if you needed to.

Meantime, keep up the good work, STAY CONFIDENT, and stay relaxed. Those are two of the keys to successful nursing.

Good luck,
Marie :)

Yogamum said...

You have received such good advice already, so I don't have much to add. What you are going through sounds totally normal and par for the course. Babies are pretty smart...they won't starve themselves! Be sure to take care of yourself!

Heather said...

Beautiful baby! I have been lurking here for a while and really enjoy your blog. Both of the other commenters have great advice.

As the mother of a snacker, the only thing I would add was a bit of advice given to me when my son and I were experiencing what you two are. During nursing I would un-swaddle him a bit and take off his little hat if he had one on. Keeping him a bit cooler seemed to keep him from falling asleep and he was able to nurse longer.

I would definitely agree with the suggestion that you make an effort to postpone bottle feedings as it may improve her ability to breast feed.

And of course the best bit of advice, when it is working beautifully and when it feels like it couldn't be going worse, just breathe. That was my mantra for those first challenging weeks: Just Breathe

Enjoy! :)

uriel said...

Basic tips on breast feeding.Hold your baby's tummy to your tummy, baby's chin to your breast. You can do this sitting or lying down. Hold your breast in a "C-hold," with your thumb on top and fingers underneath. Tickle your baby's lips with your nipple until her mouth opens wide. Quickly bring her onto the breast. Allow the tip of your baby's nose and chin to touch the breast.

Yoga Mama said...

Thank you all for the great advice. Breastfeeding is going much better and Brijin did gain weight! Went from 6.5 to 6.13 in 48 hours! Guess I just needed to wake her up more often!

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