Posted in Breastfeeding, Pumping

Breastfeeding Vent session

I am struggling to breastfeed my 3 week old baby! We started using a nipple shield in the hospital right after she was born. We began using it because baby girl had a severe tongue tie and my nipples are flat. We ended up getting her tongue tie snipped but still couldn't get her to latch without the shield. Now we are 3 weeks in and she has barely gained any weight (she is 1 oz over her birth weight and has been gaining only 2 oz a week). The Lactation specialist told me not to worry about trying to wean her off the nipple shield right away, but warned that she is not getting enough at each of my breastfeeding sessions. She wants me to pump 6x/day, feed on demand and supplement each breastfeeding session with 1oz of pumped milk. This has been extremely difficult to do because baby girl eats constantly and will only nap in my arms. How do I find the time to pump!! I feel like I need two more arms and extra boobs to make this all work! In addition to these issues, my milk supply has drastically decreased so I am trying to stay afloat. Anyone else out there having this much trouble? Its so distressing and I want to make sure baby girl gets what she needs!

  • Laura
    Apr 02

    Sounds like my situation. Flat nipples. Baby would suck but not get any milk. I ended up exclusively pumping for 4.5 months and supplementing with formula until my supply increased (took about a month). Even when my supply was meeting her needs, she could never actually get milk out of my breasts herself (we'd weigh her before and after nursing at the doctor's). No one tells you that breastfeeding doesn't work for all baby and mom pairs. And that's okay! There are other options for feeding your baby. If I had to do it all again I probably would have exclusively pumped for less time, maybe a couple of months.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 02

    Just remember- Fed is best. Do what works for you and your family. Try to let go of expectations and societal pressures. Perhaps you could try pumping some and supplementing with formula. Or keep the shield for longer and supplement with formula. Or look for donars milk. There is more than one path to feed your baby. Follow your gut. I know you will do what’s best for you. It’s hard though so hang in there!

  • Amanda
    Apr 02

    If you are 100% sure you want to stay formula free I'd contact the lactation consultant about milk donors until your supply can be boosted. It's not fun but pump while you are holding her. It made me feel like a cow but do what you gotta do. He would eat and fall asleep in my arms then while he slept I'd pump. Then he'd wake up a couple hours later he'd eat off tap a bit take a bottle and then I'd pump again. We ended up doing exclusive pumping after a bit. Breast feeding was preventing me from bonding because of stress and it was what worked for us. The goal is to do what you need to do to feed the baby.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 03

    I had a very similar situation. My daughter was tongue tied and we found out a bit late. I ended up getting thrush after having her back on the boob. So took time off to clear that. Needless to say I have been exclusively pumping since and my daughter is now 11 months. I would get a different lactation consultant and go to a free breastfeeding support class. If you are trying to increase your supply for baby I would eat oatmeal for breakfast. For pumping sessions get an app. I have sprout. It lets me keep track of when, how much and how long I pump. I pump ever two to three hours for 20 minutes every time. Do you think maybe your baby has reflux or a lip tie and it’s preventing her from still latching? I would also look at your nipple shields. I switched mine up a lot and got better results with ones that were different shaped. I know nipple shields suck. But if you can avoid exclusively pumping it will be worth it.

  • Gloria
    Apr 03

    First of all, you're doing great mama! You're doing the best you can and you're trying. Don't beat yourself up over it. I was in a similar situation with my son. If you're on Facebook, PLEASE join this group ASAP! The Cleavage Club: Breastfeeding Support. It's led by an amazing IBCLC named Cass who has extensive training and experience in ties. She's actually based in southern California. All of the moderators are also trained and knowledgeable. If your baby had ties, were they released by a pediatric dentist via laser? That's the best way to ensure they were fully released, otherwise some doctors just clip them with scissors and do not fully release the ties and baby will still have difficulty latching. Either way though, you'll have to work with baby to retrain them to use their tongue properly after release. Take baby to a chiropractor specializing in infant adjustments. Craniosacral therapy was also helpful for us. Your supply can decrease if you are stressed as well, so you need to try and remain calm (I know, easier said than done). But high stress can cause a decrease. I'm sure your consultant told you already to wait 1hr after each feed to pump. That's important. You can and actually should try to pump while baby is on you skin to skin. Set up your pump next to your bed if possible. Wear a nursing bra that doubles as a hands free pumping bra. That way you don't have to do too much at pumping time. When ready to pump, if baby is napping, place her down on the bed next to you quickly and set yourself up to pump on just one side first and then place baby on the other side of your chest to continue napping and skin to skin. The skin to skin will actually help trigger let down and can help increase your supply. Plenty of skin to skin is important too for most of the day. You'll basically be living in a robe lol but it does work and also helps actually reduce stress and anxiety (fun fact). Whenever you feed baby do it skin to skin, her belly against you. Try to not use a nursing pillow because it can actually get in the way of latching. Just place pillows under your arms as needed or nurse reclining back. This will help her want to latch without the shield. With my son, I would start every feed at night with the shield for about 3-5min and then quickly unlatch him and then practice him latching on my nipple. I did it at night so my husband was there to help me. If he couldn't latch properly, I'd put the shield back on and finish the feed. But, continued to practice without the shield. Lansinoh has a tool that helps bring out a flat nipple. Hand expressing a little milk out too before a feed also helps the nipple soften, especially if your breast is too full, which will make it easier for baby to latch. I'm adding links to videos that helped me a lot and I hope they help you too. I'm 13mos in still breastfeeding and after everything I went through starting out I'm still shocked I made it this far. It does get better. Regardless, no matter how far you get, not matter what you choose to do moving forward, just know that you're awesome and you're the perfect mother chosen for your baby. Hang in there, you got this! https://youtu.be/qF7vm11sPsI https://youtu.be/PKoEnqrSkvs https://youtu.be/Ygesrlpn8kY https://youtu.be/JaYsMGmmv3g