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Old 11-18-2006, 01:55 PM   #1
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Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

My son is 11 days old and for the past day has been sleeping for 4 hour stretches after taking a bottle. I always breast feed him first - and then offer the bottle b/c I am having problems with my milk supply and am working with a consultant to increase it. I guess he gets about 3 oz. total (breast and bottle) in this 4 hour time frame. Is this too little? Should I be waking him after 3 hours to eat?

 
Old 11-18-2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

I don't know how many ounces he should be having because I breastfeed but you should be waking him to nurse at least every two hours (from the start of the last feeding). Also the more formula you feed him the less milk you will make.

Last edited by Mom22greatkids; 11-18-2006 at 03:49 PM.

 
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:25 PM   #3
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

I have to bottle feed him b/c I am not producing enough milk. Doctors orders and now the lactation consultant orders. He takes very well to my breast and I am feeding him perfectly. After each feeding, I then pump for another 10 minutes. I am doing every thing to increase my supply, including taking Fenugreek as of today.
Just b/c he is getting some formula, doesn't mean I won't produce milk - it just means I have to take extra measures to produce milk on my own. Hence, the pumping and Fenugreek.

 
Old 11-19-2006, 04:28 AM   #4
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

If I read correctly you are nursing every 4 hours. If so and you are trying to establish a milk supply you need to nurse (or pump but it is better to let baby nurse) at least every 2 hours.

Last edited by Mom22greatkids; 11-19-2006 at 04:39 AM.

 
Old 11-19-2006, 05:16 AM   #5
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

Right - He can't eat every 2 hours with the formula, so I am pumping in that frame instead. I spent 2 days nursing him around the clock - every hour and a half and my milk supply still didn't come in fully. He wasn't getting enough and I was told I have to supplement.
What I was looking for was how many ounces do babies eat in a 24 hour period. I think I found the answer - approx. 20 ounces or more so it looks like I am fine with his feedings. Whew!

 
Old 11-19-2006, 06:09 AM   #6
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

Quote:
Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?
Yes and yes!

You definitely need to wake him to nurse every 2 hours!! If the bottles are interfering with this, you need to cut them back. I would also ditch the bottle and use an SNS system (your lactation consultant will know what this is). It is a feeding tube you tape to your nipple that has formula in it so when he nurses at the breast he gets supplemented by that without getting a bottle. It cuts out one step (the bottle) and allows him to still suckle at the breast which is what you need for your supply.

4 hours is dangerously too long for a breastfed baby, and pumping is just not the same. You need to pump after you nurse, not in lieu of it.

I hate to say this, but if that is what your LC has you doing, I would look into finding another one.

My daughter was also jaundiced, so I know how hard it is to feed a sleeeeeeeepy baby, but I would get wet wash clothes and put them on her feet and the back of her neck. I also stripped her down to a diaper and took my shirt off so we were skin to skin, and then rubbed her head to keep her awake. If you put gentle pressure on the button of their chin it will get them sucking again, and I also suggest breast compressions in different positions. It will increase the flow of milk and encourage more swallowing, which will create more sucking.

I would do this every two hours, and count from the beginning of the last feed, not the end. It will feel like you start the whole process over again in 20 minutes, but it's important to encourage as much time at the breast as possible. A pump will just not cut it. And the nice thing about the SNS is is that ANY little bit you are able to pump you can use as your supplement instead of formula.

Last edited by debating; 11-19-2006 at 06:12 AM.

 
Old 11-19-2006, 09:00 AM   #7
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

We are on a 3 hour schedule now. I wake him up if he is sleeping.
I nurse for 30-40 minutes - give him a bottle so he can get some extra fluids - and then pump for another 10-15 minutes - even though still nothing extra is coming out after he nurses on me. But really, it is 2 hours between pumping and nursing.
I totally trust my LC and know she is telling me to do everything right. It really is ME and my supply. I pump 6-8 times a day and nurse him every 2.5-3 hours so I am getting a ton of stimulation. It is very possible that his sucking is weak and is not helping my supply. The jaundice is not an issue at this point.
He is getting about 20 ounces of breast milk/Similac a day and this is what I was told he needed.
I am hoping the Fenugreek will increase my supply. I have only been taking it for 12 hours so it is still very early.
I will not give up the bottle for now. He needs to eat and I am not producing enough milk. He latches onto me with no problems and I would only be worried about the bottle if it was prohibiting him from taking my breast.
I am getting very frustrated and am giving the breast feeding experience another week. I have been doing everything right and have talked to a consultant over the phone and had one over to my house for $125.00. Both have told me I am doing everything right.
I am finally able to eat and not stress over this, which I know is so important to my supply. However, I still don't have much milk coming in! I am nursing...pumping...nursing...pumping... nursing....!!!

 
Old 11-19-2006, 09:32 AM   #8
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

KeltoKel,
Good for you, and don't give up! I had problems with breastfeeding for the first few weeks also and had to supplement and pump (it seemed like I was either nursing or pumping ALL THE TIME! Anyway, my little girl is now 3 months old and I have been exclusively breastfeeding since week 3, so it is possible to get that supply increased. I wish you the best of luck!

 
Old 11-19-2006, 03:58 PM   #9
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeltoKel
We are on a 3 hour schedule now. I wake him up if he is sleeping.
I nurse for 30-40 minutes - give him a bottle so he can get some extra fluids - and then pump for another 10-15 minutes - even though still nothing extra is coming out after he nurses on me.
That is a good order, however, I would make sure he nurses every two hours. "Stimulation" every 2 hours is not the same as him nursing every two hours.

Other then that, it sounds like you have it all sorted out. And I agree, good for you! You are doing the very best for your baby. I would give it more then a week tho, I pumped around the clock (every 2 hours) for 10 weeks. I was well worth it tho, by the time she ws 14 weeks old we were exclusively breastfeeding and it was SOOOOOOOOO nice not to wash bottles or pump parts. Soooo nice.

 
Old 11-19-2006, 05:04 PM   #10
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

Thanks for the words of encouragement - I really need it. I am beginning to wonder though, is it possible that some people just never end up producing enough breast milk? My sister in law has been very supportive and she feels sorry for me b/c she had SO MUCH milk when her sons were born and literally was wearing maxi pads in her bra to soak up the milk. Her own sister was the same way - tons of milk!

I am wondering if there is just something hormonal in me that makes is hard for me to produce milk? The consultant I saw even asked about my bleeding b/c sometimes your body still thinks you are pregnant and therefore, you don't produce milk.

I have pumped for 36 hours now and don't even have an ounce of milk saved. Can you imagine if I was only breast feeding my son exclusively and not feeding him anything else? He would be very hungry. He is a hungry boy to begin with.

Anyhow, I am keeping my fingers crossed, but this whole experience is getting frustrating and making me feel sad, a failure and teary. I should be enjoying this experience and I am not. Numerous people have told me that I need to be happy and my son needs to be happy. If this is making me miserable, then I am not going to stress myself out over it anymore. Although the breast is best, my son can grow just as healthy with formula. At least I know I tried my best.

 
Old 11-19-2006, 05:39 PM   #11
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

I'm sorry you are so stressed out about it. I know how you feel. I was that way with my first. I tried to go to bottles because I thought he wasn't getting enough. He flatly refused bottles and I had no choice! I'm so glad about that now. It is really pretty rare a person to not produce enough, although so many women think they do not produce enough because of lack of support/knowledge/confidence/not nursing enough, etc. When babies are born they want to nurse all the time (and I mean constantly). That's how your supply gets established. I think what the LC was talking about is when the placenta is expelled it triggers your body to make milk. Sometimes (rarely) a piece of placenta remains and you don't make as much as you should. I think you would know by now though because you would be having other problems. My advice to you is to let baby nurse as long as he wants and as often as possible. Get as much rest as possible, drink lots of water and eat well. Eat oatmeal. It is supposed to increase your supply. Try not to stress. You are not a failure. You are doing great. Hang in there. Also, please remember what you pump is not any indication of what your baby is getting. I can't get much, if anything from a pump and my baby is 9 months old and nursing. What kind of pump are you using?

Last edited by Mom22greatkids; 11-19-2006 at 05:45 PM.

 
Old 11-20-2006, 03:45 PM   #12
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

Did you get the blessed thistle to take along with the fenugreek. I was told the two combined produced the best effects. North of 60 helped me out sooo much by introducing me to the SNS. The SNS, fenugreek, and blessed thistle saved my breast feeding days. My daughter was actually losing some weight and staying the same, but we made it through and I am sooo HAPPY

If you want, of course, talk to LC about the SNS, it really does help!!

Melissa
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:31 PM   #13
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeltoKel
I am beginning to wonder though, is it possible that some people just never end up producing enough breast milk?
It's really pretty rare to not be able to produce milk. There is usually a reason for why we have troubles. For me it was a very medicalized birth and traumatic delivery. I was induced (which in hindsight was a HUGE mistake, but I can't change that now), was in labor 37 hours, 19 of which was with pitocin and antibiotics. I also had an epidural (we won't even go there!). Pitocin is HORRIBLE horrible stuff. It is basically fake hormones that force your body into labor, and jaundice is a huge side effect. Between the jaundice and my body simply not being ready to give birth I was doomed from the start. By the time she was 4 weeks old she was loosing weight and had barely got back up to her birth weight. I, like you, had to supplement. It took 10 weeks to get off the formula, and I did EVERYTHING possible to get there - SNS, fenugreek, blessed thistle, pumping, co-sleeping.. you name it, I did it.

What was your birth like? Unless you had a natural (no inducement or c-section) birth with NO drugs, I would attribute your breastfeeding problems to your labor and deliveries.

Quote:
I am wondering if there is just something hormonal in me that makes is hard for me to produce milk?
Do you have thyroid problems? I would have blood drawn to check for thyroid levels. A wonky thyroid can cause problems with milk supply.

Quote:
I have pumped for 36 hours now and don't even have an ounce of milk saved. Can you imagine if I was only breast feeding my son exclusively and not feeding him anything else? He would be very hungry.
Not necessarily. Pumping is NOT an indication of milk supply! Some women have no troubles breastfeeding but never respond to a pump. A pump is artificial, a baby is the real thing. Our bodies can tell the difference.

The ONLY way to tell if your baby is getting enough is by checking diapers - what goes in must come out! If your baby is having 5 wet diapers a day then he is properly hydrated.

I mistook my daughters "ravenous" signals as a sign that my milk must not have been plentiful, and while I needed to supplement for a short while, I underestimated my body. When I realized how to count diapers and monitor pee (5-6 nice clear, non smelly pees per day) I realized she was getting enough and that she just LIKED being on the breast. It's called comfort nursing, and it's totally normal. Your body will also adjust to this, so if your baby is used to taking in 18 small meals a day, your body will produce accordingly (which is why he may have measured as having only taken in a small amount).

In any case, the SNS is a great way to get him supplemented, and it gives him the instant gratification at the breast that only a bottle can provide, which may help boost his suck. I would give it a try, you can get them at Babies R Us.

Quote:
Numerous people have told me that I need to be happy and my son needs to be happy. If this is making me miserable, then I am not going to stress myself out over it anymore. Although the breast is best, my son can grow just as healthy with formula. At least I know I tried my best.

I remember going through this same thing - trying to rationalize formula and giving myself permission to quite. Obviously it never happened and my daughter, at 8 months, is still almost exclusively breastfed. Don't sell yourself short, this kind of thing takes time and hard work. I pumped AROUND the clock, with NO results (not a drop) for weeks before seeing results. I ended up pumping for a total of ten weeks before I was able to stop.

Stressing certainly doesn't help, but, you have to do what you have to do. Babies don't grow well because of formula, they grow well inspite of formula.

Even if you always need formula you can still have a successful breastfeeding relationship. I know a woman through LLL (speaking of which, you should join, they're a great help!) who had a single mastectomy and breastfeeds on one breast and supplements the rest with formula. Her son is almost 3 years old, and while he no longer needs the formula, she was still able to breastfeed successfully in spite of her troubles.

I guess what I'm saying is to do what is necessary, but don't give up. Take a deep breath, relax, and repeat after me - "I can do this, I can do this, I can do this". You CAN do this! If women who have never given birth can produce milk for an adopted baby, you can breastfeed your son.

I totally know what it's like to be discouraged when you work so hard and see no results, but it does take time. Maybe not one week, or even two weeks. It could take a month or more, but in the mean time your son is still receiving breastmilk which is full of immunities. He's still bonding at the breast with you. He's still receiving the most natural and save form of comfort.

You can do it, you can do it, you can do it, you can do it!!

Last edited by debating; 11-20-2006 at 05:36 PM.

 
Old 11-20-2006, 05:37 PM   #14
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzshorty
Did you get the blessed thistle to take along with the fenugreek. I was told the two combined produced the best effects. North of 60 helped me out sooo much by introducing me to the SNS. The SNS, fenugreek, and blessed thistle saved my breast feeding days. My daughter was actually losing some weight and staying the same, but we made it through and I am sooo HAPPY

If you want, of course, talk to LC about the SNS, it really does help!!

Melissa
Hey, it's great to hear from you!! I'm so glad the SNS worked out. Congrats! So no more formula? Whoo hooo!!

 
Old 11-20-2006, 07:14 PM   #15
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Re: Is my son sleeping too long and not eating enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by North_of_60
What was your birth like? Unless you had a natural (no inducement or c-section) birth with NO drugs, I would attribute your breastfeeding problems to your labor and deliveries.

I wondered if having a c section could have added to my milk production troubles..

Kelto, don't give up! I did, it's too much of an easy way out. I regret it just about everyday. Wishing that instead of throwing some plastic thing in my sons mouth, I could be feeding him myself. I unfortunately was not educated the way I am now. DON"T give up!!

North, I'm still hoping to see that re lactation board if you ever find the time...

 
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