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Newborn questions for daughter-in-law

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Old 02-07-2007, 12:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NC
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grammy77 HB User
Newborn questions for daughter-in-law

My daughter-in-law is a new first time Mom who is trying to breastfeed my new granddaughter. She was told to use formula until her breast milk came in. Well, that made Riley not want to latch on to her. She is now almost 3 weeks old and still won't so she pumps and feeds her with the bottle. She has tried the nipples on her breast but just can't manage that and Riley gets frustrated and screams. Riley also is sleeping very little. I had two sons but I never breast fed the first one and I tried with the second(Riley's dad)but I was starving him because my milk was like water so I had to go to formula so I am no help to her. Her mother did not breast feed so she is no help. Everyone gives all kinds of advice but nothing has helped. She is getting virtually no sleep because Riley will not sleep during the day. I can't decide if her tummy hurting or she is hungry. She seems like she is starving even after she has taken 3-4 ounces. Can anyone shed any light on this?

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Old 02-07-2007, 12:43 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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devster4fun HB User
Re: Newborn questions for daughter-in-law

What a great grandma you concerned and helpful! Your DIL is very lucky to have you opinion. Pumping and feeding expressed breastmilk, IS breastfeeding. That's my opinion, many will not agree. She's doing her best along with adjusting to being a new mom. It's a big task. The issue is, as long as she supplements with formula, the less her body will make.

Second...can you consult with a lactation specialist? Our town has hospitals that can help. Also, we have a store which supplies pumps, tops, nursing supplies. They offer lactation consultations.

There are lots of good books on nursing. The latch is the key. All I can describe it as, is a VERY wide open mouth, taking the whole areola (and thus the nipple in). The bottle feeding has taught the baby to just suck on the nipple, which will just not work for breastfeeding. It's a whole different action.

The formula thing (at the start) was probably bad (and old-fashioned) advice. There are circumstances when this is called-for, but not many. Babies need VERY little liquid at first, as their stomach is the size of a walnut. I had a c-section on a Tuesday at noon. My milk did not come in until Saturday afternoon. She nursed and probably was hungry for that week, but learned to latch properly is the natural process. I also pumped, which really helped so someone else could feed her while I rested.

Let us know how it goes. There is a way to get that baby to the breast. Lots of practice, patience and help from her supporters.

Last edited by devster4fun; 02-07-2007 at 12:46 PM.

Old 02-08-2007, 08:43 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Maine
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yellowrose5006 HB User
Re: Newborn questions for daughter-in-law

Also, breastmilk is more easily digested than formula, so they are hungry more often when fed breastmilk. And what devster says is true about the body will produce less...unless she is pumping each time the baby would eat for at least 5 minutes after the milk stops flowing to ensure her breasts are COMPLETELY EMPTY. The more you ask your body to make the more it makes.

Old 02-08-2007, 09:06 AM   #4
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athome1 HB User
Re: Newborn questions for daughter-in-law

I had some similar problems with my own children. Both children were not getting enough because my body would not produce enough. If she can feed the baby breast milk through a bottle, I would continue. Breastfeeding can be SO stressful for those of us that have some problems. The important part is that the baby is getting the breast milk. Unfortunatly I had to stop and give them formula. It's very difficult to face the fact that you can't breastfeed when you really want to. She has to remind herself that it's about the baby and not about what she wants.

My youngest son had a slight milk allergy, so I had to lay off of all Dairy and milk products while breastfeeding to make him more comfortable. The baby should be sleeping during the day, and is she isn't it could be that she isn't full or doesn't feel well (gas, acid reflux ect...). My rule, and some may not agree, was to feed my boys until they were full. I didn't stop at 3 or 4 ounces because that's what the doctor says. When they were done eating, it was because they were full. Both children were and still are the perfect weight, so it didn't affect them.

I hope this helps some. No sleep and breastfeeding issues can be a VERY stressful for not only the mom, but the father as well. She can remind herself that with the bottle feeding, at least your son then can help with the feedings, especially at night

Old 02-08-2007, 10:01 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: California
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LisaFaith HB User
Re: Newborn questions for daughter-in-law

I had a preemie, so breastfeeding and milk supply was a very difficult issue. My DS#3 was born 16 weeks early, so my body was nowhere near ready to make milk. The lactation consultant and nurses I worked with recommended that I drink Mother's Milk Tea (it can be found in the health food aisle of most large grocery stores.) I drank 4-5 cups a day, and pumped every 3 hours, and within 3 days I had milk. Whenever my milk would start to diminish, I would start drinking the tea again. There is also something called Kangaroo Care that can help. In the NICU, moms (and some Dads) hold their babies with skin to skin contact. The baby has on just a diaper, and is placed on the mother's chest, between her breasts (then covered with blankets to keep warm.) Whenever I did Kangaroo Care with my DS, I would fill up with so much milk, that I had to pump much longer to get it all out.

I would encourage your DIL to keep trying, but she may have to continue pumping and bottlefeeding. I would not supplement with formula at all. Breastmilk has so much more nutrition, and even if it is coming out of a bottle, its okay. I pumped exclusively because my DS would not latch on.

I agree with "aelliott" about the amount of milk. Just because the doctor or a book says that a newborn should only be taking 3 or 4 ounces, doesn't mean that is all the baby actually needs. At this age, babies don't over-eat. (Over-eating is a skill we learn when get older ) The baby will tell you when she is full. Good Luck to you all.

Old 02-09-2007, 07:49 AM   #6
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 458
bxr35 HB User
Re: Newborn questions for daughter-in-law

I had a similar problem. In the hospital, a stupid nurse told me to give my baby a bottle because I didn't have milk yet (I didn't, but babies don't need food the first few days) and then my son wouldn't nurse for a while because he wanted it the easy way. One of the things I did to encourage him to nurse again -- and we now have a great breastfeeding relationship -- was to hand-express some mik to encourage let-down, and then, I would try put him on the breast. Of course, he wasn't interested, and naturally he would scream. I would then squeeze some milk out directly into his mouth while my nipple was sort of in his open mouth -- and after a while he would close his mouth and suckle at least a little.

Old 02-09-2007, 07:59 AM   #7
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
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athome1 HB User
Re: Newborn questions for daughter-in-law

That's a good tip about the tea. Thanks for mentioning that. I had so much trouble and nobody mentioned that to me. I'm due again in May and was hoping this would be the "magic" one. I'll have to keep that in mind to try if I have any problems with amount. Thanks! I unfortunatly had to supplement with the formula because my first son had jaundice terribly.

Old 02-09-2007, 08:34 AM   #8
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 2
grammy77 HB User
Re: Newborn questions for daughter-in-law

Thanks to all for all the help and suggestions. I will encourage my DIL with all of this information. I have been trying to go help them as much as possible. I spent a night and the next morning with them this week to help out and I found that placing my granddaughter on her side after she ate worked much better. Now they are trying it. I also burped her at least 3-4 times during the feeding to let her expel the gas and air. That morning she slept wonderfully. My DIL is sick the reason I stayed with them. She was concerned that she had the flu but it was almost strep throat. She is exhausted and so is my son so anything that I can do to help I am willing. I have encouraged them to try different things to see what works. Every baby is different and books and doctors can only give opinions. You have to test the waters yourself.
Thanks again.

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