Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Update on breast feeding

After a really great breast feeding session a few evenings ago, here's an update:

Last night (after having such great success earlier) I tried again. In the middle of the night I hoped for that "roll over and put him to the breast" ease of the night feeds everyone talks about. I tried a number of times, but he started really crying and clearly didn't want anything to do with the boob. so I grabbed the bottle of breast milk I had sitting for him and we both went back to sleep.

Then the next day I tried again to breast feed. This time he became so hysterical at the sight of my boob, yes, he clearly could see it when I whipped it out and worked himself into a frenzy. I calmed him down with pacy (our name for his pacifier), then tried again (3 times), but by the 3rd time I've never hard him scream so loud and I once again determined that the breast feeding just isn't for me.


Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry to hear he's not taking to it - its really hard isn't it? I tried with Arianna for 4 LONG months and was so devistated when I had to admit defeat... but you know what? However they get the milk is fabulous! I pumped for 13 long months for Arianna and if Daria didn't 'get it' I'd do the same for her.

BTW - my kids were the same for halloween a poodle and a pea pod :)

Anonymous said...

I read your blog and I can so relate, except I was never a great pumper. I did it for 7 months with my twins, but always struggled to try to get my supply up. My freezer never looked like yours!

I just wanted to give a bit of advice about the breastfeeding. My twins were 33 weekers and spent a month in the NICU. I tried and tried to get both of them to breastfeed while they were in the NICU, but they just weren't strong enough and didn't "get it." When they came home I was too tired to try so I focused on pumping and feeding and trying to get some sleep. When they were about 3 months old, I started trying to get them to breastfeed again. One of my daughters never figured it out (turns out later the speech therapist told us she had weak suck pads and was even struggling with the Avent nipple) but after lots of skin to skin time, my other daughter latched on! At first there wasn't much eating happening, but with time she was getting 3-4 ounces! Then I got a yeast infection and we were between pediatricians and both girls had to go back on high cal formula because their undiagnosed reflux had given them such bad esophagitis they stopped eating. After we got that under control they were 6 months old and I gave up. My husband used to say that I wanted another baby just so I could breastfeed it!

My 6 month old was a 35 weeker and had to be supplemented with bottles for the first couple of weeks also. We did LOTS of skin to skin hanging out and I always offered the breast first, then bottle. He has been an exclusive breastfeeder (with a rare bottle) since he was about 6 weeks old and he's 21 pounds!

If I could give you advice it would be to give it some more time. Don't give up! Do skin to skin with your nursing flaps open as much as you possibly can. Do it when he isn't hungry. And trying to do it a little before you know he's going to want to eat. Even a newborn will scooch around and get near the breast. Sounds like you've waited until he's too hungry and he's frustrated. You want it to be a positive experience for him, not frustrating. You know he can do it, just keep it casual and expose him to it as much as you possibly can with your schedule. He's not too old to start nursing. I swear by the skin to skin- it's not just for preemies!!!!

Good luck. You are doing a fabulous job! Anyone who can make all that milk (have I mentioned how jealous I am???) is definitely "meant" to breastfeed!

Anonymous said...

Dear Liz.

Please get rid of the guilt, which is totally out of place since you are a great mom! I also used the medela pump in style, but I was always slow at pumping, it would take me 20-30 min. My pumping life improved significantly when I switched to theMedela soft-fit cups. These are made of rubber instead of plastic, they are much gentler on your nipples. They are about 10$ at babies r us or I think they are priceless! : )

Anonymous said...


Do you take any supplement to increase your milk supply?When did you first start to pump right after your children were born?Did you get colostrum as well? Did you leak a lot or felt very fullness in your breast? Do you still feel the fullness and know it's time to pump?When did you notice more milk was coming right after they were born or few days later?I am asking you all these because my friend just had a baby and can't produce enough at all!She is very sad.

liz.mccarthy said...

Here are my answers:

Do you take any supplement to increase your milk supply?

When did you first start to pump right after your children were born?
-Within 3 or 4 hours, every 3 hours round-the-clock

Did you get colostrum as well?
-Yes, my initial pumps were just drops of colostrum

Did you leak a lot or felt very fullness in your breast?
-I'm lucky, I don't really leak, but I get VERY VERY full and engorged (very painful). the best thing for that is to take lethictin (you get it at a vitamin store, it's over the counter)

Do you still feel the fullness and know it's time to pump?
-Initially I pumped by the clock, every 3 hours, 5 hours at night was the longest I'd go. I've now cut back so I only pump 4 times a day and sleep all night. but I had my supply strongly established before I cut out the every 3 hours.

When did you notice more milk was coming right after they were born or few days later?
-my milk first came in (after the colostrum) 2 days after delivery.

Pumping every 3 hours is what is VERY important to establish a strong milk supply, especially if the baby is in the NICU. It's horrible, it hurts, but it's essential.

I think a lot of it is genetics. I'm very small chested normally, so that has nothing to do with it.

Good luck to your friend.

Nina said...

That has to be rough. I have the opposite problem. My son just turned one and I am ready to stop feeding him but that isn't going to happen. He will drink a bottle from anyone but me. I get the screaming fit until he gets to latch onto the breast.

Just remember you are still giving him the benefit of your milk.

Trisha said...

Isaac never "got it" either. I was so sad at first because I wanted this time to be "normal." But I eventually decided to go with the motto "As long as he's getting breast milk, it really doesn't matter how he drinks it."
Quinn is ADORABLE by the way. I bet you can't get enough of that cute little smile, huh?!

erin said...

I didn't have preemies, all three were full term BUT my first and I had a time with nursing for the first months. Pumping also saved me and my lactation BFF (:-)) also advised to use skin to skin whenever possible and try to give him the breast when he wasn't already hungry but an hour or so had passed since the last feeding. Eventually it worked out for us. On the flip side...breast milk in any delivery is amazing! When I worked, my freezer looked a lot like yours. my friends and family called me the Dairy Queen because of it. It is a gift that is yours to give your children and good for you for doing it!
BTW, I found you from your comment on my sis-in-law's and brothers blog (Carol Decker). Thanks for your thoughts!!

kayla said...

Some how i found you looking for things on our sons conditions esophageal atresia and others and i just wanted to say great blog i wish you the best our son was a preemie as well.

Kim said...

Have you tried weaning him onto the breast by using a nipple shield? Jackson couldn't make the transition from silicone to skin without it. It was like he didn't know what to do with skin, but once silicone was covering it, he got it. I also made sure to feed him bottles while propping him on my bare breast--almost like using it as a pillow. That way he came to associate skin with food, which he loved, so he no longer screamed when I took my top off.

And if all else fails, just know that you have done, yet again, an amazing job of feeding your little one!

You amaze me in so many ways!