Drained...


Ella is sleeping and I am emotionally drained for the day. This morning we had Ella's two week appointment and it was not what I was expecting. Not only had she not hit her birth weight, she has actually lost some weight since they last saw her. I bawled about four different times though out the rest of the appointment. I felt sick to my stomach thinking that she hasn't been getting enough food. I am trying to be nice to myself about it all because the doctor checked how I have been breastfeeding, and she said I have a great latch and that I have plenty of milk. Miss Ella has actually just been very lazy and not efficient enough in pulling my milk. Our first week was great, but I had noticed this past week that she seemed like she was just always hungry, and I couldn't keep up with her while feeding for almost an hour every time. Well apparently it takes a lot of energy for these little babies to breastfeed and so Ella has essentially been working out too much. She is burning more calories then she has been keeping in. As a first time mom and new to breastfeeding, something like her efficiency can be hard to catch. I had noticed she would get a little lazy sometimes which is why I would breastfeed longer to make sure she was really getting as much milk, but turns out that wasn't doing her any good. Occasionally I supplemented her which knowing what I do now I am happy I did that. I guess that motherly instinct is really there because I could tell she was still hungry even though it wasn't making any sense. It was starting to get frustrating. 
 
I am meeting with a lactation consultant tomorrow, the same girl I took a breastfeeding class from, and my doctor wants to see us Thursday after we have met with her. Hopefully we can get Ella working more efficiently, because the milk and everything else is ready and there for her! Until then I am supposed to pump after every feeding, start topping her off with my pumped milk via SNS, and take away her pacifier... she is not going to like that last part! haha It is going to be a long next week while we figure out how to get our little girl to work more efficiently for her food! My heart still breaks when I think about the fact that she hasn't been getting as much food as she should be... that pressure you put on yourself as a new parent builds up and when I think about it I just start crying again. Dang hormones don't help with any of this!
 
 

21 comments

  1. I hope things get better for you! Breastfeeding is probably the biggest thing I'm worried about when my little one gets here, but it's good to know there's help available and lots of information out there.

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  2. Please have them check her tongue. With my 3rd we had this EXACT problem. She latched but wasn't getting any food. Lactation consultants and my ped did not see a tongue tie but I had them refer me to an ENT to check as well. after 3 weeks of exclusive pumping for her, we got her tongue clipped. Everyone including the ENT said they didn't see it but that it could be in the very back and very small. That was the toughest decision I had to make. I felt like I was hurting her. To ease my pain they reminded me that the mouth heals the quickest esp at this age and this may help with any speech issues later on.
    Well, our next feeding after that she latched and got milk!! From then on we were bf'ing like it never happened. With this being our 3rd and not having to go through that before I knew something wasn't right. I hope this helps. Don't beat yourself up, sounds like you're doing great...it's all a learning experiance.

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  3. It's ok! Cry! I probably cried for the first 2 weeks of my baby's life, haha. You'll get it all sorted out.

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  4. I would cry too! I had to see a LC too and she noticed my son was tongue tied. So he was working harder to get the milk and not getting as much as he should and falling asleep in the middle of feedings. So like a commenter mentioned above, have them check her! ALSO, what really helped, massage your breasts as she sucks, this will help your let down and get milk to her so she doesn't have to work as hard. This is good for pumping as well. You can youtube to see the proper way, or have the LC show you as well. Good luck! Sounds like you are doing great :) Also, she is such a doll!

    -amanda @duhitsmed.blogspot.com

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  6. You cry! Breastfeeding is really hard, but it's awesome that you're trying. I gave up at 6 months because I felt like my son was not getting enough milk. His weight was never quite consistent and I had to go in multiple times to make sure he was gaining properly. I should have had a more in depth conversation with my LC because now that I have been studying for this next baby, I found out there were just a couple things I was doing wrong which was making it not as efficient. I loved nursing just to bond with my baby; so keep going, momma, you're doing great and doing everything you need to.

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  7. I had my daughter August 20th and planned on soley breastfeeding. Well, while in the hospital my little stinker would latch only some of the time so I was pressured into supplementing so she wouldn't be starving. Of course, I didn't want her to starve, but felt like I wasn't given a chance to get her to latch more. I was set on quitting because my plans weren't to do both. I even cried about it while taking a shower at the hospital thinking noone would hear me, but turns out lots of people did...oops! I did stick with breastfeeding and pumping as much as I can to keep my milk going. Currently, she is at her birth weight plus some. It is the hardest thing to figure out if she's getting enough! I wish i were solely breastfeeding, but things just didn't work out as planned, but as long as she's getting some f my milk I'm happy. Kudos to you for keeping up with it and doing what you have to do to keep her fed. It really is exhausting, but so worth it! Good luck! :)

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  8. she's beautiful. Breastfeeding can be so exhausting and cause so much stress and it's never as easy as people make it out to be. Fingers crossed things start going better and she starts gaining weight asap.

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  9. you are doing a great job, mama! breastfeeding is soo much work for you and baby! don't beat yourself up. get help and enjoy your babe!

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  10. Don't be too hard on yourself. I had major problems with Connor latching and had to supplement in the beginning and use a nipple shield, then he finally got the hang of it. But the pediatrician suggested supplementing or adding formula to my pumped milk to add calories in hopes he would gain weight....he was just a skinny kid and still is. Chloe I didn't have any problems with and she lost a bit of weight and then put it all back on. She never hit the milestones on time, but she eventually got there...though I don't think she's tripled her birth weight yet and she just turned 2 (though she was a 9 pound baby). Also, my sister-in-law told me she would make sure her babies were full when they fell asleep. She kept ice cubes nearby and would wake up the baby with a cube if they started to fall asleep while eating. I played with my kids' feet to keep them awake during feedings.

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  11. Definitely have them check her tongue. One of my daughters had problems breastfeeding and then the doctors decided to check the baby's tongue - duh" - and sure enough, there was a problem. Don't give up! Breastfeeding is worth it. Being a new Mom is exhausting - we've all been there. She is adorable, by the way.

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  12. Hang in there momma! Breastfeeding is so hard. People make it seem so easy, but for me, the patience you have to have and the persistence it takes were harder than pregnancy and delivery. Don't worry - when she's a happy and healthy, thriving 6 month old, 2 year old, 10 year old, this will be a distant memory! I sent my son to daycare with sour breast milk when he was about 4 months old (no idea how it soured) and he threw it up for hours. I felt like the world's worst mother at the time knowing he suffered because of me. We all have those moments where we feel terrible, but it's okay!!!!! You're doing great!

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  13. You're doing a great job, never feel like you aren't. Before I had my first son no one really told me that breastfeeding could be so hard and so when it came around and we were having a difficult time I felt like such a failure! With both of my boys I only breastfed for three months. They were lazy at sucking and I didn't have much milk so I had to give them formula. I hope it gets a little easier for both of you!

    Manning meanderings, mishaps and musings


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  14. I can remember those days of feeling drained I wish I didn't but I do, hell I still have days when I feel drained by the end of the day

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  15. Well here goes a huge comment.... first of all I had the very same situation. Before I had my daughter, I wanted to be that awesome breast feeding woman who was so proud and empowered she'd stroll around the grocery store breast feeding. When my daughter was born she had trouble latching. I am a pretty busty girl, and it wasn't something I ever thought would happen. I worked with nurses and a lactation specialist and eventually, we got a good latch. From there, I thought it was smooth sailing. We went to her second doctor appointment only to find out she had lost a lot of weight. Like you, I bawled. As a mom you think it's all your fault. After looking at me, and at her, we figured out the reason. My body, for what ever reason, wasn't producing enough milk. The idea of supplementing was absolutely horrid. Everyone puts it in your mind that if you don't breastfeed, you're a bad mom. We did what we had to do and supplemented. We got a breast pump, hospital grade one that they assured would solve all my problems. For two weeks straight I strapped myself to that thing. Pumping for over an hour only got me 1 oz from each breast. My fiance saw how draining it was emotional and physically. It wasn't until I was sitting on the couch, strapped to that thing like a cow, bawling my eyes out, that he took my hands and said, "You don't have to do this to yourself." That sentence was life changing to me. We spoke with our lactation specialist, who didn't try to beat me with a breast feeding manual, and our pediatrician who agreed that formula was our best option for getting our daughter to where she needed to be. It is and still was the hardest decision I ever had to make. When we deiced it's time to have another baby, I will definitely try again, and as hard as I can. All women are different and if you're able to breastfeed, it's such a beautiful thing. I wish it was as easy for everyone as it is for some. Just know that when the time comes, you will know what is the right thing to do. Even if it's not what you want to do. Stay strong girl! <3

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  16. Awww! She's adorable and it sounds like you're on the right track!! Keep going!

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  17. Just remember, "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". With my first she was a lazy eater and pumping was more time efficient and better for both of us. It went great until I decided to be done and quit around 8 months. But with my second, things just did not work out...I about lost my mind over the breastfeeding stress! I cried everyday from the pain, lack of milk, and nipple sores....so I switched to just pumping again thinking all would be grand and I just wasn't keeping up! It stressed me out SOOOOO bad! One day my hubby came home with me pumping in tears and he said, "you're done." It was the most freeing statement! He said if I'm not happy, nobody is! I quit that day and she has been formula fed since 1 month old. And quite frankly, it has been so convenient and freeing. You still bond with your baby and she is healthy as a horse. Just do whatever is best for you and the baby. And don't let anyone belittle you if things don't work out. There is a breastfeeding stigma out there that if you don't bf youre a failure, but there are other options out there to nourish your baby with everything she needs. You love your baby and will do your best to care for her. I truly hope breastfeeding works out for you but I just wanted you to hear that everything will still be wonderful if you don't! Love you and miss seeing you!

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  18. She is adorable!!! and you are doing an amazing job!!!

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  19. I have heard miracles about lactation specialists. MIRACLES.

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