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Breast Feeding Q and A

Breastfeeding can be really difficult, especially without the support of other moms!
I'd love to open this thread as a place to help each other out and offer advice. I know PG was having some trouble, which made me think of this.

I will start by saying the first 6 weeks is AWFUL-it is painful (esp light skinned moms) and is almost unbearable. If you can make it through the 6 weeks, it's all downhill from there. Also, the 1st 20 seconds of latching on during this time is the worst. Take deep breaths and count to 20 till the pain subsides.
I nursed Noah until age 20 months, and Lyle is still nursing at 20 months.

I can't type for shit right now and have to correct every word, so that is all for now.  :-[

Wow, I'm impressed that Gavin would be starting to sleep through already.  I've heard of babies who sleep through around 3 months, but I've only known one baby who actually did it.  Vincent didn't sleep through the night until around 13 months and that was only because we did controlled crying (he went from waking up once a night to 3-4 times again, and I could tell it wasn't out of hunger.  I found it very stressful for the 2 nights it took for him to get used to it, but I'm really glad we did it because now he sleeps like a baby, lol).

Anyway, if you want to keep storing milk then you'll probably have to keep getting up and pumping.  Otherwise, like mdv said, you can skip pumping and just express a little before nursing in the morning if you need to, and it should only take a few days for you to stop producing so much milk at night.  At around 6 months, Vincent went from 3-4 night feedings to 1-2 and my boobs would hurt and leak, but it only lasted maybe 4 nights at most (I slept on a towel to catch the drips).

As far as teething, Vincent got his first tooth at 4 months, but one of my friends has a daughter who's 16 months and still doesn't have any teeth.  :o  So it could be a while before you have to worry about it...although I guess most babies start teething around 6 months.

mdv - that sounds really scary.  Is there anywhere else you could put her crib temporarily?  Like the living room?

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It's waiting for the 'consistently' part that is tough.  I hope Gavin figures it out soon.  Oh well.... :-/

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Unfortunately, my insurance doesn't cover anything to do with breast pumps...so I've been doing some research.  I didn't figure I'd need one of the fancy, expensive ones since I'll be staying home, but thought I should have something for when I wanna leave the house without the babe.

I was deciding between a medela manual and a medela electric single pump.  The electric one makes sense, but having to plug it in would limit where I could do it.  Most our our outlets are ridiculously inconvenient.

It probably totally depends on the person, but I tried starting with a less expensive, double pump and it was BEYOND frustrating, so I caved and got the Medela expensive one and it was WORLDS different! The less expensive one (that was still like $120 or so) didn't have enough suction to get that much milk out....and the thing I would worry about with the single one, is that 1.) many times, both breasts start to "let down" at once, and 2.) I would get really antsy waiting the 10-15 minutes for the double one, I would think a single one would take twice as long.....

again, just my opinion :) I am sure not all boobs are created equal!
I remeber being so annoyed that I bought the 120.00 one then ended up buying the 250.00 one a few months later, and don't want anyone else having to spend that much!

I am glad things are going better LLG, nursing can be so exhausting and difficult!!! Honestly, when I think about having another baby I automatically think, 'oh man, I don't think  I can go through the whole nursing thing again yet!'....

MDV, that is super scary!!!! Would you have room for her crib down there for naptimes and stuff? Thats what we do with Kea, naps in her 'big girl bed' and sleeping at night with us...

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And now Gavin thinks food time is fun time.  His increased mobility allows him to break off/attempt to latch back on.  Truly annoying.  Oh!  And he has his 2 bottom front teeth already.  They broke through roughly 2 weeks ago.

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Good luck with that phase, LLG.  Is he coming off to look around/play, or is it just because he can?  If he wants to look around or play with your face/hair/etc, you could maybe try a breastfeeding necklace.  They're usually big colorful and textured beads or little toys that you hang around your neck that give babies something to play with/look at while they're nursing.  Maybe if he has something to hold his interest he'll stay latched on.

Vincent was an early teether also (first tooth at 4 months), and also a biter.  I weaned him 3 months ago and I still have the bite marks on my nipples.

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Pg ~ Gavin hasn't bitten.... yet.  He'll be 4 months in a few days.  Sorry about your nipples!  He breaks off for both reasons I think.  I'll try a necklace though.  Thanks for the idea!

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Cailtin gained nearly a pound a week for the first few months.  I don't know if this will help you, but I thought I'd share just in case.  She would nurse and then throw up what seemed like gallons.  Then she would nurse again like she was starving.  The pediatrician wasn't overly concerned, because she was gaining weight well and just told me to burp her better.  It didn't matter how much I burped her.  She frequently was throwing up.  Finally I called my doula who was also a lactation consultant.  She told me that some women produce so much milk that the baby overfills his stomach before he realizes it, and then throws up the entire contents of his stomach.  The solution was simple really.  She told me to only nurse on one side per session and to continue to offer that same side for a couple hours before switching to the other side.  This worked like a charm, and she never threw up like that again.  I did look very lopsided though.  I suppose I could have pumped the other side, but I didn't have the pump until I went back to work. 

My son does this at almost every feeding! He eats, spews, eats.. But he's gaining weight. I went to see the dr about it, and he wants to put him on an acid reducer, because he thinks he has reflux. He's 6 weeks old. Maybe I'll try this

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We found out what the problem was with Gavin.  It was over feeding/eating.  For all those people out there that say you can't overfeed a breast fed baby.... they are wrong! 

Basically, the let down on one side is SOOO fast and forceful that it was basically choking Gavin out and filling him so quickly that his brain didn't have time to tell me he was done.  We haven't had to use the reflux Rx and there is no more epic amounts of spit up/vomit.  Since he is no longer over eating he isn't gassy/vomitting/generally uncomfortable anymore.  He sleeps like a "normal" newborn now.  He doesn't scream/fuss all the time now (just for legit reasons like a dirty diaper).

What was really hard amount this situation to figure out was that the only time he was content was on the breast, but the breast is what was causing the problem.  We're now in a pumping/feeding routine that has literally transformed Gavin into a completely different baby!!  He's happy and playful when he's awake now.  It is amazing! :)

Did he always want to be attached to you by boob? This sounds like what could be wrong in my situation...

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Jomamma ~

Yes, he was very boobie driven in the beginning.  After we fixed the over-eating / spit-up dilemma he still wanted to be latched on for comfort purposes.  We had to find a pacifier that he would actually take to satisfy his urge to suck.  I hope this helps.  On a positive note; since Gavin has got older he has been better able to handle the fast let-down and feedings don't take forever. :)

LLG

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Jomamma ~

Yes, he was very boobie driven in the beginning.  After we fixed the over-eating / spit-up dilemma he still wanted to be latched on for comfort purposes.  We had to find a pacifier that he would actually take to satisfy his urge to suck.  I hope this helps.  On a positive note; since Gavin has got older he has been better able to handle the fast let-down and feedings don't take forever. :)

LLG

I've been trying to find one too, but heard not to, because of nipple confusion. (you'd think I was new- I went through the same thing with my daughter, but that was 6 years ago, and I don't remember jack from that time. She did the whole eat, puke, eat, puke thing too)
What kind did you end up giving him?  I try to use the soothie, mostly because it's shaped like a nipple (I don't know whose nipple...)

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He ended up going with Avent pacifiers.  Even now he only uses them to calm down / help get to sleep.  By 6 weeks your baby has definitely gotten the hang of breast feeding and is gaining weight.  I really don't think you have to worry about nipple confusion. :) Gavin knows the difference between my nipples, a bottle (when I'm not around) and pacifiers.

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Ok.  I'm having an issue.  Gavin latches on and then backs off so that very little breast is in his mouth and he's mainly on my nipple.  What the hell?!  I'm having to constantly correct him.  It's making feedings a giant pain in my ass.

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Ok.  I'm having an issue.  Gavin latches on and then backs off so that very little breast is in his mouth and he's mainly on my nipple.  What the hell?!  I'm having to constantly correct him.  It's making feedings a giant pain in my ass.

Has he been having lots of teething pain lately?

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He's had 7 teeth since he was 4 months old.  I'm assuming the other teeth are working their way out as well.  So, I'll guess, yes. :-/

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Let me see if I can find anything helpful.  I know that DD nurses tentatively when her teeth are hurting.  We do highlands homeopathic teething gel before nursing sessions and that seems to help.  She does bite (OMG-OUCH) occasionally, though.

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Oh dear on the biting!  Yep, I can see the white of another tooth pushing through.

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