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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.  :-[

yeah this thread is going to keep me not pregnant. that's a good thing.

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Erin ~ I was never in "happy pregnancy land" either.  I think I would have appreciated this info before I had Gavin so I would have been better prepared.  Things are getting better by the day.  It isn't all bad, I promise!

hespy ~ LOL! :)

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LLG- I'm glad things are getting better.  Again, I think no amount of reading can prepare you for what it's really like, but I guess if you had NO idea about the "unsettled periods" (the nice name they give to the screaming-for-no-reason time every day) and all that it would come as a huge shock.  But he won't be a baby forever.  Vincent as a newborn was...well, I wouldn't go back to that for anything.  But seeing him today, at 16 months, walking around and smiling and making funny faces and giving me hugs... :)>>> :)>>> :)>>>.

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Vincent as a newborn was...well, I wouldn't go back to that for anything.  But seeing him today, at 16 months, walking around and smiling and making funny faces and giving me hugs... :)>>> :)>>> :)>>>.

Yup. The first 6 months were the worst 6 months of my life and I have no desire to ever do it again (keep in mind, though, some people have really delightful newborns....not everybody hates this period). But my daughter is the love of my life now....not to brag, but she's really advanced verbally (7 months ago when she was 19 months a speech therapist said she spoke like a 3 year old), and we talk about all kinds of things, we go and do all kinds of fun activities together, we play games, and she is usually all smiles. It was all totally worth it.

Then there are moments like these (not my kid, but I love this video):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9oxmRT2YWw

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lol. that baby...

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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! :)

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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! :)

ayyaay! so glad to hear that. did you get my fb message?

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Oh I'm so happy, Lauren!!!
What kind of pump do you have?

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L2A ~ I did and responded. ;)

Erin ~ I'm actually renting a hospital grade Medela pump.  It is the shit!  I also have a Playtex double electric pump that I bought.  It is very 'meh'.  It does the job, but it takes twice as long.  It is small and easy to travel with.  When I get underway I plan on taking that one with me (I think), so I don't damage the hospital's pump.

Pump rentals range from $40-$80/month.  Your insurance might help cover some of the costs though (mine doesn't).  Another good thing about renting a pump is that if for some reason breast feeding doesn't work you aren't stuck with a pump and out the cost (if you used it). 

When you're in the hospital take the Medela pumping kit they give you (that way you don't have to buy it later)!  Evan threw mine out when we moved so I had to buy it!  You can also try pumping in the hospital to see how you like it.

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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.

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I have a medela manual and it's really only intended for pumping the 'occasional' bottle. 

Like..once a month or something. 

I was only pumping one or two days per week and the valves wore out before DD was 8 weeks.  Once the valve seal went, the pump constantly lost suction, which is super annoying when your boobs are ready to explode and you want to store some milk.

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That's great news llg!

I have an Avent Isis pump (I think that's an English brand?) with both a manual and electric handle/pump thingy.  I've never used the manual one though.  The electric one can also run on batteries if needed, but I never tried that either.  It does the job, but I wouldn't want to use it all the time (although I never tried any other kind of pump so I don't have anything to compare it to).  The whole thing cost around $200 and I only used it a few times, but I plan to sell it on ebay once I'm sure I won't need it anymore, so I'll probably get about half my money back.

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I'm so glad you were able to figure out the problem.  Caitlin was on over eater too.  She would constantly nurse and then throw up what seemed like gallons of milk.  Nursing on only one side every 2 hours worked for her. 

I was broke and married to a jerk who didn't support breastfeeding, so I used an Avent Isis manual pump because it was affordable.  I used it 3 times a day, 5 days a week for over a year and it worked well.  I never used an electric one, so I can't compare the experience.  Towards the end of that year, it didn't work as well.  I think I needed a new diaphragm for it.  I got rid of my husband and quit my job before it became a real issue though.  I only mention this, because if you need a cheap pump, it does the job well. 

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OK ladies!  Another question: What do you do when you no longer have to get up for a middle of the night feeding?  I am still getting up about 5 hours after I last fed him to pump.  If I don't my boobs feel like bOObs and then it becomes more difficult to nurse him in the morning.  Suggestions, tips, anything???

Gavin is mostly past the point of needing one.  When (if) he wakes up in the middle of the night now, I see if he'll go back to sleep with some cuddles.  If not (or he's rooting or wakes up again shortly after I get him to go back to sleep) then I'll feed him.  I'd rather not have him only wake up out of routine since pretty soon there will be nights I am gone.  Of course, Evan can feed him in the middle of the night but if its just habit I view it as wasting milk if Gavin isn't truly hungry.

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WOW.  Really?  DD still nurses twice at night and she's 5 months old.  I would continue to pump for now to make sure that it isn't a 'phase' that he's going through.  It seems really soon to be going all night without food to me.  :-\

You can use cool compresses to help with engorgement at night and manually express a little in the morning before feeding him to soften your breasts.  Eventually, supply and demand will even out - it just takes a few days.

Obviously, I'm no expert since DD is still waking for feedings.

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Mdv ~

Thanks for your experience and input.  Maybe I got lucky??  He's still gaining at the appropriate rate.  He doesn't get seen again until 4 months, but I am planing on bringing him in for a weight/growth check in about a week and a half (he'll be 12 weeks then).  It isn't every night that he sleeps all the way through either.  I just wanted to be prepared when it starts happening consistently.  I like the extra milk that I can store from that 'missed' feeding.  I might just have to suck it up and be tired the first 6 months of Gavin's life.

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Just wait until teething starts.  I'm averaging about 2 hours of sleep per night these days.  ::)

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Oh dear god.  When did Stella start teething?? 

Oh!  I've also read that babies that co-sleep do wake up more often for night feedings.  My best friend had her daughter the same day I had Gavin and she's still waking up twice a night too.  And that frequency just went down for her in the last week.

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About three weeks ago.  My cousin has a little one who is three weeks older than Stella and he gets up twice a night to feed, but she doesn't co-sleep.  Who knows?  As long as he's gaining, take it and run!

tangent

We're trying to transition her to her own bed, but we live in a high-crime neighborhood and her bedroom has a ground level window that is against the street, whereas our bedroom has high windows in the back of the house.  Unfortunately, our bedroom is SUPER tiny and we only have room for our bed (we have a platform bed with drawers underneath - no room for dressers, etc.)  We actually just got a police notification that nighttime break-ins are through the roof here right now because criminals are taking advantage of the a/c noise to cover their entry.  I suppose we need to get a burglar alarm.  I'm just afraid that if someone would break in, it would be through Stella's room (the only room with a ground-level window) and if we heard them on the baby monitor, she would become a hostage and I'd have to stab someone to death with my Wustof.  Small town 'charm', my ass! /tangent

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Oh crap!  That sounds scary!  I'd be worried about moving Stella too.  Do you rent or own?  Are bars on that window a possibility with an alarm? 

I'm apprehensive about moving Gavin into his nursery and I live in a safe area.

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