I need support...
I am having a bad day when it comes to breastfeeding and need some support, I knew you ladies were the best for that. Sean had his one month appointment today and he weighs 8lbs 6oz, but 3wks ago he weighed 8lb 1oz. I am deflated a bit, there is so much pressure on me about EBF, mostly put on myself by me. :/ I am worried he isn't gaining enough weight. He seems hungry a lot and honestly it hurts when someone says he looks hungry, makes me feel like I am not enough for him. It just hurts, like maybe I am failing at this and almost like I am being selfish for wanting to EBF if it's starting to hold him back. I feed him on demand and he eats every 2-3hrs during the day and 3-4hrs at night. He has grown an inch taller and his head is an inch bigger and his belly looks great. The doctor didn't seem concerned at all and just loves Sean and spends extra time just talking and holding him. He said if there were other signs of maybe him being malnourished then he would be worried but he said he was a beautiful boy. He did say that if my calorie intake is so low then the milk quality is low and he think Sean will be petite because I am petite too. I have been sick, my digestive system has been really bad for 3wks and there were a few days I couldn't eat at all, Doc says I need to get healthy and figure out what is wrong so I can eat more again. He said I should be eating about 2300-2500 calories a day... I have been lucky to eat 1000, many days I eat 300 calories and that is Gatorade. I am feeling better but it is probably not going to show to Sean for a few more days.
I just feel so much pressure as his only food source and I am so worried that if I fail, it's harming my son. I walked out of the office almost in tears, even though the doctor swears up and down that Sean is a perfectly healthy little boy, I was just so hoping he was going to be better than that. I feel terrible and pray I am not under nourishing my beautiful son!!
Hi Cait, I'm sorry you're struggling. My son and I had a really really really rough start to our breast feeding journey and I can totally relate to you on the pressure you are putting on yourself. In my case my son had a dairy intolerance that I was unknowingly fueling with my high dairy diet. He was in a lot of pain and I just felt awful that I had "selfishly" continued to breast feed, even though had I switched him to formula we would've had the same issue as it is dairy based. Anyway we figured out that it was the dairy and I eliminated it from my diet and we have been successfully breast feeding for 8 months now. I am so so so glad that I trusted my judgement and continued to breast feed through all of our struggles. There were many times I wanted to quit and I'm so glad I didn't. It is all behind us now and my little guy is thriving.
I think if your doctor is not concerned, you need to not be concerned. I think a lot of us have the mentality that a big chunky baby is a healthy baby, but healthy babies come in all sizes! Little people don't make giant babies typically! My friend and her husband are on the short side (both under 5'5 and tiny) and her (formula fed) 20 month old weighs the same as my 8 month old breast fed baby.
I know how hard it is with a newborn around believe me, but a diet high in protein and lots of water is really necessary! Not only for breast feeding but for overall health. Don't stress yourself about it too badly though. I barely ate for months postpartum due to a colicky baby and I still make milk like I'm feeding triplets!
Really truly if the pediatrician is not worried then you should not be worried. I assume he has regular wet diapers and poops, too?
However, you really do need to eat more for your own health. Do you have any idea what is going on? You can reach the point where you will stop making milk because your body doesn't have the nutritional support to do so, too, but your very first concern should be getting healthy yourself.
If you have to supplement it is NOT the end of the world either. We moms put way too much pressure on ourselves.
eat eat eat. and drink plenty of water you will be fine. if the pedi is not concerned then your l/o will be fine.
i struggled at first with my firstborn and ended up supplimenting with formula but i got it all together and by 2.5 months he was back to being ebf. you can do it. you will be fine.
figure out why your struggling to eat and fix that. then everything else will fall into place. those first few months were the hardest for me but once i got used to bfing it was easy and i loved it.
Thanks ladies, he is pooping and wetting enough diapers, we counted for awhile to make sure. I am worried about going back to work and pumping and trying to keep up with it all. I am working on my health but it's been 3wks of extreme pain in my stomach after each meal until I poop it all out and when I do go it's green, which means it's going through me so fast the bile isn't breaking it down and sometimes, it's undigested food. I haven't had a normal bowel movement since having Sean nor have I eaten a real meal since then as well because when I do, I know I am facing extreme pain, keeps me up all night rolling and crying in agony and going to the bathroom. Nothing stays in my system more than an hour. The last week though I have had good and bad days where I can eat a little here and there. I eat mostly plain white rice and toast right now to try and get my system working again. My milk is still good but I am only pumping about 2-3oz each breast, not sure if that is good or not. I also don't know how to increase my milk, I drink water all day though to stay hydrated and Gatorade helps with adding electrolytes back in my system.
First---2-3 oz out of each breast is great! Good job!
Secondly--I was terrified about going back to work and the whole pumping thing, but again it was not an issue. I have been able to pump enough to meet his daily intake. I even freeze some extra sometimes. I wish I hadn't spent so much time worrying!
Have you made it to the doctor for you? It does sound like something significant is going on.
Jessica - I did go to an urgent care, spent 4hrs there, did an x-ray(which I thought was dumb because food is going through me), some blood work and a stool sample, all came back fine, they can't seem to find what's wrong. I go back again the 17th and will talk about doing more intense testing. I told the first doc I was worried I wasn't going to be eating enough to keep up my milk supply and she tried telling me I only needed 300 more calories a day to feed Sean so as long as I was eating it was fine, I told her I had only eaten 80 calories that day and she didn't even believe me. She is an idiot, I am going to see my real doc the 17th, hope they can help me better.
Katherine, thanks I seem to also get more out of my left side than my right side, which is weird too but aw well.
I hope so, too! What ever you have going on sounds miserable.
Originally Posted by coelh102
I always got more milk from my right side than the left (up to twice as much). That is normal. Getting 2-3 oz from each side is also great at his current age. You'll likely get more as he gets older.
I'm sorry you are having health issues! I agree something isn't quite right if you feel so poorly and I hope your doctor can help you figure out what to do very soon. Are you able to handle smaller meals , almost snack sized, during the day or is it any and all foods you eat whenever? As for your baby, I wouldn't worry if the pedi says everything looks good and if there are lots of soiled diapers. So that is good news, from what you have reported. Hang in there...you are doing great with feed ing your lo! I really hope you are able to resolve your health issue soon so you can feel better about yourself and your baby's intake.
You have been given great advice already, so not sure what else to add. It sounds like your son is doing fine. YOU don't sound fine, though. I am glad you have an appointment and I hope your doctor can help you start to feel better. Taking care of your own health is of utmost importance, not only for breastfeeding, but for motherhood in general.
You are doing great! Your son is healthy and happy. The biggest issue now is to get you feeling better!
2-3 oz/side is seriously great! That's pretty much exactly what I get.
No one ever tells you how difficult BFing is, how painful it can be, and how stressful it is to be the sole source of nutrition for another human being. I had a really rough first 2 months, was ready to quit, then all of a sudden it got better. If the pediatrician is happy, and you are getting lots of wet diapers, than Sean is getting enough. You are feeding him enough times and it sounds like you are producing enough. At some point it will get better.
However, you have to take care of yourself. Can you get an appointment at with a gastrointestinal MD? Sometimes they need a referral, from either your OB or a family medicine MD. To be able to be the best you can be for Sean, you must take care of yourself. Have you tried the BRAT diet? Super bland and boring, but might be mellow enough for your system to handle. Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast - all plain, bland, boring. And make sure you are at least taking a vitmain and calcium - BFing will rob your bones of calcium if you aren't eating.
You are taking great care of Sean, now take care of yourself, momma.
Seriously, Thank you Ladies! :hugs: I am feeling better about BFing today and will be trying really hard to not let comments like, 'he looks hungry' bother me. I need to realize it's not a representation on me and how I'm BFing if Sean 'looks hungry'.
Have you talked with your dr about IBS? Dh has IBS and has to eat a very bland diet. To most people it would seem unhealthy, but it's totally necessary for him. Prior to figuring out what bothers him he lost 30lbs over a couple months (he's 5'11" and weighed less than 130lbs :ohno:).
He cannot eat gluten...it is *the worst* (he was negative for celiac)! He had to avoid dairy until he had been gluten-free for awhile, but now he can eat it on a limited basis. He can tolerate white rice, but not brown...generally anything with fiber in it is extremely irritating to him and will cause nausea, pain, and diarrhea. He can eat vegetables only if they are cooked. He also has to limit his fat intake, but does really well with lean meats. The other biggie is water...he cannot do water, he only drinks powerade (no artificial sweeteners though...those are bad too). If he's out of powerade he waters down 100% juice and drinks that.
Anyway, I think more needs to be done for you. Another thing that came to mind is gall bladder disease...are you having pain? Also, have you had antibiotics in the last few months?
If nothing else I'd try going off dairy if you haven't already since that has a tendency to irritate the digestive tract even worse with diarrhea. I'd probably dump some probiotic powder into my gatorade too (just open the capsules or buy the powdered).
I'm just so sorry you're struggling :(!!!!! Thinking of you Cait :hugs:!!!!!
Cassie - That link was exactly what I needed!! I read the posts to DH too, alot of the signs of cluster feeding also seems in the evening which is when baby gets fussy too.
Kelly - It's just weird it happen about 2wks after Sean was born, I never had problems when I was pregnant nor prior. Then someone asked about the Antibiotics and I did have antibiotics when in labor because my water broke on a Sunday and Sean wasn't born until Tuesday and when my water broke he had pooped inside. That's something DH and I are still upset about, they said if I got a fever and Sean's HB increased then they would have to do a c-section, well on Monday my temp was 102 and Sean's HB was in the 190s when it was usually 130s. So I had two bags of antibiotics, I will have to look into if that is the case and what can be done to fix it. I just can't imagine that being a problem for 3wks and so long after I had the antibiotics too.
The diarrhea from antibiotics can last quite awhile for some because it takes time for the gut to heal and replace all the healthy intestinal flora. Lactose intolerance is really common after antibiotics too (green stools is a red flag for a lactose issue).
I sure hope it eases up soon for you :conf:!!!!