Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Boobs and Poops...feeding challenges, part Deux

So I considered myself an experienced breastfeeder. I nursed Angelina for 25 months. I just remember it being easy as pie. Latch her on and go.

So, of course I could breastfeed Lenaïc, no problem.

But I had forgotten about the Beginning.

It wasn't so easy, at least not to start. And 2nd time around turned out to be challenging too. He latched on immediately after birth (literally, came up from the water and latched on to my breast. Angelina said "Mommy, the baby likes your boobie!" We didn't even know "he" was a "he" at that point). So I was sure all would be great. Not so.

Once my milk came in, about 48 hours later, I was too engorged and he couldn't latch. I was also being lazy, he was sleeping long stretches and though I would wake him to feed him, was not doing it enough. So by the morning of day 3, when my midwife came for the newborn screen, she noticed he was jaundiced and had lost a lot of weight. She checked my breastfeeding, sure enough, he wasn't latching. So, orders were to use a nipple shield and wake him every 2 hours to feed, feed for 30 minutes (15 minutes each side). That leaves about 1 hour or less to do anything - like shower, go to the bathroom, eat, play with Angelina. Not easy! With Angelina, all that was easier because she was the only one. I could just sit there and nurse nurse nurse. It was harder this time. But that's what I had to do.

Worry about jaundice, worry about his weight, worry about the breastfeeding, worry about Angelina, throw in post-partum hormones. Not a good combo.

Fortunately, the jaundice was gone in about 24 hours, and diapers were good and poopy/wet. But not enough.

So off to the lactation center. I am so glad this place exists! The consultant worked with me on the latch (still recommended the nipple shield), and agreed with the schedule my midwife had set. We also discussed my goals for breastfeeding, and all sorts of little tricks to get him to eat better. I *knew* my supply was fine, fortunately (many are not so lucky). They have weighing rooms, so you can go in anytime they're open, weigh, nurse, weigh again to see how much the baby has taken. So, that's what I did. Every day at first, then 2x per week, and now once per week.

He was improving, so I was feeling better. Then the pediatrician noticed his weight drop: from 30th percentile at birth down to 3% at 4 weeks. Now I'm worried all over again.

Until yesterday. The goal is for them to gain 5-7 oz per week. As of yesterday's weighing, he gained 10 oz in the past week!

We're still using the nipple shields about 75% of the time. I keep trying to wean him off of them, and he does ok, then other times no luck. But at least he's gaining! Yeah for Mommy's Milk!

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