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One month down and the battle continues..

My one month old son is exclusively on breast milk. I know that does not sound like a big deal and most moms will look and say like whaaaa? But to me it is especially a big deal since we are struggling every day with breast feeding, every day for the last 31days we have been at it trying to get neel to the ideal weight and to ensure that he is as healthy as he would have been if he was full term.

Neel was born with a birthweight of 2.17 (around 4.5 pounds) kgs and over the course of next few days hw dropped further to 1.97 kgs. When we got neel home from nicu he was a itsy bitsy baby of 2.08kgs. He was still not able to suckle and directly feed of breast. Added to that because he was preterm he needed to be fed every 2 hours and not when he demands it. That meant pumping every alternate hour to begin with and then feed him using a special spoon called jhinuk in bong. Once done begin the cycle all over again all thru day and all thru night. Just when we got him home and divided a routine between me and man ritz .. Baby ritz went into a growth spurt..which meant my boy wanted to suckle but didn’t have strength for it, was irritable and wanted to hang around my breast which is the natural instinct but was hungry all the same.. that meant i had to find time in between to pump and produce enough milk so that my darling is satiated. I spent sleep deprived nights holding neel in one hand and planning when and how to pump. And in those dark moments when internet and google were mybest friends i read countless articles saying one bottle of top feed is enough for babies to sleep thru the night and that i a mom who wants her child to be exclusively breast fed is being ‘unkind’ to him.Reading all Β I was about a mm close to throwing in the towel and make a bottle of top feed to give him .. But some how we hung in there, even tho my besties cracked and became sore we hung in there while i pumped the crap out of them.Today as we celebrate a month of neel my baby boy is almost 3kgs ( the goal was to get him to be three by his due date) and has started to directly take breast feeds.. We still have latch issues and it is a long battle to fight i m sure with many more dark moments but yeah we are a month old and have been on breast milk for the first 31 days of our life πŸ™‚

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4 thoughts on “One month down and the battle continues..”

  1. My twins were premie and my girl was 4lbs 12oz at birth. She too lost weight in the hospital and wasn’t back to her birth weight when we came home. Hang in there! It’s a tough job for sure but sounds like you’re hearts in the right place. Cluster feedings are intense because they need you and only you but making yourself 100% available will help keep your milk up and him growing. I found the book called ‘the womanly art of breastfeeding’ really helpful.
    A few things that really helped me as well;
    – eat oatmeal. Like two bowls a day if you can. And making lactation cookies helped (Brewers yeast is the key ingredient).
    – drink 4 liters of water per day
    – when I started to stretch out her feedings going every 3 hours to maybe stretching one feeding out to 4 hours and keeping the others every 3 hours, helped her get hungry to eat again. Eventually when we dropped the timed feedings and went to more on demand when they were around 2/3 months, that’s when her weight got better. And then around 6 months, she definitely gained more.
    – I’m not sure what your family situation is but I had my mom and husband and that’s it. Too many people in the house is hard.
    – keep up with the nipple cream!!!! Lather it on there as much as you can. That stuff is great
    – when my babies were 8 weeks they went through a really hard patch. Google ‘period of purple crying’. They would cry from 5-11. It was hard but we survived. And when in doubt, put him on your breast. Even skin to skin helps.

    Hoping the next 30 days continue to be successful for you 😊 you’re doing great!

    1. Hey there thanks a bunch for taking time out and writing to me .. Really means a lot especially since we are still struggling with bf. I am trying to eat healthy but will listen to ur advice and have 2 bowls of oats.. I wanna be prepared for the next growth spurt so googling and eating all the stuff to help with milk production. As of now my father is around to help out till last Sunday mum was here too… Its a little difficult since i dont get along well with mum and dad as both of them have there own ghosts to battle. But yeah taking all the help i can because motherhood sure is hard especially after ivf . i constantly doubt myself if i am doing this right.. It almost feels like the baby is not rightfuy mine dunno how to explain .. Anyways thanks also for warning me about the purple patch of crying it sounds scary but i will try to keep up with this too shall pass mantra.. πŸ™‚
      Also wanted to ask u how do i stretch his feeds? As of now he is up every hour and forty five minutes and then drinks some and goes off almost like he is on his own clock! I want him to sleep a little longer so that he can catch the essential shut eye to grow!

      1. Family dynamics can be hard sometimes. Hopefully it’s not too stressful for you.
        He’s a month old? If so, it won’t really last that much longer and he’ll start to do it himself. If he’s eating that frequently and consistently, then I’d think he’s just growing. How’s his poops and pees? Is he going enough? Is he staying latched for a good period of time or is he off your breast after a few minutes? If he comes of quickly then there’s a few things there. 1. He may be only getting your fore milk which is higher in lactose (sugar more watery milk) and he’s not getting your hinde milk which is your fatty milk. The fatty milk is what will sustain him for longer periods as well. 2. If he is coming off quickly and not nursing for long, which honestly is pretty normal for smaller babies because nursing is hard work for everyone!, try putting a cool cloth on his feet when nursing him to keep him awake or undress him when you’re nursing. Obviously when they’re smaller maintaining their body temperature can pose its own challenges so I wouldn’t do it for long. 3. If he is feeding every 1hr45min but on the breast for 20min actively nursing then I’d say he’s just growing. To stretch out the feedings, what I did was just do it really slowly by changing her diaper or have my mom or husband hold them for literally 2-3 minutes before I nursed. At some point though in your near future I’d think, he’ll eventually take a longer nap and it will happen naturally.

        Have you contacted a lactation consultant or a doula in your area? They will be able to help you navigate in person and be hands on, make sure it’s all going in the right direction.
        I’m not sure if you’re on Facebook but look up a woman called ‘the milk Meg’. She puts out some good articles as well. She’s a La Leche League Leader who’s based out of Australia and I believe she does skype consults as well.

        It is pretty surreal that they’re actually in your arms after so long of wanting and dreaming. Enjoy as much as you can. Each phase, the challenging and fun ones too, all pass. Take in all the snuggles you can 😊

  2. Hey .. Thank u again for the detailed post again cant begin to put it in words for the guidance that u provided, really appreciate all the help. Yeah bubba is one month old, but his feeding is all over the place since last 2 days sometimes he gets up and feeds every hour, sometimes he is asleep for 3 hours. He feeds anything between 10 mins to 30 mins on each breast, though 15 min is his average. I have noticed that if the breasts are full ( since directly feeding i have reduced pumping to few times a day)then he feeds for less time dunno if its due to fast let down or something as of now he is getting around 8 wet diapers a day and pooping atleast once, Also he gained more than 2 pounds after his discharge from NICU. Should i still be worried about the imbalance? His latch has improved in 2 days and he feeds directly off the breast for 8 outta 11 feeds he takes in a day. Early morning 2 feeds and one night feed is handled by his dad as he uses this time to bond with baby. I guess its all wait and watch from now if he is continuing to gain weight then i shud not worry about imbalance. I read through Milk meg’s posts she sounds like an amazing woman.. will read through some more thank u for introducing her to me πŸ™‚

    I might bug u for advice some more as my baby continues to grow, please let me know if iam imposing. As i said your comments have provided the much needed encouragement, parenting is hard especially when u take almost the radical approach contrary to what norm is πŸ™‚

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