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Moving Stinks & More On My Boobs

08/12/2013

Belle

Sabine has eyebrows! And Mama has procured a huge bag of bows :)

Sabine has eyebrows! And Mama has procured a huge bag of bows 🙂

You all, moving stinks. Moving with a newborn stinks even more. We are slowly but surely plodding away at the to-do list, though. Packed boxes are piling up and rooms are gradually emptying. The Professor sold a crap-load of tools at our second yard sale, and then I sold even more for him on Craigslist. My parents have bought our car and friends are lined up each day this week to come collect their purchases (a deep freeze, furniture, a grill, tools, and more). So progress is being made, but boy is it ever slow.

Sabine has had some good days and some bad days. We’ve seen lots of developmental milestones lately. Her “vocabulary” is increasing with new squeals and grunts. Her beautiful brunette hair is quickly falling out and in its place is a fine layer of white blond. She has also sprouted some delightfully expressive eyebrows that I am absolutely in love with. Her favorite things in life right now are:

  1. Mama’s boob
  2. Dad’s finger (to suck on)
  3. “Fan Friend” (ceiling fan)
  4. Ugly Lamp
  5. Discussing the different kinds of beans (“What kind of bean are you? Is she a black bean? Nooooo! Is she a lima bean? NOOOOO!”…. and so on until I exclaim, “I know! She is a Sabine!!!”)
  6. Watching Mama perform old show choir songs (there will be no You Tube of this)
  7. Walks in the stroller
  8. Peeking out the window while we nurse

I had to take her into pediatrics on Friday after two days of her eating very little and being rather lethargic. The pediatrician we saw said she seemed healthy to her and then tried to force formula on us. I’m ready to get settled in NY and find a doctor for her that is breastfeeding friendly and will offer us constructive support when times are tough, not just breakout the formula. I realize that there is nothing wrong with formula and if baby’s health were at stake I would certainly do what was needed. But right now, if she is healthy and growing let’s avoid it. You know?

I went home relieved that she was ok but frustrated at this new nursing trend. It seems we are regressing back to the kind of feeds we had during her first two weeks of life. Those marathon feeds where she would just rest on the boob, pacifying and dozing, occasionally waking up to slurp for a minute or three and then drift back off. These feeds last anywhere from a short 45 minutes to an exhausting 90 minutes. After 90 minutes I’m usually getting frustrated and Sabine is ready to nap without me so I hand her off to Daddy. It’s so hard and I have no way of knowing really how much she is eating. I’m trying to take comfort in the 5-7 wet diapers I change each day. Her poos have reduced from 8-10 a day to just 2-3 which I read is normal but still stresses me out to no end.

I’m incredibly disappointed at how little solid breastfeeding support I’m finding as the weeks wear on. I don’t really know what is “normal” and when I consult Google I find horrendously conflicting information. I need to know things like if my supply is established enough at this point to whether a few days of less eating on Sabine’s part. Is there something with my milk right now that she is not loving? The infected boob has cleared up so I know it is not a “boob cheese” issue. I have so many questions and am finding very little help.

I want so badly to write positively about breastfeeding and to keep my obsessive compulsive behaviors away from it, but I can’t. This is how I’m hard-wired. I’m a chart keeping, schedule abiding lady and breastfeeding is NOT fitting into that! So I’m turning to you guys. What is your breastfeeding/sleeping schedule like with your little ones? Particularly around 6 weeks of age. Do you have periods of less nursing followed by period of increased? How have your boobs held up to this? Do you add in more pumping?

And now it is time for me to roust sleeping beauty up for her “lunch” feed. Posting will likely continue to be sparse until we make it to NYC. Moving truck arrives a week from today so we are in the home stretch!! Wish us luck!

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21 Comments

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  1. August 12, 2013

    First off, go to kellymom.com for all of your breastfeeding questions. It is HANDS DOWN the best resource our there – for any and all breastfeeding questions.

    From 5w2d-5w5d Stella did nothing but eat/sleep/eat/sleep – I couldn’t put her down for a minute. Then she grew out of that phase, thankfully! It’s hard when you’re a Type-A charter (as I am!) to not know exactly what they’re eating, but really, trust your gut, and if you’re feeding on demand and she’s gaining weight, just go with it. Sometimes she would nurse every hour – sometimes every 3 hours, sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for 30 minutes. I just tried to roll with it, and around 8w she settled into more of a “routine” of eating for about 15-20 minutes every 2.5-3 hours.

    FWIW – a lot of breastfed babies will go through growth spurts of NO poopy diapers for a few days, because their bodies are literally utilizing all of the perfect nutrition and there is no waste. It’s totally normal!

  2. August 12, 2013

    I know you won’t be able to do this, but I’m gonna say it anyway…don’t worry about it =) If you choose to breastfeed on demand you’re never going to know how much milk she’s getting…and you can either stress about it ALWAYS or accept that you will never know and take your cues from baby. They will go through periods of “cluster” feeding in which they are on your boob for an hour, take a half hour break and then back on for another hour and repeat all day long then there will be times when if feels like they have barely eaten a thing all day. AS LONG AS BABY SEEMS CONTENT then she probably is and you shouldn’t worry about it. When they’re growing they are on your boob ALL THE DAMN TIME! You’ll notice a growth spurt soon after those days when she’s on the boob forever. It continues, so get used to it! We’re at a year and he still will hop on the boob every hour or two during growth spurts even with solid food. Your boobs will adjust accordingly and there’s no need to pump on the days when she’s on the boobs less, at 6 weeks your milk should be established and your boobs should be taking all their cues from baby. Just keep plugging away it sounds like you’re doing everything right! Try to relax and enjoy it and don’t wake the baby! Let her sleep, she’ll wake when she’s hungry =)

  3. August 12, 2013

    If you like to chart, get an app to chart so you can see a pattern (it was one I hadn’t thought was a pattern, just a 24 hour pattern). I have Total Baby for iDevice and it’s awesome. Further I’d say that the first full 6 weeks of nursing was murderously awful both times and then better, so don’t panic just yet. My nearly 6 month old seems pretty happy to poop every 3-5 days since about 10 weeks so no panic there either. Babies have their own mysterious ways. Is there any La Leche League support near you or anyone a doula would know? It helped me a lot to just see older babies nursing and the various ways you could do that. As an oversupply person, I wouldn’t pump too much because you don’t want to ramp up your supply too much, but you may not have oversupply. Just build your freezer stash for back to work a little bit every day and you’ll do fine.

  4. veetamia #
    August 12, 2013

    Hey! Love the bean game lol and she is gorgeous! I second the above comments. We are past three months and although his feeding schedule is getting more predictable there are still some days where he seems to cling to the boob often and others where he doesn’t seem to eat very much. I read at kellymom.com that they have growth spurts every certain weeks and that info has been constant with his periods of cluster feeding and then tons of sleeping and almost no interest on the boob. I used to freak out much and started pumping to keep my supply up but that was counterproductive for me bc every time I’d overwork my boobs and ended up with a clogged duct. I stopped pumping and there has been no problem with my supply. I also keep track of all his feelings and diapers with an app (baby.nursing by seven.logics). At least I know how often he feeds, for how long, and how many wet + soiled diapers he has. Maybe too much lol but it has kept panic at bay!
    Good luck with the move 🙂

  5. August 12, 2013

    From what I’ve heard – as long as baby is growing and happy, any amount of feeding is normal. If she was hungry you would know!!! I never had a pacifying babe so I am no help there, but personally when I stopped hearing her swallowing I would take her off the boob.
    I was always always worried that things would screw up my supply, her not feeding long enough or sleeping too long etc etc. and at 9 months we have never had supply episodes. Those boobs are made for feeding and ms Sabine is happy, so don’t worry :). And find a new ped!!!!

  6. Cammy #
    August 12, 2013

    Mia was still clusterfeeding at 6 weeks just not as bad as the 3 week mark. I feed on demand to ensure supply did what it needed to do. Hang in there………sounds like everything is going the way it should. Your experience seems to be like mine and Mia is very healthy at 12.7 pounds at 13 weeks! At 8-10 weeks it seemed like things slowed down. I promise…….it gets better. I am sorry to hear about your support system. Frankfort has very little, luckly my pedi is very supportive of BF and has been great. She even observed a BF session at the beginning to help me. I am sure you have already linked with Babymoon, I would think there would be a good support system there?

  7. August 12, 2013

    Oh, all of the above comments are so good… not sure I can add anything better! Loki definitely had those down-times when it seemed like she was barely eating, and then crazy attached-to-my-boob days when it took every ounce of my energy to just sit and feed her (and myself…sooo hungry…) all freakin day. We still have those ups and downs now at 7 months, but they don’t seem as dramatic and my boobs only get a little engorged for a short while with each change. Hang in there… once you move to NYC, I bet you’ll find an awesome doctor and a supportive moms group, and that’ll make all the difference in the world!

  8. August 12, 2013

    You never know how much an EBF baby gets – and that’s hard for people like us to accept. BUT – my rule is that if they’re eating when they ask to, if they’re peeing and pooping, and if they’re not acting starved when they’re not eating – then all is well! Sounds like Sabine is growing – so she’s fine!!!

    We’re not on a schedule here, but Bryson eats every 2.5-3 hours during the day and has gone 4.5 hours at night. And, some days he treats me like a snack bar. 😉 I just go with it!

  9. August 12, 2013

    I too HATE not knowing how much they are getting. As another scheduling, write everything down kind of person it drives me insane. It took me till their 2 month appt to fully be ok with the idea that as long as they seem happy they have gotten enough because I could see it in their weight gain. If I remember correctly I’ve heard growth spurts happen at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 9 weeks and then 3 months, 6 months, 9 months. (not100% sure about that though)
    Finally at about 10 weeks breastfeeding transferred from a love/hate relationship to an enjoyable one. It takes awhile but you’ll get there.

  10. Em #
    August 12, 2013

    I will second what the first two commenters said and also add that the first six weeks of breastfeeding are the worst. I tell everyone that if you can just make it through the first six weeks, you’ll be fine. Also, my son abandoned his big blue pacifier around 3 months, so we switched to the smaller Nuk brand pacifier and he’s been fine with it ever since.

  11. August 12, 2013

    I very much agree with all of the above comments and we went through a lot of that too. Sometimes he truly did eat tons and tons for ever and other times he’d only take a sip. Then as he got older, he got more efficient and BF generally didn’t take much time at all. Today, at 11,5 months old, he refused my boob all day! He sucked maybe two or three times the first time, then nibbled on my nipple with teeth (ouch) and laughed when I yelped. He then turned his head away and covered my boob. He thankfully drank some milk as he was falling asleep. Even at this age, not drinking enough milk is a concern. :)=

  12. August 12, 2013

    I have a friend who works for these guys… https://breastfeedingusa.org/ she says they have some great groups in NY and the online support is Fab. You can also phone councillors directly I believe.

  13. August 12, 2013

    Everything sounds perfectly normal at the moment for a breastfeeding mama. They will want more, more often. Their growth wont be as rapid and you just have to feed when they want it. I think things started to regulate around 6-8 weeks for us – I always used to roll my eyes when people would go “oh I can’t remember” but it was only a year ago and heck, I can’t remember. We have in Australia the australian breastfeeding association which I loved, not sure what you have? And stick to the feeding! I weaned two weeks ago and I miss it desperately. My sister BF all three of her children and it took up to 8 weeks with all of them to get the knack. Sabine is just lovely!

  14. August 12, 2013

    My first would nurse like that…. she had a very weak latch and I had to use a nipple shield the whole time. She would nurse FOR-EVER. Keep up the good work mama. It’ll get easier I promise.

  15. August 13, 2013

    You’re doing great and it’s completely normal. Around that age Archie started the random nursing strikes but then would follow with big nursing days. Just continue to have confidence in your body’s ability to know what to do. If your supply dips a little it’ll be fine when she nurses a bunch and demands more.

    I have found ALL my support on Facebook. Crazy I know but it’s been huge. I follow several groups that post questions and the resources other moms share in response to the questions. “The leaky boob” is one, “naturally born” is another. Feel free to email me anytime, I’m always happy to talk boobs and breastfeeding. It’s become a personal cause of mine that I feel incredibly passionate about. Keep your chin up, it gets better. Wait till she looks up at you and stops nursing to smile at your with your nipple in her mouth. It’s the sweetest thing 🙂

  16. Kerstin #
    August 13, 2013

    Totally normal! But if you really, really can’t control the little control freak in you: Weigh an empty diaper and weigh all the diapers you change throughout a day and a night. If she does not spit up too much, you might get a good overview of the amout of milk Sabine gets.
    How I know that? I was freaked out too and started to google. It stopped when she spotted a triple chin.

  17. Nene #
    August 13, 2013

    It is difficult not to spin down the rabbit hole with nursing. What you’re describing seems totally normal. Also, try not to worry about the decrease in poop. At about 2 months old my son went from pooping pretty much everyday, to once every three days and then (gulp) once a week. Our pediatrician was not surprised, since we were EBFing. She said, eh, if he goes ten days with no poop, call me. One time he went nine days!! He was cranky about it, but it was nothing like you’d expect. I will say that when he finally did go, it was like a poop tsunami!

    Once we started solids he went back to popping daily, sometimes twice or three times depending on what was on the menu.

    • jak #
      August 13, 2013

      bhahahaha!!!!….”poop tsunami”

  18. August 13, 2013

    I can’t agree more with what everyone has said but I just wanted to throw this out there too. Breast feeding especially in the beginning is a huge exercise in trust. Having trust and faith in your body to provide what your baby needs and trusting your baby to take what she needs. This was so hard for me but I knew I didn’t want the alternative ie. pumping or formula to know how much she was eating. I’m so happy that I trusted because now after almost 11 months we are still nursing and I’m thrilled. Your body knows what to do and in a few months little Sabine will settle into a nice routine and pattern and you won’t even bat an eye about it. It just takes some time. I leaned on my friend that successfully breastfed her babies and my doula when I needed that reassurance to trust again. Hang in there and good luck with the move. I moved from MO to CA with a four month old it sucks!! Take any help you can get.

  19. jak #
    August 13, 2013

    sabine is soooo adorable:) i’m over the moon happy for you, head ornaments and all!! i cant wait until she can take bike rides with you!!!!!

    kellymom is a great site, as already suggested. and if your ped is pushing formula instead of recommending a lactation consultant or better yet, having you nurse in front of them or giving nursing advice, run for the door, just like you would with an ob who wont read your birth plan. i had to nurse chupacabra after the pku heel stick and i was going to stop nursing him as soon as he shut up and our ped said, “no, no, no, dont stop nursing him. hes doing his baby homework. please continue!”… then at our next appt (1 month) i asked her a question about how often he should be eating and she said, “whenever he wants. but our lactation consultant (always on site as hired staff) can come in and talk with you right now if you’d like to get into more specifics”… i hope you find this level of help sooner than later. i’m sure you can find it on the east coast, but hoping it doesnt take that long, or hoping that you and The Bean just figure it out on your own…

    as far as supply – let it go:) sabine will regulate this. and you dont need to wake her to eat unless you are trying to make specific schedule changes. she’ll tell you when she’s hungry. i used to try to regulate feedings, but now i let chupacabra be the boss. i was freaked out when i woke up engorged during the second week and called my mom (successful BF-er of 5 kids) and asked if i should pump and she said no, just let the baby regulate it. you will leak for a few days and be a little uncomfortable, but by not pumping it, you body will know that that was too much (there is feedback from the engorgement, so taking it away via pumping will ruin the feedback) and will start to make a little less. likewise, when The Bean has growth spurts (which is sounds like she could be having), you will naturally ramp up if you feed her on demand. and the ramping up doesnt take days, it only takes hours as long as your diet is good and you are healthy, so she will not go hungry and you will not explode if you just let her be the boss of feedings.

  20. LMS #
    August 13, 2013

    I’m so happy that you sing her old show choir songs. As for milk supply, I agree with the others that it seems weird once you settle into a bit of a rhythm, even though it seems to be changing, because you don’t have the same feeling of engorgement and relief like you do when they’re first nursing. Unless there are no wet nappies or she seems unwell, try to trust that you’re giving her what she needs! I hope you find some good support in New York – it seems to be a very bf-friendly place.

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