Tuesday, January 3, 2012

To Sleep or Not to Sleep...

Sleep, it seems, is what baby Z is all about. She is such a pro that she forgets about nursing and shows little interest... that she is losing weight and becoming even sleepier... that a bit of jaundice is not helping with her sleepiness issues... that she is having difficulty latching when she does want to nurse (and other reasons that hinder a good latch)... that her urine started looking orange with blood in it (dehydration symptoms)...

Yes, this is what we have been dealing with the last few days. Miss Z's discharge weight was 8 lbs, 8 oz and yesterday's weight check at the lactation consultant's was 8 lbs, 2 oz. Thankfully, with the LC's help, we have had a bit more luck in getting some milk in her. Plus, I entered the world of pumping, and supplement with that once she has lost the energy to nurse more. The situation is a tad emotionally draining. I have nursed three other babies with a minimal of problems, and somehow feel as if I am doing something wrong. Pumping does not help these feelings. It seems the more I pump, the easier it is for her to drink from the bottle versus nursing, which seems such a struggle. Ultimately, I know that her health comes first, but it is still a struggle.

It does not help that I am definitely not getting much sleep as it takes awhile to nurse her - to keep her going as long as possible - and then to finish off the session with pumping. And then, to start again in two hours. But, it's worth it. Today's check showed her at 8 lbs, 5 oz, and while she is not showing a ton of interest in nursing overall, she is regaining some weight and has had some wet/dirty diapers, and hopefully soon, will be more alert and open to nursing. Right now, she's only alert for maybe a total of 45 minutes or so in a 24-hour period. Unfortunately, most of that is between 2 and 6 AM!

And now, off for another round! Peace to you all this night.


  1. Oh Nicole..I really feel for you! I had problems nursing my children too. I have 'flat' nipples and I would get really sore and crack and bleed. It took a while but with the last two it eventually got better.

    I know you feel like YOU are a failure...I've been there. Surrender this to God and try not to get caught in the guilt trap. I struggled with this when my second daughter refused the breast after having been bottle fed while my nipples were healing for a couple of days.

    Maybe you could try lying down to breast feed...its the only way I could do it actually (that's why my babies ended up sleeping with me) If you think she's falling asleep before she's eaten enough then gently stroke her cheek and jiggle the nipple around in her mouth.

    If all else fails and you've tried everything..know that you did your best and God will do the rest.

    Praying for you!

  2. Thank you Lisa. I had a much, much better night with a few good feedings on the one side. I still pump and supplement from the other side as it's healing from a large crack. It's healing but it is still really sore. I'm wimping out at the moment attempting to nurse on that side while we get the latch down. But I feel much better, and much more confident. Hopefully it stays that way! Prayers welcome, thank you!

  3. I used vitamin E oil to help heal the cracks faster and it helps to let the nipple be exposed to the air periodically rather than covered. Make sure to remove any residue before your baby nurses though, apparently high doses of vitamin E aren't good for her. That shouldn't be a problem for you though since she takes long naps.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Thanks Lisa. Though it still looks rough, I was able to latch successfully last night and with a minimum of pain. I've heard about using vitamin E. Right now I use a little expressed milk followed by lanolin and air drying as I'm able. I still have to wake her for many feedings but she's also started to wake herself up too. Tomorrow we have a weight check and I'm confident we'll see an improvement.

  5. Aww, good thing she was a big girl at birth. Don't worry too much. I always believe breast is best. Do what your instincts tell you, I know it is often against what medical professionals tell you. If your nipples are ok, just have her try to breastfeed. It always takes me a good 2 weeks before the baby is nursing well and I'm not in pain..but it is worth it. She is good and healthy so there's not too much to worry about until she is really light...I'd say under 7lbs. Anyways...on to read more! =)


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