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Update on us - support/advice welcomed

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have pretty much been absent since my precious baby girl was born. We have had a pretty hard stretch, and I haven't had time to post, plus I felt like such a failure as a mother that I didn't want anyone to know. I felt so much shame. It may be silly, but my whole life, I have envisioned being a mom, and the thing I looked forward to the most was nursing. 

 

So here goes: my baby girl can't latch. I tried everything I could. We had a lactation consultant at 4 days (she stopped latching at 2, lost almost 10% of her birth weight by day 3) who was useless. We finger fed with a tube. My mom came and we go her to latch. She gained weight by day 5. She stopped latching at 6 days, and by day 10, had lost over 10%. By then, she was so tired, she couldn't stay awake long enough to finger feed, which we had gone back to when she stopped latching. We had to go to a bottle. She was so lethargic, we couldn't wake her to eat for a few days. 

 

I almost lost my milk supply. By day 10, I could get 1oz every 2-3 hours, and it took an hour of work to get it, even with the hospital grade pump. An amazing woman in our DDC gave me some expressed milk while I rebuilt my supply. I started taking medication to increase it, and was able to get barely enough. But it WAS enough. I could feed my baby girl. Even if it wasn't the way I wanted to, even if it was so hard to have to spend so much time pumping, she was getting milk.

 

I never have any extra, so I can never get ahead. Every meal I have to pump when she is hungry. That is hard, because she is often upset before 'i have enough, and I can't go anywhere in case she wakes up hungry because I have no way of feeding her. I start pumping when she shows hunger signs in her sleep and hope she stays asleep. Then I hope the amount I am able to get will satisfy her, since I have no more.

 

I made an appointment at the Newman Clinic. Our appointment was today. We were there for 3.5 hours. They were amazing. They saw how much she wanted to nurse, but how she screamed and cried and couldn't manage it. With the help of the lactation consultant, we were able to almost succeed, and she did latch for a few swallows a couple of times. She said she s so close to getting it. I learned some tricks that help me help her too.

 

The pediatrician diagnosed diagnosed her with a posterior tongue tie, and we chose to have it clipped. She cried a lot, I managed to not cry. She still didn't latch after, but settled after a bottle of milk. I haven't succeeded in getting her to latch in the two feedings since, but I am hopeful. Her mouth seems to be bothering her, so I am not pushing it. We are gong to work on it in the coming days though. It really better work, my baby girl deserves to nurse.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and if this isn't enough stress, I leave tomorrow for my parents house, 4 hours away, as we are moving Saturday. My husband will follow with our stuff then. We have been trying to pack through all of this. Hey, at least my husband is done exams though. She arrived 2 weeks before he was done, so we had that going on too. She will be 3 weeks on Saturday. I can't believe t has only been 2.5 weeks.

 

Sorry this is so long.

post #2 of 16

oh mama, you are so far from a failure, you're strong and committed, and what i just read is absolutely not the story of a woman who failed her child.  You're doing fantastic.  My heart goes out to you as i know you must be exhausted.  

 

my only thought for you is this... she could potentially have an issue with her jaw (TMJ).  I see a lot of babies who can't nurse at my office and sometimes it can be resolved with an adjustment of the TMJ. It may hurt her jaw to suck, which would of course make nursing unsuccessful.  Try to find a chiropractor you feel comfortable with to check her jaw.  Make sure they have experience with infants, you might try looking at icpa.com (it may be icpa.org) to find a local doc with training and experience in pediatrics.  

 

good luck and keep us posted  

post #3 of 16

So sorry you are having such a rough time, Mama. Do you have any infant craniosacral therapists that do newborn craniosacral therapy near you? My midwives and lactation consultant are huge proponents of it and they've personally seen SO MANY cases of poor latching and breastfeeding issues being totally resolved by one session of very gentle craniosacral therapy, it might be worth a try. Sometimes babies are "off" from the birth process effecting them and just need to be put back on track and it somehow helps resolve breastfeeding issues. I'm not an expert, but it might be worth looking into.

 

http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/craniosacral.htm

post #4 of 16

That sounds amazingly rough, but also that you're doing everything you can. It sounds like you're in good hands (I've met too many sham lactation consultants). I'm assuming you've been doing skin to skin time? Other than that, all I can offer is some ehugs.
 

post #5 of 16

Oh mama, how terrible for you and your little one. I'm so sorry you are going through this. You are in no way a failure though, you are a fighter!  What a blessing you are to that little one. 

 

I second the advice to see a chiro or a cranio.  My sister does cranio, and it has done absolute wonders for various ailments on my boys.

 

Is there any way you can go back to Newman until you have the problem solved? That may be hard with you moving and all. I have a friend in Calgary who just flew to Toronto just to see him after dealing with latch/thrush/severe pain for almost five months. They offered answers that no one in Calgary had been able to (and she'd seen 3 different LCs.) 

 

Also difficult for you to do right now I'm sure, but may help, is to give yourself a few days of being pampered by DH/your mom, etc. and just be skin to skin and put her to your breast as often as you possibly can.  Just be topless for two or three days.  Watch movies, or read, or whatever you need to do to be able to relax and enjoy your little one.  Sometimes just sitting back for a bit can help both momma and baby figure things out.

 

And a word of comfort - just know that while 3 weeks of this surely feels like a lifetime at this point, when you can manage to figure things out, it will be such a short time when you look back on it all.  You are such a good mom to do what you have already done, and will continue to make the best choices for your baby girl and yourself, I know it! 

 

Blessings to you and lots of hugs!

post #6 of 16

I have no words of wisdom, but I just wanted to say that you're doing an awesome job. Please don't feel like a failure. I just read your story, and it's a story of amazing perseverance and will to succeed. You'll get there. ((hugs))

post #7 of 16
Your resilience is amazing. :hugs: mama. You are doing an incredible job.
post #8 of 16

Most women would have given up long ago.  You are DEFINITELY not a failure.  It will get easier.

post #9 of 16

Dealic, my heart really goes out to you with what you are going through.  I had some similar significant problems getting nursing established with DD.  She dropped a lot of weight and was an extremely sleepy baby, and we don't know what the root cause of our problems really were but it messed up my milk supply.  DD was so sleepy that we had to do everything people suggested *at the same time* with three adults working together, and we still could not get her to stay awake.  Feedings took hours, and then I had to try to pump to supplement the next time... which needed to start 30min later because it took so long to get anything into her.  We supplemented with breast milk as much as possible (using feeding tubes at the breast) and some formula to make up the difference.  I was prescribed domperidone for my supply. 

It was exhausting, and I felt like a total failure.  Things did turn around for us though and we pushed through it.  Once we got her weight back up she seemed to "wake up" more and became more active in the feedings, and within a month of going on the domperidone my supply was sufficient that supplementation was no longer needed.  She was exclusively breast feeding again about 2 months after birth, I weaned off the domperidone, and we went on to over 3 years of nursing.  I don't know if hearing my story is overly helpful but I just wanted to let you know that I understand what you are feeling and there is hope!  I am not sure how I managed to keep it up, but I did and it paid off in the end.  You are working hard for something that is important to you, and you are doing an amazing job!  hug2.gif
 

post #10 of 16

oh momma you are not a failure you are a hero, doing so much to get things working.  So sorry their has been such a struggle.

post #11 of 16

Oh wow hugs mama. You are doing such an amazing job for your little baby. Definitely don't be a failure and take all of our words to heart.  You are so strong!  It is so hard in all of the transitions without extra added struggles, I am glad you have a good support team and are getting help but you sure have had a rough go of it and I am sorry for that.  I don't have much advice, just encouragement to keep going and to keep us posted.  Sometimes it helps to have outside support from mamas who can just say "yeah that is hard" or give advice on a next step that you haven't thought of.  I third or fourth the chiro and cranio sacral care.  I used to be a skeptic of chiro but honestly, it worked wonders for my DS's latch.  He was tongue tied but it was the more common anterior tongue tie.  Keep up with the nursing. Breast milk will help heal her tongue where it is clipped and while it may seem sore, it actually helps her tongue strengthen the way it needs to if you keep on nursing after the clipping.  I know it must have just hurt your mama heart so much to see your baby's tongue clipped, and it is ok to feel sad about that,  but you are giving both of you a chance to make your breastfeeding relationship work.  You are so brave!

I will be praying for you, pumping and feeding takes a lot of dedication. It won't be forever, and hopefully very soon you will be able to get ahead just a little so you can have a little piece of normal in your life.  I am so sorry it is hard, we are all cheering and rooting for you and definitely want to help any way we can. 

Also, yay for whatever mama gave you some milk!  Wish we lived nearby so I could send you some of mine too!

post #12 of 16

You are not a failure, daelic! I think you are a pretty awesome mom. Any mother who recognizes a problem and continues to try different solutions that are in the best interest of their child, is top notch. I pump after every feeding and even I only get a half an ounce after a pumping session at times. Don't be distressed by the amount. As long as she is getting milk and feeling better, that is all that matters. I'm glad you were able to get some  milk from another momma. My cousin has an extensive supply and I had her on stand by in case I had any problems. You are doing the right thing for your DD, so keep your head up! Thinking of you all and I hope you have good news to report soon! Good luck with the move as well!

 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone.

 

I scrimped and saved 1/4 and 1/2 ounces here and there before our appointment at the Newman Clinic so I had milk to use there, and full breasts to nurse. After the appointment, she was full from that milk, and I pumped and got 3oz. So I had extra. Since then, I have noticed a great increase in what I can pump, so I have been collecting the extras. I now have 12oz saved! So I can feed her when she's hungry, and pump at my convenience later. Plus, I have a fairly large storage capacity so when I didn't pump in the middle of the night last night (accidentally fell asleep), I woke up with twice as much and didn't lose stride. I am not tied to the house and got lots of sleep (for being mommy to a newborn)!

 

I am at my parents and ready for the move tomorrow. Her mouth seems to be bothering her less so I am hopeful we will get this soon. If it doesn't happen on its own, my sister is going to find a chiropractor or physiotherapist she would trust to work on a baby. She works with many health care providers and can ask around to find someone good. We can also go back to the clinic if we need.

post #14 of 16

wohoo! way to go mama!

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelbranch View Post

Dealic, my heart really goes out to you with what you are going through.  I had some similar significant problems getting nursing established with DD.  She dropped a lot of weight and was an extremely sleepy baby, and we don't know what the root cause of our problems really were but it messed up my milk supply.  DD was so sleepy that we had to do everything people suggested *at the same time* with three adults working together, and we still could not get her to stay awake.  Feedings took hours, and then I had to try to pump to supplement the next time... which needed to start 30min later because it took so long to get anything into her.  We supplemented with breast milk as much as possible (using feeding tubes at the breast) and some formula to make up the difference.  I was prescribed domperidone for my supply. 

It was exhausting, and I felt like a total failure.  Things did turn around for us though and we pushed through it.  Once we got her weight back up she seemed to "wake up" more and became more active in the feedings, and within a month of going on the domperidone my supply was sufficient that supplementation was no longer needed.  She was exclusively breast feeding again about 2 months after birth, I weaned off the domperidone, and we went on to over 3 years of nursing.  I don't know if hearing my story is overly helpful but I just wanted to let you know that I understand what you are feeling and there is hope!  I am not sure how I managed to keep it up, but I did and it paid off in the end.  You are working hard for something that is important to you, and you are doing an amazing job!  hug2.gif
 

 

Thank you for sharing your story. It really gives me hope that we can turn this around. We did the same thing, with 3 adults, just to get everything done. I pumped, my mom or DH fed her while I did, and we *may* have 30 minutes before it was time to repeat. 

post #16 of 16

hug2.gifHugs mama--you are dealing with a rough situation and really giving it your all!!  We've had latch issues with DD2 as well (and previous inept lactation consultantS with DD1 almost made me not even seek out assistance this time but thankfully our midwives had a fabulous recommendation for someone).  DD2 ended up having a posterior tongue tie fixed at 1 week and a frenulotomy (the upper lip frenulum was so restrictive it affected her latch as well).  Did your LO have her lip examined for restriction as well?  When did your LO have the tongue tie procedure?  Our lactation consultant gave us exercises to do to strengthen DD2's tongue and her latch improved significantly though intermittently.  We still have issues--she still breaks her latch and ends up gulping air (contributing to hiccups, gassiness, and associated fussiness), the latch degrades sometimes and she ends up sucking nipple only, etc.  It's a work in progress for us but has been getting better.  One thing that just takes time is waiting on the jaw to grow--infants have a naturally recessed jaw and I think for some, it can also be restrictive to latching.  With DD1 (who had tongue tie that went undiagnosed) I blamed the jaw completely because several months after she was born, it obviously had grown down and out and her latch improved--I think she was able to gain the traction at that point to overcome the tongue tie somewhat.

 

In addition to the latch issues, we noticed that DD2 was having particular problems latching on one side.  The lactation consultant suggested not flipping her around to feed on that side but bringing her over so her legs are wrapped around my back (football hold style) and mentioned that sometimes birth trauma or in utero positioning etc can create pain that inhibits feeding in certain positions.  Sure enough, since then we've noticed that DD2 seems to have a slight torticollis--where the sternocleidomastoid muscle is strained on one side--and when I've been gently massaging that area and doing some passive stretching, she's more able to feed on the side that was troubling her (without resorting to the football hold though I do alternate).

 

I've not had the experience trying to pump exclusively but my SIL did--she pumped for MONTHS until her DS could learn to latch--and he DID!  I was so amazed but it took months and then once he learned, she transitioned almost immediately to feeding from the breast exclusively.  I wonder how much the jaw thing played a part for him as well (I don't know if he was evaluated for tongue tie but it seems to run in my family).  I do hope you don't have to wait for months but hang in there!

 

Another big thing that contributes to fussiness for DD2 when feeding was/is reflux.  I was already not eating gluten and dairy during pregnancy because of my own issues but also because I think that contributed to massive reflux in DD1.  But I was curious about a few other foods as well.  For me, cutting out tomatoes and tomato-based products, and brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) has been really important and has almost eliminated reflux in DD2! (And when I've slipped, watch out!!)  I'm curious about citrus as well and in general am not eating a lot of that but I haven't tried eating it to see what happens, I'm fine just avoiding it for now.  I didn't used to believe this (that specific food I ate would irritate a baby through breast milk) but then I stopped to think--why would only 'protective' (anti-disease, etc.) antibodies pass through breast milk but not proteins (antibodies or otherwise...antibodies are proteins) that may be irritating from food origin, etc?  I don't know the mechanism--I don't know WHY tomato proteins or some other tomato byproduct (etc) are irritating to my baby, but they really do seem to affect her.

 

I'm sorry you've had such a rough adjustment to breastfeeding--I imagine it must have felt very frantic trying to get/stay on top of pumping/feeding until you were able to start a small cache.  I hope that your LO's issues with latching continue to improve--it's a learning process when they've had the tongue-tie clipped, they really do have to relearn to use those muscles and stop old patterns (even as new as those old patterns are!)  I commend you for continuing to seek out information--keep after those specialists and consultants to help--sometimes a new person has important insight!  Let us know how things are going too, there's no shame in working hard to help your kiddo!!  What a lucky baby she is to have you working so hard to help her--bravo mama!!

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