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urgent help needed post surgery nursing strike

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
ds2 has got spina bifida and shunted hydrocephalus. he had a shunt revision ie brain surgery on tuesday. they made us wait nil by mouth all day for over 12 h due to to a scheduling glitch. he nursed well enough that night and all wednesday though obviously groggy from anaesthesia and painkillers but started refusing this morning. sutures infection cranial pressure bowel obstruction bladder have all been checked. he just turns away his head and yells then goes to sleep has skipped his third meal now. i got a bit into him when he tolerated my breast in his mouth falling asleep but nowhere near afull meal would not properly dreamfeed either. he is on an iv and gets some fluid but appears to be slowly getting weaker and dehydrating. the surgeon thinks its areaction to being half starved tqo days earlier and to distract him until he eats. the nurses have no clue either. i have asked for a lactation consultant but dont know how long theyll take to hunt up one. i am afraid theyre going to turn up with glucose or formula next. sorry typing on my phone. help!
post #2 of 18

How awful for you and your poor DS!  I have no experience of this but everything I've read about nursing strikes has said the only thing to do is pump, pump, pump your milk.  If you don't have a breast pump then you can express manually - you can find videos to show you how on you tube.  If you're still in hospital then the hospital should have a breast pump that you can use.  Keep pumping to keep your supply up and offer milk to DS any way he'll take it - ie. syringe, spoon, cup whatever.  Good luck x

post #3 of 18

How old is your son? I second the previous poster's recommendations to pump, pump, pump. Along with keeping him at the breast as much as possible, a supplemental feeding system of your choice, if needed, may help get him get what he needs. Sending you healing thoughts.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
thank you both! no one on the ward can find the pump they are supposed to have so they have been sending me into the adjacent gyn building. which kinda works but i do have my baby to care for too...he is 6 months so they arent taking me seriously saying maybe he wants something else, sometimes they just self wean...grrr i told them he was almost oexclusively ebf until now and 6 months olds DONT selfwean but when i started crying i was so frustrated they started talking about me needing to calm down ant it was al about my fragile psyche upsetting my baby.weve been in and out of hospitals ever since he was born the one thing that always worked was nursing and when it didnt id knoe id have to to the er to be admitted again. !my husband basically forcefed him a bottle of ebm because he was already in ketosis but he wasntmuch happier about the bottle than he was about the breast. took a few spoonfuls of fruit puree and has since fallen asleep again.
hes getting fluids from the iv and is thius not dehydrated but clearly hungry.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
i just dont get whats going on!
post #6 of 18

Have you checked out kellymom's page on nursing strikes?  http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

I think the basics are feed him whatever he'll take for now & keep pumping to maintain your supply.  Nursing strikes can last for a while.

I think some good things to keep in mind are to get loads of skin-to-skin, even if it's not breast milk you're feeding him, even if its more fruit puree, then feed him up close and skin-to-skin if possible.  Also, if you can tempt him with ebm at the beginning of a feed and then once he's going for it, perform a switch and give him your booby.

Absolutely shocking that medical professionals are telling you that 6 month old babies can self-wean jaw2.gif  Stand firm, you know you're right and I'm appalled that a person whose job it is to care for sick children can possibly encourage a mother to stop breastfeeding, potentially making her child even more sick!  He might not be nursing right now but when he starts up again, which he will, he's going to be so grateful his mother is there for him.  hug2.gif

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
thank you ive checked out kellymom. i am pumping regularly now the nurses finally ha.ving found the ward pump. this morning i finally got a medical professional to check his throat and they found a huge thrush overgrowth due to his last round of antibiotics which i had TOLD them about right on being admitted on Monday and hada had to nag them about for a day til i got nystatin. they are thinking they may have to treat both of us withdiflucan now.
post #8 of 18

I am sorry to hear that you are having to deal with so much poor service. Glad to hear you have a local pump to use now!

Certainly the state of his throat has been a trouble for him, and I hope treatment improves his ability to nurse. I wish the best for you both.

post #9 of 18

Glad your getting help with the thrush now, as bruna says, it should hopefully improve his ability to nurse.  Fingers crossed he starts up soon and kudos to you for being such a tiger mummy - not that you should have to fight medical professionals on the benefits of breastfeeding!!  Keep us posted when your little man starts nursing again x

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
hes had breakfast at the breast!
it was a small meal just one side and certainly not up to his usual standards but we did it and we are both happy.

originally we were supposed to be released on sunday so we could travel home with the rest of the family who are staying at the fronald mcdonald house but have to be home on monday for work and school. not sure whether thats still on as it is 7 hours on the train but at leasttheres a chance now and ifwe have to stay a cpuple days longer so be it. i just couldnt imagine how pumping and syringe feeding would work on the train.
thank you for your support. i really needed it.
Edited by Tigerle - 5/3/13 at 11:05pm
post #11 of 18

Yay!  So pleased for you both xx

post #12 of 18
Way to go mama! Just reading what you are doing for your little one is amazing! You are truly inspirational.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
We're on the train home!
by friday afternoon they had managed to give us a supersweet miconazol gel for ds and some miconazol cream for my breasts. byfriday night they had finally found us a lactation consultant! most of what she said i had to say check didnt work but she had one suggestion i hadnt tried which was use the sweet gel on my breasts as well.
so he had his first small feed on sat morning which i was already very happy about but then refused his late morning snack. decided that i needed to shore up that fragile psyche of mine put him down for a nap and met my family for really good meal at the waterfront. after which i had the epiphany and slatheres the sweet gel on my breasts right before the next meal. he did cry and turn his head and went back and tried valiantly and managed to get an adequate meal down and this way we have been lurching along so far. as soon as he started up nursing again you could watch him recover.
thank you so much for your support! it was good to be remimded that i wasnt being a hysterical attention seeking pita uebermother but but fighting for the health and possibly life of my little lion cub (i prefer being mama lion to tiger mom these days the latter being associated with forced violin and piano practice forever...:b)
post #14 of 18

You're an amazing woman. I give you all the credit in the world and wish your baby the best of health. I am so sorry that you dealt with such inexcusable ignorance about breastfeeding on behalf of the medical staff. It is just horrible. Thank goodness you were armed with knowledge about breastfeeding, thrush and the knowledge to seek a lactation consultant.  I wish your baby well in recovery of his surgery.

post #15 of 18

Oh the irony!  DS woke at 4am this morning and fed, then for the rest of the day he bit, screamed and pulled away from the breast without a single suck greensad.gif.  To say I was devastated was an understatement.  Tried loads of skin-to-skin, baths, etc, just kept offering - nope.  Then finally I got him to sleep for the night and sat next to him waiting for him to stir (he usually does 30-45 mins in).  When he started stirring I sneaked in my boob whilst he was still asleep and he fed!  Hurrah!  Strike called off after 16 hours.   I am truly amazed at your ability to keep going for way longer than that in the face of serious medical problems - I was in bits after he refused the first time - go lion mummy!!  bow.gif

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Oh dear I AM so sorry - we must have jinxed it for you!


I wanted to let you all know that we are home and recovering - all of us, we're so spent.

When we got off the train last night after 8 hours of traveling, DS2 was visibly exhausted, in pain and running a temperature. So we gave him a shot of ibuprofen and put him to bed straight away. DH laid him down in his cosleeper and said he could watch him relax. I came in, DS2 gave me a look, I plonked down on my fanny and put him to the breast and he nursed like there was no tomorrow.

He woke up twice during the night to nurse some more - so much for "he must just want solids now." Obviously had some catching up to do, he must have been so fed up with the whole spiel, poor little guy.

He appeared pain-free, temperature free and happy today, nursed normally and just as happily took some pureed parsnip and broccoli and later some fruit puree off a spoon, clearly interested in the taste, but just as clearly not considering it a real meal in the least.


Thank you all. Ya rock!


Edited to say how nice it is to finally have a proper keyboard again...

post #17 of 18

You've not jinxed us!  He's fine now, feeding properly again and I'm glad you're all home safe and feeding well too.  Just goes to show how little the medical profession knows or cares about breastfeeding - apart from the odd fantastic one that's surprised me - mummy definitely knows best! X

post #18 of 18
Breast milk is what your baby needs ESP now and your hard work at keeping your supply up is going to ensure he gets that! I bet it feels good to be home. Hooray for your family! Cont prayers for your family.
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