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Feeding frustration

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Just need to vent. DS has had trouble latching since day one. He got the hang of it for a few days and then got some congestion about 3 days ago. Since then he has not been able to latch on. The ped told me to pump and give him a bottle. Now he has nipple confusion. Whenever he tries to latch on, he sucks the same way he does on the bottle and has even more of a hard time latching on. I don't know if I should see a lactation consultant and go through whatever it will take to get him back on to breast or just give him bottles from now on. I feel really sad. Yesterday I tried spoon feeding, cup feeding, and feeding him with a medicine dropper. He was in such distress and ended up hyperventilating. I felt awful. I loved having him at my breast and am frustrated with this pump, feed, and sterilize schedule. I never thought breastfeeding would be this difficult.
post #2 of 16
Oh how frustrating for you!! My advise is to see a LC and keep trying. An LC just may be able to give you a tip or two to really help. Good luck and keep us posted!!
post #3 of 16
I second the LC. Shame on your ped for suggesting a bottle! But all isn't lost. My DS had been fed exclusively by bottles before he came home from the NICU, and now he's almost exclusively breastfeeding. If he can do it, I'm sure your DS can too.
post #4 of 16
I agree, see a LC. You will be very glad you did. I had to with my fourth because he had problems with nursing and we ended up nursing past his first year. It really is worth it.
post #5 of 16
Hi mama, I'm sorry you are having difficulty. BF can be really tricky at first!

I second seeing the LC and maybe you can talk to your local La Leche league leader? My DD had some nipple confusion problems too so I know how frustrating it can be. Hopefully someone can help you get him back to the breast- the first few days might be difficult but it will be worth it!

Good luck mama
post #6 of 16
I am sorry mama! If it were me, I would skip an LC and go directly to La Leche League, or at the least, consult with both, soon. LLL is SO helpful and you may also meet some other mamas in your area who can support your journey. This stuff isn't easy for first time mamas, but KEEP WITH IT. You can do it and it is much easier with the right help.
post #7 of 16
typing one-handed..
sorry you're going thru this!
can you use a syringe to supplement while working on the latch? saw it in LLL's womanly art of bf-ing book. LLL ladies should be able to set you up.
post #8 of 16
My little one (1 week and 1 day old) has also had nursing issues from the get-go. He didn't feed that much the first few days, has had latching trouble, etc. I brought in a LC on day 4 and she has been helpful. We did start supplementing with pumped breastmilk and, very sadly, some formula, because my guy lost 12% of his initial body weight and was getting jaudicey. It was like a viscious cycle....sleepy baby, not eating, losing weight, not passing stool, getting jaundice...which makes him sleepy, which makes him not want to eat, etc. We had to break the cycle.

He has been a champion finger-sucker from the get-go, so we syringe feed the breastmilk or formula while he sucks DH's finger. In the last couple days he is doing better at the breast as well. Last night, though, was heartbreaking. Didn't get around to pumping till almost midnight (when milk supply is naturally lower) and then he wanted to eat almost constantly all night and I didn't have a hearty enough milk supply to give him and he would suck and suck at the breast and then just cry in frustration that he wasn't getting what he wanted. We had almost completely stopped formula supplementing, but last night we had to give him some. I felt terrible...

And now I'm off to pump while he's having a weight check at the ped.
post #9 of 16
I am so sorry that you are having issues! I agree! Try to see a LC if you can! My DS had latching issues and I got a nipple shield from Target ($6) and used that for a while until he got the latch right. SO worked for us! Hope you can get some help soon!
post #10 of 16
Hang in there! Go get some GOOD help. LLL is wonderful. Good luck!
post #11 of 16
I had a really difficult birth (54 hours, all kinds of interventions, followed by c-section) and my babe just never latched for me. The spiral started with a formula feed in the hospital (while I was exhausted and still on LOTS of drugs) and it all went downhill from there. I pumped to bring in my supply and get her as much BM as I could, but no matter what we did, my babe just didn't take to the breast.

My family doctor, who I love, told me I had to do whatever I could emotionally handle. It was the best advice I received, and I received a LOT of advice.

I kept pumping, but had to keep supplementing with formula. I missed out on feeding my baby because my DF would feed her while I pumped. I definitely felt like I got the short end of the stick. I would also spend each 20-30 minute pumping session thinking about what a failure I was because I couldn't breastfeed my baby. Once I came to the understanding that having an emotionally healthy mother was more important for my baby than a few ounces of breastmilk could ever be, I quit pumping. My babe has been formula fed since she was three weeks old.

I am still working through a lot of emotions about that. I completely believe in breastfeeding, and often feel like I am going to be booted out of MDC should my "shameful secret" get out. But I am not FFing due to marketing, or convenience, or lack of education. I am doing it because I needed to feed my baby... and stay sane while doing it.

I am not advocating you do anything over another. You will certainly find tonnes of support here on MDC if you decide to continue breastfeeding. I just wanted to say that no matter if you can EBF, supplement with formula, or have to switch to formula entirely, you are still a great mama. We are all trying to do what is best for our children, and that is what makes us good mothers.
post #12 of 16
I second consulting with an lc and la leche. You should see if a haberman feeder would help. If your dear babe wasn't so frustrated working on latvch would be easier and a haberman would provide nutrition easily while baby practices.
Good luck and hang in there mama-

Meanwhile- have you read "how my breasts saved the world" it is a hilarious book about another mom who is frustrated by bfing trouble. I laughed so hard I roared.
Take care,
post #13 of 16
i would definitely try the LC or a LLL leader. i had so much trouble with my first-we ended up using a shield for 4 or 5 months. it all started in the hospital when they gave her a bottle and i had no idea what i was doing. it was SO hard, but we ended up nursing for 5 years and it was worth all the work to me.

also, for when they get congested-you can just squirt breastmilk up their nose-it clears anything out right away so they can just keep nursing.
post #14 of 16
Don't despair! You can still get your babe to latch. My first was born a month early and I pumped for 5-6 weeks before she latched (with the help of an awesome LC). And Leo also had a hard time latching. We went from pumping to nipple shield to breast (we've been on the breast a full week now). It's never too late. Just don't rush yourself. I transitioned from regular bottles to the Adiri natural nurser before we went to the nipple shield and it took some time but it is so definitely possible and so definitely worth it. You are doing a great job!
post #15 of 16
My ds didn't latch for 14 days. I finger fed him with a syringe my pumped breastmilk. I tried for 5 minutes at every feeding and if he didn't latch I fed him by syringe ( he wouldn't even take a bottle....) and then pumped after the feeding for the next one. He was also very sleepy and I had to wake him every 3 hours to even try and nurse. I went to an LC daily ( the only time I am thankful to have Kaiser!) and I just kept on trying. One day I called a LLL leader on the phone. She said to try nursing him BEFORE 3 hours. So I tried around the 2 1/2 hour mark, even though he wasn't acting hungry. I thought it would be easier if he was hungrier. Anyways, I put down the phone and offered him the breast and he latched!! What a great day!

My breastfeeding struggles didn't end there...we went through many bouts of tears and I had to throw away all that I had learned from bfing books like he had to nurse from both breasts for 15 minutes. Whatever! I thought about giving up all the time. Even around 3 months it was still hard. But then it got easy, and we nursed till he was almost 3 years old!!!!

Give yourself a goal....I'll do this for 2 more weeks and then I"ll reevaluate if I can do this any longer. If yes....try another 2 weeks and evaluate again.

And really, going to 3 years was all the more sweeter because the journey was not easy. It took hard work, dedication, a supportive dh, a great LC, and an even greater LLL leader. When he weaned... it was bittersweet.

Good luck sweetie...I'm pulling for you!
post #16 of 16
Definitely talk to an LC, and maybe look into getting a supplemental nursing system.
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