I'm new here, but a friend of mine told me that you might be able to help. My name is Ashley, and I have a 2 month old son. We've been trying desperately to breastfeed, however we're not having very much luck...
My son, Aiden, was born April 12. He was admitted to NICU for breathing issues, and they put a feeding tube down his nose, giving him formula. I tried pumping during that time, but was getting very little. They gave him everything I pumped. He remained in NICU for a week. Due to his breathing issues, they wouldn't let me put him to breast except maybe twice (they were scared of him aspirating it, which is why for the most part they fed him via his tube; though they did bottle feed him a few times on the formula when they got his breathing regulated). During his stay in the NICU he also developed jaundice pretty badly, they wouldn't let him come out from under the billilights; so they continued to use the tube as necessary and bottle feeding him under the lights.
While he was in NICU, I'd pump at his bedside. I recorded his cries and used that to pump when I wasn't near him. I'd keep something that smelled like him near by. I was (and still am) drinking Mother's Milk tea. I've tried oatmeal even though I don't like it, and I pump constantly. I'm about to give up.
I've been trying constantly to breastfeed. At first he'd latch well, though it took a lot of work. He'd nurse, and then start screaming for more. So I'd try to relatch him. He wouldn't have any of it. I'd wait for him to calm down, relatch him, and try again. He'd start to scream. So we'd offer him a bottle of formula, because it seemed as if he wasn't getting enough. In fact, I'm pretty sure he wasn't. When I pump now, I get nothing. When I try to hand express a bit, I get a little, not much.
I am at my wits end and don't know what else to do. He absolutely refuses to latch now. At first I merely thought it could be nipple confusion. But now, I just don't know. I'm very frustrated, and getting really depressed because it's not working. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I didn't know it was going to be this stressful!
I don't know what to do. I'm seriously considering giving up even trying anymore, because we end up having to bottle feed him anyways, and when I pump I get nothing. I used to get about an ounce. I know that doesn't mean much -- baby is better then pump -- but if he won't latch I don't know what else to do!
What a trying time! It will not last forever…you will either figure out how to nurse your baby or not, but this period will end! Don't feel guilty if you decide the frustration of trying to nurse is too much - no one gets to judge you, and if anyone tries, make nasty eyes at them.
With that being said, you are obviously posting because you want it to work, so here are a few thoughts:
What type of pump do you have? Is it a double, electric pump? You can often rent them for very little money (and as someone who has pumped twice, I think they rock!) I could never get huge amounts from a pump, but they did give me the most amount of BM.
What type of bottle nipple are you using? I left the hospital with my first born with preemie bottle nipples - and the milk would just flow into his mouth. He did not have to work for it at all. Our nursing situation improved dramatically after I introduced proper bottle nipples, and I was able to wean him onto breastfeeding only.
I used a NUK nipple for older babies (he had to suck reasonably hard to get the liquid). It looked like this http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2793384 Make sure to put at least and inch of the nipple into the baby's mouth to mimic the fact BF babies need to get a good amount of breast into the mouth.
Have you contacted a lactation consultant or tried the free La Leche League? Public health nurses are often able to help as well.
Good luck, mama - and congrats on the baby!
I 2nd all of the above.
Also maybe think about a supplemental nursing system. It is kind of the best of both worlds (after the learning curve): baby latches and is stimulating the breast, helping you make more milk, but he's getting something through the SNS tubing too, so he's not starving.
Have you thought about taking any meds to up your supply? I don't have personal experience with it, but my sister took fenugreek to up her supply a bit and would've moved on to ordering domperidone if she needed.
Wife to an amazing man , mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) , and ds3 (9/26/10) . Part time librarian, full time mommy, occasional chef and maid.
A speech language pathologist may be able to help too...he might have some oral sensitivity issues and they could give you therapy for that.
Also, I while I encourage you to keep at it a little longer, it is ok not to breastfeed. I formula fed one of mine because breastfeeding in the end was just too stressful on us...and he's a happy, healthy, 3yo now. That said, I breastfed my first for over 3 years, and I've gone through great lengths to breastfeed my youngest (just got to 6 months) - my circumstances were different this time though...I've always been sad I weaned my middle son, but, I never regret it. I did what I had to at the time.