breastfeeding crisis..major risk! Please help. - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Challenges > breastfeeding crisis..major risk! Please help.
Blessed_Mom's Avatar Blessed_Mom 10:30 AM 09-11-2012

Synopsis: LO born Sep 1- 10 day old. Vaginal and no complications..except induced at 38 weeks and 3 days due to previous stillbirth. Strained myself during labor and spiked a small fever so in hospital for 2 days- just for observation.

Birthweight- 7 pounds 1 ounce.

Nursing like a champ , good latch and everything.


Second day of hosp visit in the night... a nurse checked LO right aftr breastfeeding session and found that his temp was slightly higher. Snooty female told us to stop cradling him and put him in the crib (which he wasn't liking) and asked us to give him a paci if he cried (since I couldn't take his crying). We were against pacis.. but she said doc might ask for blood draws for infection checks if temp continues to be higher after an hour. So - a frazzled us..after 3 nights of no sleep thought..what the hey and gave an hour of paci.


We come home and on the way back (30 mins drive..we give him paci again.. for some time). And once more when he acted frantic at my breast (just before milk came in that night). Our fault.


After that found that his latch was painful and nips were bleeding. He kept popping my nipples out or chomping on them. So called an LC. She found two things - One- tooo large breasts and he has a small mouth and a tight jaw. So she suggested football hold (made complete sense) and occ.therapy for tight jaw.


Our LO is an impatient guy - flew into purple rage to the point of stopping breathing a couple of times 'cos he gets impatient at the breast. LC suggested sometimes to pacify him with a bottle of expressed milk to calm him down. Did it a few times (used avent nipples from our daughter's stash..'cos no time to shop)


Now we think he has gotten used to the fast flow of milk. He is refusing to nurse constantly (meaning he will nurse a couple of sessions and some sessions he will just sleep....also 10th day and baby is still sleepy...sleepy....sleepy).


Don't know what I should do. Tried Jack newman's cup method to feed but he still gulped it down and flew into a madddd rage when we tried to slow the flow. I think all this LC handling has also stressed him out.


I don;t know what I should do anymore.... pump and feed him? And continue the vicious cycle? Feel supply is dwindling...letdowns are taking longer (which is again making him go into the 'purple rage situation')


Devastated. How do I train my LO to nurse and not nod off at the breast. 


Oh- saw the occ.threrapist..who said he had no tight jaw and he actually nursed very well in the offiuce and she said he had no problems.

But I can see the problem. Sleepy baby..doesn't want to going hungry until we are forced into supplementing him.


Am afraid of ALL methods of supplementing now..including SNS... want to just offer breast and have him do what should come giving myself a week for the situation to improve. :'(((((((((((((((


His weight yesterday was 6 pounds 13 ounce. Lowest was 6 pounds 7 ounce. Poops and pees good.. but we were also bottle feeding - remember. Am afraid if I stop...and wait for him to take the breast.. he may actually dwindle at his 2-week appointment


Don't want to go to anymore LC appointments... feel am stressing him out..with them measuring, prodding, checking his latch , unlatching him, forcing his head , etc..


Sorry for rambling but am at the end of my tether.....HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kakaly's Avatar kakaly 11:02 AM 09-11-2012

Call a Le Leche Lactation Specialist.  They sell a Medela unit that ties around your neck with breat milk in it it has a small tube to attach to your nipple to get the baby to nurse and insure enough for him to eat until your milk comes in better and he learns to latch better.  It will work out! LeLeche is Great!  I will pray for you.....

Blessed_Mom's Avatar Blessed_Mom 11:10 AM 09-11-2012

My milk has already come fine.

I am afraid to use SNS or Medela type of supplementation because he is getting used to being fed without having to work for it (I think) and I don't want to promote that further.. I want to help him feed himself....


Am so torn between..pumping/not pumping..supplemeting/not_supplemting and method of supplementation that doesn't jeopardize my BF relationship.


I dont want him to get used to the fast flow.. which is what i think happened...



kakaly's Avatar kakaly 11:16 AM 09-11-2012

Makes perfect sense.  I am sure it will be fine.  I had the same issues with all three of my daughters, the drs made me feel awful b/c weight loss which is normal at first and they dont gain as fast as bottle daughter has a baby, now.  My children are grown, except 13 year old.  She had the same prob you had but it worked fine, she didnt pump just fed on  demand all the time!  It eventually got better.  It is difficult, she got mastitas but fed through it and was ok.  Not a lot of support for breast feeding moms seems especially with drs and nurses...Hang in there!  He will grow fine and you will RELAX....pray GOD ANSWERS PRAYER, REST in HIM who knows all your cares and is faithful to see you through this....kakaly

rtjunker's Avatar rtjunker 11:37 AM 09-11-2012
I would try to encourage let down before putting him to the breast. I can normally do this by massaging the breast, and rubbing my nipples in a manner mimicking the way my baby would latch. You could try expressing a bit of milk and rubbing on nipples, so that LO will be able to smell it.

I would also get rid of the paci and bottle, which are likely causing some nipple confusion. I'd then spend some time topless, skin to skin with baby, doing nothing but relaxing and feeding. Maybe try some laid back positions, so that baby is on top of you fully supported by your body. This helped me, when my LO would get fussy at let-down because of my oversupply/overactive letdown issues.

Try to step back, and take a deep breath. It sounds like your LO is right on track, gaining from the normal drop in weight that occurs after birth. From what I've read, LO should be back up to around birth weight at the 2 week appointment, with wiggle room if you had any iv fluids during labor.
pek64's Avatar pek64 12:48 PM 09-11-2012
One other possibility is a nipple shield, which imitates the bottle but is on the breast. He'll have to work for the milk now, and you'll have to wean him off the shield later. Your call.
esinedeggplant's Avatar esinedeggplant 03:43 PM 09-11-2012

I had a sleepy baby too, some latch probs and low-ish milk supply at the beginning. Remember that if your baby is gaining an average of 1/2-1 oz a day and generating wet and poopy diapers regularly, you and he are most likely doing just fine!


At the beginning I was also so afraid BFing was at risk. What helped me was:


- A truly awesome LC who could finally help me get the right latch - for us this meant the baby looked like this:

and bc of my breast size/shape I had to hold her like this - although doing that nose to nipple thing never worked for me:


- Temporarily staying away from well-meaning people (like my MIL) who made me nervous about BFing


- Switching sides as soon as the baby started falling asleep - sometimes I had to switch sides very frequently


- Nursing the baby wearing just a diaper (the baby, not me! :) ) helped her stay more awake


- We had to supplement for the first 2 months. I did so very conservatively, using 1/2 - 1 oz of pumped milk (if I had enough, if not, then formula :( ) in a low-flow bottle in the middle or at the end of a nursing session - and we did this mostly during the day, not usually for night feedings unless the baby seemed super hungry. I tried very hard to avoid substituting a bottle for a whole nursing session.


When we gave bottles, we'd hold the baby a bit more upright, count 10 swallows, gently remove the nipple from her mouth, wait a moment, and then "latch" her on to the bottle again for another 10 swallows. In this way she didn't get so used to the faster flow of bottle feeding.


I also didn't supplement as often I was told to - maybe every other feeding during the day. I think this ultimately helped my supply but YMMV depending on your and your baby's needs.


- I wish I had pumped more during those early weeks. I didn't really get why it was so important and I really hated doing it. If your baby's latch probs are affecting your supply, pumping COULD be very important during the first 6 weeks when you're establishing your supply. I was advised to pump 4 times a day and I couldn't figure out how to do it that often. One thing that helped was figuring out that I could store my pump parts in a ziplock bag in the fridge for about 24 hours at a time instead of washing them every single time I used them. Pumping when my supply was highest (and night and in the early morning) also helped. If you can only manage to pump once or twice a day, that's better than nothing. My LC suggested pumping for just a few minutes after daytime nursings and that seemed more doable than pumping for 15 minutes an hour after nursing (because sometimes it felt like I was nursing every hour!).


- More Milk tincture from Motherlove helped me a LOT with supply and possibly with slow letdown/MER issues.


- I wish I'd read this book early on. It really helped me understand the way breastfeeding works and feel more confident in my body and baby's abilities to make it work.


- Do whatever helps you to feel more relaxed, enjoy your baby, and remember that this tough part won't last forever!

crayfishgirl's Avatar crayfishgirl 04:13 PM 09-11-2012

Originally Posted by Blessed_Mom View Post


He kept popping my nipples out or chomping on them.


Based on what you've said, it doesn't sound like you have supply issues, correct?  I have overactive let down, with super fast flow.  My babes used pop off and/or chomp down to try and reduce the flow/avoid the feeling of drowning.  As they got bigger they were able to handle the flow better and not do this.  I'm not sure why you're worried about them getting used to fast flows (do you mean from the cup feeding?)...your boobs are what they are, and he'll get used to what they do.


I second what one of the PPs said in that you might want to hand express into a towel to get the flow started.  I used to do this which kept them from being frustrated by waiting for the flow to start, and got rid of that initial surge (and ultimately, the chomping) and enabled them to nurse at a more controled pace. 


ETA: because the flow was so fast, they also filled up quickly when they were teeny-tiny.

clairebear3's Avatar clairebear3 08:18 AM 09-12-2012

This sounds very similar to some of the problems that I experienced.  (I had a CS though)  I don't have any fantastic advice more like, what not to do...


DD seemed to nurse well in the hospital, she started gaining weight before we came home but once at home she would fall asleep constantly while nursing and then want to nurse half an hour later, then she didn't gain weight from one day to the next and my midwife said I had to supplement and start pumping.  I was meant to breastfeed, then offer a bottle and then pump but I just couldn't keep up with that every two hours it just seemed endless.  A LLL worker told me to stop pumping and supplementing and just offer her the breast all the time, then she didn't gain weight again.  I think maybe if I had carried down this route it might of all worked out but everyone was freaking out because DD didn't gain from one day to the next.  I ended up EPing and this was probably the wrong decision.  Soon she was drinking 150ml from a bottle and then there was no hope of getting her back to breast.  She also had a paci because in the hospital she just wanted to suck all the time so the nurses said it was best, it was probably just that she really did want to nurse all the time but I didn't know any better and listened to their advice.  I have also suffered with supply issues either because of not nursing enough in the first few days or not pumping enough when I started EPing.  I wish I had got more help and advice in the beginning, no one even mentioned something like the SNS and that probably would of helped my supply issues as well.


When I did try to get DD back to breast she was just so frustrated that the let downs weren't immediate or constant.  When she started sleeping for long stretches at night I tried to BF her then, knowing I had more than enough milk and was engorged, and it was fine for two nights.  On the third night my body had adjusted a bit so I wasn't so engorged and I fed her for more than an hour in every possible position, she would fall asleep and then wake up over and over.  Then I thought she was finished so I put her in her crib and she woke straight back up obviously hungry, I gave her 80ml BM and then pumped the same amount out!  A few months later at a routine ped visit he said that it was probably due to her small mouth and very receding chin, she had to put in too much effort.


I would try to avoid switching to pumping and bottle feeding as much as you can but I know it's very hard in the beginning and it can be tempting to do it just to get a few hours peace.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and really hoping for a good outcome!  Please keep us updated!

seraf's Avatar seraf 08:53 AM 09-12-2012
About the SNS, if you put it higher, the milk flows faster, if you lower it, the milk flows more slowly. So if you use fast flow to get him to the breast and then lower it down gradually, you can wean him from the fast flow at your breast. It would probably be better than using a bottle if your long term goal is to feed him at the breast and nothing else is working.
lilzippy59's Avatar lilzippy59 07:24 PM 11-18-2012

old thread I know, but if you're still having issues try Breastflow bottles (or they're coming out with new "Bare Bottles" which look amazing). I was EPing for my son from 2 days after birth (NICU baby) and it was after going to the breastflow bottles that he started latching and is now EBF. Good luck!

Blessed_Mom's Avatar Blessed_Mom 03:16 PM 11-19-2012

Thank you there a brand you could recommend? Or are they called breastflow? Where does one get them?

lilzippy59's Avatar lilzippy59 02:29 PM 11-20-2012
Originally Posted by Blessed_Mom View Post

Thank you there a brand you could recommend? Or are they called breastflow? Where does one get them?

The brand is Breastflow. They have regular style and a disposable version that uses any of the liners (like playtex drop in liners is what we use). Weve tried both and they're the same except you wash the entire setup of one and only the nipple set up of the other. I got mine from Target online, I haven't seen in any stores but almost anywhere online.Target, amazon, Diapers, walmart online for some. Here is their site: Bare Bottles hasn't come out yet but here's a link to their page:


I know severalmoms who also had luck with the mOmma bottles


We used the breastflow for about 2 weeks before DS2 would finally latch on to me (with a shield, he has a recessed chin that makes it necessary). He fought the breast hard before these bottles. They require babies to uuse compression AND suction so it's not an instant reward like most bottles. I love them!

JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 02:41 PM 11-20-2012

So he got a taste of freedom and is now annoyed with work? I would discontinue all fake nipples right here (and I am totally not opposed to either) right now. Has anyone suggested a breastfeeding syringe? You can shot milk into their mouth with it and it won't cause nipple confusion. My sister used it for a bit when LO had a weak latch and wasn't able to consume enough.


What about hand expressing a bit or using a simple pump for a minute before putting baby to breast? To make let down faster?


(I doubt supply is falling.)