I'm headed back to work full time starting in January and I am bummed that I have not established a good nursing relationship--well, not even good...none at all!
At the end of August, our triplets arrived very suddenly. I carried them to a decent length (34 weeks, 5 days) and they all were born with good weights (5+, 4, and 3+ lbs.) and dubbed feeders and growers since they were born very healthy. While in my room recovering, I started pumping colostrum immediately. The night of the delivery, I was rejoined with Baby A. Two days later, Baby B joined us in an isolette. Two-three days after that Baby C left the nursery (there was never serious NICU time, just nursery time with a 24/7 attention from a nurse). It took a few days for my milk to come in but since it has we have had little troubles in that department, thankfully. I am able to pump to feed all three of my babies exclusively and then freeze excess most days.
In the hospital, I worked with Baby A as much as I could. Admittedly, with me pumping out as much colostrum as I could it made it difficult as I would have to set up a tube to feed her back what I had pumped out. Had I not pumped, I probably would have her nursing now just fine BUT had I not pumped, I would not be able to make the milk quantities that I do now. It just made a difficult situation to teach nursing when the tanks were empty. To complicate things more, B and C are tongue tied slightly. My first two babies to have it, though DH had it and we had been watching for it. While my pediatrician said it is a no big deal to clip it, he still has not thought it necessary yet (possibly because they bottle feed well).
I had to get the babies on a bottle system because it was near impossible to balance them, our older children, and pumping alone. I've been home alone with them during the day 99% of the time since we left the hospital and there just is not enough of me to go around! I miss not getting to nurse my wee little babies, my last babies.
Right now, Baby A can latch on and nurse for 5 minutes before she gets very angry and screams at the breast. We used to nurse to full with a nipple shield. Babies B and C were much smaller and had trouble with the nipple shield. I've gotten each to latch on sans shield by luck. However, now, Baby B refuses to eve attempt to latch and Baby C (strongest tongue tie) just has troubles and starts to scream at the breast. They each prefer the bottle.
Is 3.5 months too late to get a baby to latch on and nurse? Any tips on how to encourage them to nurse? I've nursed my older children without issues.
Mama to five, not 13. I just like pumpkins and thought that number would not be taken.
I only had a singleton, but maybe my reply will still help you.
I really don't think that 3.5 months is too late to get a baby to latch on and nurse. My dd did not figure out how to latch on until 3 months old, and she was born only two weeks early. Your babies were born a lot earlier. There is some kind of mathematical equation that you take into account how early they were born and you can calculate roughly when you can expect the baby to learn to nurse.
I suggest that you find a lactation consultant who is experienced with really difficult issues, and older babies. Not just the run of the mill lactation consultant in the hospital who deal with babies only an hour old and deal with the really easy stuff. You will find even just one or two visits more than worth it.
As for tips, just keep trying every once in a while. Don't try constantly at every single feeding if it will be frustrating. And when you don't succeed, don't get discouraged. When you go back to work, if you can teach the daycare provider to feed out of a cup so that you can avoid nipple confusion by feeding out of a cup, that might be good.
If your experience is the same as mine, then what you really need is time for the babies to grow a little older, and just keep trying on a regular (but not constant) basis. For my dd, it just clicked one day.
If it is any encouragement, my dd went on to be a very strong nurser until she weaned herself at age 3 years old.
That is so awesome that you are pumping for 3! What an accomplishment and great gift you are giving to them.
My only advice is to contact a local LLL if you have one, La Leche League or maybe a board certified LC lactation consultant.
happy family! we
I think it is SO awesome you have milk for all 3! You might investigate the tongue tie further. My DD2 would latch but not even suck at all after the first few days - she just gave up. She would suck if I pumped my milk and gave it to her thru a lactaid at the breast - bc it was easy for her to suck out. She didn't start nursing correctly until we had her posterior tie clipped. And it actually took 3 times to get her fully nursing and me not having to pump anymore. Maybe baby b and c are frusrtrated bc its too much work? Good luck!
Mama to my veggie girl (1/09) and my sweet rainbow baby (9/12).