Update-- not good Need help for SIL! 2 days postpartum, not latching - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Challenges > Update-- not good Need help for SIL! 2 days postpartum, not latching
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 02:32 PM 07-10-2006
My SIL is in India and I feel rather helpless about this whole thing. She gave birth about 2 days ago and the baby is not latching on well at all. She is crying and frustrated. So far they have followed my instructions to not give bottles, but baby is getting dehydrated and has only peed once in 12 hours. My MIL is the one I spoke to just now.

Dh's family has a very long history of both milk production problems and baby feeding problems (sensory issues, reflux). MIL was not able to produce enough milk, it dried up after a time with each child even though she never gave bottles or scheduled feedings or anything like that. My own children did not nurse either, and not for lack of trying or getting help, esp with dd1. I hate to see history repeating itself.

They know what proper latch looks like b/c I sent them some LLL illustrations on-line, and are following my instructions to wait until baby has his mouth open very wide, then quickly put him on the breast. If he starts biting the nipple, unlatch him and try again. He has not yet successfully latched for more than a second or two.

Here are the problems according to MIL:

1) my SIL has huge nipples. The baby's mouth is very small. He tends to bite on them instead of latch on.

2) my SIL is just now starting to produce some colostrum. I told MIL it's normal for it take some time for milk to come in but with their family history everyone is apprehensive.

3) The one time that baby got some colostrum, he immediately unlatched and started sucking his own tongue instead of her nipple.

4) He falls asleep as soon as he gets latched and then lets go in sleep.

I told MIL that since he's a bit dehydrated, give him some sugar water. She is all too familiar with spoon/cup feeding as she did it with dh for 8 months! I advised her that getting the colostrum was very important and even if he's not nursing he needs to get it. I told them to try to get a breast pump and have her try pumping after every nursing session and spoon feed it to him even if it's just a spoonful. Hopefully he'll get used the taste and want more from the breast, and it will stimulate milk production.

I told her to let SIL call me in the morning, their time, which is evening our time. I hope to have some more words of advice and encouragement for them. I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

Oh, and they have Skype (phone through computer) and are willing to call a LC if they can get the number of a good one. If you know of one who would be willing to talk to her for free over the phone please PM me.

3girls1boy's Avatar 3girls1boy 03:09 PM 07-10-2006
In a situation like this, it is most important to feed the baby, so your SIL should not be afraid to use the bottle, if her baby can't take enough in any other way. Look at www.breastfeedingonline.com for information from Dr. Jack Newman. He reccommends finger feeding and he describes a way to do it using an ordinary bottle and medical tubing.

If she can get a good medical-grade pump that would be the best thing. I have a friend whose baby didn't latch on for a month. She just kept trying and feeding him her milk in a bottle so he would get fed. He went on to nurse for 3 years.
JustJamie's Avatar JustJamie 03:14 PM 07-10-2006
Can she get nipple shields?

My DD couldn't latch on at first either - I used shields for the first 8 weeks, til she had gotten big enough to latch on her own.
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 03:37 PM 07-10-2006
My MIL has very good experience with keeping babies alive through spoon-feeding and cup feeding so that won't be a problem. If he's not nursing well by tomorrow they will be giving him breastmilk or formula. They won't let him starve.

I pumped for 5.5 mos for my own dd and she never latched on even though I had lots of help and advice. She just didn't. I really don't want them to introduce bottles. I don't think it's necessary at this stage. If this is still going on a week from now it might be another story. Thanks for the finger feeding link! I will pass it on.

Unfortunately nipple shields are hard to come by there and so are good breast pumps. She might be able to get one through the hospital, but for now I think they will just buy a standard one at the baby store and work on bfing. She really wants to do this.
Monkeyfeet's Avatar Monkeyfeet 06:24 PM 07-10-2006
Just one thought in regards to pumping. She will need bigger breastshields since she has large nipples or else it will really hurt.
TurboClaudia's Avatar TurboClaudia 06:31 PM 07-10-2006
what city is she in/near in India? i just contacted our lactation consultant and she would prefer to connect your SIL with someone in person there... she did say she might be available by phone to talk but she is on vacation right now and may or may not be available...

USAmma's Avatar USAmma 07:08 PM 07-10-2006
She's in Chennai (aka Madras).

I just saw that LLL has a chapter in India but the whole LLL site is down right now.
mom2tig99Nroo03's Avatar mom2tig99Nroo03 08:51 PM 07-10-2006
pumping with a double electric hosp grade pump is one option,

she actually may not need special shields, as my nipples are a very wide circumference, and i ep'd for almost 6 months till ds could latch correctly.

she can try to hand express into a clean plastic spoon even (if she is in a hospital, i am sure there are clean cafeteria spoons) to feed the baby with.

i have wide (not long) nipples, and very large breasts and am not an ibclc, but i would be happy to help any way i could.
mom2tig99Nroo03's Avatar mom2tig99Nroo03 08:53 PM 07-10-2006

is the registry of currently certified ibclc... i dont know her zip, or i'd look it up for ya. http://www.iblce.org/US%20registry.htm
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 09:54 PM 07-10-2006
I just called a local LC who has a good reputation and she also is looking into one but she has not called me back yet. I looked on the website and didn't see anyone in India. She said she would welcome her phone call and try to help her over the phone, so at least we have that!
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 02:37 AM 07-11-2006
I just called her up and he latched!! He's peeing! Woo hoo! She said it hurts a lot. I had called some friends with big nipples (the things we know about our friends from having kids lol!) and got some advice and passed it on to her. So glad he's nursing! Whew!
TurboClaudia's Avatar TurboClaudia 03:26 AM 07-11-2006
yay for latching! i will contact our lc again and let her know she is in chennai/madras and see what contacts she can come up with. glad you found someone willing to connect with her via phone. and another yay for latching!

also, just wondering for clarification, this is your husband's sister? or is it your husband's brother's wife?

USAmma's Avatar USAmma 03:44 AM 07-11-2006
Originally Posted by TurboClaudia
yay for latching! i will contact our lc again and let her know she is in chennai/madras and see what contacts she can come up with. glad you found someone willing to connect with her via phone. and another yay for latching!

also, just wondering for clarification, this is your husband's sister? or is it your husband's brother's wife?

Thanks for looking into the contacts for me. I have a feeing it's going to get worse before it gets better with her sore nipples. She's got a touch of PPD/baby blues going on, too. It's dh's sister. We were, and still are, a bit apprehensive about this boy nursing well after the family history of feeding problems with dh, his cousin, and my two girls, esp dd2. The next test will be to see if she can hold onto her milk supply for more than a few mos.
Karry's Avatar Karry 04:10 AM 07-11-2006
I had really sore nipples with both of my boys. I had to see LCs to get them latched on better. It was rough those first couple of weeks. I hope your SIL's nipples don't get too bad. I remember how painful it was.
DancingOtter's Avatar DancingOtter 10:18 AM 07-11-2006
Could the baby be tongue tied? I'm an LC if you want to PM me or have her call/email.
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 12:04 PM 07-11-2006
Thanks! I wish there was an LC in her city. From what my friends with large nipples said, it will be painful because the baby can't completely latch onto the nipples until he gets a little bit bigger, and as long as he's swallowing and being fed and the mouth is fully open like in the pictures, then he's probably latched on about as well as he can be right now. He's a smaller baby, just over 6 pounds.
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 02:31 AM 07-12-2006
She's now pumping milk and giving it in bottles. Things were going okay for two feedings but now he's totally refused to latch and got dehydrated (dry lips, concentrated urine, etc) and MIL gave him some milk via spoon and he perked up and peed more. So SIL is totally discouraged and pumping for him and putting it in bottles. She is still trying to get him to the breast at every feeding. BTW she's using an Avent hand pump. They are looking for something better in case she has to EP for awhile.

She is reliving my nightmare that I had with my dd1 and later my dd2 who wouldn't even take bottles. There is a strong family history of sensory issues and we figured out with my dd1 that one of the reasons she probably didn't bf and would have rather starved herself is because she didn't like the close contact with my breast on her mouth and face. Even the LC's gave up on us. The way they describe him, being very irritable and contantly kicking and active makes me think he may have some sensory issues. He reminds me so much of my dd1 as a baby. And MIL says he's a lot like my dh as a baby, too, and he too ended up refusing the breast and was cup/spoon fed for 8 mos.

I feel that they are doing everything right on their end and the baby is just not wanting to nurse on her. She is going to keep trying for now.