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I'm so angry!

562 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  KatSG
My very best friend just had her baby 3-5? weeks premature. Of course the nurses in the nicu fed it with a bottle regularly (prior to giving it to mom to nurse) and she had absolutely no help with latch until 3 days into her hospital stay.

so she and baby are home and having nursing problems, baby is sleepy and reluctant to nurse, mom thinks she doesn't have enough milk, and baby prefers bottle. Her Dr told her that she must suppliment a certain number of oz fluid (either bm or formula, not sure how much) after each feeding because baby has jaundice.

No one told her that she could suppliment with a dropper or syringe instead of bottle and she's really begining to freak out about her supply.

So she's pumping about 1/2 oz (total?) between feedings and she's nursing every 3 hrs. Baby is 5 day's old.

1/2 oz expressed milk between every 3 hr nursing sessions seems about right to me for that age of baby. Should she be pumping more?

I forgot about the syringe option when I talked to her this evening, if I get her some tomarrow will it be too late? I feel like the clock is really ticking here and if she doesn't get help she may give up. What can I do to help?

She's concerned about not feeling let down and has sore nipples from initial poor latch. Any suggestions?

Oh please o please reasure me that they will be able to recover from the thoughtlessness of the $%#@ing NICU nurses.
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yes, they absolutely will be able to recover from this if it is what she wants

She is in a really hard place right now. Does she want to BF? Does she know how important it is to her baby's health? If she is willing to do what it takes it might be hard but she will make it.

First of all, I would say ring up your local La Leche League leader and tell them the situation. I don't beleive they will contact her without her contacting them first. So, you can brief them on the situation, maybe get some advice. Then, call your friend and get her to call the leader. She will already know the situation and may make it easier for your friend. I have done this before for a friend.

Actually, probably the best thing to do is ask your friend first if you can have the LLL leader call her. You'll work out the logistics but you might need to be the middle man (woman) just to get the contact started.

The other thing to do is see if there are any certified lactation consultants in your area.

I had lots and lots of problems getting first dd to feed. I also had a fantastic midwife and was very determined.

She was also very sleepy, would suck at the breast for hours but not really get anything.

This is what we ended up doing.

I expressed before each feed. This got my nipples into a better shape for her to be able to latch on (flat, big, cracked nipples and full breasts so I needed a bit of help)

While I was expressing my husband and mom would change her (helped to wake her up) and feed her the milk that I expressed from the previous feed with a syringe. This also helped to wake her up. I think she probably had about an ounce but it's a blur. The idea was to get her awake and have some milk for energy then she could nurse.

Then I would nurse her.

We did this for at least 10 days I think maybe longer. It's a blur.

We made it. She's 3 1/2 and still nursing.

That sucks that they gave her formula. She should refuse all formula/supplements/bottles/pacifiers. And she should put it in writing on their charts and make a sign for the bassinet or whatever the baby is sleeping in. Ideally she should keep the baby in with her and better yet in bed with her - she could offer to sign a waiver if they freak out at this.

Also when it comes to formula, you might want to print this out and take it for her to show to the doctors and ask them to guarantee in writing that the formula they want to give her precous baby is 100% safe. They can't and may back off.

I would also say she should try to do the whole pump/feed thing every 2 hours (that goes from start time to start time) while she is awake.

Got to go good luck

sore nipples - get her some lansinoh or other pure lanolin cream asap and get her to use it after every feed. her nipples may be cracked and prone to infection. this will help them heal like magic and ok for baby doesn't need to wipe off. also what she can pump (amt) is not an accurate indication of sopply - can be so full that engorged and not get anything if not relaxed.
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Whew I just talked to her again this morning and she said last night was much better. Baby has been pooping and peeing like a racehorse and so she feels much more confident about her milk supply. She also had a chance to read some LLL bfing materials and is overall more confident in what she's doing (poor girl thought she had five more weeks to learn about bfing).
Have her call Mary (the LLL for Fairbanks) She is AWESOME!!!! A godsend when problems arise.

Her home number is on the LLL website for Alaska. If you have any problems finding it, get ahold of me and I'll get it to you.

Good for you for being so supportive in her bfing struggle!!
Hi Simone. Oh please tell your friend that she's not the only one out there who had these problems. It's late, and I should go to bed, but I saw this post and had to respond quickly.

My girls were 7 weeks premature, spent 2 weeks in the NICU. We had a terrible start nursing. The NICU experience was horrible and they wouldn't even let me be with my girls for the first 12 hours (if only I knew then what I knew now--things would have been so different!). I wasn't able to put them to breast until after 24 hours after they were born. In the beginning they would latch ok, but weren't able to get food off of me. I've been told by several lactation consultants that often premature babies can take a few weeks beyond their due date before they get the whole latch/suck/swallow thing down. That's exactly what happened with us.

To make a painful, long story short, it took us THREE MONTHS for them to latch on properly. They were born at the end of September and they didn't learn to get a full meal off me until Christmas time. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but I stuck with it and eventually they both got it. Now they nurse ALL the fact it drives me a little batty.
But I love it and it's the best thing in the world for them and everything we went through to get here was all worth it.

Please tell your friend that it may take days, weeks or months but chances are her baby will get it eventually. I'd be happy to share more of my story if it would help. Oh, and please remind your friend that breastfeeding is especially important for premature babies! I'll send good vibes her way!
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Can you visit her? She could probably use some one on one time with someone who is supportive of HER and doesn't have a personal agenda. Just go and listen and be open to whatever she has to say.. give her a safe place to vent. That would probably be fantastic for her, right off the bat. While she's venting, fix her some Mother's Milk tea and if you have the sort of relationship where it wouldn't be weird, give her a little foot rub or fix a good snack.

Next... share with her that this is *not her fault*. Circumstances outside of her understanding at the time have led to these events, and that she can get the support she needs to overcome them through you, LLL and whomever else might support her. Can you be available to her when she's crying at midnight to just soothe her over the phone? What is YOUR comfort level here? But I guarantee, she needs that support!

Next.. get in touch with LLL to see what advice you can pass along to her. It sounds like she really wants to breastfeed- get her off those bottles ASAP. This baby can learn to nurse (most likely) but she's got to stop reinforcing the bottle. At this point, an SNS might do wonders for her supply, to make sure he's getting enough and to avoid that rubber nipple.

Good luck...
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You've got gread advice here. Just thought I'd add that I have a cousin who pumped for 9 months before her son learned to latch on. Then he nursed 'till he was 4!

Also, I never felt let down until we were about 4 weeks into nursing, maybe longer. And I never leaked. My friend never felt letdown at all with her first. I think it's a matter of anatomy.

Good luck to your friend! You're so great to support her!
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