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Hi! My name is Carly and I am currently trying to nurse my second child. She was born last Thursday. With DS, I tried to nurse in the hospital but he had latching problems and I gave up on our first night home when he screamed all night because he was hungry. Before DD was born, I decided that I was determined to nurse. Right after she was born, I tried to nurse her and she would try to latch but couldn't and so she cried for the first hour of her life. I was still going to try so the nurse brought me a breast shield and she latched right away. At the hospital, she would nurse for a few min (maybe 10) and then fall asleep. We tried everything and she would just be out cold until the next feeding. I also got her to latch to the nipple for one feeding (both nipples) at the hosptial but then she had trouble so we went back to the shield. When we came home we still had the falling asleep problem. We took her to be weighed on Monday and she had lost 10% of her birth weight and was not having wet diapers so the doc wanted me to supplement every other feeding with 1 oz of formula. I was really upset so I went into overdrive drinking water and mother's milk tea. She did great. She was nursing for at least 30 min every three hours and not falling asleep at all. When we went yesterday she had gained 4 oz in 19 hours! I was so happy! Then yesterday the falling asleep started again. She would only nurse for a few min. and then deep sleep. Most of the time she will stay latched but will not suck. Anyway, last night she nursed on and off (mostly on) for 50 min but was rooting really badly. I tried a pacifier and putting her back on the breast. She would fall asleep and then wake up rooting like crazy again. Finally I gave her some formula and she went to sleep. The next feeding, she was super fussy at the breast and wouldn't latch at all so we gave her formula. Then this morning she latched fine but is back to only going 5 min and then falling asleep. She is wanting to nurse every hour or so but then falls asleep. Her last feeding was about an hour ago and she would not stay latched at all just screamed. My DH finally took her and gave her some formula (1.5 oz) and then she was fine. I have gotten her to take my nipple without the shield again a couple of times but she will only suck a few times and then let go. I really want this to work but don't know if I can take this. I am afraid that I am not making enough to fill her up. I know she is only a week old but will she start taking the breast better without falling asleep? If I keep using the shield will she never take my nipple without them? I need some encouragement ladies! The LC at the hospital is out due to surgery and I have no one to turn to. I want this to work so badly but can't bear to hear her watch her fuss like that at my breast. Sorry this is so long. It is the first time I have let this all out. Thanks!
 

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Do you have an LLL leader near you who you could call? I'm not an expert, but here are my thoughts off the top of my head:

NO artificial nipples (no pacifiers, no bottles, and for now no shield)
no formula
go to bed for 3 days (topless) and do nothing but eat, drink and nurse- let dh take care of everything else

a lot of babies take awhile to get started (mine did!) and all the extras you're doing are going to slow down the process.



you can do it!

-Angela
 

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I'd like to add that your supple might be a little low and supplimenting at one week isn't a good idea!

The bottle is easier to suck then a breast so of course your baby is wanting the bottle over the breast


Don't give up! My ds only slept at the breast. LOL I would have to keep picking at him to keep him awake!
 

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strip the baby down to the diaper -- warm babies fall asleep at the breast. move her arms, legs, tickle her to keep her awake to nurse. My dd was a premie and I had to do all of these things to keep her awake at first. Also, try breast compressions while nursing to help get more milk in her. Do you have a pump? You could pump after feedings for more stimulation to get the milk flowing better. Are you sore -- has your dd been checked for a short frenulum (not sure I spelled that right) which would inhibit a good latch? Does she open wide enough? I would have to stroke my dd's chin and sometimes pull down gently to get her to open up enough for a good latch.

Try kellymom.com for other ideas. I'm sure others will help here. If you need to supplement your dd, can you finger feed or use anything but a bottle? How about a lact-aid? It's a pain but you'll get more stimulation and your dd will associate your breasts with milk.

Hang in there!
 

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hi, Carly - sounds like your baby is trying to tell you that she PREFERS you, but you are worried about adequate intake so are trying just about anything to get her to take something. I agree with the above - get in bed with baby and do nothing else, give nothing else, offer nothing else other than you!!!
Drink plenty, rest, nuzzle, and nurse - get up only to use the bathroom/wash up. Don't overbundle baby or keep her too warm, preferably keep her and you without clothing.
The way she eats and then kept rooting - SOUNDS FAMILIAR - my infant did this, also. He needed the contact, and the rooting and nuzzling served to keep my milk supply very high. Giving formula at that point will defeat a purpose, as this action seems confused but is purposeful! My babe did most of his eating at night at first, in a nuzzle-root-suck pattern. Sometimes he would eat for 2 minutes, sometimes for 70 mins. I didn't really get any sleep but it was what he needed at first. We called him "the hummingbird".
I fear that if you continue to offer paci's, bottle, formula, etc, then your supply will decrease and then you will have a whole 'nother problem on your hands. Plus, baby & you will both be feeling confused. Do not underestimate your ability to feed your baby and think that something artificial can do a better job than you. You can do it - it might be hard, sleepless, frustrating - it may involve crying - others might make you feel doubtful - but you can do it!!!!
I'm not sure about the shield - would using it and EBF with it be better till you can get hands-on help, if that's what it takes? I'm no fan of shields, but my thinking is that at least you would not have your milk supply slip away and your baby would know that her food and oral comfort source is only you. You may need some help with your nipples and positioning if baby only will eat with shields on.
Get some hands on help - find another lc, a doula, a midwife, an experienced friend or family member, a LLL leader. Go online to the LLL website to find a leader near you and tell her you need help now.
Hugs to you and your little one who is learning along with you!
 

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Your baby needs to be vigorously bfing 8-14x/day. If she is not, she is underfed and needs to be fed by otehr means she she learns to nurse.

Yes, you should be drinking lots and lots of water and eating well.

Was she early? Is she possibly jaundiced? Was your birht very tiring? Did you have drugs during labor or an epidural? All these things can affect the baby's reponsiveness. Here is how to wake a sleepy baby.

http://www.breastfeeding-basics.com/...epy_baby.shtml

If she is not ltaching well, you definitely need to pump with a good automatic pump like a Medela. That way all her milk can be from you. You can dropper feed, cup feed or spoon feed. If these take too long, use a bottle. Most bfed babies prefer Avent, but this can vary.

If your milk supply is low (less than 2 oz every 2-3 hrs), you will need to supplement with artificial baby milk! but not too much! Babies will often drink more from a bottle than they really need just b/c they like to suck.

Formula can fill a baby up too much and make them sleep too long and not wake to bf.

If your hosp LC is not available, call another one. Look up a local LLL Leader by going here:

http://www.lalecheleague.org/WebIndex.html

click through the links to your area.

Don't give up! It can and often does take 6 weeks to get bfing going smoothly. You said you are committed to it. Give it more time. For now, pump every 2-3 hours (4 hrs at night) to keep your supply up.

Using a sheild for a while is OK, if that keeps your baby's interest. You can wean off it gradually after a few days or a week or two.
 

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Just wanted to add that if you are using a nipple sheild successfully, you should be pumping to supplement. Many moms use ns for about 3 months then find their kids will take the breast w/o. Just offer wo after baby is mostly done with the feed. Best wishes and congrats.
 

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I just have one sort of stupid-sounding question but do you maneuver the aerola/nipple while feeding? I don't know how to ask this but I had a baby with really bad latching/falling asleep problems and I had learned to shape the breast in a way that got it in her mouth and I had to hold it there. I had to hold it for the rest of her b-feeding life but then I've never been able to just cuddle and let baby feed. I went to a LLL consultant and she told me I was doing it right and not all women can feed an not have hands occupied. I'm about 44DD without breast milk so when full my nipples are like hanging way down. Someone in another post said "hang in there" and I almost died laughing at myself!

I would agree to keep trying, keeping being persistant. I wouldn't supplement, it will only undermine. Good luck, Kitty
 

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I had a lot of problems the first couple of weeks with my daughter. I was told that she had to nurse every two hours for at least 20 minutes. She was always falling asleep and lost 10% of her birthweight. She would latch on and fall asleep after a few minutes. Of course I became VERY ENGORGED which did not help the matter!

Once I stopped forcing her to eat and trying to wake her up every two hours and just let her be on her own schedule everything was fine. SHe is now 6 months old and 23 POUNDS!!!

I definately reccomend not giving any artificial nipples at this time. This can cause "nipple confusion". Even though the bottle may seem easier, try to make your nipple the only choice. Eventually you will both get the hang of it.

I practically lost my mind trying to establish breastfeeding so I know where you are comming from. Just be persistent and it will work itself out!

Good Luck!
 

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nataliesmom, I am glad that worked for you but that could be dangerous general advice.

Giving bottles or nipple sheilds are not the end of the world. The first rule of breastfeeding is

feed the baby.

Often babies do need to be woken to feed. If they are not fed adequately, they bcome dehydrated and malnourished, which makes them ever sleepier and less able to wake and nurse well. As my link said, it is like a Catch 22, or downward spiral.

My 2nd dd was a sleepy baby and would sleep 8 hours in the middle of the day from birth. I did not know to wake her and I would get very engorged. After 3 days a LLL Leader told me to wake her and I had to until she hit her due date. She was 3 weeks early and jaundiced. Once she hit her due date she started waking to feel.
 

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Carly - how has it gone the past 24 hrs? Been wondering if things are getting better for you and the little one...
I agree with all of the views you have been given on this matter - hope you are able to choose what works out best for you two. I do agree that things can be a catch 22 with a small, sleepy baby, but in your orig. post it seemed that you really had it down there for a little while, the baby ate and gained but when you introduced other things, it started to fall apart. soooo...hope it is getting better - update us when you can!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Things are so much better! I think that I just needed to relax and let it happen naturally instead of being so technical about the whole deal. We are still using the shield but trying the nipple on and off. I know she will take it one day. Thanks for all the advise and I am sure I will post here from now on.
 

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I just wanted to mention that if you were concerned about supply, I had the same issues starting out. I found that making sure that I got enough sleep helped alot. Also, eating well and staying hydrated. It was very easy for me to start to get dehydrated when I started. I had a water bottle with me at all times so that this wouldn't happen. Also, there is an organic tea that "promotes healthy lactation". It's by traditional Medicinals and is called Organic Mother's Milk. The taste took some getting used to, I drank it shot style the first few times, but now it's not too bad. Also, using a pump can help. You make as much as you need. So if you're pumping a couple of times a day for a few minutes (after a feeding, of course) you should make more. And you can store it in the freezer for something like 4 months.
 
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