My son was born 11 days ago and right from the start we have had a love/hate relationship with the breast. From the beginning I wanted to exclusively breast feed but from day 1 be was given formula. After about 3 days of that I was released from the hospital and have given him expressed breast milk. My fear is that because he has been bottle fed this whole time he won't latch on to my breast. Every time I try and get him to try and nurse he screams and i get scared. On top of all this I have inverted nipples and I want that bond that breast feeding gives. Is it too late for him? I hope its not.
Re: Beyond frustrated
Have you been talking to a lactation consultant? Have you requested one? Getting the right help, early is key. You may need breast shields, you may not.
Please don't think because your baby got a bottle / formula that it's "too late". My first baby was in the NICU for 8 days and needed supplementation via bottles. By the time she was 2 weeks old, she was completely on the breast. :) It can be done! But I had some great support which is what helped me to make it work.
Go here to find an IBCLC near you! http://www.iblce.org/
Re: Beyond frustrated
Yes I agree, it may help very much to see a lactation consultant. Make sure it is one who is experienced with helping babies take the breast after a period of time, and who will spend at least an hour or 90 minutes working with you and baby in a private setting-your home, for example. Unfortunately some hosp. based LCs do not have the time or the experience to do one on one tricky latch consults.
I would also suggest contacting your local LLL if you have one, or any LLL Leader via phone if you do not.
Meanwhile-if your baby cannot/will not nurse at the breast you need to be pumping, preferably 10 times a day, preferably with a hospital grade rental pump.
Keep bringing baby to the breast, when both you and baby are relaxed, calm, not frantic, etc. As much as possible, ;lean back in a comfortable & supported position and keep baby ON YOU, awake and asleep, skin to skin if that is comfortable, lightly clothed with easy access to the breast if that is better. Let baby sniff around and find the breast, help him latch or just let him be, let your own instincts lead you. If baby is not nursing you need to supplement, give supplements frequently in small amounts to be most like breastfeeding, and encourage baby to nurse after the immediate hunger is a bit sated. Just keep trying whatever works. Baby showing any interest in the breast-sniffing, mouthing, licking, are all the beginnings of getting to latching on.
Besides the inverted nipple, you have not said why baby was supplemented. Lots of mothers nurse fine with inverted or flat nipples and many times this is a misdiagnoses anyway. If you truly have inverted nipples, there are devices to help draw the nipple out, you could also try a nipple shield. Pumping will also sometimes draw the nipple out.
IN short, you have many options, it is up to you to keep trying if you want, but there is no reason at this point to think you and your baby cannot have a long and happy nursing relationship.
Your baby only loves you and your breasts. The screaming is because baby is hungry and frustrated, not with you, but because baby’s instinctual need to nurse is at war with the fact baby has gotten all sustenance from bottles so far. By making your breast a calm, warm, comforting place and making the breast available when baby is very relaxed, calm, asleep, just waking, etc, you will encourage baby’s instincts to take over again.
Here is some info that may help: Laid back breastfeeding: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and watch this video: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html
Feeding cues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf
Bottle feeding the breastfed baby: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
Breastfeeding with inverted nipples: http://www.motherandchildhealth.com/.../inverted.html
Re: Beyond frustrated
You have already gotten great advice so what I would like to give you is hope. It took my daughter 2 months to latch for the first time and she went on to nurse until she was 18 months old. It took my son 3 weeks and he hasn't had a single bottle since - because he refuses - and he will be two soon. It is possible. For both of mine they needed to be ready and once the lightbulb went off that was it. You can do this mama.