Finger Feeding Questions/Concerns
I recently gave birth to my first child, a son born at 37 weeks and 2 days. He weighed 5 pounds, 7.7 oz. at birth and dropped to 5 lbs. 1 oz. before leaving the hospital. As of yesterday (at 10 days old) he was still only weighing in at 5 lbs. 2 oz.
I had some early success with him latching on and breastfeeding, although he wasn't transferring much during each feeding so we supplement with my pumped milk. Lately, though, he doesn't seem interested in breastfeeding at all, and just wants to take the easy way out with the finger feeding.
My husband and I are both really concerned that he get his weight up to appropriate levels before I get too worried about his reluctance to feed at the breast. I feel as if we need to take one step at a time, and the first and most important step is to strengthen his little body and his reserves. This seems to be what our pediatrician and LC are recommending, also.
Just wondering if anyone else has been in a similar situation and can offer me any reassurance or encouragement that we are on the right path. I try to spend skin-to-skin time with him at the breast, or even just nuzzling close to be at my chest area. He loves that, so I know we've got a good bond formed. I've also got flat nipples and have been instructed in using a shield, which further complicates things. I'd like to start getting away from that, too, but again feel that I have to take one step at a time.
Thanks, in advance, for any support you can provide!
Re: Finger Feeding Questions/Concerns
I can't comment on finger feeding as we have not tried that, but just wanted to let you know that my baby quite often opts for the 'easy' option of taking a bottle feed, rather than BF-ing.
I'm sure someone with more experience of your situation will give you more specific advice - but just wanted to let you know that sometimes they do tire out and go for the easy feed option - just remember that he is still just a little one.
Keep doing what you are doing now - keep offering the breast in a non-stressful way. The skin-to-skin contact works well. As long as he is getting the nutrition he needs, from whatever source, and you both keep practicing BF-ing, he will get there eventually. Try and relax before each BF-ing session, because they definately pick up our vibes - so if you are stressed he will sense it and be less likely to latch on and feed.
I too have used a shield - which helped with latching, but I found it very messy (maybe I just have a sloppy baby!), so I always try to get my LO to latch naturally first, before offering her the shield.
Keep going - you're doing a great job. Remember that he is still not a full-term baby yet....and even they take a few weeks to "get" BF-ing.....you'll get there.
And you're in good hands in this forum - you'll get some great advice!