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Thread: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

  1. #1

    Default Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    As the title suggests I am on the verge of giving up breastfeeding but just don't want to let any avenue go unexplored.

    My LO is 13.5 weeks and feeding has always been a struggle. At 7 weeks I was so sore, feedings were taking 1.5 hours and he suddenly decided to reject the boob so I was mainly expressing and feeding by bottle.

    I finally found out he was tongue tied and it took a couple of weeks and three cuts to finally divide it. Although his latch improved a great deal it was never really deep enough despite lots of help and advice. LO would latch on deeply, but then I would hear what I term 'the clicks of doom' and he would slowly slip onto the end of my nipple and I would feel it rubbing against the roof of his mouth and have lipstick nipple when he came off. I would keep taking him off and putting him on, and it would happen all over again. Feedings were still taking approx 40 mins and I was sore but it was bearable.

    Two weeks ago his feeding time suddenly dropped to 30 mins, then last week to only 15-ish mins. At first I thought he was just getting more efficient, despite still not being able to maintain a deep latch, but he started to get dehydrated with barely wet nappies and my breasts were getting more and more engorged.

    I tried hard to get him feed more often with no real luck.

    A typical feed sees him latching for a few minutes, clamping down on the nipple, ripping himself off and desperately trying to get back on over and over and over. I don't have and OALD, but compression doesn't really help (although it used to). I am absolutely raw, and again have resorted to expressing but I'm not getting anywhere near as much as I need to.

    Yesterday in tears I replaced one feed with formula and then at the next feed we had some skin to skin and tried to find a decent feeding position that didn't hurt as much - football/clutch hold seems to work best with minimal slippage off but he still clicks whilst feeding and does the clamping, ripping off, desperately try to latch on thing. Also directly after a feed he will shove his fist or anything else into his mouth and suck on it as if he's starving. If I put him back to the boob he won't feed though.

    I'm sorry for the essay but I really don't want to give up breastfeeding yet, but for whatever reason he can't seem to get the milk from me and expressing just doesn't yield what I need to to feed him. He usually feeds 6 times a day, but the last two days I've replaced one feed with formula, one with expressed milk and have been expressing those two replaced feeds in a vain attempt to maintain what supply I have.

    He has been having a good amount of very heavy nappies over the last two days but hasn't seemed that contented in himself as I would expect if he was getting plenty of food but has no temperature, doesn't seem to be in pain or have any signs of teething - could I be missing something? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated as it's breaking my heart to give the formula and think that I may have to stop breastfeeding him before I'm ready.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,950

    Default Re: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    could be teeting...he is young but it could be! Babies his age need to suck often, and are just learning about their hands, etc...so it may seem as if he is shoving his fists in casue he is hungry, but the fact that you put him to your breast and he dosent want it, leads me to believe that it isnt hunger!

    Hang in there, can you attend a local LLL meeting? Sometimes they can help because it is hands on help.

    Wish there was a majic answer. Hope that the issues resolve fast!
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK


  3. #3

    Default Re: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    Thank you for your reply Dara.

    I guess it *could* be teething, but being a first timer I've not got a great deal of experience. Thanks for the prompt, I just looked and there is a meeting close to me on Friday which I will definitely attend. I have seen lots of BF counselors and a LC but a fresh pair of eyes/brain may be able to help.

    I really don't want to have come this far and had my poor boy cut to just give him formula if I can help it in any way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    Is it just one bottle that you've started giving per day and his diapers have increased to a normal level?

    My baby is about the same age and she has her fingers in her mouth all the time. Constantly. Sometimes I'll try to nurse her and she'll stop nursing and put her fingers in. It's frustrating, but I figure she knows if she's hungry.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5

    Default Re: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    Yes it's 1 bottle of formula plus 1 bottle of 150 ml (6oz) expressed milk. I believe he does just like sucking on his hands but the fact he wasn't / doesn't empty my breasts much is what really got me worried.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    I understand. I was just curious. So are you pumping that 6 ounces when you give the bottle to him? Are you pumping while he gets formula?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    I was going to suggest an LC, but I see that you've consulted with one already. It sounds frustrating and, like Dara, I wish there were a magic answer for you. Keep us updated on how things go at the meeting. Good luck!!
    Elizabeth, mama to Lillian - 10/03/10


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    Oh Mama, what a hard 13.5 weeks it must have been for you! Before I get into it, I just want to assure you that you won't have to stop nursing. Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing- you can supplement with formula, give lots of bottles, and still continue to nurse. As long as the baby will latch and suckle, there's always a chance that things will turn around and one day everything will suddenly start going right.

    It sounds like you're concerned about maintaining your milk supply. If the baby is having trouble doing it, you have to get in there with the pump. This link may help you with that: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html
    And this one may help you develop bottle-feeding strategies that are breastfeeding-friendly:http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottle-feeding.html

    Keep on counting diapers and let us know how things go at the meeting!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    Oops I meant he gets 5oz of expressed milk not 6.

    Mommy2lilah: I am expressing the two times he is getting a bottle (one formula one expressed) but I don't get enough in one expressing for one feed , I get maybe 6oz from both expressing sessions if I'm lucky.

    Mommal: the problem is his latch is far too shallow and it always hurts me. I just can't seem to get him to maintain a deep latch for whatever reason and it's absolutely killing my nipples. I am continuing to pump right now but I don't know if it can be a long term solution as it's so time consuming as it is and I would need to pump more often than I would feed to get enough...my fear is that I will be like my mum who ended up having to give me formula at almost exactly the same age as my LO is and she said her milk dried up quite quickly as I just preferred the ease of the bottle.

    I will go to the meeting tomorrow and hope for a solution and keep on trying to get him on the boob.

    Thank you all for your support and your replies

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Last ditch at breastfeeding - any ideas welcome

    You can do this! You're only supplementing with 6 ounces per day- that is not a lot.

    Are you using newborn nipples on the bottles? And 6 ounces is a lot for your baby to be eating at one time. I would think anything more than 3.5 to 4 ounces is too much at once. Is there a reason you are giving that much?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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