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Thread: Is it too late to establish?

  1. #1

    Default Is it too late to establish?

    Hi.

    I have a 10 week old baby that was born at 34 weeks. I was induced as he had some congenital issues that were picked up on the scans. He subsequently spent 6 weeks in the NICU during which I used machines to pump breast milk. Whilst in hospital I did try to establish breastfeeding but it was difficut due to his size and the operations he'd had made it hard to handle him easily. We decided to continue to express to allow us to come home, establishing breastfeeding was delaying this.

    We've been home a few weeks now and I have continued to express milk via a hospital grade pump. He's fed breast milk on about 80% of his feeds. The trouble is I think I'll struggle to keep up the expressions and so have made some small attempts to try him on the breast in a hope that he can now breastfeed.

    My question is... is it too last for him to establish breastfeeding? He's been fed via syringes, n.g. tubes, cups and bottles in the past as well as having a dummy as he didn't take oral feeds for some time in the hospital. I don't want to put myself through it if it's a non starter as I have been through a lot emotionally and want to start to enjoy him.

    Thanks x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SW Ohio
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    Default Re: Is it too late to establish?

    and It is not too late to start teaching your baby how to breastfeed. There are lots of moms here on the forums who haven't been able to establish successful breastfeeding for several months or more. In general, I would recommend a lot of no-pressure, skin to skin time with your baby. Not necessarily trying to get him to the breast all the time, but just hanging around the house topless while holding him or wearing him in a sling, or perhaps a nice warm bath with him would be good. As he gets used to being close to your breasts, you can start trying to teach him how to latch. It is definitely not a non starter! Check out this website for more info: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/preemie/index.html
    IRL all my friends call me Buff, Wife to CB since 10/11/2003

    Mom to DD - "MJ" born 9/2007 @ 8lbs 10oz, 21.5" She's 6 years old!
    My journey nursing MJ started HERE, but we got through it and she breastfed 19.5 months, self-weaned on 5/17/09


    Mom to my current nursling, DS - "ME" born 10/2009 @ 10lbs 1oz, 22.25" He's 4 years old! And yup, he's still nursing.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,894

    Default Re: Is it too late to establish?

    Congrats on your baby!! No, it is not too late! My daughter was a 33 weeker. It took her 2 months to even latch on and another 3 months to get it right. I agree with Buff, spend lots of time laying around naked with your baby. That will not only help increase your supply but give your baby an opportunity to find the breast on his own. Offer the breast constantly. I'm not sure I can even explain it but it was as if it just clicked suddenly for my daughter. And my son, who took 3 weeks to latch.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is it too late to establish?

    Thanks for your advice, I feel a lot calmer knowing that my efforts may not be in vain.

    I have managed to breast feed him for a full feed with him being calm at the end and needing no top ups which is great news! Previously and at the hospital after trying we used to offer him a bottle after of which he'd take his full feed which was very discouraging.

    I do however get some considerable discomfort which, when I've read up, suggests a poor latch and some mentions of thrush. I really do believe I don't have thrush as I have no other signs apart from the soreness and I'm getting all the right signs from him that he is getting milk. The pain is a sharp one in the nipple that gets worse each time I try. Could it be because I have pumped for a while?

    All the literature states that it should NOT hurt, but a few people I've spoken to said it did for the first couple of weeks whilst your nipples get used to the friction. Should I continue as much as I can bear or consider other positions/methods etc. I feel as though I'm doing it wrong.

    Thank you again x

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    New York
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    Default Re: Is it too late to establish?

    Your nipples have already been primed by the pump, so at this point, nursing should not hurt. Your LO probably is not sucking effectively yet and you will benefit from a visit w/ a knowledgeable LLL leader or an IBCLC. you might need some tips on positioning or some very minor adjustments to your technique. Some infnats need to have their chins supported during a feed and/or mom needs to support her breast the whole time.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Is it too late to establish?

    I disagree that it shouldn't hurt anymore. Everyone's idea of what is painful is so different. But an increase in pain is not good. I would also suggest a new LC to help with latch. You want to get to a comfortable place.

    So glad to hear things are looking up though!
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is it too late to establish?

    The pain I get is no longer tolerable, it's made them really red and tender. Maybe there is something more? It's odd as I'm almost numb to the pump now but it does make me slightly sore in between... when i breast feed it's completely different, its a very intense stinging sensation.

    I was told at the hospital that position wise he was fine, he latched on well but never stayed on? They also said he had a REALLY strong suck, could this be the issue?

    I think I'll try and do maybe just the one feed a day and see if I can harden to it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,103

    Default Re: Is it too late to establish?

    The redness, stinging sensation, and pain in between feeds could all point to thrush: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...resources.html

    I presume that your baby had antibiotics, due to the NICU stay? Maybe you did, as well? That also can contribute to thrush, since antibiotics kill off the natural good bacteria and allow the yeasts to overgrow.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Is it too late to establish?

    I did have steriods too! I'll make an app with the docs and see where that gets me? Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Is it too late to establish?

    Yep, I'm thinking thrush. It couldn't hurt to be treated and sterilize all of your pump supplies.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

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