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Thread: Help me not quit...

  1. #1

    Default Help me not quit...

    I am a first time mom struggling to BF my 7 day old. The problem is for the last 24 hours I simply CANNOT get him to latch. He has been a fussy latcher, especially in the evening (witching hour I think) but after a few minutes (15 min or so) he would latch on and stay for a feeding (30-45 minutes). Now I cannot get him to latch at all and have had to supplement heavily with formula otherwise he would not have gotten anything.

    I had a pretty rough delivery (urgent c-section after 12.5 hours of labor and a problem with anesthesia). While I successfully BF rather quickly post section (less than 2 hours) I did decide he could get formula in the nursery at night as I needed some heavy duty recovery time as well. Throughout our hospital stay he would latch and feed throughout the day, albeit fussy at times, but he would still latch. The LC visited everyday and basically said I was doing everything right, but it would just take some time for Liam to learn - that this was a new thing for both of us.

    Once we got home the same pattern continued, until yesterday when he seemed to just stop wanting to latch all together. Sometimes he will latch and suck momentarily and then pull away. He cries, screams and kicks and in turn I cry, cry and cry. I just want to be able to provide for my baby.

    Since he does take a bottle well I ordered a Medela PISA yesterday and am just waiting on delivery. I also grabbed a manual pump yesterday evening and started using that. I am giving him whatever I pump before I resort to formula, but I am not getting a lot. I pump until milk stops coming (I think its milk, maybe still colostrum? It is think and yellowish in color in the bottle) and I am only getting 5-10cc at a time. Starting today I am going to pump every 2 hours and see what I get. I want him to have the benefits of breast milk, so if I have to pump instead of nurse I will do that, but I really want to nurse my son effectively.

    I should say that I try the football hold, cradle hold, skin to skin and sometimes just let him lay on me and root by himself. Each of these has worked AND not worked on occasion so I am at a loss.

    Also, I have tried to drip some formula on my breast to entice him to latch which helped sometimes, and now that I am able to express milk I have been doing that in hopes that he realizes the milk is ready and waiting for him. Again, sometimes this works and sometimes not.

    I also plan to call the LC from my hospital this morning.

    I appreciate any and all advice that you may have for me. Thank you so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Help me not quit...

    Yes, you need hands on help from the IBCLC (hopefully that is what the LC is). Ideally, go see one, or have one come to the house. Under the health care plan, your insurance IS required to pay for lactation services, so don't let money stop you!

    Exclusively pumping is way, way, way more work than breastfeeding becomes. way harder. I've had to do it because my baby was born physically unable to nurse...but it just sounds like you have a little bump here. EPing means you are hooked to a pump every 2 hours around the clock (and it means that PISA won't cut it...you really need a hospital grade pump for FT pumping) for a total of 120 minutes a day. Incredibly difficult to do and take care of kids. I managed, but it was by ignoring almost everything else. You can overcome this.

    Before this happened, was BFing going well? Was baby having wets and poops normal in number? was the latch comfortable? No sign of tongue tie?

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html because if you use bottles, you make it much more difficult to overcome this bump in the road. And from what you say...I kind of wonder if bottles are the underlying problem. Many babies decide to eat from bottles as its easy. If you can come up with an alternative, try it.

    Something that might help is an SNS, so baby get a reward for trying, which might persuade him to keep at it.

    It is harder to nurse after a c-section, but not impossible. You can do this.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,957

    Default Re: Help me not quit...

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! I am sorry you've had such a rough time so far. How are you feeling? 7 days post-c-section is probably still pretty painful... I hope you're taking the advice to do nothing more than feed the baby and recuperate.

    I think you are doing all the right things to get nursing back on track. You definitely need a good pump, and you're going to want to use it frequently. 8-12 times in a 24 hour period, or as many times as it takes to get your baby's needs met. As long as you can pump everything he needs and not supplement with formula, it will be easier to get him back to the breast. Until the PIS arrives, use that manual pump as much as possible, and contact the hospital and ask about getting a hospital-grade rental pump (which would be the ideal pump for your needs). The manual pump will probably not yield much- they are really best for occasional use by moms with established supplies. But you can in part make up for the relative ineffectiveness of the manual by pumping more frequently.

    At 7 days out, it is unsurprising to see yellowish-white "transitional" milk. When milk is first produced, it still contains an admixture of colostrum. However, if what you are seeing is pure, transparent yellow, not yellowish-white or cream-colored, then you are still seeing colostrum. That would be surprising at 7 days out, but not unheard-of, especially considering your difficulties with nursing and the fact that you've been supplementing with formula since the beginning.

    I think it's excellent that you will be calling the LC. You definitely could benefit from hands-on professional help. I also suggest calling your local LLL leader and asking for the name of a good local IBCLC, since the hospital LC may be just a nurse with some additional training and you really need an expert!

    This link talks about getting a baby to the breast: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html. In particular, the skin-to-skin and instant reward techniques are useful. You also want to consider using a method other than the bottle- like SNS, Lact-aid, syringe, finger-feeding, etc.- to feed your baby. Babies love bottles because they are so easy, which is why general recommendations are to delay the introduction of artificial nipples until breastfeeding is well-established. Which is something I throw in not because I want you to feel guilty about using a bottle when you needed to do so, but to explain why things may have gone off the rails.

    Since your baby pulls off the breast and struggles so, it may help to try swaddling him. The SNS or Lact-Aid may also be very useful since he will latch, and probably pulls off because he doesn't like the fact that he has to work for a meal at the breast. With the SNS, he'd get an instant reward and potentially stay on the breast a lot longer.
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help me not quit...

    Thanks for those links, I too think the bottle may be the problem, but I feel trapped in the circle now. He won't latch, he cries and I cave in with the bottle out of desperation. Prior to this bump nursing was going great. He was always a difficult latch, but not impossible. Once he was on it was comfortable and he would stay put for a good long session. He peed and pooped appropriately.

    You wrote "Something that might help is an SNS, so baby get a reward for trying, which might persuade him to keep at it." What is SNS?

    Thank you for those links also, I will check them out right now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,957

    Default Re: Help me not quit...

    This is an SNS: http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com...ing-system-sns
    This is a Lact-aid: http://www.lact-aid.com/ (many people seem to prefer it)
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Help me not quit...

    SNS is a supplemental nursing system. I find a LactAid system is easier to use than a Medela one, but the Medela one is easier to find.

    One link goes to alternatives. You don't have to use a bottle....it's just what is easier for the caregiver. I syringe fed my fourth baby for a few days while we sorted things out for him.

    My first baby had bad nipple preference. He was given a bottle while I was in emergency surgery following his birth. Just one bkttle, and nursing was a battle after that. We were stuck in that circle for almost 7weeks. But we overcame, and you can too.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help me not quit...

    Good news, I got a successful latch this morning! I know I have a lot of work to do but I got a glimmer of hope! Thanks for all your suggestions, I have been reading and reading all morning.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,420

    Default Re: Help me not quit...

    Good news, I got a successful latch this morning! I know I have a lot of work to do but I got a glimmer of hope! Thanks for all your suggestions, I have been reading and reading all morning.
    If a baby can latch once, he can do it again, so this is more than a glimmer of hope, This tells me that if you are willing to stick this tough time out you will soon be happily nursing your baby.

    Are you engorged? This can make latching much more difficult for baby so when a baby has been latching OK but then after a few days starts having issues, that is something to consider. article: http://www.llli.org/faq/engorgement.html

    When a mom feels ready to give up, I suggest she remind herself she can always give up tomorrow, but, if she stops nursing and/or pumping now, everyday that goes by without trying to nurse and pumping to bring in supply, will make it that much harder to nurse again should she change her mind, which often happens.

    The early days with a newborn are completely exhausting and overwhelming for all new moms. Add to that that you are struggling with nursing and recovering from surgery, you need as much support and help as you can get. Let others do for you-meals, cleaning, phone calls, etc, so you can focus entirely yourself and your baby.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Help me not quit...

    You can do it!! I had to deal with a fun C/S recovery as well, so I feel for you. Trust me, it gets better. Those first few weeks I was feeling so out of sorts and really depressed about how I was going to handle everything while feeling so terribly (i.e. recovering from major surgery with complications). But... it will get better. For me, it took ~12 weeks for me to start to feel like I was out of the woods. I hear other moms it takes significantly less time... so at the time, that didn't help. But, you will get through it.

    Great advice from all the PPs. Definitely talk with the LC, talk with your local LLL group ladies, and ask for help (seriously, I tried not to,...and shouldn't have been so stubborn -- let others take care of you).

    I have a friend who was in similar situation -- she discovered her baby was tongue-tied and having it clipped helped his latch immensly. Not sure if yours is just a bottle preference, or what... but it doesn't hurt to ask the LC to check your LO's tongue if you haven't already.

    Hang in there -- it does get better with time. If you can find a way to get through while keeping breastfeeding, I think you will ultimately be glad you did so. Nursing becomes very rewarding (and "easy" in comparison to FF or EP) once you get the kinks worked out.

    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

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