Re: Help Needed - Trying to Nurse 3 Week
Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry nursing has been such a challenge for you and your baby so far. Of all the problems that new moms face with breastfeeding, I think babies who refuse to latch or who are resistant to latching are among the most difficult.
I don't want to contradict either one of your LCs, since they've seen you and your baby and I haven't. But I must admit I like the LC who told you to ban the bottle better than the one who told you to go ahead with it, even if she gave you a somewhat unreasonable timetable. When we talk about nipple confusion, what we're often talking about is flow preference. Bottles deliver milk much quicker and more effortlessly than the breast, and babies rapidly figure this out. This can sometimes lead to freak-outs at the breast, because baby does not want to spend time sucking for little or no reward, trying to generate a letdown of milk.
Here's what I think makes sense:
1. No more going straight to the bottle. I know trying to latch is really hard on you and the baby, but you have the best chance of getting things right now. The more bottles baby gets, the more difficult it will be to transition to the breast.
2. Try swaddling baby at the breast. It prevents flailing and pushing off the breast, and also can calm baby down. (Remember, a newborn is used to tight quarters from being balled up inside mom! Being free to thrash can be disconcerting.)
3. Try to latch baby on before she is giving you hunger cues. Hungry babies can rapidly become frantic.
4. If baby becomes frantic, offer her your pinky finger to suck, nail held down towards the tongue, not up towards the delicate roof of the mouth. A few seconds of sucking on a finger can calm a baby enough to allow a second latching attempt.
5. Try instant-reward techniques. Express a few drops of milk onto the surface of the nipple or dribble some on from a bottle. The taste of milk in the baby's mouth may stimulate her to begin to suck, and to stay on the breast longer than she would otherwise.
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!"