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Thread: Please help - I want my baby to nurse from my breast

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Please help - I want my baby to nurse from my breast

    I delivered by c-section last week at 37 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. I tried like crazy in the hospital to get my baby to breastfeed. He did not have a great latch - would only latch onto my nipple, but I found that to be much better than nothing! The problem was that he would suck twice and then fall asleep. This lasted for the two days that I was in the hospital. I don't think he was getting any nourishment at all. Many nurses tried to help me with many different techniques, but nothing worked.

    I did not want my baby to end up back in the hospital because he wasn't getting any milk. So, when I got home from the hospital, I pumped and we fed him with an eyedropper. I know an eyedropper is strange, but I didn't want him to get used to a bottle. I tried a few times to get him to take my breast, but it never worked. So, the following morning we started expressing and bottle feeding. It is going very well. He is eating regularly and we can see that he is getting enough to eat.

    I can live with only expressing, but I would really prefer him to actually be breastfeeding. This is the start of his third day on the bottle. Is it too late to get him to take my breast? I tried *so many* things in the hospital... one nurse just returned from a conference and spent two hours in the middle of the night with me. She was all about letting the baby explore and figure things out on his own. One nurse has five children and she roughly squeezed my breast while smashing my baby's face into my breast. We tried many other techniques somewhere in between these two extremes - including putting sugar water on my nipple.

    I think that my baby was too weak to nurse...although, he seemed healthy and strong. When I pump my breasts - with an Ameda Purely Yours - I have to turn it up pretty high to get anything out of my breasts. I generally pump on the highest setting. I don't think my newborn was capable of that kind of suction...and obviously would have gotten weaker and weaker since he wasn't getting any nourishment.

    If anyone has any advice about what I can do now to get him to breastfeed, it would be greatly appreciated. I am not feeling very confident that I will be successful...so, I would really appreciate advice from people who have experienced this or are knowledgeable about this issue. I don't want to try lots of random techniques that will not be successful and make me give up in the end.

    Thank you so much for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Please help - I want my baby to nurse from my breast

    I'm so sorry to hear that things have been so rough for you, mama! Are you recovering okay from the c-section and pre-eclampsia?

    Given everything you and your baby have been through, I think you are actually doing quite well. It was very smart of you to use the eyedropper at first, and I can completely understand why you are bottlefeeding at this point. Hopefully it will only be temporary!

    This link gives all sorts of idea for getting a baby back to the breast: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/ Patience and persistence are key. And while I understand not wanting to try a whole bunch of "random techniques", it is important to try everything because there's no one technique that works for every baby.

    Since you are stuck with pumping for now, you will need a better pump. The Purely Yours is a good pump, but it is meant for a working mom with an established milk supply who is pumping just a few times a day, not a mom who is relying on the pump full time. Even if you turn the PY up to full strength, it's unlikely to work for you in the long term- because the motor and the suction will eventually go. I strongly suggest getting yourself a hospital grade rental pump. They are worth every penny!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Please help - I want my baby to nurse from my breast

    You need a better pump, and you need an IBCLC not associated with the hospital to come see and help you

    You need to also make sure your horns are the right size, and again the IBCLC can help with that.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: Please help - I want my baby to nurse from my breast

    You are doing a great job and I hope your recovery is going well! You've already gotten great info from the PP. Just wanted to add - don't be too hard on yourself with the amount of milk you're able to express, especially in the early days. First of all the pump isn't an accurate measure of how much baby is getting (could be more or less), and second of all their tummy is very tiny when first born and doesn't have room for a lot of milk at once (which is one reason I think the frequency of feedings is so important - to stimulate production and satiate them at each feeding).

    I hope you're able to get baby back to breast and all works out! Although not the same situation exactly, my LO had some early issues, seemingly with drawing enough milk w/o getting sleepy and gaining weight "fast enough" at the beginning, and we had to use a SNS at the breast and even used things like eyedroppers and spoons at various times (thankfully also had consultation from a very good IBCLC). It was challenging, but now we are still nursing at 9+ months.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Please help - I want my baby to nurse from my breast

    It sounds like you are doing great! We are in the same boat. My son is now almost 11 weeks old and he is not completely on the breast, but he is doing better and better. So my answer is...3 days is definitely not too old! My son had a bad latch and ended up having jaundice from that, and I went to the bottle as well (although I now wish I hadn't). At one point, he was so frustrated with the breast that I had to not offer it for a few days (this worked).
    My advice is to rent a hospital grade (Medela) breast pump, take some fenugreek, and up your water and food levels to make sure you are producing plenty of milk and don't have to fall into formula. Then, you can focus on getting all that milk to your baby! Try different LC's, different methods, positions, nipple shields, showers/walking while nursing. I had to introduce the breast as a comfort feeding before he would consider it as a meal (babies love those darn bottles!).
    Above all, give yourself a big pat on the back and keep trying! It is well worth nipping the bottles in the bud as soon as you can.

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