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Thread: Really need help with my 4-day old

  1. #1

    Default Really need help with my 4-day old

    I am really having a hard time with my newborn, and need advice.

    I'll start at the hospital - she latched successfully immediately following delivery. However, her sucking was not vigorous and she would not stay on for more than 30 seconds to a minute. With more and more tries, she would get more and more visibly frustrated. My colostrum took a long time to let-down, so I started pumping for several minutes and then put her on - and it was like the flow was not sufficient for her, because she would still be very visibly frustrated and pull away crying.

    Unfortunately, a nurse at the hospital guilted me into supplementing with formula, by basically implying that I was starving my baby. I gave her a very small amount of formula on two separate occasions with a bottle. This appeased her (my baby). (Later I talked to my pediatrician and she stated that the formula definitely was not necessary, and I definitely do not want to use it again!)

    Her latching continued to be very finicky and end with her in tears and screaming in frustration. I thought that taking a break for a bit from forcing her to latch and making her upset would be good, so at home, I started pumping colostrum and would give it to her via syringe (this lasted about one day - yesterday - and she did not fuss once the entire day). She got 18ml total of colostrum this day.

    Today, thankfully, I have made it to transition milk and can produce a good flow and quantity (an ounce every two to three hours from both breasts combined). She has been very fussy today. Not only will she not nurse, now she will not even latch! I have no idea what happened. I put my breast to her mouth and she immediately begins crying and screaming and pulling away. I've kept her right by me almost all day, taking every opportunity possible to try to feed her, and she will not do it. She has slept almost all day and during the awake times has been almost constantly crying. I have not noticed any hunger cues - but she has to be hungry right??

    So here I am, stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do I give her a bottle? Is she even hungry? Should I keep trying? Does anyone have any advice for me to get through the night? I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
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    1,882

    Default Re: Really need help with my 4-day old

    hi mama, congratulations!!

    it's great that you already have milk, which means - whatever else was happening over the last 3 days - your DD was nursing/latching enough to bring milk in. you say you have an oz every 2-3 hours - how do you know? are you pumping?

    so to be clear - has she eaten at all today? you seem to be saying that she hasn't had anything at all, and that concerns me. how many wet diapers has she had? if this is the situation, i think i would recommend supplementing (can you pump or hand-express and use the syringe?) to get through the night, and getting some hands-on help from an IBCLC tomorrow. if she's not nursing at all, you also will need to express milk one way or another so that you continue to cue your body to produce.

    if she IS actually eating at all, then things are not so urgent/extreme. many little babies will eat better when they're sleepy or sleeping. sometimes taking a warm bath together really helps too, especially for a brand new baby - it's almost like reenacting birth, and babies are more willing to nurse in the bath. and when babies get too hungry, they have a hard time latching, so you want to catch her before she fully wakes up, before she's really hungry. supplementing a little with the syringe might be good, just to take the edge off before she latches on for the rest of the feed.

    either way, DON'T give up now! you can totally do this. i think you should look for an IBCLC who can come give you hands-on help in any case, preferably tomorrow but monday if necessary. keep your milk flowing, keep your DD eating, even if that means supplementing with pumped milk or formula for tonight. if you can get her to latch, even for 30 seconds at a time, that's better, and she will get some milk that way.

    but describe to us in more detail what's going on, what happens tonight: will she latch? how often and for how long? are you pumping? how many wet & poopy diapers does she have? anything else of note?
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Really need help with my 4-day old

    When was the last time you fed her? When was the last time she had a wet diaper?

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,912

    Default Re: Really need help with my 4-day old

    Sweetheart, you have to feed your baby. If baby will not latch, yes, feed her with the syringe or the bottle, your pumped milk or formula. You can do this while also encouraging baby to latch and nurse, one does not negate the other. baby may need to be awoken to eat, (and as pp pointed out, a baby can also nurse IN their sleep) and at this age-day 4 or 5-a nursing baby would typically be nursing a minimum of 10-12 times a day, and taking in somewhere between 1/2-2 ounces per session, and this increases a bit every day for a while. (What you are pumping sounds normal, its early days and anyway, pumps are less effective than babies at extracting milk.)

    What happened in the hospital sounds like normal milk production. Colostrum, the early milk that is typically all a baby needs in the first 1-3 days, does not usually "flow," as it comes in tiny amounts, drops. Babies only need a few ounces total per day in those first couple of days, which they get by nursing VERY frequently and getting a tiny amount of colustrum each time. This is normal, you were not starving your baby. I am sorry you were not supported better. But its VERY early days, and you can still breastfeed!

    What may be happening now is baby is having difficulty latching as your breasts are full, and latching onto a full breast can be more difficult. To add to above ideas, You can try-

    Offering to nurse VERY frequently, offer the breast before baby gets fussy.

    Give a small amount (about a half ounce to an ounce) of breastmilk or formula in the bottle or syringe to take the edge off and then trying to get baby to latch.

    If breast is very full, express a small amount of milk by hand expression or pump to soften it and then offering to nurse

    Try reverse pressure softening to soften the areola area right before nursing.

    Try different positions and latch techniques.

    Call a breastfeeding helper-a LLL Leader and/or a board certified lactation consultant. LLL Leaders are volunteers and may or may not be able to see you at home, but they can help you over the phone. An IBCLC is a professional and will cost you some money, but some areas have programs where you can get lactation services for free or low cost, or your insurance may cover it, look into that if needed. YOU CAN CALL BOTH LLL LEADERS AND IBCLC’s ON WEEKENDS. If they are not taking calls, they will not answer the phone. Don’t worry about that.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Really need help with my 4-day old

    I'm sorry if I scared anyone, I left out that I was feeding her my expressed milk yesterday. I definitely would not go all day without feeding her! Before going to bed I tried giving her milk by bottle then finishing at the breast like suggested and it worked! She only latched and sucked for about 15 seconds, but considering how the day had gone, it seemed like an accomplishment. I will get a hold of someone first thing Monday - for now I am pumping and feeding on a regular schedule.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,882

    Default Re: Really need help with my 4-day old

    Yes! 15 seconds latch IS an accomplishment. Keep trying to latch her today - if you could do all today's feedings by supplementing then finishing at the breast, you'll be in great shape to get her back to the breast completely ASAP. And again - you can call for help today - sometimes it takes people a day or two to get to see you so calling today to set up an appt tomorrow is not a bad idea -
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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