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Thread: So frustrated... ready to give up

  1. #1

    Default So frustrated... ready to give up

    My baby girl was born 11/10. I am trying to breastfeed, but every time she latches she will eat for just a little bit, then spit out the nipple. I can only hear her swallow a couple times, so I don't feel like she is getting that much. My milk supply is good, I have been pumping the times she doesn't feed much. The doctor has told us to supplement her since she hasn't been gaining weight, so we have been giving her 1 oz of expressed milk if she breastfeeds some, and 2 oz if she doesn't seem to feed at all. So each feeding I have been trying to put her to breast, then feeding her expressed milk out of a bottle, then pumping to keep my supply up. The doctor said today to only try to put her to breast every other feeding to cut down on how long each feeding/pumping session is taking. I just don't know what to do... so frustrated because I really want to breastfeed, but she doesn't ever seem satiated after the feedings even if she is latched for 20 min. I don't want to give up.. any advice? I have been feeding her every 3 hours, and have to wake her each time to feed, she is a sleepy baby.

    Is there a point of no return, where the baby won't take to breastfeeding?
    Would a nipple shield help?
    Should I use a pacifier? I read it causes nipple confusion so I haven't used one yet.

    11/10 birth weight 9 lbs 0.3 oz
    11/14 discharge weight 8 lbs 6 oz
    11/15 8 lbs 8.1 oz
    11/19 8 lbs 9.3 oz
    11/21 8 lbs 9.1 oz

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: So frustrated... ready to give up

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! I'm sorry you're having such a tough time nursing her so far, but please don't think that it's too late for things to turn around! First of all, there is no point of no return- it is possible for a baby to become good at breastfeeding at just about any age, though it's best to make a concerted effort now, when the baby is very young and still instinctually driven to take the breast.

    I don't think a nipple shield would help you. Nipple shields are designed to help a mom with a good milk supply get over temporary pain, and you didn't mention any pain. The other use of a shield is to help a baby take the breast when she's having trouble latching onto the bare breast- and your baby is latching, although reluctant (?) to stay latched. The biggest problem with shields is that they can reduce milk transfer and slow feedings, leading to decreased weight gain- obviously not something you want to do when you already have a problem getting baby to put on weight. However, I could be wrong about this! I encourage you to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, and ask for guidance regarding the shield. An in-person assessment could come up with a very different conclusion than the one I have drawn!

    I don't like your doc's advice to reduce the time baby spends at the breast. The fewer chances your baby gets to nurse, the less likely she is to want to nurse or to master the skill of nursing. She's more likely to get hooked on the ease of bottle-feeding, and start rejecting the breast, maybe not even latching on at all. I know the time and energy you're putting into nursing/pumping is HUGE, but now is the time to invest it. It won't get easier if you wait longer!

    Another thing to talk to the LC about is how to supplement the baby. Sometimes you have to use the bottle, but there are other ways to supplement that may be more breastfeeding-friendly, and less likely to result in baby developing a bottle preference (nipple confusion). Like using a supplemental nursing system or Lact-Aid to allow you to supplement the baby at the breast.

    Sleepy babies are very fustrating. Here are some techniques which may help you wake your dozy girl:
    - Keep her cool; cool babies are more alert. When it's time to nurse, strip her down to a onesie or diaper and keep a fan blowing in the room where you nurse (not directly on baby).
    - Annoy her. Tickle the soles of her feet or rub against the grain of her hair using a cool damp washrag.
    - Keep the lights dim. Newborns may close their eyes in response to bright lights.
    - Use breast compressions to speed milk to the baby.
    - Try switch nursing. Every time baby starts to fall asleep (closing her eyes, suckling slowing and becoming light and fluttery), take her off the breast, burp her or change her, and put her on the other breast. Repeat the process as many times as possible, until baby will no longer wake.

    Whatever you do, please do not introduce a pacifier into the mix right now! Not only can it worsen a baby's latching/suckling skills, but it can lead to fewer feedings because the baby gets all her sucking done on a paci instead of where nature intends her to do it: at the breast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: So frustrated... ready to give up

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! In addition to all of mommal's great advice, just wanted to add: 20 minutes is not a long time for a newborn to spend at the breast. Often babies that age will spend 45 minutes or an hour at the breast, or even more when she's cluster feeding. Won't always be that way, but the more time baby spends at the breast, the more it's sending your body the signal to make more milk. So just keep her on there, and if she comes off, give here a chance to get on again. Also, if you are only feeding her every 3 hours, that's only 8 times in 24 hours. At her age she needs 10-12 times per 24 hours - at least! Lastly, just wanted to encourage to keep at it! You can do this! The newborn period is HARD but it's so worth it to be able to breastfeed your baby.

  4. #4

    Default Re: So frustrated... ready to give up

    Thank you both so much for the info. I feel better today, we had a good feeding session last night. I am going to keep trying and I am seeing a lactation consultant tomorrow, so I will ask about the supplementing that you talked about. I am so happy to hear there isn't a point of no return! I am going to keep trying! An no pacifiers! Thanks again, reading your replies this morning gave me hope!

  5. #5

    Default Re: So frustrated... ready to give up

    Your situation sounds exactly like mine, and our babies even have the same birthday. He has been good about the weight gain since we started supplementing after every feeding with pumped milk, but it's disheartening. My LC told me to nurse him only up to 30 mins unless he is actively swallowing, reason for that being that I would spend literally 6-7 hours straight nursing him with barely 10 mins off the breast every 2 hours and he would still be crying in hunger, I couldn't get any sleep at all, and she said that would negatively impact my supply. I read lots of posts on here that say don't limit their time at the breast but I don't really know how it's possible to not limit them and they spend the entire day attached to you, but failing to get properly fed :-\

    Last night I decided to just leave him on as long as he wanted, and we nursed for 1 hour 20 mins. Within 10 mins he was screaming in hunger. He got a 1 oz bottle. 10 mins after finishing that, he screamed in hunger again, repeat another 1 oz, more screaming, another 1 oz, and finally he was fine. So 1 hour 20 mins of nursing still required 3 oz of pumped milk for him to be happy. I wanted to cry I wish you better luck than I am having.

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