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Thread: help! nipple confusion?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Littleon, CO

    Default help! nipple confusion?

    Our little girl (our first) was born on January 2nd, and we're having some trouble breastfeeding. She was born via an emergency c-section, at full term, and weighed 6 lbs 9 oz.

    She had some pretty bad jaundice and we had to keep her under the phototherapy bed for several days and supplement with formula under doctor's orders. She needed to be under the light as much as possible, and per the doctor's instructions, we were only able to keep her out of the lights for 30 minutes at a time. Of those 30 minutes, we were instructed to devote 15 minutes to breastfeeding, and the remainder to supplementing with formula. Unfortunately, though the hospital had a pump in the room with us, we didn't realize that we should have started pumping right away.

    After we got home, we had to put her back in a home version of the phototherapy bed for a few more days (and, again, per doctors orders, keep supplementing with formula to flush out the bilis).

    So, that leads us to now, where we've been supplementing, breastfeeding, and pumping nearly constantly. We just had her two week checkup, and she's a little on the light side (~15th percentile, 6 lbs 13 oz), but still healthy.

    Our goal was 100% breast feeding, but the way things are going, we'll be lucky if we make it another week. When we're feeding, our little girl will either completely fall asleep, or get very upset, and pull away, flailing and making a huge fuss. We've been a little successful at addressing the falling asleep issue, by stripping her down, laying her down by herself with nothing but a diaper on, etc, but not much luck on the upset issues.

    We think it might be nipple confusion, with all the supplementation we've been doing. We started using a syringe with a tube, but that stopped working after going through the dishwasher, so we switched to bottles. We've been using the bottles for about a week now, each time after breast feeding, she'll take about an ounce or so of either pumped breast milk (if available) or formula, and she takes this just fine.

    We did just get an SNS through the mail today, to try and alleviate the nipple confusion with the bottles, but she hates it. She refuses to latch with the tube in place, and gets very upset about it.

    What should we do? We're about to throw in the towel altogether, but if there's something more, we'd be willing to try it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: help! nipple confusion?

    Good for you getting all that breastmilk into your little one! It can be challenging to get breastfeeding off to a good start after a c section. This is a pothole in the road, one that many mothers have encountered and successfully overcome!

    Sleepy babies often stay interested longer when their bare skin (diaper only) on mom's bare skin. This can be helpful with stimulating milk production and helping baby be interested in latching.

    Have you considered taking a break from the bottles for a while? Maybe try 24 hours with no bottles, just nursing and supplementing with a syringe or a cup. Spend those 24 hours doing lots of skin-to-skin and offering the breast a ton.

    It takes six weeks typically for breastfeeding to get well established if everything goes right. So when you have snags like c section and jaundice and supplements, that timeline is a little longer. So it's definitely not too late for you!

    Consider attending a LLL meeting where you can interact with other new moms and get ideas from Leaders!

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