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Thread: @ 3mos/6wks gestational Age - still no success in nursing!

  1. #1

    Default @ 3mos/6wks gestational Age - still no success in nursing!

    He was born at 34 weeks, and on feeding tube for 3 weeks. Intoduced both breast and bottle. For his benefit and timing, I decided to bottle feed primarily in the NICU to get his volumes up with less work for him and introduced the breast a few times a day. He would latch for a few sucks and stop.
    I've met with consultants, tried breast shields, nursing system, etc. We've never had a successful feeding. I've tried offering at varying times/moods/levels of hunger. He doesn't suck until the milk hits his tongue and stops sucking if it's not "free flowing".
    Now, anytime I do skin to skin or offer the breast he starts to cry after a few minutes with no latch in almost a month. At times, simply exposing my breast while he's being held makes him start crying (nice boost to the self-confidence there!)

    Consultants have said there is no issue with shape/size/flow of the breast. Is it time to give up offering?

    I should also mention that he roots/licks/sucks on my shirts outside the nipple while being held in any position where his head is in the vicinity. Silly kid!
    Last edited by @llli*firestarbell; May 22nd, 2014 at 02:42 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: @ 3mos/6wks gestational Age - still no success in nursin

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: @ 3mos/6wks gestational Age - still no success in nursin

    It sounds like baby is having some sort of breast aversion; like he now associates the breast with it being a stressful place. Maybe to start, don't focus on getting a successful feed, instead work on making the breast a comforting place where baby wants to be. Maybe feed baby with the bottle but do it skin to skin at the breast, snuggle at the breast in the tub, snuggle in bed together skin to skin at the breast. Once baby is more relaxed at the breast then maybe you can offer the breast in a low pressure way. Plan on this being a journey and be patient along the way. And it's never too late, I've heard of babies breastfeeding at nine months! Don't give up mama! And don't take the aversion personal; he's just learning--he had a difficult start and so did you.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,471

    Default Re: @ 3mos/6wks gestational Age - still no success in nursin

    Is it time to give up offering?
    This depends on how you feel about it. There is certainly no harm to baby in continuing to try to nurse, and there is no reason to think that it's "too late" or never going to happen. It is true, mothers have brought much older children to the breast. On the other hand, if you feel too disheartened or frustrated by the process and feel ready to move on without regret, that is a valid choice as well. Every situation is different and if you lead with your heart you will make the decision that is right for you.

    It sounds as if you have tried many things. But how much have you tried them? How recently have you tried them? How many times have you tweaked it? Sometimes it takes some very out of the box thinking to get a baby to nurse. As an example, years ago I met a mother who had brought several adopted children to the breast. I got to observe some of her process. When her child wanted to eat but was not starving and was calm, she took the bottle nipple, threaded the lactation aid tube through that, and had her child drink close to her in a more or less nursing position, holding the bottle nipple near/over her breast. She said she did this both with clothing on or off, depending on where they were and at what stage the child was at as far as breast aversion went. Once this was running smoothly, she said she would start using a nipple shield, again with the lactation aid threaded through. Last was baby nursing at the breast just with the aid (she always had to supplement as she did not make quite enough milk.)

    I am not telling you this to suggest this is something you should try. I have no idea if it would work for you or not. My point is, this is not a technique this mother read about or learned from a lactation consultant. She made it up in response to her own experience with her own child(ren.) And she tweaked it as needed for each child.
    I should also mention that he roots/licks/sucks on my shirts outside the nipple while being held in any position where his head is in the vicinity. Silly kid!
    I am glad you mentioned this. Your child is showing normal rooting behavior when you are clothed. -maybe you can build on that some how. Maybe skin to skin is not your baby's way.

    I am sure you are familiar with this article but if you have not read it in awhile, it may inspire some ideas. http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

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