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Thread: Feeling like I am failing my boy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    10

    Default Feeling like I am failing my boy

    For the past month and a half I have been experiencing feeding problems with my baby. He is now 11 weeks old. At first he was a great feeder and we transitioned from nipple shield to breast at about one month. At about six weeks he was diagnosed with thrush after getting super fussy at breast and refusing to eat. We got that cleared up--i think- and since then he has still not been feeding well. The doctor thinks it is reflux and we have been on zantac for a few weeks but not seeing much improvement so she prescribed Prevacid which will start tomorrow--although I am apprehensive giving him so much medicine. Not sure if it is reflux or it is something I am doing.

    Prior to problems, he was feeding 20 minutes per side pretty consistently. During thrush we saw a decrease and then afterwards it got worse. At first it was 10-15 minutes on one breast and then refuse second breast, but now he is taking the breast for 5 minutes max and refusing anything after. Today I haven't been able to get him to eat longer than three minutes. I am worried! He screams, arches his back or goes stiff. He has hiccups a lot, but seems to sleep well. Sometimes he will take the bottle when he is refusing me...at most 2 ounces. How do I get him to like breastfeeding again? I feel like he hates it and I miss our time together. He looks at me like feed me, but then gets all upset when I try.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Feeling like I am failing my boy

    Is there any chance your supply has increased? I did not have issues that required a nipple shield - though I did have a bad latch that took a few weeks to straighten out - and I experienced a similar pattern. My son would nurse for 30-45 minutes at a time (between both sides) when he was a newborn, but by ~7 weeks (I think?) he would nurse for 3-5 minutes on one side only. When I took him to the weight clinic, though, we found he was taking in 90 mL in those few minutes. He would arch off mid-feed, and scream or cry, fuss at the breast, etc. The only thing "wrong" was a really fast flow, which he's now old enough to handle. If you have a weight clinic at your local hospital, or maybe your LLL Leader knows of another resource, it might help to at least find out how much he's eating. I'm not aware of any magic number they should be taking at a feeding (assuming you're using demand feeding) -- my son's almost 5 months, and he'll eat anywhere from 1 to 3 oz at a time.

    A couple things you might try (neither will affect your supply / letdown, so they're both safe to attempt regardless of diagnosis):
    1. I found side-lying on the bed (with a folded diaper under my LO's head) to be really good. He had enough head control to pull off when the flow was strong, or let it dribble out of his mouth, but because he could re-latch himself, he didn't fuss as much.
    2. After nursing your son, sit him up just a little to rest his head on your breast. I would cuddle my LO like that for 15-20 minutes after a nursing session and it's nice for bonding.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    10

    Default Re: Feeling like I am failing my boy

    Thanks!! I will try those suggestions...I believe my hospital has a weight clinic so I can do that. I am heading back to work in a couple weeks so I have been pumping and can get anywhere from 3-8 oz per pump session...so there is a chance he may be getting more than I think.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Feeling like I am failing my boy

    That sounds like exactly what I experienced. My understanding is that 1/2 - 2 oz per pumping session is normal; whereas I can often get 3 oz or more per breast. My situation ended up being one of overactive letdown (and probably oversupply, just not such that it's been problematic).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,845

    Default Re: Feeling like I am failing my boy

    3-8 oz is a lot of milk. It's quite likely that the fussiness at the breast is related to him getting a lot of milk in a hurry. Babies really don't like getting blasted with rapid letdowns!

    Have you tried nursing in reclined positions? That can slow milk flow to the baby and make nursing a more pleasurable experience for him.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    688

    Default Re: Feeling like I am failing my boy

    I just want to say you aren't failing your son! You are trying to give him a great start in life and while it's been a battle so far you are hanging on in there and looking for advice and support to improve the situation which is the best any child can want from a parent!

    I agree with the PP's that it sounds like you have oversupply. If weight gain is fine and baby is only feeding short amounts of time and or refusing to feed then just try to trust that he's not hungry right now and offer again a bit later!

    Oversupply is really helped by reclined positions as Mommal said where baby is 'uphill' from the breast. Feeding often means you will be less full each time and slow the flow slightly. Also if you can avoid pumping do so! Pumping is telling your body to make more which isn't helpful for oversupply. If you are getting engorged offer to feed and if baby refuses hand express until comfortable or pump a little but don't try to drain the breast completely.

    Nipple shields often mask oversupply/overactive letdown as the milk hits the shield and not the back of the throat. Hence why you are seeing this now you've weaned off t shield (which is great progress btw!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    688

    Default Re: Feeling like I am failing my boy

    Also as I re - read and saw you are gong back to work... You don't need a huge freezer stash as you will make most of what you need on a daily basis, but I do understand having some just in case! In this instance I would probably just pump once a day for a stash as with only a couple of weeks you may worry about anything less!

    Make sure bottles are given in a paced manner too to allow baby control over those bottles and to reduce flow preference

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    10

    Default Re: Feeling like I am failing my boy

    Thank you all! I will try all of the suggestions you gave me...i really appreciate your help!! We tried the side nursing this morning and it seemed to go better. He lasted about 5-6 minutes and came off the breast without screaming too bad. I didn't try to give him anymore and just letting him guide me when he is hungry again. My husband has been giving the bottles (once per day until daycare starts) and I made him watch a video on pace feeding and the daycare place we are going to does pace feeds too...phew.

    Reclined position...is that just leaning back? laying down?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    10

    Default Re: Feeling like I am failing my boy

    Also, when he takes the bottle the most he will take is around 2 oz maybe 2.5 oz. Is that normal for an 11 week old? Should he be taking in more??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    688

    Default Re: Feeling like I am failing my boy

    1.5-2oz is a normal bottle size for a breast fed baby, so 2.5 sounds like it's on the high end of right For daycare many mothers send 2 oz bottles with 1oz toppers in case baby wants thst little bit extra.

    It may feel like a small amount because culturally we are used to formula fed babies who for one reason or another take much bigger bottles.

    Maddieb posted some links re reclined feeding a while back will try to find them and re post them here!

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