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Thread: Hope for first time mom struggling with BF?

  1. #1

    Default Hope for first time mom struggling with BF?

    Hello,

    I'm a first time mom struggling with BF looking for advice. My LO is only a week old at this point but I feel like I'm failing fast at BF and it has me incredibly frustrated and sad. I had a difficult L&D due to infection/issues with Lupus that extended my recovery time. I tried to maintain BF throughout the recovery but because of the poor condition of my body my milk didn't come in until 5+ days and my baby was losing weight fast. I was forced to supplement with formula which I did through tube/syringe to try to maintain BF. Now my milk has come in but now she seemed to have increasing difficulty latching (I have one small and one flat nipple). This might be because a few times we had to resort to bottle because she just got so frantic and I was so concerned about her weight loss (almost 15%) I just desperately wanted to get her fed. I've gotten her gaining weight now but I'm still challenged with establishing a good latch -- I can only get her to latch 50% of the time and it's a big struggle for even that. I'm pumping as much as I can to keep up the supply and to at least feed through bottle when I fail at latching. I've tried the shield a few times but haven't been successful yet mostly because she gets so frantic now when I try to get her to latch. I'm going to keep trying with it though because it seems like it helped a lot of people. I am worried my resorting to bottle may have seriously impacted my LO's latch.

    Generally speaking I'm an extremely emotionally strong and positive person but this week has gotten me really down. It's been one hurdle after another and sometimes I feel like I'm going backwards. I desperately want to be able to BF. Any advice for a new mom struggling with BF? Any stories to give me a light at the end of the tunnel?

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by @llli*gohyangee; November 1st, 2015 at 07:51 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hope for first time mom struggling with BF?

    Hi there momma. I don't have any advice but I know there are so incredible women on this forum who will.

    You are doing amazing things by trying! Those early weeks feel like they're impossible but you can make it. Hang in there!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hope for first time mom struggling with BF?

    Considering your challenges I think you are doing awesome for one week!

    My personal story might give you hope- My oldest was born after emergency c- section. Milk did not come in until day 6, yet even then he could only latch after trying for an hour and then nursing took an hour then I had to start all over. In fact latch got more challenging after milk came in as that made me engorged and made it harder for baby to latch. Nipples injured and bleeding, nursing excruciating, had to pump after every nursing session night and day, was falling asleep over pump, Yada yada yada, with help of lactation consultants and a nipple shield and a dose of old fashioned cussedness on my part, got baby latching and nursing better and we went on to a long and happy breastfeeding relationship.

    I doubt bottle use this early seriously impacted latch. Baby had to be fed, what else were you to do? If baby continues to need supplements try to make sure they are given in a breastfeeding supportive manner- either an alternative to bottles, or use paced bottle feeding. BUT don't undermine yourself with "if only's" and "what if's." You are doing great. trust me I have seen many moms in way, way worse shape at this point eventually nurse baby just fine.

    Nipple shields may help but are not always the answer, I have always thought if I had gotten better help sooner I never would have needed them. They can be a pain to wean off, and you have to be careful about protecting milk production as they are sometimes a problem with that. That said, if they get baby latching and nursing when otherwise baby cannot, then use them. You may only need them some times or only on one side. make sure you are putting it on correctly. See: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...s/wean-shield/

    Once a baby is hungry and frantic it is much harder to latch baby. I suggest offer breast before cues or get baby to the breast asap when baby stirs to avoid frantic hungry and disorganized baby. If needed, try to Give baby a little supplement (your milk or formula if you do not have enough expressed milk) and then try latching again to avoid baby getting frantic. Have you tried breast shaping latch ideas like breast sandwich, and different nursing positions? More: http://feedthebabyllc.com/latch-and-positioning/

    What help is available to you? Can you see an IBCLC? Local LLL?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 1st, 2015 at 09:18 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hope for first time mom struggling with BF?

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and for your advice. I was actually able to get her to latch this morning with the shield without struggling by offering it to her as soon as she stirred awake like you said! It gives me a lot of hope to know there's other women that went through similar challenges and still made it with BF!

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