Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

  1. #1

    Default 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Hello everyone

    DD was born 10 days ago and we've been having breastfeeding problems from the start.
    After a horrible experience we both suffered through during birth, she latched and nursed, not a great latch but not as bad as it was with DS. After that it went downhill.

    The latch was bad no matter what I tried, she was hungry, nervous, I was in really bad shape and to fast forward a few days, she was being bottle fed formula with nursing in between.
    My breasts got engorged on the third day but no milk was coming out, no more than drops at a time. I massaged, jot showers, expressing, hand pump...no use. The were painful and firm but no milk was coming out. That day we were being released from hospital and because of other complications I won't get into after the morning I wasn't able to do anything about my breasts until evening, aside from some brief nursing sessions. When we got home I hooked up my electric pump and started pumping and massaging. Next day it was a better, the second day they were soft and pain free again.
    But through all that, no milk, still drops.
    So the next few days I concentrated on getting my breasts up and running and slowly, bit by bit was able to eliminate the formula and am now bottle feeding expressed milk. Supply is still not where I want it to be, but I"m getting there.

    She at times refuses the breast completely (it was worst two days ago), other times fusses and if she doesn't manage to latch on the first try gives up immediately, sometimes she latched fine (though it is still not great). It's better now that I'm finally having let downs. But she'll suck through it, not much more.
    From what I can tell she doesn't see my boobs as the source of food at all and will only nibble or snack on them occasionally.

    We'll be seeing an IBCLC next week but I was wondering what more I could do to help the situation.
    I'm doing skin to skin as much as I can, compressions, offering often, switching positions etc.

    I was thinking the next step would be an SNS system so we could lose the bottle and she would start viewing my breasts as where she gets food and then slowly eliminating that while we work on the latch. But can't seem to find the appropriate tubing to make my own at home, they're all either too short or too wide. Not sure if it's worth to buy the Medela SNS, spend the money when I don't even know if it'll work.

    Any opinions? Suggestions? Advice?
    What else I might try? Am I on the right track after a bad start? Or am I going about it the wrong way?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,668

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Hi. Sorry I do not have time to respond longer but actually I do not have much to add. If you are managing to pump 8 times in 24 hours and feeding baby primarily your milk, then you are on track. All the other things you are doing are great. You and baby now need hands on help, so it is good you are going to get it soon.

    I would suggest ask the LC about tubing. No need to wait for the consult to ask a simple question. You could also try contacting jack newman via facebook or e-mail. You might not be able to find the tube you need locally but it should be available online. I think a lactation aid is a good idea however obviously if you can get baby nursing with out it and not needing supplements then you will not need it.

    Nipple shield might also help, obviously there are drawbacks but if you cannot get baby to latch and nurse effectively that would at least improve that situation and a nipple shield is far cheaper than a lactation aid. Kellymom has a good article. http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...s/wean-shield/

    Hang in there! it is early days and you have every reason to think this situation can get turned around. You have done amazing getting your production up with the issues you were/are having with letdown and engorgement. You are on the right track. the ideas here esp. for instant reward might help http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 21st, 2017 at 06:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,668

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Nipple shield might also help, obviously there are drawbacks but if you cannot get baby to latch and nurse effectively that would at least improve that situation
    I should have added, if the shield helps baby get a better latch. Sometimes the issue is something a shield is not going to help, but often they can help with baby not being able to latch effectively.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    At this point if she latches once a day after much struggle, it's a good day. It seems as if she's completely forgotten how to latch. She did root and open her mouth (not wide enough but still) and do the usual "steps", but now she doesn't do that anymore. She just opens her mouth a little bit and expects the bottle or something similarly firm and long without much effort on her part.
    Despite the preemie teat, the paced feeding, smaller portions and everything we've been doing, seems the bottle has done a lot of harm.

    As for nursing, most of the time she'll scream and complete refuse to even try, but on those times she is willing to give it a go, she'll try once or twice to latch and when it doesn't work, that's it. And on those rare occasions she will try and perhaps even catch the nipple, it'll be a struggle -my nipples are soft and just slip out of her mouth, she'll manage to suck in the nipple itself and not much more.
    I let down quite easily the first round now, so she'll suck something out that way too. And I let her, despite the bad latch, since that's the best I can get ATM.

    I tried a nipple shield but she can't even latch onto that. She doesn't know how to, what to do, the shield is quite large/wide, the "flaps" keep bending outward under the pressure of my breasts (not sure how to explain that) and it's just not going well.

    Trying a lactation aid is pretty much pointless at this point since she'll hardly latch at all, let alone getting a tube in through all that.
    I would have tried sooner, while there was still a possibility, but I'm from a country in Europe and there just aren't tubes long/narrow enough to use for a lactation aid, ordering from the US would take too long and the cost would be enormous, would be cheaper to buy the Medela SNS.
    I did get some tubes that could work but are too short to use on the breast, so I could try them out for finger feeding.

    I'm starting to lose hope.

    My supply is great now, at least something. But after everything I went through with my first I don't think I have it in me to pump exclusively.
    The only thing I can think of trying next is finger feeding, to at least get rid of the bottles, but I really don't know if that would do any good, would she just get used to that manner of feeding, like she did with bottles.

    We'll be seeing the IBCLC in two days. I don't know what to do next. I'm getting discouraged by all this

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,668

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    deja I can tell you are very frustrated. Here are my thoughts.

    Moms are warned about nipple confusion because it is a real thing- bottles interfere with breastfeeding for several reasons. And some of these reasons are not about bottles at all but about the fact of baby getting supplements in any form.

    However, I think these warnings are causing you to think that because your baby got bottles, and baby is not nursing, this means bottles ruined everything and now your baby will never nurse. I would suggest there is no reason to think this.

    A baby this young who will not nurse has not forgotten how. Nursing- or at least the impulse to try to nurse, is instinctual, and your baby's instincts would not be erased this quickly.

    When a baby this young is not latching, or having an extremely hard time latching, or latches but will not nurse normally, while bottles/supplementing may be playing a part, most of the time the fact is baby CANNOT latch and nurse normally for some (usually entirely fixable) reason. In other words it is not that baby won't but that baby can't. This is consistent with the problem you were having in the first place, right? Baby could not latch normally so you had to start supplementing.

    So maybe it would be helpful or at least less distressing to you to think of what you are going through now as not a new problem caused by bottles, but rather the same problem you have had since baby was born, that unfortunately was not addressed right away, as it should have been by your doctor/health care team and your child's doctor/health care team.

    But just because it was not dealt with at that time, does not, I assure you, mean all is lost! Many babies take weeks to latch properly, and go on to have a normal breastfeeding experience. Many babies are mostly separated from mom and cannot nurse due to prematurity or illness for many weeks, even months after birth and go on to have a normal breastfeeding experience. Yes, babies can and do come to the breast after months and months of bottle feeding! But of course I do not think that is going to be necessary in your case, as you are addressing the problem early.

    Usually this is a situation what can be turned around with proper support and information, patience, and persistence. So I would suggest, make sure you are getting that. It starts with your family and friends supporting you in word and action in your goal to nurse your child.
    Then there are volunteer organizations like LLL that can offer phone and in person assistance. LLL is not the only peer group assistance for breastfeeding, also, if you do not have local LLL you can call any LLL Leader anywhere for help. There is also a USA LLL helpline I believe, but I have no idea if you can access that where you are.
    Then there are the books and articles that offer concrete help to moms with breastfeeding concerns. Be careful what books and what sites...The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition) is usually the best book, also, Kellymom.com and this site are good, there are others. Looks for videos, blogs etc. by professional lactation consultants- Nancy Morhbacher and Catherine Watson Genna are two I suggest often. I have always thought this was a good latch and positioning article: http://feedthebabyllc.com/latch-and-positioning/

    There is your IBCLC- here is an article about what to expect at a consult. I will warn you, it is best to not expect to have all the issues solved in one consult- Follow up is often needed, nursing issues can be simple or very complex, and usually they are at least a little complex.

    But you should leave the consult feeling as if you were listened to, you and baby were given time to show the LC what is going on, the problem (or probably a few possible problems) were identified by LC and a plan given to you to address them at home that seems workable to you. Also, expect that follow up care is offered. If these things do not happen, it might be that you need a different IBCLC. http://www.cwgenna.com/lconsult.html

    Now for some specific tips to try if you like:
    the shield is quite large/wide, the "flaps" keep bending outward under the pressure of my breasts (not sure how to explain that) and it's just not going well.
    I used a shield with my oldest so I know exactly what you are talking about.
    it is possible you need a much smaller shield, but first, are you putting the shield almost completely inside out, then centering the shield tip over your nipple, then squooshing your breast up into the shield at the same time you are turning the shield right side out and smushing it onto your breast? Yes, it is tricky. I knew my shield was "on right" when I could feel a (very very slight) sense of my nipple being vacuumed into the shield tip. Of course, this did not mean the shield would not fall off, it still might, especially if milk or sweat or saliva came between me and the shield flaps as of course is inevitable. Also, needing to push the flaps down several times was typical as I recall. I have heard that some moms use a very thin layer of lanolin to kind of "glue" the flaps down, but I never tried that. It was vital that the shield be warm and dry when I put it on for best "fit."

    What a shield does is give baby a firmer, longer, thicker "nipple" to latch onto, and that is why it helps some babies latch.

    Also, when trying to get baby to latch, never forget the importance of positioning baby so baby is in contact with your body at multiple points and in a position to have instinct lead the way. This usually means some form of laid back nursing, but play around with positioning, there is no "wrong" way.

    My supply is great now, at least something.
    This is way more than something. It is half the battle. Your production being enough for baby means all you need now is to get baby latching and nursing...this simplifies things tremendously and makes it much, much more likely you will be able to nurse this baby. Of course you do not want to have to EP. Breastfeeding is your goal and you have every reason to fight for that. Again, support in this from the people around you and from your own inner voice will help.

    The only thing I can think of trying next is finger feeding, to at least get rid of the bottles, but I really don't know if that would do any good, would she just get used to that manner of feeding, like she did with bottles.
    Yes of course it is possible that any form of supplementing is interfering in baby learning to nurse. Also I agree if baby is not latching, not point in lactation aid, and really if you make plenty of milk once baby latches and nurses no supplements at all should be needed!

    However, there are many who think avoiding bottles makes good sense. Also, finger feeding is also a form of suck training and your LC may suggest it for that reason. You can also cup feed or syringe feed for at least some meals just to mix things up and prevent total bottle habituation. If you need more info on these supplementing methods let me know.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 25th, 2017 at 11:17 AM. Reason: fixed stuff

  6. #6

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Thank you soo much for all your words of support and for taking the time to write all this.

    Unfortunately support is something I don't have. The most support I get is from my husband, which is basically - he's all for me breastfeeding, he's not opposed to anything I want to try, he'll go buy what I need or drive us, but that's about it. It's kind of my concern, all this. And for others, from the experience with my first, I don't even dare say we're having problems with breastfeeding again.

    I'll try some more with the shield, I did most of what you described, bit maybe need to stuff the nipple a bit more in. I did try once more later on, but it was the same. She didn't really latch on to it, didn't want to even try more than once, and it kept bending on me. I'll take them with me to the LC consult.


    I have two sets of Avent shields in two sizes. The small ones look to be better but when I put them on, just the nipple fits in and the feeling is again as if the baby is sucking on just the nipple so I guess it's too small. The standard one is huge in her mouth but it's probably the right size for me.

    Last night I somehow got her to latch and ventured to try the tube in her mouth. She did flinch a bit but didn't protest. It was all so clumsy, the tube kept falling off, the latch felt shallow and weak, the tube was far too short for that but at least now I know it is possible.

    I'm hoping to devise a specific plan with her on the consult because all this just feels like wandering.


    LLL and some other options are available here but it is all just too far from me, even this LC consult will require quite a long drive and it's not easy for me to organize everything for such a trip.

    I will try to look at things the way you suggest. You do have a point and thinking of it all in regards to the original problem makes me feel a little less miserable about the breast refusal.

    Thank you again for all you wrote, the support and advice, it means so much to me.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Also, just to add, as far as help in the hospital goes, it borders on ridiculous.
    All these pamphlets about nursing and all that, they keep asking if you're nursing, but if you ask for help you won't get it.
    With my first I really needed help from them, the best I got was a nurse squeezing my nipple really hard and when a few drops showed she said - You have milk. It's not a lot but it's enough to feed the baby.
    And that was it.

    This time around everyone just ignored me since it's my second child. And even if I did ask for help, specific help regarding nursing, I don't think there's anyone there educated enough to help me.
    The best they did was lay the baby by me and put my breast in her mouth in the side lying position and bid me good night.
    That was after I asked they help me put her on the breast in a different position.
    She said it was night and time to sleep.

    I didn't ask for more.

    And the formula supplementing was the pediatrician's suggestion after me mentioning her behavior.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,668

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Yes of course I am very much aware of the dismal way mothers who want to breastfeed are too often treated in hospitals. Sadly and incredibly, I have even encountered many women who had midwife assisted home or birth center births but were not given adequate breastfeeding assistance in the hours and days after baby was born. It is so sad to me that some mothers feel shame or guilt about not being able to nurse their babies when in fact they should be outraged at the lack of informed and respectful post natal assistance from the medical community. Instead mothers are at best given inadequate help and at worst actively undermined. It sounds like you experienced both. That is why I pointed out that you "should" have gotten more and better help early on. Every mother should, too many do not.

    So unfortunately it is up to us to advocate for ourselves and our babies and do what we can to get the help we need. I so wish it were easier but you can only do what you can do.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,668

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Last night I somehow got her to latch and ventured to try the tube in her mouth. She did flinch a bit but didn't protest. It was all so clumsy, the tube kept falling off, the latch felt shallow and weak, the tube was far too short for that but at least now I know it is possible.
    Yes there is no way around it, even when working perfectly lactation aids tend to be quite fiddly. But remember using one would only be temporary. Same with a shield, although if baby is latching and nursing ok without a shield, no need for the shield. Some babies have a harder time nursing or latching at certain times, also if baby starts nursing with normal frequency of 10-12 or more times in 24 hours, baby is not likely to need supplementing every time baby nurses. So occasional use of shield and/or lactation aid can also work.

    I'll try some more with the shield, I did most of what you described, bit maybe need to stuff the nipple a bit more in. I did try once more later on, but it was the same. She didn't really latch on to it, didn't want to even try more than once, and it kept bending on me. I'll take them with me to the LC consult.
    I found my old shield and tried it today, and it is pretty much as I remembered getting it on, it took some pushing and pulling as well as breast shaping to get it to "seal" properly. Also the whole thing except the very end of the tip needs to be inside out when you start.

    Shield fit is tricky as it has to fit both baby and mom! A shield is too small for mom if she cannot get her nipple into the tip, or if, when she does, when baby nurses, her nipple tissue is pulled through the holes (yes I have seen this happen, ow!) Otherwise it might be an ok fit for mom even if only the nipple goes into the tip- you probably would not want too much areola in there. When I just tried it, a small ring of areola around the base of my nipple went in but that is it.

    For baby it has to "fit" in the mouth obviously, but remember that when a baby nurses properly they take the nipple WAY far back into their mouth, so it can be surprising how much they can get in there.

    This video from ameda explains this part of latch pretty well. Being able to visualize what you and baby are going for might help when working on latch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zln0LTkejIs
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 26th, 2017 at 06:00 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Just to give an update...
    The last few days things have been getting better in regards of her accepting the breast. I've been offering constantly and she's been refusing less so things were looking up.

    Yesterday we went to see the LC. She helped with latch and positioning, managing to get a pretty good latch. Not perfect but a great improvement.
    She observed DD's behavior on the breast, there was a lot of grunting, agitation, crying and such. Usually after the initial let down she'd slow down the sucking and practically just waited for the next one, which wasn't really coming, or not fast enough.

    She checked her mouth, her suck, we talked a lot, about her birth and the days after that, her nursing, my breasts.... and after everything she said there was no need for a shield at all. So we didn't try that. We we're limited with time also.

    She was very optimistic about things, said it should work out fine with time and persistence, that DD is still recovering from the trauma of birth, hence her behavior.


    After getting home, up until now, she has been on the breast a lot. Very very often. The problem is that she still only nurses through the initial let down and after that either drowses off or gets annoyed or stops and waits for more. Mostly the former.
    Because of that I believe she still needs supplementing, and I still need to continue pumping. The question is how much, how often, how to get off that.
    The LC was pretty lax about it, saying to just offer the breast several times around and if she still seems hungry to give some supplement with the tube or something. That is the only thing I didn't like about the whole consult.
    There is an "organization" in my country along the lines of the LLL, volunteers, they offer phone assistance and advice through a Facebook group and all their LC's advise to always taper off supplements gradually, reducing the amount every day/few days/not sure ATM.
    As far as DD goes my reasoning and instinct is to do things somewhere in between those two standpoints, just not sure how to go about it. I've pumped three times since midnight (so in the last 15 hours) and for shorter periods, and have given her 2 oz bottles twice so far (yI'm still really clumsy with the tube). And lots f those mini nursing sessions in between, lots of those one-let-down-deals lol. She seemed okay until couple hours ago, with those short sessions and drowsing, now seeming hungry while awake. But after that when I decided it would be good to give he a bottle and pump, since then she hasn't settled, is sleeping lightly, nibbling on my nipple, waking if I try to take it out, looking for it and crying. So not sure how to proceed now.

    I've weighed her today and will be monitoring weight and diaper output closely.

    What do you think would be the best course of action concerning pumping/nursing/supplementing, in ordee to keep things in balance. We're still struggling with latch, with positioning, but I'm a bit more optimistic now. Just don't want to mess up my supply or other things that have been functioning.

    Supplementing with bottle is going to have to be stopped definitely, but the tube I found is pretty wide and the flow is quite fast so I'm not sure about it all.

    I need a plan of action so to speak, but I'm too confused with everything. Any guidance or opinions would be welcome.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •