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Thread: Seeking Solutions...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    32

    Default Seeking Solutions...

    I have a newborn who refuses the breast. I am currently pumping at every feeding, and finger-feeding her what I pump. My body has responded very well to pumping and I can easily pump 6 oz at a time (she only takes 3) Right now I am freezing the extra.
    She's two weeks old and eats every 1 1/2 - 3 hours which means I'm exhausted and unsure how long I can keep this up. I'm wondering what would happen if I only pumped three times a day and supplemented any feedings I didn't have bm for. Is a little breastmilk better than none? Pumping 8 times a day is just taking it out of me - but I really want her to get breastmilk - I bet I could even get 8 oz a pumping if I was patient. I'm still hoping she spontaneously decides to nurse, but she's only latched on successfully 6 times since she was born and I'm losing hope.
    Anyone know?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    515

    Default Re: Seeking Solutions...

    Is there an LLL leader in your area that you could call or meet with? Sometimes having an experienced nurser look at your latch can really help. Try to contact someone as soon as you can. It's important to get the baby latching correctly early on so they can learn how to suck efficiently, but some babies do need some time to recover from their birth trauma before they get around to that. You are doing the best thing you can for your LO right now. I hope that you will be able to find some help and avoid having to use formula.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    29

    Default Re: Seeking Solutions...

    Don't give up. To be honest, that is normal for them to breastfeed that often but it will get better. My LO nursed ever 1hr 1/2 and that included the 30 min. it took to nurse, so it seemed like all I did for the first 3 months was sit on my butt and nurse!! Keep trying to get your LO to latch on, find a consultant. I wouldn't go down to 3 pumping sessions a day because your milk supply is not established. If there is no reason to supplement then you shouldn't. Since you are finger feeding her maybe you can have some one else help you out at night so you can get some extra sleep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    32

    Default Re: Seeking Solutions...

    Thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately I've seen several lactation consultants and no one can figure it out. She's just not interested...with or without a nipple shield. We're ready to give up entirely, but i'm trying to find a compromise.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Seeking Solutions...

    I was in the same boat as you 4 months ago. At the hospital I received no support on breast feeding - especially since my son had jaundice - they basically blamed it on me because I was bf. My DS had a rough time latching on and staying on and so did I! I didn't want to give him formula so I pumped every feeding - it worked great and my supply was more than enough, just like you. I incredibly kept up EP for 2 months! It was a drag to say the least but I knew my DS was getting the best - and that's what I wanted.
    Finally a neighbor came over to chat one day and asked why I was feeding my DS a bottle - I assured her it was bm - she proceeded to ask me why I was 'robbing' myself the wonderful bf experience.
    I explained to her that we just couldn't get the hang of it. I was shocked when she told me to try again because it had been 2 months of feeding him this way - there's no way that he is going to latch on, he probably forgot.
    Silly me.
    I tried to bf him that very night and he latched on like a champ! It's like he had been doing it the whole time! And since I had become very intimately aware of my breasts and how they work and how much milk I made each time I was extremely comfortable with him - it was a miracle.
    After a month of bf I had to return to work *he was 3 months old at this point* so I had to start EP.
    When I started bf as a pose to pumping every feeding I was extremely engorged because I had built up my supply so much and my DS didn't need that much.
    Here's my suggestion - since you are pumping 8 times a day and your baby doesn't eat that much - decrease the amount of times you pump - it will alleviate your pumping sessions and hopefully cut back on the stress - Also if you want - you can introduce your breast a few times a day or night to see if your baby warms up to the idea - you never know what will happen. It's much easier in the long run to bf from the breast. I wish I didn't have to pump - I can't wait to get home in the evenings to my baby so I don't have to pump anymore.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Seeking Solutions...

    Also - don't worry if you have to EP for your baby - I did it for 2 months - I used the Avent bottles *and still do* to give him the bm - It is the most like a natural latch and nipple.
    Breast Milk stays good for 4 hours at room temperature so I would pump him a bottle and leave it out on the counter until he was hungry - and in the beginning when he was eating every 1-2 hours - I would pump both sides and leave out both bottles - when he got hungry I ran the bottles under warm water for about 20 sec. and fed it to him.
    At night I would pump and keep the bottles in my pj pocket to keep them body temp. after feeding him I went and pumped again. I can't believe I survived but I did. It was also nice because my husband fed him most of the time.
    I felt like a milk machine haha and still do now that I'm EP - hang in there!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    1,307

    Default Re: Seeking Solutions...

    Try to hang in there. Hopefully your baby will decide to latch! Some breastmilk is definitely better than no breastmilk ! Good Luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Seeking Solutions...

    Quote Originally Posted by cohearn View Post
    I have a newborn who refuses the breast. I am currently pumping at every feeding, and finger-feeding her what I pump. My body has responded very well to pumping and I can easily pump 6 oz at a time (she only takes 3) Right now I am freezing the extra.
    She's two weeks old and eats every 1 1/2 - 3 hours which means I'm exhausted and unsure how long I can keep this up. I'm wondering what would happen if I only pumped three times a day and supplemented any feedings I didn't have bm for. Is a little breastmilk better than none? Pumping 8 times a day is just taking it out of me - but I really want her to get breastmilk - I bet I could even get 8 oz a pumping if I was patient. I'm still hoping she spontaneously decides to nurse, but she's only latched on successfully 6 times since she was born and I'm losing hope.
    Anyone know?

    Congratulations on the birth of your daughter -- and on giving her your milk! As someone else noted, some baby's need extra time to learn to latch on and suckle -- that she's latched at least 6x means she can do and offers hope for the future. Was your baby born prior to full term, or was she induced or born via elective cesarean -- meaning she didn't choose her birthday? Was she "sleepy" in the days after birth? Did she become jaundiced?

    I'm going to disagree with the suggestion to go ahead and decrease pumping sessions. It's different to do that when you have a newborn rather than an older baby -- frequent milk removal is more important especially to 6 months or so. In my experience (and I've been a LLL leader since 1975 and an IBCLC since 1991) dropping to fewer than 8 pumping sessions in 24 hours will significantly lower milk production -- the more sessions dropped, the faster and more significantly milk production will drop. This is because milk production depends on the frequent removal of biochemicals (in the milk) that "tell" milk-making cells to slow. Enough of them build up and milk-making cells are told to stop production.

    However, there are ways to make pumping easier. You didn't mention which pump you are using, your pumping routine, how much milk is typically obtained during a pumping session and over 24 hours, etc. All of which can make a difference. And we might be able to give you time-saving pointers if we know more. (I realize it's not fun, though. A mother of twins in my LLL group calls the pump the "ugly baby"!)

    Finger-feeding can be a good option for supplementary feedings, but if this is getting tedious, you may want to try something else. And I hope you're allowing others to help give baby supplements, so you are freer to pump and do kangaroo mother care/have mother-baby skin-to-skin and naked chest-to naked chest contact when baby is awake.

    Someone mentioned a tube-system at breast, e.g. SNS, but this is for the baby who does latch and suckle -- doesn't sound as if your daughter is ready for this yet. Have you considered bottle-feeding -- but using a bottle nipple and feeding technique that reinforce breastfeeding oral/mouth behaviors in babies? (Yes, that is possible!) Another LC and I have been doing some flow rate trials with different bottle nipples marked as "newborn, stage/level 1, slow flow" and definitely NOT all are truly slow flow -- but a few can work. If you're interested in our findings and info re: feeding technique, send me a personal email and I'll forward it.

    For all we know, appropriate bottle-feeding may allow a baby to begin to get the idea about suckling, which can be transferred to the breast. Also, once bottle-feeding in a way that reinforces breastfeeding, you may find the nipple shield then helps at breast.

    Enough for now. Many mothers have been where you've been and their babies did transition to breast. There's plenty to be hopeful about! Hang in...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Seeking Solutions...

    thanks again for your replies!
    My daughter was induced two days past her due date b/c of low amniotic fluid. I was already having regular contractions so they introduced pitocin to 'speed it along.' I was hoping not to use drugs but the pitocin made the contractions so strong I requested an epidural once I knew it would not slow the process. She was born 6 lbs 15 oz and since she didn't latch did not even get colostrum in her first 24 hours, so she became slightly jaundiced. They then began giving her formula via finger feeding while I tried to pump colostrum.
    I'm currently pumping at least 3 oz (what she eats) every time she eats (every 1 1/2 - 3 hours) - but I pump a little more about every other feeding just to make sure my supply is up and can sustain her when she starts eating more.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Seeking Solutions...

    I also EP and have been for almost a month now. it is definately hard, but I feel the same way as others that breast milk is best and if she won't take it directly from me then I prefer her to get it from a bottle, even if it is tiring and time consuming. My DD is 3 mos now, I pump seven times a day, she was latching but because of OALD and not being able to get it under control she now refuses to latch...just hang in there and don't feel guilty if you need to supplement. I have found also that allowing my DH to give her the bottle when I pump works great and it gives them some bonding time too. Oh yeah, and we also use the Avent nipples....

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