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Thread: New here-in tears-help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default New here-in tears-help!

    Hi may name is Laurie, and I am mom to my 8 day old Gwynne. After a completely natural birth, with no complications, Gwynne came into the world full term, vigorous (apgars 9,9), and ready to nurse. She was put on my chest immediately, and didn't leave for the first hour, and she latched. SInce then, I have had several problems, and do have a lactation consultant helping now, but as she is away for several days, I turn to you wonderful ladies for help. I was wondering if you caould answer these questions for me:
    1) Even though Gwynne seemed to be latching alright, she started to lose weight (11% loss by day four) and become jaundiced. So I was advised by the nurse to supplement her, and to feed her more often. So I finger fed her breast milk using first a dropper, and then a tube, which she took to fine. Her weight is coming back rapidly, and here jaundice is gone by day eight. The problem is, it is literally impossible to get her to feed every three hours. Sure, I am able to get her awake, but she will absolutely refuse to eat if she's not ready (will actually clamp her mouth shut, and she's strong for a newborn!), or will lazily suck my finger for over an hour, just to get 1 oz! She can easily go four or more hours despite my best efforts. Yet usually by the end of the day, she will have consumed the amount expected for her size. Has anyone ever heard of a newborn going this long between feedings and it not be a concern if she's gaining, peeing and pooping well? I am in tears right now, as I have unsuccessfully tried to get her to feed for 45 minutes, (both at breast with nipple shield, and with finger feeding), and she barely has taken in 1/4 oz! I am taking a break right now, and will try again later.
    2) It seems like thaere are several challenges we are trying to overcome. I have an large, one flat, one inverted nipple, and Gwynne only seems to suck hard if I stick my finger right where the hard/soft palate meet. So needless to say, my nipples don't stimulate sucking. So the LC suggested a nipple shield, which seems to help some, but her suck is still so lazy, she will suck for two hours, and only consume 1 oz! Moreover, I can barely feel her sucking, so I know it's mostly coming from the expressed milk (which I have plety of, thankfully!). Another problem is that Gwynne sucks in ther lower lip to sooth. That, combined with a slightly recessed chin, makes it very difficult to get her to latch correctly, the few times she even decides to open her mouth! Do you think it's possible to get her to latch properly, and to somehow improve her suck strength, despite these challenges? Will this possibly improve as she matures? Have I forever ruined my chances of breastfeeding by fingerfeeding? (I thought it would be better than a bottle, but my lc says that since both methods teach the wrong type of sucking movements, one isn't really better than the other, except that finger feeding is slow, more like breastfeeding)
    Please help me with any ideas you may have- I had to exclusively pump for my first dd for 14 months, and I don't think I could do it again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    New Orleans, LA

    Default Re: New here-in tears-help!


    Congratulations on the birth of Gwynne...beautiful name, by the way.

    It is not too late at all to get on the right track. My daughter was jaundiced as well and lost a great deal of her birthweight and my milk did not arrive until day 5.

    I'll share my experiences and hope this helps.

    We began supplementing with formula on days 3 and 4 b/c I had no milk yet. I was still nursing 12 times a day, and only supplemented after our nursing session to ensure stimulating milk production. We did use a bottle, though and only supplemented after every other nursing.

    Also, she would only latch on to my left breast and I had to use a nipple shield on the right breast and it took several weeks to wean her off of that thing!!!

    I do not think every 4 hours is often enough for a newborn. We had to keep my dd awake as she was a very sleepy eater, got her down to nothing but a diaper to cool her off, tickled her cheeks and feet...whatever it took to get her going.

    I think you can definitely overcome the challenges you are facing, especially since you seem so determined to do this. Just keep trying, bring her to the breast as much as possible and don't give up. Once you two have figured this out, you will be in love with your breastfeeding relationship!

    I'm sure a leader will be along soon to offer more valuable tips, but for now know that we are pulling for you!
    Last edited by NolaMomma; June 17th, 2007 at 08:18 PM. Reason: add info.
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: New here-in tears-help!

    Congratulations! I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time. I don't have enough experience to offer a lot of help, but I know there are some wonderful leaders around here who will offer suggestions. Beyond that, I just wanted to offer support. This stuff can be hard at first, but hang in there. You are not alone, and you can overcome your challenges.

    Quote Originally Posted by llj2 View Post
    I have an large, one flat, one inverted nipple, and Gwynne only seems to suck hard if I stick my finger right where the hard/soft palate meet. So needless to say, my nipples don't stimulate sucking.
    I had trouble with flat nipples. I used a shield twice and then quit because I didn't want to have trouble weaning her off of it. I was told, though, that you can start LO on the shield and then switch her to the nipple in one smooth motion once she gets going. Maybe a leader can offer advice on doing this? As for me, we just kept at it until we got it, but it took a while and wasn't always comfortable. It was a struggle for me to get started, but we did eventually get the hang of it, and you can too.

    Another problem is that Gwynne sucks in ther lower lip to sooth.
    My LO did this too sometimes. I found that using a finger to gently put some pressure/pull down on her chin once she was latched on would help flip the lip back out. I've heard some people stick a pinky finger in and flip the lip down just before baby latches on. If you do this consistently, LO should eventually learn to keep her lip flanged out (mine did).

    my lc says that since both methods teach the wrong type of sucking movements, one isn't really better than the other, except that finger feeding is slow, more like breastfeeding)
    I don't know that much about this except that Dr. Sears, in The Baby Book, still recommends finger feeding over a bottle because you can still get your finger back a little further in baby's mouth like a nipple would be, and it's still skin-to-skin contact as opposed to skin-to-latex contact. I think there are still benefits to the choice you made.

    So, I'm sorry I couldn't offer more help, but know that you have lots of support! Go ahead and cry when you need to. Then dry your tears and pat yourself on the back. You're doing great.
    I love my kids. I care for them accordingly. What more can I say?

  4. #4

    Default Re: New here-in tears-help!

    My lo was a very lazy nurser in the beginning. We never really had any problems other than me being engorged. I really had to struggle to get her to wake up and take interest in the breast. Then finally around 2 weeks she 'woke up' and came alive and nursed very vigorously from then on. She also sucked on her bottom lip. I always just pulled it out. She stopped doing that when she figured out how nice it was to suck on mommy instead!
    I don't really know about the finger feeding . . .
    Wish I could help more!

    Loving wife to K
    Proud stepmom to B, and proud mom to J and R-A
    and our newest addition C

    Happily homeschooling
    Still and and

    Ask me about Parkinson's Disease! Visit me at Life With Shaky!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: New here-in tears-help!

    Congrats! It can be SO hard in those early days, but if you can keep going I know it will get easier for you. Have you heard about an SNS (supplemental nursing system)? I dont know that much about them but it's like a tube you tape to your breast that goes into their mouth and you put milk through the tube while the baby is nursing to help them get more. Hopefully you can get back with your LC asap because she could help you get going with this in she thinks it would help.

    Search this site for more info on SNS if it sounds like something that might be helpful.

    Many things I've read do say fingers are better to use to avoid nipple confusion, but also plenty of babies have been exposed to bottles early on and they do just fine going back and forth.

    I do think her suck will get stronger as she gets older. 8 days is really young!

    As for the nipple shield- use it if it works! i used one early on and was bummed because it wasn't how i envisioned bfing but we were able to wean off it easily around 4 weeks. don't worry about that now though, just do whatever you have to to make it work, it will get better! You're doing a great job!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09

    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: New here-in tears-help!

    I had a few similar problems.

    For flat/inverted nipples, have you tried pumping in order to draw the nipple out? What about a cool washcloth? I've also read ice, but I fear it may be damaging to sensitive tissues!

    What hold are you using? I found that when I was very full and my son was very small, I always had to start him in the football hold. I also had to do a "breast sandwich" so that he could get enough tissue to latch onto. There is some information here: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...an-shield.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: New here-in tears-help!

    Thank you everyone for your quick replies! Everyone has given good advice. I actually do have the SNS feeding system, which is a godsend, because I don't think Gwynne is getting anything from my breast right now! When I put the shield on, it seems like she waits for it to fill up, and then sucks it like a bottle nipple-therefore no suction on my breast! Her suck is so weak, that she isn't even barely getting anything from the SNS tube either- I can watch the flow not make it to the nipple. In fact, she is sucking less vigorously with the tube on my finger too, making it necessary to feed her with a dropper.(The funny thing is, when she wants to, she can suck my finger with incredible force! It's like she is refusing the tube, waiting for something easier!) This way, I can finish a feed in about an hour, and not two! What I have been doing is feed her about 1 oz via finger, and then try 1 oz on the breast. If we're unsuccessful on the breast, I return to fingerfeeding until she is content. The upside to this is that I know she is getting enough milk through one way or another, and today she is waking up more frequently to feed. I will take everone's advice (trying the football hold, pumping first to draw out the nipple more, ice etc.) and see if we can get Gwynne to be more enthusiastic about sucking. Does anyone have any advice on how to get Gwynne to latch on to the shield properly, and not like a bottle nipple? Thanks again for your help!
    Gwynne June9/07 (I like milk, I just don't want to have to work for it!)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: New here-in tears-help!

    I wish you all the luck and success possible. I know that if I were to have another one, I don't think I could do the exclusive pumping again like I am doing now. Maybe I could, I don't know.

    I had a heck of a time with my daughter when she was only a few days old. In fact, we ended up giving her some formula off and on we were so worried she wasn't getting enough from the pumping / nipple shield.

    Just be careful with the shield, it can lead to problems like decrease in milk supply from what I've read. That's why I stopped using it (that and she would suck it for an hour and still not always seem content).

    I know that if you are like me you would give anything in the world to have nipples little one could latch on to. I've seen some videos of how to breastfeed on the 'net, and I can't believe the size of some women's nipples! I'm completely jealous.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: New here-in tears-help!

    Hang in there sweetie! You sound like such a wonderful and devoted mommy!!!

    You'll get through this, I'm sure, if you can endure a natural childbirth (holy cow!) this should be a breeze!

    I'm sure you're exhausted and emotional and overwhelmed, I at least know I was and I didn't have any BFing problems to speak of, but you sound like one determined mommy! and someone who can do anything once they put their mind to it!

    Angela (AP), mommy to Charlotte Rose (12/22/06) and Ruby (7/30/09) http://lettiebuzz.blogspot.com/

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