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Thread: Should I even keep trying??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy Should I even keep trying??

    I have a 2 yr old with CP that I fought to nurse for almost 2 years. He never really had much of a drive to nurse, but I worked with an LC and pumped for 23 months. I felt like I always had to work so hard to get him to nurse. We would use his gastrostomy tube to make sure he received a sufficient amount of milk as he couldn't suck down enough on his own.

    Now I have a 20 day old son and we are having awful problems. He was born at 37 weeks weighing 9lbs 10 oz. I had general anesthesia for my c-section and the poor little guy was zonked on drugs for the first day of his life. The next morning I finally got him to attempt to nurse and it was awesome but definitely not a wonderful latch. I was excited though because at least it was a start. That morning they put him in the NICU for a high bilirubin and I didn't get him back for 4 days. I begged the nurses to either cup, finger or gavage feed him. They refused! I gave them a breastflow bottle that our LC recommended to lessen the chance of nipple confusion. They refused. They used the little yellow nipple to feed him.

    I have had him home for over two weeks now and he doesn't have a clue with what to do with my nipple. I have a wonderful milk supply because I have been pumping so much (50-55 oz per day). I have been working with an LC, but I'm not seeing any progress. She has me using a nipple shield along with a feeding tube to give him milk at the breast. He has learned to suck on the feeding tube and only take a little bit of the nipple into his mouth. She says that he needs to mature because some of his problem is related to him being born at 37 weeks. His due date is tomorrow.

    This has gotten to be so much work and I am beginning to think that he will never learn to latch on to my breast and nurse like normal. Does anyone else have any experiences similar to this that they would like to share. I just want to be able to nurse this little guy like normal as he is my last baby. I don't know how much longer I can follow thru with all the pumping, weighing the baby, using the tube and nipple shield routine.

    Praying for a miracle,

    Crystelle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,962

    Default Re: Should I even keep trying??

    Hi mama,
    I would cross post this here: http://forums.lalecheleague.org/forumdisplay.php?f=40 for additional responses.
    You really tried to give your baby a alternative way of feeding and they refuse! How awful! Totally nightmarish!

    I am convinced you will make it through this period and move into a happy time of breastfeeding! Hang in there!

    What are you doing as far as kangaroo care, and attempting to latch? What happens?

    Are you working on any suck training?

    How is the SNS tube run to the nipple? On the bottom?

    What was your lowest weight? What is the weight now?

    Is the jaundice resolved?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Should I even keep trying??

    I am not quite sure what you mean about Kangaroo care. When I attempt to get him to latch without the breast shield he acts like he doesn't know what to do with my nipple. He tries and then gives up. When I try to get him to latch with the nipple shield on, he latches very shallowly and sucks on the feeding tube. The feeding tube is put in the side of his mouth next to the nipple shield. It is not a true SNS but rather a rigged one where the feeding tube (5 French) sits in the bottom of bottle and comes out the hole of the nipple and is inserted in the side of his mouth when I put the nipple with the nipple shield in. Sorry, I hope that makes some sense to you.

    The LC has evaluated his suck, but I am unsure as to how we are training him at this point. She said that his suck is disorganized a bit. His lowest weight was 8lbs 15 oz and I believe he is 10lbs 4 oz now. They discharged him out of the hospital with a bili level of 10 and then next day we went to the lab and his level was 13 something, but the doctor said that it was ok and we didn't need any more levels drawn.

    I really want to nurse my baby, but I don't know what to do next or where to go for further help. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my post.

    Crystelle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,090

    Default Re: Should I even keep trying??

    kangaroo care. is letting the baby have lots of skin to skin contact..
    more info:
    http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVOctNov01p106.html

    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/premkangaroo.html


    You guys can do this!
    there are lots of great ideas at this link
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/back.html

    this might help to: how to bottle feed the breastfeed baby

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottle-feeding.html

    and this pdf file
    http://www.bfar.org/bottlefeeding.pdf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,962

    Default Re: Should I even keep trying??

    It can be normal for a preemie to take a while to master the organization it takes to really get a good suck. The fact that your baby will try and latch is terrific. You have a baby that is willing to give it a shot!

    Wear/hold your baby skin on skin as often as you can ( kangaroo-care), this encourages the rooting reflex. So basically undress your baby down to a diaper and place your baby on your naked chest. If you notice any pecking or bobbing around on the chest, this is the rooting reflex in action. Now would be a good time to lower the baby down on your chest and towards a nipple. http://www.toronto.ca/health/breastf...st_feading.htm
    http://www.ameda.com/breastpumping/v...LatchOnEnglish
    The links Andrea gave you are worth reading through in their entirety.

    Here is a link to a lactaid supplementing system, which can be easier than a sns. Is there a reason you are trying a different method other than the sns? Have you tried that yet? I was a little unclear.

    How much head support is nessesary in order for you to get a latch? Some preemies need extra support - the football hold may work best for you. What position are you using? Do you have a breastfeeding pillow around the house?

    I really suggest contacting your local leader! She can give you positioning tips and offer you some support right now. It sounds to me like you really want this to work, and I believe it will. Having someone to listen and offer experience might really be useful to you. Many women have struggled through working with a premature baby, and reaped the rewards. It can really be a scary and sad experience at first, when things are a huge battle. You can do it, just take it one day at a time! Break you expectations down into smaller compartments and don't take on everything at once. What matters here is that you and your baby are together, you are able to share your milk, and your baby is going to be given a huge step ahead in life because of it! Like I said before your baby is interested in sucking and this is a great step forwards!

    here is more information on suck training: http://forums.lalecheleague.org/show...=suck+training, but your leader can also go over it with you! I suggest checking to see if there is a IBCLC Lactation Consultant in your area. Some of these things really take the knowledge of a specialist. Here is how you can check around for one: http://www.ilca.org/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,780

    Default Re: Should I even keep trying??

    The above post are so awesome that I have nothing more to offer besides a cheering section!

    You can do this! Keep reaching out for help/support/encouragement/venting... whateve you need, we are here!
    Kelly

    Mommy to Gabriel born 12/25/06 Breastfed 12/25/06 - 12/09 and possibly here and there still
    Madelyn born 9/24/09 delivered at home and caught by my husband

    "To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Should I even keep trying??

    Thank you so much for the suggestions and support. I have been reading the provided links and the info is good. So even if they don't ever nurse in the beginning there is still hope to get them to nurse at some point? How does it work if you contact a local LLL leader? Again I really appreciate all the assistance.

    Best Wishes,

    Crystelle & Cayden (23 days old)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,962

    Default Re: Should I even keep trying??

    Check here: http://www.llli.org/WebUS.html

    But please don't feel like we were trying to brush you off! Please come back!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Should I even keep trying??

    First of all, I am sorry to hear about the treatment at the NICU. How AWFUL! Mine was in the NICU for two weeks. They allowed her to take a bink with breast milk on it to practice latching but was tube fed. We didn't establish bf until we got her home. We gave her bottles at first that made her work really hard to get the milk out and would offer the breast part way through feedings. She learned within a few days that the breast was an easy way to get the milk and her other reward was that she was much closer to mommy. Yes, bottle feeding can be intimate but taking the breast is much more intimate and she felt that.

    I agree with the other mommies. Let your baby do as much skin to skin as possible and make bf seem as easy and stress-free (and fun) as possible so that they will learn to prefer you over the bottle.

    I hope you get there!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NoVA
    Posts
    1,554

    Default Re: Should I even keep trying??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mama6six View Post
    How does it work if you contact a local LLL leader?
    Just in case you haven't done this yet, or someone else is wondering. You look up your state at the link carpentergirl provided (or see the top gray pull down bar) It will list the Leaders in your area, you can contact by phone or email - and they will have meeting times and dates posted.
    If you called a Leader, it's almost like calling a knowledgeable friend. She'll listen to what you've got going on, maybe ask some questions, and give you information to help you. Some people wonder why you'd need to contact a LC and a LLL Leader. A Leader can be there just to vent, talki about whatever you need to talk about.
    HTH
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

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