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Thread: Is it Too Late?

  1. #1

    Default Is it Too Late?

    I am struggling to breast feed my 2.5 month old daughter. Because of her health issues, she only partially breast fed (mostly with the assistance of a nipple shield) for the first week of her life.

    I am finger feeding now and she has not had a bottle in several days. She is doing okay with the finger feeding, but obviously, I don't want to be doing this forever. Her typical response to my breast is to scream. She often screams just when I hold her in a cradle hold. She used to latch on once in a while when she was in a very good mood or very tired - then after a few minutes, she'd seem to "realize" what was going on and start crying. Since I've gone to finger feeding exclusively, she's latched on only once. I'm not sure that her problem is the sucking ... I think the problem is that she doesn't like or is terrified of my breasts.

    My question is ... is there any hope? She's 2.5 months old and has never really breast fed. Is it too late? Is there a point at which she'll be old enough to understand that the breast is okay and has milk in it, but still be young enough to breast feed? I am pretty frustrated. I hate pumping, and life would be so much easier for both of us if she drank directly from the tap!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    the cheesestate
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    Default Re: Is it Too Late?

    Welcome mama! I'm so sorry your baby won't feed off the tap. You have come to the right place for advice and support though!! (experienced mama's please chime in!!)


    1st time momma of a beautiful (my little tinkerbink!) Born June 08'

    Expecting #2 early April

    Married to my soulmate since May 06'

    So blessed..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,710

    Default Re: Is it Too Late?

    I don't think it's too late. It sounds like you need to find a way to take the stress out of it for your baby. Have you tried just skin-to-skin contact? Climb into bed or the bath and let her just hang out close to you and your breasts without putting the pressure on to nurse. She if she'll find her way to latch on on her own. And/or maybe try some holds other than the cradle hold? Maybe she just doesn't like it for some reason. Do you know if you have any issues like overactive letdown (OALD) that might be frustrating her drinking "from the tap"?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,926

    Default Re: Is it Too Late?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*manitobamommy View Post
    I don't think it's too late. It sounds like you need to find a way to take the stress out of it for your baby. Have you tried just skin-to-skin contact? Climb into bed or the bath and let her just hang out close to you and your breasts without putting the pressure on to nurse. She if she'll find her way to latch on on her own. And/or maybe try some holds other than the cradle hold? Maybe she just doesn't like it for some reason. Do you know if you have any issues like overactive letdown (OALD) that might be frustrating her drinking "from the tap"?
    with all of the above.

    Skin-to-skin contact can do surprising things! The sound of your heartbeat and breathing, your warmth, and your milky smell can all make your baby relax and stimulate her to latch on. If your baby resists latching, you might want to try expressing a little milk or dribbling a little bit onto your nipple. Sometimes taste of immediate gratification can inspire a baby to stay on the breast.

    Have you been to see a lactation consultant? There is nothing like hands-on help when you are struggling.

    Whatever happens, I really admire you for sticking with the pumping and trying to get your baby to latch. I know you must be working as hard as anyone humanly can, and you really deserve a lot of kudos for that. Hang in there!!!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Utah
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    Default Re: Is it Too Late?

    These ladies are right on the money. It's not too late. It may take hard work & persistence, but you can do it! Lots of skin to skin and let baby "hang out" at the breast when there is no pressure to feed. Be topless with baby a lot so that she is familiar with your breasts.
    Renee
    LLL Leader


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,926

    Default Re: Is it Too Late?

    Just one more thought: when you feed her, make finger-feeding or bottle-feeding as much like breastfeeding as possible so that your baby associates eating with being at the breast. (I feel this helped my baby avoid nipple confusion when we had to supplement.) Open up your shirt, cuddle your baby close, and tickle her lips with your nipple until she opens wide. Don't let her learn sloppy latch habits by slipping a finger or bottle nipple into a half-open mouth.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is it Too Late?

    Thanks much, ladies. I just needed some encouragement and hope. I was beginning to wonder if it was just futile! I took your advice and tried to stop being so stressed and adamant about it. I stopped finger feeding (very stressful and time consuming, and tiring - she has a heart condition) and returned to bottle, but only gave it to her in breast feeding friendly positions. We took our first bath together last night; the look on her face when my hubby put her feet in the water was priceless! She started crying, but we eased her in with me and after a few minutes she loved it. We did more tummy time (we have done lots of topless and kangaroo time since she was born) and she was the happiest I've seen her in days. She didn't scream when she got close to the boobs. I think she was definitely more interested.

    I also think maybe the cradle hold isn't the best. I'm going to try more vertical feeding. I have large breasts, and I think sitting her on my lap might be more comfortable for both of us.

    I can't reach an LC right now due to winter weather here, but I will get in touch as soon as they are back in the office. Thanks again, ladies!
    Last edited by @llli*hsofia; December 22nd, 2008 at 01:53 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,710

    Default Re: Is it Too Late?

    That's great news. Let us know how it goes!

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