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Thread: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

  1. #1

    Unhappy baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    Hey all. I've been lurking for awhile, and wanted to post last week but I guess the board's registrations were down. Anyways...

    My DD is almost 6 weeks old, we've had latch on problems from day 1. To make a long (very long!) story short, I have tried E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G to make this girl latch on correctly. In the hospital, the LC said she was doing fine, but looking back now, I know she wasn't latched on at all. So of course, a few days later, she lost weight and had us supplement with EBM, with bottles, so we have been doing that ever since. They also gave us a nipple shield at that time, and it worked for a few weeks with no problems. Well, one nipple would have slight pain, but nothing too bad. And the other side was fine with the nipple shield...

    Until two weeks ago... Then BOTH nipples started hurting sooo bad. By watching her "latch" onto the shield, I determined her latch was shallow. She would kind of "suck in" the nipple part and only suck around the base of the shield. It was toe curling pain and was just horrible. So I pretty much diagnosed us with thrush and got a prescription for Nystatin and for the past week we have been treating that. And in the mean time, we have just been feeding her EBM in the bottle (Playtex Nurser, if anyone is wondering).

    So ever since then I have been trying to get her back to the breast. She will have NONE of it. She kicks and screams and just gets hysterical whenever I get her in position to nurse or try to introduce the nipple to her. Now, she won't even take it with the nipple shield. And until today she has not been latching AT ALL. I mean, she will have none of it.

    So I went to see the LC today (for the 6th time!!!) and she gave me an SNS to try. I tried that with finger feeding today and it worked on the finger, and afterwards I tried to get her to breast, and here is my problem....

    She FINALLY latched on... But it was the most horrible painful latch ever!! At first I couldn't tell if it was painful just because my nipples are still sensitive, or it was a bad latch. That was 2 hours ago and I am still having the most horrible sharp nerve pain! She just won't open her mouth big enough. And when she does, she kind of just rolls her tongue around, like when she is given a bottle. So I'm pretty sure she has a shallow latch. Yes, I have tried the "open mouth" game.

    I have tried everything possible to try to BF this kid. I have seen 3 different LC's 6 times, used a nipple shield, had my local LLL leader over to my house, read all the books, seen ALL the videos, been on kellymom and read most of the articles, been to a BF support group, done the skin-to-skin, finger fed, etc etc etc!!! I am just so frustrated and just really don't know what else to do. I HATE pumping, so pumping exclusively is not an option. But then I know that if I FF, I will feel guilty probably for the rest of my life!! So right now I am damned if I do, damned if I don't. Everyone keeps saying it will get better but if she won't latch right (she's NEVER latched correctly), what the heck am I supposed to do?!?!

    So does anyone have ANY advice???? I have an appt with WIC on Monday so if she doesn't latch on by then I'm going to have to FF, this is just too much. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. And that's the problem I have. I've cried too many tears over this, and it isn't worth my sanity. I don't know how much more I can take.

    Please please help me.

    P.S... I know someone will ask this.... Yes, she has been checked for tongue-tie. I, personally, believe she is tongue-tied because when she does stick her tongue out (like to lick or something), there is an obvious "heart-shaped" indention in the middle of it, which leads me to think there is something wrong. BUT... All the LC's, the LLL leader, and 2 ped's told me that although there is a little tightness to the frenulum, it shouldn't be a problem. SOOO... there ya go.

    I sooo want to BF. But I can't do this forever, it really is wearing on me and my relationships....

    Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    I can hear that your very frustrated and tired. You guys have been though a lot this past 6 weeks, overwhelming to say the least!

    If it were me I'd give this IBCLC a call
    I'm not sure how much private practice she's doing now, but she specializes in latch and sucking problems. Worth a shot!

    I wish I had a magic answer for you, I hope someone does! You might consider dropping the bottles all together for awhile and taking it super slow back to the breast. I know that's not ideal, but it could buy everyone some rest time. It's hard to see out of this when your in the thick of it. One day, one hour at a time.

    If you know in your heart that you'll regret FF for the rest of your life give yourself just small little goals instead of ultimatums. Pump though this weekend and see how you feel on Monday. Try to nurse her this weekend, see what happens.

    Deep breath in and deep breath out. You can do it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Default Re: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    How about emailing Dr Newman?

    Last edited by @llli*monika.h; January 23rd, 2009 at 02:37 AM.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    I'm sorry.
    Some babies just have a hard time.
    Your doing all the right things.

    I agree with the pp set some small goals.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    This may or may not make you feel better, but LO didn't latch on until around 9 wks. I EPed until then and haven't pumped since. He just got it one day. I had pretty much given up and would just try it one or two times a day and then HOORAY he just got it. It kind of hurt at first, but I didn't care. I was so enthralled by this mother child event. He still has latch probs cuz due to all of the pumping I have OS and inturn OALD. So he likes to do the shallow latch to clamp down on my fire hydrant. So hang in there. And if it doesn't work out there are millions of babies FF an do just great. I hated pumping too, but got used to it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Sunny Arizona

    Default Re: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    DD had a shallow latch as well and using an asymmetrical latch helped a lot. Here's a video of it too

    It's really hard when they just seem to not get it. It was really frustrating for me considering I am still BFing my almost 2 year old DS. So to have DD be so difficult really threw for a loop. Don't be so hard on yourself or her, it's a learning game and it seems you guys have been thrown a few extra curve balls.

    I agree with PP. Stop worrying about if she'll get it. The next feeding just focus on getting her comfortable being in BFing position again. Hold her like you would to BF with your breast exposed and feed her the bottle. That might help her remember that it's not stressful to be in that position. Set small goals like that and try to not make a decision when your are so overwhelmed and emotional about it. Make your decision on whether or not to continue BFing when you are calm and less stressed. I know easier said then done but have faith in yourself and your daughter mama. You guys CAN do this

    Amy married to my bestfriend since 10/30/04

    Proud SAHM to DS born 2/17/07 and DD born 9/11/08 Both weaned together 11/2011
    Currently milk, peach, peanut and tree nut free. DD has outgrown her wheat, cheese, egg, garlic, and citrus allergies

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Not around here as much :(

    Default Re: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    WHat did your leader have to offer you?

    Also - I was going to suggest an email to Dr Newman as well.

    You can do this - one nursing session at a time

    Did you look into the possibility of OALD? That causes many babies to be 'fearful' of the breast, if you will.

    How is her diaper output?
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

    Ban the bags. ......... Watch your language. ....... Help keep Dr Newman's clinic open!

    We demand that our childcare providers are CPR certified... why don't we demand the same of ourselves! Get certified!

    I lost 22 lbs in 8 months... with a bit of determination and common sense information from this book.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    It does sound like she may be tongue-tied, and if I were you I would demand a referral (or just go without one) to an ENT (ear nose throat) specialist. That could be the cause of all your problems here, leading to the breast aversion she seems to have developed. My son had his clipped at 5 days of age. The ENT is the one who should be evaluating and then clipping it, NOT the regular pediatrician. The earlier you have it done, the easier it is. I would HIGHLY recommend getting her evaluated for this because it is something FIXABLE and if it truly is hindering her latch then nothing will make it better until her tongue is fixed. (Sometimes you can work with them without clipping it if it isn't that bad, but obviously you have done EVERYTHING already). Hang in there, you have done everything heroically and you are doing the best you can. Keep on trying, and keep doing what you're doing, make the breast as comforting for baby as possible. Try to take warm baths with her, lots of skin-to-skin contact not necessarily at the breast if she won't have it but at least snuggling..... there was one mama on here recently who told her story of a non-latching baby and how lots of skin to skin contact/snuggling/BF literally saved their BF relationship. I have also heard of lots of stories like pp said of babies who all of a sudden just "got it" after literally weeks or months of trying.

    P.S. I'm sure you have already thought of this, but just wanted to also suggest that you try nursing when she is very sleepy, like just before a nap or when she is just waking up from one. My son always nursed way better when he was very calm (i.e. practically asleep). I know she has a bad latch and the thought of trying to latch her when she's tired may sound super-scary (because she may not open wide enough) but it's worth a try at least. It may help her to gradually be more comfortable with being on the breast, if anything. Even if you don't want to latch her while sleepy, at least try doing skin-to-skin when she's sleepy if she resists it when fully awake.

    P.P.S. All those professionals have said they thought she looked "a little" tongue-tied but then said "it shouldn't be a problem" when you are obviously having such horrendous problems??????? Please go to an ENT!!!!! Follow your instincts on this one, you are probably right!!
    Last edited by @llli*lovebeingmommy; January 23rd, 2009 at 03:21 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    Just wondering how everything is going, lotties.mommy. Keep checking back in for help and info if you need it - we are here to help!

  10. #10

    Default Re: baby just won't bf.. about to give up... :(

    No advice, but just some encouragement here. My little guy also had/has trouble with his latch. And we did everything the books and advice say not to do--had to suppliment with formula in the hospital, used a bottle with him right away, used a nipple shield (even though he didn't have a physical reason for not latching), etc. And I beat myself up over it--the times we had to give him bottles and formula my husband had to do it because it made me feel like such a failure.

    Around four weeks (maybe I was finally coming down from my hormonal baby blues) I started to make peace with the idea that we'd be using the nipple shield and pumping into bottles all the way through breastfeeding. It wasn't ideal, but the kiddo was eating happily and was healthy. I started to calm down, and the LC advised that maybe I should try putting the kiddo to the breast now and then, when we were both relaxed. At first he just squirmed and cried, swinging his head around like he couldn't find anything to suck on. But one day he tried to latch on, and within two weeks of that he was fairly consistantly getting a proper latch. (and as a bonus he'll also happily take a bottle, which makes it much easier to leave him with dad or family for a few hours now and then!)

    I just wanted to offer some encouragement, because I was feeling a lot like you. It was rough, no doubt, but it's gotten better. Since then I've heard several folks say that their babies didn't get the latch figured out until they were 6 weeks, 3 months, even 6 months old. So just because you're having trouble now doesn't mean you can't still make things work in the end.

    I also agree very much with the advice above to take it one day at a time. I always thought I would breastfeed my kids at least past their first birthday--but while I was going through all this I considered giving up many, many times. I shortened my goals--some days it was "I'll breastfeed until 3 months" and others it was "I'll breastfeed today and then I'm quitting." And today, only a few weeks later (little guy is almost 2 months old now) I'm feeling much better about having the stamina to keep this up as long as we both want to nurse.

    Good luck to you!

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