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Thread: Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

  1. #1

    Default Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

    I have two older sons who breastfed just fine - thrived and blossomed! Now I have a third perfect son - he came at 33 weeks and is now 3 weeks 3 days old. He is 6 pounds (yeah!) and I can't get him to nurse.

    The LC told me to nurse 2-3 times day and pump after each nursing because his suck was weak and wouldn't keep my production up. I'm suppose to wait until he is 38 wks (another 2 weeks away) and he should be able to nurse full time with me. Currently he is getting between 18-28 ml per feeding. Randomly he takes 80+ from nursing - but usually he just nurses for 20 minutes, and takes very very little from my breast.

    I'm VERY frustrated. I need support and positive stories. I'm afraid that I'm going to fail at this breastfeeding and it's SUPER scary for me. I'm a strong believer in nursing and for this to fail is really devastating to me.

    Help!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

    Hi mama!

    It is very common for preemies to not get the BF thing until around their due date. The fact that he is doing it at all is great!

    Are you pumping all the time to keep up your production? Do you have access to a hospital grade pump? That's what I had to do for 2 months...pump pump pump. My LO didn't even get a clue about BF till a little after his due date!

    What we did was every time it would be time for a feed or he looked like he was getting hungry, I would put him to breast. Sometimes he would try and latch, sometimes he would just sit there, but we went there every time. The daddy would feed him EBM and I would pump.

    Good luck mama...it will get better, he just needs a little more time...
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

    If he is latching on and nursing some then you are way ahead of alot of preemies. You are not failing and with time, he will get better!
    You know how with your other kids they likely all of the sudden at about 3-4 months got way better at nursing and reduced the amount of time that they nursed? It will happen suddenly like that in most cases. He will go from taking maybe half of a feeding from the breast to suddenly taking all his milk from the breast. Don't give up, sometimes it takes longer than others, but it will happen. You said that you are a big believer in nursing, so just let your determination show! My DD was born at 31 weeks and she has been EBF for nearly 7 months now. It will work out eventually.
    Chelsea
    Mommy to:
    Nate 1/17/07 Emma Lynn 7/13/08 @ 31 weeks and Clara 2/26/10
    Cloth diapering convert
    love to and

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

    Are you using a nipple shield? My LCs in the NICU recommended their use with all preemies - it helps them transfer milk better, especially if they have a weak suck. Sure made a difference with my DS - born at 31 wks.

    This is the article my LC gave me about it:


    Keep it up! Best wishes!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

    Hello YOu are doing awesome! You really are ahead of the game if he is latching on. My baby would latch on incorrectly the first week and my nipples would be extremely sore. I was so frustrated that he couldn't latch on, so I would just pump and feed him from the bottle. I almost gave up! But I decided to keep trying until he could latch on. He would cry a lot because he couldn't get milk as fast as from the bottle, this really fustrated me also. I continued to nurse him even though he latched on incorrectly and it would hurt a lot, but finally he learned to latch on the right way! Now all he wants is to be breast fed! He is four months old and he can just get that milk out fast!!! He doesn't like the bottle anymore I am very happy to have kept trying because bf is a very gratifying and rewarding experience.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*finally-a-mommy View Post
    Are you using a nipple shield? My LCs in the NICU recommended their use with all preemies - it helps them transfer milk better, especially if they have a weak suck. Sure made a difference with my DS - born at 31 wks.
    This is true alot of the time, but not always. I have a fast letdown and the nipple shield actually slowed down the flow, keeping her from getting as much milk. But we are weird in that way.
    Chelsea
    Mommy to:
    Nate 1/17/07 Emma Lynn 7/13/08 @ 31 weeks and Clara 2/26/10
    Cloth diapering convert
    love to and

  7. #7

    Default Re: Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

    Thank you all so much for the support. He does latch on most of the time. And he does try to suck - just not very hard. I do have an awesome pump from the hospital - the medela symphony. It's the _only_ pump that has ever worked at all for me. I've never been able to pump at all with my older boys.

    I have a nipple shield because my left nipple wasn't long enouhg to touch the roof of his mouth and trigger his suck reflex. I think that's what my LC said. Anyway, the shield works okay - it feels crazy weird though

    He had an appointment with the ped. today - he is up to 6lbs 5ozs! So at least he growing with the help of additive.

    I'm going to take a deep breath and wait this out. It just really hit me hard in the gut that I might not be successful at nursing him - especially with how badly preemies need breast milk.

    Thanks ladies. You have no idea how much your words helped.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

    My DD was born at 28 weeks and I wasn't able to nurse her until she came home, 1 day after her due date. Within about two weeks she was solely nursing(never used a shield, did with my first and hated it). Hang in there mama. Nothing with a preemie is easy at first, but it does get better!
    Hi, I'm Lisa, mommy to:
    *Emily Grace 12-13-06.weaned with at 3 1/2
    *Abigail 9-12-08 born at 28 weeks 2lbs 13oz-Now my 2 year old nursing chunky monkey
    Nursing after a 12 week stay in the NICU





    :

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: Frustrated with breastfeeding a non-eater

    You are doing great mama... By your post you are way ahead of the game... soon he will be a pro...

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