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Thread: 3.5 week old and still not BF

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    I have! My first DD didn't start nursing well until more like six weeks. I still pumped some until 9 weeks. I actually didn't do much trying to get her to latch until 3-3.5 weeks because she was having real weight gain issues when I tried between 1 and 2 weeks. I was more concerned about getting my supply up and milk into her until then. If you have any questions for me, please ask! It was almost 6 years ago now, so my memory on details may be a bit fuzzy.
    DD1 born 5/04, for 15 months; DD2 born 12/06, for 17 months; DD3 born 8/09, currently learning together

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*booknavel View Post
    I have. My son and I had an awful time. He didn't nurse well for 7 weeks. Sometimes he would scream and cry and refuse the breast. Other times he would latch on but hurt me so badly I had to stop. I would try to nurse once a day so he wouldn't forget, but some days I couldn't even offer the breast (emotionally the struggle was wearing on me). He took EBM most of the time for the first seven weeks. This is what helped me. 1. Feeding him with a bottle sitting upright (kellymom has instructions). 2. Attending bf support group. 3. Taking a break from bf when needed. 4. Try different positions. Side lying worked best for us at first. 5. Time. The last one was hard for me because I was frantic if I didn't get it figured out, he would have to go on formula. LL leaders told me to be patient and it would get better. I didn't believe them, but they were right. Eventually we got it. I also think his mouth grew bigger, and he could open wider which made all the difference. You are doing everything right. Seeking support is the best thing, and be patient. Try to nurse when you can and don't feel guilty when you can't. Babies are smart cookies! Hang in there!
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It really helps. So did he just get it one day or was it a slow process??

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    For me, it was a slow process to go from starting to work on latching at 3-3.5 weeks to mostly at the breast at 6 weeks to fully at the breast at 9 weeks. We still ran into times where it would take too long to get latched, and then she'd be so worked up that she couldn't latch. My baby had very little patience, but I had tons. Now where did it all go???

    Time really helped in some ways because her mouth grew. There were many times where I thought I couldn't keep going because pumping/feeding/cleanup took so much time, and I used bottles as well because I needed SOMETHING to work ok. One of the things that really helped her was to have a previously pumped bottle nearby (it didn't have to be big...1/2 oz. was plenty) and put some of the milk on my nipple/areola to help her be interested in latching, then once she was on, I would put a drop of milk on the corner of her mouth, and that would somehow stimulate her to start sucking. If she stopped sucking for too long, then I would do it again and that would get her to start again. I would also stroke her chin towards her throat.

    One key for me was to not only make sure nothing touched the top OR back of her head when we were getting latched. I used the cross-cradle hold or the football hold, with my hand on the back of her neck with my thumb and forefinger holding behind/under her ears. That gave me control over her floppy head, but didn't touch the back of her head. For some reason, if I did, she would push her head back and cry.
    DD1 born 5/04, for 15 months; DD2 born 12/06, for 17 months; DD3 born 8/09, currently learning together

  4. #14

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    Hang in there!! We all struggle in the early weeks and months! I think it is a rare mother indeed that does not have one issue or another. So take courage that you can do it!! Sending my good vibes and a hug!
    JEN
    Happy Wife of 20 years to J~
    Mommy to DD E~ 9/22/04 BF 21 months
    Mommy to DD H~ 7/2/07 BF 27 months CD'd from 10 mos on!
    Mommy to DD A~ 7-14-10 All cloth, and Potty Trained at 2 1/2. Still Nursing!
    I grow an organic garden, homeschool, and really feel blessed to be a SAHM!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*nid06 View Post
    I'm still oly getting about 20 ozs.
    How much should I be pumping for a 3.5 week old baby??

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    Thanks everyone for the replies. They are helpful. It is still very difficult to make it through each day and keep trying. I'm not sure I have it in me to try for 7 weeks before she gets it. But, for now I'm just taking it one day at a time and continuing to spend a LOT of time pumping! I may not be able to do it tomorrow or the day after but at least I'm not quiting today.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,081

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    It is definitely possible! My 2 situations aren't exactly the same as yours, but I'll share in case anything might be helpful.

    My daughter wouldn't nurse off my left breast at all for her first 3 weeks of life. Our issue with that was my left nipple was flatter than my right and she had trouble latching on. I mostly pumped that side. Once I got her nursing well consistently from my right side (took weeks) I started working on getting her to nurse off the left. I would pump a little before trying to latch her on, to draw my nipple out a bit. I'd also hand express a little milk onto my nipple to entice her. And, a huge thing for us was something a lactation consultant told me to do and I couldn't believe that it worked. She said to get in a warm bath with her and try to nurse her in there because it would relax her body. That's where she nursed off the left side for the first several times she did it. It was the best feeling when she finally got it. She was right around 6-7wks when we had the hang of breastfeeding, to the point where we didn't have to work at latching on.

    My son was born over 10 weeks early and during his 2 month NICU stay he only latched on a few times, only one of which was a full feeding at the breast. He was fed by a tube for all but the last few days of his stay, when he got bottles. When he came home it took us almost 2 months to transition completely to exclusive breastfeeding. But it was well worth the work and time. He's now almost 14mo and still nursing.

    It's a lot of work in the beginning, but it truly is worth it. Keep at it - try different positions, maybe offer her a little from a bottle and try the breast, offer the breast often, let her lay on your chest with her in her diaper and you naked (did a lot of this with my son), try nursing her in the tub, hand-expressing/pumping for a few minutes to get your milk flowing before trying to latch her, and try to be patient.
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    @llli*nid06 - Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I guess my email notifications didn't work. Obviously, I was trying to continue to nurse, sometimes once a day, sometimes not for a few days, but I really felt like one day at around 7 weeks things just clicked. It could have been my trying or the fact that his mouth was bigger and able to open wider (for a much better latch). I know it's hard, but don't beat yourself up. Do what you can. You are a better mom if you are taking care of yourself, however she gets fed. One more thing I can think of to help. I was so fed up constantly feeling like I was pumping or trying to feed my son, I bought one of those hands-free nursing bras (you could just cut holes in a sports bra) so I could pump while I fed him. That helped me feel like I got a bit of a break from the feeding issue. Take care!
    my adorable baby boy, and he loves it, nappies but love that little fluffy bottom, just started BLW & dishing out healthier meals for my family , vacuuming up a storm now that he rolls everywhere, and when I get a minute.

    Mothering has definitely gotten me more in tune with my inner latent .

  9. #19

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    Please hang in there. I know first hand what you are talking about. My first son had nipple aversion from his first few days in the hospital with nurses trying to help him get latched and shoving his head toward the nipple, not to mention my anxiety level of having to make it happen. I pumped 24/7 every 2-3 hours for the first 10 weeks of his life. I stressed about my supply and ate oatmeal, dozens of lactation cookies, drank Mother's Milk Tea, water, tried beer...constantly in fear that I would be a failure at breastfeeding and know that I would EP if need be. I saw a total of LC's and read everything I could get my hands on from the internet. I cried a lot, went through PPD and felt like a failure. Had two bouts of mastitis, several nipple yeast infections, at least a dozen episodes of plugged ducts. My last LC visit was 2 hours long and she gave me confidence - encouragement and helped me to relax. She told me that she believed that I would have him nursing over the weekend if I would just devote 72 hours to EBF. I didn't because of traveling but I believed what she told me and just relaxed about the whole thing and 2 weeks later, at 10 weeks - he and I started our healthy EBF relationship that lasted until he weaned himself at 17 months.

    My second DS was born 11/20/09 and had tongue tie. I saw 3 LC's in the hospital and then saw my wonderful LC again at 2 weeks. She advised me to have him checked for a slight tongue tie and at 3 weeks his tongue was clipped. It took me 4 more weeks of working with him and at 7 weeks we began a healthy EBF relationship. He is now 16.5 weeks and happily nursing and a much happier baby with a happy mommy.

    So - yes - it can be done at a later time. Breathe. Try not to be disappointed or allow negative thoughts to weigh you down. Have belief in yourself and your abilities.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: 3.5 week old and still not BF

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*booknavel View Post
    @llli*nid06 - Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I guess my email notifications didn't work. Obviously, I was trying to continue to nurse, sometimes once a day, sometimes not for a few days, but I really felt like one day at around 7 weeks things just clicked. It could have been my trying or the fact that his mouth was bigger and able to open wider (for a much better latch). I know it's hard, but don't beat yourself up. Do what you can. You are a better mom if you are taking care of yourself, however she gets fed. One more thing I can think of to help. I was so fed up constantly feeling like I was pumping or trying to feed my son, I bought one of those hands-free nursing bras (you could just cut holes in a sports bra) so I could pump while I fed him. That helped me feel like I got a bit of a break from the feeding issue. Take care!
    Thanks for the reply. When you say that you "try to nurse once a day", what exactally did you do? I just offer the breast and she squirms and pushes it out of her mouth if it ever gets in there at all that is. Great idea on the Bra... that will save time!

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