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Thread: HELP - baby not sucking

  1. #1

    Unhappy HELP - baby not sucking

    Hi all -
    i'm in desperate need of help. I tried nursing my week old and he simply does not want to suck. He will latch on and nipple, but he doesn't swallow.

    I even had a lactation consultant come to my house and work with us for an hour. The first thing she said when she saw my breast was that my nipples were too large. She had me hold him in the football position and that didn't work. Then we tried the nipple shield, but nothing. Then i tried pumping some milk because my breast were very engorged to see if that would help him AND still nothing. Finally she weight him and he had gain no weight. And yea, in the whole hour i think we only heard him swallow 3-5 times. This was Friday last week. She told me to continue pumping (he was jaundice and had lost a LB at 2 days old) AND to continue trying to get him to latch. Her thought was that he may need to grow into my nipple and maybe once the engorgement went down, he would actually do better. That was Friday last week.

    now i pump 24/7 - every 3 hrs and i do try to get him to latch but he simply doesn't want too. he prefers the bottle. So i went and purchased that Breastflow bottle to use instead of the regular nipples. Well he did not like it at all. We tried feeding him twice and he wouldn't drink anything and kept falling asleep and just using it as a pacifier, which is what he does when i try to nurse him. so it makes me think that my nipple size isn't stopping him from nursing, maybe its just him???

    As much as i know that breast milk is better, i really do not wish to pump 24/7. I also have a 4 yr little girl and i'm too tired. When i had my daughter 4 years ago, i wasn't able to nurse her because she was born with heart problems so i pumped for 6 months because she was in and out of the hospital. i could do it for her because she wasn't home. it was exhausting back then, but it just felt different.

    sorry for the long story. tomorrow i'm going to talk to the lactation consultant to see what she thinks. i'm really sad about this. i just can't believe that its not working out. its something i wanted to do with my daughter and couldn't because of her being so sick. And now because he won't latch. i know it's only been a week, but i'm so exhausted. i won't go back to nursing only because he did lose weight, wasn't having wet diapers or pooping and he was jaundice those first 4 days. i told my husband that i will give him another week. i keep hoping that one day he'll nurse, but i'm losing hope each day.

    Cristina mom to
    14 yr old Alex, 4 yr old Elyse, week old Ayden

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,570

    Default Re: HELP - baby not sucking

    Sorry you are having troubles

    From what you are saying it sounds like he isn't totally apposed to nursing but just tends to fall asleep/latch on but not really drink. Is that right? If so, I would actually be encouraged that he is not completely rejecting the breast. I would continue to just try to latch him on as much as he'll let you. If he doesn't like the bottle you are using, make sure that whatever bottle you do use has the slowest flow nipple.

    I hope others will have more answers for you!!


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
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    Default Re: HELP - baby not sucking

    I want to first give you props for sticking in there and for deciding to breastfeed! Also some big hugs for the difficulties.

    I have multiple pieces of advice/information for you. I hope you find it helpful.

    1. I recommend you see another lactation consultant. Preferably an IBCLC. I had a big warning signal go off in my head when you said the first thing your LC said was that your nipples are too large. That isn't true. Your nipples were designed to feed your infant. Period. Now engorgement could have made things worse yes but an LC should never talk like that to someone anyhow. So I bet if you find someone better you could get some progress.

    2. The fact that your baby does not like the slow flow nipples speaks perfectly to an issue you are having. What happens is that with a fast flow nipple babies are getting the milk very quickly. When you try to breastfeed or slow it down with a slow flow nipple they have to work harder for their food. And honestly who wants that? So you have to gently re-teach your LO to take the slow flow and the breast. It is better for your LO to do this so stick in there and commit yourself to teaching LO this. I would recommend ditching the fast flow nipples. If LO refuses the slow flow you might try spoon feeding or syringe feeding. There are many alternative feeding systems where you can control how fast baby gets the milk but aren't giving the bottle. Or better yet use an SNS which is a tube that attaches to your breast but contains milk on the other end so it simulates a bottle. It prompts baby to latch and swallow.

    3. In terms of your baby not swallowing or gaining weight I would recommend working on your latch. Perhaps it is good but it never hurts to work on it. Sounds like you might have a milk transfer issue due to an improper latch. Here are two websites I found invaluable for myself.
    http://www.drjacknewman.com/video-clips.asp
    http://www.drjacknewman.com/help/When%20Latching.asp

    4. Falling asleep at the breast is normal and natural. Perhaps not helpful in this situation. But think of it as good. It means baby is comforted by your breast and does enjoy it! Woot! Also breastmilk contains chemicals that make baby sleepy. When baby does this try compressing your breast, it helps the milk flow and often wakes babies up and prompts sucking. Also you can pump until your milk lets down and then latch baby, this gives an immediate reward to sucking much like a bottle.

    5. I'm not sure what your routine is but *before* every single feeding you should try and nurse.

    6. Losing weight in the beginning is normal, very normal. It needs to be worked on yes but don't lose hope because of it or think something is wrong with you or your baby.

    7. I would highly suggest setting a longer deadline for yourself. For us it took at least two months to get our issues resolved. I am SO glad we did because I can say nursing now is the single best experience of my entire life.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Good ole ATX y'all!
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    Default Re: HELP - baby not sucking

    Please don't give up momma! I know you are exhausted and I know that recovery from pregnancy and birth and hormone fluxuations are in play here but please don't stop yet. Like a previous poster said set a longer time limit for yourself.

    If breastfeeding before each feeding doesn't work try giving a bottle for a few minutes to appease a bit of hunger so he's not too hungry and then try to latch him on. You've gotta try and latch him every few hours, if he doesn't get practice he isn't going to magically do it one day.

    Find an IBCLC certified lactation consultant. Some LC are NOT qualified. IBCLC's are. There is a vast difference in many LC's.

    You can do it momma!!
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and


    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

  5. #5

    Default Re: HELP - baby not sucking

    Thank you all for your help.

    something else that came up during the hospital stay.

    he failed the newborn hearing test at the hospital and when we took him to see the pediatrician for his checkups.

    is that some how related to him not wanting to nurse?

    i wasn't very concern about him failing because i see him jump everytime we make a noise. one of the peds at the clinic said we could wait until his 2 week checkup to see if we need to take him to the hospital for a hearing test there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Good ole ATX y'all!
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    Default Re: HELP - baby not sucking

    I don't know about the hearing screanings. That's something hopefully another momma will come along and chime in about.

    One thing I was thinking about though about the latching is that skin to skin contact is so, so very beneficial in this regard. It can actually help you make more milk and can encourage baby to latch on. Wear baby in a sling or carry baby in your shirt.

    Link from Dr. Newman:
    http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/Skintoskinpdf.pdf

    Also on this link:
    http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/newman.shtml

    I dont know how to directly link it but if you scroll down and look at the topics, under latching there is a video titled "second latch" and shows you how to do breast compressions to get your milk to flow faster and baby to drink more. This may be helpful to you. If you can get your baby to begin to suckle then he can work up to a stronger suck.

    Also ask pedi or IBCLC about tounge tie.
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and


    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

  7. #7

    Default Re: HELP - baby not sucking

    I also have a 1 week old and been having my own issues with latching on and nursing directly from my breast. During his first couple if days home, I made a big mistake of formula supplimentation due to my colostrum being almost none-existant. Prior to the bottle introduction, he was latching on perfectly without a fight. But because I gave into the urge to give him a few calories before my milk let down, I'm now paying the price. This forum was "right on" by indication that he was rejecting because of nipple confusion. He doesn't have to work as hard to take my EBM from a bottle, even with a size 1 nipple. The latex nipple is long and fits more conveniently in his mouth. My breast nipples are of average size and he latched on for perfectly for long periods of time during the first 4 days or so. And a pacifier. So bye bye pacifier. Now my hubby and I are trying everything under the sun to have him accept my breast again. Not much luck yet as he is still fighting as hard as he can with his screams. Still looking for advice on ways to entice him during feeding time. So, from what I can gather, early introduction of artificial nipples and feeding sources are very impressionable and can make nursing so challenging.

    Anyone have positive results on turning it around. I've read all the kellymom references and am still getting rejected.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
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    Default Re: HELP - baby not sucking

    nathaya - I have some suggestions for you:

    1. Pump until letdown so baby gets immediate reward from sucking
    2. Put some breastmilk on your nipple b/c baby can smell it
    3. Bath time with baby
    4. Lots of topless play and relaxing so baby can find breast on own terms
    5. Don't stress and pressure baby too much or baby will associate negativity with time to breastfeed. Try to make it as enjoyable and relaxing as possible.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  9. #9

    Default Re: HELP - baby not sucking

    Thanks for the advice redpowerlady. I've already been using points 1 & 2 but with little success. He feeds for 5 seconds then begins to throw his fit. I'll start doing more bath time together as well as provide more skin to skin contact. The hardest part of trying to nurse him in this state of mind is the frequency and duration of each feeding. It's so easy to just give in and accept him as an EBM feeding baby. I'll keep working at it but don't know for how much longer. Being my first child, I prepared myself from the beginning to nurse him exclusively. I hope I'm able to put the breast pump away.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    916

    Default Re: HELP - baby not sucking

    How bad is the fussing, I guess I'm asking if it could possible be normal baby fussing at the breast and due not to a latch problem but perhaps a positioning problem, OALD, a slow letdown, those type of things.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

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