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Thread: BF a 3mth baby who has never been fed

  1. #1

    Default BF a 3mth baby who has never been fed

    I'm not sure where best to get a good answer for this so will post here and other forums. I'm new here and this is my first post. This isn't a question about relactation but about breastfeeding a child who hasn't fed on the breast for a long period of time?

    Basically I love breastfeeding. I breastfed my 2 year old until a year old and was really looking forward to feeding my new baby as well. Unfortunately soon after birth my baby boy was diagnosed with a very rare condition called Hyperinsulinism and has been at Great Ormond Street ever since. He has been getting all his nutrients (TPN) for his entire life from a drip and although I try many times a day to get him to latch on he hasn't actually done so for the last week or so. I am expressing 5x day for the last 10 weeks and hate it. I only do it because I have that hope that one day I will be able to breastfeed my son like a normal mum. I now have about 8 freezer bags full of EBM so if I stopped pumping then I would be able to give him EBM for a long period rather than formula. However I want to BF and feel quite strongly that the closeness you get from BF is unique.

    Has anyone expressed for a long period and then managed to get baby to latch on in the end? What advice could you give?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: BF a 3mth baby who has never been fed

    I'm so sorry you haven't had your dream breastfeeding relationship with your new baby! And to have him in hospital for so long... I admire you for making the commitment to pump, and trying so hard to get your little one to latch on.

    This link covers all the ways I know of to get a baby onto the breast: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

    I will say that it is possible to get a baby to latch on and nurse, even after so long. My Mom was told to wean my sister, then 3 months, due to a medical condition. When my sister was 6 months old, my Mom was given the go-ahead to nurse again, and was able to get my sister back to the breast and nurse her for an additional year. But she was lucky- everything could have gone the other way. Whether or not you will be as fortunate... I truly hope you will and wish you the best of luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Brussels, Belgium

    Default Re: BF a 3mth baby who has never been fed

    Hi mama--I wrote a reply to you the same day you posted, but I must have clicked the wrong button. It never appeared!

    My best wishes to you and your family Babies are made to breastfeed, with love and gentle persistance LO will bf. Keep coming back here for support, there are mothers who have done it.
    Katharine in Belgium
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    DD2 Feb 2015 - natural birth VBAC with DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: BF a 3mth baby who has never been fed

    I wrote an article about getting my daughter, Julia, started breastfeeding, which you may find helpful. http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct93p135.html It sounds like your situation has some things in common with ours, but some big differences, too. After trial and error, I had to back up and look at where we were and try to make small changes to get us closer to where we wanted to be.

    If your son is comfortable being held with his face against your breast, that is good. The thing that took me the longest was getting Julia over her resistance to that.

    Is your son taking a bottle, at all, or at least a pacifier? Sometimes giving the baby a taste and feel of what he is accustomed to sucking on helps a lot. I had to combine a bottle nipple with a feeding tube, and put that over my breast, but just a nipple shield might help, in your case. Be creative and do whatever you think might help, even if you've never heard of anyone doing it before.

    What does he do when you try to get him to latch? Does he cry, or just act disinterested? Do they have that drip going constantly, or do they allow him to get hungry?

    I know how helpless it can make you feel to have a baby with problems. Give yourself credit, though, and try to feel confident. You are his mother and you know what is best. You succeeded in nursing your first child and you can succeed at nursing this one, too. Also, when you try to get him latched on, and he doesn't, remember that he isn't rejecting you, he just doesn't really know what he is supposed to do, not yet, at least.

    I would bet that you have had people ask why it is important to you to get your son to take the breast, when he is all ready getting your milk. Few people understood why it was so important to me to get Julia to the breast, and I've know quite a few other adoptive moms who have been in the same situation. I believe that relationship is very important, in all cases, but that babies who have a difficult start in life have much more to gain from it than babies who've been healthy from birth.

    So, hang in there! Take it one day at a time. Remember that your son will be able to benefit from breastfeeding for a long time in the future. Try to avoid feeling like you are running out of time. Julia didn't nurse until she was a year old, but she still nursed for 13 months. Also, I would think that it might be easier for you, once you get him home, where you can have some privacy.

    By the way, Julia just turned 20 years old and is a beautiful young lady and an incredible photographer and graphic artist.

    Best of luck to you!


    An edit on my article makes it sound like none of my three sons got any milk from me, but my third son actually got quite a bit. I am kind of paranoid that people will read that and decide that I didn't know what I was doing, so I always say something about it.

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