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Thread: Lack of latching caused dehydration

  1. #1

    Default Lack of latching caused dehydration

    Hello moms/dads,

    I had posted this under a different thread, but an experienced forum member suggested that I start a new thread in this section, which would be more appropriate, here is what was posted:

    9:14PM our little baby boy is here

    My wife is trying to exclusively breastfeed but baby is having hard time latching, and once latched he sucks 3-4 times then fades to sleep. Normally he is awake when he is hungry, he just likes to fall asleep whenever he is close to mother's breasts. So are pumping, about 10 to 15ml each pumping and try to feed every 2 hours. It is very difficult to determine what is enough.. We have our first appointment tomorrow with the doctor and we will seek some advise there.

    We are home, back from the doctor visit, and as we suspected baby was not getting enough food, and was dehydrated. At 3 days mark, we have been trying to breastfeed him, he just doesn't latch, even though he is very hungry (as stated by doctor).

    What we tried to do was pump 10-15ml each pumping and feed to him, that's not even half ounce, and was obviously nowhere near enough. Baby was just barely calming. The doctor said the baby should be getting at least 1 oz each feeding. As a result he went down from 7lbs5oz to 6lbs13oz in two days since we discharged, birth weight was 7lbs7oz. He was not peeing or pooping enough either (except for that one time when he pooped a huge chunk of meconium). We still would like to breastfeed, so my wife will have to work harder to try getting him latched, and also continue pumping. Unfortunately as immediate resort we had to feed him formula, which he gulped over 1oz in few seconds. I must say that formula smells nasty compared to natural smell of breast milk/colostrum.

    We will try to breastfeed him directly, if he is fussy, we will go back to pumping. We really want to breast feed exclusively and we will be trying.

    We will go back to doctor tomorrow to make sure he has not lost more weight as it could be a problem.

    During the day we will keep trying pumping & BF'ing and at night we will try to get a little formula in him if we can't pump.
    Last edited by @llli*starfish54; September 22nd, 2010 at 02:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Lack of latching caused dehydration

    I really hope some of the other knowledgable moms will chime in, but wanted to share what happened with my baby...

    She lost 10 oz in 2 days following the birth. The drs said this was normal because my milk wasn't in yet, and while I had a good amount of colostrum, there just isn't that much of it. No one was worried, and I was actually told to avoid supplementing.

    At an appt 3 days after the birth she fed for the LC and based on weight before and after the feed she only took 10 mL in 30 minutes or something. I was told this was totally fine and she probably was getting more at other feeds.

    She would suck but not consistently a nutritive suck. I just kept putting her on and not timing her, but tickling her feet, using a washcloth, switching sides, and undressing her to keep her awake so she would swallow more. She often "fed" for 1 hr at a time. Sometimes it seemed like hours would go by with her attached to me. I just kept on nursing, nursing, nursing. This helped tell my body to produce more milk.

    Don't know if your baby has a serious issue preventing him from effectively feeding at the breast or not - I would think you would need to see a LC to know for sure. Please do get some hands-on help from someone who knows how to BF correctly and can watch your wife and the baby. And it has not been very long -keep on trying. Nurse nurse nurse as much as possible. Try those tricks to keep him awake at the breast. Squeeze the breast like you would a big hamburger so he can take a bigger "bite" of it, hold the tip of the nipple to his nose to prompt him to open wide.

    Sending lots of good nursing mojo to you guys, keep us updated!!
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Lack of latching caused dehydration

    As I said on your other post, hands-on help can be a lifesaver!! Preferably an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant).

    It sounds like you are dealing with some latch issues (definitely make sure someone checks out your little one's tongue for tongue-tie), and also some "sleepy baby" issues. See this link for some resources for dealing with a baby who falls asleep instead of nursing.

    Has your wife's milk come in yet?

    Three days is still so very early - with a little help, your wife will be happily breastfeeding in no time. Invest in some hands-on assistance now - it's worth every penny!

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lack of latching caused dehydration

    Thank you for the answers.
    Today we were back at the doctor's office, and he gained 3oz back, they could not be sure so they weighed him twice. It is probably all the breastmilk we fed him that was pumped.

    My wife started saying she feels like a cow but a happy one, since she can provide for the baby on her own, plus she will keep attempting to latch him. I printed a list of consultants in our area and if we can't improve on our own, we will be seeing them to seek advise. Her milk is there, it is getting thicker and whiter by the day, it is already almost at consistency of regular milk. We were worried last night that in case if she isn't able to pump enough, we bought a case of ready to use formula, but we didn't have to use any.

    Each pumps she can do about 3 ounces, we feed 1 to a little over 1 to baby and keep the other 2 oz in the fridge.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Lack of latching caused dehydration

    Have you guys looked into a supplemental nursing system? This would allow you to feed your baby the milk that your wife has pumped, while getting him to latch on to the breast. I would be worried about getting him to latch at all again if he is mostly getting bottles.


    It's great that she's pumping and right now the output is higher than your son's demand. But it is difficult (not impossible) to maintain breastfeeding with pumping alone.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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