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Thread: Dear Little Girl

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    166

    Default Dear Little Girl

    My little girl likes to have her mouth on the nipple. sometimes she licks it... very very very rarely latches on. Any ideas what I can do to encourage her to nurse? When she does latch on to nurse- she has the correct latch but only has a few sips and then breaks off. She doesn't necessarily cry- just looks at me. ---- If offered a bottle- she chows it down. She only has 30 minutes to eat (thanks nicu) so I usually work with her on the breast for only a few minutes. What can I do to encourage her to nurse?


    Is it possible my nipples are too big for her? The bottles the NICU use are a lot smaller. what about a nipple shield?
    Jaxon (07/13/08) weaned at 27 months
    Alexa and Braxton (11/18/10). My NICU miracles.

    http://swallomlife.blogspot.com

    "This above all: to thine own self be true" -Hamlet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: Dear Little Girl

    I would strongly suggest working with an IBCLC lactation consultant. You are going to be working against nipple confusion, because of needing to do some bottle feeding in NICU. You need hands-on, professional help with latching. Many moms of preemies have had success in transitioning to the breast after leaving NICU, though, so there's no reason to despair.

    FWIW, my nipples were huge in relation to my DS's mouth (born full term), and it did get better as he got older, by about 4-6 weeks it no longer seemed to be an issue.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!



    My little boy is my everything.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    meh....wherever
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    Default Re: Dear Little Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*laterleigh View Post
    My little girl likes to have her mouth on the nipple. sometimes she licks it... very very very rarely latches on. Any ideas what I can do to encourage her to nurse? When she does latch on to nurse- she has the correct latch but only has a few sips and then breaks off. She doesn't necessarily cry- just looks at me. ---- If offered a bottle- she chows it down. She only has 30 minutes to eat (thanks nicu) so I usually work with her on the breast for only a few minutes. What can I do to encourage her to nurse?


    Is it possible my nipples are too big for her? The bottles the NICU use are a lot smaller. what about a nipple shield?
    Hi mama! Congrats on your babies!

    So you have twins? Sorry I haven't seen any of your posts before...

    Are they still in the NICU? How early were they? Are you only having issues feeding the one?

    The reason she is having confusion at the breast is because they really need to learn the suck/swallow/breathe reflex, but with a fast flow bottle that is used in a NICU, basically they are just swallowing. Not a lot of sucking is really required because those nipples are such a fast flow the milk is just the equivalent of pouring out for them.

    I am assuming you are still in the NICU if they are limiting your feeding times. What we would do was a ton of trying at the breast, and then at the very last give him the bottle. it is going to take time to get back to the breast, and frankly I wasn't concerned about doing that when he was in the hospital. That environment was too crazy and not natural. The main objective when they are in the NICU is to get healthy enough to leave, and then after we got him there, we were able to focus on us, bonding and breastfeeding. We got there. It took time and effort but we got there.

    Are you doing kangaroo care with them now in the hospital?
    Last edited by @llli*nolies.mama; December 8th, 2010 at 02:43 PM.
    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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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,893

    Default Re: Dear Little Girl

    The first thing that came to mind is why is she still in the NICU? What are her issues? And what is her current weight? Typically the NICU puts a time limit on nursing - and sometimes won't even let you try - because the baby expends too much energy and therefore calories trying and not getting enough nourishment. If she is too small, you might want to hold off on the aggressive attempts. What is/was your due date? My pediatrician, who was also my LC, gave me some advice that was so true for us. She told me that while she encouraged me to continue to try, to not get upset if my little one can't nurse before her gestational due date. My daughter latched for the first time on her due date. It wasn't perfect and I still needed to give her expressed milk for another month after that, but it was a major breakthrough. My son, who was born full term, also took 3 weeks to latch properly.

    My advice is to get your baby well first. Get the NICU behind you and into the comfort of your own home and then begin your journey into breaking nipple confusion. Enjoy your little girl. Do as much kangaroo care as the hospital will allow you and let her lick your nipple. But don't get frustrated if she's not ready. Then when you get home pick a day and toss the bottles.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Dear Little Girl

    They are in the NICU as feeders and growers now. They just need to start taking all feedings by mouth and pass the car seat test before they can come home. Braxton has had no issues nursing- He LOVES it.

    The LC came to help- I kept trying to get ahold of her while we were in the hospital and I guess we just kept missing each other or something because I never was able to meet up with her until now. I guess I wasn't getting the nipple back far enough into Alexas mouth to stimulate the sucking reflex. She nursed last night :-D
    Jaxon (07/13/08) weaned at 27 months
    Alexa and Braxton (11/18/10). My NICU miracles.

    http://swallomlife.blogspot.com

    "This above all: to thine own self be true" -Hamlet

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