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Thread: BF a 3mth old who has never been fed.

  1. #1

    Default BF a 3mth old 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. My son wasn't premature but I thought some of you might have some good advice.

    Has anyone managed to breastfeed 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
    Mar 2010
    Brussels, Belgium

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

    Hi mama, welcome!
    Lots of mamas and babies have turned this situation around and got back on track. Search the forums, it's come up lots of times.

    If memory serves right, there's a forum on relactation, or at least I'm sure there's one on increasing milk.
    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?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

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

    It is possible to get him on the breast but it may take some time. Assuming that he is now healthy and has been gaining well, I would take a weekend in bed and try, try, try. It will be heartbreaking and frustrating, but you might need to get him hungry enough to do it. Dr. Sears has some good advice here that helped me. Good luck!
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

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

    Hi mama! There was a mama on here a while back that successfully transitioned from pumping to breastfeeding after 17 weeks. I will message her and maybe she can come tell how she did it.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    Our precious early angel

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

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

    What is Great Ormond Street? a hospital? He is still there?

    So, he had never been nippled at all? no bottle? He has only had TPN? no one has attempted nippling him? non-nutritive nippling?

    Have they had an occupational therapist see him? Does he have a suck reflex?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

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

    Hi! So sorry to hear about your LO's illness.

    I have good news for you. It's totally possible. My girls were eating via IV/feeding tube/bottle for a loooooong time before they nursed. I can't recall exactly, but it really wasn't until they were about three months old before they would even latch at all, and another month before they would latch well, and with any regularity. I continued to pump all day and night and built up a hefty freezer supply.

    Will he take a bottle? If you haven't already tried nipple shields, and you think there is no hope in getting him to latch right now, I would try them. It's difficult to wean off of them, but they really helped me transition them from a bottle to the breast. However, if he won't take a bottle at all, I would not try the shields. They really are such a pain to wean from. But they seemed happy sucking from the shields, and it allowed them to at least get used to the idea of eating from me, I believe.

    I just offered my breast over and over and over again, so so many times a day. They eventually both "got" it, but it took so long. Seriously, months and months. I began by taking the shields off after a few minutes of good eating, and then trying to get them to continue without. If they really fussed, I'd put them back on and not try again until the next feed.

    One thing one of my lactation consultants recommended was to get them used to pulling something into their mouths by inserting my pinkie finger, nail side down, into their mouths. I got my girls to latch onto my pinkie after a while, and then I would quickly pull the pinkie it and try to stick my nipple in. It didn't work at first, but I think it helped them understand what they needed to do with it.

    Good luck! Send me a message if you would like to talk more about this.

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