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Thread: Ack, help please!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    7

    Unhappy Ack, help please!

    Hello everyone. I've been lurking here for a few days to get answers to some of my questions. This site has been very helpful but Ive decided just to ask for help directly. There is not a LLL for 2 hours so the only resource I have really is the lactation consultant from the hospital, and it seems like such a hassle to drive there. But I really need help, so here is a little background.
    My sweet baby Willow was born Aug. 29th at 2lbs. 13 oz. via c-section. I had preeclampsia really bad and wasnt able to see her at all for 48 hours after delivery. They gave her a pacifier right away and continued giving her one all through her 6 week stay in the NICU. They fed her through a tube for 3 weeks with my EBM (which at the time I was making tons of - 2+ oz. per side.) Then they tried nipple feeding her with a bottle, saying this was one of her requirements for going home. I really knew nothing about nursing then and let them do this. Then when it came time to try breastfeeding we had lots of trouble. I literally lived at the hospital for 3 weeks nursing around the clock every 3 hours. I'd thought we finally got the hang of it, but instead my milk almost dried up (less that 10 ml each side) because she wasnt eating from me, she was eating the supplements they were giving her after breastfeeding. When they sent her home it was on bottle supplements (now I could bonk myself!). She is well over 5 lbs now.
    She stays on each side for 10-15 mins, but every single feeding ends with a bottle. She'd saty on longer, asleep, if I let her.I really want to breastfeed exclusively but I dont know how to break the cycle. I cant seem to wake her up at the breast to eat no matter what I do (stripped down to diaper, skin to skin, stimulation). When it comes time for her bottle of course she wakes right up. I tried BF on demand yesterday and she would fall asleep until I tried to put her back to bed and then she would wake up and want to go again, only to fall asleep after a few sucks. I finally gave her a bottle after a 2 hour feeding session because my nipples were so sore and she hadnt slept more than 1-2 mins at a time.
    Part of my problem has been supply because it was so low, which is why she had to be supplemented. Of course now I know that if I'd just stuck with it my supply would have gone up. It has slightly because I pump for 10-15 mins after every time I feed her. I am making enough for her, barely, if she would just empty the breast. After our last feeding I pumped 40 ml and that's 5ml less than what she took in her bottle.
    I'm getting so stressed and feel like a failure everytime I have to give her a bottle. I think I'm getting a touch of PPD because of this, and I know that is only going to make matters worse. Can anyone offer any advice? How do I get her to wake up for the breast? How can I get her to empty the breast? How do I get rid of the bottles? Any advice on how to get my supply to keep going up would be welcome too. My freezer supply is running out.
    I'm sorry about the length of my post but I put as much info as I though might be neccessary. Please, any advice would be welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Ack, help please!

    Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! What a wonderful blessing and reward it must be to have her home with you after the challenges of her first few weeks in the hospital.

    I don't have any experience that would be directly relevant, but I wanted to express my support and concern in any way I could. I've provided you with some links to some recent threads that touched on some similar topics. It sounds like you may have read these already, but if not, perhaps I've saved you a little time by listing them here.

    Need help, please!

    Too sleepy! Only nurses for 5-10 minutes. Help!

    Re: Too sleepy! Only nurses for 5-10 minutes. Help!

    5 week old only nursing for 1-2 minutes! help!


    I'm sure others with similar experiences will respond quickly. Best of luck and hang in there! It obviously sounds as if you are working hard to do the very best for your daughter...and you've come to a great place to get information and support!

    Proud Mother of ThreePrecious Children

    Calder Anwyn
    February 21, 2006
    Nursed Until 18 Months
    Ewan Walker
    May 31, 2008
    Nursed Until 15 Months
    Reed Bennett
    February 26, 2011
    Off to a beautiful start...!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Ack, help please!

    Hello and welcome to the forum! You didn't mention how early your baby was? It's possible that your baby is just not strong enough yet to be able to suck from the breast. It took my daughter 2 months, until her due date to be able to get the hang of it. Please see my post for my story. I hope it can give you hope to continue trying and not to give up. I would continue to pump and make sure that you are keeping your supply up. And I would definitely get in contact with a local LLL Leader. You may be able to convince someone to come out and meet you or meet you half way. It's worth a shot. I hope this helps and please come back with questions and updates. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Ack, help please!

    I had a reply posted but I dont know where it went
    Anyways, she was 8 weeks early and yesterday was actually her due date.
    I appreciate all the links, I went through them all and got some answers to my questions, but Im still having trouble. She wont wake up to BF, she just waits for the bottle. She has now started refusing the other breast, because I think she knows that if she does she gets the bottle sooner. Im not giving up though! Im going to start pumping between feedings to see if I can get my supply up more so maybe she wont want the bottle. The few times Ive been engorged with lots of milk, she didnt want a bottle afterwards, so maybe if I can get my supply up high enough it wont matter how long she stays awake to nurse
    Thanks for all the support!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Ack, help please!

    Also, make sure you use a Preemie flow nipple and change it often. If she needs to work for the bottle too the breast may not seem so bad.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Ack, help please!

    Congrats on your baby! I feel your pain, girl. Dont let this get you down, you can do it! My 28 wk old boy came home from the NICU at 37 weeeks with the drs suggestion of giving him a bottle after every feed.. "see how much he will take" is what was said. I gave him 25 cc's about every 3rd feeding, and was also told to only let him go 10 minutes on each side so he wont waste calories. When he was 39 weeks I wanted to get rid of the bottle so I weaned him back to 20 cc's then 10, etc.

    Well then the fun began. He then ate constantly for a month. I would only get about 10 minutes each hour and was back to feeding him. I also let him decide when he was done instead of cutting him off after 10 min.
    I thought I was losing my milk and my mind. My milk supply is low, but I am still producing enough for him. I dont pump very much at all... less than 1 oz per side. I finally rented a good pump from a LLL leader and am pumping constantly to build up my milk supply and to replenish the frozen stock.

    So... after all that, I guess my point is that your babe will probably eat eat eat to make up for the bottle she wont be getting once the bottles are removed.... I too worried about DS only taking the bottle, but it seemed like if he was hungry enough, he will take the breast, no prob.

    Get yourself a sling and get ready for the marathon cluster feeds, if your child is anything like mine.

    You can get through this!! We are here for you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    893

    Default Re: Ack, help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by kst7399 View Post
    Also, make sure you use a Preemie flow nipple and change it often. If she needs to work for the bottle too the breast may not seem so bad.
    Preemie flow nipples are a higher flow nipple due to in the NICU they do not want the babies working for it due to it burns calories and that's one thing they do in the NICU is attempt to put the weight on as quick as possiable. I would recommend a slow flow nipple. When we weaned Madeline from bottle to breast (exclusivly) we used the NUK slow flow nipples and changed them out like every other day due to the flow would get faster. She didn't like it. I also stopped giving her a bottle after a nursing session, didn't give her anything to "look forward" to and if she acted hungry again (like in 5-10 mins.) back to the breast she went. If she fell asleep at the breast, I would let her take a short nap (30 mins.) then wake her up to nurse again & she would. We spent the first 2 months home, on the couch "learning to nurse."

    Preemies sleep, that's no joke. One thing I found that worked with Madeline was to play with her hair/top of her head while she was nursing to attempt to keep her awake (didn't always work, but was better than anything else I had tried). I also always changed her diaper before nursing, that made sure she was good and awake (she hated a diaper change them, now she smiles and holds her legs and feet up for it).

    Congrats on your bundle of joy, preemies are totally different than full term babies, as you already know. Good Luck!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,894

    Default Re: Ack, help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by babygirlsmom1005 View Post
    Preemie flow nipples are a higher flow nipple due to in the NICU they do not want the babies working for it due to it burns calories and that's one thing they do in the NICU is attempt to put the weight on as quick as possiable. I would recommend a slow flow nipple.
    Actually, the Dr. Brown's Preemie nipple are a slow flow. Those were the ones I was referring to. I should have clarified.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    893

    Default Re: Ack, help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by kst7399 View Post
    Actually, the Dr. Brown's Preemie nipple are a slow flow. Those were the ones I was referring to. I should have clarified.
    Oh ok, the one's that are used in the NICU are not, that's the ones I thought you we're talking about....

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