3 day old, want to BF.....!

(63 Posts)
fl0b0t Thu 12-Sep-13 19:38:51

Hi all.
I'm looking for some support and ideas!

I'm sorry this is long- I'm tired and want to make sure my intentions and experience so far is clear.

My lovely little boy was born on Monday, and hasn't been too keen to feed since. We have tried really hard- he seems pretty capable of latching on (except when his hands "help") but after 2-3 sucks he gives up. We have had lots of time skin to skin and I'm so so so so desperate to get it right. I've tried not to force him and just try to go with what seems natural.

I hand expressed teaspoons at a time quite easily which we fed him on a spoon with lots of midwife help- but went really well. Supply seemed to be fine for colostrum, but obviously hand expressing is pretty slow. They gave him a little weeny bit of formula to top up a couple of times from a cup and he took that well.

We came home last night after a great feed Weds morning- finally latching on and seeming to "get" it. The rest of Weds he didn't feed great and a scary pushy mean midwife made me give him a 40ml formula feed just before we left the hospital (I was tired, emotional, stressed and gave in).

After a hideous first night at home- trying to feed, then ending up expressing by hands as much as I could (hand pump didn't seem to work as colostrum too thick??), then by the very end giving a bit of formula ...... Community midwife visit today went well but he is quite jaundice and getting a bit sleepy (getting into that terrible cycle of too tired to feed, not feeding, getting more tired etc etc), so she gave me some help with getting the pump working (esp now my milk has come in) but has told me that we need to get some formula in him whilst we get the expressing working better. He really is a bit yellow and I understand he does need to eat.

So plan for 24 hours from this morning is (3 hourly):
-skin 2 skin/ massage breasts and get milk flowing (now real milk is coming in)
-try BF for max 20-30 mins (see if he will latch on and see if he we can keep him awake to keep feeding)
-if unsuccessful, for NOW, get 40-60 ml formula feed into him whilst I express as much as possible using the electric pump.

The idea of this (as explained to me) is to keep my milk coming, and to get him practicing sucking properly whilst ensuring he is fed.

The plan WILL be (3 hourly):
-skin 2 skin/ massage breasts and get milk flowing (now real milk is coming in)
-try BF for max 20-30 mins (see if he will latch on and see if he we can keep him awake to keep feeding)
-get pre-expressed breast milk heated to room temp and feed him whilst expressing the next lot for the next feed

Over the course of two sets of expressing I've collected 30ml (1oz or so) so far and my milk is definitely coming in a bit faster and better, so I'm hoping to get there.

We are really struggling to get him to stay awake for a whole feed. I'm trying hard not to get upset or feel too desperate about it all. I want to breast feed. I really really do. I also want a healthy baby .

I just want him to feed though. We're trying everything we can think of or find- he's changed first, stripped, we try to stimulate him by stroking his feet/chin/throat/cheeks, by blowing on him gently, sitting him up, having music etc on, talking to him- he just falls asleep.

We have another midwife visit tomorrow but I'm nervous of another fractuous night of baby not sleeping and not feeding. I've had 7 hours sleep in the last 72 (I know, welcome to the world of motherhood!)

ANY help or advice welcome......

To get him to stay awake for ANY feed. To get him to latch on better and suck better... anything! Please!

minipie Sat 14-Sep-13 09:20:59

by the way I was told to feed every 3 hours even with a tiny prem baby so I reckon every 3 hours is fine - with a sleepy baby they won't feed more often just because you offer more often... once you're sure he's not jaundiced, you could try every 2 hrs in the day and every 3.5 or even 4 at night... start to give him an idea of day and night.

dedado Sat 14-Sep-13 16:52:01

That's great news! It sounds like expressing is going well anyway but there's nothing like a good latch to stimulate your supply! Did it feel amazing?

All ok with weighing and nappy output?

re the bath - I got in myself then dp handed the baby to me, I'd lay the baby on my chest area as with biological nurturing, but you'll find however is most comfortable for you. Dim lights and a relaxed mum and the gentle lap of warm water against tiny bare feet.... Magic!

crikeybadger Sat 14-Sep-13 20:20:28

smilesmilesmile
Well done, fab news!

fl0b0t Sat 14-Sep-13 22:32:12

MW visit today was worried about the Jaundice, but weight was only 200g down (5% birth weight), and she rushed through our blood results (ok husband drove the sample to the path lab at the hospital and MW phoned ahead!) and they were happy with that too. We are in a better schedule during the day so I feel generally more positive, though he had one really really sleepy feed today which was just SO frustrating and I cried my way through it.

Again being told that we're doing everything right which is a relief kindof- but I wish there was something I could do. Right, time for some more skin to skin!

Thanks all

wigglytoes Sat 14-Sep-13 22:36:14

OP you need to keep in mind that MWs are not BFing experts. If you have concerns about BFing you need to speak to an expert IMO. Keep going to the clinic, reading up on kellymom.com, also have you phoned La Leche League yet? They're great and the helpline is staffed by volunteers in their own home, you could call them tomorrow.

fl0b0t Sun 15-Sep-13 02:58:57

Cheers. We had some mw on the ward that were breast feeding specialists? But clinic on Monday will be good. How do la leche league help? Is it not hard if they are not there in person?

Got one v sore nipple.m looks like milk blasters from expressing? sadwaiting for my nipple cream to arrive-allergic to lanolin so ordered lanolin free...

Cookiepants Sun 15-Sep-13 07:03:48

Watching feed with intense interest! Fl0bot we could be talking about the same lo. I'm following same routine as you we have got as far as nipple in mouth, but no suck yet. Haven't been able to express a worthwhile amount (milk not in yet) but I'm so reassured to hear there is still a possibility of mixed/ breast feeding thanks

wigglytoes Sun 15-Sep-13 08:48:57

For me, a big practical difference is that help from La Leche League is much more immediate - it's run by very well-trained volunteers, their helpline is always open, not just office hours, so if you'd need some advice or support you don't need to wait for an appointment or whatever. (Although probably best not to call at 1am!) A friend of mine was really struggling, and LLL sent someone out to her house, for free - although how usual this is I don't know. I've only ever heard overwhelmingly positive things said about them.

fl0b0t Sun 15-Sep-13 09:12:04

cookie even though I'm feeling v positive about it overall still (not sure how or why) I almost cried when I saw your response! Everyone assures me that he will get it so take heart. Are you doing lots of skin to skin? and expressing each time you feed your lo? That has defo helped my milk supply. Even when I've been tied and wanted to skip expressing!

Come on babies!

wiggly Thanks for that! I find it quite hard going through the same questions over and over about what we have tried but I'll give them a call if we have a hard day again.

slowblonde Sun 15-Sep-13 15:02:06

fl0b0t - One of my good friends recently had a baby. He had an infection after birth and was v slow to latch. My friend persisted with expressing, occ formula top-ups and trying to get him to latch as much as possible. It took about 5-6 weeks to get him to latch consistently but is now doing great. He's now 13 weeks, breastfeeding well and hasn't needed formula in about 5 weeks. I was so impressed by her determination and it's really paid off. I always knew that it was possible in theory but great to have a real life example of success.

You're doing great x

crikeybadger Sun 15-Sep-13 15:06:16

That weight loss is fine fl0 so that must be reassuring. smile
Re. the sore nipple - check you have the right size flange for you...if it's rubbing, it may be too small.
Without wanting to swamp you with info, you could have a look at the biological nurturing site ( just google it ). It's a laid back way of breastfeeding that allows the baby's natural bfing reflexes to come to the fore.

Out of interest...how did your birth go? Sometimes that can influence how the baby breastfeeds initially. That's not to say that they won't crack it though, sometimes it just takes a bit of time to get the hang of it.

fl0b0t Sun 15-Sep-13 16:42:39

Thabnks slowblonde anecdotal stories are really helpful at the moment. Our MW was telling us about one of the team who did BF specialist clinics and her own baby didn't latch on until 5 weeks old smile

crikey- will look that up.
I'm a bit embarrassed to say that birth was textbook (up until third stage).
Water birth, baby born 5.5 hours after contractions began! However, I had a retained placenta and only spent an hour with my little man until I went off to theatre for a couple of hours for a spinal block etc. He did swallow a LOT of mucous which they said might mean he didn't feed well until it all came up. Also, someone mentioned that my significant blood loss might have affected his ability to feed?

I also need to know more about flanges!

And what is the general feeling on nipple shields?

Dorita75 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:27:49

I'm going through the same as you flo and cookie although I realise from reading your posts I need to maybe give myself more time when doing skin on skin, think I'm giving up too easily.

The thing is that our lovely baby will make her way to my nipple but doesn't really do the 'mouth wide open' thing that I've been advised to look out for and when it happens, push her onto my breast. She opens her mouth a bit and she does keep her mouth around my nipple area but she doesn't do anything at all. She'll either fall asleep, use my 'busom as a pillow' or cry hysterically if I try to put my breast to her mouth.

I'm going to try more skin on skin and whatever she does, stay doing it for longer, not assume it's not worked again so stop (as I have been). The breastfeeding service have been good and there's a bf workshop in the childrens centre on Friday that I plan to go to.

I'm expressing and feeding her that in a bottle, will try the sideways technique.

I wonder if the CS birth has made her more lazy because of the drugs I had. On the other hand, there is so much support out there to help you bf that it's obviously a very common issue!

crikeybadger Sun 15-Sep-13 20:00:02

If you look at the medela site under 'finding the right shield size' it will tell you how to assess if the flanges on the pump are the right size.

Yes often babies who have a lot of mucous can be put off feeding because it just means they are less hungry. Retained placenta can affect milk supply ...but your supply seems good from what you say.

fl0b0t Sun 15-Sep-13 21:08:22

That sounds about the same! He either falls asleep or thrashes about like I'm trying to murder him. He's a bit more responsive now to the boob, but I try to spend at least 2 long sessions skin 2 skin throughout the day or night plus a little extra whenever I feel like it.

[edit]- never finished posting.

HE FED! He only likes the left nipple which is a shame because it's the one with a milk blister which hurts! But he did 10 full minutes on it! smile

Dorita75 Sun 15-Sep-13 22:46:42

Hurrah to flo!

I tried a nice skin to skin before, in bed all warm & toasty, she settled down and as usual, went to sleep with her mouth just to the side of my nipple while I expressed the other. When I tried to swap over she went hysterical and wouldn't calm down no matter what I tried, DP came in to find us both crying and managed to calm her down.

Can I ask a stupid question, is the point of skin to skin purely to get the baby as used to/comfortable with your skin as possible, not specifically to get a result of them feeding? The film we were showed in the antenatal class showed all these babies making their way to the boob which Eleanor does, she just doesn't do anything when she gets there....

fl0b0t Mon 16-Sep-13 06:19:27

dorita I could be completely wing but I get the idea it is s numver of things. It's nice and you and baby will both enjoy. They may find the nipple on their own which is good as is less stress full than trying to hold them in s position you've Been taught and almost trying to force them. It also helps you produce more oxytocin-if the baby so much as nuzzles your nipple it gets hormones going which helps your supply and helps your uterus contract etc too.

Sometimes my little man finds the nipples and does something with it, he doesn't always though. But I'm sure it's helping smile

Thanks crikey I'll check the flange size!
Think I may have got the latch wrong expressing for one session and now I'm paying for it!

fl0b0t Tue 17-Sep-13 03:24:36

Quick update. .. withg a baby attached to my breast! !

Robin has fed well all day!

Morning feed with a little help (I'm using about 10ml of ebm in a bottle to remind him how to feed before he will latch on)went perfectly. We got out to the specialist clinic today (at which I met two ladies from my ward in the r hospital) and got done further advice. Best advice so fat was a way of keeping him sucking once he had latched on-in the Classic across the body hold: put a little pressure on his shoulders towards the breast. Worked like a dream when he stopped sucking (except right now of course! !)

Only problems now seem to be needing help to remember how to feed first off (but <10ml ebm fixes that currently) and his dislike of right nipple! Once we have seen midwife on weds I hope she can confirm thatwe switch from seeing the alarm every three hours to feeding on demand!

Now hoping this little bit week fall asleep! He has been on and off the breast for an hour (with nappy change in the middle)

How the tat of you are getting some successes? !

dedado Tue 17-Sep-13 18:39:48

That's great news.

if your baby seems to prefer feeding from one side and you're using the classic hold , rather than flipping him upside down to change sides just slide him across to your other breast so you end up with his body under the arm you're feeding from.

dedado Tue 17-Sep-13 18:43:16

That's great news.

if your baby seems to prefer feeding from one side and you're using the classic hold , rather than flipping him upside down to change sides just slide him across to your other breast so you end up with his body under the arm on the same side you're feeding from.

crikeybadger Tue 17-Sep-13 20:13:09

Fantastic, seems thing are really improving.smile
Another way to keep the baby sucking is to use breast compressions -Jack Newman's website has some video clips.
Well done for hanging in there.

fl0b0t Wed 18-Sep-13 02:44:30

Thanks both. He had a good 48 hours or so feeding until this evening. He back 5 steps at least, refusing to feed from the breast and thrashing about for the 8pm feed then eventually after an hour we gave him ebm and he refused to settle. Then eleven on feed rocked up and i was dreading it. He fed just fine after latching on all and sleept wonderfully Til the next feed.dh now feeding him ebm as he spent half an hour thrashing about again . Problem is him grabbing the sore nipple which is just Sore add anything. Oh and the not feeding thing.

Such fa pain that he seems to settle in and then just goes back to square one.

dedado great idea! is that what they call the ball hold?

dedado Wed 18-Sep-13 08:07:07

It's sometimes called the rugby ball hold. I tried them all ! My baby and I needed a lot of practice before it came easy for us. It's hard to imagine now I know, but you'll soon forget about lining up noses and nipples. Your baby will see a flash of flesh and be latched on themself before you have a chance to intervene. Honestly, bf was very difficult for me initially then became incredibly easy and incredibly convenient. You're doing great.

Dorita75 Wed 18-Sep-13 14:00:15

Midwife just been round and Eleanor has only put on 10g in 2 days despite us trying to feed her as much as possible as often as we can. She's drinking expressed bm and formula. This midwife says to feed up to 3 oz every 3 hours and try and get out of the 'snacking' feeding that Eleanor seems to be developing.

After trying the warm bath (which she was okay with for about 3mins!) and sitting in bed for skin on skin when nothing happened; hours later in bed almost accidentally and not trying, she took my nipple in her mouth and sucked a few times. Still no proper latch but it's proving to me that you can try everything but it depends on being relaxed - I assume she could sense my urging earlier even though I'm trying really hard to be relaxed! She still just doesn't open her mouth wide enough for a latch, and I've tried when she's hungry, just before she's hungry, when she's had a bit of bm from bottle, when I've just expressed a bit to start it off.....

Anyway, midwife wants us to to go to the breastfeeding support person tomorrow at the hospital, hopefully this 121 help from an expert will help.

To make things more complicated there's obviously a 'breastfeeding war' between the midwives and the local support group, the midwife saying they knew best - well I don't know what to do for the best!! Will just stay in touch with both I think!

crikeybadger Wed 18-Sep-13 14:58:04

Good to get some face to face support Dorita.
May be worth starting a new thread detailing your baby's info- age, birth weight etc. Am I right in thinking she's not latched yet?

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