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!
Dorita, not good when midwives are bickering with the breastfeeding group, just leaves you feel confused I imagine.
However, newborn babies do snack-they have little tummies after all. There may have been a reason why snacking was discouraged tho' ( maybe ask your mw to clarify?) Sounds like you have made some progress in the latching -you 're right about being relaxed. There should be no forcing or pushing on the back of the head, just gentle encouragement and keeping little one close so you can look out for hunger cues.
If you want to chat things through with a trained breastfeeding counsellor, why not give one of the helplines a call. The numbers are on the main feeding page on here I think.
dorita=- YY to breastfeeding support groups/ clinics. I havebeen two two and got great adice each tim! Robin is now enjoying a feed from my ling on our sides with tummys touching. Much more comfy than trying to support his weight and getting a sore hand. Great news for us today- he's put on 250g which means he's back up past his birth weight! Going onto baby-led feeding but having said that I'm still having to wake him for a feed during the day so I'll probably still set alarms!
Thanks Crikey and Flo, the breastfeeding team yesterday were great, also spoke to a mum with her 4th baby who reassured me they're all different hence her needing help too. I got shown good techniques and Eleanor latched for about a minute at one point, just not sucking. My nipples don't extend much so barely go past her lips, nevermind touch the roof of her mouth but advice on getting as much breast in there as poss was good. They made me feel more at ease, saying just try once a day when situation is favourable, and keep expressing. Feel much less pressure now so maybe we'll get there but if not its not the end of the world.
Glad baby is feeding properly now but are going through difficult periods of about 4 hours a night screaming, thrashing about, short feeds, refusing to feed and then d screaming again. So draining. Any ideas? He is fine during the day.