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4 weeks in and going backwards

(4 Posts)
loueytb3 Fri 01-Jul-11 09:46:53

DS3 is 4 weeks old and just term as he was born at 36 weeks. Had a rocky start to bfing because he ended up in SCBU and was tube fed for a time. Once we got home I realised that he had a tongue tie which was causing me loads of pain and stopping him from latching on. I could only feed him with nipple shields and even that was painful. Tongue tie was snipped a week ago and things started to improve to the point that I was only topping him up once or twice a day and he was feeding reasonably well (still with nipple shields on) although the feeds were taking quite a long time.

However, the last 2/3 nights we have gone backwards. He doesn't seem to want to bf at all, even though he is really hungry. He latches on and does a few decent sucks and then it is a nightmare to get him to feed after that. He just seems to be using the boob for comfort and doesn't seem to be getting much milk out. He will feed for a hour and then within 15 mins scream blue murder for more milk. The first night he did it, he had a snotty nose and I thought he was struggling to breathe and bf at the same time so put it down to that. Last night his breathing sounded fine and he still just sat on the boob without really drinking for an hour. He then screamed the place down as soon as I tried to put him down and then downed 60ml top-up and crashed. Same thing this morning. I don't understand why?

My boobs are also quite sore but this may be because I have been trying to so hard to get him to suck that I am doing damage in the process. I can't take the bottle feeds away completely because I have quite a few appointments with my other DCs and I can't be out and feeding for an hour with nipple shields on. DS1 has ASD and is a runner so can't be trusted to just sit there while I feed. I have been giving a bottle for those feeds which need to be done in a hurry and expressing so that my supply is not affected.

Any suggestions? Getting to the end of my tether sad

tiktok Fri 01-Jul-11 09:59:08

sad sad hope you have a better day today, louey.

Your baby had a difficult start - born a little early, a stay in SCBU (which would mean fewer cuddles and contact with you than he would otherwise have, and contact with a range of other carers), tube fed (missing out on 'direct feeding' and the sucking comfort babies get with this) and difficulties actually getting milk out when he needed, hence the tongue tie.

So it's not a bit surprising he is gonna take a while to get to a calm, gentle, relaxed way of feeding (same goes for you - you shared these difficult experiences together).

It's worth thinking about going with the flow for the time being, as far as you can. Your baby is now term, and is still a very new baby, and you have never really had the chance to get close to each other without some problem getting in the way. A few days of snuggling up close to each other in bed if you can, or on the sofa at other times, and co-sleeping in the bed at night....is that possible? You'll need help and support with your other DCs for this to happen, obviously, and to feel confident things are going to tick over without you being able to be hands on. Partner, mother, friend....anyone able to do this for you? Can they take your DCs to their apppointments while you spend time with the baby?

Your baby may well just want to hang out at the breast without doing much sucking - and scream when taken away. That's ok. It's normal. He's trying to check in with you (he doesn't work this out, it's not a conscious thing, but it is a natural new baby thing which babies are 'hard wired' to do). Yes, keep up with the expressing and the bottles to ensure he is well nourished and avoid trying to 'get' him to suck....he will get there in time, and faster if you keep your times together unstressed and unpressured. If you can just let him, and yourself, relax and 'tune in' together without the anxiety of 'he must feed NOW' things will be easier for you and him....and breastfeeding will take care of itself.

A call to any of the bf helplines should help you explore these options.

japhrimel Fri 01-Jul-11 13:15:19

Have you got a sling? I can feed with DD in our Babasling and it means I can be on the move whilst feeding more easily.

loueytb3 Fri 01-Jul-11 17:20:07

Mid morning feed was a bit better (at least on one side) and he managed to go 3 hours without a top-up. It's almost as if he has changed his latch - once he gets latched on it's not too bad. I think I probably need to get someone to come and help me check the latch.

Japhrimel - I haven't got a sling, but TBH its not going to help at the moment. To get him latched on, I need to use rugby hold and lift (and hold) my boob in the right position. Otherwise he hangs off my nipple which is a tad painful!

Tiktok - I've had help but all our parents are away or busy at the moment. DH has had tons of time off and can't really have any more for a while. I am the only person who can take DS1 to appts/therapy. It's unfortunate timing because DS1 and DS2 both start in reception, at different schools in September and over the next few weeks there are quite a few meetings and inductions which we have to go to. Makes it difficult to get any rest/sleep during the day. I am wondering if the fact that I'm now so knackered is affecting my milk supply. I'm not getting a lot out when I express. I should be able to get more of a rest at the weekend when DH is around.

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