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Please help--5 day old latch issues and length between feeds question

(38 Posts)
evelynevening Thu 07-Jul-11 06:42:40

Hello! Please could you help as I have no time to go through previous messages and need to get some sleep, been up for most of the night and baby gets most of his sleep in the morning.

He was born on Sunday and latched and fed well for the first couple of days. Yesterday my milk started coming in and he started feeding off my nipple only and playing with it in his mouth instead of the previous good strong sucking feelings. He was also spitting out the nipple and didnt seem to like the new milk. I tried really hard to get him to latch back on properly but was only semi successful during the day and not successful at all in the night which is when he cries a lot more and doesnt rest. He has been getting to sleep around 3am for a couple of hours and then back to slep around 6am for a good 4 to 5 hours--am hoping this happens again today so I can get some sleep in a moment.

I just tried to feed him then and he wouldnt latch on at all and wouldnt feed at all so I have let him go back to sleep. I am now worried that he will be left too long between feeds, as I dont want to feed him if he is using the wrong latch! I am hoping to get to a breast support group at midday/early afternoon for some help so is it alright to wait till then or should I be trying now. The last good feed was yesterday around 6pm with 3-4 shorter badly latched feeds since then. Is he ok in terms of lack of feeding as long as he is happy and not screaming???

Also my milk has come in properly now and I am massgaing the hard parts of my breast and using heat packs to do this---is this the right thing to do???

So sorry for the long message. Am hoping someone can help soon!

idlevice Thu 07-Jul-11 06:51:10

If babe is happy, & still wee-ing, then it should be fine to wait until you can get some advice as you don't have long to wait. It may mean some more poor attempts at feeds but if he is very hungry he will try & is bound to get something to tide him over for this short time. He has probably just been a bit surprised by the change in milk & it will settle down on its own - but do obviously get proper reassurance & guidance from a trained bf counsellor.

Not sure about the milk coming in question - my boobs were so sore I was putting on ice cold packs (as recc'd by midwives in hosp).

evelynevening Thu 07-Jul-11 06:51:29

Also thought Id mention that he has been doing the right number of wet/poo nappies daily as well.

evelynevening Thu 07-Jul-11 06:53:19

I thought it was hot packs to get the milk flowing and not clogging up the ducts?

They are not sore yet but I dont want to wait for them to become sore so thought I would warm them up and massage out the hard parts and express milk while doing so.

evelynevening Thu 07-Jul-11 07:02:40

Am going to bed now so please if you could help when I get up I'll try to feed him but if he doesnt want to latch on properly should I let him 'play with the nipple/feed with poor latch' or pull him off and wait till I get to the breast support froup at midday/early afternoon?

Im just worried about poor habits starting

idlevice Thu 07-Jul-11 07:04:20

Good if you can avoid getting sore boobs! Hot packs generally encourage milk flow at any time bf-ing so should work I guess. I don't think I was as on the ball about my milk coming in as you are! I just went with the flow (or not...'scuse the dreadful pun) & didn't do any expressing. I also had some paracetamol as it was so sore & they felt hot so I wouldn't have put any heat packs on. In the hosp the midwives actually put baby vests in the freezer to use as boob-packs as they were obviously more plentiful in supply than the proverbial cabbage leaves, & a good size to be moulded into shape! The soreness lasted about a night & once babe was on the case it sorted itself, so if you can get babe feeding well asap then you could be on track to avoid too much soreness.

idlevice Thu 07-Jul-11 07:09:16

I think you can relax about poor habits starting in that short a period of time. There can't be any harm in trying to let him find his own way. Possibly try in the bath so you are both relaxed. If you have the inclination you could have a look on youtube for some vids on latching that may help you feel you are being constructive while waiting for support. Or if desperate try him on some expressed milk in a teaspoon. Will there be proper counsellors at the meeting? If not, look some up that can come to you, or try the Association of Bf Mothers (ABM). They also have a telephone helpline - just google it.

RitaMorgan Thu 07-Jul-11 07:46:24

You'll have to try to feed him I think, even if the latch isn't great - he can't go hours with nothing. Have you tried letting him self-attach? If you google "biological nurturing" or "laid back nursing" you should find some pictures.

The videos on the Jack Newman website might help too.

When you say he feeds with a bad latch, is it causing you pain?

tiktok Thu 07-Jul-11 09:12:33

OP - call the midwife, as soon as you can.

This is not something that can be dealt with at a breastfeeding group. They will give you support and friendship but it's rare that they can really handle issues with non-latching babies and mothers with engorgement - these are for your midwife to sort out.

Your baby really, really needs to feed. If he is not latching then he needs expressed breastmilk - do call and speak to someone. You do need proper assessment and help in real life as soon as possible.

Hope it all gets sorted soon.

evelynevening Thu 07-Jul-11 10:14:25

Thanks for the help. He is still sleeping so I will get him up in a moment and try skin to skin with him--that is how he latched on to start with in the hospital so hopefully it will work again. If it doesnt work Ill try expressing some for him, fortunately there seems to be lots of milk at the moment.

I had assumed there would be midwives/professionals at the support group. So am surprised there might not be! I just called the hospital midwives then and asked about seeeing someone for help and she said to take him to the support group this pm so will see, if no good I will just take him back to the hospital afterwards and wait around to see someone.

It is a bad latch as it causing pain and he is not taking in much areola. He kind of plays with the nipple in his mouth. He was also spitting the nipple out lots and getting him to put it in his mouth is also difficult.

I did not expect it to be so complicated and my boobs are huge sad

RitaMorgan Thu 07-Jul-11 10:21:29

When did he last feed? I think you really need to get some milk into him soon.

tiktok Thu 07-Jul-11 10:31:07

Some support groups have trained professionals. Most don't - they might have some peer supporters and possibly a health visitor or midwife. The majority are not there to deal with acute problems with a newborn and I am surprised you were given the impression the group is the right place for you and your baby - your description of your situation is one that sounds like it needs a visit to your home today by a midwife who has access to your notes and history.

Your plan is a good one - encourage your baby to feed by having him skin to skin and expressing and getting the milk into him if he does not respond well.

Your baby needs to have your milk, either direct or expressed, and this is urgent now....hope things get better later today.

Yesmynameis Thu 07-Jul-11 12:14:22

Hi OP, how did you get on at the group, was there a breastfeeding counsellor there?

tiktok Thu 07-Jul-11 12:20:04

She wont have gone/come back yet, will she?

I think it's awful when someone rings the maternity unit at 6 days pp and asks for help and they tell her to go to a group.....sad sad

TruthSweet Thu 07-Jul-11 13:39:47

tiktok it's even worse when as a peer supporter you get a mum turn up who barely speaks English with a 11 day old baby who is doing 4/5 wet nappies a day and mum is only feeding 4 times a day due to pain/non-latching baby THEN the Maternity ward won't see her as she has been discharged to HV when we try to refer her as we are well out of our depth! shock [anger]

Yesmynameis Thu 07-Jul-11 13:55:00

I totally agree tiktok, but I am hoping they have said this 1) because the group was literally a few hours after she called and they may not have been able to get out to her any sooner and 2) they know for sure a bfc will be there.

I know I am giving the benefit of the doubt here, my god there's no way I would have been out and about after 6 days!

Just reread and seen that the group wasn't until midday so yes I think I was a bit keen!

Truthsweet, I am so lucky as a peer supporter because our drop is 99% of the time also staffed by a very experienced bfc. The situation you describe is like 'pass the parcel', how do you cope?

TruthSweet Thu 07-Jul-11 14:15:36

It was horrible, and I felt so drained after the mum had left. Unfortunately we don't have a BFC (we're NHS) just HV/NN. I have just started training as a BFC but I'm not sure I will be allowed to 'practise' as a BFC even when qualified.

We found out later mum was still bfing and was happy so it worked out but it could have gone so badly wrong so easily.

tiktok Thu 07-Jul-11 14:27:16

Well, if a mother 6 days pp turned up with a non-latching baby and engorgement this would really be outside what even the most experienced bfc should be dealing with, at least not without HCP back up.

BFCs are not meant, and are not trained, to handle these difficult, potentially medical, situations sad

TruthSweet Thu 07-Jul-11 14:46:35

That's the thing the MW/HV refer mums with huge issues to us bfps and expect us to deal with it when we should only be doing things like supporting a mum in continuing to bf if she's getting stick from family/wants to know how long to keep bm in her fridge/when should she buy a nursing bra when pg/etc.

Some seem to think that if it is a bfing 'issue' then we can deal with it regardless of the severity of the issue or the complexity of the issue (not all are like this thankfully!)

evelynevening Thu 07-Jul-11 22:11:48

Just to update. Decided to try a skin to skin session before the support group and was was pretty successful. Managed to get him to latch on to be able to feed for about 30 mins in total, I was just persevering by pulling him off when latch looked bad and was painful, which was quite hard as he was fussing. Decided not to go to support group after this as thought it might be too stressful as it was 2 bus rides away and raining.

I did another skin to skin session later in the afternoon which was about the same as the first.

I then fed him again around 6pm on the sofa for about 30 minutes and have just finished another 50 minute feed on the sofa again so things are looking better. He is latched on faster these last 2 times and wasnt coming off the breast as much as before.

Feeling much better about it all so thank you. There is another support group tomorrow around the corner from me so Ill go there and get them to check the latch. Breasts are also feeling much better too, not as hard as they were before. Will check out those videos too.

kimberlina Thu 07-Jul-11 22:14:58

That's brilliant news grin Well done

I'd definitely still go to the more local group tomorrow as it's so useful to meet other BF mums

RitaMorgan Thu 07-Jul-11 22:16:20

How often is he feeding now? I'd keep feeding as much as possible, every couple of hours at least, and keep on eye on how many nappies you are getting (3-4 dirty nappies and 5-6 wet nappies in 24 hours).

evelynevening Thu 07-Jul-11 22:39:21

I will definitely go tomorrow to check. I fed him at 10.30am, around 2pm, 6pm and just after 9pm tonight. He has done 2 dirty and 3 wet nappies today since this morning at 6am so will keep an eye on him over night. Have just put him down and have my fingers crossed that he will sleep for a few hours now. The last couple of nights have been really hard with him fussing and not slepping from late afternoon till around 3am. So I am going to bed smile

RitaMorgan Thu 07-Jul-11 22:47:10

I would really try to feed a bit more often - newborns need 10-12 feeds a day. 3 or 4 hours between feeds is quite a long time for such a little one.

tiktok Fri 08-Jul-11 07:48:20

evelyn, it's great he is feeding but 4hrly is not usually anything like enough to keep him hydrated and to establish a milk supply....hope you get help today.

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