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re-establishing breastfeeding with 9 day old after illness - long

(8 Posts)
fallingandlaughing Sun 17-Jul-11 11:09:46

My daughter was born following a traumatic forceps delivery in which she received extensive facial injuries. We got started trying to breastfeed for the first couple of days, and had a few brief successful feeds, but then her wounds started bleeding and were found to be infected. I was unable to breastfeed for four or five days as her wounds need to be left uncovered but dry and protected. She had one formula feed but expressing has gone really well so I have been bottled feeding her EBM. In hospital the teats were large and fast flowing, since we came home 2 days ago i have been using slower flowing teats and trying her at the breast.

She is gradually coming round to taking milk straight from my breast, but can resist and close her mouth or wave her head around in the air, or wave her open mouth across the nipple without latching on. She will try to latch on to just about everything else, even her Dad's chest! Sometimes she latches on, sucks abut 5 times, then just seems to give up, though will start rooting around again in the air shortly afterwards. I often end up managing to feed her for 2 to 5 mins then end up giving her EBM from a bottle. We did have one successful full feed yesterday after which she slept for about 5 hours so I guess she was satisfied!

I gave her a couple of hours skin to skin yesterday and she nuzzled around my breasts a lot but didn't feed (don't know if hungry though). My milk supply is great (milk pours out just when I am holding her without stimulation) so I think she must get some as soon as she latches on.

I would love to drop the bottles (and the expressing) and am wondering if there is anything else I can do to help her settle on the breast? Thanks for reading this far.

JollyBear Sun 17-Jul-11 18:27:57

Congratulations on your daughter!

I'm no expert but didn't want to leave your post unanswered. Sounds like you are doing the right things. I struggled to establish bf with my premature DD2 and it just took time as she was tiny and got tired easily. I expressed a little before feeding to take the first let down gush off as she struggled with that.

You are making really good progress already!

Whyriskit Sun 17-Jul-11 19:40:22

Congratulations and I'm sorry you've had such a tough time! I'm sure someone more expert will be along soon, but I did have a kind of similar experience with DS2.
He had heart surgery when he was ten days old and was in PICU for 5 days, being tube fed. I pumped when unable to feed him and worked hard to re-establish feeding when he was able to. He's now nearly 11 months old and I'm still feeding him, though it hasn't been without difficulties!
Kellymom is a great resource, also lots of babymooning and skin to skin helped us.

orchidee Sun 17-Jul-11 19:44:45

I had a forceps delivery. Well done on getting to this stage, your perseverance suggests it'll happen for you. In my case I found it took 6 weeks to feel up to basic things like going out for walks etc. I also found (and this is anecdotal evidence) that my milk seemed to flow (or gush) when I felt rested, fed and watered. Another reason to look after yourself just now? So stuff the housework or delegate, and decide that establishing bf is a full-time pursuit for now. I hope you get there, we also had difficulties initially though DS did not have actual injuries, but bf didn't come naturally. We did skin to skin contact at home in the days and weeks after the birth (no chance in theatre) so maybe you could try that. Be kind to yourself and contact local support groups or national helplines as often as you need.

musttidyupmusttidyup Sun 17-Jul-11 19:49:39

Don't have advice for you but wanted to support. Well done it's hard enough without the added complication of a traumatic birth. <hug>

fallingandlaughing Sun 17-Jul-11 20:01:19

thanks everyone. I am going to keep trying with the skin to skin and to stay relaxed about it. We also didn't have much contact after birth, I had a postpartum haemorrhage and didn't get to hold her for an hour or so. She also had to get formula 5 hours after birth as I am diabetic and her blood sugar was low. Considering all that she is doing great!

NAR4 Sun 17-Jul-11 21:13:11

Sounds like a truely horrible time for you and baby. Get some professional help from a breastfeeding councillor. Try an internet search for Association of Breast Feeding Mothers or LLL League.
Try sitting in a supported and slightly reclined position with baby lying upright on you skin to skin. I found this really helpfull to help my baby manage my fast flow whilst she was still tiny. I think it is called Biological Nurturing.

littlewheel Sun 17-Jul-11 22:02:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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