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baby won't latch on

(15 Posts)
zdcgbjm Sun 17-Jul-11 19:05:10

My baby is 3 days old and BF got off to a good start. A couple of times yesterday and all day today though he has been arching his back and screaming at me when I try to get him latched on. After a several hour long screamathon this morning I expressed a tiny bit of milk that I gave him in a syringe. After he'd had that he latched on and fed ok. I did the same again later after trying and failing to get him on again. While that gets us past the immediate problem of getting him fed it's obviously not a long term solution being very impractical out and about! I have 2 older children so I can't just sit at home.

I'm planning on going to the drop in BF clinic at the hospital tomorrow but I was hoping someone here might have some ideas or experience to offer. I really want to make this work but if I can't crack it soon its going to become impossible.

crikeybadger Sun 17-Jul-11 19:29:23

How was his birth zdcgbjm?
Have any of the midwives tried to force him on to the breast by holding the back of his head?
Is it possible he can't latch on because you are engorged?

Sorry for all the questions, but I'm just running through reasons why he might not want to latch on.

You might find that biological nurturing is worth a try. Just relax, hold the baby skin to skin and 'enable' him to breastfeed when he is ready. Don't force things, just cuddle up and keep him close so you can watch for the subtle early feeding cues.

Have you seen a mw since you got home?

zdcgbjm Sun 17-Jul-11 19:55:37

Birth was normal delivery with g&a, pretty fast, about 4.5hrs from start to finish, 8mins pushing. He was very mucousy and sicky for the first day which I was told was due to the speed. He was patching on ok until today really. And once he's had a little milk from the syringe he latches on ok to finish off. So I don't think he's scared to latch although i have tried to push him on a bit when he's been screaming because I was getting a bit desperate. That wad after the problem started and I won't do it again it didn't work anyway.

I tried to feed him as soon as he woke earlier but he was straight into screaming. I think he's going too long between feeds and getting too hungry so I'm going to try waking him to feed after 3 hours and see if that helps.

I saw a mw yesterday but things were going ok then.

Thank you for your help.

crikeybadger Sun 17-Jul-11 21:28:43

Has he passed the meconium yet and starting to get greener poos?

I'd suggest that he needs to be feeding 10-12 times a day so I think you're right in thinking that he is going too long between feeds. It's good though that he is taking some milk from the syringe and then latching on.

You might like to consider some cranial osteopathy just in case his fast birth has left him with some discomfort.

Good idea to go to the bf clinic and you could also try any of the bf helplines listed on the right hand side here if you wanted to chat this through.

Hope things go well and congratulations on your new arrival. smile

Eglu Sun 17-Jul-11 21:33:50

Are your breasts engorged at all? The fact he went on after you had expressed some made me think he may be struggling if they are?

zdcgbjm Sun 17-Jul-11 22:18:04

The last feed went horribly sad. I ended up expressing and giving it in a bottle. I'm not sure he's entirely satisfied but he will not latch on at all. My breasts are getting engorged but i don't think that's the issue, he won't even try to latch on.

Tryharder Mon 18-Jul-11 00:08:57

I would ring your hospital switchboard and ask them to put you through to the on duty midwife who will - or should - come out to see you if you are desperate. And I think that a baby refusing to feed and acting as you describe warrants a visit.

Your midwife will be able to refer you to a breastfeeding counsellor if she herself cannot help. I would also try ringing some of the bf helplines in the morning.

I am sorry. These sort of things always happen at the weekend in the middle of the night and you feel so alone.

Will he attach when you lie down? Hope you can get some decent RL help soon.

posterofagirl Mon 18-Jul-11 00:18:18

Hi, I'm in no way an expert but my dd did this. Have you tried lying down to feed as this really helped us ?

Sorry you are having problemssad

zdcgbjm Mon 18-Jul-11 07:37:54

Thank you so much for all the replies. Things look much better this morning. Dh helped me to get him latched on last night with a lot of messing around but we did it. Then he woke and fed at 3.30 and I managed to get him on myself with just a bit of faff, then this morning at 7 he went on with just a little fuss. I'm still planning to try and get to the clinic but things look so much better now.

crikeybadger Mon 18-Jul-11 10:53:30

Ah, that's good to hear that he is getting the hang of things a bit better now.

So pleased you are making progress- maybe he just needed some time.

Have a good day today. smile

zdcgbjm Mon 18-Jul-11 11:08:25

Thank you. I'm hoping it was a blip because he had been ok before. I'll still go to the clinic to try and get some strategies if it happens again. Fingers crossed though.

crikeybadger Wed 20-Jul-11 21:15:27

How are you getting on now zdcgbjm?

zdcgbjm Fri 16-Sep-11 09:31:16

Thought I'd come back and update in case it's useful for anyone else.

I realised that DS2 was showing signs of reflux (lots of arched back red faced screaming, couldn't lies down flat, could hear him gulping between feeds, violent hiccups), DD had had it when she was a baby so I knew what I was looking at. At 2 weeks old he was still losing weight and the HV was starting to talk about referring him to the hospital. I told her what I thought about the reflux so she sent me off to the GP to get some Gaviscon. That did the trick. After 1.5 days of Gaviscon he'd put on weight for the first time. He settled into feeding really well after that and has since been gaining weight well and been a much happier baby all round and at 9wks BF is still going strong smile.

lilham Fri 16-Sep-11 09:40:17

I'm so glad to hear it's all sorted. It's so horrible when baby fail to thrive. It's awesome bf us still going strong too.

crikeybadger Fri 16-Sep-11 13:04:18

Thanks for the update and so good to hear that you got the reflux sorted. smile

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