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2 day old problems

(70 Posts)
Zara1984 Mon 29-Oct-12 12:55:20

Had my baby boy in the wee hours of Sunday. Due to meconium & resuss issues and then (due to hospital busyness) getting kicked out to postnatal ward really fast it was a struggle to get first feed sorted until about 5 hours after birth.

Since then it's like he's not really interested in the boob or in feeding (he's quite sleepy)? Have had a few good sucking sessions but its always a struggle (can get 1-2 hours to get started), including completely undressing him and doing skin to skin. Lots of meconium nappies but only 1 nappy with wees in it. He's quite snotty and has coughed up blood & mec.

Current failed bf session has led to him being skin to skin under my nightie & cardigan - but no rooting, he's sound asleep! Last feed was at 8am.

Paediatrician has said I can pump colostrum & give by syringe if I want (midwives they were suggesting it yesterday but with formula).

Any tips?? I so want to get bf established sad I feel like a leper because I'm the only mum bfing (well trying to) on my ward and I keep having staff come round asking if I want bottles made up. sad

ZuleikaD Mon 29-Oct-12 13:03:24

angry at staff pushing bottles. He's only a day old (yesterday was day 0 if he was born in the small hours smile) so I don't think I'd worry yet, especially if the birth was hard work - newborns do sleep a lot in the first day or so. With lots of skin to skin and latching him on frequently it sounds as though you're doing all the right things. Does the hospital have a feeding consultant you could talk to?

DuelingFanjo Mon 29-Oct-12 13:13:01

can you say 'no - I'd like to speak to your breastfeeding consultant'?
I was pressured into giving my ds formula within hours of his birth for blood level issues (he's had a difficult birth and was in special care) but asked for some help expressing into a syringe. Get someone to help you with that, I had a midwife come and squeeze my breasts which was strange but necessary.

Keep latching him on as much as you can. Have you tried lying him on your belly and pulling him up so he can find the nipple himself? One thing which worked for me was sitting him on my knee facing me so his head tilted back and popping him onto the breast, it meant his mouth was nice and wide as he went on.

I found perserverance pays off.

Good luck and congratulations.

Bearandcub Mon 29-Oct-12 13:16:40

First off congratulations! Hope you're getting some rest in post-natal ward.

Re feeding you can still get bf established but the important thing is to make sure baby has fluid. Try colostrum by syringe as Dr suggested if not try formula to endure baby is hydrated.

I know many others opinions will differ from mine but my experience with DS2 was similar to your OP and unfortunately he quickly deteriorated due to dehydration and jaundice.

tiktok Mon 29-Oct-12 13:20:09

He's coughed up blood and mec??? Is that what you meant? This needs checking out. You prob meant something else....

Yes you can hand express (not pump) colostrum and get it into your baby - this should be done ASAP and it's astonishing that you have not been supported and helped to do this. It's important he gets your colostrum and this will get bf going as well as ensuring he gets the necessary fluid.

Loislane78 Mon 29-Oct-12 19:58:26

Are you still on the ward? I know you're prob knackered but insist on some BF help. My LO got too sleepy at one point and the MWs showed me how to hand express and gave me some of those little syringes to collect the colostrum in.

Makes me sad the care/help people get is really variable.

GL smile

Zara1984 Mon 29-Oct-12 20:20:16

Thank you so much for your messages. Midwife came round before I got a chance to reply. Today's main staff (and the paediatrician) way more pro bf and helpful. Student midwife helped me manually express and gave him a syringe of colostrum. Yes, he was coughing up blood & meconium, ped team were monitoring (he very nearly went to NICU after delivery anyway).

I was in floods of tears feeling like a failure as he just wouldn't latch and was fussing. Senior midwife popped her head in and spent over 30 mins helping me get him connected properly, she said she reckoned it was because he was confused/didn't know how to do it. She showed me esp how to squeeze nipple to help him latch on. He had some good sucks, but I was dreading the next feed. The senior mw was so encouraging though and was telling me I was doing everything I should, baby needed help latching.

Started skin to skin 30 mins before feeding, then tried again (lying on side position) and after about 10 mins of initial fussing, and trying carefully to follow m/w tips he latched on properly!!!!! grin 90 mins of deep sucking followed (both boobs)! And then 40 mins later a giant meconium & stinky yellow poop (DMIL said it had distinctive bf yeasty smell)!!! I could've cried with happiness. Halfway through the feed his pupils focused properly for first time. Has been sleeping contentedly since.

Cautiously optimistic babba has learnt how to latch on better and we are on the up from here. Wonder if he will have same sleepy waking up probs?

He is still mucusy though, but less and less meconium in it.

God I feel a million times better....

Zara1984 Mon 29-Oct-12 20:21:56

The hospital does have lactation consultants but they don't work weekends or bank holidays!!!

DuelingFanjo Mon 29-Oct-12 21:03:19

Glad you have got some help. I know how scary it can be, and how hard it is to stand up for what you want when all the health professionals are trying to make you do the opposite. Be aware that in the next couple of days you may feel very emotional, maybe even unhappy. It's normal. When I was breast feeding in special care I just kept re-latching ds over and over until I was happy. I did need a bit of extra help when I got him home but had a lovely woman from the NHS come to the house. Sometimes I think it's easy to think you are doing it wrong because it seems like it is going to well.

Hope you continue to get help and have confidence in yourself.

tiktok Mon 29-Oct-12 23:14:10

All that sounds much better, Zara smile smile

Zara1984 Tue 30-Oct-12 02:24:23

He is sucking away right now - third feed since the first successful one! Started going about 90 mins ago... I just keep going until he falls asleep or stops making eating faces?? I have just kept giving him boob if eg when I put knuckle in his mouth he sucks (DMIL advice)? Then I am just changing him and wrapping him up.

Should I offer both boobs each session? Or change after a certain length of time?

Zara1984 Tue 30-Oct-12 02:27:52

Also there was acting bit of blood in his wees when I last changed his nappy? Will tell midwife but am wondering what it is?

Ok am staring at him now wondering if I should offer boob again...

Are you meant to burp bf babies after each session? I try for a bit (sitting up, supporting head/neck from front, but he doesn't seem to like it.

MrsHoarder Tue 30-Oct-12 02:46:39

Obviously check with the mw, but I remember ringing the ward up the first night we had ds because we thought there was blood in his pee, its high levels of urea post-birth.

Keep letting him feed for long sessions to stimulate your milk supply, that's good. And for burping, whilst he's so new just lean gin up on your shoulder and see if anything comes. We didn't get ds to burp until about day 3-4, don't worry unless he's unsettled.

Even then, he doesn't burp if sleepy.

MrsHoarder Tue 30-Oct-12 02:48:09

Lean him up, although gin is good.

Zara1984 Tue 30-Oct-12 07:02:45

Thank you mrshoarder! Just had 2 hours of tears sad because he wouldn't wake up for feed (he had a huge one at 1am-ish, tried to wake him up at 4 but no luck. Nice mw said was ok for him to go for longer between big feeds as his vital signs are ok.

Why do they all tell me different things?? The other midwives were trying to give him formula after 3.5 hours. This is fucking hard. I just had a massive cry into a hospital blanket. sad

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 30-Oct-12 07:17:22

I would give constructive feedback to the ward, and in particular the senior MW who was so helpful to you, about the other midwives suggesting formula when it's clear you're very keen to establish BFing. Your colostrum and close contact is so very important for him, especially since he's been so ill. Bad practice isn't going to be changed unless someone in charge knows about it. Keep going - you're doing really well. x And congratulations on your lovely baby thanks

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 30-Oct-12 07:48:23

A few more thoughts which occurred to me over my cereal...

When he does fall asleep, and if you're one of those (like me) who hasn't a hope of getting any catch-up sleep on a busy hospital ward, strip him down, get comfy, and let him sleep on you skin-to-skin. He may start rooting in his sleep in which case you can latch him on straight away. This is also a proven way of keeping his vitals stable.

Also with regards to the inconsistent advice from staff - take names. Quietly asking a ward clerk 'so you can ask them a question when they're not so busy' is a nice non-confrontational way of doing it. That will help the ward manager pinpoint problem areas, but similarly get the names of the nice staff, as well as the dodgy ones, so you can say, 'midwife X told me this about formula when I wanted to breastfeed, but then I found it really helpful when midwife Y showed me such-and-such'.

If you're feeling too tired and emotional to do that now, maybe leave it until a couple of weeks after you're discharged if you think you're able to think about it more objectively then. Even if you don't take names, saying 'I was in this bed on this ward on these dates' and they can look back and check the roster. A ward manager may well be able to work out who might have said what based upon what she knows of individual midwives' personalities and skills.

Don't be at all afraid of doing this. I'm NHS ward staff and this feedback is essential to improving services. The same midwives who were suggesting formula probably also moan about low breastfeeding rates - they need to know they're part of the problem or it will never change!

Zara1984 Tue 30-Oct-12 07:49:08

Thanks elphaba that is the right thing to do I know. All the staff are clearly well meaning but it's just like I'm getting different advice at every shift change. I hope I can see the lactation consultant ASAP today as its a work day now. At least she won't have lots of people to see <hollow laugh> <continues crying> sad sad

Zara1984 Tue 30-Oct-12 07:51:35

I have been trying to do skin to skin all the time, yes. When in doubt am just stripping him off, putting him under my nightie and with blanket on top, and then try to feed.

He snuffles a bit but doesn't do lots of heavy rooting until I am actually trying to get my nipple into him.

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 30-Oct-12 08:06:54

Don't hesitate to tell the lactation consultant about the conflicting advice you've had and try to identify staff to her if you can (the good ones as well as the not so good). She's probably responsible for the BFing training staff need to do so, if she's worth her salt, should do something to follow it up.

You're doing exactly the right things, considering the incredibly traumatic experience you had with your baby's health. Just keep going - you're doing a brilliant job!

ZuleikaD Tue 30-Oct-12 09:14:56

Yes I agree with there needing to be consistent advice! Good luck Zara, it sounds as though you're doing really well.

sparklekitty Tue 30-Oct-12 14:02:34

I just wanted to say I had a similar experience (my dd was very sleepy due to pethadine during labour) I was expressing and syringe feeding for her first few days as she was way too sleepy to latch on and suck. I had a breadfeeding specialist MW sit with me for half an hour on day 3 (after she'd woken up a bit more) and really help get things sorted.

I guess my point is we had a rocky start with bf but she is now almost 5 weeks and she has been feeding really well since seeing the specialist MW so please don't worry, you will crack it, but seeing a specialist is a good idea (lots of the MW's on the ward tried to help but in a very 'forceful' way)

Good luck hun x

Zara1984 Wed 31-Oct-12 01:37:15

Ok, it's been a shit day. Really desperate for any advice:

hospital lac cons and community midwives saw me briefly in AM. Said he was mucusy and that he may not be aware he needs to eat. They were busy and had to leave, told me to keep trying to feed for one hour. Ward midwife then came round and said I could keep trying to bf (he was still refusing boob, crying, wouldn't latch), or give a cup of formula. By that stage was 9 hours since he had eaten so I said give him the formula, was feeling desperate for something different. Baby blood sugars were all fine, but has urate crystals, paediatrician said was likely bc a bit dehydrated.

He still refused to latch after that, didn't vomit up mucus either as lac cons had suggested. Hospital ward was still busy and shitty, I was feeling worse and worse (would be 40 mins before ward mw could see me). Hospital not keen for me to go home if bf not well established, understandably. But only option by staying in was to try wrangle mw help if I could each time I tried to bf.

Felt desperate and upset (baby still not latching at 2pm, but crying (tantrums, full on screaming and clearly hungry), my staunchly pro-bf MIL said perhaps best to get home to calmer environment and supplement with formula and hopefully get more help from community midwives and find a private lac cons the next day, as being in hospital further was of no help.

He had 30ml of formula in bottle at 3pm and totally guzzled it, slept contentedly for a couple of hours, we went home. Friends sorted out a steriliser, formula, Medea pump & bottles etc for us and brought them round.

At 6pm he latched on boob quite well for about 40 mins each side, until eventually getting frustrated and crying.

At 9pm he refused boob, in same way as it started in early hours of the day. After 30+ mins trying on boob we gave him 20 ml formula.

He slept a little bit between 9 and midnight , I slept for a couple of hours.

At midnight with our best efforts at spotting feeding cues tried bf again, same refusal/screaming, he also refused formula.

He is only settling/sleeping on my chest (there right now). He makes nuzzling motions at times but then won't accept boob. My only plan right now is to try bf again if he makes reality obvious cues in next few hours or to try formula again soon. sad

He is not really giving many clear feeding cues and is not demanding food (until he gets really upset like before we gave the first bottle at hospital). There are lots of gurgly/ indigestion noises coming from his tummy all the time. Today he has had 4 meconium poop nappies. Some urate crystals too, but one huge wee over himself while he was being weighed too grin he spits up mucus now and then too.

I am so exhausted, my baby won't eat, what am I doing wrong?? What should I do next? My milk is starting to come in too, it's even harder for baby to try latch sad

Please please help sad

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Wed 31-Oct-12 01:43:57

Hi smile Sounds like you're both having a tough time. Would it help if you expressed your milk? At least then it's your milk, not formula. 40 mins is a good feed, maybe he wasn't hungry at 9pm. Are you feeding on demand? I know it's hard, I recon he's not feeling so great if he's bringing up mucus. He hasn't quite worked out what his tummy is for yet, and needs a little time to work it out.

Zara1984 Wed 31-Oct-12 01:49:13

Have not tried expressing yet as hospital said I had to try 72 hours until after delivery or would damage my boobs (??). That 72 hour mark is about now. I have a manual and electric pump. My boobs are sore and hot, should I start pumping ASAP?

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