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Help!!! 5 day old refusing breast

(38 Posts)
WallinoMio Sat 17-Nov-12 19:46:35

I've been a mumsnet lurker since finding out I was pregnant in March, but this is my first post...I desperately need some advice!!!

I gave birth to DS on Monday and have been breastfeeding ever since...the first couple of days were horribly painful thanks to no help in the hospital with latching on, etc, but we've been figuring things out and getting much better. My milk came in yesterday and ever since then DS has been refusing to latch on...since last night he has only fed once, at 7am today. When he cries I try putting him on the breast but he flails around and won't stop crying - he completely refuses to latch on. And we both get more and more stressed and upset.

In my desperation (and with massively painful milk filled boobs) I sent my OH to get a manual breast pump, so have expressed some milk (not very much; less than 30ml) which DS then took from a bottle. So now I'm worried that I've ruined my breastfeeding efforts by introducing a bottle so soon. So my questions to all you experts are these:

1) Will introducing a bottle at this point make it impossible for DS to take the breast again?
2) How can I encourage him to latch on/stop his massive hysterical crying fits every time I try to feed him?
3) In our desperation during one of said crying fits we gave him a dummy which we now have ended up using when he's so hysterical literally nothing else will work - is this going to ruin his ability to latch on? Was it far too early? Should I stop using it?
4) Since he was born DS hasn't really been a regular feeder - he sleeps A LOT and doesn't seem very hungry - should I be waking him up to feed him?

Sorry for all the questions but I don't have anyone else to ask (living abroad away from family) and I'm starting to feel really down. I feel like I've sabotaged my intention to EBF and really really want to get DS to feed again. I feel like I'm failing already sad Please help!!!!!

fluffacloud Sun 18-Nov-12 23:14:24

What a difference a day makes!

Glad to hear that you're all doing well smile

PS dont worry about dirty nappies just yet BM is easily absorbed and has very little waste product. My DD often went without a poo for a few days.

aamia Sun 18-Nov-12 20:58:33

So glad to hear he's ok and things are going well. Well done!

Wormshuffler Sun 18-Nov-12 19:40:13

Brilliant, well done you x

WallinoMio Sun 18-Nov-12 18:24:03

Thanks again for all your messages - only just getting back online now!!! So last night I gave him a bottle of formula asap which he took with no problems. Woke him up a couple of hours later and gave him a bottle of expressed breast milk, then he woke up on his own every few hours and fed like a champion! And has been feeding regularly all day today except for one feed this morning that we had trouble latching on again. Luckily a friend of mine came round earlier and lent me an electric breast pump (which I LOVE) so now have a supply ready to give in a bottle asap whenever we have trouble! So am feeling so much better! Lots of wet nappies today but still no poo yet - am hoping that will happen at some point soon though considering he's been feeding so much? (never thought I'd be looking forward to a pooey nappy!!). And will obviously talk to the doctor tomorrow morning too. DS has perked right up though, has been waking up regularly to feed, the formula (even though I didn't really want to give it) seems to have kick started things and - fingers crossed! - so far no problems changing between bottle and boob!!!! Hopefully things will continue like this!! Thanks again for all the advice!!

Wormshuffler Sun 18-Nov-12 07:05:40

How was last night op? X

amazingmumof6 Sat 17-Nov-12 23:37:05

PukeCatcher I blame the phone! grin

PukeCatcher Sat 17-Nov-12 23:26:49

Oops grin

Pick your excuse from the list :-

Fat thumbs / dodgy phone spell check / lack of sleep

amazingmumof6 Sat 17-Nov-12 22:28:36

PukeCatcher I'm sure you meant to REhydrate him!!!smile

Mooandme Sat 17-Nov-12 21:08:45


BF is so hard initially. With mine at that stage I've had a warm bath with them to encourage let down & lots and lots of skin to skin (letting the baby constantly suckle whilst sleeping). Even if not latched on just let your DS sleep on your breast.

Lots of great advice too from previous posters.

aamia Sat 17-Nov-12 20:51:03

A & E would be where I'd be headed now knowing the full story. Really worried he's dangerously dehydrated. If you get plenty of milk in now then maybe see how it goes but he is very young and the worst they will do is send you home again.

PukeCatcher Sat 17-Nov-12 20:44:04

Congratulations on the birth of your baby.

Loads of excellent advice here already and ditto what they have all said, definitely get some milk into him to dehydrate him.

Could you try feeding him lying down? This was the only way I could get DD to latch on for the first couple of weeks with my DH's assistance.

Lots of great advice, if you can find a lactation consultant who can visit you, that would be great.

My only thought, perhaps it's been said and I've missed it, is that if your let down is very fast, that can cause them to pull off. Can you un latch for a minute until it settles and try re-latching.

Perhaps try positioning the baby differently to feed such as a cross-cradle hold or a modified football hold?

Or maybe try breast compressions?

Jollyb Sat 17-Nov-12 20:36:20

As others have said now that your milk has come in your breasts have probably completely changed shape making it difficult to attach. The priority now is rehydrating him - cup, syringe, bottle or breast. You may find it easier to express a little off before you start to feed him. He needs to feed regularly overnight. As he is behind I'd try to feed him 2 hourly overnight. If he is drowsy or doesn't start feeding soon you need to get him seen by a doctor pronto.

Wormshuffler Sat 17-Nov-12 20:32:46

Poo nappies is a better indicator than wet nappies. Dehydrated babies can still produce wet nappies.
Bless you, back to bed after you've fed him next ebm, loads and loads of skin to skin. Allow him to bob about and he may find the boob himself. Good luck op x

FishfingersAreOK Sat 17-Nov-12 20:31:33

I had to strip my DD down to get her not to fall asleep before feeding. She was so warm and snug she would drop off after a teeny feed. Though was a warmer time of year. So take care with the too much swaddling. She needed swaddling too if a bit frantic to stop the flailing arms so I made sure she was wearing pretty light clothing and then swaddled in a large muslin - so not too hot and sleep inducing.

Good luck - and remember feed your baby. Doesn't matter how really.

bumbez Sat 17-Nov-12 20:29:46

Could it be that as your milk has now come in your breasts are engorged? This makes the nipple flatter and therefore harder to latch.
Easily remedied by applying hot compresses ( flannels) as hot as you can bare, and hand expressing till your breasts are soft.

I too am concerned that your baby hasn't fed since 0700 this morning, have you a number that you can contact for a midwife visit?


fluffacloud Sat 17-Nov-12 20:27:40

I don't mean to worry you but one wet nappy is not nearly enough in I'm assuming 12 hours?

Not sure how you'll feel about this but given the same situation I would be expressing and feeding every 2 hours, through the night too. Dehydration can be rather nasty in new borns.

I would call the doctor too, asap if you think he's already dehydrated - even slightly.

WallinoMio Sat 17-Nov-12 20:17:51

Thanks to everyone!!! Am off to pump now, will let you know how it goes!! Have had one wet nappy so far today and two lots of poo overnight...will go and try and get more milk into him asap! No midwife visits here in Italy, and not really a lot of breastfeeding support, just the pediatrician (who will hopefully be able to help!!)

amazingmumof6 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:15:09

also back to tongue-tie - it could effect bottle feeding as well - my DD could maintain proper latch on breast or bottle!

lots of good advice above, but do get him checked

byhec Sat 17-Nov-12 20:13:27

I had a similar problem with my DS (who turned out to have a tongue tie). I would recommend trying to find a breastfeeding drop in where someone can help you out, or calling the Bfn breastfeeding helpline for advice or can a midwife help?
I was advised to express and then feed him with a medicine syringe (to reduce the risk of him preferring bottle over breast) and spend a couple of days in bed doing loads of skin to skin which helped to relax him (I eventually had to get the TT snipped)
Might be best to avoid a dummy at this stage, the crying is more than likely due to hunger than anything else , I used my finger with some expressed milk on the end of it to calm him down before feeding (might be a good way to wake him up too?)
Good luck, hope he's able to feed soon.

fluffacloud Sat 17-Nov-12 20:12:10

When I started typing you didn't have any replies - bloody stupid phone typing!

I see the cavalry have arrived with much better advice grin

Good luck OP!

amazingmumof6 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:11:58

to avoid hysteria swaddle him - basically gently restrict his arms by wrapping him, so he'll feel safe, like back in womb

Wormshuffler Sat 17-Nov-12 20:11:40

Congratulations! Loads of skin to skin, are you still having daily midwives? I would advise pumping every 2 hours and giving by whatever means necessary, Preferably cup/ syringe to avoid nipple confusion, until your next appointment. Has he been weighed yet?

fluffacloud Sat 17-Nov-12 20:09:52

Congrats on the birth of your DS!

I'll attempt to help but I'm sure that one of the BF Gurus will be along soon.

Your post sounds as if he's only had 30ml since 7am? Are you still getting wet nappies etc? I would begin to worry about dehydration tbh.

If your breast are very full it may be difficult for him to latch and he's getting frustrated. Could you try to express a little first to make it a little easier?

The dummy could be fulfilling (sp) the natural sucking action and could mean that he doesn't 'need' your breast for that. I would take it away until BF is established - hard, I know!

You need to wake him every 3 hours for feeds, especially if he's not taking much.

Dummies and bottles won't ruin your chances, but I don't think they will help much either.

You sound like you're having a rough time and that you don't have any BF support - do you have any health/BF proffesionals that you can call?

So sorry that it's been a tough start - it will get easier, I promise smile

amazingmumof6 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:09:43

tongue tie is a crazy bitch, it looks like they are feeding and they might be able to a bit, but in fact they have to work very hard for a little milk and get exhausted and weight gain suffers (plus your nipples, sanity....)

imagine running a mile with your ankles tied together and then get a nod - or running it like the wind and be greeted by a huge cheering crowd

that's the difference

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