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3 day old, want to BF.....!

(63 Posts)
fl0b0t Thu 12-Sep-13 19:38:51

Hi all.
I'm looking for some support and ideas!

I'm sorry this is long- I'm tired and want to make sure my intentions and experience so far is clear.

My lovely little boy was born on Monday, and hasn't been too keen to feed since. We have tried really hard- he seems pretty capable of latching on (except when his hands "help") but after 2-3 sucks he gives up. We have had lots of time skin to skin and I'm so so so so desperate to get it right. I've tried not to force him and just try to go with what seems natural.

I hand expressed teaspoons at a time quite easily which we fed him on a spoon with lots of midwife help- but went really well. Supply seemed to be fine for colostrum, but obviously hand expressing is pretty slow. They gave him a little weeny bit of formula to top up a couple of times from a cup and he took that well.

We came home last night after a great feed Weds morning- finally latching on and seeming to "get" it. The rest of Weds he didn't feed great and a scary pushy mean midwife made me give him a 40ml formula feed just before we left the hospital (I was tired, emotional, stressed and gave in).

After a hideous first night at home- trying to feed, then ending up expressing by hands as much as I could (hand pump didn't seem to work as colostrum too thick??), then by the very end giving a bit of formula ...... Community midwife visit today went well but he is quite jaundice and getting a bit sleepy (getting into that terrible cycle of too tired to feed, not feeding, getting more tired etc etc), so she gave me some help with getting the pump working (esp now my milk has come in) but has told me that we need to get some formula in him whilst we get the expressing working better. He really is a bit yellow and I understand he does need to eat.

So plan for 24 hours from this morning is (3 hourly):
-skin 2 skin/ massage breasts and get milk flowing (now real milk is coming in)
-try BF for max 20-30 mins (see if he will latch on and see if he we can keep him awake to keep feeding)
-if unsuccessful, for NOW, get 40-60 ml formula feed into him whilst I express as much as possible using the electric pump.

The idea of this (as explained to me) is to keep my milk coming, and to get him practicing sucking properly whilst ensuring he is fed.

The plan WILL be (3 hourly):
-skin 2 skin/ massage breasts and get milk flowing (now real milk is coming in)
-try BF for max 20-30 mins (see if he will latch on and see if he we can keep him awake to keep feeding)
-get pre-expressed breast milk heated to room temp and feed him whilst expressing the next lot for the next feed

Over the course of two sets of expressing I've collected 30ml (1oz or so) so far and my milk is definitely coming in a bit faster and better, so I'm hoping to get there.

We are really struggling to get him to stay awake for a whole feed. I'm trying hard not to get upset or feel too desperate about it all. I want to breast feed. I really really do. I also want a healthy baby .

I just want him to feed though. We're trying everything we can think of or find- he's changed first, stripped, we try to stimulate him by stroking his feet/chin/throat/cheeks, by blowing on him gently, sitting him up, having music etc on, talking to him- he just falls asleep.

We have another midwife visit tomorrow but I'm nervous of another fractuous night of baby not sleeping and not feeding. I've had 7 hours sleep in the last 72 (I know, welcome to the world of motherhood!)

ANY help or advice welcome......

To get him to stay awake for ANY feed. To get him to latch on better and suck better... anything! Please!

ChazzerChaser Thu 12-Sep-13 19:42:48

Have you seen a bf expert in the flesh at all? You can access them through the NCT. They'll be experts in what to do and will be able to see what's going on and how to help.

ChazzerChaser Thu 12-Sep-13 19:43:11

And congratulations on the birth of your baby grin

AndThatsWhatIThinkOfYou Thu 12-Sep-13 19:45:05

I tried my hardest for a week in the end I have up and felt like a massive weight had been lifted of my shoulders, I New id tried my best and it wasn't for me.

It's your body, your baby, your choice.

AndThatsWhatIThinkOfYou Thu 12-Sep-13 19:45:42

sorry about the spelling!!

tumbletumble Thu 12-Sep-13 19:47:15

Try the La Leche League, they have lots of helpful info.

Queenofknickers Thu 12-Sep-13 19:47:26

It sounds like you are doing a great job thanks a BF person from either NCT or La Leche League for support/reassurance is a good idea too. Remember that his tummy is only the size of a walnut so a feed for him may not be a lot. Also the fact your milk is increasing is another great sign as the feeding you are doing is obviously working. Congratulations on your lovely son xxx

elvislives2012 Thu 12-Sep-13 19:52:31

"Keep going it gets better" was my mantra in the early days and am still bfing my daughter and she's 11months old. EVERY time he murmurs put him on the breast. Whenever he's awake put him on the breast. Don't wait til he's crying as this is a late hunger sign and will make feeding harder. He will get it and so will you but this is a skill that needs to be learnt.
I second contacting the NCT for a breast feeding counsellor to assess the latch, check for tongue tie and offer guidance or support.
Get to your local bfing support group ASAP. You'll meet other mums who are struggling and realise that you're not alone.
This is the worst part but its over so quickly. Good luck!
Also check out kellymom full of great advice grin

fl0b0t Thu 12-Sep-13 19:54:35

Thank you all! He is lovely! I'm worried as he's really sleepy and struggling to stay awake for any kind of feed. BF is what I want to do, so I will persevere.

We do have some BF clinics which I'm going to go to if MW tomorrow isn't much help. They are really pro BF which is why I guess I'm surprised that they've been so keen to get him on formula. I guess the jaundice is a worry?

dedado Thu 12-Sep-13 19:54:43


I'd offer bf or express as least every 2h, more frequently if possible. Also offer each breast at least once each during each feed. 12 breast feeds in 24h is general advice for any newborn as i recall and a jaundiced baby would warrant more frequent feeds- not so much "feed on demand " as creating the demand.

I had a sleepy newborn who developed jaundice so i read up on the bf aspect, but it's been a while. I found that skin to skin contact helped, that was pretty much all day contact for us for a while, plus eating and drinking well, being realistic about visitors etc and generally prioritising the feeding above everything else worked for us.

good luck.

Rhubarb78 Thu 12-Sep-13 19:57:12

Sorry, i dont have great advice re getting your lo to bf better at the moment but my dd was almost exactly the same. We persevered with bfing and held off on the formula top ups because she was vomiting a lot of them up however, this was not the right thing to do as she stopped passing urine and the jaundice got worse. She needed admitting to hospital for 2 nights for treatment for jaundice and during this time she needed lots of formula to keep her fluid levels up. I thought that was it and she wouldnt bf but once the jaundice levels came down she latched on and fed really well. Your baby is in a bit of a vicious cycle at the mo, he is jaundiced and too sleepy to feed but he needs the feed to flush the jaundice out.
If i were you i would express and then go to bed, let dh give him formula for one feed in between so you can catch up on some sleep and try again in the morning when you are refreshed.

dedado Thu 12-Sep-13 20:01:36

This should help

regarding quantities - remember the tummy if a 3 do is tiny. i thought it was Moore useful to monitor weight and frequency of urine output. I found kellymom (and here) essential to gettinv bf to work. I believe the bf helplines are good, if you want advice tonight.

dedado Thu 12-Sep-13 20:01:50

dedado Thu 12-Sep-13 20:09:18

minipie Thu 12-Sep-13 21:08:18

As Rhubarb says jaundice makes them sleepy! Once he gets some milk in him (even if it's formula for the moment) he should wake up a bit more.

can you rent a hospital grade pump? ask midwife or HV. they are SO much more effective at promoting milk supply.

fl0b0t Fri 13-Sep-13 01:24:07

Thanks all. delado that is how I felt pre jaundice and pre the very bf pro midwife advising the top up! minipieI have a medula I was Lent and it is good! same ones x they user in our hosp and apparently the best? ? Managed to get almost 50ml out today so will give him that tomorrow morning smile he is more responsive now he has fed better and a much better colour.

I'll keep offering the boob and willnread up on Kelly mom after next feed.

Will see a different midwife tomorrow too so hopefully she will have some ideas and if I am brave enough to leave the house we'll get to the next bf clinic!

StupidMistakes Fri 13-Sep-13 01:29:28

With regards to expressing I found that a hot flannel was helpful on the breast just before and having baby close increased my almost non existent supply. Unfortunately mine dried up in a few days despite expressing or trying to hourly

Sunflower1985 Fri 13-Sep-13 02:41:56

Just wanted to say you're doing great. Those
Volumes for expressing are good so early on. Very encouraging as pumping will keep your supply on the up and up.

batfuttocks Fri 13-Sep-13 03:07:57

Not much to add other than I find my newborn feeds amazingly well in the bath with me - maybe the skin to skin and the familiarity of being in water? He's been sleepy and jaundiced, although has managed to keep feeding. The feeds in the bath have been noticeably much better so I wonder if that's worth a trying amongst all the other things you're doing? Good luck.

badguider Fri 13-Sep-13 09:19:05

Sounds like you're doing well. It's tough but you'll get there.

Just one thought - has anybody talked to you about bottle feeding a bf baby?
We were taught at the bf clinic to position ds in his side facing me/dh "tummy to tummy" like bf and to hold the bottle horizontal so he has to suck the milk out rather than it flowing downwards too much. We only tilt it just enough to keep milk in the teat and no more.
So far with this positioning/technique ds hasn't shown any preference for the bottle and is still taking both

fl0b0t Fri 13-Sep-13 18:34:49

Thank you thank you everyone!
Midwife God this morning and sent us to bf clinic this on. We totally mucked up routine today but clinic was great (only two of us there) and helped my confidence and have me sine ideas (includingthat he is s long baby so some positions are harder and we need to do things a bit different).

He enjoyed his expressed feed at the session, and had lots of skin to skin this afternoon as I leaked all over him and me. I am now feeling more cheerful after expressing almost 50ml this eve in one go!

So hard to prioritise! Feed him,feed me,skin to skin, get some sleep. .. he still isn't feeding from me but he is rooting about and making the right signs. She also said I'm doing the right things so confidence built back up!

Come on baby! !

Right, more skin to skin time!

crikeybadger Fri 13-Sep-13 20:51:10

Great that you've had some help and seem to be feeling more upbeatsmile.

It is hard to squeeze everything in that's true, but try and get other people to do everything else while you concentrate on feeding, skin to skin and expressing. It won't be like this forever remember.

I also agree with suggestions to offer the breast more frequently than three hourly. Lots of snuggling and gentle persuasion to take the breast and co bathing are all good too.

Stick with, you'll get therethanks

fl0b0t Fri 13-Sep-13 23:58:17

Cheers I fancy trying co bathing but sounds tricky?

During the day ( ten am to midnight ish) i am offering the breast much more frequently and doing skin to skin as much as we can. Though he hasn't got it yet, it is helping my supply.... I'm expressing a whole feed's worth now in one go smile

Helps that he is taking the em well and is more awake nd alert to feed. So I can do an hour skin to skin and offering breast, then twenty mins to get the expressed milk in and then burping, changing etc. the twenty further mins expressing, steriliser on.... And thn have n you or so to sleep or whatever before starting again!

fl0b0t Sat 14-Sep-13 03:03:59

Quick update whilst expressing....... He latched on fir this feed! Best attempt since weds morning and he stayed awake long enough to actually suck too! Topped up with expressed milk as he clearly hadn't had a who,e feed and was getting frustrated about havi g to latch. Hurrah. Will try to make th night quieter and easier by not having to comedown to get expressed ready etc... Will try to bf in bed!

minipie Sat 14-Sep-13 09:10:14

Hooray! My dd was prem and was very sleepy and hard to feed, but she "woke up" and started latching properly and demanding feeds at about 1 week past her due date. So hopefully 1 week will be a turning point for you too. well done for persevering. keep getting naked for feeds it really does help wake them up smile

one thing to watch out for over the next few days/weeks is tongue tie - if he continues to have problems staying latched even after he's less sleepy, then he could be tongue tied. if you suspect this, get a lactation consultant to take a look.

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