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DS refuses to latch - any advice?

(14 Posts)
Rookie1976 Mon 08-Dec-14 09:05:54

Hi, my 1 week old refuses to latch onto my breasts so I am really struggling to breastfeed him. I was induced and it took 4/5 days for milk to come in so had to bottle feed him at the start. Now, despite trying all positions and being told by midwives that the position and latch technique I am trying is right he just pushes away from me when I try to feed him myself. I am starting to loose confidence and finding it quite stressful. Trying to BF him, then bottle feeding him when he refuses and then trying to fit an express into a 3hourish cycle is almost impossible too....
Has anyone had a similar experience and got any suggestions?

dragonfly007 Mon 08-Dec-14 09:16:42

Yes this is very common, particularly where bottles have been introduced early. Please look for a breastfeeding group locally, perhaps your midwife knows a group? if not the children's centres normally have a breastfeeding champion, so give your local one a call. It will take support and commitment to come back from this, but it is not impossible so take heart . Good luck x

eurochick Mon 08-Dec-14 09:17:22

My baby was prem and not strong enough to latch. I expressed as I wanted her to have my milk. I then tried to get her feeding with nipple shields and without. She didn't manage for a long while though, so if you go down that route be aware that she might always prefer bottles b

dragonfly007 Mon 08-Dec-14 09:18:17

Also, how often are you pumping and how much milk are you getting off? Did you pump whilst waiting for your milk to come in and if so how regularly?

dorasee Mon 08-Dec-14 09:19:19

Give him and you a bit of time. I find rubbing the upper lip stimulates babies to open their mouths into a big O shape which helps them latch better. Tickling the back of the head where the nape of the neck is, stimulates the sucking reflex once they've latched on. Ring your HV for a local breast feeding support person...can't remember what they are called ;-). But usually there is a local centre and it is really worth the input. Good luck. The first week or two are tough going but it really will be fine.

TheannamoLeelu Mon 08-Dec-14 09:23:36

Didn't want to leave your post unanswered, congratulations on your new baby first of all flowers

When my baby was born he was quite sleepy and didn't want to feed much, but got there in the end.

What real life support are you getting? Is it just the midwives or is there a breastfeeding drop in centre nearby? Or maybe you could call one of the national breastfeeding helplines - they were very useful when I called them.

What I found helped was lots of skin to skin contact, go to bed with your baby with just it's nappy on and hold him against your skin lots of cuddles.
Also you could try giving him the expressed milk from a cup or syringe instead of bottle if you think it's confusing him?

One of the biggest things is patience and confidence though, if at first you don't succeed try try again, your baby may have more patience than you think!

I really do think you should see if you can find some real life bfing support nearby if possible and try and time it so they can see what happens when he's hungry so they can suggest some ideas.

Good luck with everything

OneLeggedCrabGoingInCircles Mon 08-Dec-14 09:43:05

Yes my DS wouldn't latch on (various complicated reasons) and despite one midwife telling me she had never come across this in her 28 years of being a midwife complete lie and me not being able to leave the hospital till he had latched on. Well I pumped all my milk ( I had loads) and then finally said I'd have to bottle feed (my breast milk) to my DS after a week of trying and phoning my paediatric doctor friend in despair who hinted at the fact I needed a 'feeding plan' to be discharged and that at least 4 mums a week in this hospital alone are unable to breast feed despite what they tell you. The younger midwives were completely relieved and admitted that they were waiting for me to give a feeding plan ie bottle feed) before they could discharge me from hospital.
My doctor friend came home one day and plonked a box of formula on the kitchen table for his wife after her 2 months of struggling to breast feed, it was a blessed relief for her as she had minimal milk but felt she should try her best, her baby was constantly hungry they were all exhausted. Life improved.

elvislives2012 Mon 08-Dec-14 09:49:53

1 switch off phone
2 switch on DVD boxset (I recommend breaking bad)
3 take off top and bra. Let it all hang out
4 take off baby's clothes
5 put baby in between boobs
6 lie on sofa and let baby rummage around
Lots of skin to skin and Google laid back feeding. If baby gets too distressed, offer bottle first for an ounce or so to take edge off hunger then repeat steps 1-6.
Really recommend local groups too, a real life saver.
Good luck xxx

FraterculaArctica Mon 08-Dec-14 09:54:48

Congratulations on your baby! As well as all the good advice above make sure you get him checked for tongue tie by a qualified lactation consultant - don't rely on midwives or HVs opinion on this

omama Mon 08-Dec-14 09:54:59

OP this was very similar to my situation 2 weeks ago. DD was delivered slightly early (37+5) by c section due to me having preeclampsia. She wasn't remotely interested in feeding & the midwives & breastfeeding support workers in hospital tried everything to get her latching & couldn't, so suggested we bottle feed ebm. We started this at 3 days old.

Unfortunately dd lost too much weight & became jaundiced so we ended up back in nicu at 5 days old. While there, the staff offered to help me re-establish breastfeeding. However, she became extremely distressed whenever she was placed anywhere near the breast & would arch her back & pummel it with her fists & scream. Rock bottom was a 2hr session with the bf support worker trying to help me with dd screaming & me sobbing. In between trying & failing to feed her & expressing every 2hrs I was exhausted & ready to give up.

That night a really lovely nurse suggested we try feeding laying down as this might remove the stress factor. We started with skin to skin & then I laid her next to me, nose to nipple & waited. She latched on by herself, perfectly, with no pain or discomfort & she fed. Because we were both relaxed.

If you haven't tried this yet I would definitely give it a go. I found after a few days of laying down feeds, we were able to sit up to feed, although we still struggle on one side.

We aren't out of the woods yet, dd is a bit of a lazy feeder & I think having used syringe, then cup, then bottle, before getting her to the breast has worked against us as she expects it to pour into her mouth instead of having to work for it. She also now has a chesty cough & isn't feeding well. I have become sore so have done a few formula feeds & am currently contemplating expressing & bottle feeding (if I can figure out how to fit it all into a day aswell as look after my other child!).

Its not easy but with perseverance & support from your local breastfeeding team (ask your community midwives for their contact details) you may well be able to get things re-established. Good luck!

Rookie1976 Mon 08-Dec-14 12:23:08

Thanks everyone for taking time to respond. With your encouragement I have got the BF support worker coming tomorrow and it'll be a day of skin to skin all day! I'll keep you posted smile

TheannamoLeelu Mon 08-Dec-14 14:15:22

So good you feel better Rookie and really glad you have someone in real life coming round to offer advice and support. The early days of feeding can be hard work but I promise it will get easier!

Enjoy the newborn snuggles with the skin to skin thing, try and relax and be confident that giving your boy time and you'll both get it sorted soon thanks

Let us know how it goes tomorrow

DustOffYourHighestHopes Mon 08-Dec-14 14:20:21

Everyone has said great advice - BFing only worked for me once a dedicated support worker watched me latch and helped me. All the other MWs said a variety of unhelpful BS.

One thing: if you find it isn't working for you, and you have to top up or go to formula completely PLEASE realise that your baby will be more than fine - happy relaxed mother goes a long way to having a happy relaxed baby.

I mixed fed until 6 months but could have done without all the added pressure to increase milk supply/take supplements etc.

NakedFamilyFightClub Mon 08-Dec-14 14:30:12

Have you had a tongue tie check? My DS just couldn't latch at all and I was told he didn't have tongue tie by midwives and health visitors but a lactation consultant diagnosed it as soon as she looked at his tongue. He did manage to latch a couple of times in odd positions but it was toe curlingly painful. Nipple shields worked but were a bit fiddly and he kept ripping them off with his fingers.

He was on bottles and a mix of expressed milk and formula for about 1-2 months then he moved to breastfeeding without any major issues once his tongue tie was cut.

Have you seen any YouTube videos for the flipple or exaggerated latch position? That might be useful.

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