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Going cold turkey on bottles for 3 month old refusing breast?

(4 Posts)
SamSam49 Thu 25-Jun-15 12:07:17

This post is probably going to be a long one as I'm using it as my chance to rant lol.
My baby is 14 weeks old today and has always had breastfeeding issues. I've had oversupply, OALD and thrush.

After I gave birth to him, it took him more than 24 hours to latch on and it was just so painful. I exclusively breastfed for the first few weeks but the pain it caused was just ruining everything. I would dread him waking up and would just spend the entire time I was nursing in tears. He nursed constantly all day and had gained weight by day 5. Although I persisted as much as I could I had to supplement with formula a few times as my nipples were so sore and cracked.
I saw a couple of midwives who specialise in breastfeeding and they couldn't see anything wrong with his latch so I just endured the pain although I'm sure there was something wrong.

I then decided to buy a pump to relieve myself occasionally but I found myself using it more and more. It was great that my mum and husband could feed him while I took a break. I did breastfeed as well but soon the number of bottles exceeded nursing sessions. By 6-7 weeks the pain was so much less although I had thrush.

About a month ago he just completely refused to latch and would scream if I even put him in the nursing position. I've been trying to get him back to the breast as I don't think I can go on with pumping much longer. I hate waking up in the middle of the night to pump. My supply is decreasing as baby has become more fussy so won't let me put him down while I pump so I'm missing pumping sessions.

I've looked online for tips and here's some of the things I've tried:
-skin to skin- baby won't tolerate this for more than 5 minutes even if the temperature is not too cold
-nipple shield- I put some drops of milk on it & I've found putting the shield in the fridge first helps due to his teething. He'll lick it or put his mouth on it but won't make any attempt to suck.
- stopping bottles- I've only managed to do this during daytime. Instead I feed him with a spoon which is so time consuming and messy! He cries all through it. I feel like he's starting to hate me because of this
- wearing him- it hasn't made much difference.
- laid back breastfeeding- I do this with milk on my nipples also. He puts his mouth on my nipple but it's closed.
- co sleeping- I've always done this.
- nursing while sleepy- I tried this and it just wakes him up completely or he doesn't open his mouth. One time he did put my nipple in his mouth but didn't do anything further.
- different nursing positions- I've tried going on all fours. He licks the nipple but then just turns his head.

After doing all this he doesn't cry when held in nursing position. He has gotten as far as licking the nipple or just resting his lips on it. He also doesn't open wide to latch which is made worse by the way my partner bottle feeds him (just sticking the teat in instead of letting him open his mouth for it). I don't have the money to see a lactation consultant so was looking for ideas from other mums. Should I just go cold turkey and refuse to give him any milk until he comes back to the bottle? Anybody have any other tips or success stories or should I just give up? I really wanted to breastfeed until he was ready to self wean.

Thanks to anybody reading this far & any replies

jwpetal Thu 25-Jun-15 18:53:51

You have been through so much and with amazing perseverance. My first thought and as I read your post was a tongue tie. There are two types (at least main ones). Anterior and Posterior. The latter is harder to diagnose, but both can cause all the things you've listed. You mentioned that you have seen two midwives. Is there an NCT or LeLeche or Best Beginning(?) breastfeeding specialist near you? They are trained in recognizing tongue ties. I could be wrong, but really think you should speak to one of these groups. You can also call the free numbers to discuss/get help.

Something you might be able to do is to look at ds' mouth. Does his palette (roof of mouth feel high?). Does is his tongue appear to be attached at the front to the bottom of his mouth? This can be from a greater to lesser extent. There are other checks but harder for posterior.

I am not an expert, but have assisted in this. I could be totally wrong but worth a try.

Also, the Breastfeeding Network has some information on tongue tie with pictures but only the anterior type.

Raveismyera Thu 25-Jun-15 19:00:39

You've done amazingly well. Do you have breastfeeding clinics near you? Usually at children's centres. My local one has a tongue tie clinic once a week

SamSam49 Fri 26-Jun-15 15:32:55

I did consider a tongue tie in the early days but once I started pumping I forgot all about it.
I've literally just got him to latch (first time in ages, yay!) but the pain is still there sad. It feels like this sharp pulling so a tongue/lip tie definitely seems likely.
I'm going to attend a bf group next week and see what they say.
Thank you so much for the replies, it's been very helpful. grin

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