Breast Feeding Support(3 Posts)
Hi, I'm a new mum with a four week old girl.I'm very keen to breast feed but she struggles to latch on. She had a small birth weight and she's not putting weight on. She was also jaundice, so we've had her back in hospital because shes lost weight and strength. I'm now using formula to top her up. She has got a good suck when I feed her (using nipple shields). I think she has nipple/bottle confusion. Before I get her to latch on she fusses and cries A LOT. I'm finding this very frustrating because I am producing plenty of milk, but also because I don't feel I've been able to find any useful support. I've been told by the mid wife I missed out on crucial support as my little one was born at the weekend. I've tried several avenues and charities for help (hospital midwifery/FAB/ ) and all I seem to get told is 'let us know if you're struggling' rather than advice and support. All I want to do it make sure my little one is feeding and gaining a healthy weight. I've tried different feeding positions (cradle, bed, rugby ball) but I only find cradling "successful". Feeding at anyone time is taking hours for very little success and all she wants to do is sleep. I've been told not to wake her in the night by the midwife but last night she slept for 5 hours without a feed, and I'm now spending my nights feeling paranoid that she needs more feeds but unsure how to feed her when I shouldn't wake her.
If anyone could help, or at least put my in the right direction, I would be extremely grateful.
Hi. congratulations on your new baby and I am sorry to hear that you are struggling. My first suggestion is to try to attend a breastfeeding group supported by a trained breastfeeding counselor. The NCT, BFN or your local GP service should direct you. They will check your latch (visual always better than by phone in my opinion) and I would have them check for a tongue tie (just to be sure). Unfortunately, many pediatricians, GPs and health visitors have not been trained in breastfeeding and tongue ties to accurately diagnose. I cannot stress this enough. Our clinic often gets babies with the problem after having been seen by numerous professionals.
I am surprised that you were told not to wake a sleeping baby, particularly one that has not been putting on weight and is still quite young. I would think no more than 3 hours until weight has stabilized.
If she is underweight, she will be more tired and BF takes more energy to do. Keep offering the breast and waking her.
You may also want to think about expressing while you work through this to keep your supply up. Plenty of skin to skin. Keep going with the shield if working...this could also indicate a tongue tie (there are 2 types). Don't worry if you don't express a lot. It is the stimulation of the milk glands you are trying for.
I have to go and I know there are some amazing women in this group who may have more suggestions. You are doing wonderful. i have been where you are.
Thanks so much jwpetal. Today has been a better day with getting her to feed from the breast. She has fed for her longest periods with successful latching (i think) 1 hour each time and then having top up. I managed to do some of the feeds without the nipple shields too. I am still concerned about the long sleep periods between feeds. I set my alarm to feed her this morning at 3am but never heard it and woke to her crying at 5.30am, she then would not go on the breast as fussing so much - i guess because she was so hungry, which has really upset me. today I pretty much spent the day parked on the sofa and spent time with her feeding her, some of the breast feeds were over an hour long, which I have sine read is too long?! she slept little between feeds and woke herself without any fussing for another feed. I then woke her up for her evening feed at 7pm which worked well, we did 20 mins each breast with breast compression when she started to doze off, she then only needed 50ml of top up EBM and fell asleep just after an hour from the start of her feed (feeds have been taking 1.5 - 2 hours) which maybe why she sleeps for long periods?!? Doing such long breast feeds today means I havnt been able to express anymore milk so I will have to use formula.
My biggest confusion is doing combination feeds. Today it was all breast milk but when she has formula I see a BIG difference in her feed and sleep patterns. She eats more and sleeps much longer (like she is binge feeding) my midwife doesn't see this as an issue, its as though she just doesn't get my aim is to breast feed. I will give formula to ensure she is fed and will gain weight, but I wont give up easily until we have both given all our effort. I have seen HUGE progress in just 24 hours which is encouraging.
I have contacted La Leche League for help. The GP, hospital and midwife checked her out for tongue-tie but said she is fine. when you put your little finger in her mouth she has a really strong suck. Any other suggestions or recommendations?
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