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4 day old bf baby- why is this so hard :((((((((

(122 Posts)
needaplan Tue 19-Jun-07 12:40:02

Firstly thank you for even reading this.

I have a 4 day old dd who I'm trying to bf. I didn't succeed with dd1 who never latched on properly. With help from the mw's, dd2 latched on well (well, she seems to- opens mouth fairly wide, sucks, seems to swallow well, stays on for 15-25 mins) though my nipples are sore so I'm losing confidence with this now. For the 1st 3 days she fed around every 3-4 hrs (weighed 6lb 13oz at birth). She has been hard to settle at night though sleeps well in the day. Last night was horrendous-she had a pretty good feed at 10.30 ish last night and then wouldn't sleep or feed (was screaming) until gone 5am. She eventually pood and had a very brief feed before falling asleep. She has hardly been awake since.

I am worried about her losing too much weight and have stupidly weighed her myself (we have baby scales). She has lost 10oz. She is a bit jaundiced too.

I am just confused- what shall i do? Even though I thought she was feeding well, I can;t really tell if she has wet nappies- they don't seem wet at all. The poo in the night was very dark greenish and loosish (I think that's ok).

I spoke to a bf counsellor who said to put her to the breast every 2-3 hrs and she'll probably suck even though she's asleep (what a joke). Then to express if she won't feed. I gave her some expressed milk at 11am as she latched on but fell straight back to sleep on breast with no sucking. How much ebm should I give though? Or should I give it at all?

I am so upset. I think more so because I thought there was a chance of bf working this time . Any ideas would be much appreciated. A bit at NCT helpline- I pressed the option to say I was in distress etc but still only got option to leave a message and still had no call back.

mozhe Tue 19-Jun-07 12:51:52

look up La Leche League in your phone book I think they are better.....

needaplan Tue 19-Jun-07 12:55:59

It was a LLL counsellor that I spoke to.

minorityrules Tue 19-Jun-07 12:57:13

it's rotten those first few days.

Has your milk come in? If it hasn't it will very soon and your baby will be more satisfied.

Baby blues kick in around now too and that won't be helping

Try la leche and get their advice, I'm sure it will all settle down soon but they will help you get through these first few weeks

rnbsmum Tue 19-Jun-07 12:58:05

Firstly, you're doing brilliantly to be feeding this time round and the scenario doesn't sound at all uncommon. I agree with mozhe la leche would be good to talk to to set your mind at rest. Are you due a midwfe visit? I was advised to put a cotton wool ball into a disposable to see if my los had weed - its hard to tell in some nappies isn't it. Stick with it

ruddynorah Tue 19-Jun-07 12:58:50

i don't think you need to be thinking about settling her for night just yet. it's early days. just keep her close and keep offering her the breast. her sleep pattern won't sort itself for a good while yet.

kiskidee Tue 19-Jun-07 12:59:27

strip your baby down to his nappy. and get him skin to skin with you as much as possible. wake him up to feed during the day, as often as possible. every 2 - 3 hrs is good. he must also feed during the night. if he falls asleep after a few mins, change his nappy, tickle his feet or ear, keep the room a bit on the cool side.

read this link too.

Slim Tue 19-Jun-07 12:59:56

It's still really really early days - both you and the baby are learning how to do this (and you both need to learn) so hang on in there. It does get easier.

Not sure about waking your LO to feed, but put her to the boob when she's awake, stay in bed (or on the sofa), lots of skin to skin contact. Don't worry about anything else. Get someone else to do nappies etc. if possible and feed feed feed.

DS latched on OK but didn't feed much in the firsy day or so, then didn't stop!

Oh and Lansinoh for nipples is great.

Do you have a bf drop in centre or clinic at the hospital? What about the mw (she should still be visiting)

ejt1764 Tue 19-Jun-07 13:02:08

Needaplan - congratulations on the birth of your baby...

La leche league phoneline: 0845 120 2918

now, to your individual concerns - feeding at night - sleeping during the day is normal for a very little one - the best is if you try to get some sleep while she's sleeping.

Losing weight - it's important that your baby is weighed on the same scales every time - your scales may well just be calibrated slightly differently to the hospital scales. Dont't weigh her again - or, if you need, to, take the first measurement on your scales as a baseline and take it from there.

Jaundice can cause feeding difficulties in a newborn - I'd phone your midwife and tell her how worried you are.

The poo sounds fine - if you can't really detect the wee, then (I think) that's fine too - if it was too concentrated then it'd stain the nappies yellow.

As for the ebm - I'd wait until you've sorted out the jaundice - if you feel like your boobs are bursting then express some off.

Don't panic - you and your baby are learning this together - see if you can get a bf counsellor to come and see you at home - and see if there's a bf support group near you that you can go to.

Don't worry about your boobs hurting - you are not used to someone sucking on them for hours every day (), that will get better.

The NCT / LLL phonelines may help, but nothing beats having someone there face to face.

Good luck - thinking of you

kiskidee Tue 19-Jun-07 13:02:15

dr newman also has handouts on: jaundice and the importance of skin to skin contact among other things. clik on them here.

Wilbur Tue 19-Jun-07 13:03:06

needaplan - so sorry you're having a hard time. If it helps at all, when I had an independent midwife, she never weighed the baby in the first week, just once at birth and then started weighing again a week or even 10 days later. This was because, she said, babies can lose so much weight in that first week that mothers panic and think they are not getting enough milk. If you're having loose-ish greeny poo, that sounds like she's just in that halfway stage between meconium and breastfed poo, which is much looser than formula poo.

The other thing my midwife said (and someone please correct me if this is no longer correct advice, it was 6 yrs ago) is that a b/f baby can safely take up to three weeks to regain birth weight.

If I were you, I would stick with the bf and not worry about ebm right now - I started expressing at about 4/5 weeks with mine and that seemed about right - boobs had got used to producing milk by then. Please don't be upset - it sounds like you are doing the right thing and if she is a bit jaundiced, let her have some sunlight (not too much!). She can lie by a sunny window for a little while, that should help.

Good luck!

tiktok Tue 19-Jun-07 13:05:10

needaplan - sorry about the helpline. There is one person on duty at a time for those 'distressed' calls and if they are busy with someone else, then you have to leave a message. You will get a callback.

You don't say if you are seeing a midwife - it might help to see one. Can you call today and get one out today? A baby sleeping without feeding needs to be checked out.

I can understand your feelings esp after last time...but it's early days

Weighing her yourself may not be the greatest idea, but 10 oz is within 'rule of thumb' limits anyway. Place a muslin inside the disposable nappy to check she is weeing. Poo sounds normal.

It will help to keep her skin to skin with you asleep and awake, and to respond quickly to any feeding cues she gives you. She can suck when asleep, or dozing, but the best feeds are ones where she is awake and actively transferring milk. I don't understand about giving ebm when she is latched on????Is this a typo?

Yes, while breastfeeding is not happening well, you can express as often as you would feed her and give it to her.
But best thing is for someone to see you and help you get it together - and it will happen

needaplan Tue 19-Jun-07 13:40:36

thanks for replying, keep crying so I'm probably not making much sense . Have just tried all the tricks to wake her- she won't. Phoned mw-she said she'll come round late pm. She wasn't going to come today because things were going pretty well. DH now syringing in some ebm while I express again... will update soon

popeye123 Tue 19-Jun-07 13:56:06

it sounds like you are giving yourself a really hardly time, possibly because of your problems with DD1. It does not sound as though you are doing anything wrong- its just bf - it ALWAYS takes a while to get going....don't believe any nonsense about it being natural and therefore easy.
THe first thing you need to address is YOU - if you are worrying and uptight this is going to have an impact or your milk supply. Make sure you are eating and drinking properly.Try to take things easy, don't worry about expressing, you shouldn't need to so early on. Lie in bed with baby close and do nothing but sleep and feed!
You haven't said anything about the birth - I had a c section and my milk didn't come in for 6 days.
Think of your baby as having jet lag after the birth - takes a while for them to recover too! A walk outside in the sun would do you good and probably babies jaundice too.
Another organisation which might help is Babycafe. I'll try to find a link. They have weekly meetings with volunteer mums who can offer you support and encouragement face to face.
You ARE doing really well. Relax, it will come.

popeye123 Tue 19-Jun-07 13:59:44

find your nearest...

sorry, don't know how to do fancy link thingy

IdreamofClooney Tue 19-Jun-07 14:04:30

Hi Needaplan

Hope things are going better for you. I had very similar problems BF my DS (he losts well over a pound, had dry nappies with red streaks urates I think, didn;t poo for 14 days, expressing milk and syrine feeding etc etc) It turned out he had a tongue tie and when that was snipped he managed to feed better but it was still a real struggle for a while.

Is there a bf counsellor you can actually go and see in your local hospital - it is much easier if they can actually see you and your baby and help with positioning. I did find hte NCT helpline very helpful when I was totally at rock bottom.

I felt that I got so stressed and upset that I made things worse and when I tried to calm down I seemed to have more milk.

Just think that you CAN do it and you WILL get through this rough patch and it is all worth it in the end. After a nightmare start I sucessfully BF my DS for 14 months and I have a friend who had a really hard time to begin with who is still feeding now.

Hope things improve soon

reikizen Tue 19-Jun-07 14:08:04

Sorry if I've missed this but did the mw tell you the baby is jaundiced? If so, what has she recommended? Next time the mw visits get her to sit with you and check your 'technique'. Take as much of her time as you need, that's what she's there for.

sweetjane Tue 19-Jun-07 14:08:47

It's really hard, I know, especially when you are so tired but just wanted to add my support. Definitely persevere with NCT, I used them and they were brilliant. Keep asking for help if you are not happy. The tip about putting a muslin into the nappy is a good one if you are not using cloth nappies, you may be surprised at how wet it gets!

Hang in there, it gets easier and the rewards are so worth it.

auntymandy Tue 19-Jun-07 14:12:38

ok my baby was born on friday. sleeps a dream diring day not so at night, but hey its new to him too. He doesnt know he has it wrong!! si I keep waking him up and trying to get him to feed. bathed him earlier to wake him up. if your dd is jaundice she will be quite sleepy and lazy so you will have to wake her to feed. 15 mins on your boob is good!!!I personally wouldnt express yet. let your milk settle first.

I am no expert but happy to chat and help where I can

needaplan Tue 19-Jun-07 14:25:50

I have wonderful support at home and am eating and drinking v well. I'd be quite happy to just cuddle and feed but even when dd is awake, she is fussy and pulls off after 2 sucks, then back to sleep. Maybe she has a milk intolerance like dd1.

I will get the mw to check the latch if she is awake. I had a c/section and called a mw every feed for nearly 48 hrs. They all told me latch was good...

Yes mw said dd is jaundice and just to feed lots (this was yesterday). The fact that she won't feed is why I want to give ebm now. Would not have done otherwise.

needaplan Tue 19-Jun-07 14:29:08

Sorry not v. clear there. I want to give ebm to try and get rid of the jaundice. Don't feel I can just leave her to sleep or ignore her breast refusals if she's jaundice.

tiktok Tue 19-Jun-07 14:33:49

You're right, needaplan. Your baby does need ebm. Jaundiced, sleepy babies absolutely need ebm, in the absence of 'direct' breastfeeding.

It's good the m/w is coming.

needaplan Tue 19-Jun-07 14:45:05

Thanks for posting that tiktok. I have just found this on another thread too by mears:

It is a vicious circle - baby jaundiced and sleepy - will not demand feeds - gets more sleepy and jaundiced.

So that is my plan then which makes me slightly less tearful. How much ebm should I give and how often?

tiktok Tue 19-Jun-07 14:56:01

Express what you can and give what you can in the most efficient way, needaplan. 4 day old babies don't need huge amounts - don't get stressed about the exact quantity.

If you express enough to give in a bottle, then do so, as this is efficient and babies enjoy the sucking.

If not, use a little egg cup.

M/w should be able to help you with all these practicalities and in a few hours you will feel a lot better

minorityrules Tue 19-Jun-07 15:14:39

Also, let her sleep near a window to get lots of daylight as that will help jaundice too (not in direct sunlight though a sshe may get too hot)

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