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nursing strike in 3 week old baby - am beside myself, please help.

(24 Posts)
Hangingbellyofbabylon Fri 25-Sep-09 21:19:31

dd is 3.5 weeks, breastfed within 10 mins of birth. was a bit lazy with her latch at first but has been really doing well these last few weeks.

this morning she woke up and fed normally then when i got back from the school run she was crying a lot but wouldn't latch on at all, as if she was really freaked by the breast. managed to get her to feed for a couple of minutes at lunch time but after then she was just screaming again. she has been super windy all day and has cried more than i have ever seen her.

saw the gp this evening who said nothing is wrong physically but to take her to hospital if she isn't feeding well tomorrow. i ended up sending dh to mothercare for a breastpump and she has taken a couple of oz of ebm but still going psycho at the breast. have tried skin to skin in bed, feel so awful, this is so so important to me and i just feel so sad. sorry for lack of capitals, one handed typing as cuddling dd.

ilovemydogandmrobama Fri 25-Sep-09 21:22:45

This was useful when DD and DS went on strike

greensnail Fri 25-Sep-09 21:23:55

Have you tried having a bath with her? This would always tempt DD into feeding.

Hope you get this sorted, sure some experts will be along soon.

Mummy369 Fri 25-Sep-09 21:35:33

Hi Hangingbellyofbabylon, I think you've probably identified the problem without realising. Have you thought about what you have had to eat and drink over the past 24 hours? It may be that something you ate has disagreed with her and now she's rather windy. Try giving her 1ml of infacol a few minutes before the next feed and see if it helps her settle and relax enough to breastfeed. You can also try different positions for winding.

Unfortunately, you will just need to 'ride the storm' until her discomfort passes. Try and initiate lots of skin-to-skin which will help soothe and comfort her. It's not your breastmilk now that is causing her discomfort - it's what she has already had. If you can soothe and calm her she will be back on the breast in no time. That will also help her windy tummy and she should be feeling herself again by tomorrow.

GruffaloMama Fri 25-Sep-09 22:14:18

You might have tried this - but rubbing DS's tummy helped with windiness. I'll try to explain what a HV showed me but it might be a bit rubbish:
1. With baby on their back, starting on left side, move your hand firmly up their tummy from hip to just below ribs. Do this a couple of times.
2. Then extend rubbing across tummy from left to right. Do this a couple of times.
3. Then rub down on right hand side from ribs towards hip.

It worked for us and he had horrific wind sometimes. BTW i found that as Mummy369 said that Thai/spicy Indian food was a total no-no.

Keep going with the skin to skin (daddy can always help with this too if you need a bit of a break - though he might struggle to feed). Hope you have a good night.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Fri 25-Sep-09 22:47:48

I'm fairly sure it was the Thai red curry I had last night sad. I just feel gutted. The infacol is helping with the wind but she still just gets hysterical at the breast. I've just epxressed 3oz with dh is giving her from a bottle. Now I'm freaking about nipple confusion as well but she is still so long and my priority has to be getting milk into her somehow. sad It's so odd as she normally cluster feeds for about 3 hours at a time so is in my arms a lot - I've been cuddlign her whilst she naps but I miss her feeding so much, please, please let this is all go away, I need my little breastfeeding girl back.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Fri 25-Sep-09 22:48:40

sorry, still so young, not long. (see what a state I'm in now).

forevermore Sat 26-Sep-09 13:16:35

babylon how is the Lo one now. It sounds like it was probably that curry and it should have worked its way through her sytem by now!?

hope she's back to normal.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Sun 27-Sep-09 16:00:48

Not good news, dd hasn't breastfed since Friday morning. I've been trying to express milk and cup feed but she wasn't getting enough milk to keep her going so I have had to supplement her with bottles of formula. I talked to a breastfeeding counsellor who said that from her slow weight gain and very long feeds it sounds as if she was never feeding that well but was just hanging in there as I let her feed for so long. This week though I have constantly had to put he second and delay her feeds for the school run etc. This meant that she wasn't getting enough milk to even have the energy to try and why she stopped feeding sad God I've fucked up so much. Seeing her with a bottle it's obvious how hungry she is and she finds it so much easier to get a few ounces of milk that way rather than having to feed for hours.

I've been trying to express but it's nearly impossible as dd1 has swine flu so is needed me all the time, dd2 is disabled so always needs more of me than I can give. I'm sat here now with my breasts aching and leaking and all I want is to be able to snuggle my little lamb on to feed sad.

I was going to go to breastfeeding group tomorrow but can't bring swine flu dd with me and no-one wants to baby-sit her for fear of catching it themselves. So I'm fucked basically.

I'm going to try to express when I can to let her have a little of my milk but have had to go and buy a big tub of formula for her today. Tomorrow dh is in london so leaving home at 5.30am and not back till 7pm - how am I going to manage all those hours on my own?

People think it's about the milk but it's so much more, breastfeeding is the absolute best bit of motherhood for me. It's more than milk, it's dreamy snuggles in bed in the middle of the night (I won't be able to safetly co-sleep when I'm bottle feeding), it's being able to feed them when they fall over and graze a knee or are just feeling tired and cranky. I've had my most useful 'tool' taken away from me and I feel like something has died. I am trying to calmly try and get her latched on, taking it right back to the begining again but she just cries when my nipple is in her mouth.

I'm lost. sad

tiktok Sun 27-Sep-09 16:04:05



Forget the curry, I think none of this has anything to do with that....as you suggest, it's prob a longer-standing issue, but one that really can be turned round, even so.

Can you give more info about the weight gain?

StealthPolarBear Sun 27-Sep-09 16:06:06

be kind to yourself! It doesn't sound as though this is the end of bf at all.
Do you have a sling? even if you cant feed her in it, just holding her snuggled against you breast might help? Or have you tried putting her to your breast when she's asleep / very sleepy?
hope your dd1 is better very soon.
why won't you safely co sleep if bottle feeding?

tutu100 Sun 27-Sep-09 16:16:17

My ds2 took a lot longer to get the hang of bf than ds1 did and unfortunatly he caught a cold when he was 2 weeks old which made it almost impossible for him to bf as he couldn't latch on. I did what you have done and expressed so he could get something and kept persevering with the breast before giving the bottle. Luckily it was only a few days before he was feeding normally and we resumed full feeding from the breast.

I know though that when you have other children expressing is such a faff and very diffcult to fit in to your day infact I didn't bother expressing for ds2 after he was 6 weeks.

Please don't be disheartened by giving some formula. It may take some time but I think you will be able to get back to feeding from the breast. I found that when ds2 couldn't latch on it was easier for him if I could make my let down reflex go before I tried to latch him on.

If I were nearer to you I'd love to be able to come and help so you can go to breastfeeding group (I'm not that far away in Southampton, but can't get to you- hope you don't mind I looked up where you are in your profile). Would you be able to ring the breastfeeding group and see if anyone can come and see you at home, or is your hv any good with bf?

Hope things improve soon. But I do empathise. When ds2 caught his cold I really thought I was going to have to give up and he would never feed from me again.

mrsjuan Sun 27-Sep-09 16:21:58

Oh gosh, you sound so sad sad. All is not lost though - I remember reading on another thread that 'if there is still milk, there is still time' and that has really helped me carry on (of a fashion) for the last few months.

I am not going to give you any advice - the experts are here for that. I really hope you get things back on track.

StealthPolarBear Mon 28-Sep-09 16:15:09

How's it going Hangingbelly?

Hangingbellyofbabylon Mon 28-Sep-09 23:16:08

thanks for all the support. Things got worse yesterday as dd seemed to lack the energy to even suck a bottle of breastmilk. Over-night it took us 2 hours to get 2oz of milk into her sad. Everytime she gets near my breasts to has a couple of sucks then gives up exhausted. I got the HV round today and dd has only gained 40grams in the last week, she's now just over her birth weight at 4 weeks old today. For now my priority is getting milk into my little girl, I'm expressing and then waking her and trying to get at least 2oz in every 2 hours. The health visitor is coming back tomorrow to weigh her again.

I talked to a great breastfeeding counsellor tonight who has suggested syringe feeding her which we're going to try and to get her a bit stronger as a priority. I'm still expressing and hoping we'll be able to get back to breastfeeding soon.

dd1 has had a bit of a better day with the swine flu but is still pretty poorly and the HV reckons my little babe could well be poorly too. I'm hanging in there for now but not looking forward to another night of expressing and steralising etc.

EightiesChick Mon 28-Sep-09 23:30:43

Hangingbelly, feel so sad for you. Don't feel bad about the formula. Everything could still change. Wishing you and your little girl all the very best.

tiktok Tue 29-Sep-09 09:58:02



This must be really difficult.

It sounds as if the HV is on the case, which is good...to me, it sounds that your little one is not well

The syringe is a good idea - are you using a decent breastpump?

StealthPolarBear Tue 29-Sep-09 19:58:52

That sounds really stressful, on top of your DD1 being ill - expressing and feeding every 2 hours. You are doing really well.
IM (non expert) opinion do whatever you can and whatever it takes to get through the crisis - things will seem much more manageable when you're all well.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Wed 30-Sep-09 10:18:28

Well it looks as if our feeding 'regime' has pulled dd back from the brink. dd3 managed to gain 3 oz in the last 24 hours smile. She looks pinker and is more alert. I'm aiming to get at least 2 oz into her every 2 hours. Mainly ebm but topping up with formula as I don't always have enough chance to express enough.

This morning she actually latched on in bed and had a little feed , we still need to work on her latch as she was not efficient and it made her tired. Right from birth her difficulty seems to be getting her tongue to extend over her lower teeth when latching on. She has been checked for tongue tie and is ok but she does seem to have a really short tongue.

Anyway the plan for now is to try and get her to breastfeed when possible and also top her up with a bottle. And when we are all better and swine flu has left the building I need to see someone to actually get help and get her feeding properly.

I'm so exhausted - have set the dd's up with a dvd and if little one naps for a bit I'm going to try to have a doze too.

tiktok Wed 30-Sep-09 10:35:55

All sounds a lot better, Hanging....how is she doing with the 'direct' bf?

StealthPolarBear Wed 30-Sep-09 10:40:11

shock at3oz in 24 hours, that's brilliant
DVD and dozing sounds like a good plan. How's your DD1? On the mend I hope.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Wed 30-Sep-09 10:43:24

she's no longer 'fighting' and her little body is all relaxed next to mine as opposed to her being rigid like over the last few days. She is taking in a good mouthful of breast but I can see that her tongue is sort of hovering so not in the right position to effectively 'milk' the breast. I know she's getting something as I can see it dribble out of her mouth but she's not efficient and finds it very tiring. I also find that every time I just want 5 mins to try and get her feeding I have a bottom to wipe or a nose to wipe or a cuddle to give and really I need to hole me and dd3 into bed together all day and concentrate. Hopefully when dds 1 and 2 are well and back to school and playgroup things will be easier but until then my priority is keeping my supply going. Thanks for all the support, it's keeping me afloat right now which is far better than I was on Friday smile

Hangingbellyofbabylon Wed 30-Sep-09 10:44:45

thanks stealth - I am stubborn and when I set my mind to something I do it with vigour!

dd1 getting better, kind of at that annoying too well to be at home but too ill to be at school stage!

StealthPolarBear Wed 30-Sep-09 10:45:23


If she's dribbling milk that sounds pretty good to me! Hopefully as she gets more times when she's full from the milk and has a really good sleep she'll naturally get more efficient.

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