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Baby not latching - desperate to bf please help

(22 Posts)
newbiemum2 Fri 02-Oct-09 11:22:07

DD born 25th sept - so 1 week old today. She will not latch for longer than 2 sucks and I have tried everything. I don't think my milk has come in yet as I have tried expressing and a clear liquid comes out but not even enough to gather up. She went sundy-monday (24h) without a wet nappy and the MW told us to give her 30ml of formula every 3 h to keep fluids up or she would have to go into the hospital on a drip. Still trying to put her on the boob every time I feed her every 3-4h but this always results in screamimng, turning purple, pulling off and formula. (MW advice try to put her on then top with formula afterwards). I have received such conflicting advice - today I was told not to put her on the boob but just to express every 2-3hours as putting her on may cause her negative associations. I really want to BF but fear that the bottle and formula are scuppering all chances. I have had a breast reduction previously but was told that this should not have affected any ducts as it was very successful. How long should it take for my milk to come in? Can anyone help, please!

StealthPolarBear Fri 02-Oct-09 11:25:00

I think your milk should have come in by now
and you need more help than MN or your MW (apparently) can provide- her advice and support so far sounds bad
Can you call a BFC?

StealthPolarBear Fri 02-Oct-09 11:26:47

will keep this bumped
Glad your MW picked up on the dry nappies but annoyed formula rather than help was the solution

thumbwitch Fri 02-Oct-09 11:31:22

have you a local breast feeding expert? has your DD been checked for a tongue tie? that can make a big difference to latch etc. If you are getting something when you express, keep going if you can manage it. Are you drinking enough liquid yourself as well? If you are at all dehydrated, it can affect your supply too.

Get some fennel tea going too - that can help with milk coming in and supply.

You need to see someone who knows what they are talking about - and hope that Tiktok or someone pops up soon

cleanandclothed Fri 02-Oct-09 11:34:36

Keeping this bumped for you because I think you need an expert. Have you tried lots of skin to skin and just letting DD lie on you with access to the breast but without trying to latch her on?

newbiemum2 Fri 02-Oct-09 11:41:23

Can you recommend a support group? I am in Somerset

newbiemum2 Fri 02-Oct-09 11:42:01

Not been checked for tongue-tie, what is this?

thaliablogs Fri 02-Oct-09 11:46:05

I had low supply and my DD had the same early breast rejection. I know others who have had problems post breast reduction, so you are not alone - my low supply has other causes.

Tiktok will have better advice, but while you're waiting for her, here's what I did just FYI

- Pump as much as you can bear to try to jump start supply. Make pumping easy by renting a hospital grade pump and getting a hands free pumping bra.
- Take fenugreek, fennel tea and domperidone to get your supply up
- Try a nipple shield (I know others disagree w this) to see if she's getting a plastic nipple preference. I used one for about 10 days and managed to wean her off it once my supply was up
- Take baths together and let her latch naturally by finding her way to the boob while you're all warm and sheltered together in the bath
- Try as much skin to skin as possible without forcing the boob on her, let you both enjoy that closeness
- Keep offering the boob but don't force it
- Feed her formula so that she doesn't suffer while waiting for your milk, starving your baby is obviously the wrong option.
- Remember any breastmilk makes a huge difference, so don't discount the little she is getting when she sucks. It's all worth it.
- Consider using an SNS so that she sucks at the boob, thus getting closeness and stimulating your boobs at the same time, while she's feeding. These can be fiddly so you may want a breastfeeding counsellor or lactation consultant to help you set one up - you don't need the official Medela kit, a feeding tube (need to get this from midwife) and syringe (can be ordered off the internet) will work fine
- remember mixed feeding is better than nothing. i got to a point where DD was getting about 95% breast milk and 5% formula, even though about 1/3 of the breast milk was coming from a bottle, and that was ok for us.

hang in there. This is miserable but it will get better.

Stigaloid Fri 02-Oct-09 12:03:40

Is she tongue tied? My son couldn't latch properly and turns out he was tongue tied and had to have his tongue snipped - simple procedure - have the MW check it out.

cassell Fri 02-Oct-09 12:08:51

It sounds like you need a breastfeeding counsellor to visit you to help you get the latch correct.

The contact details for the NCT breastfeeding support line is here as well as a list of your local groups.

Also try La Leche League helpline details here

VirginiaLoveGlove Fri 02-Oct-09 12:11:40

phone the ABM helpline 08444 122 949 it is open now.

at the moment I think it is better to talk one to one with a BFC rather than being dependent on a message board for feedback.

good luck.

google other helplines for their numbers if you need to.

NCT, BFN, LLL those initials will bring them up with the word 'helpline'.

tiktok Fri 02-Oct-09 12:21:34

newbiemum, congrats on newbiebaby

You have had very poor postnatal support and you need to see someone today - and I would suggest a midwife, not a breastfeeding counsellor, because a situation like this needs clinical assessment from someone who can see your baby and judge whether there needs to be some further input. A bfc is not enough - though she will of course support you.

A talkboard is not enough, either.

3-4 hrly breastfeeding is not enough for most week old babies. It sounds like your dd does need formula at the moment but to keep up the bf she does need to be close to the breast - no fighting, though, and maybe that's what was meant by 'negative associations'.

To be honest, I feel this it outside my own boundaries (I am an NCT bfc) and I would be very concerned about a baby a week old screaming at the breast, milk not in, and mum not expressing...with a day earlier in the week with no weeing. Someone expert needs to sit with you, get breastfeeding going by whatever means, and explain stuff like biological nurturing, skin to skin, co-bathing.

Hope you find the right help.

tiktok Fri 02-Oct-09 12:26:12

Fennel tea and drinking harm in these (though women do not need to drink more water/fluids to make milk) but they are at the absolute fringe when it comes to addressing the really quite serious issues here. Nipple shield to be used under careful supervision only - and not to see if she is getting a preference (I don't understand this, to be honest) - but I agree it does not need to be ruled out, despite major drawbacks.

newbiemum - there are some good suggestions on the thread, I think, but you really need to see someone.

newbiemum2 Fri 02-Oct-09 13:15:04

Thanks everyone, will contact a bf support group, however how do I find a MW that will help if I have received such conflicting and poor advice from them up until now? Am in quite a dilemma!

VirginiaLoveGlove Fri 02-Oct-09 13:20:35

call the hospital (same number as teh labour ward number) request to speak to a Supervisor of Midwives / Head of Midwifery. Explain to her that you require a an Infant Feeding Specialist as you now believe that your baby needs serious attention now. That you have received a lot of conflicting advice from midwives so far and that you now believe you have reason to beare very very worried about your baby's wellbeing.

do no let anyone answering the phone fob you off. if they try, ask for her name and identity number - that tends to jiggy people on.

good luck

disclaimer: I am not speaking as a professional. But this is what I would do in your position, knowing what I know now.

tiktok Fri 02-Oct-09 13:22:54

The support group will not resolve your issues, newbiemum, though it's great to get in touch and make new contacts that way.

Here's what I suggest about getting other midwifery help: simply phone the midwives. You will have been given a central number to call. Explain you are confused and conflicted, and that midwife A has contradicted midwife B and that neither has addressed the issues you have of wanting to breastfeed and ensuring your baby is happy and well-fed at the breast. Don't be afraid to express how sad and at a loss you are, and don't minimise the worries you have. They should be able to detail someone to come and visit today - maybe it is someone you have seen, but they need to know they have left you unsupported and bewildered and maybe they can fix things so you have a clearer idea of what to do.

I suggest you do this now, otherwise we are getting into the weekend when it is more difficult to get help.

Good luck.

tiktok Fri 02-Oct-09 13:23:46

X posts with Virginia....yes, good idea to ask for the Infant feeding specialist, if there is one.

MrsMagnolia Fri 02-Oct-09 14:11:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiktok Fri 02-Oct-09 14:14:52

MrsMagnolia - I think you are wrong. Most women are not told this at all....modern surgical techniques should avoid severing the ducts.

newbiemum - have you seen the website Breastfeeding after Reduction?

MrsMagnolia Fri 02-Oct-09 14:33:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheShockoftheTwo Fri 02-Oct-09 22:27:54

Definitely ask to see someone who can help you with the bfeeding - just remember that everyone will be a bit different in their methods and opinions, and so you have to take all the best bits and apply them as you see fit. I had so much conflicting advice in the first week and decided to take the parts that I felt were good for me. It is awful that you have been discharged from hospital before feeling onfident about feeding.

I too found that it felt like my boys were only taking a few sucks, but was reassured that they do take some time at first and it was the case - they would suck on and off for up to 2 hours! It's apparently becuase they need to suck, swallow, breathe and rest, and it's a lot of effort when they're small. Did lots of feet tickling, undressing etc to try and get them more lively. I found the colostrum stage v difficult and had to hand express and syringe it into them.

Re expressing milk - be aware that you will never express as much as the baby can suck, as breastpumps don't provoke the same reaction in your body. I found my early milk was pretty clear, and has been on occasion since, when hot. Perhaps your body knows that your baby may be a bit dehydrated? That is if she is - modern nappies always look dry - hold them up to the light to see if the crystals are congealed as they suck up all the moisture.

If it helps, I found that one of mine found it harder to learn to latch and was SCREAMING at the breast in early days, and I kept trying to put him on (in fact a midwife helping me was shoving him on when he opened his mouth to howl - poor boy!) and he now has NO negative associations with the breast, believe me! It was so horrible, as he was bright red, hungry and so unhappy, but I persevered and did eventually get him feeding.

You may find that your baby loses weight as she has not been feeding consistently, and they always threaten the drip to make you formula feed. I was told to formula feed and only breastfeed to 'soothe' when one of mine lost 12% weight (the other lost 10%) by the paedatrician and refused on basis I needed to establish feeding, not fatten calves. Instead, I kept trying to feed them both every three hours (which worked for them - you may need to do more frequently) and foudn this stablilised their weight and they started gaining.

Please try and keep calm and focused, and get the help you need. Don't let them scare you into doing something that you don;t want to do. You will never regret persevering with breastfeeding.

thumbwitch Fri 02-Oct-09 23:57:07

since the tonguetie qu has not been answered yet (not that I saw anyway) - it is a shortening of the frenulum under the tongue, that bit of skin you see in the middle when you roll your tongue backwards. If it is too tight it can make latching and sucking quite difficult and bfing itself bloody painful.

A GOOD breastfeeding expert (MW, lactation expert I mean) will be able to tell if there is a tonguetie - but MAKE them check with their fingers. I had 3 MWs tell me my DS was not tonguetied (I asked them to check because DH is) and it wasn't until the bfing expert MW came round and ran her finger under his tongue that it was identified. She said it was quite minor though so didn't refer him immediately for having it snipped; but when the visiting MW came a week later (another Bfing expert, thank goodness) she agreed it was worth referring. The Paediatrician didn't think it would necessarily make much difference to have it done, but he did it anyway because I said I would rather get it done; and it made a LOT of difference.

I hope you have managed to phone your MW team by now - it is seriously important that someone who knows what they are talking about SEES you feeding your DD to help you properly.

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