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slow to setablish breast feeding - help

(13 Posts)
kathhere Sat 03-Oct-09 17:01:02

our daughter is 3 weeks today and we are struggling to establish bf,

She was induced at 37.5 weeks & had tongue tie, plus still has jaundice so is v sleepy

I am expressing all the milk i can and sometimes she bfs (more likely in afternoon, never at night) so we are using my milk in bottle too but is it too late to hope she'll be a fully bf baby? Latch is also not great even when she's on

Also confused about whether to 'nag' her with bf or concentrate on filling her up via bottle, any advice welcome please, thanks

ib Sat 03-Oct-09 17:10:55

I'm no expert, but my ds did have jaundice plus reflux which meant that he refused to feed.

I didn't really manage to get bf established until he was about 10 weeks, but eventually it worked out and he carried on feeding until he was 2.5 yo!

So I would say, no, it absolutely isn't too late to hope she'll be a fully bef baby! Good on you for keeping going.

I would really advise you to see a RL bf counsellor/lactation consultant. They can advise you on the latch and probably also keep an eye on her to see whether see is getting too weak to focus on the bf and the most important thing is to get milk into her or whether she's getting enough and you can focus on the bf.

I used to bf him first always, then top up with expressed milk.

tiktok Sat 03-Oct-09 17:51:00

I agree with ib: real life help is best.

You really need someone to watch.

Have you tried biological nurturing, skin to skin, co-bathing, co-sleeping? Is your baby gaining weight?

kathhere Sat 03-Oct-09 18:58:39

thanks, I've had a few visits, from different midwives, NCT counsellor, NHS expert etc and it all makes sense when they are there (or my daughter is too asleep to wake up so its theoretical) - but once they've left then I seem to lose the knack again.
She has regained her birth weight (and lots of dirty nappies) so hopefully something is going into her
We tried co bathing, it worked well the first time but other times since, its been less effective, and I tried co sleeping but spent whole time in anxious half sleep so don't think its right for me yet anyway

We do lots of skin to skin, have her resting on me a lot, and she does bob about as far as nipple, but often stops short before latching on

What is biological nurturing though?

My worry is that she is getting too used to the bottle and how easily the milk gets into her, and that she will give up on bf-ing, does that sound like it might happen?
Then again, at least twice this week, she wouldn't even take bottle or bf so that was another worry.
I think I'm just an over anxious mother who just wants to feed her daughter, and its so much harder than I thought it would be...

millimummy Sat 03-Oct-09 20:07:08

Agree with tiktok and ib. RL help needed on this. Meantime, do try calling La Leche League as they will talk to you about your concerns and should be able to send somebody to your house

La Leche League: 0845 120 2918

Try this for biological nurturing:

and this:

ib Sat 03-Oct-09 20:21:16

I know exactly how you feel, I remember feeling exactly the same. You are doing fantastically if she is gaining weight, that's more than I was managing for quite a while!

I actually did not find that ds went off the breast for the bottle, but if you are really worried you could try feeding her from a cup instead - ds actually did better with that when he was refusing breast and bottle.

It really is hard to feed some of these little ones, they just don't seem to want to cooperate do they?

kathhere Sat 03-Oct-09 21:25:41

i know, all you want to do is feed them up and its jut maddening when they dont help!

i tried a cup a while ago but found so much was lost in drinking that it was better to go for bottle, might give it a go on those days when everything else refused though


Hangingbellyofbabylon Sat 03-Oct-09 23:43:08

hi kathhere, just saying hello as going through something similar with my 4 week old dd. will write again tomorrow, hang in there smile

TheShockoftheTwo Mon 05-Oct-09 11:30:39

Would say never to late to bfeed, even if start with bottles of formula/ebm. You will be able to get there - I know of several people who have found it hard to establish bfeeding but have got there - need to stay positive, stay determined!

Agree you should definitely seek support of bfeeding counsellor - call your MW or HV and they should refer you to one. Having someone with you makes a big difference.

Jaundice makes for a sleepy baby, and tongue-tie can affect the latch, but neither make it impossible to bfeed. My twins had jaundice so were sleepy and had to wake them every three hours to put them to the breast to get them used to it and provoke hunger(!)

Sometimes tongue-tie is snipped, but this isn't essential; my little sister has tongue-tie and was bfed successfully. Perhaps speak to your GP about it, esp as it may be affecting the latch?

I was told to cupfeed one of mine as he lost a lot of weight, but refused, preferring instead lots of skin-on-skin and to encourage him as often as possible, and he ended up getting there. However, I know of lots of mums who have had a cup or bottle on hand and this has meant they were less stressed about the feeding and ultimately that they ended up breastfeeding.

Poledra Mon 05-Oct-09 11:33:39

No real advice to offer, just wanted to say that DD1 had formula top-ups for about 8 weeks, then was bfed to 12 months. She was quite sleepy - DH used to tickle her ears to keep her awake to feed sometimes blush

kathhere Mon 05-Oct-09 16:04:30

thanks, we had her tongue tie snipped as soon as we could as apparently it was 100% tied, so wasnt able to latch on, I thought that having that done might miraculously make her a bf baby but she seems to have other plans!

Poledra, when you were doing formula top ups, were you also able to bf (or was your DD latching on okay)?

For us, it seems like the problem is getting DD on there and getting her to latch/ suck for more than 5 or 10 sucks at a time, she then dramatically throws herself off the boob and starts crying?

sorry, this must be really dull for most people, I'm boring myself with the amount of time I spend obsessing about feeding her, but just so frustrating knowing that the milk is there and that she does know how to do it sometimes!

Poledra Mon 05-Oct-09 16:13:34

kathhere, I was bfeeding but had problems with her latch so had badly cracked bleeding nipples. I remember her throwing up a whole big feed once which was red with blood. I cried my heart out while my lovely in-laws (there's a phrase you don't hear often on MN!) cleaned the pram and cuddled me.

Amyway, that's beside the point. By the end of the day I was so sore I couldn't face trying to feed her so DH would give a formula top-up while I went to bed with my nipples covered in Lansinoh and tried to get some sleep and some healing before she woke for her first nighttime feed. I was really crap at expressing, or we would probably have done more of that. Once we sorted the latch problem, it took a little bit of time for me to heal, then we were away.

Your DD sounds like she is getting frustrated with the milk not coming fast enough - have you tried expressing to get the milk started then putting her on so she gets instant gratification?

Ladyem Mon 05-Oct-09 16:46:53

Kathhere Just wanted to let you know that it isn't too late! I had a similar problem with DD. She was born with erbs palsy and slight facial palsy and found it difficult to latch on due to positioning problems (in fact she didn't for 4 weeks!) and so I was giving EBM in a bottle, but at each feed I'd start with putting her to the breast and giving her a chance to latch on and feed - which usually resulted in her falling asleep!! hmm - but eventually at 4 weeks she managed it! We slowly sorted it all out and I carried on breastfeeding for 6 months. In the mean time while we were establishing BF she would go from feeding from me, to a tommee tippee closer to nature bottle and then if necessary an avent bottle!! Basically what ever was at hand to get the milk in her she would take, so stick with it and try not to worry too much, you are doing great!! grin

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