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Help! ex-prem baby SCREAMS when I attempt to BF

(6 Posts)
Sticki Fri 16-Oct-09 19:03:59

DS is now 14 weeks (born at 31wks) so 5 weeks corrected. He has always been tricky to feed (apnea, sleepy, wind, reflux etc) but things are getting worse. He screams himself blue when I know he is hungry and I try to latch him on. I sometimes can eventually get him on to take a feed (or one side at least) but Im close to giving up.

He has always been fed with both breast and bottle and I know he prefers the bottle as I think he is lazy (he liked tube feeding in NICU). I would like to continue BF (or for him to get Bmilk at least) for this winter ideally to help his immune system but Im not enjoying this, especially at night. My supply is variable sometimes because he refuses to BF and I have to use a bottle with EBM (previously frozen) or formula. I express every evening and am making an effort to eat enough protein to make milk. Its not possible to rest and catch up sleep with a 4 year old too.

Any ideas, experiences or encouragement very much appreciated!
Thanks

OnlyWantsOneFartleBerry Fri 16-Oct-09 19:41:40

oh gosh poor you - well done for sticking at it so far.

You can do this - have you got any support from your MW, HV or breat feeding support / councilors - they would be my first port of call.

Try feeding him when he is not starving, like before he realises he is hungry - and letting him suckle -

scrunchie Fri 16-Oct-09 20:58:06

I agree with Onlywantsone.. NCT have counsellors who will come and watch you do a feed at home at no cost. Was there a BF person attached to SCBU (presuming your baby was on SCBU that is) who you could contact?

Sticki Sat 17-Oct-09 07:41:46

Thanks for your responses - helps to know there are people out there!

I should add that I know he is not in pain - he fine the rest of the time or when bottle feeding. I can only think its anger at having to work for the let down?

I dont live in the UK and dont speak German so Im not able to get help at the NICU (I did ask them but they just shrugged and seemed to think that formula whould be fine which wasnt what I was asking).

niccibabe Sat 17-Oct-09 22:14:53

Hi, I'm new here...hope it's okay to join in?

My baby was full-term but tricky to feed. He also seemed frustrated at not getting an instant result when BF - he was not good at latching at first. (He liked being fed by syringe) One technique suggested in hospital was to give a small amount of EBM, say 20-30mls, in a bottle and then put him on the breast. That mostly worked because he was less panicky and got a better latch when he wasn't frustrated. After a couple of weeks we rarely needed to do this. He is now 15 weeks and we have occasionally re-used this technique if he's upset after getting jabs, etc. He will take a bottle of EBM and switch back to the breast with no problem at the next feed - so having got him used to both seems to have worked out okay.

I have felt like throwing in the towel at times, but have got through just by keeping going.

Hope it gets easier for you.

Catitainahatita Sun 18-Oct-09 00:25:26

Hello Sticki,
if you think he is getting frustrated that bf milk takes longer to appear than a bottle, have you thought about expressing a little just before you offer the breast to stimulate letdown so that when he latches on there is milk straightaway?
This works best if you can also prempt his hunger as has already been suggested, so he isn't upset and desperate trying to get latched on.
I hope things get better for you and your DS soon. It's tough being so far from home, I know all about it. But you sound like you have been doing a grand job so far, you can keep it up, I'm sure.

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