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Thread: Breastfeeding dilemma! Sigh! VERY LONG - Sorry!

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding dilemma! Sigh! VERY LONG - Sorry!

    Since my daughter's birth, we have noticed that she is often irritable. Initially, we thought that it was caused by the new environment. On day 2, we noticed that she was having difficulty latching on. Many nurses taught me techniques, but there was no luck. FInally, they suggested that I expressed milk into a cup and cup feed her when she's that agitated. Once cupfed, we would try putting her on my breasts again. Still, no success.

    In the end, they said my daughter had tongue tied. So, they did a clipping. When clipping was done, we tried putting her back to my breasts again. Still, there was a latch problem. She had an 8.8% weight lost in 36 hours so I was kept in the hospital for an extra day.

    Up to now, there is still difficulty getting her latch onto my breasts. So, since I got home, I've been bottle feeding her with my breastmilk. I am not using any formulas so you can imagine I am getting drained in addition to that waking cycle DD has at night.

    The past 3 days, a nurse has been coming over to my house to assess the breastfeeding, but of course, still no success. Finally, we tried using the nipple shield. With the nipple shield, DD seemed to do a little better, but she was not using her jaw muscles. She referred me to a family physician for breastfeeding counselling. The doctor said that DD is probably lazy but we got a little success in getting her suck with the use of the nipple shield. Without the shield, DD just wouldn't suck... well, my nipples are larger than the norm and I've got a great supply of milk!

    Next week, I have two more apointments for breastfeeding counselling.. one with the lactation consultant and another one with my other family doctor.

    I feel the exhaustion because I am running out of ideas of what I could do... I seem to feel overwhelmed. I am seeking for any kind of advices I could get from anyone as I am determine to succeed in it.


  2. #2

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    Have you tried a supply line? That can help babies start to suck again. DS took ages to learn how to feed, he is tongue-tied but learnt to feed before day 8, the earliest we could have had it cut.

  3. #3

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    First of all Carmen it sounds like you are doing an awesome job and well done for persisting.

    You may find that after drinking from a bottle Nicky is too lazy to work for the boob. It is harder for her. I'm sure you have more than likely tried this but I will suggest it just in case. Start expressing some milk out until you get your letdown happening and then see if you can get Nicky to attach and start feeding. This way she doesn't actually have to work too hard to get the flow started. YKWIM ??

    Try this both with and without the shield and see how you go.

    Seeing a lactation consultant is a great idea. Also maybe you can contact ABA. They might have some other suggestions for you. Also it's great for some support.

    Huge hugs huni I hope you can get on top of your feeding issues soon

  4. #4

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    Sorry I don't have any advice but just wanted to wish you luck. From the sounds of it you are trying very hard and I think as time goes on and your baby becomes bit more alert she'll start to improve.
    Hope it all works out for you.

  5. #5

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    Trish, I have tried expressing milk... still, Nicky wouldn't take it from my breast. My milk supply is just so abundant according to the doctor. I can pump up to 8 ounces every 4-5 hours. My milk is just flowing, but she still has difficulty latching on. SIGH! It is getting emotionally drained and I am seeling a lactation consultant Monday to see what other things we could possibly try. I have already seen a family doctor who specialized in breastfeeding, but we didn't get much success in it. I am praying that something good will come out of it soon before I burn out. I sure envy all the mommies with babies who have no latching problems. At least, it will save me lots of time... pumping breastmilk, cleansing of bottles, heating up of the breastmilk, and etc.

  6. #6

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    Damn Carmen. I wish you well at the Dr's and hope that they have some answers or other ideas for you.

    You are right though, getting a bub to feed directly from the breast is a lot less time consuming. for you hun.

  7. #7

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    Hey Carmen - I just posted a reply on your other thread about sleeping, but I see now what the issue is with breast feeding. Sounds stressful and exhausting hun. Not much fun at all.
    I have only one little suggestion, which maybe you've already tried. I found that Emily latched on BEAUTIFULLY when I lay down on my back with her on my belly. I just have to put my finger by her nose so she can breathe! (I'm pretty full-busted, and she'd smother otherwise! ) Have a look at the breast-crawl video clip here on BB, and you'll see what I'm talking about. HTH!
    All the best.

  8. #8

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    What a day... First, I had very little sleep last nite because DD was demanding to be fed at 1 but fell asleep at 2:30am... then she got up several times from then up till about 5:30. So, I could say there was practically no sleep for me as I had to get up early to bring her to the lactation consultant.

    The meeting was helpful. She investigated the reason to why DD was not feeding well. The latching problem, partially caused by "laziness" as she was cup-fed for the first few days... then her tongue was always curled up and in the back. When we put the nipple of the bottle on her, she gives us the impression as if she was going to choke... I guess she feels uneasy because she's so used to her tongue over the nipple. I was at the consult for 1 1/2 hour. It worked well because the consultant was helping out a lot. Boy, I felt relieved while I was there, almost to a point of feeling like... "can I sleep here while you train my baby?" The consultant, Mary, told me to express milk from my breast every 3 hours in order to keep up the demand. Mind you, my milk flow is extremly abundant already. I hesitated to her suggestion, but have been following since I got home. Every 3 hours will demand more energy from me, as if I have any left already. She also suggested that I use my finger to train DD to have her tongue down and getting use to having the nipple over her tongue and not under. We still could not get to her to feed from my breasts yet, but I think right now, the first accomplishment is to get her used to the idea of having the nipple on top of her tongue.

    Ever since I got home (12pm), I've been busy expressing milk, cleaning the bottles, trying to feed her, and putting finger in DD's mouth. The feeding took almost 2 hours in order to get 3 ounces in her. I feel so overwhelmed. It's almost triple the time for 1 feed. How much longer can I last???

    I am trying my very best to do as much as I can knowing that the few coming days will not be easy ones as we have to manage to change her bad habits. I sure hope it will not take forever to change those baddies. The past few days, I've been getting ongoing headaches probably due to lack of sleep and stress. I have only taken Tylenol (acetaminophen) once as I don't wish to depend on medication to feel better.

    I am finding it very difficult to cope right now though I've been telling myself to stay as optomistic as possible. So, right now, I've been talking to DD that "we - first time mommy & DD" have to master the skill of breastfeeding. Not an easy task, but I have to get it right!

    Does anyone have similar issues to mine where their baby's tongue is curled up or their tongue would always sit over the nipple? If so, how did you deal with it?

  9. #9

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    Carmen, I have no solution for you hun, other than what you are doing. Which sounds like perfect sense.

    You are doing an awesome job hun and I sure hope that your persistance pays off.

  10. #10

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    Trish, thank you. I too hope that my hard work will soon be paid off because going at this pace is really exhausting. DH, my parents, and brother have been helping because they know that this is the time when I need the greatest physical and emotinal support!

  11. #11

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    you're doing a great job and I'm sure you'll get there in the end.
    My suggestion isn't so much to do with the breastfeeding but more with your exhaustion. I think that right now establishing feeding needs to be your first priority so try to give yourself a break with other things that need doing. Don't be shy about asking for help. If you have visitors ask them to wash a load of clothes, fold a load of washing, do the dishes, vacuum the floor etc (not all these things - just one). If any one asks if there's anything they can do for you ask for them to bring dinner over.
    Let other people take care of you so that you can take care of your baby.

    ETA - you posted while I was. Good on you for letting other people support you

  12. #12

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    dachlostar, you are so right. My main priority right now is dealing with the breastfeeding issue. I will definitely let other (parents, DH, and brother) to do the other tasks as just the breastfeeding has completely drained me.

    I find it very useful to share my concerns and feelings on BB because others experienced moms could share their stories so I could try every possible thing there is in order to troubleshoot my dilemma!

  13. #13

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    my dd had similar issues due to a sucking disorder. basically she sucked as though she was tongue tied even though she wasn't. tonuge up and back, just like yours.

    anyway, she wasn't diagnosed until 5 weeks and it took 8 weeks or more to fix it, but I was told, had she been diagnosed earlier, it wouldn't have been more than a week or two. the finger feeding is exactly what you need to be doing. try to latch her on AFTER she has successfully finger fed, with the tongue out over her gum, for at least a minute. I know it sucks and can take a lot of time and effort, but it is so worth it for your baby's health. I had other problems as well including over supply, inverted nipples, ulcerated nipple and many many cracks adn blood blisters - oh and did I mention severe undiagnosed thrush? BUT I kept feeding through extreme pain for 12+ weeks and I would still do it all again as it is so worth it even just for the convenience now like you mentioned. I"m sure you won't have anywehre near the problems I had becuase you have gotten in early (I tried to, but my first 5 l/c's didn't spot the problems.) yes, I had to see 6 l/c's before I got proper treatment!

    Anyway, if I can do it, you'll be able to as well. it might suck for a while but your bub will get enough milk with your great supply which is the main thing. good luck and hugs while you work through this.

  14. #14

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    Nicolelh,

    Thanks a million for sharing your experience with me. Yes, our babies are truly alike. I will take your advice and continue to work our way through with the finger. Although it is tiring, but in the long run, there's just so much benefits to account for. So, I will put away my fatigue for now and reward myself in the end for all the hard work I will go through now!

  15. #15

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    also, try the football hold rather than across your body as this helps the nipple to fall into their mouth better. I STILL can't cradle feed dd at almost 6 months, despite her being fine on football - she just can't seem to get it together sideways. also do express a bit by hand or pump before trying to attach her so the areola is softened.

    you might find feeding on only one breast per feed far better than trying to offer both. for a start, only one side has to hurt at each feed, if it hurts. secondly, this will help moderate your supply and prevent engorgement as the breasts will get less over stimulated. she'll also need to consume less milk from one side as the milk she does get at the back of the first breast will be fattier so therefore more filling - adn she should sleep for longer too. the feeds obviously take less time in this case too.

    change over first thing one morning - just offer your least sore nipple, and if she comes off, burp her, and put her back on the same breast. if she refuses, shes' had enough. you'll have more than enough milk in the morning in one breast at her age. offer the other breast at next feed. seeing you have heaps of milk, there probably won't be any issues at all. for some people they need to offer both breasts for the last 2 feeds of the day until they have been doing 1 breast for a few days. I never needed to.

    the other benefit of this is that if ever your bub has a super huge growth spurt - your breasts are used to making a whole feed EACH, so you automatically have an extra feed available if they happen to be paticularly starving after the first breast. you avoid the few days upset that most people get when they offer both and their kid has a growth spurt because those people only have enough for one feed in both at any one time. you should only need to offer both once at these times to up your supply. I've probably done it about 6 times total, and never needed to offer both breasts twice in a row. No, you don't look lopsided or anything- except perhaps first thing in the morning if they have a huge long sleep in and you only offer one side in the morning -the other one can be a bit explodey - but that's a great time to express to save it up.

  16. #16

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    Hi,

    It seems like you got some really good advice from your LC, which is great. Try to stick with it. I imagine that you can ring her for support.
    It concerns me when people (esp health professionals) talk about babies being "lazy" or having "bad habits". Babies are born to breastfeed. If she doesn't it's because she can't, not because she is lazy. We all do what we can to get by. Babies are really very resilient and flexible. And they forgive us our mistake, because we are the world to them.
    Do you know that you can express, store the milk in the pump bottle, screw on a teat and feed straight from that? Best to minimise cleaning, and sterilisation is completely unnecessary. You are better off pumping often for short times than infrequently for long times.
    Have you tried babyled attachment? It helps you get in tune with your baby's subtle cues that she needs a feed. You baby should be in just her nappy, and you toppless (in bed is good! - or the bath) Just let her rest on your chest, vertical, between your breasts. Give her little back a massage. Talk to her. This is a way of being with her not something you "do" once or several times a day. If she feeds, fabulous. If not, that's cool too. she will find the sound of your heartbeat soothing and will be quite happy there. As she wakes, she will start to bob up and down on your chest, maybe sort of pecking from side to side. Then, often, she will throw herself sideways towards one breast. With minimal assistance you can help her to the breast. If the nipple shield helps, try that too.
    You haven't talked about the birth, but I am guessing there would be a story there, too. Tell us about it if you'd like to. Birth experience often has a big impact on breastfeeding.
    When you can do no more, send your dd for a cuddle with grandma and granpa - leave them with the bottles and head to bed. I know your dp has been ill - but birth is a huge event for your body to deal with, even if it was textbook perfect. You need to let yourself heal
    Warm Regards
    Barb

  17. #17

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    I'll strongly agree with barb that the birth is often a cuase of the problems. dd's sucking disorder was because she was suctioned out and her head pulled out of alignment. This created pain upon sucking so she changed her action to compensate. a quick trip to a good chiropractor helped a lot.

  18. #18

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    DD was born 6 days overdue. My contractions started that day at 4pm but they did not become regular until about 8pm. I was at the hospital at 8:15 and that was when I really started to push... When they hooked me up on the monitor, they were petrified because my contractions were full blown and I was fully dilated. So, my doctor was paged in right away. There was no time for any epidural so I headed straight to the delivery suite. DD was born at 9:47 with no use of medical devices. When she was born, I noticed there was two red "blood" spots in her eyes and the doctor said those were caused by the pressure of me pushing. Aside from that, DD had not experienced any traumatic force in order for her to be out.

    That same night, we found her quite restless though we tried breastfeeding her. She was just upset and would not stay at my breasts. Next morning, the pediatrician diagnosed her with tongue tied. Basically, that was it. Then of course, she was cupfed in the hospital because of her tongue tied issue. I have also tried offering my breasts, but she just wouldn't settle even after her tongue was clipped.

    Since the meeting with the LC, DD has definitely show improvements on latching. The LC suggested that I work with DD on how to get the proper latch using the bottle first as offering my breasts would just make her crazy and if she doesn't know how to latch properly, it would be rather difficult for her to get anything from it. The past two days, I've been putting my finger into her mouth a lot (finger on top of her tongue). Aside from that, everytime she drinks from the bottle, I only put in the nipple when her tongue is fully underneath the nipple so that she has no way of curling up or hiding the nipple underneath her it. Then, I also have to sometimes manually open her mouth wider for a proper latch around the nipple (so the upper and lower lip covers a large part of the nipple base). When this is all done, I have noticed that milk leakage is almost gone. Did I forget to mention earlier that when she was bottlefed, there was always milk leakage (most likely due to the poor latch and tongue curled up or over the nipple making the feed really difficult).

    As of now, she is definitely showing improvements. I am so happy to see the outcomes though she's not close to getting my breasts yet, but at least, she's starting to latch properly. Is there anything else I should do in order to speed up the process?

    My parents and DH have been taking turns to care for DD when I need a nap as I mentioned earlier that my body is just so exhausted. I've been having ongoing headaches for the past few days consecutively. Luckily, the family support has been a great help.

    Should I start offering her my breasts now or should I wait to get her show steady outcomes with the bottle first? I don't want to rush things and have things turn out the other way but I also hope that both she and I will resolve this breastfeeding issue soon.

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