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Thread: Breast Refusal-Exhausted all idea's

  1. #1

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    Default Breast Refusal-Exhausted all idea's

    I am not sure anyone can give me any other tips or advise that i have not already been trying but worth a shot.

    Tyron was born via c/s two weeks ago on the 14th october.
    Initially in the first 24-36hrs he was very mucosy so when he wasn't latching on it was thought maybe that was why.
    Each and every feed i struggled to feed him, he basically would push away from me and when i did get him latched on he would not even attempt to suck but rather just cry and get himself very worked up. It would get to the stage you have to pull him of and just try and settle him down.

    So from the Sunday i had him till the following Sat i left we tried a number of things.

    firstly was expressing a lot to try and help aid my milk to come in. Lac consultants thought once it came in it might be better.
    Did not help, i did have and still have an abundance of supply but that makes no difference.

    we tried keeping im wrapped as his hands constantly get in the way and then tries to push off my breast with them

    we tried feeding him before he was fully awake and starving

    we tried him on sucking your finger a dummy a bottle and he seemed to suck all of them fine but not my breast.

    My nipples are flat but after a few sucks they come out quiet nicely, tried the nipple sheilds for better attachement, and tried a few expressions first to get them out and the let down before attaching. not interested



    we tried using a side line tube and feeding that through his mouth while on my breast and he will suck my breast whilst the milk comes through the tube, then as soon as the supply stops he stops sucking. so know he can suck on my breast but just doesnt unless the liquid gold is gulping down his throat with ease!

    I didnt want to leave hospital without having it sorted because i have a 18month old at home that also needs attention. But in the end i had to leave hospital with no improvement.

    Since being home i have contionued to try to feed Tyron. but i have to admit my patience is starting to wear thin after going over the same routine each and every feed for the last 16days. Sometimes its impossible to have the right environment when my older son is up and about etc. Im not at the "cant be bothered" stage during the evening i dont want to fight him so will just bottle feed him the EBM then express after it.

    I am going back to the hossy on wed as they ordered this side line thing in for me that i can put around my neck with EBM and try getting him sucking my breast again, but thats not a long term solution either.

    I have hired a pump for 5 weeks so continue to express after each feed. I have so much milk i am producing double sometimes even more then what he needs and so far i prob have a full 2 weeks worth of supply filling my freezer!

    I had lots of difficulties with my first son as he was born at 33wks, i honestly thought i wouldnt have as much difficulties this time around as he was born at 38weeks. My first son never refused me like this though he just needed to learn how to suck etc.

    At the end of my hosp stay the lac ladies honestly said we dont know what more to do, he just blatently refuses me. they said they had exhausted all ideas.
    Ive been told i attach him really well so thats not it
    i had him checked for tounge tie, they rekon not, taking him to the paed on Thurs to check again but i dont think he has it. in a way i wish he did because id know what the prob was and that it could be fixed.

    I have spoken to a couple of ABA girls, without physically seeing them they couldnt come up with much more then what i have been trying.
    some suggestions were to only cup feed to stop nipple confusion. If he was my only child i'd say yep ok but again with another child at home it is a lot more difficult.
    Lots of cuddles and kangaroo care, prob could be doing more then what i have but been trying when i can.

    So after all that i think i wrote down everything that i've been trying, i really really dont want to give up but i cannot physically keep going on this way, my husband returns to work next week so even expressing will start to get harder as it eats into time.
    i was very upset in hosptial because i never thought after bf my first for 9months that i would have these difficulties i seriously think this boy is just lazy and does not want to work what so ever for his milk.

    Ive actually video taped him already explaining that he doesnt like boobs! because i am sure he will never beleive me on his 21st!

  2. #2

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    HI Nic

    Sorry i don't have any advice to add to the mountain of options you've already tried! Just wanted to say that you've gone the extra 100 miles to try and sort it out so if it doesn't work out at the end of the day you must not feel any guilt at all (easy said i know) and after all this - happy mummy=happy baby so go with what you feel. Good luck
    'Hugs'
    Julie x

  3. #3

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    what about trying a different hold to feed him- such as the football hold- its only something little, but you sound like you have tried everything else - so what not!!
    hang in there- you are doing such a good job to try as many things as you have!
    odette

  4. #4
    paradise lost Guest

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    Do you use any soap or body lotion or product of any kind on your breasts he could be disliking the taste of? Do you sweat much in your normal routine? I sweated a TON after DD was born and she really didn't like salty nipples, so i'd rinse off before i fed if she was fussy.

    The other thing you could do, if you have plenty of milk and he is lazy, is pump until you get letdown and THEN attach him, because it'll be more like the bottle - just pouring into his mouth without him needing to try too hard. You do get sleepy babies and lazy feeders and they're often those who had difficult births, so hang in there, he'll probably catch up soon. How was your labour before the surgery? If he was distressed that could also be making a difference. Though i guess c-sections can seem "easier" from bubs point of view (without all the squeezing and head molding and such), without the physical and hormonal actions of a normal labour and birth lots of c-section babies take a wee while to get into the swing of things, everything from reflexes (like breathing and sucking) to their heart's physiology can take a little while to catch-on that birth has happened.

    Babies gain the reflex to suck in the last 4-6 weeks of PG, which is why premmies often can't to begin with, as you know. One would expect a 38week baby to be able to suck, but not always, and boobs are MUCH tougher to get a good grip on than bottles and fingers and such. It could be that his slight prematurity combined with a surgical birth has just set him back a bit with development in that area. He'll probably catch up soon enough so if i were you i'd go with the lact-aid (the tube in the corner of the mouth). It's not a long-term answer, but you probably don't need one - once he's a bit older and a bit stronger and bigger he'll probably get a stronger latch and suck going all on his own.

    You're doing a sterling job Nic, all of this on top of a c-section to heal from and a toddler to look after - what a WOMAN! Hang in there hun.

    Bec

    ETA - i just did a search and read a little on your birth - ruptured membranes, no ctx, c-section? Or did you have ctx but no progression? Sorry you didn't get your natural birth Did he feed in recovery at all? And how's his weight gain going? Were your dates very accurate? I only ask because 38wks is term, but even 10 days difference would make a big difference, iykwim. Also i guess with all bubs we don't know when the optimal time is for any baby to be born - some 34 weekers do great, some 41 weekers have a struggle getting the hang of it all. It just depends i guess. Anyway and good milky/sucky vibes to you both, i hope it all resolves ASAP.
    Last edited by paradise lost; October 30th, 2007 at 04:57 AM.

  5. #5

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    odette- yeah tried the footy hold but found that even harder to get him on for some reason
    Thanks Julie and odette for your words of encouragment!
    Hoobley thanks for your post. interesting about the scent, when i was in hosp i did not wear any perfumes and dont think i used the moisturiser either? But have been since i have been home. I dont overly sweat but maybe i will try wiping down before a feed and not wearing any smells.
    I am pretty sure of my dates, only a day or two out at most. But yeah ruptured membranes, then cx started about 10min apart for a few hrs then stopped all together. They never started back up again and 44hrs later i had the c/s.
    One of the ABA girls mentioned how he was probably suckioned at birth and a c/s in particular can be pretty traumatic for baby. While i do agree with it i would have thought by now 2 weeks on we'd see some sort of improvement.

    The other factor i didnt mention he was jaundice, never went under lights but was border line a few times, so i know that could have affected him too.
    He wasnt with me in recovery and once we were back together the first thing i tried was to feed but unsucsesfully.

    weight gain well he went fro 3450 to 3160 in the first few days, then at discharge (6days old) he was back up to 3360. He hasnt been weighed since but will get him weighed when i go to the hospital tomorrow. Im sure he would be putting on weight because he is getting his feeeds, just not from me!

  6. #6

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    Nic I know when Bella was jaundice it took quite a while for her to come around to breastfeeding and she was jaundiced, so maybe it's because of being slightly jaundiced. When a baby is jaundiced it does take a lot out of them.

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    oh you poor poor mummy!!! We had breast refusal from 8-12 weeks. jovie would scream everytime she saw a breast. It was demoralising, horrid...

    You have done so much! I didn't get much help from the LC's when I phoned the hospital because she was too old. It was Christmas & I couldn't get to an ABA meeting because there wasn't one going on & our local person who ran them was moving house. I couldn't use my hand pump... I was exhausted.

    I went to a private LC and did a day stay with her at her home. It was lovely.... didn't change entirely but helped my head. Through her we discovered Jovie has food allergies and is intolerant to certain foods. At that time we thought it was just a flair up, but it wasn't... it was definate allergies.

    I did have a day off a week. Where I would pump for a day every 2 hours and DH would give bottles away from me (I couldn't handle seeing her have a bottle) but after a day I was ready to try again.

    I remember sitting with the pump going crying and crying... when Jovie was almost 6 months I decided that I would start weaning because it was too much, too exhausting and within a week she became a booby baby.

    So my biggest hugs for you, you are doing an AMAZING job! You are awe inspiring.

  8. #8

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    Oh Nickers I have no help to offer but all I can say is I really think you are a BF hero :hugs:

  9. #9

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    Nickers, sorry I don't have any advice other than to say (intuitively) keep up the skin to skin contact as much as you can & let Tyron nuzzle around your breast without it being about 'feeding'. You have put in an amazing effort and I'm really hoping little Tyron will 'turn a corner' and start sucking to reward your hard work! and good luck!

  10. #10

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    Big hugs Nic. YOu are doing a great job. Another thing I know a friend of mine had some success with, was not wearing a top or bra for a couple of days (obviously this was just at home!!). Having the bbs so obvious and accessible eventually enticed her baby to give them a try. Also, some people have more success in a totally relaxed setting. If someone could take your toddler for a couple of hours maybe you and the baby could have a long bath and then just slowly and gently offer your breast. I really hope it gets easier for you soon, if you can get past this there will be nothing stopping you!

  11. #11

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    Dear Nickers,
    You are doing an excellent job, but it is no wonder that you are exhausted after the last two weeks, and with another little one as well. Only you will know when your limit has been reached. but, I can tell you that, with the right care and support nearly every baby will breastfeed. it's what they are designed to do. But some need some time and support. There are usually a combination of factors that cause a baby not to feed - and believe me, it's not that he doesn't like your breasts, it's that something is making breastfeeding difficult for him.
    As hoobley said, sucking is a developmental stage. Just like some babies walk at 9 mnths and some don't walk till they are 16mnths, some babies will breastfeed vigorously at 36 weeks and others won't "get it" for some time later. The other important thing is, that at this age you don't just want to write off things because you have already tried them. Every day will bring change and development. The nipple shield that didn't work last week will work beautifully this week (or next!) You baby may need some time to get over the birth. Following his lead will often be important. Try to observe his cues for feeding to catch him just when he is most "ready' to feed.
    Have you got anyone who can help you out with your older child? It's worth calling in your favours with your partner, friends and relatives to help you get breastfeeding right.
    Try this. Get yourselves comfortable on the couch, or in bed. Undress your baby down to his nappy. Take off your top. Just let your baby lie on your chest, skin to skin . There need be no pressure to feed. You may repeat this several times a day, and don't be disappointed if nothing happens.
    Just let him rest, maybe give him a little back massage. When he wakes up, you may notice that he bobs his head up and down on your chest. He will bring his hands up to his mouth and suck. Just let him do his thing - it's all part of him getting himself organised to feed. You may notice that he eventually kind of throw himself sideways at the breast. Gently assist him to get the nipple. Once again, you might find it handy to have a nipple shield handy. Even if it didn't work last time, it may work next time. Avoid pushing his head onto the breast. Babies hate that!
    If you send me a private message with your location, I would happy to recommend an LC in your area. Sometimes all these things work better with gentle guidance - it's a tough gig by yourself with no real roadmap
    Goo luck. let us know how you are going
    Regards
    Barb

  12. #12

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    update: well we had one OK feed thismorning! Its hard to say how successful it was but he was on and he was sucking!
    I gave him part of his feed of EBM in the bottle and then tried him at my breast.
    I used the sheilds because he can latch on a lot easier. My let down was on so milk was flowing.
    I had him in just a nappy and singlet
    But i really dont think he got too much because i expressed afterwards and still got just as much out.
    But the main thing was he was on my breast and he wasnt kicking and screaming!
    I had one feed like this about a week ago so they are really few and far between, but one good feed is one less bad feed i suppose isnt it!

    My husband is here and he has been trying his best to occupy my older son. everything happens at once in our family my nan passed away last week so i didnt want to call on my mum for extra assistance etc she had enough on her plate. but this Saturday dh is going to a wedding and my mum is minding Nixon for the night, so i will have a goo 24hrs almost of just me and Tyron time.

    Barb i should try the skin to skin maybe at a night feed when it is a lot quieter and relaxed. because ive been so buggered ive been getting to bed early and dh has been staying up to do a feed at night so i get a decent sleep before the next.

    Christy- wow you've done so well also after all you went through and to be still breast feeding! see its stories like yours that motivates me because it can be done!


    I go to the hospital tomorrow so will let you know how that goes once i start using the side line thing.

  13. #13

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    Nickers, I just wanted to give you a big, big hug

    What huge effort for you, no wonder you're exhausted! We had breast refusal problems from around 12-24 weeks - it was awful. Some days were okay, some were terrible. It may not work for you, but often on one of our bad days he would relax and at least feed a little bit if I lay down on the bed to feed him. I have no idea why he liked that better, but it really worked for us. It also gave me a rest (maybe that's why he preferred it, because I was a bit more relaxed?), which you really need when you're expressing as well. And have a toddler!

    Things are much better for us now, though it's not always perfect. It's great that you have a good supply, that will make things somewhat easier. It sounds like you had great success this morning! Don't worry about whether he got anything or not, the fact that he relaxed enough to suck at your breast is fantastic, and a huge achievement. That's great that you'll have a bulk of time on the weekend to just spend working on BFing. My advise would be to stay in bed! It's amazing what a day in bed can achieve, or even just a half day! Have lots of cuddles, skin to skin time, and do as Barb suggested with letting him decide when he's ready. He may need some help attaching, but it will be much easier if he's ready and willing.

    Good luck Nickers, I really hope it *clicks* for Tyron soon. Maybe you could take Barb up on her offer of finding you a LC? Someone who can come to your home and spend time observing you. Sometimes a different person may pick up on something that others have missed (not saying that anyone has been negligent so far! It sounds like they've done all they can.).

    Let us know how you go hun

  14. #14

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    hey nickers have you thought about trying a criopractor(sp?) so people swear by them for bubbas and they say bubbas feed better afterwards.
    just another thought?
    odette

  15. #15
    paradise lost Guest

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    Your feed is great news hun! Sounds like he's getting it now. Hang in there and good luck at the hospital tomorrow. I'm sorry about your Nan, all the changes at once eh - pretty heavy going. Keep your chin up.

    Bx
    Last edited by paradise lost; October 30th, 2007 at 08:16 PM. Reason: Typed post before seeing new responses :)

  16. #16

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    oh yeah odette that was one thing that i had thought of, just havent had time to book one as yet!
    But i agree they can be really great, our friend in melb is an osteopath and he did lots of work on Nixon for reflux which really helped. Thanks for reminding me of that again i'll look one up tomorrow!

  17. #17

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    update: well i went into the hospital thismorning to try out this feeding with the sideline thing.

    Its a Medela brand and its a bottle with a neck tie around it and a side line tube attached to it, we taped the tubing in my breast and put it inside the nipple sheild and got Master Tyron on.
    However MW had to hold the bottle cause its in the way in my chest while trying to hold Ty.
    He sucked quiet well on and off for 30mins but only took about 50ml out of it.
    I wasnt getting a strong sucking sensation on my breast so didnt think he got much from me but did have a let down so something was going on.
    We end up giving him the bottle after the half an hr and he took a further 40ml's.
    But he was very spewey after the feed so not sure if he did get a fair amount from me and was too full or from all the on and off again jigged him about. i expressed afterwards and still got oodles so not sure what he would ahve gotten.

    Then at home this afternoon i attempted it again and got dh to help.
    well it was unsucsesful Tyron carried on like a pork chop and went back to the refusing to even suck saga.
    Milk goes everywhere when he pulls off if its following out of the sideline before we have time to clamp it, or when i get my let down.
    Tyrons hands are a bugger he constantly knocks the sheild off my breast so again milk goes everywhere!

    I'll try again, prob not today because some friends are coming over and im not willing to try it on my own over night, but hope we have a better feed tomorrow. I have to ring the MW with a follow up on Friday. TBH its such a lot of rigmarole and time consuming and messy if he doesn't take to it soon i dont think i will keep persueing this avenue.

    Still havent heard from my community health centre either which im a bit annoyed about seeings i am having these problems, so i've left it too late today but will endeavour to call them myself tomorrow. Also have a Paed appoint tomorrow so getting the whole tounge tie or any other possible issue there could be. Oh i wish there was an issue in a way so i knew we could work on it.....

    On a positive he weighed 3850 which is 400grams up from his birth weight 2 1/2weeks ago! so he's still getting the yummy milk into his body one way or another.

  18. #18
    paradise lost Guest

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    Hey hun,

    Sounds like the lactaid tube feeder was a mixed result then. I'd say he sounded too full after it if her was spewey, babies often take a lot more than usual from bottles so i'd assume with the system going that'd be the same...?

    Were i you i'd wrap his arms hun - I'd not have been able to feed DD at all if i hadn't swaddled her "bad arms" for her. They're not in control of their limbs to much of an extent at that age, and if you watch, they often wave their arms in time to noises - your voice, their own cries, music even. DD used to bring her hands up to her face and push herself away and then scream in frustration at the vanishing nipple. At first i thought she was pushing off because she was upset but then i realised she was upset because she was pushing off, kwim? So i wrapped her as if for bed, and she could feed in peace without her wavy arms getting in on the action.

    Also i can remember pumping when DD was 2 or 3 weeks old, after a feed and, with a purely BF boobie baby (so no bottle or tube top-ups, ALL her milk was coming out of the breast) i could get anything from 40-220(!)mls out. AFTER a feed that is, and once, from a just-suckled 1st thing in the morning boob when she was about 5 weeks old i had to change (250ml) containers mid-pump - i got 310ml in all that time! I just wanted to show you can't tell what was there by what is left iykwim.

    If he's gained weight then he's doing great, and as much as all of this is a trial for you, you mustn't worry - however hit and miss it feels you ARE doing a great job - he's growing, so he's eating enough. Hopefully the Paed will have some sort of news but remember that if he says everything is fine, that's GREAT news. If there's nothing physical wrong then this is more teething problems. Time almost always mends these issues - a fortnight is almost a lifetime if you're only 17 days old. to you hun, keep going, you're doing an amazing job!

    Bx

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