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Thread: Newborn not latching on.

  1. #1

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    Question Newborn not latching on.

    Abbey is now 15 days old and pretty much right from the start, other than birth we have had attachment issues.

    Abbey was born at 37 weeks, so not prem, but still alittle early and I wasn't sure if the feeding issues were because of that. But now she is that bit older we are having them still.

    I can sit there and try over and over to get Abbey to attach. I have tried holding her different ways, and even tried a nipple shield, only because she had torn apart my nipple with so many attempts. She will get on the nipple only to suck 2 or 3 times and spit it out. I have to hold ehr head in very tight and sometimes she will stay on but more often than not she doesn't.

    Because Abbey is so slack at attachment and lazy to feed my supply had dropped greatly. My boobs rarely feel full these days and I am someone who has never had supply issues.

    Abbey ended up in special care last week at 10 days old. She was lethargic, dehydrated and had jaundice and a staph infection. She as put on iv fluids and this helped to flush the jaundice out of her system. She was also taking 2 hourly feeds. Her choice.

    Since we have come home though her feeds have dropped off and so have her wee's and poo's.

    I DO NOT want to give Abbey a bottle at all. I do not use formula.

    So what can I do to help my baby to feed better. I don't want her to end up back in hospital again.


  2. #2

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    Oh Trish Sorry to hear your still having some issues.
    Have you been trying the way I described dragging your breast down from her nose towards her mouth?

    I am really out of touch with the BFing counsellor thing, I'm sitting here thinking but just getting nothing...
    Um I would suggestion expressing as often as you can to help maintain a good supply. Do you have a pump? I have 2 manual ones your welcome to borrow if not. I also have a old style supply line if it comes to that.
    Would you like the number of a BFing counsellor in your area? Would you have the time to go along to a ABA meeting? There is always a counsellor at meetings who may be able to watch you feed & offer some suggestions.

    Possibly you might like to try expressing before you put her on so that you trigger the let down so she hasn't got to work to hard for it in the short time she stays on.

    Always Always remember if it hurts, don't feed though it. Pop her off & start again. I know that it can be frustrating to have to do this especially if she is staying on but its not worth the damage to you. A poor attachment is not only painful but can make Abbey tired as she will have to work harder as she wont be sucking as efficately as possible KWIM?

    Offer the breast before she starts to show signs of be hungry. Ge to her while she is going to be willing to try a few times to get on right with out getting to upset.

    Does she have a tounge tie? Maybe thats something worth checking out.

    Did you ever get a copy of Breastfeeding naturally? Let me know if you didn't I will send mine down to you. Often it helps to take the "beginner" approach & forget everything you know from feeding your previous babies & start again with the basics. As we both said, you may know it all but abbey doesn't.

    Ok, off to go think of some more possibly helpful suggestions...

  3. #3

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    [QUOTE=FionaJill;1048993] Does she have a tounge tie? Maybe thats something worth checking out.QUOTE]
    That's what I was going to suggest too, but you probably already looked at that..

    Hope things get better for you and Abbey soon, Trish.

  4. #4
    paradise lost Guest

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    Hi Trish.

    you poor thing. It's so hard when they won't feed, and such a worry.

    How often is she feeding ATM? She sounds like a tired baby with not much energy, and is spacing her feeds to rest more because the energy the tackling of the infection and IV gave her is dropping off again. How many wet and dirty nappies is she having?

    Do you pump? Until she is feeding well pumping/expressing (by hand can be VERY effective IME) is the next best thing to protect your supply and will give her a chance to sort herself out without having to sort the supply out at the same time.

    Does she suck to let-down or come off even before that? It can be hard work for them sucking at the start when the rewards are scant - you could try pumping/expressing until you get letdown and THEN putting her on when the milk is flowing already. That way she isn't having to try so hard and the milk is instant.

    Is it formula or bottles you don't wish to use? You could offer EBM in a cup or a spoon? If you don't want either then talk to ABA about borrowing/hiring a lact-aid system and using your EBM that way. An electric pump is often easier to deal with when you have a bunch of kids to look after and need to do the job fast.

    Another thing which might help is ALOT of skin to skin time with you. Do you have a HAB or similar wrap you can put her in while you are topless and she is just in a nappy?

    If she attached well at birth then the knowledge is in there and something is interfering with it somehow - maybe a re-birth together would help? Have a long, warm bath together, in a dim room, and if you had oils or anything at the birth then those too, to remind her, keep her near your boobs but don't offer particularly, just let her do her own thing. Stay there as long as possible, no interruptions (a toughie i know - get DH to take the kids out and have a female friend come over and just be in the house to help but away from the two of you) and have some peaceful time together. You need to find your groove again together, and you will hun.

    Are you touching her head when she feeds? I only ask because of what you said about holding her head in tight. Try not to do so, instead supporting her shoulders and neck so she can pull off freely if she needs to. She might have residual birth headaches or feel panicky if she feels she can't move away (you can lead a horse to water..), which will put her off feeding even more. I know how frustrating it is when they won't feed and you just love them so much and feel so worried and just want them to FEED. :hugs:

    My last suggestion is the hardest to practice and i know exactly how hard. Try to relax. Your anxiety will pass to her, which will make her worry something is wrong and she will be even less inclined to relax and feed. Try to slow RIGHT down and get as much of your strain as possible taken by friends and family. Take deep breaths. You are doing everything you can, you are a determined, loving, experienced mother, this WILL resolve.

    Bx

  5. #5

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    Great post Bec

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    WOW girls, Thank you so much.

    I have checked her tongue for a tongue tie and she has none that I can tell of. That was one of my first thoughts too.

    Fiona, Abbey rarely gets upset. TBH I just don't think she has that much energy. I always get to her before she is crying for a feed. Even overnight when she stirs I get her right away and put her on. Basically I am feeding her pretty soon after she wakes. I can't risk not doing it. She falls back to sleep pretty fast most times. Yes, have been dragging my nipple/breast down her nose too. Hell, I will drag it all over her face if it helps.

    I don't keep Abbey attached if it hurts. I have learnt my lesson the painful way from that.

    She has not long had a bath and is on the boob now, feeding ok, I just leave her to go as long as she wants. Most of the time it's a short feed but tehn sometimes she will go for 30 minutes whisch is what I woud expect from a little baby. I know my other babies took a long time for their feeds when they were little.

    I have a Avent Isis pump here that I pulled out of the cupboard yesterday afternoon. I just haven't found the chance to use it yet. If I do pump out does that mean I am taking the milk away from the next feed ? You know, I am pretty sure that it doesn't, I know that the more you feed the more you make, and I hate how much this damn Dr has made me doubt myself. He all but told me that I was starving my baby !!

    Oh sorry if I made it sound that I hold Abbey's head there the whole time too. That's not the case, just until she gets a firm latch sometimes. I couldn't force her to stay on in any case, she just spits the nipple out.

    Bec, it's both formula and bottles that I don't want to use. With Abbey as fussy as she is I know that the minute I introduce a bottle to her that will bethe end of breastfeeding for us. For me breastfeeding isn't just about the breastmilk (although that is the highest reason up there) it's also the benefits of the closeness etc that come along with breastfeeding. I do understand that you can still achieve that with a bottle but it's just not for me.

    I have also gotten sick from our stay in hospital. I have a nice cold, not impressed at all. So not sure if my body being run down is helping too much.

    I have an appt with the Paed this morn at 11am, I am so dreading going there. He wants me to take motillium (sp) and I'm just not sure. Do the risks outweigh the benefits ?? He has told me to take it for a month but as yet I haven't got the script filled. Dr sat there and told me how it is linked to breast cancer in the rats they tested it on and how he doesn't want me back in 10 years to see him if I have complications !! How confident should I be in taking it then. And if it is more Abbey's feeding issues causing my supply issues what is the point of being as full as a cow with nothing to do with all the milk. KWIM ??

  7. #7

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    Trish, she sounds exactky like Zyon...
    He rarely seemed hungry as such, he only opened his mouth a tiny bit & just really didnt seem interested... His attachment was never fantastic in the first 2 months, but I only got small grazes, nothing too bad!
    I would get so worked up & stressed trying to get breast in his mouth, he'd just not really suck... I was so scared I was failing... At about 9wks things seemed to change he finally started to search out my nipple at feed times & would latch on like a vaccum....
    I also had him checked for tongue tie, but they said not really(?)

    Anyways he feeds perfectly now & bloody often too lately!

    I hope everything goes well at your appt.....

    My friend just had her baby #3 & is cup feeding her as she simply will not suck the nipple in!!!!!!!

  8. #8
    paradise lost Guest

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    Trish pumping will increase your milk and not steal it from the next feed. The first few days you might feel a bit emptier because you're emptying with the pump, but after that your boobs will catch on and do their thing. Just freeze the EBM for now. If you DO end up giving it from a spoon or cup or supply line (i love how i was typing my response while FJ was offering you the equipment i was talking about LOL!) you'll have a good supply already. I totally understand about the bottles hun, i was only asking because some folk give bottle EBM later on, and some avoid anything non-boobie altogether. Didn't want to give you a detailed top-up-with-EBM-bottles post when you don't wish to use bottles

    Your doctor sounds like a d*ck. How many babies has he breastfed? How interested is he in keeping Abbey on the breast? He sounds like he wants to stick a plaster over this with his motillium/starvation talk. At the moment you are more motivated than him - how can a man who is paid to see her care as much as you do about Abbey and her health? You are NOT starving her, you are doing everything possible to get her eating the best food possible. Take the advice of his you want and ignore the things your heart (or breasts) tell you is bunk. He is a resource, use him as such. He is not a counsellor, a LC or a mother.

    If i were you i would keep the script but try between this appointment and the next one to increase your milk with frequent feeds, pumping, and keeping your thirst satisfied (remembering to drink was something i found quite hard). For the majority of people there will be no side-effects but for some there will be. Motillium is a wonderful boost for women who NEED it and i'm not convinced you do - it increases prolactin, and prolactin levels are still very high this soon after birth. Your baby is feeding less and you are making less - that sounds like your boobies work perfectly to me, that's *exactly* what they're supposed to do. Tell them you need more milk and you#ll get more milk.

    Bx

  9. #9

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    Trish, I don't think taking motillum will help, you don't have supply issues normally so I think you would be able increase your supply with out it. Its a last resort & your not there yet.

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    Trish, the advice you've been given is great advice so there is not much more I can add. Only that it could be worth seeing a good LC before you resort to drugs that you are uncomfortable with. I'm sure Barb would be able to recommend someone in your area. I do want to say though, that I KNOW you can do this. You are not starving your baby and your history and determination show me that you absolutely can do this. If need be, get a different paed. Don't be bullied into something you are not comfortable with. You are strong and determined and very capable. Follow your instincts and you'll be fine. Just make sure you keep up your fluids and get as much rest as you can (please don't laugh, I know you have 5 kids!). Best of luck hun, I hope it clicks really soon for you. Hang in there.

  11. #11

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    Hi Trish
    There is some fantastic advice posted here. The only thing I can think of to add is:-
    Without being able to see what is happening it sounds to me that your baby has very little stored energy. This is not unusual for a baby that has had jaundice, and even more so if dehydrated. Breastfeeding does take a bit of work for the baby o if energy reserves are low they will often feed for a short time then just fall asleep. I would suggest that if you feed your baby with EBM from a cup or spoon she would not have to work as hard and then hopefully build up her energy reserves. I would do this for at least 3 feeds and perhaps even more. Try to keep the close skin to skin contact.

  12. #12

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    Trish :hugs:

    Bonnie was a bit the same with attachment.

    A couple of tips (sorry if its repeating anything the girls have already mentioned I haven't had time to read through their whole post )
    Make sure you are pushing the top of her back in really tight... this will force her to pull her head back and therefore her mouth will open wider.
    Before you put her on, tease the heck out of her with your nipple to make sure she opens as wide as possible.

    As well as checking her tongue check the roof of her mouth to make sure there is no issues for attachment there.

    Bonnie still is a noisy feeder but that seems to be the way she feeds. Thing is she has been my worst feeder and my nipples never got sore... weird!!

    Good luck my dear

    xx

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    OOOh you girls arent helping me wth my 3 is all we are having!!!!

    I am so freaking clucky again!!!!

    I hope it gets sorted soon Trish... I also founfd laying in the bath with Zyon & lettoing him just nuzzle in & then he'd feed a bit longer eventually!!!

  14. #14

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    Take her dummy away, I think I saw some of her piccies in the photo gallery of her with a dummy didn't I? You need to be her dummy. Instead of her getting sucking comfort elsewhere, it needs to be you. Every single time she wants to suck, it should be boob.
    I remember when my LC asked about dummies she said if you have to have one make sure it's the round type not the nuk type because the shape of the nuk dummies is exactly the shape you are trying to avoid with BF... I have no idea what you are using but just wanted to add that (even tho it's not what Shannon was talking about ).

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    Hi, Trish,

    It sounds like you are an experienced breastfeeder? how did you go with your other children? This little girl has really thrown you some challenges.
    Can you tell me, what was her birthweight? What does she weigh now? How many feeds does she have in 24 hrs? Can you tell me what her poos and wees HAVE been like? Colour, quantity the works?
    What did the paed say today?
    Please get back to me ASAP with the answers - I was somewhat concerned when I got your post! It does sound like your baby needs some more food, one way or the other. There are a few ways of approaching it, but the first rule is "feed the baby" You will go on to breastfeed fine, but you and your little one have had some problems to overcome. I think you probably need to see a lactation Consultant pretty urgently
    Talk soon
    Warm Regards
    Barb

  16. #16

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    Barb, I have fed all of my babies. Tehya only finished this May at 26 months. I was already preg with Abbey.

    Abbey weighed 3.2kgs. She weighed 2.9 kgs last Thursday at the Paeds, she was 10 days old then. Today she weighs 3kgs. So she has gained 100 grams in 5 days.

    Her wee and poo output is quite poor. Her urine is quite smelly. It really stinks like the AB's she is on. She hasn't pooed yet today, but since being ill has only been going once a day. She has about 8 feeds in 24hours although it does vary. Generally she is feeding 4 hourly, but then oth times she will feed 3 times in that hour.

    Paed still wants her on formula. It's worth noting that one of the nurses in special care told me that he is very much for the bottle too. He has told me that he wants Abbey to gain atleast 250 grams a week. I'm not sure if this a reasonable expectation right now with Abbey feeding the way she does.

    Abbey and I had a bath together tonight and she had a big booby feed in there. Also tonight I took the first dose of Motillium. As much as I don't want to take that stuff I don't want to use formula either. Figuring by me having that it's the lesser of the 2 evils.

    Abbey does have a dummy butI gave that to her initally to encourage her to suck. She is still quite a lazer sucker. The only time she does it great is when she has that damn teat in her mouth for her AB's. On a teat she seems to suck fine. That's another reason I am so hesitant to introduce a bottle to her with EBM. I know that as soon as I do that Abbey will totally reject the boob.

    Barb, I thought of seeing a LC too. Do you know of any in the western suburbs of Sydney ??

    I also plan on getting a second opinion from another Paed.

  17. #17

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    Trish, there is a lc based in the community health center at hawkesbury hospital. I also know of a ABA councellor who is also a LC, I could give you her number but i know she is hard to catch.

  18. #18

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    Do you know if there are any based down this way hun. I really should have asked when we were in Blacktown hospital.

    What exactly can a LC do for me ??

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