October 2012 Moms

The BF Fight

When HDR was born we did skin to skin ASAP, it was about 15 minutes after he was born because when he was born he was covered in meconium. :( But he is doing great.  Anyways, when he was ready to BF about an hour/hour & half later, the L&D nurse gave helped me get situated, then looked at me and said "you have short nipples, you'll probably need a nipple shield for a bit."  I didn't think anything of it, and she never returned with one.  Well the next day, my family left and I was all alone with him.  I, again, didn't think anything of it.  Well, this is when the BF issues started.  He wouldn't latch well and only nursed for about 5 minutes aside.  My right nipple became very raw and chapped.  I told the day nurse this and she did nothing about it.  Well the poor nursing continued, and even though I would speak up, no action was taken.  The night nurse came, and was awful, no help yet again.  So we are going on 24 hours of him barely eating, if at all.  Then the following morning, the new nurse came in, witnessed this, and immediately returned with a nipple shield.  So now my very hungry & fussy baby could eat, but the habit had formed.  

Anyways, fastforward to now.  He is eating regularly and consistently.  At his 2-week check-up he had surpassed his birthweight.  However, the issue is that, every time I start to put him on the boob he fights me and the situation, which makes him spin out of control more quickly.  I can get him to nurse but it takes about two solid minutes of him fighting me to get him to latch.

Does anyone have any advice for me?  Is this common?  Was this a bad habit developed in the hospital, or is it just a "baby thing?"   

Any advice or words would help, it sounds silly but I am kind of at my wits-end about it.  Especially since he is a SUPER clingy and fussy baby.  I just want to help my little man out and I feel like I can't.  

Re: The BF Fight

  • First off, that sucks that you got little lactation support.

    Second, some babies fight the boob at first, especially if they're extremely hungry. My guy is great at the breast, but if he starts fussing before I get him on, he will sometimes scream bloody murder until I get him calm enough to latch. It's just once of those things. Hang in there! You're doing great. =)




  • I'm sorry. That sounds frustrating. You will learn very quickly that you have to be your biggest advocate with your child because unfortunately the nurses are not always on top of things.

    I have two suggestions for you. 1. Make sure that you are not waiting too long to feed your child. As soon as he starts showing signs of sucking on his fist or making movements with his mouth you need to feed him. If you reach the point of crying you're going to have the fight.

    2. If you do reach the point of crying, because I realize it's not always possible to avoid it, you need to find a way to calm him down before getting him on your breast. I have found that if I let DS suckle on either my index finger or the bent joint of my index finger he does better. It calms him down so that you can get your nipple in his mouth

    I would highly recommend that you talk to a lactation consultant outside of the hospital. I have found that the hospital LCs are too busy to really focus and give you the time you need. Definitely post this on the breastfeeding board as well. They will probably have some good resources for you. Good luck! You can do this!
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  • First off, thank you ladies for your support and advice.

    Secondly, I try to feed him ASAP when I notice the signs.  He is 17 days old now, not that that particularly matters much, but there are times he shows the signs ALL THE TIME.  During the day he'll go 1-2 1/2 hours between feedings, then at night he can go up to 4 hours.  So maybe during the day he is just "stocking" up for night time?... I don't know.  I also try not to let him fall asleep on the breast either.

    And I was definitely not impressed with the hospital LC. She was a BF nazi, pardon the language.  She made me feel like if I did anything wrong or didn't nurse for X amount of time, both in time on the boob and until a certain age, I was a bad mom.  So I got over taking anything they said too seriously very quickly because they were so rigid and demeaning.

     

  • He's fight to nurse with or without the shield?  I'd make sure I was latching him every time he starts rooting or if it's been 2.5 hours since the last feeding.  If your let down is forceful, express some by hand first.  You can also do this too if engorgement/fullness is an issue: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/rev_pressure_soft_cotterman/

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  • Also, some of this is totally normal. Please don't best yourself up over it.

    I just realized the fighting you may be referencing is probably the hands which is normal and starts in utero. Or possibly the head shaking back and forth which is a sign he has waited too long to eat.

    Check out this. http://sdbfc.com/blog/2012/5/21/newbornhandswhyaretheyalwaysinthewaywhilebreastfee.html

    And
    http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/bfbasics/hungercues/

    You want to catch him in the early or active stages of showing hunger. This article gives good tips
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  • I had to stop forcing the boob on her to get her to latch. We are in a bit of a different situation, because bottles were forced on us right away. We were both super frustraited with trying to bf. But, it made a world of difference after just a few sessions for us, if I got things started with my hand pump, then just laid her across my tummy with my breast supported and let her do her thing. Now I can bring her to the breast and she knows what's coming. We do use a nipple shield still, but I let her try without it each time first. 
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  • Thank you Dotty! That is all helpful information!
  • image jlr1988:
    Thank you Dotty! That is all helpful information!


    You are welcome! I have had my share of challenges these first 10 days and feel like I am only just getting the hang of it

    The hands are my biggest frustration but I have found that if DH held his hands while I got him latched, we did a lot better. When I am alone I also will hold his sleeve in my mouth to keep his one hand immobile. You'll figure out the tricks that work for you as you go.
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  • I am with you!!!!  First off, we also had a lactation nazi in the hospital, and even though he had dropped too much weight and I simply didnt have enough milk, she literally had me in tears making me feel like the worst person in the world because I listened to the pediatrician about giving 1 oz of formula in addition to breast. 

     Since then, at 18 days old, I have plenty of milk but may have spoiled him with those few bottles.  Sometimes he will get a great latch for about 5 minutes, and then scream his head off.  I am not sure if it is the letdown the upsets him (I do express by hand first) or he just isnt getting enough quick enough like he does with the bottle. 

    I am pumping tons and doing bottles overnight (so DH can help), and sometimes will give him an ounce or two with the breast during the day if he fights too much.  I know some people will tell me that I am doing it wrong, and should be exclusively breast.  But I have come to terms with the fact that I am FTM, home alone with a newborn all day, and need to do whats best for my sanity... and at the end of the day he is still getting my milk.  

    so moral of my story - do whatever is best for you and your family and don't let the LC or anyone make you feel like you are wrong!

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  • Just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. My DS wasn't latching very well on my left nipple so I stopped offering it to him. Obviously that was silly so now I have to fix his preference. Most times he cries when trying to latch and it can take 2 minutes or so!! You are doing a great job mama!!
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  • image jlr1988:

    First off, thank you ladies for your support and advice.

    Secondly, I try to feed him ASAP when I notice the signs.  He is 17 days old now, not that that particularly matters much, but there are times he shows the signs ALL THE TIME.  During the day he'll go 1-2 1/2 hours between feedings, then at night he can go up to 4 hours.  So maybe during the day he is just "stocking" up for night time?... I don't know.  I also try not to let him fall asleep on the breast either.

    And I was definitely not impressed with the hospital LC. She was a BF nazi, pardon the language.  She made me feel like if I did anything wrong or didn't nurse for X amount of time, both in time on the boob and until a certain age, I was a bad mom.  So I got over taking anything they said too seriously very quickly because they were so rigid and demeaning.

     

    oh at 17 days you are definitely in the middle of the 3 week growth spurt, you are lucky if you are getting longer sleeps at night for sure!  expect that he needs to eat 10-12 times a day, so if he can get those in during the day you might be lucky and have longer night periods, but if not, well that's life with a newborn.

     basically everything you are experiencing is normal.  they get frantic sometimes and go from barely awake to freaked out that the milk is not RIGHT THERE in their tummy already.  a bit at least has to do with feeling hunger pains really for the first time, and immature baby brains that can't tell concept of time (oh noes it's been a million years since I ate and I'm going to die if I don't eat right now) to what is going on, why are my hands moving around like that (oh yeah, those are my hands and I can stop them from moving, but hey it kind of feels good to move, I was trying to eat wasn't I?)  they are a bit disjointed and running on a bunch of instinct and trial  and error.  it is normal to take a bit.

     

    unfortunately experience in hospital sounds a bit normal too--the nurses don't know enough or care enough about breastfeeding all too often, and the LC's run from one room to the next trying to get a newborn to latch on, but not really enough time to give any quality help, so they throw some catch phrases at you, a nipple shield, and common advice if things don't work is to just pump.  I always recommend a check with an IBCLC lactation consultant asap after you leave the hospital, ideally an LC that works outside of the hospital setting so they have experience helping moms once their milk comes in and their nipples are raw. 

     

    it will get better, but it does take a while.

    AmyG*

    I don't type posts; I type novels.

    I don't get tags, sorry.

  • My daughter cluster feeds every hour for at least three hours every day. And I never know when they'll be. It sucks, it hurts my nipples, but I have grown to accept it. Hang in there!
    DD 9/15/12
  • Thnk you so much ladies!! Your insight and support really helps. I was starting to get really frustrated and feel completely helpless.

    I live with my parents, and they constantly ask what's wrong with him. I'm about to lose it of I get asked this one more time. Then I'll say, he's a baby, he wants to eat or sleep. My moms response to that is: you were such an easy baby, I never had to deal with any of this. You were such a perfect baby, until you got colic, then once you were better you were great again.

    It drives me nuts!! I feel like it set my expectations elsewhere and it makes me feel unsupported by them.

    But hearing everything you all have got to say has definitely helped!!
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