April 2013 Moms

Nursing advice?

I posted on the BF board yesterday and got zero response. Any thoughts you all have would be much appreciated... even just commiseration.


My 7 week old boy has had nursing problems from almost the start. He latched well for a day an a half and after that it was very hard. Eventually the nurses gave me a nipple shield and we never have been able to wean from it. Maybe once a week he will go a minute or two without it.

Now even with the shield he is in latching and screaming nearly every time I try. I have been pumping a lot instead because it is just too stressful for both of us to go through the fight when he takes a bottle perfectly fine.

Now I am trying to nurse at least once a day to make sure he doesn't forget, see if we can remove the shield, etc. However his thrashing and screaming make it seem pointless. Is it time to give up and just EP, or do I need to try a lot harder and do something new to get him BF better?
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Re: Nursing advice?

  • none5none5
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    Unfortunately I don't have any advice, but I wanted to respond to tell you good luck! I hope someone out there can help, and I hope it all works out! 
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  • Maybe he has gotten used to the faster flow of the bottle and is getting frustrated at the breast because it isn't coming fast enough? That's the only thing I can think of... Do you feed him bottles sitting up with a really slow flow nipple so he still has to work for it?

    Sorry you are struggling, hang in there!
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  • Breastfeeding can be such a guessing game, im right there with you, it can be very frustrating. Hang in there, you are doing a great job. Is it possible that you have a forceful letdown? I struggled with this and as soon as I felt letdown a I would remove her and let the milk squirt out in a towel or something and once the flow slowed down I would have her latch back on.
  • He may have gotten used to the ease of getting milk out of the bottle vs the boob (which is more difficult and slower). If you want to, you can try switching to bottles that mimic the breast (there are several on the market now... lansinoh mOmma, tommie tippee, the new avent bottles, etc).

    If you're not already doing so, you can try squeezing out a little milk onto your nipple (or on the end of the shield) so that he gets a little taste of it. It might help with the trashing. Or start the feed with a bottle (to take the edge off his hunger) and switch to the breast mid-feed.

    Have you worked with a LC at all? Or attended any LLL meetings? I know a LC helped me immensely with DD1. 

    But really its up to you how hard you try to keep trying the breast. I personally find at-breast feeding to be more enjoyable, but if you're having so much difficulty maybe EPing is right for you. If its worth it to you to keep trying, then keep trying. Don't stress or feel any guilt over EPing if that's what is right for you and your LO!


  • He drinks bottles sitting up and we use dr brown wide neck bottles with the level 1 nipple. I don't think I have a forceful letdown, but I could try that!
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  • I saw this post on the BF board and meant to respond!!  I'm glad you posted again and I'm on my computer now so I can type more.... I wanted to tell you that I use a shield too.  When I very first started to breastfeed while my LO was in the NICU, it was offered to me within the first nursing session.  One of the nurses came over and said "you don't need that thing" and another nurse said, "you can use this if he's not latching and eventually he won't need it anymore" She also said that she knows women that used the shield the entire time they breastfed an d they were totally fine with it.  That's kind of where I'm at.  I have been able to nurse him without the sheild once in a while, but it's definitely harder.  So I just use the shield.  And lately, like yours, my little guy has been all crazy and thrashing around on the shield like he does my nipple if I try without the shield.  So lately, I have been trying to notice his early hunger cues and not wait until he's crying to feed him.  Sometimes that's hard when I'm trying to pick up my pig stye of a house or if I'm sleeping and he's napping, but when I get him before the crying, he's less likely to thrash around and he'll nicely latch onto the shield. 

    My advice to you is don't give up!!! Nursing is easier than pumping and then bottle feeding, not to mention the bonding time you have with baby when he is nursing. 

    Also, maybe don't worry so much about weaning him off the nipple shield.  If he, 9 times out of 10, prefers to and it's easier with the nipple shield, just use it.  The only time I have a problem with it is when I try to nurse when Im not in the privacy of my own home and couch.  It's an extra step, but worth it.  I tried the other day because I forgot the shield and we were in a park and a whole lot of people walking by saw my boob and my little guy was screaming like a banshee. One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to warm a bottle when you're out and about.  The breastmilk has to be refrigerated or in a cooler... 

    Good luck, and again, don't give up.  You can only do your best! 

  • Have you seen a LC? That would be my main suggestion. I saw 3 before finding one who really understood our issues and set out a game plan to help me.

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  • Thanks for the replies!

    I will try another type of bottle and see what that does. I have worked with one LC and her suggestions didn't work. I will call the other one in town and see if she can help! Unfortunately we don't have LLL in our town.

    I probably forgot to mention that the nipple shield really irritates my nipples. I need to try a different one if we have to keep using it.
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  • Our daughter is an excited eater too so when we nurse we have to swaddle her very tightly so she doesn't start thrashing around
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