Previous failed breastfeeding attempts. Any tips for this time around? — The Bump

Previous failed breastfeeding attempts. Any tips for this time around?

First off I hope there isn't a spot I'm supposed to put this. If there is I'm sorry I missed it.

Ok on to the post. I'm currently in third tri with baby number 4. I've gotten better with breast feeding each child but still feel like I've failed so I'm looking for any advice at all. I've been reading everything I can find. I think this is the last baby for us and its very important to me that I don't fail this time around.

Background info: Baby #1: I breastfed her just fine in the hospital but once I got her home and my milk came in I was so engorged that she couldn't latch, hubby went to Walmart at 2am to get a hand pump because I didn't have a pump and after getting some out she still wouldn't latch so we gave her the expressed milk in the bottle. She refused to latch after that and I was left with just pumping which lasted about a week until I wasn't making enough and then I gave up completely disappointed.

Baby #2: She was born the end of November, so right before the holidays. She was very sleepy from my meds during labor and I could barley get her to wake up to eat. (I'm not one for waking babies I stand by when they're hungry they'll wake up and eat but she would have went 12hrs if I didn't wake her and she was back asleep after 10mins on one side) She also wasn't keeping her body temp after being born so the hospital took her into the nursery and put the heat lamp on her and wouldn't give her back to me for an hour and she still hadn't fed for the first time yet. She lost a lot of weight from this of course and the pediatrician wanted to see us back in a few days for a weight check. She started to pick up eating a bit and Dr was ok with keeping an eye in her weight to give us a chance before supplementing formula. Things were going pretty well for two weeks until we started to get busy with the holidays, and we have Christmas, and new years at family's house so I was a bit nervous about figuring out how to breastfed while we were there and my mom and aunts who we live with aren't the best at being supportive, (not that they try to be but they just think just give them formula its easier) so I fed her before we left hoping to be back home before she needed to eat again and took some formula just in case. Well bad idea for letting them talk me into that. After Christmas and feeding her bottles and not pumping to keep my supply I had trouble getting her to latch, by New Years I had failed again and she was on formula.

(PS Husband is VERY supportive of breastfeeding and doing his best to help me)

Baby #3: He was born after the holidays, thank goodness and I thought I had a good chance with him. We had bad luck from the start. There was a ton of babies being born that day and (in my hospital you have three different rooms while you're there. One to labor in, and then when you're almost ready to start pushing they move you to the delivery room, then after baby is born you're moved onto the other side into your recovery room for the rest of the stay while they take baby into nursery for bath and what not and then bring them in to you when they're done) I ended up having to give birth in a c-section room because all the delivery rooms were full. So I didn't get any bonding time with him before getting moved because they had to re sterilize the room and have it ready in case of an emergency. By the time I got him back he was sleeping and then when he woke up he was beyond hungry and I had trouble getting him to stay latched because he was just so upset. This pattern stuck with him, he would sleep until his belly was empty and be screaming when he woke up and it was hard not to get frustrated trying to get him to latch because he shook his head like crazy trying to root. I also couldn't get a great latch because of this but once he was on I was too afraid that if I took him back off I wouldn't get him back on so I'd endure the pain. After about a month I got to the point where I dreaded feeding him because it almost put me in tears to have him latch. I started feeding a bottle at every other feeding and pumping when he had the bottle to keep my supply and give myself a break but then I started producing less milk and he'd pull himself off my breast, not latch again and still be hungry so again I failed and gave up. 

Its all been very depressing to me I feel like such a failure I can't even feed my children the way nature intended me to feed them and I've cried about it so many times. My plan this time around is to do a few things differently from some things I've been reading. Instead of meeting everyone come in to see him in the delivery room I'm going to have them all wait (besides husband and my mom who are always in the room when I deliver) until we get to the recovery room so I can give myself some more bonding time with him. And I also am going to tell the hospital staff that I want to try to breastfeed before they take him for his bath and get some skin to skin contact to hopefully start off on the right foot this time. 

Sorry this is so long but any tips you have to offer are greatly appericated and also what are the best bottles to use when you're pumping so that you don't have any nipple confusion?

Re: Previous failed breastfeeding attempts. Any tips for this time around?

  • mrsc12414mrsc12414 member
    edited May 2016
    Lots of skin to skin my little was born three weeks and had latch issues so we used a shield for a bit but she took it . Lots of time on the breast even when it feels like baby just came off --they will stimulate your  production!! And don't listen to others most of all.. If breastfeeding is important to you then you will find a way! My in laws don't support but after standing my ground they are better now . I just always wear a cover when they are around and also let what they say in one ear and out the other . Let baby use you like a pacifier at the beginning it should help with stimulating production . This was baby two for me and milk was good and in by day 4! If you do have to supplement though don't beat yourself up just start pumping after every feeding to make your body produce more 

    as far as bottles we've had luck with Tommee tippee . Babygirl hasn't had any issues going to them and back to breast .
  • cbeck6912cbeck6912 member
    edited May 2016
    I would suggest finding a breastfeeding support group. My pediatrician offers a group that is run by a lactation specialist. It might be a good idea to check it out before you have your baby. The other thing would be to ask to see the lactation specialist at the hospital as soon as you can. They can help you get off to a good start.
    We waited 3 weeks to give bottle and pacifier to help prevent nipple confusion. We also use Tommee Tippee bottles with no concerns. 

    Good luck. Any breast milk that you can give them is awesome. And remember fed is best. 
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  • From reading about your previous experiences I would suggest:
    1) Find BF support now. A BF group, lactation consultant, or friend who has successfully BF. Basically anyone who can support you when you have a struggle and who can turn to as soon as you have a niggle before it turns into a major issue.
    2) Clear your calendar or work out how to deal with your family. BF takes time and you need to be willing to put baby on the breast whenever baby needs. So either be willing to skip social stuff initially, or be willing to stand firm in the face of on-supportive family. Perhaps think of a strategy now to deal with them...wear a cover, go into another room, get one of them on your side, have DH run interference etc etc
    3) Lots of skin on skin. My 3rd baby had a low temp initially and was sleepy and reluctant to eat. The mw told me me to strip him off and do skin to skin with him. It was amazing how he woke up immediately and wanted to eat.
    4) Like you've said keep baby with you as much as you can for bonding and skin to skin after birth. I'm in NZ and they don't take baby away to bath. They weigh and measure in the room with you,  but only after you've had the first feed and done skin to skin. Perhaps you could talk to your OB/MWnow about what you'd like for after the birth?

    Every BF relationship/experience is different, so be kind to yourself, and give yourself what you need, to get there. It can be really tough, but it does get easier and easier. Best wishes to you!
    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • Thank you all for the wonderful advice. I'm going to check into breastfeeding groups and see if there are any in my area and check into the bottles as well. I usually use Dr Browns but those nipples are not like breasts so I want to try to do as much as I can now to set us off to a good start. 

    As far as social events I am going to get a cover, and I'm debating on not going to my family reunion this year because I'm due July 22nd and it's August 6th so idk about exposing baby to that many people that early. Other than that I don't have any social plans until my daughters birthday in September and hopefully we will be on a good schedule by then that it will be fine.
  • SmallyMcSmallSmallyMcSmall member
    edited May 2016
    With my 10 week old son, bf at the hospital the first day went fine, he was calm and sleepy after the c section. The next day however, we had the same issue you did when baby got frantically hungry. He would scream and thrash his head side to side so violently. After struggling for a while to get him to latch, I called a nurse in for help. For lack of a better way to put it (and it's not as bad as I'm probably making it sound) she guided him to the breast more "forcefully" than I had been (I'm a new mom and I couldn't bring myself to be anything but super gentle). So I learned that sometimes you just gotta hold baby from the back of their head and almost mash their face into the boob. (Again, not as bad as I'm making it sound but my point is, is that I wasn't being firm enough in guiding him properly)

    also, definitely put baby to breast every chance you get to promote milk production- it's all based on supply and demand. Even if you've gotta put your LO to the boob every 30 minutes at first, do it, and absolutely do skin on skin whenever possible- even if it's not while you're feeding.

    Eta: extra word or two removed for clarity, also wanted to add: best of luck! Also, if you haven't thought of it definitely get and bring a breastfeeding pillow!
  • taysuntaysun member
    I just want to add that it's important they don't take baby until you've had an hour of skin to skin time. 
    My hospital did not measure or weigh for over an hour, and a bath was not done until 12 hours after deliver- and SO and I gave the bath with guidance from a nurse. 
    Its also possible to have success with breastfeeding after failure in the hospital. 
    I exclusively pumped for 5-6 weeks after a huge failure by the hospital to help with breastfeeding even though they're a breastfeeding friendly hospital. They were quick to give formula and I supplemented for quite a while. I spent hours every day trying to get DD to latch. 
    Eventually we had success but later I discovered she has a fairly severe upper lip tie which was the root of our struggle. I even saw an LC who didn't even check. 
    I recommend seeing an LC but if you're struggling make sure they check for tongue or lip ties!
  • I agree with all the PPs.  I just wanted to add that I hear some tongue tie symptoms in your prior experiences. Sleepy baby, pain, difficulty to latch and stay latched. My son had an undiagnosed lip tie and tongue tie for 8 weeks. Check out for more information. If you notice the symptoms with this baby, get to an IBCLC. There is also some great online support. If you're on FB, look for Tongue Tie Babies Support Group.  The sooner it's fixed the better. 
  • vcabbywvcabbyw member
    I can tell you what I did to start a successful BFing relationship, before my babe was born. 

    I found a really experienced LC while pregnant and took some of her classes. She was independent from the hospital and was wonderful to text for medication information or general info or support. I would start there. She also held weekly support groups too! I would establish that relationship now and maybe even schedule a visit for her to come when you get home from the hospital. 

    I also read a bunch, and watched a lot of videos on BFing on youtube to help me identify issues and what was normal. Ie, correct latch videos, what is a tongue tie, different holds, etc. 

    When my daughter was born, she didn't leave my chest for a few hours. She was only 15/20 mins old before I tried to latch her, but she immediately went on my naked chest under blankets to hold her heat in. And stayed there until we left the hospital, mostly in a diaper. I wore a wrap dress and she pretty much lived in it lol. They wanted to bathe her and do other procedures but I declined a lot of it. They only weighed her. Any time she would wake, even slightly, I tried to nurse her. She mostly slept but she pretty much slept on my breast :) it was so exhausting but there was hardly an hour that went by without trying to latch. I received some comments from nurses and doctors but in the end, it's my decision! 

    I didnt limit guests but they also didn't get to come over and hold the baby for me. That's my job. Many guests came and just watched me hold her on my chest. My baby, my rules. Because we all know that trying to nurse a starving pissed off newborn with our post partum hormones is way more difficult!!! It's easier to nurse them while calm. 

    I know with multiple kids it's a lot different, there's not enough hours in the days... and you can't spend hours a day laying down. But I feel like it was so crucial! So the advice for finding help for the other kiddos for a few weeks so you can focus on BFing is really really important!! Maybe look into hiring a baby sitter or even doula??? I have a few friends that failed at nursing and it seemed like the two biggest issues they had was that they couldn't/wouldn't spend hours a day trying to latch and to establish supply. They always went behind a closed door and felt isolated. The other reason was lack of support, from family or from having a good LC. 

    I declined events and offers to come over for awhile. I also refused to go to places where I couldn't nurse freely and without judgment until I felt stronger and confident enough. 

    Oh lastly, it was advised to me to hold off on pumping for the first 4-6 weeks ( if possible..)until your supply maintained and latch is mastered. Babies are way more efficient at getting milk then any pump. 
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