can anyone help? — The Bump
Breastfeeding

can anyone help?

I am about to be told tomorrow by the pediatrician that for the 2nd time now, I cannot exclusively nurse a baby and have them gain weight. My DD had to be switched to formula after I was told she had lost way too much and needed supplementing and then she refused my breast after. Now with my DS, if he hasn't started gaining by tomorrow, which is already giving me 3 extra days past the "rule", I will be told the same. I'm very upset because I really thought it was working this time...my DS has milk running down his face when he comes off the breast or is removed because he's been snoozing and I cannot get him interested again, but he has had issues with sucking since he was born. He only properly sucks (giving me that tugging feeling and him visibly having a longer jaw movement) once in a while and the rest is  nibbling at the breast and only sucking enough once in a while to swallow. I have been massaging my breast while he nurses but he still isn't getting enough. Has anyone overcome this and taught their newborn how to suck aggressively enough? Anyone have any insight why many, many women are able to breastfeed multiple children and I am about to fail at it with 2?

Re: can anyone help?

  • First off, I commend you for your commitment!

    Second, is your pediatrician specially trained in breastfeeding? At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, many doctors have ulterior motives for suggesting formula and/or they are not properly trained in breastfeeding support. 

    Have you tried an LC or LLL leader? These people are masters of trouble-shooting, which is what it sounds like you need :) Also, postpartum doulas are trained in breastfeeding.

    Is your LO having the proper number of wet/dirty diapers? Does he seem satisfied after nursing? Is so, perhaps your children just gain weight slower...

     Have you tried tickling under his chin to try to induce swallowing?

    Sorry for so many questions!! Posts like yours really grab at my heart :) Good luck!

  • I agree with PP - call a LC, it was the best thing I ever did. Also my pedi was so supportive of me and breastfeeding, we were having latch issues, and I had PPD and was going to give up but she did everything she could to make it so I could still BF. I am so grateful to her for that. I would consider new pedi who understands how important it is to you.
    DD 4yo DS 1yo
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  • I agree.  I think the "rules" are bs.  As long as the baby is latching on and not at a dangerous weight (was she premie or tiny when she was born) I don't think pedi always knows best about bfing.  Really, they're much more used to FF nowadays.  Contact a La Leche League leader.
    Connor Thomas 6/6/08. Discovered missed miscarriage at 17 wks 3 days, D&C 11/25/09. Please, please, please - BFP 5/21/11, EDD 2/1/11. [email protected]=52, [email protected]=158. U/S 7/7/11 shows strong baby measuring a couple days ahead!!! Pregnancy Ticker
  • Why can't you pump so your baby can bottle feed your milk, instead of formula?  It might give your little one a chance to grow a bit and be able to nurse without it ending for you.
    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Did your baby come early? My cousin's son was a few weeks early, and she had a hard time getting him to nurse well the first few weeks, because he was so tiny (and she thinks he wasn't quite ready to start nursing, you know?).She ended up pumping a lot to keep up supply, and might have had to re-wean him onto the breast, I can't remember exactly. BUT, she was sucessful and has been nursing him for almost a year at this point...

    Anyhoo, I agree with everyone else - get thee to an LC or call the LLL, check out kellymom.com for more tips. And fight for your right to breastfeed your baby! If he's gaining (even if it's not the specific amount the pediatrician told you), has dirty/wet diapers, and is satisfied after nursing, those are all good signs. And yeah, if your doctor isn't 100% on board with your breastfeeding, then it's going to make it harder for you to keep doing it. Don't give up! You can definitely breastfeed your baby!

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • i had the same problem with dd and i went to the lc at the hospital...she was latching too high so she was basically just snacking on the top of the nipple, once we corrected her latch it has made a world of difference and she has gained all her weight back plus 2 oz just since friday. check with your hospital and see if they would offer a follow up consult with a lactation consultant but def. don't give up if this is what is important to you.
  • DD was not sucking correctly either and it took me 7 weeks to find this out (with the help of a LC).  We tried using a supplemental nursing system to help her learn to suck correctly.  It did not work for me, but maybe it would for you.  LC also recommended craniosacrial (sp?) massage but I haven't called the therapist about that yet.

    I decided to EP, because I was having suppy issues (since she never built up my supply).  I would suggest meeting with an LC and definitely pump after every feeding to keep up your supply.  Maybe even pump between feedings.  Good luck!

    And BTW, you are NOT failing!  I felt that way too.  But different babies eat in different ways.  It's like solving a puzzle, you just have to figure out how to make all the pieces fit. 

     And since it's tomorrow, what happened at the pedi?

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