Any Encouragement I Can Pass On

13 Replies
piratesmermaid - February 17

My friend's cousin had a healthy baby boy on Tuesday, 6#13oz and she's br___tfeeding. But she's running into some problems. Her supply is good, but the baby won't suck. She spoke with her pediatrician, and the ped's nurse came in and told her that she was starving her baby and that she should just give him a bottle. She broke down in tears and doesn't know what to do. I've never met her, but I want to give her some support and encouragement.


olhdw101 - February 18

My sister struggled with b___stfeeding and the problem turned out to be he was slightly tongue tied…caused a mountain of problems with him not sucking. Sorry I guess that wasn’t very encouraging but I guess it worth looking into.


piratesmermaid - February 18

Yeah, I mentioned that there might be some physical impairments they might want to check, but they already did and everythings fine there with the baby's tongue and all.


Trac - February 18

I would suggest she see a lactation specialist right away. ASAP. It is fairly common for there to be problems with latch or positioning in the early days and you really need someone certified to help, In the meantime, she may need to use formula to supplement. I usually do not mention that because it usually leads to early weaning but if the childs health is in danger or not gaining, she may need to consider it. I hope things get better and the baby starts sucking soon. You can also tell her to offer her b___st lots and lots of times each day (like every 1 or 2 hours) the more exposure to the b___st he gets, the better!


Rabbits07 - February 18

That is a very common problem. They are just so tired and all after the birth. I had that happen with ALL of my babies. Unfortunately I didn't have any support with the first two and ended up giving up. First of all, what has she been doing the past few days? Is it that he isn't sucking at all or just that he barely sucks? Or not for very long? If it's just that it's not for very long or that he just barely sucks I can say that the best way to get a good indication of how well he is eating is by his diapers. If I had went by how long my babies nursed I would've sworn they were starving to death. As long as her baby is having adequate wet and soiled diapers then he is eating good enough. He may have a dip in weight which is normal so long as he doesn't lose more than 10% of his birth weight. (Studies have also shown that b___st babies do tend to lose more at first.) He will start gaining that back. She should experiment with some different positions to see what she and the baby find most comfortable. Mason always latched easier with the side-lying position so that was what I used anytime I was home. Different babies are different so she should just experiment. Also, some babies get discouraged at the "wait" for letdown when bf'ing. She could try pumping until letdown occurs and then attaching baby....he may latch better if he gets milk immediately. In the beginning I done this with Mason and even if he didn't latch I would still leave the b___st in his mouth and he would swallow......he got better and eventually starting latching better and sooner. As a last resort she could pump and give the b___stmilk from a bottle...she always has the option of stopping the bottle and doing straight from b___st feedings only. (she should remember that first pumpings don't always render alot of milk, but the more she does it the more she'll get). I did this with number 4. It wasn't planned, just turned out that way, but I started him from pumped bottle feedings to b___st only at two months and he nursed successfully until after 1 year. Lastly, I think it was HORRIBLE of that nurse to talk to her that way. To tell her she was starving her baby....shame on that nurse! This girl needs support and encouragement and I'm glad you are there for her. :-)


kellens mom - February 18

Kellen would not latch very well. I had to bait her by dabbing some colostrum around the nipple so she could taste it. Once she got a taste she was good to go. The hand expression of colostum (and later milk) helped to "prime the pump" (pardon the a___logy). If I did not help the milk along, she would get frustrated and she would stop trying. I guess you could say she was a lazy sucker in the beginning....until she figured it out. She only seemed to be able to nurse in the football hold. It took us months to become coordinated enough to try a different position. Best of luck to her. I hope she finds my advice helpful. One more note, we also smeared some formula on my nipples to get her excited. She could try that too.


Topaz - February 18

I had a hard time b___stfeeding dd when she was born. There was a lactation center at the hospital where I had her and I probably wouldn't be b___stfeeding if it wasn't for them. My milk was slow to come in and dd wasn't sucking well either. I had to use a nipple shield and "bait" her with a little glucose water on the nipple to get her to latch on. Then I had to rub on her back and her feet to keep her awake to keep sucking. I also had to pump after each feeding for about the first 10 days to help my body produce more milk. When she was about four days old the ped. told me to subst_tute formula because I wasn't producing enough milk. It turned out I only had to supplement two feedings that day. The next day she started gaining enough weight. It was amazing, in the lactation center they would weigh dd, then I would b___stfeed her from one b___st, then they would weigh her again. We made about five trips to the lactation center the first two weeks to see exactly how much more milk I was producing, how much was was getting, and how much weight she was gaining. I also took Fenugreek to help my milk supply out in the beginning. Try to get your cousin's friend into a lactation specialist. You can try contacting the la leche league to find one in your area.


apr - February 18

ok, I can totally relate...I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, who from the first second didnt want to nurse. I figured we must both be tired from birth, so I waited...that evening I tried again and he still didnt want to nurse. Every time I tried again and again...when I got home from the hospital I paid a lot of money to see a b___stfeeding counsellor and it didnt help. I cried and felt like a terrible mother. I had an enormous milk supply, but he wouldnt latch on...he was losing weight and I also had no choice but give him a bottle. at first I felt terrible, especially after the comments and glares people gave me, but I learned to not when I look back, I dont regret my decision even one second. Yes, my baby isnt b___stfeeding, but I always know I will have another chance with my next baby. He is healthy and well and thats all that matters to me...I want to tell you a nurse told me before I left the hospital...she saw my baby wont nurse and from her 35 years of experiance she took me aside and told me, he is just one of those babies who wont nurse. Nursing has to be good for the mother as well as the baby. If it is stressing you out, then give up, and rather be a calm mother with a bottle, then a nervous mother with b___stfeeding. Whenever people make remarks, I always remember that phrase, and I shrug my shoulders and carry on


Nerdy Girl - February 18

I b___stfed my first baby for a full year, and my second baby just never "got it." His latch was terrible, he had a tiny mouth, and a short tongue. I paid a ton of money for visits to the lactation specialists and was so depressed because I knew that I could b___stfeed --- I did it already with my firstborn! Well, I had him on the b___st for 6 miserable weeks, then pumped another 6 weeks and bottle fed him the pumped milk (and even then we had to try a myriad of different bottles to get him to latch to a bottle), and then finally switched to formula. It was a really tough time for me, but like apr said, sometimes it is just not meant to be. And believe me, I never would have made this statement before my son was born, but now I know.


MM - February 18

My son would not latch properly. It took 6 days for us to get it. I had to use the pump at the hospital the first few days, then I bought a pump but he wanted to eat any way other than my b___st because it was faster. I felt so much pressure all around me to b___stfeed (nurses, family, financially) that I was getting very frustrated (so was baby). The sixth day I talked to my dh & told him I was going to start ff 'cause baby & I both couldn't take it anymore. He told me whatever would cause me & baby to be less stressed was fine, which totally made me feel better. Then I had a warm, relaxing shower while dh watched ds... I went to feed ds right after, not really expecting anything & he did it. Unfortunately my milk supply ran out around 6-8 weeks but he did it until then. So don't give up, & try to relax & not feel pressure.


Rabbits07 - February 18

I just wanted to add as apr and Nerdy Girl mentioned that sometimes b___st feeding just doesn't work out for some people. I do think it is important that women be encouraged to b___st feed if that is what they want to do. I don't know all the specifics of this girl's situation, but regardless I think it was harsh for the nurse to tell her that she was starving her baby and should just give him a bottle. It may turn out that b___stfeeding doesn't work for her and her baby, but she should still be encouraged in trying since that is what she wants. Another part of the support process is to let them know that if b___st feeding doesn't work out that bottle feeding is fine and it doesn't mean they just means they chose to do what was healthy and best for their baby. :-)


Rans - February 18

Sorry if this is a repeat, I didn't read all the posts here (have to head out in a couple mins). I had trouble with my dd latching as well, one thing that my doctor had us try was finger feeding. The hospital has special tiny tubes that go on the end of a syringe and then you tape it to your baby finger and fill syringe with formula/bm and then have babe suck finger and you express the milk from the syringe. It teaches the babe to suck properly. We tried that and my dd did learn to latch but got too frustrated as I had a very low milk supply. Example would be that I pumped every two hours for a 24 hour period and I would get maximum 1.5oz total. I was so stressed that I finally introduced formula but still pumped to give my dd what I could. Yes I did try the maximum dose of medication to help me lactate and also tried the herbal supplements and it did not help in the least. I pumped for 12 weeks and gave my dd a snack size bottle of bm every evening. At times I still feel sick that I couldn't provide for my dd, but looking at her now I know I did the right thing as she is a happy and healthy baby and I know I did the best I could for her. The finger feeding may help, but definetly tell her to contact a lactation consultant, if she doesn't have access to ones there are lactation consultants that you can confer with over the phone. Good luck to her and her baby.


Kara H. - February 18

I tried so hard to b___stfeed Max but our problems were doubled. My supply sucked and he didn't! I pumped for 6wks with a rented hosptial grade pump then switched to formula. I had been supplementing with formula earlier than that, but I finally called it quits at 6wks. I think it is important to remember it is not the end of the world if you don't get to b___stfeed like you had imagined. You have a perfect little baby in your arms and no matter how you nurish him, you are still nurishing him. I would recommend her trying pumping and if she is totally against bottles she could use a medince syringe to get the expressed b___st milk into the baby.


Jilloh - February 18

My boy didnt latch much so I decided to pump and use the bottle. Actually it worked out well in the end. Because then my husband could get up at night while I pumped he fed DS. And it was not all on me. And then when I went back to work he was already used to the bottle. I just too my pump with me to work.



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