BTDT breastfeeding advice needed

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gaidinsgirl's picture
Joined: 08/28/06
Posts: 2004
BTDT breastfeeding advice needed

I posted this over on the breastfeeding board too, but wanted to ask here too for those of you who have breastfed and might have some advice for me.

Luke is not latching on at all. There have been about 5-6 times total that he has latched on and stayed for a good 30 seconds, but usually *if* I can get him to open his mouth at all, he just holds his mouth on my boob and never does anything.

I am pumping for him and that is part of my issue.. I have way more supply then he needs. I pumped for my son and the same thing happened. He had been in the NICU for a week, so I pumped and ended up with a freezer stash five times as big as he needed. He eventually learned to latch and never even used a quarter of it. My daughter latched on the minute she was in my arms and I never had this problem with her.

So... I need advice on what to do to help him latch on and actually suck/swallow. Could it be that he was preterm and just has to learn or is it that he is just so sleepy still? I really want him on the breast and not bottle.

Second, how can I get my supply under control? If I pump for 5 minutes on each side I get 6 ounces of milk total! He does not need that much milk. He eats between 1.5 and 2.5 ounces every 2 hours or so now ( sometimes a little more often, never more than 3 hours apart).

And, to add more difficulty to it, I always have trouble getting my new babies to latch because I have such HUGE boobs. Luke is only 6 lbs 8 ounces and I swear my boobs are bigger than him. The only position I can even work with is clutch hold and it's still hard this time. I feel like I am wrestling with him to get his arms off of his face and my boob in his mouth.

Thanks for any advice you all have.

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

Have you tried a nipple shield? I know its worked for lots of my friends.

As far as too big of a supply - I'd be thrilled to have that issue and wouldn't want to decrease it, but that's just me. I was the same way with DS and when my milk started to dry up I had enough BM in the freezer to keep him on BM only for another 2 months. But, if you don't have the freezer space I can see that as an issue. Maybe pump less often and for shorter amount of times? I have no idea. I usually would pump 8-10 oz at a time when I did it and I always wanted to fully empty to get some relief.

gaidinsgirl's picture
Joined: 08/28/06
Posts: 2004

I have the freezer space but I really don't want to pump that much to dump it again. I nursed ds1 for 17 months (he finally learned to latch at abou 2 months) and I ended up dumping over 3 gallons (!!!) of breast milk. I feel like I have to pump till empty for relief but that's just making my body think I need that much milk. Glah. It's so much easier to not have to pump Sad

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

Can you donate it somewhere? I recently found out that my hospital will take donations so I plan to try to do that if I can. I don't love pumping either. This time I'd love to be able to nurse only but I have a feeling that I will use the pump almost immediately again.

gaidinsgirl's picture
Joined: 08/28/06
Posts: 2004

I don't know, I need to call and check into that though!

OliveOly's picture
Joined: 08/03/08
Posts: 158

There is a company that accepts donations of BM, condenses it down and makes concentrate formula for babies in the NICU. I donated 12.7 gallons after finishing up breastfeeding with my DS. Here is the website: http://www.prolacta.com/index.php
It is totally free...they ship the containers to you and pay for overnight shippment back to them. I loved it....I could not have dumped all that BM that I worked so hard to produce.

PAmom2boys's picture
Joined: 04/29/09
Posts: 1494

As far as your supply it will settle down as Luke gets bigger and once he regularly BF. I don't know about getting him to latch though, does he seem sleepy? If not it could be from being so early. Does your hospital have LC you can call?

gaidinsgirl's picture
Joined: 08/28/06
Posts: 2004

I had a LC come in with me at the hospital and she tried for a long time to get him to latch. She didn't have any luck either and basically just told me to keep doing what I am doing and he will get it.

AshnBill's picture
Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 5333

I'm not sure how easy this will be, but when he's hungry can you be pumping a little to get the milk right there for him, but then quickly get him on the boob? Basically so milk is coming out right when you get him there so he realizes he needs to suck? I'm sure part of it is he was a little early...hopefully he'll get the hang of it soon!

eta or maybe try putting a little milk on your nipple instead?

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I was going to suggest the nipple shield as well, as I have no other options to give you. I would continue pumping and BF, especially if you said he's not latching properly. I supplemented and didn't have any issues with baby getting confused between boob and bottle nipple. As far as the "big boob" issue, I'm in that same boat with you! I always have to hold my hand in between my boob and baby's face or they might suffocate!

JuneorJulyBaby?'s picture
Joined: 10/20/08
Posts: 2479

For latching try a nipple shield. I had the same problem with Nicholas in that he wouldn't latch after birth. The nipple shield helps trigger the suck reflex. Does he suck when you put a finger in his mouth? If so that should do the trick hopefully. If not, maybe try a LC at the hospital? Good luck!

Joined: 08/29/08
Posts: 303

With DS1, he had difficulty, too. It turned out that he was trying to stick the nipple under his tongue, rather than between his tongue and the roof of his mouth, so of course, it's hard to get a good suck going on when you're not able to grip with anything. Smile But yeah, I'd probably check to see what he's actually doing with his mouth when you're trying to get him to eat, but he's not eating, and seeing if it's something physical going on.

Good luck!

joyjim's picture
Joined: 05/22/06
Posts: 822

Have you checked with the pediatrician? Could he be tongue tied?

**tess**'s picture
Joined: 10/13/08
Posts: 114

Your problems are SO different from the ones I had when breastfeeding my firstborn. I WISH I could get that much from five minutes of pumping!

I'm sorry I can't be very helpful, but I would say to follow the advice of the LC and give it a little more time.

lesleynka's picture
Joined: 04/26/11
Posts: 1845

How is it going Angie? Any better?

gaidinsgirl's picture
Joined: 08/28/06
Posts: 2004

"lesleynka" wrote:

How is it going Angie? Any better?

No, no better. He won't latch on at all. I ordered a nipple shield so hopefully when I get that, it will help. He just holds his mouth on me and never tries to suck.

lesleynka's picture
Joined: 04/26/11
Posts: 1845

Oh Angie, I'm sorry. Hopefully the nipple shield will work for you guys. I don't know much about them, but it seems plenty on here have great experiences using them.