Hello. My new baby was born on Monday at 36 weeks 2 days. He is not latching on at all anymore. 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.
WOW on the milk supply!!! Girl, I'd donate that milk to a needy baby for sure! www.humanmilkforhumanbabies.com I would continue pumping until he latches and starts nursing more frequently to keep that awesome supply up. If he were bigger, I would say to hold off on the bottle as much as you could... it sounds like he has nipple confusion if he sucks from a bottle and not a breast... BUT, being that he is so small... I dunno what I would do... I know the ladies on here will have great advice though. I would just keep introducing the breast as much as possible... even to pacify him. Also, if you are engorged, hand express some milk before latching him on and see if that helps him to latch better. Maybe he's just not getting a good latch b/c of your breast size and he isn't sucking... I know the ladies on here will be of more help than me! KUP!
-Becca, mom to Jacob (5-3-2003) Zach (6-20-2006) Zoey Jane (2-6-200 Alex (8-11-2011) and Emma Grace (due March 2014)!!
My first suggestion would be to try a nipple shield. I've never used one so no personal experience but I have heard others say good things about them in your type of situation.
Secondly, I do think a big part of the problem is due to him being a little early and still sleepy. My first DS was born a few days shy of 34 weeks and spent 17 days in the NICU. I started out pumping exclusively with him and then transitioned to the breast after bringing him home. He learned to eat on a bottle initially. It was a hard road to get him transitioned to the breast. He was very hard to BF for a long time and for weeks after bringing him home getting him to latch was difficult. I also remember that it was hard to keep him on / eating...if we didn't get a good latch or he released and had to relatch for any reason it was a problem. A feeding session was over after about 3 latches regardless of if he had gotten any milk or not. He was just sleepy and hard to feed for weeks.
I know it's hard but I think it may just take time...just keep trying. I hope you find some things that work and it starts getting easier soon.
Please KUP when you can.
The bf consultant i spoke with today told me that premies tend to have latch issues, and that she had a woman who pumped and dumped until her baby was 4 months old with about half of her milk bc she had such an unneeded supply so she then was able to accomplish a good latch at 4 months even after pumping for so long.
Hi, I thought I'd update.
We got it finally. It took 6 whole weeks for him to learn. If he were my first, I would have quit. Honestly. It was hard. I spent hours crying at the pump and crying hold him while he wouldn't latch. He was born at 36 weeks and I read in a book that at that gestational age they sometimes don't have enough fat in their cheeks to actually latch on and I believe that is what our problem was. He actually could not latch. He would open his mouth and just couldn't get a latch. I tried a nipple shield and he would latch with that but he would only latch onto the nipple that way. I just kept trying every feed and eventually he learned.
We still have some hard times where it takes 10 minutes to latch but 90% of the time we have no trouble. He doesn't need to have a bottle anymore at all. I am so happy.
I'm so happy for you Angie!! I know how frustrating it can be... I swear I had these issues with my first THREE babies (and none of them were premies!)!! I seem to have some trouble with Trystan as well sometimes because he's bottle fed (BM of course) when I'm working and when I get home and feed him he's expecting instant gratification from a bottle lol! He becomes a lazy "sucker!" Anyway, I'm so glad that Luke finally got the hang of things!! Congrats momma!
Krystal & Donovan - 12/2/06
Reagan - 10/2/02
Maximus - 3/10/05
Liberty - 12/11/08
My angel in Heaven 1/7/13
Way to go for staying with it!!! Great job! With my DS he never latched and I gave up around 4 weeks even trying to latch him, pumped for 4 months and then fully gave up. I felt so terrible and defeated. I totally understand the crying at the pump! You are the woman!!!!! So happy for you!
Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012
My Ovulation Chart
Wow! Many props to you and your determination! Congrats on working through the obstacles and making BFing finally work. I hope your story helps others.
I'm just seeing this whole thread now, and I just wanted to add that you are for sure so awesome for persisting and making it work! Way to go!
Mara & Joel, 2009