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  1. #1
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    Default Newborn not latching...help please!

    My new squishy DS was arrived last Fri and is now 4 days old (5 if you count the day he arrived as he arrived in the morning - not sure how it is calculated?) he was 37+2 gestation when he arrived, weighing a healthy 7lb 6oz. He latched straight on after the birth and spent some time happily on the breast.

    Since then, it hasnt been going so well.... he is very sleepy and slightly jaundice. Some feeds he latches happily and will feed, but only for a couple of minutes. Most feeds he wont latch. He tries to and usually seems keen to feed (not always, sometimes he is too sleepy) but once he gets the nipple in his mouth he either sucks 2-3 times then stops or pushes the nipple back out of his mouth. He either becomes more and more frustrated, screaming back arching and head-bobbing; or he just wants to nuzzle the breast and go to sleep......

    When I can get him to latch Ive tried wet face washers, stripping him down etc but not much is working... Im concerned that he just becomes so fired up and wont latch properly... Ive tried guiding him to the breast, and also letting him seek the nipple but both ways he finds the nipple but wont latch properly.

    He has lost weight (within range) and hasnt yet gained. He is pooing and occasionally wees, but definitely not enough yet. Hospital discharged me on the condition if he doesnt pass urine I need to contact them asap. Im now giving syringe/fingerfeeds to get fluids in to him.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions?? I so badly want to breastfeed, I didnt get to for long with my DD and really want it to work this time.....

  2. #2
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    This is going to sound harsh, but a the moment you need to stop worrying about the attachment and sort out getting your baby fed.

    Probably the reason that baby won't attach is because he's sleepy, jaundiced and has no energy to feed. The whole jaundice is a vicious cycle, because to get rid of it you need to feed regularly, but its hard to feed regularly because the baby is sleepy.

    Express 3 hourly and feed to your baby. Do you have a pump? You might need to top up with formula if you don't have enough expressed breast milk. At 5 days old baby needs a lot more than just syringe feeds, really needs 50-60mls of EBM every 3 hours.

    How long were you in hospital for? Did any help you with attachment after that initial breastfeed? Did they do any blood tests to check baby's jaundice level?

    Are you getting midwife home visits?
    Ask them to help attach bub, and they'll monitor baby's weight and jaundice.

    Does your hospital have a lactation consultant that you can see? Otherwise look into getting a private one as well to help.
    Last edited by wannawannabe; 15-10-2013 at 21:15.

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    waitinghoping  (15-10-2013)

  4. #3
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    I really feel for you op, have you tried calling the aba? Could it be a tongue tie or upper lip tie?

    Sent from my GT-I9305 using The Bub Hub mobile app

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    waitinghoping  (15-10-2013)

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    Sounds a bit like my DS.. Although he latched well he was just too jaundiced and sleepy to actually feed properly. Please get bub checked out asap, if he's jaundiced he really needs to feed properly as he's more susceptible to dehydration etc (and mine needed a good 24 hrs of phototherapy too, but we were both luckily still in hospital). I had to express and force him to take it from a bottle every 2 hours to make sure he was getting something as the breast was just too much hard work and he'd already lost 500g on day 3 (from his birthweight of 6pd7, so a fair bit!). I had to give him the bottle and then put him on the breast so he was still having a go at that as well. It didn't affect feeding long term - I bf for 9 months and only stopped because I had returned to work full time at 6 months and it just got too much. Good luck!!

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  8. #5
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    Skin to skin, skin to skin and more skin to skin. The jaundice will make him sleepy and you need to ensure he can feed. Aim to feed every 2-3hrs and express post feeds as well. Keep baby skin to skin as often as you can. Not only will this ensure baby has immediate access to your breasts, but will also help increase your milk supply. Try to keep him calm when trying to attach. A screaming baby won't attach at the breast. Call the ABA (1800 mum 2 mum) if you're still having issues. Also feel free to PM me if you want any more advice. I'll help as much as I can

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    waitinghoping  (15-10-2013)

  10. #6
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    Im pumping (there's plenty of milk so no issues with supply) and syringe/finger feeding. If he does latch I pump after the feed, if he doesnt latch i comp feed the whole feed and pump once he is fed. Hoping that he will get over the jaundice and then be able to suck better..

    The hospital wanted me to feed him every 4 hours max, but Im trying to do it every 3 hours but he is just soooooo sleepy.

    The hospital said he is still within acceptable weight loss range - just! (330g and he was 3.35kg at birth).I have to ring my OBs rooms tomorrow to book an appt with a midwife on Thurs to have him weighed and checked again. The paediatrician checked him for tongue tie this morning but said he isnt. Neither the hospital or paed were concerned about how jaundice he is at this point, obviously they said if he worsened to contact then straight away.

    Im not yet a member of the ABA but will definitely be contacting them!

    Oh my goodness.. so stressful but trying to stay as calm as I can!

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    Quote Originally Posted by waitinghoping View Post
    Im pumping (there's plenty of milk so no issues with supply) and syringe/finger feeding. If he does latch I pump after the feed, if he doesnt latch i comp feed the whole feed and pump once he is fed. Hoping that he will get over the jaundice and then be able to suck better..
    How much are you giving with the syringe?

  12. #8
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    Congrats on new bub!!! Sounds exactly like my bub... Turns out she just had a small mouth.. She has my mouth and she needed time to get the hang of it... That took six weeks, I expressed and fed the bottle but each time trying the breast first .. After a few weeks she would take more and more from the breast and finally a full feed... Was a hard first 6 weeks but worth it , good luck !!

  13. #9
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    Wannawannabe I just noticed your questions..

    How long were you in hospital for? Did any help you with attachment after that initial breastfeed? Did they do any blood tests to check baby's jaundice level?
    In hospital since Fri, discharged today so 5 days. They debated whether or not to keep me in another night. No they didnt do blood tests.

    Are you getting midwife home visits?
    No, they dont do them. I get 1 visit from a CYH midwife but it may not be for up to a month. The hospital has an outpatient clinic which I have booked an appt with for next Tues. Im going to harass them as much as I can! I also have to book an appt with my OBs midwife tomorrow.

    Does your hospital have a lactation consultant that you can see? Otherwise look into getting a private one as well to help.

    The LC is with the outpatient clinic who Im seeing next week but I havent found her overly helpful so far While in hospital I buzzed for midwife assistance pretty much every feed and though they were great, even they couldnt always get him on the breast and didnt know what to do so comp feeding it is..

  14. #10
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    Hi
    My daughter developed jaundice a few days after her birth. She was also born slightly early at 36.5 weeks. She had trouble latching and sucking. She was just so sleepy and her little mouth muscles weren't strong enough. It was really important to feed her 2-3hourly to flush out the jaundice and keep her hydrated. I had trouble feeding her and found the experience stressful and overwhelming. It was important to me to bf and I think I found the best mix for us.
    I had a lactation consultant sit with me in hospital. I expressed and comped with formula while trying to get the bf together.

    My local health service ran free breast feeding clinics weekly which I attended 3 times once I left hospital.
    I used nipple shields as well, as I had flat nipples. They helped for the first few weeks as her mouth became stronger.

    It's early days for you and bub will get better and stronger with practice as will you.
    If it's important to you to breast feed persist, seek help, be gentle with yourself, try different options ie mix up breast feeding and expressing and formula if needed. Whatever works for you and baby. I ended up bfing until she was 14 months. But it took a good 4 months before it felt easy and natural for me.
    Best wishes.

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