Friday, June 20, 2014
I breastfed exclusively for 6 months with my oldest. Since I started working full-time and didn't get pumping mastered, by 8 months he was using formula only. I've regretted not knowing better but knew I could do better with my second. We had a variety of challenges to get through, including delayed feeding (3 hours after birth), PPD, tongue tie, thrush, biting and breastfeeding while pregnant. Even though we dealt with all that, we made it 3 years. I thought I was a breastfeeding pro. But then our third baby came along and proved me wrong.
Her first latch was perfect. She stayed on forever. It was so sweet. But her second feeding and third and so on she absolutely refused to latch. I tried every position and eventually I knew I'd need to pump to get her something in her tummy. So day two I started pumping every day after every attempt to latch. In the beginning, we fed her by syringe. By the time she was a week old, we bought bottles to try out. But she wouldn't latch onto bottles either. She would choke and gasp and cry then would not let it near her mouth again... Around 2 weeks,  we got a bottle with a different shaped nipple by MAM and she allowed us to feed with that. Finally!
I had taken her in to the family doctor twice, and she wasn't gaining yet. So doc said we'd do weights every week and keep trying to figure it out. She had to get weighed 4 times her first month. Took her in to see the hospital lactation consultant at a month old. She said, "just feed the baby" meaning to exclusively pump or whatever I wanted to do to get her to start gaining. We were also referred to see ENT to check her mouth out for ties & sucking issues. Well she had a class 2 tongue tie and a class 4 lip tie, one of the worst ones the ENT doc said she's corrected. It was a pretty quick procedure,  but a surgery nonetheless.  It took a couple weeks to heal, but when it did, my daughter was able to latch better and didn't choke as often on the bottle nipples. She still wouldn't nurse though.
So here's all the things I've tried to get her to nurse:
Using syringes instead of bottles
Pumping first then offering breast
Offering breast before, in the middle and after bottle feedings
Skin to skin as much as possible
Every breastfeeding position known to mankind
A nipple shield (which I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to keep it on)
A homemade SNS -syringe of milk squirted into tubing and stuck into her mouth while trying to latch
Dancing around singing to make it fun
Code sounds to train her to latch

She is 9 months old now and still won't nurse.  She licks and nibbles. I think she shows interest still so I am not giving up yet. Hopefully she can figure it out! I plan on getting her evaluated for suck therapy and possibly a swallow study. I will continue pumping as long as I can for her also. Every little bit of breastmilk she gets is beneficial.  I love that she gets momma milk & I have also had two milk donors give her their milk so we don't have to rely on formula. Thanks to HM4HB IOWA ( and the Cedar Rapids Leaky Mamas Facebook group. We're blessed to have that option available.

Did you have challenges nursing?  What got you through it?

1 comment:

  1. I had trouble with with baby #1 and had to see a lactation consultant. But it all worked out. The first week was hard with #2 but we got through it. It's not easy! Thanks for linking up at the Manic Mondays blog hop! This week's hop is live at Hope to see you there!


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