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asako 10-29-2005 05:48 PM

breast feeding/breast pump?
my son will be 2 weeks old on monday. the problem is, i havent been able to breast feed him successfully. he will latch on, suck a few times and then it's a struggle to get him to drink. i try for about 30-60 minutes and if he will not eat, i give him a bottle of my breast milk. when i pump after, its like he didnt eat anything! i express the same amount of milk...everytime i feed him i try to offer my breast before the bottle, but same thing! ive met with the lactation counselor at the hospital andeverything more than once...even she was getting frustrated!!!

i've been renting a pump from the hospital. should i just invest in an electric pump that runs $200+? its either that or spend it on formula but i'd really rather offer my breast milk as long as possible...anyone else have a problem like this and have any suggestoiins? any suggestions as to which breast pump is best?

MissChicopea 10-29-2005 06:44 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
Is he falling asleep on the breast and that is why you're having trouble? Or is he just stopping and sitting there? Have you tried expressing some milk beforehand to get yourself flowing before you put him on your breast? He might be having trouble sucking with enough force to bring down your milk. Another possibility is that you have an overwhelming letdown. Some folks have overactive let down and it can effect the nursing session in the beginning. When I feel DD stimulate my letdown I unlatch her and express some milk into a towel, otherwise it's just too much for her to take in and she pulls away from my breast.

Have you contacted your local LLL? They might be able to offer some mother to mother support in person.

Are you breastfeeding him with skin to skin contact? Unswaddling and undressing down to the diaper can help to stimulate a baby to stay awake for a nursing section. Also, alternating holds can help too. Craddle hold induces cuddling, so you might want to try football hold.

The bottom of the foot and the hand also stimulate the sucking reflex. So if you find your little one stopping, try stroking the bottom of his foot. Also, don't forget to burp your baby. He may be getting a false sense of fullness from gas. I sometimes have to burp DD a few times during a nursing session.

Also, if worse comes to worse, I would suggest pumping and nursing. Formula prices add up and take quite a bit of work to mix, etc. too. BM is also just healthier for the baby. It's made just for your little one.

Good luck and don't give up!! You're doing a great job and it's great that you're seeking advice about this.

asako 10-29-2005 08:14 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
Misschicopea...thanks! he ocassionally falls asleep at my breast...but most of the time, he just sucks and gets distracted by other things. when he does fall asleep, he's harder than a rock to move...meaning i try everything and he just won't wake up! He doesnt have to suck very hard to get milk out. once i stimulate my breast the milk comes out and he kinda sits there and just laps it...its so frustrating that i don't know what to do! I will try contacting LLL...if not, I guess i will just have to be satisfied with pumping it into bottles!

FLAngel 10-29-2005 08:36 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
Did the lactation consultant check your baby's sucking reflexes? My lactation consultant said that if the baby is not suckling effectively, there are excercises that you can do with them to help. She had my dd suck on her finger for several minutes to test her.

I would think you are doing the right thing but continuing to try at the breast. He is still so little, he may get the hang of it.

hugs28 10-29-2005 08:44 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
I would keep trying if you want to actually breastfeed him, but since you are also after a while offering the bottle, he could be getting confused and finding out that the bottle nipple is easier for him to get food from. I would also express and feed if you keep having problems. What I would try to do is to breastfeed him, and keep trying, don't give him a bottle and see what happens, though don't let him go too long without eating at all either, he may eventually get it and you could be in luck and have no more problems. My ds will sit there and pull off until the milk comes down and then start sucking. Your baby is pretty new at this still, and he is still trying to figure it all out, takes a bit lol.

As for purchasing a pump, I would, though what I did, instead of breaking my bank to buy a pump, I went to ebay. I paid $80 for a medela pump in style, and $60 for a medela double ease. Wanted to see which was better, both the same to me, pretty much. Actually, since I have not used mine, I just sold them back on ebay lol. All you have to do is boil all the parts, before you use them, it says not to get one used, but the market is so high for used breast pumps, specially medela, since they are pretty much the better ones and they are also the most expensive lol, good luck to you. hope he does better for you.

MissChicopea 10-29-2005 09:14 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
[QUOTE=asako]Misschicopea...thanks! he ocassionally falls asleep at my breast...but most of the time, he just sucks and gets distracted by other things. when he does fall asleep, he's harder than a rock to move...meaning i try everything and he just won't wake up! He doesnt have to suck very hard to get milk out. once i stimulate my breast the milk comes out and he kinda sits there and just laps it...its so frustrating that i don't know what to do! I will try contacting LLL...if not, I guess i will just have to be satisfied with pumping it into bottles![/QUOTE]

If he's getting distracted you might want to try making a nursing necklace. It's something you can do yourself or purchase. It's basically a long beaded necklace. Really colorful beads, shapes, sizes, that you wear around your neck while nursing to keep their head facing the breast. It gives them something to look at and touch. Uh oh, speaking of nursing, I'm being called by the baby....

dizzygirl 10-30-2005 05:34 AM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
All of these suggestions have been great. I would also have him checked for being tongue tied. Chances are that he's not, but it's worth a try. Another question, kind of dumb one, is he hungry when you try? Is it that he may be too hungry, and gets mad when your milk doesn't let down fast enough? Here's what I would do.... call another lactation consultant. Look on the La Leche League web site for a local leader. Second, don't offer the bottle if you really want to nurse. If he's latching on, and sucking, he just needs help getting going. The bottle is 10x easier, and he will reject the breast all together if he's offered something he doesn't have to work for. Keep us posted. Good luck!

asako 10-30-2005 07:24 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
he goes thru cycles...lastnight and this morning he wouldnt take my breast at all...this afternoon he did better...i guess i have to keep trying!

if i dont give him the bottle, how long do you think i should keep trying to offer my breast before giving him a bottle? the longest i went was a little over an hour and he was over hungry after that...i dont want him to starve, nor do i want him to be over hungry and miserable. it's so frustrating! i know it's not my flow of milk because once i stimulate myself and get the milk going, it flows really well...his sucking reflexes are fine, he just gets disinterested or he just kinda laps at my nipple.

as for pumps, right now im renting it from the hospital. its due to return on wednesday and from there i will probably purchase one. id rather invest money in a breast pump rather than in formula!

thanks for all of your may also be that he's tiny and my breast is rather large for his mouth...*sigh* i'll keep trying and keep you posted...

MissChicopea 10-30-2005 07:55 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
I'm sorry you're still having so much trouble. I really suggest you contact La Leche League. They are very knowledageable on what works.

As far as pumps go, I have the Avent Isis manuel pump and it's great. I also had rented a hospital pump and so I was worried about how well it work. It's fantastic. The other night I pumped both breasts for about 5 minutes and got 8oz of breastmilk. I happen to make a lot in general, but the pump felt great and really did an excellent job of pulling the milk out without causing any pain.

I pump to keep up stores in the even of an emergency since I'm a SAHM and this has worked the best for me. Good luck and don't give up! You're doing a great job.

Kiera1595 10-31-2005 04:54 AM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
I also wanted to add, are you making sure that he has enough room to breathe while nursing? I have large breasts and I always had to stick a finger in there to make some breathing room. I agree that he will get used to the ease of the bottle VERY fast and then get frustrated when it won't come out as fast from the breast. 2 weeks is still very young, he will probably turn a corner soon and really get the hang of it. But I hate it when they are crying due to hunger! With my 1st he had major latching problems and I ended up pumping every feeding for 3 months. The hard part about it is that it takes twice as long to feed them because you always have top take the 10-15 mintues to pump and then the 20-30 minutes to feed it to them. Very time consuming. I bought a hand pump that I loved from Medela. I was able to get 3 oz from each breast (when they were newborns) in 10 minutes.

Good luck, try not to give up yet. Why is the "most natural act" so darn tricky??

asako 10-31-2005 05:54 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
MissChicoPea--how long does it take you to express milk with the avent isis pump? right before i go backto work i plan to pump my milk to have some for backup but that wont be for a few months. i contacted the local LLL person in my far today, i've gone without using a bottle...this morning he had a good nursing session all on his own...since then though, it's been a whole nother story...i cant get him to feed for very long and im worried he's not getting enough! I'm gonna keep trying though...i haven't pumped because the LLL person told me that i have no need to do so unless im uncomfortably full...

whoever said breast feeding is "natural" probably didnt breast feed! lol

hugs28 10-31-2005 07:10 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
sounds like he is starting to get it. He probably got nipple confusion. keep trying, don't offer the bottle unless absolutely necessary, keep offering the breast. It may take time and frequent small feedings, but eventually he will get it. keep us posted. don't give up.

asako 10-31-2005 11:11 PM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
ok trouble...after 5 hours of him rejecting my breast, i gave in and gave him a bottle. he hadn't had any soiled diapers for that entire time and he was over hungry although he nursed here and there---nothign more than 2-3 minutes and i kept switching positions and breast...i also dribbled as the LLL counselor told me to do. I FEEL TERRIBLE for doign that to him. he's so worn out! nowwhen i tried he acts as if he's terrified of my breast. he will root anything--his hand, my hand, his shirt, my shirt, a blanket, whatever is near...but when i put my nipple in his mouth when he roots, he forcefully pushes away and cries! what do i do?

if i only continue pumping my milk, how long do you think it will last? ive tried everything with my little one...i can't see making him starve again....


dizzygirl 11-01-2005 05:25 AM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
Have you tried something calles the haberman feeder ( I know that that's the wrong name, but it's something like that, if you look on the baby whisperer web site, they sell it) I was suggested that when ds did the same thing. Try to be as calm as possible when trying to nurse, they pick up on tension. Did you change breast pads or anything? If he's rooting on your breast, then he sounds like he WANTS to nurse, something is bothering him. I haven't read the other posts, but did you have his ears checked? Personally, if you want to BF, call a lactation nurse, and schedule a visit.

MissChicopea 11-02-2005 11:50 AM

Re: breast feeding/breast pump?
Dizzy girl touched on something that is really important. Your own calmness during all of this. Your baby will feel your tension and will become more agitated and fussy during these sessions.

As for the pump, It takes me about 5 minutes per side, but like I said, I have a heavy supply.

A couple of questions about your baby's feeding habits.

1. Do you wait for him to start crying to feed? (may cause him to get too frantic)

2. Do you ever try to offer your breast before he starts rooting and sucking on his hands?

3. Do you have any sort of feeding ritual?

4. Where do you feed? A nice quiet place? In front of the TV? In a rocking chair?

5. Do you express a little milk before hand so that it's flowing or so that it doesn't flow to hard when it lets down?

6. Do you have flat nipples? Is it hard for him to latch on due to that?

7. Do you use pacifiers? ( may want to stop for a bit due to nipple confusion as well )

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