Author Topic: Baby not sucking well  (Read 761 times)

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Offline Pearla

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Baby not sucking well
« on: February 06, 2018, 08:05:03 am »
So I think I'm at the end of My tether.

My lo is 5 weeks today, but we are struggling with the breast feeding.   His latch is fine, but he just doesn't really suck.  He has his initial burst maybe 10 sucks and then everything after is sucking but not with an obvious swallow.  As a result he is never draining my breasts and they feel uncomfortablely full.

He does better in one side.  I was thinking re expressing on the other side and giving by bottle.   Last few night was woeful.  He was pretty much up constantly bur yer won't drink.  I saw an lc she showed me how to do compressions and said his ratio if suck to swallow was not right and therefore not really fully feeding....errrrrrr.   The compression were the only thing she suggested and swapping back and fourth between breasts to keep him going.   I have tried same, it makes feeding not particularly relaxing for either party.  In addition I was under impression primarily to feed off one side per sitting and offer other side at end.

Any suggestions.   He has been putting on weight, but just doesn't settle between feeds very well.  I might add he is very windy.

Last night I fed.  He was not settling, ended up giving him 2 Oz of formula.   He drank all,  settled and slept nearly a 4 hr stretch.  Evey feed after that, although not really swallowing still wants the boob when I remove it and is rooting and sucking hands.

Really finding tough.  Really wanted to get to 12 weeks, in the hope I could go longer.  We are only at 5!

If I were to express how would u ladies recommend I go about it. 

Any thoughts or anyone been through similar?  I guess I thought if baby had a good latch the rest would follow....

Offline evwright

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 15:27:39 pm »
Hi,

Sorry to hear you're struggling, it is tough. My main thought would be has your little one been checked for tongue tie? That would cause all the problems you describe (our little one was exactly the same). If he does and it gets sorted the good latch means things should really take off from there.

If you are looking to express it will depend is this to maintain your supply or to be able to give bottles? You might do things differently in each case. If you are giving formula bottles you will need to do some expressing for each missed feed to keep your supply good.

I'm sure other people will be along with more advice soon x

Offline Pearla

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 17:30:06 pm »
Thanks for responding.  The lc looked at his tongue.  She thought it looked slightly tight but not significant enough to warrant  fixing.   I know he can suck he just doesn't last beyond about 30seconds and then it's more sucking without swallowing.

My intention would be to try and feed off the left breast, he does a little better this side but still not great, and try and pump two feeds from left.  I will probably continue with the night feeds but inevitably will probably have to supplement one of them.

I would love if the pumping worked, but I have two other lo to care for, school runs etc. So it needs to be efficient.

I know he is still young but I thought by six weeks he would have improved.   He ends up feeding for close to an hour to try and get some milk in which then plays havoc with his a time being really long.  I managed to pump 3Oz this morning relatively easy, but will struggle to make another 3Oz to reflect a feed.

I have an appointment in peads this week I will ask them to review his tongue.

Thanks for your insight

Offline evwright

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 09:17:04 am »
Hi, I think it's worth having paeds re-assess. Our tie was only slight and it wasn't picked up and sorted until 4 months, but it was enough to cause a lot of problems, the good latch, strong suck and no swallowing are classic symptoms.

At 6 weeks a 3 oz pump is pretty good - some people never get that much. There is a board on babycentre called the exclusive pumpers which has lots of useful information generally in the stickies about improving supply and how to get the best out of pumping. There are also portable pumps that you can wear to get on with other jobs at the same time? (perhaps not driving though  ;) )

If you can feed rugby ball (under your arm), you could pump off the right breast at the same time to try and help maintain supply on that side and get a bottle for topping up. Pumping straight after a feed will help make sure you get empty and signal your body to make more.

Remember whatever happens, you're doing a great job and any breastmilk is incredible.



Offline eva026

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 09:31:11 am »
Would you consider trying a nipple shield? DD1 was a really sleepy baby and would end up falling in and out of sleep for an hour, I struggled to get her to put on weight. The nipple shield helped as she had additional suction from the vacuum created and fed better.
Re pumping, you can try continuous switching between breasts to keep things fast, as soon as one side slows, switch to to other and keep going. If you can set aside a regular time and stick to it, you should start producing more milk then. Difficult with other kids running around though🙁





Offline Pearla

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 16:54:57 pm »
Thanks ladies,

I will definitely ask on Friday re tongue tie, at least rule that in or out.  Evwright what were your feeds like prior to identifying tongue tie.  Once that was addressed did things resolve very quickly.  first feed today was expressed.  Happy baby after.  2nd on breast.  Total of one hour.  On same side by two with winding interval then swapped to other side.  Very little active swallowing.   Cried each time taken off plus much hand sucking.  caved and he took another 2oz of formula.  1.5Oz. Easily.   Happy baby after.  T :'(

The first bottle I can pump relatively quickly.  I have been at it all day to make second bottle.  No jobs done, and but for my mum here this week no meals etc for kids etc made.  So frustrating.

Hopefully I will get some input Friday.

Thanks again.

Offline evwright

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 17:17:56 pm »
Hi,

When we had the tie he had a really good latch and strong suck but no or little swallowing sounds - which in turn led to us supplementing and hit my supply. It was at 4 months when we had the revision so we were fairly well established, but the change in latch was noticeable immediately and it was much more comfortable to feed. By that point we were doing a mix of bf, pumping and formula to supplement.

I hope you get some further insight and help on Friday x

Offline eva026

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 09:38:18 am »
Dont think about feeding however many months, its just daunting and feels impossible on the bad days. Just think about one day at a time, one week at a time. Set shorter goals and its less scary, make it to the end of the week. When the end of the week comes, think about lasting another few days etc.
bf DD1 was horrible but thinking one week at a time allowed me to make it to 11 months. If youd told be id have to bf that long in the middle of a crisis, especially in the early weeks, Id have said you are crazy!





Offline Pearla

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 12:41:11 pm »
You are absolutely right!  I'm not great at letting go, bit I need to try.

I will let you know how tomorrow goes.

Offline becj86

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 01:32:23 am »
Some of what you're writing sounds like oversupply or overactive letdown or both could be contributing. Its wor th having a read through about that, there's an FAQ on BW and heaps of info is available on kellymom and la leche league.

Offline *Ali*

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2018, 21:07:13 pm »
If the tie is causing feeding issues then it needs addressing by the  sounds of it.

Could you try a silicone pump like a Haaka or Nature Bond to catch the letdown on the other breast whilst feeding?
Cadan Dec 2009 and Colby Aug 2011


Offline Pearla

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 08:12:09 am »
Hi ladies, I had written this post in length only to loose it.  I'm starting again, buy may not get much time.

So pead looked at tongue briefly said no tie.  Bear in mind before he looked he mentioned not standard to treat.

So feeding has not improved.   Lo is just so windy like excessively so that I think it's stopping him sometimes.  He squirms and wriggles on breast, bears down and goes red quite often.  He doesn't arch or detach from breast. 

I will remove him often get a huge wet burp, re latch starts again the cycle goes on.  he will latch but his suck to swallow is not very obvious.  Or there are lots of sucks but not really obvious swallows.  I employ breast compressions and this does help, but the minute I stop it's back to the same.  It's hard to keep constant compressions up.

When it comes to naps we are often over our a time as feeding. Winding and maintaining upright for 20mins or so takes over the hour.  I settle him with dummy. He will be quite for about 10mins then the squirming, grunting starts.  Often I will pick him up there will be more wet burps and often hiccups!  Not all the time but reasonably often.

He is on losec, and is generally in reasonable form, considering his sleep is poor.  That's a whole other post.

My question is. Is this amount of wind normal.  Is it normal at  6 weeks for a baby still not to get the suck/swallow thing.

In exasperation I have started pumping to get two feeds via the bottle.   These feeds are generally calmer, but we still have to do a lot of winding.  he takes about 4Oz.  Does this sound reasonable.   He seems content on that.

So my other problem.   my pumping I started cautiously.  I pimped the one side X2 daily to cover those feeds.  This side I chose as drinks worse on it.  Problem is my supply has increased and I'm engorged.   I only took an Oz of the other side X2 daily.  I have kept the volume the same past 4 days but my boobs are not settling.  So now I have oversupply thrown in the mix.

I'm actually in tears writing this as I feel I don't know how to fix anything.   If I had the time (I have two older lo. And this babies naps are erratic) I would pump all bottles, but that simply isn't possible.   I want him to have breast milk at least till 12 weeks when hopefully his tummy will be stronger.   

Really I'm a mess, I don't know what to do or where to start.   He feeds same way at night, sometimes I think he just wakes to be comforted.   He wakes every 2 hrs.

It's so different to what I remember.   My other lo would latch suck away and fall off drunk.  This had rarely happened with this baby.  He is in his basket asleep as I write and he is constantly grunting through the whole thing.

Any advice on how to calm my breast.   Of note I don't feel s let down as I feed..... But will feel them randomly throughout day and my boobs filling......

I know I will be disappointed if I move to formula now.   Not least I'm petrified of engorgement again in the process.   I really did not think feeding could be so stressful.

Any wisdom ladies.  From a lost soul. X

Offline eva026

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 10:18:50 am »
Cabbage leaves are a lifesaver to calm things down. Keep them in the fridge and swap them out of your bra every so often. Block feeding helps too. Do two pumps/ feeds a side before changing.
When you have oversupply its just much easier to get your breasts making too much and longer for things to settle. It will come though. Lo will grow and be able to deal with the milk and your supply will settle. Hang in there.
Los a just so different. DD1 was like your son, shed feed for ages, 1h easyily or sometimes even 1.5h. Shed not want to suck hard enough then when milk did flow, shed bob on and off the breast. Nipple shields really helped her. That way she wasnt getting milk directly from the breast but more from the shield chainber so there was less squirting down her throat. The additional vacuum created by the shield also helped. I dont know if it will help in your case, but they arent very expensive and maybe worth a try?
This baby manages very well, chugs down milk fast, feed over in 8min!

Dont think about 12 weeks, just try hang in there till the end of the week.


 





Offline evwright

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2018, 10:54:37 am »
Hi, I'm afraid I can't offer any further advice regarding supply/letdown but I see eva gave a reply. I just wanted to second that every day of breastmilk is brilliant, try to just focus on each day and good luck xxx

Offline becj86

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Re: Baby not sucking well
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2018, 20:20:57 pm »
Not sucking much doesn't alwayd mean there's no milk going in. For my DS, it was because he didn't need to suck as my milk just poured out of me so he just swallowed as best he could and it wasn't the most obvious swallow either because he was pretty much just letting the milk run down. His feeding was much more coordinated and his gas was much improved with laid back feeding so the milk was going against gravity and with bottles of EBM when I first worked out what was going on.

Hugs xx you're doing a great job.