Monday, January 12, 2009

Nipple Confusion

So they had to get Sky to feed from a bottle while he was in the hospital before we could be allowed to take him home. As a result of that he no longer wants the breast. Every time I try to feed him he yells at me. When I direct the nipple into his mouth he opens his mouth really wide and turns his head from side to side. And cries. We go on like this for half an hour until he is too frantically hungry to do anything but scream at me and I finally give in and let him have the bottle. I usually pass him off to dad to bottle him and I go pump because I am barely keeping up with him with pumping now, and he won't take the breast.

Occasionally he will latch on and suck for a moment or two, but when he realizes he has to work so hard to get the milk he goes back to rooting around for a different nipple (a latex or silicone one I'm sure) and crying when he finds only my stupid soft squishy (defective) one. Next problem is I have to work for a few hours this afternoon and like I said I'm not keeping up with him in terms of expressing milk. As soon as I pump it he drinks it, and then I'm back to square one. So now I have no idea what to do. Do I bring my pump to work with me and deal with pumping while watching him and the two year old, and then feeding him after I pump or do I try to breastfeed and watch him struggle and get hungrier and more frustrated? Or do I bring formula with me and cop out all together?

I'm not opposed to supplementing if I absolutely have to. I really really don't want to, but there is no way I'd let him go hungry. I'm kind of at a loss here. I think I will bring the small can of formula just in case and try to breastfeed him for as long as I can, and if it doesn't work then I'll resort to the formula..

To top everything off I have some sort of knee problem. I have no idea what it is. I knelt down on the floor yesterday to change a diaper and have been in pain ever since. If I forget and go on my knees it just about kills me. I'm pretty sure I slipped on the ice and fell on it a month or so back, and I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it. This kind of sucks because I take care of children and it's hard not to kneel down to get to their height, or to change diapers on the floor. (We have a change table, but why bother dragging the baby all the way there when I can just lay them on a floor on a recieving blanket). I'm not sure what to do with it, I'd ice it but there are no signs of swelling. No signs of anything really, it just hurts like hell to the right of my kneecap.

Anyway I am going to go try to pump again. Maybe I can get a whopping 30mls. /sigh.


Becky said...

First things first...Welcome home Skylar!!

I didn't get a chance to comment on your last post, but I'm so incredibly happy that he's home!! Yay! Way to go!
That is my biggest thing about the NICU. Nipple confusion, I think, is a huge problem when they came home. That's the main reason that Lily had such problems with the latch. I used a couple times a nipple shield and it was like a silicone nipple in that it filled up with breast milk and it flowed a little faster like a nipple, but she was sucking on the breast. It's supposed to only be used as a tool to help the baby get back on the breat, but it's so worth a try.

Otherwise, it was really hard for me, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula. Lily is doing fantastic on it, and once I got over the feeling that I failed, we were all much happier. ALL of us!

Keep power pumping. Are you getting up in the middle of the night to pump when he eats? There are also herbs or drugs that you can take to increase your supply. And visit if you haven't already. They are a great resource for the pumping/bf mom. And there is a great message board on Ivillage for exclusively pumping mothers. A good majority of them are NICU mom's and they are wonderful. They helped me tremendously, and are so good at keeping you up when you feel like it's just to much.

Keep up the good work! And try the nipple shield : )

Mrs. Spit said...

Phone the public health clinic. Get put in touch with a Lactation consultant from La Leche. Or look in the phone book.

You'll figure it out and so will he.

Never Clever said...

I don't have any experience with Laney ever having nipple confusion, but I would recommend pumping while at work to keep up your milk supply.

Sounds like Becky has some good advice for possibly teaching Sky to take the breast again.

I have had to supplement Laney with formula since she was very young. I have never made enough milk, but I do give her all that I have.

I would do some research online, or place a call to a lactation consultant like Mrs. Spit recommended.

Good luck.

Ya Chun said...

second Mrs Spit on the lactation consultant - a doula or someone from la leche league. you two will figure it out, but get all the help you can!