Eating and such

Daniel didn’t nurse for almost 24 hours after he was born. He wouldn’t (couldn’t?) latch so he just got formula. Fortunately, one session with an excellent lactation consultant finally got him started. It took some positioning changes and he won’t nurse without a shield, but at least it was working.

Apparently it’s not uncommon for babies with Down syndrome to struggle with nursing due to low muscle tone. Also, babies with Down syndrome tend to be sleepy babies. Do you know how hard it is to get a really sleepy baby to nurse? HARD.

Daniel’s birth weight was 7 lbs 13 oz and he dropped in the first couple days to 7 lbs 6 oz. That’s definitely not enough to worry about, and while he was in the NICU he stayed right around that weight. I think he weighed 7 lbs 7 oz when he was discharged. Unfortunately he’s continued to hover around that weight since then. I’ve gone from feeding every 4 hours to every 3 hours (I have to wake him to nurse, when I leave him overnight he’ll sleep for as long as 6 hours sometimes.) I was supplementing every other feeding (at the pediatrician’s recommendation) but he has continued to NOT gain weight, so now she’s recommending supplementing EVERY feeding*.

It’s just so disheartening. I’m doing my best to up my milk supply which is low AS USUAL. And some of that supplementing is pumped milk, but BLAH. It takes so long to finish a feeding when it involves nursing for 30 minutes plus diaper changes to wake the baby plus making a bottle and feeding him that. He definitely prefers breast milk to formula (you should see the faces he makes at the formula bottles) but I’m worried that bottle feeding is going to make him a lazy nurser especially since he’s already not great at it. Anyway, I feel whiny here, but I really, REALLY want nursing to work and I’m worried that things are not moving in that direction.

So. Think fattening thoughts for Daniel, will you?

*I’m pretty sure the doctors wouldn’t even be worried about his weight except that they want him back up to his birth weight before he comes off oxygen.

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12 thoughts on “Eating and such

  1. he'll get better at it. hang in there! Can you use an SNS or is that too much work? went through this twice and it is so! hard! but by 2 months they were off the supplements and nursed till at least a year in both cases. Hang in there!!!

  2. What about feeding him every 2 hours for a little while? I know it sucks, especially when it takes an hour to feed him but maybe it would help your supply and his weight? Hang in there 🙂

  3. I'm so glad you had a great LC that helped with getting him to latch! Eriana fell asleep every single time she latched on. Come on, Daniel! Wake up, sweet boy! 🙂

  4. I hate the beginning of breastfeeding. My kids both had several days of formula. Those days were the WORST, what with the nursing, then bottle, then pump to boost supply, then wash bottle and pump parts…then do it all again. Ugh!

  5. Feeding so often and having it be such a long production makes it seems like that's all you do All Day Long. Sigh. Clearly it's worth it, but I'm sorry it has to be exhausting, esp when you have the rest of the family to tend to as well. Hugs for you all!

  6. This totally reminds me of Ruby during week one. Trying to wake her, stop her from screaming bloody murder after she did wake up and get her to latch on and suck took like an hour. And then there was the pumping and cleaning. So frustrating and emotionally exhausting! I hope you don't have to do this for too long.

  7. That is disheartening. I will pray that it will get better. It makes for extremely long and frustrating feedings the way you are doing it now. That's hard to stick with.

  8. I struggled with my milk supply. I started taking a herbal tincture called "milk rich" by wish garden. You can get it at the City Mkt out by the mall or at The Vitamin Cottage. Take 3 dropperfuls every 6 hours (I also take 12 Fenugreek capsules a day). I went from pumping 20-30ml a side to 45-70ml a side. I have had acouple days where I have had to power pump every 2 hours. The other thing is using the hosp. grade pump. I rent it by the month. Let me know if I can be of more help, Bella is still struggling to nurse. I nurse, then offer her a bottle, then pump. I don't get a lot else done BUT at least this way I can say I tried best. Prayers to you thatnursing will work for us both.

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