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.