Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breastfeeding is difficult and jaundice sucks

Well, a new day, a new set of challenges. I was originally going to post about the difficulties of breastfeeding, but now I'm also going to talk about hospital staff and jaundice. Micah breast fed pretty well shortly after birth. Unfortunately, we were having some latch issues, and we really did not get another good feed in the rest of the day. I kept seeking help from the nursing staff, but there was very little assistance given. Some of the nurses were great, but the bottom line was we were not getting Micah to latch. Yesterday morning, I set up a meeting with the lactation consultant. At 9:00 am, I got one good (but brief) latch in with Micah, but I was worried about adequate nourishment. DH & I asked if we should be pumping and using this tube contraption attached to the breast to supplement his feedings (my SIL had to use that). I was basically told I was over-reacting.

With the help of the lactation consultant, Micah fed for about 1 hour at 10:00 yesterday morning. I was ecstatic - I thought it meant we were over the hump. Unfortunately, he was too tired to do much more than latch at his 1:00, 3:00 and 4:00 feedings. Then, right at 6:00 pm, he woke up angry and hungry, and we got a good latch and he nursed for about 50 minutes. I was thrilled - I thought that perhaps we were over the hump. At 8:00 pm, he fed again for about 45 minutes, but his latch was not perfect. We tried again at 11:00 pm, and he kept latching and then pushing away and crying. I couldn't get him to actually nurse and he kept getting frustrated. This same thing kept happening throughout the night - at 1:00, at 3:00 and at 5:00 am. By morning, I knew there was an issue, and I spoke to the nurse about meeting with the lactation consultant.

Right around 7:00, they came in to test Micah's bilirubin levels. The lactation consultant came in at 8:30, and quickly realized that he was dehydrated and could see that he was too weak to breastfeed. After much discussion about options, we immediately got me a breast pump so we could see how much milk I had. I was able to pump about 5 ccs, and we decided that we would "fingertip/syringe" feed Micah with my breast milk combined with an additional 10 ccs of formula. He took all the food, and seemed a bit more alert. At 12:00 pm, we did our 2nd feeding - this time, 8 cc of breast milk and 12 cc of formula. We have to feed every 3 hrs, and I'm supposed to practice latching and breastfeeding before each feeding. Once he perks back up, I have a contraption to supplement his feed while we are breastfeeding - I'm hoping to be able to try that tonight.

We have to go back to the doctor in the morning to check his levels. We need to get him peeing and pooping again, and hopefully he'll bounce back and we'll be able to stick with the breastfeeding. Wish us luck! I'm off to the breastfeeding class now, but I will probably come back on to complain about the lack of support for breastfeeding here. I really believe that if when I started having problems yesterday they encouraged me to pump and add the pumped fluid to the breastfeeding, Micah never would have gotten so weak and we would not need to rely on formula now. Regardless, I'm just hoping we can get him over this hump!

6 comments:

mcweix said...

You just keep trusting those momma instincts, they seem right on the money!

Krissy said...

You are strong enough to stick to your guns and persevere through this bump in the road. I am sure you'll have a fantastic bfing relationship soon.

Dr. Heather said...

I'm sorry for the BFing issues. Just stick with it and get the help you need. Luckily I didn't have any issues as I had no help at the hospital. Our biggest problem was getting Michael to stay awake to eat. He is also a snacker. He still nurses every 2 hours during the day. For the first 8 weeks he nursed every hour! Right now he is having his 3 month growth spurt so is nursing every 2 hours at night too!

Kari said...

Good luck! Congrats on your baby boy too!

Kari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

When I started nursing with Cameron I had the same issues, everything will come together- just stay calm because being stressed doesn't help the situation!