Newborn Hunger Strike -- Update! He latches!

Second babies? Forgotten everything about breast and formula, napping and wrapping and you are are going a bit MAD because you haven't slept in three days? Or it's your first baby and you are here researching the joys of weaning?

Newborn Hunger Strike -- Update! He latches!

Postby DandelionFrosting » 08 Nov 2015, 05:04

So Turtle (temporary forum name while I decide what kind of monster he should be ;) ) is almost 4 days old now and still has not managed to have even one proper feed. He's been steadily losing weight ever since he was born, and I only managed to make him gain a bit today because I gave up and broke out the pump. The hospital are making me weigh him before and after to see how much he's drinking, and it's dismal. I tried to feed him for almost an hour this morning, and only got 4 grams in!

The problem is mostly that he's lazy and doesn't want to open his mouth. When I try to feed him, he has one of three reactions:

1) He scrunches his mouth closed tight, like the stereotypical toddler hiding from an airplane spoon.

2) He briefly puts his mouth on it, then turns his head away with his mouth wide open like he's just discovered another, bigger boob on the other side of him. (He does this on both sides, so I don't think he has a sore neck.)

3) He latches on, takes one sip, then just sits there doing nothing. (This is his last line of defense after the midwife and I have managed to pin him down long enough to stuff it in his mouth.)

And all the time he gets more and more upset and frustrated, until we finally leave him alone and he goes back to sleep.

So far the only way we've managed to get any milk into him at all is by using bottles and nipple shields, things that are strong enough to stuff into his mouth. Once whatever it is gets inside, he will happily guzzle away at it until he's full. (I know I should probably be trying to use cups or syringes, but I'm very tired and also hoping against hope that the boob-shaped bottle will teach him the joys of latching.)

Aargh! And I was smugly expecting the third time to be a piece of cake . . . . Is it possible to have a nursing strike from the day you're born?
Last edited by DandelionFrosting on 03 Jan 2016, 12:54, edited 1 time in total.
Saurus (April 2012) wants to open all the cupboards to see the pipes.
Zilla (December 2013) is unstoppable. And really likes pizza.
Turtle (November 2015) isn't cute yet, but he's working on it.
And Mia and Oreo are my emotional support cats.
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby junglewonderland » 08 Nov 2015, 05:26

(((DF)))) that sounds really stressful!

Every baby is so different! Sorry to hear this one is tricky to feed so far.

Can you see a lactation consultant? Do you have any bf support over there (LLL etc)?

Wish I could be more help!
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby emzit » 08 Nov 2015, 08:13

Muncher was lazy, hence all our problems. My lc had me doing a thing before each feed to prep him - run a finger on the area between his upper lip and nose (starting at the nostril and going towards the corner of one side of his mouth twice, then the ice on the other side) and then pressing a finger at the compass points of his mouth starting at North and going clockwis, a couple of seconds each time, and then finger in the mouth and let him suck for 15 seconds. It seemed to help.

And congrats! I don't think I posted on your other thread as the kids distracted me!
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby sabrina fair » 08 Nov 2015, 08:34

Has he been checked for tongue/lip tie?

Monkeyboy took a long time to get going, but in his case he'd latch (badly) but not really do enough work. It was exhausting and stressful and worrying. I'm not sure that anything but age helped him though. Hugs. Newborns are crazy.
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby mamapup » 08 Nov 2015, 08:41

How confusing. I always assumed a third would be the easiest too. Seems your third has other plans already though. Maybe the other two prepped him to be a naughty monkey from day one.

Seriously though, I'm's hard and hope he gets hungry soon.
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby catkin » 08 Nov 2015, 08:44

Have you tried different feeding positions? I could only get mouse latched lying down (me lying down that is) for the first few days. Second getting hold of a proper lc if there's one about.
Come on little turtle!
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby yorkshirepudding » 08 Nov 2015, 13:17

No help but big sympathy, that must be so frustrating and worrying! Hope you have got somewhere with him today, sweet little (ninja?) turtle, at least he is getting some food in him.
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby Lily » 08 Nov 2015, 18:58

Oh poor you, and poor him. Is he jaundiced at all? That makes them very sleepy; I remember desperately trying to get Izbiz to stay awake long enough to take a decent feed in the early days. We were advised to blow on his face, put a cool damp flannel on his forehead, or tickle his feet, to stop him dropping off. He was latching on, though, but just feeding back to sleep immediately.
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby Where'stheMistletoe » 08 Nov 2015, 20:55

Sorry it's hard going. Seconds lots of suggestions above. Have you tried the rugby hold? Anything on Kellymom website? Come on little Turtle.
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby EnigmaFish » 08 Nov 2015, 23:03

Poor you, and poor turtle!
I'd agree with what they all said, if there's any way you can get a good lactation consultant to have a look, do. Don't rule out the possibility of tongue or lip tie. I did, at first, pq I wasn't in any pain.
Also (and I know with two already running around this isn't the easiest thing to do), try going to bed or taking a bath together. Go skin to skin and just lay him on your chest. Don't pressure him to find the breast. Just let him go looking for it in his own time.
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby DandelionFrosting » 09 Nov 2015, 00:27

Thanks, I knew I could count on you guys! Lots of good things to try. If lactation consultants exist here, I don't know about them. But the midwives here are really knowledgeable, and they do do consultations -- they're probably discussing whether or not to call me back for one as we speak. (Today's the day we go home! Hopefully.) I asked about tongue tie, and they said that they look for them and snip them here, but Turtle doesn't have one. I have managed to coax him to stick his tongue out a few times and it does go out. It's also true that he isn't using it right, though. He keeps it back and just goes straight to that little flutter-sucking motion that they usually do when they're starting to fall asleep. He is a bit jaundiced, too, although not badly enough to need the little UV suit thing. It probably isn't helping the sleepiness, though. I will try more skin to skin, baths, etc. You're probably right that he needs more no-pressure contact with me. I've been a bit lazy here, when he's sleeping so contentedly in his little fish tank, and the poor kid is probably starting to think of me as just some lady who periodically wakes him up and tortures him for half an hour before she gives up and feeds him his bottle. I'm definitely looking forward to having my own bed to sleep in with him, where I don't have to worry about him falling out! I think I got him to actually latch on and really drink for about ten mouthfuls last night lying down in bed (before he inexplicably let go and started crying), so that might be progress? Maybe? Well, I'm going home today, so we'll see how sleepy he manages to be with cats sniffing him and Zilla poking his cheeks and Saurus demanding I take off his clothes so he can look at his belly button.
Saurus (April 2012) wants to open all the cupboards to see the pipes.
Zilla (December 2013) is unstoppable. And really likes pizza.
Turtle (November 2015) isn't cute yet, but he's working on it.
And Mia and Oreo are my emotional support cats.
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby UnhappyRightFoot » 09 Nov 2015, 10:52

((((DF))))) Sounds a lot like Munchie! She just had better things to do that feed! It was horribly frustrating and scary (being a first timer). I echo the lactation consultant and get naked and go to bed with him as much as possible. Also, try stroking his cheek, ear lobe or feet if he's feeding lazily - it sometimes help perk them up!

Things didn't work out for me and Munchie but with her being my first, I didn't really know what to do. She was losing weight, jaundiced and I was in a pretty awful stress about it all. So ended up expressing and bottle feeding for months. With Pickle, because I didn't want the same thing happening again, I spoke to a LC before she was born and we put a plan in place - like the getting naked, not stressing, expressing and spoon/syringe feeding at the start if it wasn't going well. But to ensure I was relaxed and DH knew the plan so, if I was in a tizzy over it all, he knew what we were supposed to be doing. A month of spoon and eventual bottle feeding, we randomly tried the breast and she went straight on and it sort of clicked! It was a bit rocky for the first week or so but we got there and she fed happily for 14 months.

As has been said - they are all different and will make up their own minds!!
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike

Postby DandelionFrosting » 03 Jan 2016, 12:53

I've been neglecting updating this for a while now, so here goes: He's feeding!! I ended up doing the brutal regimen of try to feed, then offer "backup" bottle, then pump a new one, rinse, repeat, all day long. At least my mom was here to help. Coming up on a month (and my mom getting ready to leave, so just in time), he started being able to latch under perfect conditions -- not too hungry, not too sleepy, with the boob just the right amount full. And then he'd unlatch and try to latch back on and get angry because it was too deflated to latch on to. And that gradually moved towards only being unable to latch under extremely bad conditions, like when it was overflowing or when he had to poo. And just last week we got to the biggest, best milestone -- I can let go! He can stay latched even without me holding my boob squished flat for him! (You know, that thing where they tell you to "make a hamburger")

It's been a long road, but things are looking up! Now just another month or so to go and he'll get over the cluster feeding / sundown syndrome / daily 5-hour baby panic attack / whatever you call it . . . . And then maybe I'll be ready to cave in and call him cute. ;)

Thank you all again for the advice and comiseration!
Saurus (April 2012) wants to open all the cupboards to see the pipes.
Zilla (December 2013) is unstoppable. And really likes pizza.
Turtle (November 2015) isn't cute yet, but he's working on it.
And Mia and Oreo are my emotional support cats.
Posts: 1186
Joined: 18 Jul 2012, 14:50
Location: American in Gifu, Japan

Re: Newborn Hunger Strike -- Update! He latches!

Postby Treeb » 03 Jan 2016, 13:17

Wow, what a struggle DF! Great to hear that he is feeding now and things are gradually improving for you!
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Re: Newborn Hunger Strike -- Update! He latches!

Postby StJuniper » 03 Jan 2016, 13:46

Good on you for keeping at it!
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