Alfie's favourite mode: sleeping
You'd think that having breastfed a baby before, the second time should come naturally and easily. Thanks to the honesty of a number of friends who experienced some of the struggles of breast-feeding second time around, I knew that this wouldn't necessarily be the case. So, when I too had problems breast-feeding baby No. 2, I wasn't all that shocked and felt calm enough to go about trying to tackle it. As with most newborns, Alfie likes to sleep...and sleep...and sleep. Being that a baby needs to be awake to feed, all this sleep can cause more than a few problems when it comes to breast-feeding! However it was a little more than that. For the first 24 hours Alfie wouldn't even open his mouth despite me trying every trick I remembered from when Milo was little and even more tricks that I discovered thanks to videos on Youtube. Nothing seemed to work. When he finally did open his mouth he just wouldn't suckle. It was quite the obstacle.
Here are some of the tips I came across for waking a sleepy baby
- Tickle the baby's feet
- Strip them down to their nappy
- Stroke the baby's cheek
- wiggle the baby's arm around
Here are the shields I use. They are from Medela but there are also other types available.
Nipple / contact shields for babies with latching problems when breast-feeding
Sleepiness was still being a persistent problem. Just being near my chest would put Alfie in to a deep sleep and by yesterday evening after having spent 40 mins just trying to get him to wake up to feed I was feeling a little deflated emotionally and quite the opposite physically! I called my midwife and told her that I was starting to get anxious as I knew he needed to start putting on weight but thankfully I have a relaxed midwife and she told me not to worry and to stick with it.
Overnight I woke every 3 hours to attempt a feed and managed to get two out of him the whole night. That's at least better than I'd managed the night before. Then, this morning we had a breakthrough. He did his first laying down feed which was nice for me as all I had to do was lay there and then the next feed he managed to be awake enough to feed on both sides! WOOHOO. The pain from the milk coming in has now gone and the after-contractions are getting more bearable and I reckon will be completely gone come the morning. I feel like we've gotten through the rough patch and confident that he will have gained enough come his next weigh-in Sunday to not warrant needing to consider other options.I'm glad we got there in the end.
Breastfeeding has been made a little easier for me thanks to the following items:
- Medela nipple shields (available in different sizes)
- Medela Harmony Manual breast pump
- Burp clothes. I made my own but there are loads of lovely handmade ones to buy on sites like Etsy or you can use lovely muslins like these gorgous ones available from Aden & Anais
- Newborn dummy/pacifier
- Lansinoh nursing pads
Ps. I hope this post makes sense, it's been written around breastfeeding and settling a baby!
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