Seconding leadmythoughts, check with your insurance. They're supposed to cover breast pumps now. I was able to get an ameda purely yours provided through my insurance (and on my doorstep less than 48 hours after my dr sent over a prescription, I was impressed). Of course some will still find ways around it or just make it more trouble than it's worth, but definitely something to check out.
Good luck! I hope La Leche can help you too, or at least provide a good support system while you figure things out.
Like Ottilie, I've always had the opposite problem with my munchkin, so I don't know how helpful I can be, but I'm really sorry you're struggling.
One thought I had is that I heard/read somewhere (maybe KellyMom?) that things you eat affect the flavor of your breast milk. My baby never cared what I ate, but my husband's co-worker warned me that his wife couldn't eat anything with onions, garlic, chocolate, or coffee and maybe some other things while breastfeeding because the baby didn't like it. Maybe she doesn't like something you're eating?
Another thing is my lactation consultant told me she doesn't believe in "nipple confusion", but that sometimes babies develop a nipple preference. Usually a bottle nipple is easier than getting milk from a breast, so she might be getting too frustrated when she's really hungry and the milk isn't coming fast enough/as fast as she's used to with a bottle. You could try giving her just a little milk from a bottle so she's not super hungry and then offer the breast and see if she's more willing to nurse.
Hang in there. It does get easier as they get bigger. Good luck!
My daughter used to latch and then scream a few seconds later. I finally realized my letdown was too forceful for her. She couldn't handle it and would refuse to nurse.
To lessen the force of my letdown I stopped pumping for awhile. I noticed whenever I pumped the problem got worse. For some reason this made my letdown even more forceful.
Also, and most importantly in my case, I nursed on one side only and completely and switch sides the next nursing session. If she unlatched for more i would relatch on the same side. I kept track of sides very carefully. This made a huge difference in a few days!
I also would unlatch and catch the letdown milk into a towel (or you could use a cup to save it but I could never coordinate all that). Once the letdown happened she was much more willing to nurse. I did the catching the letdown thing just till the one side at at a time thing kicked in. Once she was a little bigger she was able to handle the letdown without a problem.
Now she's 23 months old, I'm pregnant, and she refuses to STOP nursing. Lol.
Congrats and Hope this helps!
Angel, the WIC eligibility guidelines are higher than you might think-- 185% of the federal poverty level. You might qualify, and it's a great program.
Unfortunately there are some sticky policy issues around breast pumps and Medicaid/WIC. A lot of women said they were breast feeding, received a pump, and sold them. So now you can only get one if your child is hospitalized.
Secondly, I'm sorry to hear Persephone had a rough patch with the dehydration-- that must have been frightening-- but glad shes doing well now!
Thirdly, I know you don't have a pump but do you think she simply honestly prefers the taste of the formula? Does she only consent to nurse when she's very hungry? If you can express enough milk to put it in a bottle, will she take that happily?
Hugs, mama. BFing is so much harder than anybody ever seems to tell you! Coming from a mom who ended up exclusively pumping for 13 months, I'd *highly* recommend seeing an LLL leader pronto. They'll help you look for signs of overactive letdown, and I would have them check for a posterior tongue tie, as well. IME, hospital staff is not trained to recognize PTT, or perhaps it is not considered important since a baby can always just take a bottle (sigh). I'm sure this varies from one facility to another, but even IBCLC's will often miss it :( Good luck, and let us know how things go.
Poor you, that's very frustrating. I would say that there seems to be alot of faffing about and short feeds with breastfeeding while bottles they just get on and feed. Agnes was tube fed initially and I found it helpful to:
- give 20ml from a bottle first THEN breastfeed, this seems to stop the 'so hungry I don't know what I'm doing'.
-between feeds offer the breast where you might otherwise offer a dummy so she makes some comfort associations (if possible drop all pacifier use).
- swaddle or firmly cuddle her arms while feeding. Felicity is a thrasher who keeps 'loosing' the nipple left to her own devices.
Good luck and hope this helps.
I remember that kissy face thing from Leonie! She could just like the consistent taste of the formula. I gave Leonie plenty of formula and breast fed as well. Eventually she showed a preference for nursing cause I kept on offering it.
Blade -- When I've managed to get at least an ounce out of my breast with my terrible pump, she took it willingly from the bottle, so I don't think it's that she prefers the flavor of the formula, but maybe she does prefer it and I'm kidding myself. Sigh.
I have tried the "give a little and switch with me nipple" and she screams. The times I've gotten her to really latch and eat, it's usually been right after giving her a good ounce or two of formula. She only really using the pacie/soothie/dummy etc when she's fussy while asleep. I don't know what's going on with her with the breast feeding. It's frustrating. I'm trying to contact LLL today or tomorrow.
I had a similar problem when Juni was born and she was diagnosed with tongue tied at 5 days old. Its fairly common, both Juni's cousin's had it too, and is very easy to fix by a qualified midwife/doctor. Its caused by the little membrane under the tongue being too long, which stops them from being able to lift their tongues and suck properly. Generally, tongue tied babies find a bottle easier because they don't have to suck as hard. If you notice that she is dribbling a lot of milk when she drinks from a bottle or that her tongue is slightly heart shaped when she sticks it out, then it might be worth asking the la leche people about tongue tie.
I would have a LLL leader or LC come and watch you nurse your baby, see her latch first hand (if again) and see what you can do. With my first, I had a lot of issues in the first 2 months and thankfully had a wonderful LC from the hospital who really helped me continue our bfing relationship. Tongue tie was also my first though, as 2 of mine had that (thankfully, Vio and Linus, neither who were my first) and so did my DH as a baby as it can run in families. Lots of love, its so hard having feeding issues as that becomes your *life*. Send me a PM if you have any other questions, I've nursed 5 kiddos and had lot so of resolved issues along the way, it was hard at times but totally worth it. I hope you are able to give her breastmilk on tap or from a bottle as well, and if not, formula feed with lots of love and peace of mind. <3 You are such a good mama, please keep us updated. <3