Need Lactation Consultant - Baby Won't Wake up to Breast Feed

Updated on March 14, 2007
M.C. asks from Lewisville, TX
20 answers

I feel so horrible. I have resorted to pumping and feeding in a bottle along with supplementing formula. I can't wake my baby to breast feed, and I'm at my wits end. Does anyone have referrals for a lactation consultant or advice on what might work?

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So What Happened?

I am so touched at the overwhelming response from everyone. Thanks to everyone. It's amazing how bonded I already feel to other mothers even after such a short time. We ended up going to the peditrician that morning to discover that one of the P.A.s there is also a registered lactation consultant. We were able to schedule consultations with her and have them covered by insurance. Yea! My doctor ordered a lot of blood tests. My son was a little jaundiced during his hospital stay. But, it was nothing to be concerned about at his time of discharge. The good news is that the tests all came back ok. He was just a VERY sleepy baby. He would barely wake even when we rubbed his feet with ice cubes. Anyway, the lactation consultant totally changed things for me. We are doing great now. I'm still learning. My baby is much more alert now. Every day I'm able to see a dramatic improvement in his alertnessI also learned that I had an incorrect latch on. I am so thrilled. I actually think that I am going to be ablet to pull this off!

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C.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with Kristi O on the Harris HEB LCs. They are awesome. I had extreme difficulties with my first child and they met me at 9 pm on a Sunday!! WOW! Excellent support. My second baby (now 6 weeks) I have been consulting (no problems though) with Harris Downtown LCs - Also WONDERFUL.
Good luck and stick with it!!

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L.

answers from Dallas on

I cannot remember her name but she works at Medical center of Lewisville and has her own office across the street from it too. She helped my boy learn to breast feed!

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

M.,

I used the lactation consultants at presby, they were helpful, however I has so many problems, I finally called someone that could come to me, and see what was going on with my baby. Her name is Wendy Blumberg and her number is ###-###-####. She is amazing, and has helped me through multiple breastfeeding issues...I am now going on my 15th month and about to wean...I owe it all to Wendy!!! She is persistant, kind, patient, and oh so knowledeable, and I never felt put out or frustrated like I did with some of the presby nurses. She is also VERY reasonable with her pricing, and will charge you nothing to have a phone conversation.

Best of Luck to you and your little guy!

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C.

answers from Dallas on

I agree that Mother's Gift at Plano Presby is wonderful. I scheduled appointments with their consultants. They were extremely patient, understanding, and helpful. They worked with me and my daughter for 6 weeks until she finally figured this all out. They were also available to talk with me over the phone too.

Best of luck to you. Hang in there. It will get easier.
C.

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

Just keep at it!! My son was about 2 weeks old before he got the hang of breastfeeding. I had a tough time waking him up as well. The lactation consultants told me to take his clothes off, get in a light area, and take your shirt off too. Skin to skin contact encourages them to nurse.

Don't worry!! Babies aren't born hungry... they actually aren't hungry for the first few days... that's why you don't produce much milk... you just have the rich stuff with all the nutrients in it.

Just keep nursing them... your milk should come in soon, and, at that time, your little guy will be more interested. Keep at it every 2-4 hours... so that you will have a good milk supply. He'll eat when he's hungry!

Good luck!!

L.A.

answers from Dallas on

Our pedi told me to flick his heel to wake him up. AT that age, sleeping is all they ever do. He also told me to stop nursing and use formula if it didn't work!

Well, I knew if that happened, I would never nurse, so I kept on and 2 weeks later my pedi was shocked at how much growth my son had. It's challenging those first couple of weeks, so hang in ther.

Also try Kay at the Nesting Place.

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N.N.

answers from Dallas on

Tricks to wake up little ones to nurse:
flick the bottoms of baby's feet.
Take off baby's clothes - keep diaper only - and hold him skin to skin.
Wet washcloth on baby's head.
I know this all sounds uncomfortable for him but if she is too cozy she will just sleep.

Keep it up. You can do it. It just takes time. In a month from now you will wonder why you ever had a problem!

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

I have a beautiful baby girl who is soon to be a happy and healthy 3 year old. When I was with her in the hospital the nurses and doctors told me to feed her every 4 hours. And if that meant I had to wake her up to feed I should do so.

My personal oppinion: That's absolutely ridiculous. Babies know when they're hungry and certainly let everyone around them know as well. Helen was sleeping through the night after about 2 weeks. And if she was sleeping it meant I was sleeping, too. She was hungry in the morning and growing like any normal baby. I enjoyed sleeping all night and I don't think Helen would be any better off now if I had woken her up to breastfeed in the middle of the night.

Not exactly the advice you're looking for, but maybe it will make you feel better. Good luck.

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C.P.

answers from San Diego on

M., if it's not too far of a drive for you, try A Mother's Gift at Plano Presbyterian. Their consultants there are wonderful!! ###-###-####. Good luck!

-Char

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Usually if you wake them up and change them or take off there clothes they become uncomfortable and wake up. My hospital recommended writing every feeding and changing down....if it was poop or pee. That worked for me cause you want to make sure you are feeding atleast 8 times in a day. I don't think you realize how often you are feeding your baby till you write it down. I have nursed 2 babies and I wouldn't trade it for the world. DON'T GIVE UP!!! You can do it. Sometimes you have to pump when you are dying cause your breasts are so full but just know that the more you pump the more milk you make!!! I suggest getting some of those freezer bags at the store since you can store your milk for when your baby is a few months old and you might want to go out ALONE for once!!! GOOD LUCK!! They grow up so fast so enjoy!!

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M.F.

answers from Dallas on

Newborns can be sleepyheads. The way I saw it with my son: you can wear yourself out trying to wake him (take his clothes off, put a cold washrag on his chest, change his diaper, lay him down on a flat surface like crib, playpen, etc.), or you can relax, get a few extra minutes of sleep, or do a load of laundry, and he'll tell you when he's hungry. Your body will adjust to his needs. If you're trying to get him on a schedule, it's too early. Save scheduling until he's about 12 weeks old.
Trust me. He'll let you know he's hungry! Meanwhile, if you get engorged or uncomfortable while you're waiting for him to finish his beauty sleep, pump enough to relieve the pressure and make it easier for him to latch on when he is ready to eat.

Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Kansas City on

I delivered at Presby Plano, and I had the same problem with my daughter. The lactation consultant there told me to put a cool washcloth on her face, basically to irritate her awake. It worked, and then she would latch on and nurse. They probably have many more ideas for you and yes, A Mother's Gift is a great place to get help. Good luck - don't give up on breastfeeding if at all possible. It is very rewarding.

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J.

answers from Dallas on

Hang in there...you are doing the right thing by contacting an LC.

Linda Worzer is great you can find her contact information on www.naturalbeginningsonline.com

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K.O.

answers from Dallas on

The lactation consultants at Harris Methodist HEB are FABULOUS. I had major nursing issues, and they helped repeatedly. When I had my son, three years ago, they charged $50 for the first visit, but after that everything was free. They'll go ahead and try to bill your insurance to get you some money back as well! You can go unlimited times, and they people really know what they're doing.

K.

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B.S.

answers from Dallas on

Call Kay at The Nesting Place in Grapevine.

http://www.thenestingplace.net/

She can help or point you in the right direction. Call quickly and tell them your problem, they will help ASAP.

Best wishes,
Sherri

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

M., call the hospital that you had your baby at and chances are they have a lactation consultant. I had troubles breastfeeding when I came home (more of a latch on problem) and we went back to the hospital 2 days after discharge and met with their on site lactation consultant. It was the best thing I ever did. While I had some nurse's help while in the hospital, I was so tired and there were so many different techniques. Or call Baylor Grapevine Simply Mom's (consultants and shop) at ###-###-####. I think our consultation was $75 and it was worth every penny. Steffi was the lady who helped and I would recommend her for certain. Also, I had a friend whose baby would not wake to eat. She expressed milk and actually syringe and cup fed her baby. Yes, the baby was sleeping but would drink while asleep so it can be done but see if a consultation would help. I think it would. Good luck! Also, I would recommend pumping to keep up your milk supply if until your baby becomes a more agressive/awake eater. That way your milk will not dwindle.

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

My baby would also fall asleep while i breastfed her, i found her ticklish spot on her neck and everytime she would fall asleep i would run my finger down her neck and she would wake up and start sucking again. Try rubbing her back or running your finger down her foot. You just have to find a spot that will wake him up and start sucking. I think all babies fall asleep while breastfeeding, it is so warm and comforting to them. Good luck, don't give up.

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K.W.

answers from Dallas on

M., you are going thru the sleepy period but you are correct that supplementation becomes a self fullfilling prophecy. It is not too late. If you have not seen a consultant yet please call me and I would be happy to help you. I am not sure where you are located but if you can't come to me I can come to you.

sincerely, K. Willis RN, IBCLC

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L.

answers from Dallas on

Hi M.,

I'm unclear what you mean about waking your son to breastfeed. Do you mean at night or from the frequent naps? Also, if you focus on keeping your diet full of nutritious foods, so that your milk supply is also, you shouldn't have to worry about supplementing with formula.

I have to also mention that the first four months are the hardest on you, until he starts eating solid foods. For me, it was on average every three hours. (Solids were a joyous time in regard to breastfeeding.) You might try contacting http://www.lalecheleague.org/ La Leche International is an international organization for breastfeeding mothers. They have free meetings, consultation resources, etc. They could probably refer you to a lactation specialist.

I encourage you to keep trying. Maybe a lactation consultant will get you past the difficulty. (I had one while I was still in the hospital and don't believe I would've gotten the latching on part down if it had not been for that.) I know it's a major challenge (I breastfed my daughter until she was 2), but try to hang in there. I want to also say though that if it seems impractical for you, don't beat yourself up for it, if you wind up only doing formula.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com luck,
L.

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B.D.

answers from Dallas on

Most hospitals have a breastfeeding hotline where you can speak to the lactation consultants. Call your hospital's main line and ask.

I also wanted ask if your son has jaundice? If he's not waking or lethargic due to a medical reason, you'll want to talk to his doctor. My daughter was severely jaundiced and would not wake to feed. Bottle feeding her only made it seem to wake her up more because of the faster flow. Just another thought. If his readings were high, you should have been told before he left the hospital, and you'd be noticing his color being more yellow if it was to that point.

Otherwise, keep trying. It gets easier - just keep plugging for a few weeks!

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