Posted by: amamasblog | April 12, 2007

Nursing Triumphs

 My sister and her brand new baby, Maelin, (my very first niece) have had somewhat of a slow start breastfeeding.  My sister has been amazing, trying to get Maelin started, but she would only latch on for a minute, suck a few times, and then throw herself off the breast.  She has done this since day one.  So my sister has been pumping and feeding her with a syringe, so she won’t get used to a bottle nipple, and then not take the breast at all. 

I e-mailed one of my friends in my parenting group, who happens to be a Board Certified Lactation Consultant who had some good advice, but Maelin still wouldn’t take the breast for more than a few minutes, if even that.  Yesterday, my sister was really frustrated and exhausted, so after reading about some things we could try on the La Leche League’s website,  the boys and I went up to see if we could help.

My sister was very engorged and after pumping some colostrum out, and having my sister and Maelin, use skin to skin contact, ( this is when the mother’s chest is bare, and the baby is only in her diaper) the second time they tried nursing, Maelin nursed for 15 minutes!  My sister said that was the longest she had nursed since she had been born.   Maelin had a beautiful latch, and it was wonderful to hear her little sucking and swallowing noises.  She reminded me of a tiny, baby bird.   My sister was elated Maelin was finally nursing, and it was so special to see that breastfeeding bonding moment, and a happy mama and baby.  I left on a positive note, and encouraged my sister to keep doing what was working. 

Unfortunately, my sister called later that night and said Maelin had refused to nurse again, for two of her feedings.  My sister was crying again, and upset.  I felt really helpless- I wished we didn’t live so far apart, and I could have just popped over there, for support, if nothing else.  I encouraged her to just keep pumping to relieve the engorgement, and keep supplementing Maelin, so she wouldn’t become dehydrated and not have the strength to suck. 

This morning my sister said, it had been a rough night, and Maelin refused a few more sessions, but she finally nursed well again early in the morning, and for a few more times later in the morning, and had not refused so far.  My sister had a visit from the nurse that her insurance sent, and they weighed Maelin, and she was actually gaining 2 oz., after she ate, and she hadn’t lost anymore weight, so I am just thrilled for my sister, that it seems like it is finally “clicking” for Maelin.  I advised her yesterday, and so did the nurse, to cancel the visitors that they have been having, and don’t answer the phone, until breastfeeding is established.    So my sister did that today, and I haven’t heard from her again, so I am assuming this is good news, and her and Maelin are practicing nursing, bonding, and getting the hang of it. 

It made me feel good, that I was able to help out in even just a small way.  Breast-milk is the best you can give your baby, and the benefits that both mother and baby receive during breastfeeding are invaluable.  My sister and her husband have been trying so hard, and feeding her breast-milk from the syringe, which seems to be a time consuming process.  I am so proud of my sister (and her hubby for supporting her) for hanging in there, and trying suggestions, and doing what she can to ensure she can get Maelin breastfeeding.  I can only imagine how frustrating, stressful, and upset she has felt.  Even if they have a few feedings, where Maelin has a setback, I am so happy they seem to be on the upswing.  I am keeping my fingers crossed, and sending them “good nursing” vibes.



  1. i’m so glad things are getting better for them. you are a great sister to provide so much support for her.

  2. I too am glad you’re there for your sister!

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