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Thread: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

  1. #1
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    Oct 2006
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    Default disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    my daughter is 3 weeks 3 days old, and i am considering introducing a bottle to her to use in addition to breasfeeding. before i do i want to understand the disadvantages of doing so and would love to hear abt personal experiences,
    btw, it is not necessary for me to bottlefeed at this point.

    thanks.
    Last edited by tsh; October 25th, 2006 at 07:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    First, congrats on the birth of your little one! Mothering is such a rewarding and beautiful experience.

    By introducing a bottle, are you referring to introducing expressed breast milk, or formula?

    In any case, I would caution against giving a bottle until your milk supply is fully established (around 4-6 weeks) as to avoid nipple confusion. If a baby recieves both breast and bottle during the early weeks- while he is still learning how to nurse- he may learn incorrect sucking patterns and breastfeed less effectively or refuse the breast all together.

    If formula is given in the early weeks, it can interefere with the establishment of a healthy milk supply. Milk production is dependent upon how often, long, and effectively the baby nurses. If the baby is supplemented he will go longer between nurings and take less milk at teh breast, possibly developing a less effective sucking pattern and possibly decreasing mom's supply.

    Supplementing (unless medically necessary) can contribute to engoregement because they decrease the amount of time baby spends breastfeeding. More time spent nursing can contribute to less engorgement.

    Do you mind me asking why you want to introduce a bottle? Just curious...
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    Thanks for the responses so far.
    Remember I am a total novice here and I accept that my logic may be flawed...
    My reasons for considering introducing a bottle is that I have heard that after a certain amount of time (say at two months or so), a baby may refuse a bottle.
    Also, my left breast seems to be more favorable in terms of flow and supply. My daughter mostly feeds off of that one as the right breast causes more challenges for her and me. When my left breast is flaccid, and the supply is low at the end of a feeding, and I switch her to the right breast after she also fed off of it for some time prior, it causes her to be frustrated because it seems she is not getting what she wants.
    My thinking was that at those times I could supplement the rest of her feeding with a bottle of expressed milk (not formula). I also wanted to have an option of a bottle (before it was too late) in case there were certain circumstances that warranted its use. It totally breaks my heart when I feel that she is hungry and not able to eat. My motivation is for her to be able to eat when she wants to.
    Does this make sense?
    I really want to do the right thing by her. That is all.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    Hi! I would say WORK at getting her to feed off the right side and consider pumping on that side to get the production up. Most children have a side they favor and it's generally the bigger, fuller side because as Abby said it's the side that they have to do less work on. You should do the work to even this out by consistently offering that side. I am not opposed to pumping and bottle feeding we started pumping one bottle a day so my husband could feed in the evenings and I could get a daily much needed BREAK @ 5 weeks. I had been diligently working to even out my own supply issues and was delighted to find I could "manipulate" my out put by how long and how often I pumped. But I definitely wouldn't try unitl after the 4week point for sure and longer is your really not getting her to eat consistently off both sides. HTH!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    Just a quick one to say congrats and I would agree that with you already having issues over faster flow preference and frustration when things are slower a bottle could be a bad plan. She may really struggle to go back to the breast. You may find yourself pumping completely before you know it which is a major committment and not something everyone can sustain. Nipple confusion is also about flow confusion. When you do supplement I would consider a cup or at least something like a haberman feeder which is slighter closer to breastfeeding flow.
    Yes, 'work' on that slower side.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    It is wonderful that you are doing such good research prior to making this decision. I am impressed with your foresight in looking at all angles.

    It is true that many children often do favor one side and you can combat that by leaving the baby on until SHE pops off (even if you feel it is empty, you want to be sure your little one gets all that good, fatty, hindmilk. Another way some moms combat the "uneven" breast is to nurse starting two times on the slower side and once on the faster one, KWIM? You may also want to check to make sure the latch is ok on that side to help ensure baby is sucking effectively.

    If you are concerned that baby is getting enough, a surefire way to tell is by looking at baby's elimination patterns (what goes in must come out). Your little one should be getting 6-8 wet/ poopie diapers a day.

    Another thought I have about your flacid breast is that when your milk supply evens out, you become less engorged and your breasts do become more flacid. Your body begins to regulate and know the ammount it needs to produce to meet your baby's needs. Perhaps this side is starting to even out?

    Last, some mothers are told to begin givingbottles soon after birth "to get the baby used to them." This is a myth. One study found that the vast majority of babies accept a bottle easily whether it is introduced at one month (70%), two months (63%) or even between 3-6 months (72%). Only four percent of babies refused the bottle when it was introduced at one month of age. Also early and consistant use of bottles is no guarantee that a baby will continue to take the bottle over time. Even breastfed babies who take bottles early sometimes refuse bottles when they get older. (The Breastfeeding Answer Book p.241) A bottle is not the only way to supplemnt. As the PP stated, you can use a spoon, finger feeder, or even a cup. However, if your reasoning is regarding your supply, offering supplements will only inhibit your supply further and you will most likely want to concerntrated on getting the supply on that side up by letting the baby tell you when she's done with that side by popping off, offering that breast more frequently, and possibly pumping on that side after a feeding.

    For what it's worth, I have heard of mom's nursing exclusively on one side and having perfectly healthy babies, so I would not be concerned if one side has more milk than the other!

    Keep up the good work. I can tell how much you care about balancing your desire to breastfeed and making sure your baby is getting enough. As long as the output is fine, please don't worry and enjoy your new little one!

    Keep us posted!
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

  7. #7
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    i began introducing a bottle to my son early on after my milk supply was established and after he learned to latched on properly. i did it b/c i knew that i was going back to work soon and b/c i wanted to make sure he wouldn't reject the bottle when i had to be away from him. he only drank from the bottle when i'm not around and BF all the times with me. i never gave him the bottle myself. this never seemed to hurt my milk supply or cause nipple confusion. if you are like me and not fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom, then i would try to introduce the bottle sooner than later.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    I really, really appreciate all of your responses, ladies. You have been very kind in giving me such well-thought out information and sharing your experiences with me.

    At this time I have decided that I will not introduce a bottle but will instead continue to work on my latch and right side.

    Thank you again.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    Aw! I'm so glad we were able to help you come to a decision YOU were comfortable with. Please don't hesitate to reach out again to LLL if you need further information and offer your advice, experience, and support to others here or in your local group!
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

  10. #10
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: disadvantages to bottlefeeding breastfed newborn?

    Congrats on your little one.

    First let me say that I am a new, first time mom (my girl is 1 month today) and she just started breast feeding a week ago so take what I say with a Big Grain of Salt because I do not know much. With that said...we were cup feeding (and attempting breast feeding) for the first 2 weeks and her Ped Doc insisted that we start bottle feeding because she was loosing weight still (below her birth weight at 2 weeks she was less thank 6 pounds) . We started her on a bottle and I was so upset because I had been working non-stop to get her to breastfeed. I continued to try at every feeding to get her to nurse. After using a bottle for less than a week she gained just over a pound! With her new found weight and energy she started breastfeeding! We are going back and forth from bottle to breast without any problems.

    The bottle you choose may have an impact. We are using a bottle called "Breast Flow" (by The First Years - http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...entPage=family) which has two parts to the nipple that make it more like the breast. I am also using the smallest size nipple so she has to work hard to eat from the bottle in hopes that my breast will be the favorite option (Again, I remind you I am a first time mom so my reasoning may be way off).

    If I were given the option I would have avoided bottles until I have to go back to work when she is 3 months old but since she was loosing weight (we we apparently not very good cup feeders) and not nursing I am glad the bottles worked and she is now breast feeding. I think it is great that you are comparing all the pros and cons before taking a side. There are some moms with great advice on this board that I am sure will help you out - they have been helpful for me in the past few weeks!

    Best of luck with your little one!!
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

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