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Thread: From pumping/bottle feeding to breast?

  1. #1

    Default From pumping/bottle feeding to breast?

    I breast fed my baby girl for the first 2.5 weeks, and she did not gain any weight during that time. Her weight stayed the same. The doctor recommended that we switch over to pumping/bottle feeding. My daughter has gained weight well while we have been bottle feeding breast milk. I let her breast feed several times a day, and she gets some milk that way. She loves the breast, but does not seem to get enough nourishment that way. We are seeing a LC, but do not have a firm plan to get her back to feeding primarily at the breast. DD has a relatively weak latch, and cannot get milk from a Breast Flow bottle. She also has trouble coordinating breathing and swallowing - pulls back from the breast gasping & makes a lot of "honking" sounds. Since she is doing so well with the bottle, I hate to make a change. However, it is frustrating to spend so much time at the pump. Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: From pumping/bottle feeding to breas

    . WHY is this always the first advice of a doctor? "Just pump and feed." It's so much easier for a baby to eat from a bottle than it is a breast...of course they gain weight! But instead, you should have been referred to an IBCLC to ensure there a) was a problem and b) to fix any problems. ETA: Instead, you got saddled with a pump, which won't fix anything, and just gave you twice as much work.

    So, that's my first suggestion. Find an IBCLC and start there.

    If that won't work, I would begin nursing first, and then top off as necessary; alternatively, you can use an SNS to have baby take the supplemental milk at your breast instead of via a bottle. They are a hassle, but they can be well worth the work to transition a baby to the breast or keep a baby at the breast. But really, a lactation consultant for some hands-on help might be an investment well worth the money.

    It's EASY to take milk from a bottle. In fact, almost all of us here know someone who has fed a baby and then topped up with a bottle, and they always say, but baby must still be hungry! He just drank another ounce! Well, just about all babies will take milk from a bottle, even if they are not hungry! Bottle feeding is not a good measure of hunger.

    And nursing will help strengthen her muscles and make nursing easier in the long run. However, you have some things that do make me wonder about your baby's latch and even make me suggest to you to be very, very sure that your baby does not have a submucosal cleft palate or a cleft palate of the soft palate only...the honking noise and inability to take milk from a BreastFlow makes me wonder.

    However, either way does not mean you are going to just be able to stop pumping overnight, and I can completely sympathize with that. I have a cleft baby, and he can't nurse very well -- kind of like your baby -- and I have to pump to keep my supply and to make sure he gets something to eat. And pumping is a lot of work.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,637

    Default Re: From pumping/bottle feeding to breas

    Terrific advice from Susan, as usual. I would start with the IBCLC, and see what she says, and also consider seeing a pediatric otolaryngologist. I would want your baby's mouth checked very thoroughly for any physiological issue that might prevent a good latch and cause that "honking" noise. Regardless of what the result is, I just want to encourage you to keep on with nursing at the breast. the fact that your baby will latch on and nurse is an excellent sign- maybe right now she's too small to nurse successfully, but who knows what the future will bring?

    Also, a big ol' to your pediatrician! "Just pump and bottle feed" is easy advice to give. But it sure isn't easy advice to follow!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: From pumping/bottle feeding to breas

    Please come back and let us know how things go!
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: From pumping/bottle feeding to breas

    I'll dare to be a little different here, and say, Kudos to your pediatrician for recommending pumping and feeding rather than cursory nursing and topping off with formula. This way you're likely to have maintained or increased your supply, and your baby got the best nutrition. I will agree, of course, that a referral to an IBCLC would have been the necessary next step.

    I don't have any experience with "honking sounds," but my second child was mostly willing (and eager) to be at the breast but could not get milk. Age and practice helped him, but we saw marked improvement with his "disorganized suck" (couldn't coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing--he couldn't manage Breastflow bottles but even took ninety minutes to two hours on standard ones, too) when we took him to a pediatric chiropractor. She said that his parietal bones (sides of the skull) were overlapping his forehead and likely causing a headache. During his assessment and first adjustment, while they were massaging his skull, his whole body relaxed and he drained a 4-ounce bottle in thirty minutes (as opposed to two hours!). My husband and I were shocked.

    He needed the calories that he could only get from bottle feeding, but I kept him practicing at the breast and gradually moved just to supplementing him via SNS. I definitely needed repeat visits to and from IBCLCs during the over two months of his learning to nurse, but we did succeed, and he's now going on eighteen months of nursing.

    I do wish you well, and I would definitely seek out as much qualified help as you can in this situation. And since your darling little one likes to be at the breast, I'd let her be there as much as possible. Practice is any area, including breastfeeding, is a great thing.
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

  6. #6

    Default Re: From pumping/bottle feeding to breas

    Thank you so much for your thoughts!

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