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Thread: Stressed about introducing a bottle...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Stressed about introducing a bottle...

    My baby just turned 6 weeks old. I have to go back to work in just a little over 3 weeks (my 12 weeks of maternity leave will be over since I stopped working a couple weeks before he was born). He is still about 50/50 with the nipple shield--will almost always start without it, then most of the time wants it to finish a feeding. I think I'd feel better about introducing a bottle if we were completely done with the shield, but I don't know that I can really predict that happening or not anytime soon. It seems to be an ongoing process. I am probably extra hesitant because with DS1, once he had a bottle at 1 week (refused to latch even with the nipple shield)...it was all downhill from there, and I EP'd for a little while. I just don't want that to happen this go round.

    So what are your thoughts? When should I bite the bullet? Is now the time? Should I wait another week? And how often do I really need to give him a bottle to make sure he'll be okay with it when I'm at work--hopefully, not daily?? Should I use some of my frozen milk or pump right before and use fresh? I'm totally over-thinking this, but I just don't want to do anything to screw up breastfeeding.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Stressed about introducing a bottle.

    I never used a nipple shield, so hopefully my experience won't contradict that:
    I too had 12 weeks maternity leave with my LOs (too bad I couldn't get double for having twins but anywa ) and had to go back to work then. I started giving my son 1 bottle a week around 3 weeks of age, with no problem. I did the same with my girls. I would say if you are able to gave an occasional bottle and baby doesn't reject it, do that. and the week before you go back give at least a daily bottle (or more, depending if you start pumping for practice) so the first day you are gone for many hours it won't be a huge adjustment for baby.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Stressed about introducing a bottle.

    Don't give ANY bottles yourself. Have someone else give them, when you aren't around. And generally, try giving one at 4-6 weeks.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Stressed about introducing a bottle.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Don't give ANY bottles yourself. Have someone else give them, when you aren't around.
    Yesyesyesyes! We had bad bottle preference early on and this was a very important step for us.

    Mother to a sweet boy, born at 34 weeks on 2/11/11.
    Proud that I grew 26 lbs of baby before solids, and still counting...

    We received banked milk in the NICU. Thank you, donors!!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Stressed about introducing a bottle.

    I stongly suggest looking the linked tip sheet over and going over it carefully with your caregiver. Much bottle preference is actually a flow preference, and it's not really a preference, it's just that babies get used to the ease with which milk from a bottle gets into them and then have difficulty with or frustration with nursing. Paced bottle feeding, as described here, may help prevent this issue and it helps with other issues as well such a bottle overfeeding and bottle refusal: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    You could also consider cup feeding. It's a bit of a lost art but perfectly safe and effective when done correctly and good way to feed a baby without causing nipple confusion.

    Keep working at weaning off the shield, besides being a hassle to use, shields can cause milk supply issues. Is nursing without the shield comfortable for you? Is baby able to latch and nurse well without it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Stressed about introducing a bottle.

    Nursing without the shield is perfectly comfortable for me. There is no pain. As long as he's willing, he seems to latch onto it well. I can hear audible swallows immediately. When he's done, my nipple is not pinched or misshapen in any way. There are still times that he fusses and refuses the breast without the shield, or halfway through is still rooting around but will not latch on without the shield again. And, other than to just keep doing what I've been doing, I don't know how else to get rid of it without just going cold turkey. And, while I think that would probably be effective, I hate the thought of causing frustration at the breast...especially when I'm about to have to switch things up on him.

    As for the bottle...since he's already 6 weeks old, is this something I should go ahead and have my husband do? Perhaps just have him offer an ounce or two...maybe 2-3 times a week?? And then when it comes to daycare, how much should I send? I've read the 1-1.5oz per hour of separation. I am a nurse, and I work 12 hour shifts. So I will BF him around 5-6am before I leave then I won't be home to feed him again until 8pm. He will be at daycare from 7am-5:30pm then with DH from 5:30-8p.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Stressed about introducing a bottle.

    I have to go put kids to bed and won't get back to computer tonight, so super quick-www.kellymom.com has v. good articles on how much milk baby will need when mom goes back to work & even a milk calculator. I think introducing bottles slowly, with v. small amounts in them, as practice, is a good idea.

    I would not press the issue with the shield either. Just keep working slowly on it, I think that corner will turn very soon from what you describe. My only concern is your milk supply, and since you are going to start pumping now to build a freezer stash (I assume) and to give bottles, that will help with that. (Before freezing lots of milk you may want to doing a test batch to make sure you don't have an excess lipase issue.)

    The book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition 2010) has two chapters devoted to pumping at work and handling separations. Lots of great up to date info.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Stressed about introducing a bottle.

    I would have husband try the bottle, just with an once or two to see if baby will take it. If so, great, and you could probably maintain with a couple of times per week until you really need to use it regularly. But by trying now, if baby doesn't readily accept then you will have time to trouble shoot (different bottle, nipple, warmer temp, swaddled, etc.) We started 2 wks before I went back to work and my baby very strongly refused the bottle at first so I was glad that we had time to work on it.

    Hopefully your baby will be more easy going about it. Trying now would also give your husband a chance to get into his routine of prepping too.
    Mama to M, BF 17mo
    and H, born Feb '12

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