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Thread: Help! Little one refusing breast, wants bottled breastmilk

  1. #1

    Default Help! Little one refusing breast, wants bottled breastmilk

    So glad I ventured online to look for more help today and found this site! This is my final step in trying to find some breastfeeding help, so I hope you may have some advice for me!
    I have a 3 week old daughter,who, when she was born, was ill and spent the first few days of her life in the NICU. I had a c-section, and was recovering from preeclampsia, and was very swollen. We did not get to even attempt breastfeeding until the 3rd day. I had lots of help for the first week while my daughter was in the hospital, but even with the nurses' help, we never were successful at getting a good latch or having my daughter breastfeed. (we used syringe feeding, SNS, several methods) Her mouth is very small, and my breasts and nipples are quite large, and were even moreso the first couple of weeks due to all of my swelling.
    I have been getting help from a lactation consultant, but this week she told me she is out of ideas for me. My daughter still will not breastfeed, as she has been given the bottle because of her inability to latch in the beginning. I have been pumping and she has had breast milk exclusively, except at the hospital initially before my supply came in. I have tried two different types of nipple shields, I've tried different holds, skin to skin time, etc. It's been exhausting. I usually start our feeding ritual by offering her the breast, both with the shield and without. Occasionally she will latch on for a few seconds, enough to get a drink, and otherwise she "plays" with the nipple and doesn't really act interested. After she and I both get frustrated with this, usually about 10 minutes of the "nipple play" as I call it, I give her the bottle of breastmilk, and end our feeding time with pumping. All in all, it takes at least an hour to do all of this, and then she is ready to eat again in a couple of hours. It's become too much to manage, and I am looking for assistance.
    I do not feel that we are as incompatible with mouth to nipple size as we were in the beginning, so I don't feel this is our main trouble. I feel like my daughter knows that she will get a bottle eventually, and it is much easier to drink from the bottle, so she isn't interested in the breast at all. This devastates me, as I loved breastfeeding my now 12 year old son, and was looking so forward to growing this bond with my daughter. Is there any hope that, after 3 weeks of bottle feeding, my daughter may eventually go to the breast? If there is not hope, I will stop trying to put her to my breast, and will just rely solely on pumping. I continue to give her skin to skin and breast time in hopes that someday she will just take off, but it ends up just frustrating both of us.

    Thanks for any advice you can give me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Help! Little one refusing breast, wants bottled breastmi

    Have you ever tried an SNS?
    I would suggest a different IBCLC. Some have other tricks

    I would STOP all bottles. And I would feed any other way for now.


    If you do end up EPing, it is doable. I have had to EP for my fourth child, born with a cleft palate, and it's really hard, but doable. However, I would exhaust all local resources...like see every IBCLC in the area!
    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 2012

    Default Re: Help! Little one refusing breast, wants bottled breastmi

    First of all... DO NOT give up... and yes, there still is a chance.

    Just to give you some background, my daughter is my second child and is 8 wks old. She had a small mouth and terrible latch and therefore, at the hospital, my lactation consultant gave me a nipple shield... only to try for a couple of weeks until her mouth got larger. My daughter tried to nurse with it and after a week or a little longer, wasn't gaining weight because she wasn't transferring milk well. So, to get her weight up, we decided to pump and give breastmilk through the bottle. After a couple of weeks of this, her weight came up and therefore she had more calories in her and was more alert. Also, during this time, her mouth grew and we started re-working on the latch around four weeks. She latched perfectly around five weeks or so.... and now she has been somewhat fussy at the breast because she is used to the bottle, etc.

    I say all of that to say.... it has been a long, HARD road.... but at eight weeks, she is starting to have nursing sessions with me.... and yes, I am still pumping, but we are constantly making improvements and working our way towards exclusively breastfeeding.

    My first child NEVER nursed and I was so determined to give him breastmilk... I pumped for eight months straight and bottle fed. Now with my daughter... I'm SO determined to make it work and have done so much research.... so many people achieve this and months into their babies lives. I hope to be there one day. And I really think from what you wrote... it is promising that you can eventually get there.

    I would find another lactation consultant first of all. There are so many different things to try... I would not want her to tell me to give up. I have heard good things about the SNS. Also, the nipple shield can be a good and bad thing... it will lower your milk supply (good thing you are pumping though to keep that up) b/c you do not get the stimulation from your baby through the shield well. I wouldn't totally stop the bottle... but you could try the pace feeding (look at the Kelly Mom site for this) and that way she will not get milk so fast from the bottle and be similar to breastfeeding flow.

    I have been told over and over how babies WANT to be at the breast... that it just takes time to work through all the feeding trails they have had and possibly bad memories that babies have somewhere in those little brains. Do the skin to skin and even let baby play and sleep at the breast. OH... and my lactation consultant just told me yesterday to research "Biological Nurturing"... that it had a lot of good info on getting baby happy at the breast, etc......

    Sorry this is so long... I had too much to say!!!!! I DO think it can be done.... there have been so many success stories out there!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Help! Little one refusing breast, wants bottled breastmi

    Is there any hope that, after 3 weeks of bottle feeding, my daughter may eventually go to the breast?
    The answer to this is, absolutely there is hope. Babies have been brought to the breast after months of not nursing. Adopted babies many, many months old & older have been taught to nurse at the breast. But it is not easy and there are no guarantees. Trust your instincts. You will know when it is time for you to stop trying and find a different way.

    PP all have excellent suggestions. I particularly love that Kellymom back to the breast article. I also think not using bottles if that is at all possible for you could really help. (If you must use bottles at least do paced bottle feeding but if the issue is primarily the bottles you can see why it might be good to avoid them.) Besides perhaps seeing a different IBCLC, (one with lots of experience in helping babies who have not taken the breast well to do so) what about local free breastfeeding support-any nearby LLL meetings, LLL Leaders? You never know who is going to offer the idea that makes it all come together. Try everything, and if nothing works, try it all again the next day or a few days later.

    Biological Nurturing is my current favorite thing to suggest, I have seen it work wonders. The primary element is laid back positioning, but the BN research goes way beyond just positioning. But for you all you really need to know is to try the various laid back positions and to hold baby in close proximity to the breast lots. (This is easier and more comfortable in laid back positions) rather than always trying to "get" baby to latch. (and of course you can try that too, try whatever!) And this fits right in with other things you may want to try, like offering frequently (but never forcing) and bringing baby to the breast when baby is asleep, just waking, or sleepy. If the primary issue at this point is nipple confusion/bottle preference, then cuing into baby’s instinctual brain could be key. This can happen when baby is sleepy, asleep or otherwise very relaxed.

    You mention trying skin to skin. One interesting thing about the biological nurturing research is it showed that positioning was much more important in encouraging baby to latch and nurse frequently than actual skin to skin contact. Nothing wrong with skin to skin, and it has been proven to help with growth & survival of premature babies etc. but if it’s not working for your situation, having baby on you but with you clothed but with easy access to the breast may work better.

    Here are links about biological nurturing. Remember the positioning refers to mom-baby can be brought to the breast in any position. And "Laid back" need not mean laying WAY back. Anywhere from slightly reclined (like you can do sitting on a couch or chair) to almost all the way back (like in bed propped up slightly with a few pillows) is "laid back."

    Biological nurturing: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/ and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and https://breastfeedingusa.org/content...-breastfeeding

    Paced bottle feeding: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 23rd, 2012 at 08:09 PM.

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