Re: 18 days old and really need help
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!
How much formula are you using in a 24 hour period? And are you supplementing after every feeding? The answers to those 2 questions will determine whether you can just ditch the bottles altogether or whether you must phase them out gradually.
The problems you are having sound like the issues moms have when bottles are introduced very early on. The reason most people recommend that bottle introduction be delayed until around 4-6 weeks is that babies can rapidly decide that they like the easy rewards of bottle-feeding (bottles deliver a fast flow regardless of how well the baby latches or sucks) and start to reject the breast. It's advised that a baby become a proficient breastfeeder before a bottle is introduced. I'm not telling you that to make you feel bad- it's just a plausible explanation for why you're having difficulties.
If you are not currently using much formula- maybe just an oz or two after some feedings- I suggest putting the bottles on the shelf and simply tugging it out. Baby should eventually decide to latch on and nurse. Hopefully you will not need to use the shield, but if you must then you must. This is the sort of situation in which shields are often useful. Shield or no shield, watch diaper output very carefully. As long as baby continues to have a normal number of wet and poopy diapers, there is no reason to worry.
If you are using a lot of formula, then I think it would be q good idea to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, and come up with a plan for how to supplement your baby (you may want to use a Lact-Aid or Supplemental Nursing System so that baby gets all her food at the breast), how to gradually decrease the amount of formula you are using, and how to increase your supply by pumping while you get your baby off the formula.
Just FYI, here are some things that many moms assume indicate low supply, but don't (when diaper output and growth is normal):
- baby takes a large amount from the bottle after nursing
- baby seems fussy after nursing
- baby has a fussy period in the evenings
- baby feeds frequently (every 1-1.5 hours is common)
- baby does not sleep long periods at night
- baby will always take the breast when offered
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