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Thread: Bottle to breast problems

  1. #1

    Default Bottle to breast problems

    I'm new to the forums, so here's my intro. I have 3 week old boy girl twins, who spent their first 9 days in the NICU feeding from bottles. Now we're home and still on bottles because I'm having trouble getting them on the breast. I've been pumping constantly and still having trouble pumping enough milk for both of them, so we've been supplementing with their preemie formula (2oz formula to 1 oz milk). I keep trying to put them to breast whenever they seem to be awake and patient enough, but we're still having tons of trouble. My baby girl does better than my boy, but she still gets super frustrated and gives up and starts screaming until I give her the bottle, so she'll only take maybe a half of her feeding at breast before giving up. My son is a lazy latcher, he knows how and wants to, some times. Most of the time he'd rather just lick my nipple than latch onto it. I have a nipple shield to use with him, and when I try using it he just wont take the nipple at all! He simply won't open his mouth. I know the only way to get my milk production up and have them take the breast full time is to keep putting them on as many times a day as I can, but I can't help but feel defeated right now. I feel that my body and babies are fighting the transition. I hate bottle feeding! I hate pumping! I've tried pumping until let down then putting them on and they still get frustrated and give up. Is there something else I could try to convince them that the breast is better than the bottle? I've been drinking Mother's Milk Tea as well to help get my supply up and although it's helping, I don't feel like it's helping enough. If the babies would take the breast I'd only be able to feed one a full feeding, or half and half. Is there any other supplement I could/should (maybe Fenugreek?) try to help my supply?

    Thanks in advance, I need all the help I can get. And I can't afford to see the hospital LC's anymore.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: Bottle to breast problems

    Dear aandlmom,
    congratulations on the birth of your twins!
    Yes breastfeeding preemie twins is a task worth achieving. here are some thoughts...
    1. Bottle feed them before attempting to nurse. let them settle down from the distraction of hunger before enticing them with breastfeeding. let the babies associate your nipples with being relaxed and somewhat satiated.
    2. rent a hospital grade double pump. use it to stimulate your supply every 2- 3 hours.
    3. If you are feeling brave enough avoid the nipple shield. There are just so many secondary problems with the shield so if you can avoid it, do so.
    4. don't let the babies get hungry. You can attempt to nurse them way before they show signs of hunger.

    you will have the most success at making milk by pumping, finishing the pumping by hand expressing and of course by getting the babies to latch and suck. 10-12 times a day.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Bottle to breast problems

    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
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Bottle to breast problems

    I also have dealt with the issue of getting baby from bottle to breast...and a smart user on here told me to try to give the bottle before the breast at each feeding, which helped a lot. Try to relax yourself-and maybe the babies will relax as well. They can feel the frustration you are having. Fenugreek helped me a lot, try that as well as getting as much water as you can. A quick google search of foods to help out breast milk supply can help as well. Keep trying!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Bottle to breast problems

    but I can't help but feel defeated right now

    I understand this feeling but you are actually doing quite well considering the issues you have faced. This is VERY early days. The fact that your daughter nurses at all at this point and your son is showing interest (licking is interest!) is very good at this point. I know this is exhausting and tortuous now but as your babies nurse more you can pump less and that will make life so much easier.

    You do not have to convince your babies the breast is better than the bottle. They instinctually know this, they are just trying to learn to nurse. Try laid back positioning to help your babies more or less self attach. Try any position or latch idea that makes sense and forget all the "rules"-for example, some babies never gape or open wide but latch & nurse just fine. Try nursing when babies are sleepy or asleep! If the nipple shield is not helping, toss it and try other latch techniques. You also may want to consider using a lactation aid for supplementing if you can get babies to latch but still need to supplement.

    All pps have excellent suggestions. Look at that kellymom article it has tons of ideas for gently encouraging nursing. Get the books Mothering Multiples & the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and check out this website: http://www.karengromada.com/
    You can do this!
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 25th, 2012 at 08:49 PM.

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