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Thread: From Bottle to Breast - help!

  1. #1

    Default From Bottle to Breast - help!

    Hello!

    I am looking for some guidance in moving my 10 day old son from the bottle and to the breast...any advice or suggestions would be outstanding!

    He was born on June 15th, 5 weeks early, and as such had to spend some time in the NICU. They gave him formula initially and I pumped, and by the third day (I think - time was a blur) we were able to switch him exclusively to breast milk (via pumping).

    He was released after 5 days, and we've now been home a week! In that time he's primarily eating from the bottle, although we do attempt to nurse at every feeding. For a few days weight gain was a concern, but after the pedi appointment today, she's given us the green light that all looks good. My milk supply is not an issue at all - there is more than enough there!

    Anyway -

    When I (attempt to) nurse him, he does root and I believe he has successfully latched a few times. However, it's generally short lived. He tends to pull away and fuss before rooting again.

    The pedi has given us two suggestions. The first is to drop the bottle cold turkey and essentially make it so that the only way he'll get food is to breastfeed. We both acknowledged that there is a great deal of anxiety here...

    The second suggestion is a nipple shield. I understand that there are inherent risks with this (such as dependency) but I am at the point where I'm beginning to wonder if the trade off isn't worth it if it means that he'll at least be AT the breast.

    I am going to call a LC this afternoon, but I wanted to get some opinions from other women who have been there...or at the least, have a better idea than I do!

    Thank you all so much in advance...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: From Bottle to Breast - help!

    The pedi has given us two suggestions. The first is to drop the bottle cold turkey and essentially make it so that the only way he'll get food is to breastfeed. We both acknowledged that there is a great deal of anxiety here...
    Woah. My LO was having weight issues and his IBCLC/Pediatric Nurse encouraged us to get him to breast for no longer than 15 minutes prior to bottle feeding him expressed breast milk. However, we went back yesterday and although his weight is up plenty (now at 9 lb 7.25 oz) and he's pulling from the breast effectively, she said NOT to quit cold turkey.

    Maybe you should try putting him on breast for 10-15 minutes and then giving him bottle rather than just quitting cold turkey. Like you said, there is a lot of anxiety with that. Both for baby and for you.
    "If he's hungry enough, he'll HAVE to breastfeed". That's not in the pediatrician's handbook OR the newbaby owner's manual. Try it. He'll end up getting pissed off, over hungry, over tired, and going to sleep and missing a feeding. Heck, that's not even common or good sense.

    The second suggestion is a nipple shield. I understand that there are inherent risks with this (such as dependency) but I am at the point where I'm beginning to wonder if the trade off isn't worth it if it means that he'll at least be AT the breast.
    We were on the nipple shield, also. I don't think dependency is going to be a concern for you since your LO is latching. Mine went from barely latching without it, to now completely breastfeeding. The bigger concern, my IBCLC said, was the amount of milk that the shield will move for the baby. It's a double edged sword because it LOOKS like the baby is pulling good amounts of milk, but it's pulling maybe 80% of what's in your breast. So, she suggested that I pump, also, in order to not jeopardize my supply.

    Anyway, that's my experience with that.
    Desmond Ringo Payton [5.31.12|8 lb 14 oz|22 in.|blonde|blue|beautiful|BACK TO BREAST 6.25.12]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,865

    Default Re: From Bottle to Breast - help!

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    In your shoes, I think I would try the nipple shield, preferably with guidance from the lactation consultant (especially if you have one who is an IBCLC). At this point, the primary goal has to be to get the baby to nurse for more than a few seconds, and if the nipple shield means he spends more time actively suckling at the breast instead of pulling off and fussing, that's good. You may need to do some pumping and supplementing while you're working to transition your LO to the breast, but that's not the worst price to pay for actually having him at the breast.

    This link has some good suggestions for getting a reluctant nurser going: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/
    q
    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 Bottle to Breast - help!

    I would try a nipple shield first. If that doesn't work, then I would give a little expressed milk via a bottle and then always, always finish at the breast. If you keep trying and finishing at the breast, you have a much better chance of getting to EBF in the end.

    Don't watch the clock either

    I did end up cold turkeying it to get my oldest to nurse. He survived. Horrible advice from my ped is what got me into that situation. Doctors know virtually nothing about breastfeeding.
    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 2012
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: From Bottle to Breast - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Doctors know virtually nothing about breastfeeding.
    Desmond Ringo Payton [5.31.12|8 lb 14 oz|22 in.|blonde|blue|beautiful|BACK TO BREAST 6.25.12]

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