Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Will our 4 week old ever "get it" after so many bottles?

  1. #1

    Default Will our 4 week old ever "get it" after so many bottles?

    I've already learned so much by reading through the forums and I hope you great mamas can help me out now! For a little background, I wasn't allowed to breastfeed our first son (long story due to a medication mix up) and was naive enough to think I could just magically start nursing once we got home. No such luck, he wanted nothing to do with it. I'm sure looking back I could have tried much harder but hindsight is 20/20 right? I pumped for 8 months for him, though I never produced enough for him to get more than 50% of his daily nutrition from BM.

    Our second son was born about a month ago. It took some help fromthe nurses but he did latch on after birth. After that though it was a bit of a struggle. I'm very well endowed and my nipples aren't huge or protrude that much, though I don't think they're flat. The nurses all told me i had the "goods" now it was up to him to learn. I could hardly ever get him to latch on for more than 5 minutes the first day and a half. Then he was admitted to the NICU where he stayed for 3 weeks. He needed to wean off a medication I take. And of course he received bottles. He continued to fight nursing there, when one of the nurses (who's training to be a LC) gave me a nipple shield and it made a world of difference. However, i was lucky to be able to get to the hospital to nurse more than 1-2 times per day. He pretty much always latched on but never got much from me.

    I've been pumping since day 2, around the clock,and already have a freezer stash of 350oz not counting the fresh milk he gets. I put him to the breast (with the shield) severaltimes per day but he struggles. Fusses a lot, pops on and off, doesn't always take enough in. Sometimes won't suckat all without me dripping in some BM from a bottle or whatever. Often falls asleep or just hangs out with me in his mouth. He's def. getting milk but nowhere near enough. I have an SNS but it is a huge hassle to get up and he hates it without the shield. He wants nothing to do with nursing without the shield either.

    Part of me wants to throw in the towel and just pump, part of me wants to go full force and get him EBF, and then another part of me is just happy that he DOES nurse, albeit just a little. I'm clueless as to where to go from here, how to get him off the shield, how to get himto actually take a full feed from me,etc. I tried just nursing right after he came home but only pumping 3-4 times a day my supply started to tank and I got super engorged and in major pain. I've read all the articles but everything seems to either not work or is a huge battle. I know this won't be easy but am just lost as to thebest way to go about this. Will it just "click" one day if I keep offering? Thank you so much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Will our 4 week old ever "get it" after so many bottles?

    I know a lot of mamas will have more detailed advice, but my first thought is trying a nurse in with lots of skin to skin time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Will our 4 week old ever "get it" after so many bottles?

    My daughter spent the first week in the NICU and I had to pump and deal with her getting a pacifier and bottle (my pumped milk) and a nipple shield since we couldn't get a good latch. We had some of the same difficulties you had (fussiness, falling asleep), though she got enough from just the shield. We weaned naturally off the shield after about a week at home... I started offering her the easiest breast without the shield first or (more commonly) I would start with the shield and then quickly pop it off and her back on. She eventually got the drift. It got a lot better during the day first, then she got good at one breast at night, and finally she just sort of magically weaned herself. She wouldn't take the shield at all and that's where we've been since.

    It sounds like you have a little more difficulty that an LC might be able to help more with (including why he's not getting enough even with the shield), but you can absolutely get him off the shield at four weeks. I think my daughter was finally fully off it by three and a half weeks. I would just keep offering. But other more experienced LLL ladies may have more detailed advice for the other issues you're having. And if I'm doing the math right, he's only been home for a week, right? It can take a while for them to get used to having mom around and not getting bottles and so on. I would give him a week or two to get used to things (making sure he's getting enough, obviously) before you start seriously worrying.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Will our 4 week old ever "get it" after so many bottles?

    (And to support what the PP said, I slept with her on my chest for those first weeks home so she got lots of skin to skin and "mom time". I think it helped.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: Will our 4 week old ever "get it" after so many bottles?

    First if your goal is to ebf I think that is very very possible. It sounds as if u have brought in a good milk supply and your baby can latch (even if only with the shield that is a step in the right direction.)

    I strongly urge you to find a local source of continuing support such as a LLL leader or and IBC LC.
    Also I am confused why you think your milk supply tanked if you were getting engorged the two don't usually go together.
    I mean constant engorgement harms milk supply but if you are getting engorged that suggests that you are making quite a bit of milk.
    Also how do you know your baby is not getting enough at the breast?
    I suggest that every time your baby nurses let baby nurse as long or short as he will. Encourage baby to nurse as much as he likes. When supplements are given give a small amount of supplement and then let baby finish up the breast. Thesways to encourage baby to nurse more at the breast.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: Will our 4 week old ever "get it" after so many bottles?

    continuing-

    Remember a baby this age would normaly be nursing at least 10-12 times a day. that is the minimum! And at this age a newborn requires around 20-25 ounces per day. Some more, some less, and it will typically increase to somewhere between 25-35 ounces by 6 weeks and stay in that general area from then on.

    but this does not mean that at every feeding baby must take in 2 ounces or three ounces or whatever. Intake would normally vary somewhat from feed to feed. plus babies nurse for comfort & connection as well as food and that is a vital part of the breastfeeding picture.

    Also the more frequently baby nurses ( or mom pumps if needed) the better for both overall intake and milk prduction.

    When you are on the pumping/supplement/trying to nurse treadmill, it is very overwhelming. It's important to find a path off, and that path may be different for each nursing pair. But understanding how milk production works and how to tell a baby is getting 'enough' overall may help. Then you craft your solution from there, with the help of someone knowledgable to support you.

    As far as weaning off the sheilds go, you can keep trying that as you try to wean from supplementing and pumping, or you can wait and work on that after baby is nursing exclusively at the breast. Although some moms do need to pump while using sheilds for milk production reasons.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Will our 4 week old ever "get it" after so many bottles?

    Thank you so much!

    I've been trying with the SNS more lately and he stays on much better, but still for only a few minutes if I'm lucky. When he does the pop on/off thing he often pushes at my breast and throws his head back. And screams like crazy.

    I'm almost more scared to just let him nurse all day long, even if its just for 1-2 minutes a time like he's been doing. I'm petrified that if I don't pump I'll lose my great supply and then if he doesn't catch on I'd be screwed. I only have about 10 days worth of frozen milk, even though almost 400oz sounds like a lot.

    I'm going to call the hospital and see if I can set something up with one of the LCs and also call one of our LLL leaders tomorrow.

    Oh, after he nurses (and typically will only do so on the right side i forgot to mention) he sounds like he's getting a decent amount in those short few minutes but then will do the screaming fit I described above but continues to root, cry, and suck on his hands. He'll happily take a bottle, though he has trouble with those as well. Has lots of stryder (that gasping sound) and it almost seems like its coming too fast for him. Preemie nipples have made a difference there somewhat. I do hae some Calma bottles and Tommee Tippee, should I switch to those?

    He will be 5 weeks old tomorrow and will have been home since the day he turned 3 weeks old.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: Will our 4 week old ever "get it" after so many bottles?

    in general it is suggested to use the lowest flow nipple that baby is able to ectract milk from. I also suggest use paced bottle feeding techniques, these help baby have more control over the flow and are more supportive of breastfeeding. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    I cannot comment on individual brands, different people have thier preferences. i did once hear that the tommy tippee bottle has to be almost totally upside down for milk to come out so baby needs to be almost prone, which, if that is true, i would not suggest.

    Oh, after he nurses (and typically will only do so on the right side i forgot to mention) he sounds like he's getting a decent amount in those short few minutes but then will do the screaming fit I described above but continues to root, cry, and suck on his hands.
    this describes entirely normal newborn behavior, even the sceaming to some extent. i am not saying it does not ever indicate a problem, but babies who are nursing at the breast just fine may do the same things. babies tend to fuss and cry, and this can happen at the breast or off. what happens if you offer to nurse again instead of the bottle? or offer some other comforting techniques and try again a few minutes later?

    I'm almost more scared to just let him nurse all day long, even if its just for 1-2 minutes a time like he's been doing. I'm petrified that if I don't pump I'll lose my great supply and then if he doesn't catch on I'd be screwed. I only have about 10 days worth of frozen milk, even though almost 400oz sounds like a lot.
    this is entirly understandable. but assuming the issue is that baby is capable of nursing but has gotten used to bottles, then baby needs to learn to nurse. And you need to learn what is normal and ok when nursing. and this learning happens by nursing. while you are figuring out if and how to get baby nursing well, it is prudent to continue to pump.

    you have an older child so time is a big issue. but once your baby is able to nurse exclusively, that will simplify your life so much...it will not only be much simpler than what you are doing now, it will be simpler than eping or formula would be.
    i suggest- get as much help as you can with your older child and other responsibilities.
    don't try to nurse on any particular scedule. cue feed, as much as possible at earliest cues. if the sns is slowing down getting baby to the breast, try other instant reward methods maybe.
    you also need not pump on any particular scedule if that is not working for you. see this pump chart http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...umpigchart.pdf

    and this article for instant reward techniques http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    fussing crying during nursing-ideas http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/chil...while-nursing/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •