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Thread: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confusion

  1. #1
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    Default Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confusion

    I am due at the end of March and plan to breastfeed while on maternity leave, but im worried about nipple confusion when i go back to work/school. Id like to breastfeed her when I am home and she use the bottle while with the DCP, but dont know how she would react. Any advice??

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confu

    Congrats on your pregnancy! How long is your maternity leave?

    Try not to be nervous. It is one of those things that is an issue for some babies/moms and not an issue for others.

    My baby was supplemented with a bottle for the first month of her life. This is of course not recommended under normal circumstances, but she had an infection in her first week of life that landed her in the NICU and slowed her initial birthweight recovery/gain and impacted my milk production. So during her first month, while I was working to get my milk supply to normal levels and she was working on gaining weight, we we nursed AND bottlefed for every feeding. After it was all sorted out, we went to exclusively breastfeeding (ZERO bottles) with absolutely no trouble for a few months. Then I went back to work and she currently takes two bottles a day and loves to nurse whenever we're together.

    This is all just to say that we gave her every possible opportunity to become "nipple confused" and she didn't bat an eyelash. Some babies refuse to take a bottle, some babies refuse to nurse after they realize how easy bottles are, but lots of babies have no issues going between breast and bottle.

    Definitely follow the recommendations to avoid nipple confusion by avoiding artificial nipples until you've established breastfeeding, and when you do introduce bottles, use a slow-flow nipple with a wide base. Most likely, it will all work out beautifully!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confu

    Welcome to the forum! That's great that you are planning to breastfeed!

    The general guideline is to offer the baby breast only (no bottles, no pacifiers) for at least four weeks. This is to avoid nipple confusion and to avoid baby preferring to drink out of a bottle, which is easier than drinking from the breast. Once you have established a good breastfeeding relationship, then you can start offering expressed breastmilk in a bottle somewhere in the 4-6 week timeframe. Most babies do fine switching between nursing with mom at home and a bottle at daycare.

    Definitely feel free to keep posting questions as they arise!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confu

    Thanks, great advice! My other concern was when i go back to school being able to pump. The program is 8a-4p mon-fri and i do clinicals for nearly half of the program (program is 10 months long) and i doubt we will have many breaks or long enough ones to pump. And the campus isnt close enough to home to do it either.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confu

    You should talk to your professors in advance. They may be able to help you out. Also, you can pump in your car if it comes to it, and I assume that you will have some sort of lunch break.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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    Default Re: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confu

    I was also going to suggest talking to your professors ahead of time and getting some kind of pumping schedule worked out before you get back from maternity leave. How old will baby be when you go back to school?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confu

    I plan on taking 6 weeks before going to work and class starts end of august so she would be 5 months old. My clinicals are at a hospital too so idk how that will work. I figured i could work something out while at school but idk about at the clinical site.

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    Default Re: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confu

    A lot of hospitals have lactation rooms so it might be just a matter of working out your schedule to fit in some time. Depending on your milk supply, by 5 months you may be able to get away with just doing 2 pumping sessions per day and fit in a third (if needed) outside of school hours.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confu

    Good to know. I guess as the time gets closer ill talk to the professors and see what they have to say about the clinicals. Im sure im not the first momma to be pumping..or at least i would hope i wasnt! Thanks for all the advice! =]

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Expecting first and nervous about BFing and nipple confu

    Another thing you can do is become adept at using a hands-free pumping setup. Some pumps have a hands-free setup, or you can get a bra/camisole designed for this, or make your own (take a snug-fitting cami and cut holes out of it). That way, if your pumping time is limited, you can multi-task, for example, eat your lunch while pumping or chart while pumping (I've done both!). I agree with still.here that you should look into what facilities the hospital has. They may even have hospital-grade pumps available which can make the process more efficient as well. But definitely talk to the professors as well.

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