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Thread: After bottle feeding, baby won't latch

  1. #1

    Default After bottle feeding, baby won't latch

    Im a first time mommy and after being discharged from the hospital 3 weeks ago I was told by the pediatrician that my baby had lost too much weight and I therefore needed to pump and supplement. I was pumping exclusively for 2 weeks and after her check up her weight gain is appropriate. I have been having trouble with my production within this past week and spoke to a friend who stated that I needed to nurse my baby in order to make more milk. Upon trying to get my 3 week old to take to the breast again she cried and screamed and refused to latch on. I do not like supplementing her with formula but she would not latch on at any attempt. I became upset and eventually gave in and my mother bottle fed her formula while I pumped, feeling rejected and defeated. When I'm pumping I can get anywhere between 3-6 oz. but if I'm pumping every 2-3 hours my output is on the lower side between 2-3 oz. Any tips to try and get her to latch again?! She had absolutely no problem while I was in the hospital. Everyone told me how hard breastfeeding was going to be and that I needed to stick it out! I don't want to have to give her formula and I would love it if she took to the breast again! Thanks in advanced.

    -Feeling rejected 1st time mommy!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,626

    Default Re: After bottle feeding, baby won't latch

    I'm sorry you're feeling rejected - babies are smart and like faster flow so it's hard to compete with a bottle but try not to take it personally hard though it may be.

    I am so confused though, why you're supplementing with formula when your pumping output sounds quite good. Babies don't typically need more than 24 oz in 24 hrs. My 12 week olds only take 22 oz in 24 hrs.

    Kellymom has a great site, great info on getting baby back to breast - http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/
    If you do bottle feed, why isn't baby getting your baby getting your pumped milk in a bottle? How much formula are you giving a day? What has wt gain and loss pattern looked like? I am so sorry your ped told you to pump and bottle to get your child to gain wt, that is really not good or breastfeeding friendly advice. if you *ever* need to supplement, I would highly encourage you to use an at-breast supplementer such as an SNS or lactation aid so baby doesn't decide to prefer the bottle's flow or mess up latch by being on the bottle. I didn't know that with my first baby but now I'm doing it with my twins and it's been a huge huge help.

    Kelly mom again has a good article on decreasing formula supplementation -

    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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

    Default Re: After bottle feeding, baby won't latch

    Very much with the PP. Do take a look at her links! They tell you pretty much everything you need to do to get baby back on the breast and ditch the formula. The instant reward and skin-to-skin techniques are do said to be especially helpful. I forget if kellymom addresses nipple shields or not, but if she doesn't then you might want to consider using one- they are very good for getting reluctant latchers to go back to the breast.

    I just want to address pumping. A lot of moms think that they have to let milk "build up" in the breast before they can pump it out. And experience will seem to bear that out- if you pump every 3-4 hours you'll get more milk than if you pump every 2-3 hours. The tricky thing is that this only works at first! As time goes on, you will find that longer intervals between pumping sessions will yield less milk. Basically, it is far better to pump more often, even if you get less milk, than to wait and pump out a lot more milk. Your body interprets frequent stimulation to and milk removal from the breast as a cue to make more milk, and long intervals between stimulation/milk removal events as a cue to make less.
    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
    Jun 2009
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    5,336

    Default Re: After bottle feeding, baby won't latch

    Great ideas from krystine and mommal.

    This is very early days and this absolutely can be turned around. But the longer you keep going in this pattern, the harder it will be.

    Your friend is only half correct. You do not need to nurse to make more milk. Milk must be removed frequently from the breasts to make more milk. Frequently. Like, 8-10 times a 24 hour day at least.

    A well nursing baby will do this better than a pump. This is where your friend is right. and of course, nursing is easier/faster than pumping and then supplementing. However, if/when baby will NOT nurse, you have to pump, with a very good pump. Frequently, at least 8 times a 24 hour day if you can. You can also try hand expression and breast compressions along with pumping. But the output per pump session is besides the point. A nursing 3 week old gets between 1-3 ounces at a time, and nurses at least 10 times a day. So your output as far as pumping goes sounds normal or even high to me.

    Try gently encouraging baby to nurse as in all the suggestions in the kellymom article linked above. Keep trying, what does not work today might work tomorrow. It might take time and effort. Your baby is not rejecting you and does not prefer bottle! Due to the medical advice you were given, baby has unfortunately been trained to eat with a bottle instead of at the breast. So now it is important to help baby get back to following his instinctual need to suckle at the breast.

    While weaning off bottles, make sure you are bottle feeding in a breastfeeding supportive way. This means, feed baby frequently, small amounts and in the manner described here: (Ignore what she says about timing feeds in the video- Your baby should be fed frequently, ON CUE.) -bottle feeding the breastfed baby:
    Information sheet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs
    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs

    Is there local LLL near you? You can call and talk to a Leader, attend a meeting- Can you see an IBCLC? I strongly suggest, do not wait, if baby continues to refuse to nurse, get hands on help ASAP.

    If you cannot reach a Leader in your area please feel welcome to pm me if you like and I will get my number to you and we can talk.

  5. #5

    Default Re: After bottle feeding, baby won't latch

    Thank you all so much! I did find a meeting location near me so I am going to the next meeting! Initially she was born 7lb 4oz when we left the hosp she was 6lb 12oz. I had to have an unplanned c section n the ode suggested pumping because my milk had not come in yet. I've been having to supplement at times not often when my supply can't keep up with baby's tummy. My output had been good initially but I have since started producing less. I'm looking forward to my meeting hopefully I can get this turned around, if not I will just have to pump and pump as much as possible. I was thinking of trying a nipple shield?! Any ideas on that? I attempted to nurse her again today she roots and nuzzles but no latch. She then gets frustrated which makes me sad but u will check out the link and try my best! Again thank you all so much!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,865

    Default Re: After bottle feeding, baby won't latch

    If a shield helps baby to latch, then it's worth using. There are drawbacks to shields, but at this point it's more important to get the baby onto the breast than to worry about what might happen with the shield.
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,336

    Default Re: After bottle feeding, baby won't latch

    I agreee with mommal about the sheilds. They are inexpensive so worth a try (you only need one) and If that is the only way baby will nurse at the breast right now, they are certainly worth using. However, since baby latched and nursed in the first few days, it does not sound as if baby actually needs a shield to latch.

    BTW weight loss of at least 5-7% and sometimes as much as 10% of birth weight is often considered normal in the first few days after birth especially after a c-section for many reasons.

    Have you called your local Leader? Of course go to the meeting I just want to make sure you get help asap.

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