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Thread: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2014
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    Question 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    I've been exclusive pumping and bottle feeding my son since week1 due to sore nipple(left) and flat nipple (right). My milk came in on second day and so far it's enough for him. I was exhausted and desperate to feed him back then that's why we decided to bottle feed and pump. I wasn't told that pumping will be even more exhausting than breastfeeding.

    After a week or so I decided to have him on my breasts but haven't had much luck so far. He loves the fast flow of the bottle too much. We were using medela calma teat and changed to avent slow flow number 1. I'm also using nipple shield for both sides.

    I offer my breasts before each feed. If I'm lucky he'll feed for 5mins and latch off when flow is slow. I tried breast compression, it doesn't work every time. One feed will take an hour or longer since I have to offer breast, he will latch off or fall asleep when flow is slow, try to wake him up, doesn't wanna go on breast again and finally I will have to offer the bottle otherwise he will cry and cry.

    I try to pump 8 times a day, every 3 hour. I get around 100ml-140ml per session from both sides, 12-15mins each.

    I've seen a LC from LLL but honestly she hasn't been much help.

    My question is is it too late for him to start breastfeeding and when can I stop topping up? It's too exhausting for me as hubby doesn't help with feeding at night due to work. So basically I'm all alone with baby till the weekend when hubby is free to help.
    Has anyone actually gone from bottle to breast successfully?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    Welcome to the forum!

    It's not too late to start nursing, but when you have a baby who has been trained to bottle-feed, there are no guarantees when it comes to getting your baby back to the breast. However, I think you have a better than usual shot at giving up bottles because your baby will latch. That is excellent, and puts you way ahead of moms whose babies have forgotten how to latch or refuse to latch at all.

    Here's what I would do:
    1. Offer the breast frequently. Offer at the beginning of feedings, when the baby is hungry. When the baby seems done with the breast, top up with the bottle, and then offer the breast again, so that the baby associates the feeling of being fed and comfortable with being at the breast rather than with finishing the bottle.
    2. Use bottles in a breastfeeding-supportive manner, see http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/
    3. Continue to pump. Yes, I know it is exhausting considering all the other work you are doing!!! But hopefully a big effort now will allow you to phase out your relationship with the pump.
    4. Keep the supplemental bottles small. I'm thinking 1-2 oz at a time. The more often the baby gets hungry, the more motivated he will be to take opportunities to nurse. It's typical for a baby this age to feed as much as 10-12 times a day or even more often.
    5. See another LC, preferably one who is an IBCLC.
    6. Talk to the IBCLC about other ways to supplement your baby, e.g, cup, syringe, supplemental nursing system.
    7. Consider renting a professional scale for home use, and ask the LC to show you how to do a weighed feed. A scale can be a useful tool when you are transitioning away from bottles, because it allows you to know whether or not your baby got sufficient milk when nursing. In other words, do you need to offer a bottle or can you just keep working on nursing?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    I tried offering a small bottle to take off his hunger but he still wouldn't go back to breasts after that. So I ended up giving him a full feed through bottle.

    I'm not sure if I should pump every 3 hour or follow his feeding schedule. He feeds on demand and sometimes it could be up to 4hour. If I wait longer than 4 hour to pump, will it affect my supply?

    Last night he was breastfeeding for 5mins and I could hear him swallowing. I assumed it was just the foremilk he was taking and it won't be full enough for him. He ended up not having a top up and fell asleep. I expected him to wake up after 30mins or so but he ended up sleeping for 3hour+ before next feed. Hopefully he will do this again and it's a good sign. Or it could be he had a big feed before that?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    to find an IBCLC
    http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3901

    Mommal's suggestions all good!

    I used a supplemental nursing system (lactation aid) which allowes supplements to be given at the breast and let you skip the bottle. They can be a pain to deal with but the whole triple feeding routine is crazy hard for any extended length of time.

    Will baby latch without the nipple shields at all?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    couple quick thoughts
    tried offering a small bottle to take off his hunger but he still wouldn't go back to breasts after that. So I ended up giving him a full feed through bottle.
    what do you mean by a full feed? Are you using paced bottle feeding positioning like described in the link mommal provided? Normal feeds are small at this age are about one to 3 ounces typically.

    One thing that can happen when baby is bottle fed is baby gets used to a very fast flow of milk and lots of milk at a feeding, which is not typical of nursing at the breast. Paced feeding may help with this, but as tclynx says, an at the breast supplementer is usually the best bet assuming it works in your situation. IF baby latches, does it still hurt?

    also, what about trying nursing first, then bottle. or bottle, nursing, more bottle...or nursing at least some of the time with no bottle. etc. The general idea is to encourage as much nursing as possible while of course also making sure baby gets enough to eat.

    I'm not sure if I should pump every 3 hour or follow his feeding schedule. He feeds on demand and sometimes it could be up to 4hour. If I wait longer than 4 hour to pump, will it affect my supply?
    When eping, what you are trying to do when pumping is to, as close as possible, mimic what a baby does. A baby this age will typically nurse at least 8 times in 24 hours. (usually more often.) So when exclusively pumping, pumping at least that often is suggested. (Some moms can drop to 6 or 7 pump sessions a day after 6 weeks assuming good milk production, even though most babies would not nurse so infrequently at that age. )

    BUT. Does this mean you must pump every such and such hours? No. That is not how a baby nurses and there is no reason to pump every such and such hours either. As long as you are pumping enough times total each day to feed your baby and not feel overly full between feedings, you can pump when it works for you. In other words, it is fine to take a 4-5 hour break from pumping about once a day probably.

    Be careful about waiting for baby to cue to nurse all the time. Cue feeding actually means, usually, is to nurse baby AT LEAST every time baby cues. Some babies may not cue often enough especially if supplementation is happening and they are not hungry for more. It is fine and often helpful to also offer to nurse as much as you like. Remember the idea when trying to get off the supplements is to nurse as often as baby will.
    I assumed it was just the foremilk he was taking and it won't be full enough for him.
    Please forget the idea that there is foremilk and hindmilk and only the latter fills a baby up. And while babies satisfaction right after nursing is a good sign, of course, how long baby 'goes' between nursing sessions is not something to make any assumptions from. IN both cases, this is simply NOT how it works. There is lots of very destructive misinformation floating around about so called foremilk and hindmilk and 99% of it is absolute nonsense. Milk is milk, and milk that comes early in a feeding can absolutely fill a baby and give baby plenty of what baby needs. As far as going a certain amount of time between feedings, this will tend to vary no matter how much baby gets each feeding. Newborn babies need to eat very frequently because that is how they are designed- they are little growing machines that have tiny fuel tanks and have to refill often.

    You have done amazing to feed your baby your milk despite all your challenges. This puts you in a very good position for being able to transition back to breastfeeding. Some babies take a long time to nurse. Keep trying and if one helper is not doing it for you, seek another.

    More links: baby back to breast ideas: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    paced bottle video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs

    lactation aids info: http://cwgenna.com/smartnothard.html and http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-LA

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    He's 6weeks 5 days old now and taking 100-140ml per feed. Is that too much for someone his age? most of the time he rejects the breasts, even if he doesn't he's only on it for 5mins.

    I find that he's more willing to stay on breasts with nipple shield on. Maybe cos it's similar to bottle teat. That's why I've been using the shield for my left nipple too which isn't flat. I understand that I might have to pump after feed with shield on but that's not my concern now as long as he's willing to feed from breast.

    I do use paced bottle feeding now but not my hubby and mum when they feed him. It does take longer to feed him and he gets tired from drinking from bottle.

    Besides breast compression, is there any other way to make milk
    Flow faster?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    Is it possible that he's so hungry that he can't wake up to feed? I was nursing him for on and off 10mins and he fell asleep.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    Fennel is supposed to help milk flow, but it's probably a case of baby just getting used to the difference at the breast. Another thought is to use an SNS or lact aid so there is a faster flow/instant reward at the breast, they have a bit of a learning curve but they can help

    Nipple shields can be a great transitional tool used correctly! I fed with a nipple shield for 4 months, it got us to where we wanted to be

    Even short feeds at the breast are good, so don't worry if it's only 5-10 minutes!

    I know you are worried about a flat nipple, but I assume baby can pull it into the shield to feed ok? Flat nipples don't necessarily prevent feeding! (And may not stay flat if you do get baby back to breast!) You can get nipple everters too if inverted nipps are an issue.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*poppy123 View Post
    Is it possible that he's so hungry that he can't wake up to feed? I was nursing him for on and off 10mins and he fell asleep.
    Babies don't always need to wake up to feed, many will latch on and eat in their sleep. Being too hungry to wake up to feed would be a baby that is terribly malnourished (loosing weight instead of gaining weight) and would be very weak and listless.

    Short feedings are not a bad thing, sometimes babies just want a little drink.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    Oh, and you definitely need to get others to help you. As in Hubby and MIL need to also use paced bottle feeding techniques when giving bottles or you will have a heck of a time getting baby back to breast.

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