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Thread: Bottle to breast-how do I tell?

  1. #1

    Question Bottle to breast-how do I tell?

    I have a 26 weeker who reached term 2 weeks ago. He has no serious health problems and his weight gain is good. He was on an enriched breast milk but our pediatrician said we can stop giving it to him. Up to now, I've breast fed him during the day to help keep my supply up and I wasn't worried about how much he was taking in, only about latching and getting his sucking strength up. However, now that I can give up the pump a few problems have surfaced and I'm at a loss.
    His latch has become shallow and when we do get a deep latch he pulls off immediately gagging....
    I have soft breasts. So I'm never sure if he's emptied them or not and he does still tire out very quickly.
    At the minute, I'm rotating the feeds because I'm not sure if he's getting enough. So 1 feed from the bottle, the next only from the breast. He takes about 3 and a half ozs from the bottle and sleeps for 2-2.5 hours after. On the feeds from the breast only, it can take him half an hour to feed for 10 minutes. He goes on and off the breast. He cries for no reason. I check if he has wind and calm him down. And he has the shallow latch making it painful for me too. He then sleeps for less than an hour before waking up and looking for more. He also cluster feeds in the evening at around 4-5pm. There are magical times when he latches on, feeds for 20 minutes or so and then falls asleep.
    This is my first child. I live in a country where breastfeeding is the norm but support is next to nothing. It's supposed to be natural and shouldn't be problematic.
    Any advice, tips, information would be wonderful. I'm very close to giving up. It's hard work keeping the supply up. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Bottle to breast-how do I tell?

    Unfortunately when feeding from the breast there is no magic number or amount. It's very possible that when feeding at the breast on his own he would never take 3.5 oz and is doing so with the bottle because it's less work and the milk is dripping into his mouth and there fore he needs to swallow. And if he is in fact overeating when bottle fed, the could contribute to the longer sleep times. When you feed on demand,you feed on demand. Especially if your baby is just now this minute, reaching term. Your child's stomach is the size of a grape. It's totally normal for a new born to eat 8-12 times in a 24 hour period of time. Because they can hold very little milk and it's all getting absorbed so quickly. Also in the beginning, (Which is technically where you are) they are working to get your milk to come in. And when they hit growth spurts they also are on the breast non stop for 3-5 days to increase your supply. That is what demand feeding looks like. The baby, if allowed to make the demands of your body gets you to produce the right amount of milk. And IT IS exhausting and overwhelming in the beginning. Most of us, who are successful at breastfeeding spend the majority of the 1st 8-12weeks on the couch in our PJs nursing most of the days away. That is just how it is. It's not problematic if you accept that. If you wake up with the goals of feeding the baby. Anything else that happens that is productive is a bonus. But in the early weeks you aren't failing if you don't get the house clean or ask your partner to bring home take out. Cluster feeding during the witching hour also normal. And the usual benefit of that is at least one 3-4 hour sleeping block in the evening.
    My advice is to have what we call a nurse in next weekend. Which is on the 2 days that you have additional support take the baby to bed, and spend the majority of the two days skin to skin in bed with the baby. Have your partner bring you food and take the baby to change diapers. And just have the baby focus on eating whenever he wants and resting as often as he wants. So you get an idea of what his actual nursing patterns look like without half his feeds being 3.5 oz which is quite a lot to take in at one time for a new born.

    Way too lazy for formula

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