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Thread: Help. Baby rejecting breast for bottle.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    50

    Unhappy Help. Baby rejecting breast for bottle.

    Mya is a little over 5 weeks old. I will be going back to work in mid May and so at 3 weeks of age we introduced a bottle to her. We used the one with the Soothie nipple because she had been using a Soothie paci since the age of 1 week and the transition was seamless. Only Daddy and her grandmas have given her a bottle, I have only breastfed her. Typically she gets only one to two bottles each day and breastfeeds for all the rest of her meals. But since yesterday evening, she has been rejecting my breast. Becomming angry instead of latching, obviously hungry, but even when she does latch she cries as she drinks, and after only several sucks stops and cries in anger again. To test the theory, DH offered her a bottle this morning when she was in the middle of these antics, and she took it happily and ate a full meal for the first time since yesterday evening. I am so sad. I am not ready to stop breastfeeding, even if she is. She is drinking my pumped breastmilk, so I'm not concerned about nutrition. This is purely motherly greed. I love and want to feed her directly from my breast... there is nothing to compare to the loving, nurturing, special way it feels.

    Is it possible, (without eliminating the bottle altogether), to convince her not to reject me? I mean, can I out stubborn her, or would it just be cruel to have her keep being so hungry?

    Please, please help. I think we've already re-inforced her prefrence by giving her the "test" bottle this morning. And I can't stop crying.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Help. Baby rejecting breast for bottle.

    Oh, sweetie! My heart goes out to you.

    First, I just have to address something: Your desire to nurse her is NOT just "motherly greed." Nursing at the breast is the best way to get the full benefits of breastmilk. Exclusively pumping is SO much more work than breastfeeding -- very few mothers can sustain that level of effort for the full year that is the minimum recommended time period for a baby to get breastmilk. And many mothers who are willing to put in the work find over time that they simply can't keep up with demand via the pump -- pumps are inferior to babies when it comes to stimulating milk supply.

    Another consideration is the antibodies in your milk. When a baby nurses, s/he directly exposes her mother to whatever germs are in the baby's system, and literally within hours, the right antibodies show up in mom's milk. If baby isn't nursing, then this delicate and miraculous process doesn't work as well.

    I will also mention that no bottle or nipple provides the skin-to-skin contact of nursing, and that this is something that every baby needs as well.

    So don't you dare feel selfish for wanting to sustain your nursing relationship as her primary form of nourishment. This is for her own good!

    I hate that you only have an 8-week maternity leave. That's the real "bad guy" here, not your well-meaning and careful attempts to introduce a bottle that she would accept.

    OK, here's my advice. Mid-May is a long way off in baby terms. No more bottles until the day you go back to work. Ditch the pacifier, too, if you possibly can. If she wants to suck, and if she wants milk, it's gotta be momma. If she's irate, let her suck on your clean pinky finger, or your knuckle. Starting immediately, right now today, drop everything and hold your baby, kangaroo care her, lots of skin-to-skin time, take a warm bath together, sling her when you have to get up and do stuff. Sleep with her, with breasts easily accessible.

    Hopefully she will go back to the breast fairly quickly. But if it takes a while and she's getting dehydrated, then by all means feed her your EBM -- but not with a bottle. Use a syringe, an eye dropper, a small cup, a supplemental nursing system, anything but those artificial nipples.

    Trust me -- she is NOT ready to stop breastfeeding. She's just confused and doesn't understand what she's losing.

    Hang in there and let us know how you guys are doing.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Help. Baby rejecting breast for bottle.

    Is this the only way? My DH will be devastated. He treasures the ability to give his daughter a bottle each evening while I catch up on some much needed sleep. Yesterday was different in that due to two dr. appointments, my Mom had to give her 2 bottles plus the 1 from DH at night.. When we were doing only the one at night, it seemed to be working out ok... Do you think maybe we could eliminate the bottle for a few days then go back to just the ONE feeding at night? I'm not sure DH would agree to give up his feeding completely... feeding is bonding for the two of them as well after all...
    Oddly, I don't know if I mentioned this, but her 2 middle of the night feedings went just fine, with no complaints from Mya at all. And this gives me some hope that she may not decide that it has to be one or the other. yet....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Help. Baby rejecting breast for bottle.

    Hey, there is rarely only ONE way to go about solving any problem. Do what you think will work best for your family and your situation, and see how it works out.

    If your husband is anxious about losing that bonding time with his daughter, though, I would reassure him that there are many, many ways he can bond that don't involve bottles. My DH wasn't experienced with the whole breastfeeding thing (his first wife had weaned their son at 8 weeks), but he was very comfortable with bathing our baby, and that became their special time together (and still is, I might add, long after my son's weaning.)

    Either way, tonight is several feedings away. See if you can get her to nurse well today, and cross tonight's bridge when you get there.

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Help. Baby rejecting breast for bottle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobindy1
    Mya is a little over 5 weeks old. I will be going back to work in mid May and so at 3 weeks of age we introduced a bottle to her. We used the one with the Soothie nipple because she had been using a Soothie paci since the age of 1 week and the transition was seamless. Only Daddy and her grandmas have given her a bottle, I have only breastfed her. Typically she gets only one to two bottles each day and breastfeeds for all the rest of her meals. But since yesterday evening, she has been rejecting my breast. Becomming angry instead of latching, obviously hungry, but even when she does latch she cries as she drinks, and after only several sucks stops and cries in anger again. To test the theory, DH offered her a bottle this morning when she was in the middle of these antics, and she took it happily and ate a full meal for the first time since yesterday evening. I am so sad. I am not ready to stop breastfeeding, even if she is. She is drinking my pumped breastmilk, so I'm not concerned about nutrition. This is purely motherly greed. I love and want to feed her directly from my breast... there is nothing to compare to the loving, nurturing, special way it feels.

    Is it possible, (without eliminating the bottle altogether), to convince her not to reject me? I mean, can I out stubborn her, or would it just be cruel to have her keep being so hungry?

    Please, please help. I think we've already re-inforced her prefrence by giving her the "test" bottle this morning. And I can't stop crying.

    Mine did this when I had overactive letdown (OALD). Check some of the posts on that topic by using the search option on the top of the screen, to see whether you and your baby fit the other indicators. It might just be simple nipple confusion, but it could be OALD since pumping sometimes increases supply. (sometimes it decreases supply, so I don't want to jump to conclusions, but just read up on OALD and see if it seems to fit your situation.) Wish I could explain better, but I'm typing w/ baby right now...

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