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Thread: transition from bottle to breast not working

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default transition from bottle to breast not working

    My baby spent most of her first week in the neonatal intensive care, where she was bottle fed exclusively. We were able to bring her home and I am trying to gently transition her to breastfeeding, but it is not going well. I only pump about 1 oz after a 20 minute session, so I dont havemuch breast milk to give her in a bottle, and when I put her on the breast, she falls asleep after five minutes of sucking but then wakes up and acts extremely hungry a few minutes later. Her latch-on seems okay...does anyone have advice or ideas about how to increase her success at my breast?? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: transition from bottle to breast not working

    Quote Originally Posted by sarahelena View Post
    My baby spent most of her first week in the neonatal intensive care, where she was bottle fed exclusively. We were able to bring her home and I am trying to gently transition her to breastfeeding, but it is not going well. I only pump about 1 oz after a 20 minute session, so I dont havemuch breast milk to give her in a bottle, and when I put her on the breast, she falls asleep after five minutes of sucking but then wakes up and acts extremely hungry a few minutes later. Her latch-on seems okay...does anyone have advice or ideas about how to increase her success at my breast?? Thanks!!

    That about sums it up for us as well. First week in nicu, bottlefed exclusively. For the first two weeks dw could only pump about 15 ml's or so. LO also falls asleep pretty quickly. This is what we do..

    BF, baby falls asleep. Change diaper - baby wakes up, BF again, keep going until you give up . You can squeeze your breast to see that milk still comes out. In the beginning we pumped whatever we could afterwards and would also top LO off with a formula or pumped breast milk. Over time (we are in our 4th week now) we have reduced the formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: transition from bottle to breast not working

    Quote Originally Posted by NewFather View Post
    This is what we do..
    BF, baby falls asleep. Change diaper - baby wakes up, BF again, keep going until you give up . You can squeeze your breast to see that milk still comes out. In the beginning we pumped whatever we could afterwards and would also top LO off with a formula or pumped breast milk. Over time (we are in our 4th week now) we have reduced the formula
    Thanks for the words of wisdom--glad to hear you are able to reduce the formula after four weeks. I will try changing her in between breasts to see if she wakes up a bit. I'm trying to pump frequently to increase my milk supply, but I'm not sure how to get her to really suck and not just use the breast as a pacifier. Good luck and thanks again....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    282

    Default Re: transition from bottle to breast not working

    One of my boys preferred the bottle over breast (my twins were 6 weeks premature) Here are a few things that got him to take the breast:

    -LOTS of skin to skin contact. You with no shirt and baby with just diaper
    -Pump one side, then when let down occurs on the other breast put him on.
    -Put some EBM on your nipple to entice her

    Also, it may take til your baby's original due date to get the hang of bf'ing.

    I would just keep on nursing as much as you can. The more you nurse, the more you'll make..
    Celeste
    Mommy to:
    Kalynn 8/12/02
    Ronin and Ryker 10/9/2006

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    2,866

    Default Re: transition from bottle to breast not working



    Could you try hand expressing a little before nursing just to get the flow going?

    I would suggest breast compressions to keep baby actively nursing longer. Here's a page with instructions and a link to videos:
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html

    You could try hand expressing after baby nurses and offering that supplement via cup or spoon. Here's a video that shows you how:
    http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...xpression.html

    Do you have any support? Are you seeing an IBCLC? Are you in touch with your local LLL Leader?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    29

    Default Re: transition from bottle to breast not working

    Thank you, those suggestions are helpful. I will try to get the flow going a bit before bf'ing--I've been "saving it all" for baby, but she might be more successful if it was easier at the beginning.

    And my big dilemma at this point is my diminishing milk throughout the day--early a.m. I can pump 4 oz, then next pumping is 2 oz, then just 1 oz at at time until sleep. So I'm producing maybe half of what she needs at this point, and the second half of the day she gets almost entirely formula.

    And no, I have not connected with a LC yet...I called the local LLL number and got a msg that said to try the national 800 number if I had questions, so that' what led me to these forums, which have provided lots of good info!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,421

    Default Re: transition from bottle to breast not working

    There are two problems for bringing baby back to breast.

    1. Encouraging baby to latch on and nurse
    2. Increasing supply

    I don't know much about the first one. But I know plenty about increasing supply.

    *Offer your baby breast first. Then bottle feed. Then pump 10 minutes on each side - even when you aren't collecting any milk.

    *Make sure to nurse or pump at least 10 - 12 times per day. (Every 2 hours). You can cluster these at night to get more milk. So every 3 hours during the day and every hour at night.

    *Get all the help you need around the house. Forget about housework. Put yourself and baby on "bedrest." Keep snacks, drinks, dipes, pump, formula and bottles right there. Cuddle with your baby and nurse as frequently as possible. Strip baby down to a diaper and cuddle skin-to-skin.

    You CAN do this! Trust your body.

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