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Thread: Getting Exclusively Bottle Fed To Nurse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    106

    Question Getting Exclusively Bottle Fed To Nurse

    I have been exclusively pumping for about 7 weeks, my son is 10 weeks. We have been working hard to learn to nurse, and trying to get around nipple confusion. I have been able to get baby to latch some and nurse, but I have a hard time getting him to open wide. I have been using the Kassing method of bottle feeding to reinforce breastfeeding, and baby seems to get it that he has to open wide to take the bottle nipple, but doesn't seem to quite get the idea at the breast yet.
    Anyone start nursing this late in the game? Any good advice for improving latch now?
    HeatherZ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Getting Exclusively Bottle Fed To Nurse

    Hi,
    I'm not familiar with the Kassing method, but I pumped almost exclusively for the first 7.5 weeks of my son's life and getting him to the breast was an extremely difficult, frustrating, agonizing process. I don't know if it helped, but I used to say "open" and open my mouth to show him. I'd do this several times, then put him on the breast. If he didn't latch, I did it again, then put him to the breast. If he got frustrated, I stopped and gave him a bottle. Eventually he understood that he had to open wide to latch. I also got my DH to do as many of the bottle feedings as possible. This wasn't always feasible since he was working, but for all the ones where DH was present, he gave DS the bottle. And then I took DS to a LLL meeting and had to give him a bottle of breast milk there. This was the last day I had to give him a bottle. He latched after that meeting, took one last bottle that afternoon, then latched consistently enough that I stopped giving him a bottle (which was scary all confidence I might have had in my ability to instinctively feed my baby was shattered and I couldn't tell if he'd ever gotten enough from the breast. But I kept taking him to the breast after that since he was latching, and not offering the bottle anymore. I probably fed him more frequently than with the bottle because he wasn't as efficient at it, but he certainly has it down now!). Being at the LLL meeting, it was as though seeing all the breastfeeding babies in the room did something for him and he wanted to be like them. Who knows?

    But hang in there - patience really did serve me well. DS will be 11 months next week and he has been a champion breast feeder since he was 7.5 weeks old.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Getting Exclusively Bottle Fed To Nurse

    your baby is very young!
    theres much hope you can coax them back to the breast.

    Lots of skin to skin contact will help both for you and baby.

    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/back.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Getting Exclusively Bottle Fed To Nurse

    Thank you so much for the reply. I am trying so hard at this! If I could just get him to open wide enough he would be fine. Yesterday he did latch on twice, maybe not quite perfectly, but nursed for quite a while, but it took three attempts because he kept going to sleep! While ago he fought sleep and was very fusssy. I managed to get him latched. He swallowed about three mouthfuls and was out. Do you have any ideas on how to ease into this? After he nurses I usually pump because I have SO much milk, but if he is going to be hungry an hour later I won't be able to nurse. Plus, he seems to not be able to latch well on the left side so I mainly am using the right side until he gets the hang of it. My left side might explode! I really do appreciate your comments, I feel like the only one in my position.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Getting Exclusively Bottle Fed To Nurse

    Quote Originally Posted by HeatherZ View Post
    After he nurses I usually pump because I have SO much milk, but if he is going to be hungry an hour later I won't be able to nurse.
    You should be able to nurse him, even after you just pumped. It is a common misconception that the pump completely empties the breast, but back in the day when I used to pump to build up a freezer stash I would do it when LO was sleeping. Sometimes he would wake up right after and I would put him to the breast with no problem. Sometimes he would have to work a little harder to get a let down though.

    But congrats on getting him back to the breast . The fact that he is latching is a terrific sign! Keep doing what your doing! You can also try tickling his feet or undressing him while nursing to keep him awake. Good luck and keep coming back here for support. There are plenty of other women who have already been through what you have!
    Loving mama to S - 11/06, and F - 1/09

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