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Thread: when is breastfeeding established?

  1. #1
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    Default when is breastfeeding established?

    What can I look for to know whether breastfeeding is well enough established to introduce a bottle occasionally? My son is 2 1/2 weeks old and has WAY more than regained his birthweight at his 2week well baby check up. He eats a lot and eats well, but I'm still having some sore nipple problems. I think it's because he occasionally gets ahold of the nipple, even though most of the time he latches well (eventually). The lactation consultant told me that one bad latch can hurt for days, so I think that's what it is sometimes.

    The thing is, I'd really like a break now and then and I think his father would like to feed him sometime. I'd like to occasionally be able to pump and feed him a bottle, but I don't want to interfere with the breastfeeding. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: when is breastfeeding established?

    We introduced my son at 5 weeks to a bottle. We were advised that between 4 and 8 weeks he would have established a good latch and would be feeding well, but still be open to something new. He did great at first- we were consistantly giving him a bottle a day (we wanted to make sure he would take a bottle when I went back to work). When I went back to work at 9 weeks I worked from home and only left him a few times a week, we only gave him a bottle when I couldn't be there. He clearly prefered the tap to the bottle and now that I'm a sahm he wont even take a bottle. I think if we stayed consistant, he would take a bottle much better.

    I know right now your baby probably seems to be eating all the time. THis won't last forever. Know that the less you nurse the less milk you will produce and it will affect your supply to give a bottle instead of yourself. Babies have a growth spurt at about 2-3 weeks, again at 3 mos and 6 mos. This will mean that you may feel like a human pacifier at this time and all baby will want to do is eat and sleep. I am sure that you are still recovering from birth. You must be exhausted! If you can push through this time, you will find your baby easing up on eating so much. My husband was just commenting to me yesterday at how much less it seems that our ds nurses now (he's 9 mos.) A part of me misses the time when I could just sit and nurse him (what a great excuse to veg) almost all day.

    Know also that there are many other things your dh can do to bond with the baby. We used to have dh hold our ds in the kangaroo hold (nestled against his chest skin to skin and covered with a blanket) every morning. It really seemed to comfort them both. He can wear him in a sling, bath him and change him. Dr. Sears wrote a great book called 'Becoming a Father" that give great suggestions for dad bonding with baby.

    Don't hesitate to tuck baby in bed with you while you rest or sleep. This will promote bonding for the whole family and disrupt your sleep less as baby wakes at night.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

  3. #3
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    Default Re: when is breastfeeding established?

    Thanks for the response. I don't plan to give him a bottle very often, just that there may be occasions when I have to. If I ever manage to leave the house for more than 1 hour, I may have to bring a bottle. There just isn't allways somewhere I can stop in the city to nurse. for now, just one evening off may do my poor nipples some good. I think he may be starting that growth spurt now and yes, I am still recovering. He was 9lbs 2oz and a compound presentation and I had multiple tears. Between that and my breasts, everything seems to hurt all the time! Well, maybe we'll try a little in the bottle today and maybe I'll wait another week just to feel sure. THanks for your help.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: when is breastfeeding established?

    Quote Originally Posted by pipsmom
    Thanks for the response. I don't plan to give him a bottle very often, just that there may be occasions when I have to. If I ever manage to leave the house for more than 1 hour, I may have to bring a bottle. There just isn't allways somewhere I can stop in the city to nurse. for now, just one evening off may do my poor nipples some good. I think he may be starting that growth spurt now and yes, I am still recovering. He was 9lbs 2oz and a compound presentation and I had multiple tears. Between that and my breasts, everything seems to hurt all the time! Well, maybe we'll try a little in the bottle today and maybe I'll wait another week just to feel sure. THanks for your help.
    It sounds like you feel really desperate for a break for yourself and for your breasts. I can sure understand that; it is beyond exhausting to take care of a newborn sometimes! Many babies do fine switching between bottles and breast, but other mothers have reported that the bottle caused their baby to not latch as well on the breast. We can't really predict what will happen for any individual baby, so there is a blanket recommendation to not introduce a bottle until around 4 weeks or so, but you have to do what you have to do! Many babies in the NICU have had bottles for weeks and still learned to breastfeed (probably with a little more time and patience).

    If you feel that giving that one bottle will enable you to get the break you need, you have to do what feels right for you. Being well rested is so essential for new parents. You are doing a wonderful job as a mother and it sounds like your baby is really breastfeeding well. Perhaps some fine-tuning of his positioning will help with the soreness. Does your nipple look pinched or like a lipstick when it comes out, or round? If pinched, the latch could be improved. See Jack Newman's videos at thebirthden.com and this page: http://www.wiessinger.baka.com/bfing...latchtalk.html

    Good luck and let us know what happens!
    Warmly,
    Lynnette

  5. #5
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    Default Re: when is breastfeeding established?

    My milk didn't come in until day 5 and my daughter had jaundice. Her pediatrician recommended forumula until my milk came in, to help clear the bilirubin. She had formula when she was 3 days old and 4 days old from a bottle, from her father. My milk came in on day 5 and she has been exclusively breastfed for 8 weeks now. My husband gives me a break a couple times a week with a bottle of expressed breastmilk. I never give her the bottle and she has no problem taking it from him. This past weekend, she took a bottle of EBM from a babysitter while I was away for four hours.

    Anyway, she's never been real picky about where the milk was coming from, as long as it was coming! And, she hasn't shown any signs of being confused by the nipple.

    Goodluck and I encourage giving it a try, you need a break - we all do. And, your husband will enjoy feeding her.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: when is breastfeeding established?

    I understand your frustrations because I was at that point with my daughter when she was in the early weeks. I LC told me at 3 weeks to introduce the bottle exclusively until my nipples healed. When I tried to nurse a few days later, my daughter would not latch on and cried whenever I tried. It took my a couple of months to get her back to the breast. It was a complete nightmare, and my body responded to the pump with constant clogged ducts and almost continuous mastitis.

    Again I understand what you are going through since I was at that point. For me, the bottle created so many other problems.

    Good luck in whatever you decide.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: when is breastfeeding established?

    Also, the nipple soreness completely went away after week 4. It seemed like it got worse everyday, then after week 4 it just started getting better for me. Now, there is no pain at all.

    I pump once a day in addition to nursing on demand, just to build a good freezer supply. The pump has caused no problems with my nipples or breasts...just remember to start out slow with the pump as far as suction intensity and speed. You can gradually build up to faster and stronger settings. I use an electric pump, not sure about the manual pump.

    Again, goodluck with everything.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: when is breastfeeding established?

    That's what I've started doing. I try to pump once each day in the morning when I seem to be very full. My husband feeds him bottle every other day or so and we haven't had a problem. I think my letdown is just fast (it often squirts right out when he's not even sucking, very messy) that it's even better than the bottle.

    He's gotten better at latching on quickly, at least he is when he's really hungry. But now I think he's starting to suck long after he's really finished eating. I want to make sure he gets to the hind milk - especially because I've just been reading about how important fat is to a child's brain development in the first two years - but I also can't have him using my breast as a pacifier because I've had some nipple pain. How do I tell when he's done eating and is just sucking for the fun of it?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: when is breastfeeding established?

    I have the same exact thing going on with letdown, milk spraying up to 12 inches away in 5 directions, it's crazy! My daughter has learned to deal with it by backing away, I put a little pressure on the outer edges of my breast to hurry along the squirting, catching it all into a breast pad....then she goes right back on and stays until she's finished. Sometimes she's very patient, other times she's throwing a fit. Other times she just goes with it and drinks really quickly.

    To make sure she's eating, I listen for swallowing. When she first starts, the rhythm is suck, swallow, suck, swallow....towards the end, it's suck, suck, swallow....then suck, suck, suck, swallow, until eventually she is only sucking. You can also take baby off for a moment to squeeze, is it still squirting, a slow drip, nothing at all?

    B/c of my overactive letdown, my daughter drains a breast in 7 minutes at the longest and there is nothing left when she's done.

    Also, I've found that when she wants to use me as a pacifier, she'll suck and when the milk starts to come out, she gets really fussy and wants nothing to do with it. I'm learning her moods though and that's usually when she's sleepy.

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