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Thread: how to overcome nipple confusion

  1. #1

    Default how to overcome nipple confusion

    My twins were born at 34 weeks. they did well but because they tired so easily the doctor and nurses suggested giving them ebm in a bottle. in the first few days i was putting them to breast for 10 minutes then giving them the ebm bottle, then topping with formula, then do second baby, then pump, then sterilize. it just got so tiring, and i needed my milk to come in faster, so i stopped putting them to breast every time and worked on rest and pumping. now they are two weeks and are doing awesome with ebm in bottle. they are gaining lots of weight. the problem is i am ready to get rid of bottles. i really want to nurse exclusivly, but now they seem nipple confused. i am trying to put them to breast again at every feed, or most of them. but they don't very well. the girl does not latch on quite proper (i also have large nipples for her tiny mouth) but she did latch better her first few days of life. and they boy gets frustrated and thrashes around wanting his bottle. even once they are on hey both do the bottle suck, instead of breastfeed suck. sometimes they will nurse for 10 mins or so but i dont think they get anything. i have no problem expressing though, and get anywhere from 3-5 ounces each pumping. i barely top them with formula anymore.
    any help would be appreciated. i am so exhauseted, and have moments i want to just give up, but i know if i can get them nursing in the long run it will be way easier. also nipples are tender from pump, even with larger breast flange. i think it is just because there is constantly a baby or pump on them??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: how to overcome nipple confusion

    I know what you mean about the "bottle suck." My son was born at 29.6weeks and was tube-fed for most of his NICU stay but was given bottles at the end (we nursed, but it was only a few times while in the NICU.) We did use a nipple shield for a while when we were home because his mouth was so small. I just slowly weaned him off bottles by putting him to breast more often - before he was hungry so he was more patient, and if I didn't do a bottle afterwards, I paid really close attention to when I thought he was hungry again and would offer him the breast.

    It sounds like your son especially is frustrated waiting for your let-down. You could try expressing a few drops onto your nipple to help him realize it will come. Or pump a little first to get your flow going and then try to latch him on. Over time as he gets more consistent with nursing, you could just hand express and not pump a little first.

    Another thing you could try is giving them an ounce or so from the bottle if they won't latch on and then latch them on after. Then they aren't so hungry and might be willing to nurse.

    Your nipples will adjust to the babies and pumping, as long as it doesn't hurt when they latch on, cause that could mean a latch issue.

    Hopefully someone else will have more tips for you. If you can see a lactation consultant, that would probably be helpful for you too.
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months

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