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Thread: Transitioning from EP to BF- suggestions?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Transitioning from EP to BF- suggestions?

    Hi all,
    I'm new here. My daughter is 8 weeks old, and I've been exclusively pumping since around Day 5 for many reasons (mastitis, poor latch, bloody nipples, etc.) I've had the LC out, taken a class, watched videos, tried, cried, and still, no luck. Every once in a while I try to put her back on the breast, and sometimes she'll feed and sometimes she won't.

    I'm starting to weary of all the quality time spent with my Medela pump rather than my baby. Ideally, I'd like to simply breastfeed! Has anyone made a successful transition from EP to breastfeeding? If so, any tips? The big thing I'm scared about is messing up my milk supply, which I've tried so hard to build by pumping 5-7x daily for 20 minutes each time. I get about 18-24 ounces a day, and I supplement with a bottle or two of formula when the BM is short or if our pumping vs. baby hunger timing is off.

    When I've tried to BF my baby, she doesn't get much out (if anything) despite the relatively adequate supply, and then I'm thinking I need to pump to make sure I keep my supply up. This easily doubles the time on the pump/breast, and I don't know that I can keep up both regimens without exhaustion.

    Thoughts or ideas? I welcome your experience!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Transitioning from EP to BF- suggestions?

    I EPed for the first 10.5 weeks of DS's life. He just refused to latch on. I kept trying to latch him on every day and one day he just latched on and we've been doing good ever since. I don't know what changed...other than he got bigger My only advice is to keep trying!!!

    Mom to
    Matthew born April 2009
    Jonathan born March 2011
    loving and

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Transitioning from EP to BF- suggestions?

    Yes! It can be done. My best suggestion is keep offering your breast at every feeding prior to giving a bottle.

    Some people may warn against this but try a nipple shield. My little one took to my breast every time with the nipple shield. My guess is she was used to the hardness and texture of a bottle nipple and a shield resemebled it. After 2 weeks and she was used to having to suck harder for my milk, I would take off the nipple shield after she nursed for awhile and my 1st let down had passed. It took about a month before she was back fully on the breast without a shield.

    Remember, milk is much easier to get out of a bottle. Babies have to work harder to get it out of a breast. It is a learning process for mom and baby. Good Luck!
    Missy MooCow
    - Mom to DS 03/2003 & DD 07/2008
    - - Ex-Exclusive pumper
    - - Yeah!! Full time nurser since December!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Irvine, CA

    Default Re: Transitioning from EP to BF- suggestions?

    Hi Mama!

    This is so exhausting, I know! We had some really good information pass around about this a couple of times - here are some links to prior threads that I remember - if you do a forum search, I think you will find a lot more:

    Here's one
    Here's another
    Here's a third

    I had a really hard time transitioning from bottle feeding to nursing, and I got a lot of help here. I hope some of this is helpful!
    Anna, mama to baby Nessa born on 4/19/09 at 4 lb 13 oz - now she's 18 lbs!
    Loving cloth diapers
    Know someone with breast cancer in southern California who is struggling financially? We help low-income women with breast cancer.
    194 * * * ****140****135

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Transitioning from EP to BF- suggestions?

    I was pumping for DS from 10 days until he was 7 weeks (and also supplementing with formula because he was losing weight). He's almost 6 months now, and when we are together we EBF and he doesn't get any formula. The days I am at work, I am only able to pump enough for 2 feedings, so he usually gets 1 bottle of formula on those days. But I am still working on getting my supply up enough to stop the formula completely!

    My LC had me doing his bottle feeds on the Boppy in the football hold (skin-on-skin), so that he was near my breast and in an actual BF position (and he had to work a little harder for the milk from the bottle that way). After the feeds, I just let him play with my nipples and after a few days, I would try letting him latch on BEFORE he got frantic hungry (and before offering a bottle) - in the same football hold. I think a big part of it was that his mouth just needed to get a little bigger because one day, it just finally clicked. If he was still acting hungry after a feed, I would go ahead and offer him a little more in a bottle, and slowly we were able to stop with the bottles.

    Hang in there! You CAN do it!!!

    P.S. I don't know much about supplemental nursing systems, but from what I understand, it would work great for you! Instead of giving your LO a bottle, you give the EBM in the SNS. I bought one and was going to start using a few weeks ago, but I got my supply issue figured out, so I am never supplementing when I am with him.
    Last edited by @llli*rg716; September 21st, 2009 at 05:39 PM. Reason: adding SNS info

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Re: Transitioning from EP to BF- suggestions?

    I am so glad I read this thread. I was in a similar situation except my LO had a posterior and labial tongue tie. I've been working with an LC and we saw a pediatric ENT to get the tongue tie clipped. It's 1 week post clipping and my 4 week old (almost 5 week old) daughter is now finger feeding. Previous to the clipping she was feeding off my breast with a nipple shield and supplemental nursing system. I've been pumping every 2 weeks to increase my supply because as you can imagine my breasts weren't getting enough stimulation to produce milk. My LC suggested finger feeding because LO was getting very frustrated at the breast probably due to pain. I see my LC this afternoon to try to get LO back on the breast with a nipple shield and the SNS.

    This has been a very hard 4 weeks for me. I'm not getting any sleep and I feel like I'm attached to my pump. But at least I get enough now to give her thru the SNS and I don't have to supplement with formula. I am really hoping that I can breastfeed. I was planning to BF for at least a year but with this being so hard, formula is starting to look really good. This thread is giving me hope that she'll take the breast soon... Please send me good BF vibes. I certainly need it.


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