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Thread: Bottle to Breast

  1. #1

    Default Bottle to Breast

    Ian spent weeks in the NICU and even has a hard time with his bottle, poor suck reflexes and wont open his mouth. Once he gets started, he eats just fine but even the bottle is hard for him. I want to get him on the breast but I cant figure out how. He's 8 weeks now, got out of the NICU 3 weeks ago. I've tried the breast shields, everything. I dont have an issue with letting down in time for him, I let down almost imidiately and produce more than an ounce an hour per side( like three ouces every hour). I let down several times when I pump. I breastfed all three of my other kids for an entire year each. I've tried every position, baths, showers, everything. He wont open his mouth no matter how little or how hungry he is. His pediatrition said the importnant thing is that he's getting the milk and cant think of anything. I've talked to lactation consoltants. I've tried changing his nipple on his bottle from the premie ones they give him in the NICU to the ones that similate breasts but he cant keep a good seal. He has reflux and is on meds but I was hoping he could breastfeed so that he doesnt get as much air all the time. Plus, it's hard to hold him when he wakes up hungry and pump at the same time so I dont soak him and I at night lol. He makes a kissing face when he goes to eat instead of the wide open mouth and you have to try and try again to get the bottle over his tongue so he can eat. To make matters worse, I'm going back to work but I'de love to be able to breastfeed him at night and use whats pumped for durring the day when he's with my mom, I hate formula, no offence to anyone out there, but it makes a mess, its not as easy for them to digest, it smells and is very expensive! HELP!! lol

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bottle to Breast

    Hi! I don't have a lot of experience with this, but have you tried different nipple shields? Some are bigger than others, some are smaller, and that might make a difference. Does he have a shallow latch on bottle nipples?

    I hope you get some fast answers!

    Erin
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bottle to Breast

    Mama, I'm sorry you're having such a rough time!

    One thing my LC suggested when I was having trouble getting my baby calm enough to latch on was to give her a pinky finger to suck on for a minute, nail held down towards the tongue and not up towards the delicate palate. I'm not sure if this will help with the "kissing face", but maybe it will train him to suck better...

    Here are a couple links which may be helpful:
    Help - My Baby Won't Nurse
    When Baby Refuses to Latch On

    Hang in there, keep pumping, and keep trying! I hope that one day your baby will just "get it" and latch on.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Bottle to Breast

    we start calm, but he gets frustrated. My LC fitted me for the shield for him, got the closest thing to what he was using. He just wont open his mouth, I just dont think he has that "open your mouth big" reflex, you know? He takes a pacifier too. He couldnt use the ones in the NICU while he was there, his suck wasnt right so I bought him the nuk ones with the lip on them to help him keep them in his mouth right, I just dont know if we will ever get him breastfeeding, it's so frustrating.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bottle to Breast

    Hi mama! Congratulations on getting your LO home!

    How early was he? What was his due date? With preemies, a lot of times they just don't get the hang of things until around their due dates.

    one thing that it sounds like may be happening with you right now though is when he does open his mouth, where is his tongue? Another common preemie behavior is just plastering their little tongues to the roof of their mouth, preventing a proper latch. it can take some patience and a little work to help them to open their mouths wide and get that tongue down. What we did was when he would open his mouth to root, I would take my finger and sweep it down under his lip, kind of pulling his chin down as I went. You can almost hear their tongue pop off the roof of their mouth. By then they have a nice open mouth to get a good latch.

    Are you doing lots of kanagaroo care? Do you have a sling or a wrap that you can wear him in when you are at home or out and about?
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Bottle to Breast

    He wasnt very early. Or at least they think not. They estimate about 37 weeks. I have a sling, he hates it lol, just wiggles and whines in it, he'd rather be held. He's 7 weeks old now, so way past his due date. The thought was mostly that he breathed in too deaply the amniotic fluids and wrinsed away the chemicals that tellhis lungs to open up, so he had a hard time breathing but also had all these other issues as well. I will try the finger thing, ty.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bottle to Breast

    So was he on a ventilator? Did they give him surfactant? I am assuming that if he had breathing issues, even if he was close to term, that most likely set him back. The suck/swallow/breathe instinct may have bee a little disrupted, and he may just need some time to get his "confidence" back when he feeds.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Bottle to Breast

    Yes, he was on a ventilator, and surfactin. Then forced air with oxygen. He had a feeding tube for the first ten days or so. Then they allowed a bottle. Then, they were allowing me to try and nurse, and even though it was difficult, he started using the nipple shield and actually eating in the NICU, then he started with the reflux and because of my heavy let down, they discontinued allowing me(I fed him ONCE), he got worse and would eat too fast, we had to allow him to use the bottle, suck three times, take the bottle away, then allow him again. It was a mess.
    Last edited by @llli*bammcg; October 6th, 2009 at 05:52 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bottle to Breast

    That explains a lot mama. Just give it time. He will get there. Our son was on a vent as well, as well as having had the surfactant and nasal oxygen. He also had a gavage tube! It did take him time, but he did get it. Just lots of skin to skin, lots of patience, lots of pep talks! The kangaroo care really works wonders. I just had him on my bare chest all the time I could. It will not only help his breathing but it will remind him of your breasts and where the food is.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

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