Breastfeeding

? about bottle feeding at nt.

I would like to BF during the days and BF at night-(with breast milk) My questions are:

 1.) should I start in the hospital by having them give her a bottle-( i know it would be formula which is fine with me) or should I wait to introduce the bottle? And if so, how long should I wait?

2) I plan on pumping for those bottles after the morning feeding. How soon can I start to build that stash? Also, I dont want to pump at night just bottle, would this be horrible for my supply?

TIA!

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Re: ? about bottle feeding at nt.

  • Definitely do not start the bottle in the hospital unless it's medically necessary (if your baby is jaundice, premie, etc).  You need to have her on your breast every 3 hours to stimulate milk production.  Also, if you introduce the bottle too soon, your baby may develope nipple confussion and cause latching problems.  You need to speak to a lactation consultant to get more information.  

    As for starting a stash, I was able to do so during the night feedings.  My husband bottlefed my DD while I pumped.  Usually she would take in 3 to 3.5 ounces and I would pump out 5 to 6.  I would have enough for the next night and some to put into my stash.  Now that she's STTN, I am able to pump 10 ounces in the morning and feed her 5.  I have an extra 5 ounces for my stash.

  • 1 - I would wait at least 3 weeks to introduce a bottle.  It is best for your baby to learn to latch and for him/her to stimulate a good milk supply by nursing on demand for the first three week.  It is possible to introduce a bottle sooner without negative consequences (my DD got a pacifier at 1 week old and it didn't cause a problem), but waiting 3 weeks will minimize issues.

    2 - I also started pumping for my stash after the first morning feeding around 3/4 weeks.  Before that DD was not nursing on a schedule and she was nursing about every two hours, so between exhaustion and frequent nursing sessions there just wasn't a good time or motivation for pumping.  Once we got through the 2/3 week growth spurt her schedule became more predictable and I would pump about 45-60 minutes after her first morning feeding.

    If your baby is waking 2-4 times a night to eat and you aren't pumping at all during those missed feedings it is unlikely that your supply will keep up with his/her demand.  And it's also unlikely that you can pump enough during the day to get enough milk for that many wakings.  Once your baby is down to only waking once a night to bottle feed, you can "probably" not pump overnight as long as you're pumping at least once during the day. 

    It's a supply/demand process.  So if you're baby or the pump isn't demanding milk on your baby's schedule, your body isn't going to supply as much milk as the baby needs. 

    Heather Margaret --- Feb '07 and Todd Eldon --- April '09
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  • I'm new to this but I would not recommend giving her a bottle that soon (unless it's necessary). I just started pumping yesterday because I know this Sunday I'll have to give her a bottle so we wanted to introduce one to her before then. I think the other posters gave good advice about the pumping question. GL!
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  • Your supply WILL be affected. You need to pump every time DC would otherwise nurse. Don't allow any formula to be given in the hospital otherwise your breasts aren't going to go through the process they need too. You can start pumping in a couple weeks, I would let nursing get established. It's very rewarding, the whole process, and you'll feel like a champ after you've mastered it. Also, it's WAY easier to BF at night rather than the bottle. Why are you thinking of using the bottle at night? You won't want to prep that many before bed from your stash (enough to feed every 2 hours) and think of all that cleanup in the morning! Not to mention it's easy just nursing in the dark rather than having to fully wake up and warm up bottles while DC is hungry and crying.?
  • If possible, avoid the bottle for the first month.  Do NOT give her a bottle in the hospital unless medically indicated.  Most babies (meaning, healthy, full term, not in distress) babies only need about a half ounce a day for the first day or so after birth.  However, they will over eat if given a bottle of formula. 

    Regarding your supply, it is pretty straight forward:  if you don't pump for each time she gets a bottle, your supply *will* most likely go down.  So if she eats a bottle at 2 am, and you go from 11pm to 5 am w/out nursing/pumping, you're essentially "missing" a feeding for her regarding the whole supply and demand thing.  You won't likely see an immediate effect, but long term, your supply won't keep up as her demand increases if you continue to "skip" feeds. Its possible that if you pump before bed, after her night feeding, you may be able to make it up.  Just be carefull about it, as it's easy to "fall behind" with supply when you start skipping pumping/feeding sessions.

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