Breastfeeding

Switching from EP to BF.... any tips?

My goal had been to EBF my son for the first 6 months of his life.  Unfortunately, due to his being a premie and my milk coming in late, this didn't happen. However, he has been exclusively having breastmilk since about 4 days old; it's just always from a bottle. Now that he's a little older and stronger, I'd love to get him to transition to actually BFing other than while I'm at work. Has anybody done this? Any tips?  He'll latch on for about a minute but then quickly give up. I know he's getting milk this way, as I'll see it in his mouth. He just gets too tired too quickly to really do a feeding this way.

I've tried the nipple shield the LC suggested. He hated it. I've also tried doing it after starting the milk flow by pumping, and that works a little better. Overall though, it just seems like it's too hard for him.  

Re: Switching from EP to BF.... any tips?

  • Just keep at it! For baby this is learning a new skill and breast is harder than bottle so patience and practice should do the trick!
  • I am in your same position.  I feel like even though my baby latches, she hardly gets anything from me and I always end up going back to a bottle.  I also feel like exclusively pumping is dimenishing my supply and I will have to supplement anyway.  It is all very discouraging.  I hope it works out for both of us soon!
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  • I had major latching issues (tongue tied baby + large nipples) so I feel you! Try feeding him an ounce from a bottle so he's "happy" before going to the breast
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  • My preemie started on all bottles of pumped BM, and we have slowly transitioned to EBF with only one bottle a day. What we did was start with one BF session a day and gave a bottle immediately after just to make sure she was full. Then we slowly increased to every other session BF and only giving a bottle after if she was still hungry, and now only one bottle a day and the rest EBF. The more you nurse the better your supply will be, even if your LO only stays on for 5 minutes. Make sure to pump with every bottle you give to signal your body to make more milk. Good luck and keep at it!
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  • Maybe you could try a supplemental nursing system (medela makes them), which will encourage him to nurse, but give him the milk a little faster/easier, all while still stimulating your breast to make milk. 
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  • I was in your same position for the first eight weeks. I never had the courage to just EBF after pumping & bottle feeding for so long. Well, we ended up in the hospital over night at eight weeks, and because it was an unexpected stay, we were totally unprepared - no pump, no bags, no bottles, nothing. I HAD to EBF. And it turned out great, we have been EBF ever since. You just have to do it, it's hard and scary but it gets great!
  • He's used to getting the milk faster from a bottle without having to work hard for it.  What kind of bottle nipple are you using?  I would try using the slowest flow possible like the dr. browns preemie nipple so the flow is very slow and more comparable to your breast. And like what PP, just keep being persistent and eventually LO will get it.
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  • image Gismo123:
    He's used to getting the milk faster from a bottle without having to work hard for it.  What kind of bottle nipple are you using?  I would try using the slowest flow possible like the dr. browns preemie nipple so the flow is very slow and more comparable to your breast. And like what PP, just keep being persistent and eventually LO will get it.

    I've tried bottles that are supposed to be very comparable to the breast. I think they're called "BreastFlow" by First Years? The problem with them is that he has too many problems eating then. I think it's too much effort because he'll fall asleep a few minutes into a feeding, wake up hungry again, try for a few minutes and fall asleep, wake up hungry after half an hour, etc.  I think his suck just might still not be strong enough.

    I've been transitioning to gradually more difficult nipples, so maybe I just need to give it a little more time?

    Thanks, everyone. :) 

  • I had a lot of latch problems with my LO. She did ok with the nipple shield, but when I went to latch her without it, she did the same thing. When I went to see my LC about it, they weighed her, had me nurse her, and then weighed her again.

     It turned out that I had a really fast let down. LO got an ounce and a half with less than 5 minutes of latching on and off.

    I would just keep trying to latch him and just watching his wet and poopy diapers. As long as he's growing still, it shouldn't be a problem

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