Breastfeeding

EPing to BF- lost cause? (XPost from 0-3month)

Hi all! My LO is almost 4 weeks old and had a really rough start to BFing, to the point where I started pumping and feeding her bottles of BM after she went a whole day with no dirty diapers, and thus no food (presumably). From there it just became so much more reassuring to pump and feed her bottles of breast milk since it allowed me to know how much she was eating. Now that she is older and has regained her birth weight and some, I'm interested in trying to get her back on the boob- she will still latch and feed, but she's lazy about it and her suction doesn't feel strong enough, though maybe I'm overestimating that sensation. Also, even if I leave her on the breast for 20+ minutes, she will still readily take a bottle and show hunger cues, which leads me to believe she is not eating much on the breast.

Has anyone successfully gone from EPing back to BFing, or is this a lost cause? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! 

EDIT: I definitely should have checked the previous posts first, I'm sorry. I see that there is an identical question a few posts down. I hate it when I break Bump rules! 

She is here! 5-29-13

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Re: EPing to BF- lost cause? (XPost from 0-3month)

  • That's OK.  Your question is a little different, but my answer is the same.  Buy or rent a baby scale and do a weighted feeding.  Also you may want to meet with a LC to have LO's latch double checked because you thought she may have a lazy suck. 

    A baby's willingness to take a bottle is not a real good indicator because a lot of times with the bottle's flow they feel forced to take more than they would normally take with nursing.  Have you looked into paced bottle feeding.  Just search it on you-tube for videos.  It is a more breast friendly way of giving a baby a bottle. 

    Also, at 4 weeks don't be surprised if they baby eats for way more than 20 minutes.  My LO cluster fed for hours at night at that age.   I also fed her every hour at that time.  There is a lot of difference between how a 4 weeker eats and a 12 weeker. 

  • AmyG*AmyG*
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    If she will take the breast then it's certainly NOT a lost cause.

    and MOST breastfed babies will take a bottle after they nurse and will appear to chug it down.

    So it doesn't mean anything at all about how much milk baby is able to get at the breast. I would start to put baby to the breast for every feeding, and encourage la bit longer than 20 minute feeds at first and expect baby to want to nurse on-stop at first, cause they have to build the strength in their mouth, jaw and tongue and they have to learn to hold their tongue in a different spot while nursing. watch for the suck, suck, swallow pattern to see that they are getting milk.

    Then you begin to wean the amount in the bottles downward, encourage more nursing, expect 10-12 nursing sessions in a day until they get it all figured out. and count diapers.

    You can go for a weighted feeding with an LC to tell you exactly how much milk baby is getting at the breast. You change baby's diaper, weigh baby on a very accurate scale, then nurse baby, use breast compressions and massage to keep baby nursing longer and then reweigh baby with same diaper. the difference in oz is the amount baby is taking in at the breast.

      If you have been only using bottles, then begin use bf friendly way of giving bottles. This means, small amounts-- a breastfed baby on average takes in 1 oz since the last feedig, average of 25 oz a day. and when this age are usually eating about 10 times a day. so you go for 2.5-3 oz every 2.5-3 hours. no more than that, cause you want them to try nursing first and as often as possible. If you do the weighted feeding above, you know for example that they only take in say 1.5 oz, and you know you need to supplement about 1 oz, if they are nursing every 2.5 hours. there is some give an take in those numbers, of course, but it gives you a good starting point.

    so small amount in the bottle, premie size slow flow bottle nipple to make baby have to work to get milk from the bottle. pause every 1/2 oz to burp well and switch sides when giving the bottle. sit baby more upright and tilt bottle downward so gravity doesn't speed the flow. focus on letting baby tell you when they are hungry, rather than hey you need to eat all that is in this bottle. after you nurse, then give a supplemental bottle, then you pump to get the amount in the supplement for next time. 

    if baby will nurse for at least 20 minutes, you see the suck, swallow pattern, and milk in their mouth, some moms would go cold turkey to breastfeeding at that point. You watch diaper count. you push to feed every 2 hours around the clock for one day to boost your supply and get baby a lot of experience very fast in nursing. diaper count may drop by 1-2 initially (but not below about 6) and then rebound once they get the hang of it. if diaper count goes too low, or doesn't go up (when nursing diaper count may be 10-12 wet and or poopy a day, minimum is 6-8) then you'd give supplements.

    the short answer is that it's certainly doable, we have women do it all the time. patience is key, being a bit pushy for baby to spend as much time at the breast as possible to get the most experience and get good at it.

    edit to add paragraphs back!

    AMYG*

    I don't type posts; I type novels.

  • Thanks! This is very encouraging. I wish things had started out differently, but we did what we had to do and then I got...something. Not lazy, because the double nursing and pumping is incredibly time consuming, but I guess I just didn't trust my body and my baby. DH may take a day off work this week and I may try my "power BF day" then when I have some help.
    She is here! 5-29-13

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  • AmyG*AmyG*
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    member

    A nursing vacation is often very helpful in these situations.

    put the bottles away, and the pump (for the most part, at least out of sight out of mind)

    and then take baby to bed with you and hang out all day nursing every single time baby makes a peep.  skin to skin increases baby's instinct to nurse, and raises mom's prolactin levels (the nursing hormone)

    take snacks/sandwiches/water/etc to bed with you,

    get some good stuff on netflix,

    and hang out and nurse as often as baby will nurse even if it's every 30 minutes.

    count diapers and keep an eye on them.

    If find a nursing vacation like that is often easier without dh home and in your hair. ;)

    AMYG*

    I don't type posts; I type novels.

  • I did everyone I could to BF... She was admitted for failure to thrive because she wasn't transferring milk. I saw countless LCs and it was finally discovered that she had a tongue and lip tie. I had the ties release when she was 3 weeks old but it didn't make a difference. I gave up in BFing for about 2 weeks and pumped and bottle fed trying her periodically but she still wasn't effective. Last Tuesday I decided to give her a try and honestly it just clicked. She started nursing perfectly. I rented a scale and have been doing weighted feeds. Today I've only done two of the feeds weighted because I'm more confident that she is gaining and getting what she needs. I don't want to jinx it for us but I haven't needed to give one bottle today and she has been transferring 2.5-3.5oz per feed. 
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  • After about 2.5 months of pumping andbottle feeding half of LOs feedings, the other half were formula bottles, I was finally able to get LO to nurse. From pumping I knew I was getting 2.5 to 3oz per breast and LO was used to 3oz bottles. In the beginning, after he nursed one side, the other side was still full, and I needed to pump for daycare bottles bedtime bottles so I would pump after he nursed. I found that the side he nursed on would have less than 12 an oz while the unnursed side had my normal output.

    I kept with giving him a bedtime bottle because he could eat it with less effort and therefore eat more and sleep better than when I nursed him to sleep. As hehas nursed longer now my body has adjusted to a new demand so now Im not having to pump after nursing for my comfort. The other good thing is that LO is no longer needing more than 2to3oz of formula per day, if he even needs that much as the last formula bottle was at day care when I forgot to pack any bm.

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  • image KateRN08:
    I did everyone I could to BF... She was admitted for failure to thrive because she wasn't transferring milk. I saw countless LCs and it was finally discovered that she had a tongue and lip tie. I had the ties release when she was 3 weeks old but it didn't make a difference. I gave up in BFing for about 2 weeks and pumped and bottle fed trying her periodically but she still wasn't effective. Last Tuesday I decided to give her a try and honestly it just clicked. She started nursing perfectly. I rented a scale and have been doing weighted feeds. Today I've only done two of the feeds weighted because I'm more confident that she is gaining and getting what she needs. I don't want to jinx it for us but I haven't needed to give one bottle today and she has been transferring 2.53.5oz per feed.nbsp;

    That's great Kate! I'm happy it's working for you now!
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