Help me please.... — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Help me please....

I am frustrated because my DD is not interested in breastfeeding. She started out VERY interested and willing to suckle, but after she got dehydrated and had to be bottle fed...she is no longer interested. 

I've spoken with 2 different lactation consultants so far. One has told me to continue pumping and bottle feeding her my breast milk then try a few times a day and see if she wants the breast. That is all fine and dandy, but I am constantly engorged because I cannot pump fast enough to keep up with her hunger.

The second one I spoke to told me to take bottles away and try spoon/dropper feeding. That doesn't work because DD gets so frustrated and hungry that she screams her head off until she gags herself or spits up....so I am at my wits end and ready to just throw in the towel and formula feed. Nothing I envisioned is going as planned....I am tired....exhausted is actually closer to how I am feeling and extremely frustrated. Help....please.....someone?  

Re: Help me please....

  • km3km3
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    Your situation sucks! I'm sorry you're struggling with this. It's a long shot, but here's an idea... I wonder if you could make her hate the bottle. When you're feeding her, take it away over and over so she gets frustrated. Then offer your breast and let her eat as much as she wants from it. Maybe that will teach her that eating from the breast is easier or more successful than from a bottle.
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  • you could always go get a nipple shield for a more bottle like nipple just to get her latched and then remove it after 5 minutes of it on the breast and try to get her to take just your nipple. this worked for me. I had to use it until he was 2 months old. it is a great tool and it saved our breastfeeding relationship. dont quit on a bad day, keep on trying mama!
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  • I would call one of the LCs and ask about trying an sns system.

    http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/52/starter-supplemental-nursing-system-sns

    Also, what kind of bottles are you using?  They should be extremely slow flow like playtex nurser or your baby will get used to not having to put any effort into feeding.  Hold a filled bottle upside down and see if milk comes out, if it does your bottle/nipple is likely too fast/easy.  

    If worst comes to worse, keep pumping while you figure it out.  It is important to get your supply established now.  Once you stop it is really hard to go back.  

  • I would keep offering the breast at every feeding first. Hand express until you have some milk on your nipple, so she knows there's food there. Hand expressing or pumping just until letdown will also give her the instant gratification that a bottle does.

    You want to offer the breast at the very first sign of hunger: rooting around, sucking hands/lips. Crying is a late sign of hunger. If you wait until she's crying, then she'll be too frantic and that'll make things harder.

    Like Theresa said, you want to use a slow flow nipple and draw out bottle feedings to help baby go from bottle to breast easier. I use Dr. Brown's bottles with preemie flow nipples, so it's a slower flow than level 1.
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  • image whynotwhynot:

    I would call one of the LCs and ask about trying an sns system.

    http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/52/starter-supplemental-nursing-system-sns

    Also, what kind of bottles are you using?  They should be extremely slow flow like playtex nurser or your baby will get used to not having to put any effort into feeding.  Hold a filled bottle upside down and see if milk comes out, if it does your bottle/nipple is likely too fast/easy.  

    If worst comes to worse, keep pumping while you figure it out.  It is important to get your supply established now.  Once you stop it is really hard to go back.  

     

    I second the SNS.  I would recommend doing whatever you can to avoid further bottles since your LO has already started with a bottle preference.   

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  • I might be able to help... I got my 10-week-old back on the breast after 4 weeks of pumping, bottlefeeding, and his severe protests to the breast.  It only took us one and a half days, so maybe this will be helpful for you.  

    1.  If possible, have LO get bottles from someone other than you.  That way, baby associates mama with nursing.  If not, hold LO in a position as close as possible to how you hold baby while nursing.

    2.  Offer the breast when LO wants to suck, but is not hungry.  I had my mom feed him a bottle, and I pumped so my breasts weren't engorged.  If he was too hungry, he would panic and scream.  And if my breasts were too full, he would choke.

    3.  Start out just cuddling LO near the nipple.  That way, baby feels safe and comfortable in the nursing position.  This way, my LO wouldn't fight back the way he did when I tried to put the nipple in his mouth.

    4.  Watch for signs LO wants to suck (rooting, smacking gums and lips, fingers in mouth)

    5.  Once you see those signs, squirt a little milk to put on the nip, and gently brush baby's lips with the nip.

    6.  If baby squirms/fidgets/fights, try rocking, bouncing, or patting in ways she normally likes.  This worked when my LO started getting agitated, and still works now when he gets distracted.  Find ways of settling and soothing to relax them into a state where they'll happily take the breast. 

    I followed the steps above, and he took it, and sucked like a pacifier.  At first, the latch was no good, but I didn't care because I was so happy he was taking the breast again.  He sucked for about 20 minutes.  After my husband fed him, we did the same routine as before, but this time he actually latched and ate!  By bedtime, he was glued to me, comfort nursed for 45 minutes, and actually cried when I took the breast away!  I was so happy.  From that point on, he's been a happy nurser.  He goes back and forth between bottles (with daddy and the grandmas) and breast (with mama) no problem.

     If you can get the baby to take the breast for comfort, it won't be long before she'll take it for meals too.  It took us just a day.

    I really hope this helps, and I hope everything works out for you.  Good luck! 

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  • image theresat858:

    Don't give up yet! Hang in there and do the pumping...yes, it sucks, but it will give you the best shot of getting baby back to breast later.  Try your breast first, then the bottle.  Use a breast like bottle nipple (I like tommee tippee) with a slow flow and make it take at least 20 min for one ounce (since LO is so young).  

    Make a hands free pump bra by cutting holes in the nipples of an old sports bra. Pump every two hours during the day and every three at night. Hold baby while you pump for extra cuddles and to make it suck less.

    For us it took a few weeks but I got dd back on the breast and the hard work was so worth it! Hang in there! 

    I tried your advice first since I had a Tippy Tommy bottle available. I used it for her last 2 feedings yesterday evening and then about 45 minutes before it was time to eat I pumped until I was completely soft. By the time she was starting to stir from sleep I offered her the breast and she actually took it. It took us almost 2 hours before she was satisfied and she did try to reject it a few times, but she always came back looking for it. I think it helped that I got her while she was still asleep and I wasn't full. 


  • I know I still have several more trials ahead of me to make sure she is successful, but for now...I appreciate all the advice each one of you has given me. I may still need to utilize some of the ideas...and I did speak with an LC yesterday about the SMS system...but she said that will be our last resort if everything else fails. 

    Thanks again everyone! 

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