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Re-learning to latch after bottle feeding EBM...possible?(6 Posts)
Hoping you lovely ladies can give me some advice. Our breastfeeding journey got off to a rocky start as DD1 was preterm and took a long time for both of us to learn breadt feeding. In between I was expressing and topping her up. Things were going well and at 5-6weeks we were managing rather well and she started latching herself on with very little guidance from me :-D
Fast forward to 7 weeks and she developed quite nasty silent reflux which is making life miserable. She fussed so much at my boobs and cried in pain. I was worried I was positioning her wrong adding to the reflux and she was just exhausting herself with crying, ending up still hungry. So I went back to expressing and giving it to her in a bottle, this seemed to help a bit and feeds were easier and she could nap a little for a change! I figured once her medicine kicked in a bit we would get back to breastfeeding gradually again.
2 weeks of bottles and she has forgotten how to latch, I get the big mouth and I put nipple towards the roof of her mouth but she won't clamp down and suck! This goes on for a few mins until she becomes properly hungry and starts crying then screaming! So I end up giving her more EBM :-(
I've tried waiting until she's hungry, not very hungry, sleepy and doing skin to skin, but do you think she will ever learn how to latch back on again? Or have I messed this up? She's now 8 weeks btw.
The reflux is so awful I'm almost scared to keep persevering as she is just so miserable all the time.
sorry to hear is all I can say, sounds very frustrating and time consuming.
I don't think it's too late, but I seem to have read somewhere that babies prefer the method they learnt first.
she have managed in the past to bf, so I think you have "messed up"
the only advice I have is to go on youtube and check out Priscilla Dunstan's (or Dunsten?) baby language videos - the one on the Oprah show is pretty good.
she explains that babies have their way of communicating their needs and cry differently when they are hungry or tired or need to burp etc.
I only learnt about this with my 6th and it was a massive eye opener! it's fascinating and helped me figure out what DD wanted.
if you can figure out when she is hungry or needs burping you might be able to naturally control/reduce the reflux and be successful with the bf!
(we had problems with bf and slow weight gain (different reasons), took her 6 weeks to gain back birth weight! she's been bf from birth, but has had bottles from about 4 weeks old - she's now perfectly healthy, 9 months old and I still bf in part)
I also want to say, that if on the other hand trying to bf is too much for both of you, it's ok to stop trying and just do EBM or formula or a mix of these.
you are allowed to stop struggling and enjoy life with her!
however, you are not allowed to feel guilty, she needs you to be a happy & healthy mummy!
Hi Sleepybunny, my situation isn't quite like yours but isn't a million miles away. My baby (6 weeks old) was formula fed for his first 5 days of life as his blood sugar was very low at birth, and I had all manner of problems getting him started onto the breast during that time. Then at day 5 I was rehospitalised because of a medical problem and decided to also see if I could crack the breastfeeding, so spent one rather grim night of he and me persevering to try to latch him and eventually managed one position on the right hand side - with me lying on my side and him lying next to me and me putting the nipple into his mouth. From there onwards, he learnt how to find the nipple and we can feed in other positions now. Perhaps try some new positions and see if anything reignites a mouth memory for him of how he did it before?
Another thing that worked for me on the left hand side (which he couldn't latch onto at all at the start) was to use a nipple shield. After getting used to that side with a shield, he can now latch on without it.
I also second everything amazingmum says about making a decision that suits you and your family. I too am mixed feeding as my son just wasn't gaining weight on exclusively breast feeding and we are all much happier and healthier for introducing the formula. That was the right decision for us. One reason why I'm keeping breastfeeding going alongside bottles is that it's a source of comfort to my son as he likes the breast (he likes the bottles too - launches himself at them); if it were a source of great stress I am sure I would be thinking twice about it. Good luck!
another though is to try a breast feeding pillow (if not already using one), but not the V-shaped type, they too "slidey".
I use the type that is a "C" shape and hugs your tummy like a swimming ring (if that makes sense) and put a smaller pillow underneath on the side where the head is to achieve the right height, so you don't have to curl over her.
I agree with you too, it's good to try different positions, lying down, propped up by pillows & cushions, rugby position.
in fact my DD is so funny, sometimes as she sits on my leg, facing me, waiting for me to get ready she grabs hold of my breast and starts suckling before I can lie her down!
she has also grabbed me once - having had a shower and still in my towel I changed her nappy on the floor, then reached for a tissue and happened to be above her on all fours. my towel opened up as I moved and she took the opportunity! I did stop her, but it was hilarious!
Thanks for the alive and support! I haven't tried nipples shields or one of those c-shaped pillows. I will give it ago today and see what happens.
Lol amazingmumof6 at the sneaky boob grab! Made me giggle
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