Earliest you can introduce a bottle of expressed milk

(27 Posts)
Dowhatyoulove123 Sat 09-Apr-16 16:27:42

Hey all, I'm 25 weeks pregnant and would like to BF my baby.

My question is, I've read a lot about expressing and introducing bottles/dummies and wanted to know when to introduce a bottle of EBM. I don't want to be the only person who can feed my baby as I know DH would like to be able to take baby out as well and give me a little break. I don't want to leave it too late as I've read if babies who refuse bottle and don't want this to happen.

I plan on expressing and got a medula breast pump already as a present.

Any hints and tips for feeding would be really appreciated!

cheapandcheerful Sat 09-Apr-16 16:29:57

I'm pretty sure you can start doing that whenever you like. I'm sure lots of people will be on here in a minute telling you that you can't/shouldn't/mustn't based on whatever research. But it's totally your choice!

cheapandcheerful Sat 09-Apr-16 16:31:24

Oh and my tip for feeding that I give everyone who asks is to get as much help with it as you can in the first couple of days. When you are in hospital, get a midwife to come and check your latch every time you feed, even if you think it's right.

Nuttypops Sat 09-Apr-16 16:34:55

I was told 4-6 weeks by the midwives when I had DD, but she had one within the first week and was fine.

The only thing I would say is don't leave it too long, we stopped at about 6 weeks because we were moving and it was just easier for me to feed her, and it took us until 4 months to persuade her to take a bottle again which was a nightmare.

Dowhatyoulove123 Sat 09-Apr-16 16:40:32

Thank you. I was thinking introducing bottle on week 2/3 and keeping it up that DH/Grannies when they visit would be one to give it to her.

Would just like it to be as flexible as possible.

Junosmum Sat 09-Apr-16 17:14:35

Official advice given to me was to wait until breastfeeding was established-around 6 weeks. By then it was too late and DS will not take a bottle. Next time I'll introduce one after a week or two.

HairyBoob Sat 09-Apr-16 17:20:26

I also waited until 6 weeks. Too late. DS still refuses a bottle another six weeks later.

Nuttypops Sat 09-Apr-16 20:02:59

Sounds like a good idea to try at 2/3 weeks if you are planing to mix feed if the baby is feeling well by then, good luck!

I am pregnant with our second now and planning to do something similar this time. It was just so much easier once I had the option of someone else feeding her.

AnnieOnnieMouse Sat 09-Apr-16 20:12:29

As far as you are concerned, it makes sense to wait until feeding is settled, maybe a couple of weeks, otherwise it could be an unnecessary stress for you. As far as baby is concerned, as early as possible IMO. My son wouldn't root, latch, suck properly until his due date, so I did a lot of bottle feeding with expressed and special formula in the first few weeks.

OverScentedFanjo Sat 09-Apr-16 20:20:52

Honestly, I EBF as the latch wasn't great and the HV and midwives were concerned about weight gain etc.

BUT, I had a problem with giving other people my BM to feed my child with. It's a silly thing, but they were like ..."eww, is this your milk" . It's a bodily fluid and I was fine with DH doing it, but I didn't want all and sundry handling my milk. Odd I know. But then I didn't have offers of help or childcare.

ThePowerOfCake Sat 09-Apr-16 20:21:20

We introduced bottles at about 4 weeks. DD was having gaviscon and colief and I found the easiest way was to give them in expressed milk at the start of each feed. She would take a full bottle of expressed at this point. We stopped at 3 months when she no longer needed medication and 6 weeks later she became a bottle refuser. She genuinely seemed to be unable to drink from a bottle even if she tried! I returned to work at 6 months and it was a bit of a nightmare. This time around I'm hoping to introduce the bottle as soon as breastfeeding seems to be going well and supply has settled a bit. Then I want to keep it as a regular thing in the hope she doesn't forget! Whether it works or not remains to be seen...

Dowhatyoulove123 Sun 10-Apr-16 05:52:47

Thanks for all tips, seems to be if you introduce bottle earlier and keep it up that baby won't have a problem.

We live abroad so no HV here or help to look after baby so it'll just be me and DH..

Strokethefurrywall Sun 10-Apr-16 06:04:11

I introduced expressed bottles at 2 and 3 weeks respectively - neither had issues with latch or taking a bottle. Earlier the better. They went from breast to bottle with ease.

Jemappelle Sun 10-Apr-16 19:48:28

I expressed from day 3 and used bottles of ebm whenever I wished keeping to the rules (1) that for the first 6 weeks I wouldn't go without direct breast feeding or expressing for a certain number of hours in my case 3. (2) no more than one bottle ebm a day for the first two months

superram Sun 10-Apr-16 19:54:35

The reason they say not to introduce bottles (and dummies) is because of nipple confusion. I waited for 6 weeks with my first but pretty much straight away with second-neither minded a bottle. Once you start giving a bottle try to do it about once s week so they don't start refusing. Also bear in mind you might not have much success expressing-don't become a slave to it just refrigerate what you can in bottles then put in a milk storage bag when all cool. I found just after morning or 10am feed was best for expressing.

Dowhatyoulove123 Mon 11-Apr-16 07:19:58

Thank you for great advice guys, I'll keep this all stored for when I've delivered

KatharinaRosalie Mon 11-Apr-16 09:59:34

As a mother of 2 bottle refusing babies - as soon as possible. You always hear about nipple confusion but I have never met a woman to whom that actually happened. But I know many, many women strugging with bottle refusing babies. Anecdotal, but at least based on my personal experience, the second seems to be far more common issue.

NinjaLeprechaun Tue 12-Apr-16 17:33:37

Anecdotally, I've also never heard of an actual case of nipple confusion. My daughter was 100% bottle fed at 2 days old, at 6 weeks she was about 95% breast fed. (It took her a while to get the concept.) So I certainly don't think there's a 'too early' to introduce a bottle, at least as far as the baby is concerned.

Jemappelle Tue 12-Apr-16 17:44:56

My IBCLC dismisses the nipple confusion theory.

TheEmperorNotTheSalad Tue 12-Apr-16 19:37:15

Also never heard of a case of 'nipple confusion'.

I actually believe the opposite happens; I reckon most BF babies 'refuse' a bottle because they are bloody confused by it. My DS doesn't really refuse one, he just can't work out how to suck the milk out.

Strokethefurrywall Wed 13-Apr-16 01:02:12

Yep, I don't get the nipple confusion concept either. In fact, every single person that I know who successfully introduced bottles without encountering any significant issues (other than the first few attempts of chewing on the nipple) introduced the bottle at 6 weeks and before.
The only reason I waited for 2 and 3 weeks was because I wanted to get nursing established as soon as I could and the idea of expressing so early was not appealing to me. I also had more milk than a dairy cow so needed to even that out before deliberately tricking myself to produce more!!
I would say that given the amount of feeds a baby needs each day, they're going to learn much quicker to adapt to both bottle and breast far quicker than a baby who has only been breastfed for first 12-16 weeks.

KatharinaRosalie Wed 13-Apr-16 11:05:50

I'm starting to think the 'nipple confusion' is just a con to force mothers to stick to exclusive BF only, so they wouldn't be even tempted to mix feed. As a result, it was so much fun to go back to work with a 3-month old bottle refusing baby hmm

Dowhatyoulove123 Wed 13-Apr-16 15:22:18

Thanks for your experiences, it's hard as a mum who wants to BF to decide what's best for our family.

I don't want DH to miss out on that bonding experience of feeding - I know he can do other things but it's important to me that we have the same bond.

Cakescakescakes Wed 13-Apr-16 15:31:50

I think about 2 weeks is a good time. It gives you a chance for your milk to come in well and settled down and for you to be feeling better after birth etc. Expressing can be time consuming so give yourself a couple of weeks to get the hang of bf then I'd say try the odd bottle of expressed milk here and there. This worked with ds1. With ds2 I tried an expressed bottle at 2 weeks. He took it great. Then I was a bit lazy and didn't try any more for another 6 weeks. He then refused it and never drank from a bottle again. So keep offering one every few days once you start.

Honeybee1701 Wed 13-Apr-16 21:35:01

I would echo what others are saying about not leaving it too late. I was advised by the HV not to give a bottle before 8 weeks to avoid nipple confusion. Started expressing at 12 weeks and DS refusing a bottle confused We will persevere but I wish I'd started earlier!

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