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Medela Calma bottle (or other) to get to breastfeed

(21 Posts)
Emi06 Thu 16-May-13 18:10:59

Hi everyone,

Has anyone been able to use the Medela Calma bottle (or any other type) in order to get baby to breastfeed after being used to the bottle? DS was given the bottle at hospital and now won't take the breast...

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-May-13 19:47:53

emi how old is your Lo?

stargirl1701 Thu 16-May-13 20:12:30

I found the Medela Supplemental Nursing System combined with Medela nipple shields helped baby back to the breast after a break of 8 weeks. Both are available from Amazon. I paid extra to have them delivered in 24 hours.

DD was 3 weeks when I stopped bf and 11 weeks when I relactated. If this is what you are planning, I would advise getting real life help. Have you read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding?

ExBrightonBell Thu 16-May-13 20:19:07

I was wondering whether a supplemental nursing system would help. When my ds was still being fed by NG tube, we started the process of learning to bf by the nurses giving him milk via the tube at the same time as he was trying to latch onto me. Kind of the same idea as the supplemental nursing system. It got him to associate food with boob!

Emi06 Thu 16-May-13 21:09:19

Thanks for your posts. DS is already 6 weeks old. I've tried the supplementary nursing system. I find that the trouble is that 1) it's very difficult to get him to open his mouth wide enough to get both the nipple (added to which, mine are rather flat) and the tube in at the same time. 2) The feeding lasts AGES! It took him over an hour to consume 50ml that way...

I've also tried nipple shields but I don't really find them that effective. The trouble is he moves his tongue up and down like at the bottle.

I was wondering actually, for those of you who have used the Calma bottle, does it let ANY liquid come out by itself without baby's sucking action, or is it entirely dependant on the sucking action?

The teat looks a bit long and thin...

Stargirl, no, I haven't read that book. Do you think it is worth reading? I'm rather thinking that if the Calma bottle doesn't work, that will be the end as I'm really having trouble making enough milk.

If anyone has any tips for producing any more milk, they will be very welcome.

Thanks everyone for your help!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-May-13 21:12:36

How are you feeding him at the moment? Is it breast, bottle or a bit of both? Are you getting any RL help?

ExBrightonBell Thu 16-May-13 21:35:43

Nothing comes out of the Calma bottles at all unless the baby sucks. The idea of the long teat is that it goes as far back as a nipple would and encourages the same sort of tongue stroking action, rather than the kind of chewing action that ordinary teats develop.

stargirl1701 Thu 16-May-13 21:40:18

The LLL have a book called Making More Milk which I would recommend. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is the best book on Breastfeeding. I used the Medela Calma bottles with DD. The only issue was testing the heat of the milk. Maybe the Medela bottle heater solves this problem? The bottles are very expensive.

You really need RL help. Is there a bf cafe near you? Have you spoken to the Infant Feeding Specialist at the hospital? Is there a LLL meeting near you? Have you tried a bf helpline?

Emi06 Fri 17-May-13 10:28:57

Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. I've tried consulting lots of different specialists, one of whom insisted he was feeding but I just KNOW that he wasn't. No, there is no LLL near me and my milk is really really LOW this morning. I feel it's all a bit too late...

I had a long hard cry last night and decided that I just can't go on like this any longer. I've really tried my hardest to get him to breastfeed, and I think that if the Medela Calma doesn't let any liquid through without suck action, my lazy baby will just not bother (he often stops bothering even at the easy bottle, so why should he make even more effort at a harder one?)

I will at least know about the Calma for baby number two, if indeed we have one.

On that sad note, thank you everyone. I hope that this thread will be useful to someone else in the future...

catsdogsandbabies Fri 17-May-13 10:37:38

Please don't beat yourself up. I tried everything to breast feed my DC1 and failed after misdiagnosed tongue tie etc. I felt like a grief at the loss if that relationship but he is now a healthy, crazy 2 year old and I know I beat myself up unnecessarily. Currently bfing DC2 and the experience is very different. Formula is not evil and you haven't failed. You are feeding your baby correct nutrients and he will thrive.

Emi06 Fri 17-May-13 10:48:34

I'm sorry to hear about the misdiagnosis of the tongue tie. What happened about it in the end? The doctor said that mine doesn't have it but I'm aware that it is sometimes very hard to recognise...

Yes, you're right. I feel a lot of grief, and although, as you say, formula isn't evil, I really wanted the best for my baby. It's hard to accept that your own baby won't feed from you. I feel like such a failure... sad

ExBrightonBell Fri 17-May-13 10:50:49

Ah, Emi, don't give yourself a hard time - you're doing a brilliant job. You are succeeding at caring for your baby, which can take many different forms. Enjoy your new baby!

Emi06 Fri 17-May-13 11:09:28

Yes, you're right. I must now concentrate looking after both of us. I never thought I'd be so sad to be released from the chains of the breastpump! Once I have returned it, and it's no longer in my sight, I expect I will feel a bit better...

Bringbring Fri 17-May-13 12:18:44

As a last ditch attempt have you tried medication. I take domperidone 10mg x4 a day and it has upped my milk from hardly anything to a good supply. When I have milk my baby feeds, when its low he screams for a bottle. My gp prescribes.

Bringbring Fri 17-May-13 12:23:03

Sorry if that sounds like I'm nagging to keep going, I'm not, I'm just sharing something which worked for me

Emi06 Fri 17-May-13 13:27:19

Thanks BringBring for your suggestion. No, it doesn't sound like nagging, thank you for sharing what worked for you smile.

I think though that I'd rather not take any medication as I think it will only prolong the grief of not being able to bfeed - I really think my son is now just too bone-idle to accept anything other than his beloved little bottle! It will only cause us both more upset I think if I try to impose anything else on him unfortunately (last time I tried the supplementary nursing device he puked it all up all over me -"I don't want that Mum!!"

However I will make a note of that information for baby number 2. Thank you very much smile

Emi06 Sat 18-May-13 14:32:43

Hello again,

Being the stubborn mule that I am, and not wanting to have any regrets, I decided to bite the bullet and try the Calma bottle anyway, as a last resort.

I'm really surprised that DS actually took it!!!

I really need to be able to up my milk supply now. Any further ideas anyone? I realise that it still not might be enough to make the transition from bottle to breast, but perhaps if I can make him suck only with the Calma bottle, and pump in the meantime, it might just work...

mikkii Sat 18-May-13 14:44:27

I had to up my milk supply with DS and later with DD1. I found I needed to drink loads, make sure there is always a glass of something within reach, especially when feeding LO. Eat plenty yourself, including regular healthy snacks. If you want to feed LO, first you have to feed you!

In addition to the above I needed to force myself to rest, and I also found that expressing regularly, even an ounce or less from each side after a feed, meant that, on the supply and demand basis, more was made.

If he takes the Medela bottle, MayBe DP can give LO some expressed milk and let you have a lie in?

I don't mean to sound preachy, but these things worked for me.

Emi06 Sun 19-May-13 10:33:46

Hi Mikkii, yes, I'm trying to do all of those things that you say :-) although not easy when husband has to work long hours and I have no other support... He gets home absolutely exhausted.At the moment we're living off food that we thankfully managed to prepare and stash in the freezer before DS's arrival. But even so it's not easy getting through the day.

I wonder whether there were any foods in particular that other mums found useful to increase milk supply? Or to avoid?!

ExBrightonBell Sun 19-May-13 12:47:07

I'm glad your ds took the Calma bottle, it was worth giving it a go.

Regards food for breastfeeding, it doesn't matter what you eat really, but I found that I was ragingly thirsty in the early days. I found it difficult as I had to drink far more than I was used to. I kept bottles of water next to me when I was feeding to make sure I drank.

Even mothers with very poor diets can produce plenty of milk - it's apparently only when you have been undernourished for months that supply is affected.

Emi06 Sun 19-May-13 22:22:24

I seem to remember reading, although I don't know where, that certain foods weren't good for producing milk, like cabbage and sage...

Yes, I survey the amount of water I drink by keeping a full bottle by me.

At the moment, it is a bit problematic giving DS the breast as he can't get much out of it (there isn't much to have except in the mornings)! And his suck hasn't developped as much as it should do I don't think.

I don't want him to get too frustrated and gulp down too much air instead so I offer him the breast then the Calma fairly soon afterwards...

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