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Advice needed going from bottle to breastfeeding

(16 Posts)
Bu2014 Tue 04-Feb-14 16:16:21

Hi,
I'm a new member here, my little baby boy is two weeks old tomorrow.
He had difficulty latching on when he was born and difficulty drinking from a bottle too.
He has been drinking formula milk from a bottle for almost two weeks now, despite my attempts at getting him to latch on and breastfeed. Part of the problem has been my milk has been slow to come in. Yesterday my GP prescribed me domperidone, which has seen a slight increase in milk supply and I am hopeful my milk production will improve (I am expressing regularly).
I am desperate to breastfeed my little one, any tips or advice on whether this is possible at this late stage? My midwifes have given advice about skin to skin, trying to get him to latch on at every feed etc but nothing seems to work. He seems completely uninterested in latching on unless he is relaxed and already fed...and even then he doesn't latch on, just closes his mouth around the nipple.

Any help/advice would be really appreciated.

Thank you

Babycino81 Tue 04-Feb-14 16:22:06

Didn't want to read and run as I'm no expert but I think you're doing great expressing and to keep trying! As I said, am no expert but my DD (4 months ld) struggled to latch and the midwives were great! They gave me different positions to try but I kept getting stressed when she wouldn't latch and the most success I had was when she slept on my chest, woke and wanted feeding and she decided to latch on then as she and I were so relaxed

Congrats on your new baby and someone who knows more will be along any minute! X

Imnotbeverley Tue 04-Feb-14 17:02:26

Hi,

Congratulations! Very impressive that you are perservering.

Has your baby been checked for tongue tie? This was the cause of our problems, lots of midwives missed it so I would advise getting someone trained in breastfeeding to check (amazing how few midwives are!).

Also, have you tried nipple shields? My son just could not latch and the shields enabled me to breastfeed him.

Good luck

Bu2014 Tue 04-Feb-14 17:14:15

He was checked over just before discharge and we were told that he had a slight tongue tie and to go back if he still experienced difficulty with feeding, but then he improved via the bottle so we didn't go back? Do you think it would help to get this looked at again? To be honest, there was so much going on at the hospital in those few days, its all a bit of a blur to me and I feel that I could have tried harder in those first few days than I did. I haven't tried nipple shields, as been waiting for the milk flow to improve, but may go and get some tomorrow as anxious to try anything and everything to help my little miracle baby smile

I think relaxation is important too, and I feel that I get so anxious and hormonal about it all, especially when he cries constantly for his bottle when I try to get him to latch on. Feel like I'm just a bundle of nerves about it all...and the midwives seem to have given up on me now.

SlinkyB Tue 04-Feb-14 18:25:38

Hi OP

I'm in a similar position to you (although I couldn't bf for the first two weeks of my ds' s life as I was in intensive care/hospital).

I second nipple shields (I chose Avent ones as those are the bottles DH has been using) and are you expressing? I bought a £10 Tommee Tippee manual one in the Tesco 1/2 price sale last week smile

I find three-week old ds now prefers to take my breast milk out of a bottle, and I prefer to do it that way as I getupset if he fusses and gets distressed on the nipple.

Like my Midwife says, every little helps, so he's taking around 30ml breast milk before he has his bottle of formula (around 60-90 ml every 3-4hrs).

Well done you and keep up the good week!

SlinkyB Tue 04-Feb-14 18:26:36

work even!! Baby brain and exhaustion blush

Imnotbeverley Tue 04-Feb-14 20:17:28

OP, yeah I would definitely get the tongue tie looked at and corrected. It might make a big difference.

I agree that stress can make it a lot harder. I was very conscious that my DS could become adverse to the breast and made a big effort to make it as relaxed a process as possible. Sometimes that meant using a syringe to squirt a little formula into his mouth first and then trying to latch him on, or trying mid way through a feed so that he wasn't starving and quite as impatient.

You could also try calling a breastfeeding helpline, I never have but after reading lots of posters on here recommend them when struggling myself, it seems that people really rate them. La Leche League being often suggested.

I really hope that it works out for you, try not to pile the pressure on as it sounds like you couldn't possibly be trying any harder! The most important thing is that your baby gets fed and loved x

Imnotbeverley Tue 04-Feb-14 20:20:46

Also, re tongue tie improving with the bottle- I think that's just because it is much easier to feed from bottles whereas to breastfeed he needs to bring his little tongue out to create a seal. My DS could manage a bottle fine but nothing else! x

Overcooked Tue 04-Feb-14 20:23:37

Try googling re lactation, there are some super success stories, I think there is a good one on here actually, try doing an advanced search.

Good luck!

Liara Tue 04-Feb-14 20:27:55

I managed to reestablish bf with ds1 after a while of mostly bottle feeding (about 3 weeks iirc). I had a lactation consultant who was quite helpful in ensuring that we had the latch just right.

Other things that helped:

Feeding in the bath. We both relaxed and it just went better.

Using a carrier so he could just hang out on the boob if he wanted to and I wasn't nailed to a chair.

Checking that the lower lip was everted at every turn.

Using one of those bottles with a little tube which you attach to your breast to encourage him (gets more milk out easily that way, so doesn't have to suckle to produce let down).

I'll try and see if I can remember any others, it was a while ago! But it did work and he carried on feeding until he was 2.9!

waddleandtoddle Tue 04-Feb-14 20:37:21

It's very stressful when baby doesn't latch but having had similar scenario it definately can be done. Try and get him to feed before he gets hungry - maybe as he's just waking up? But I found the real trick is to get your nipple touching the roof of the mouth. Nipple shields make it easier to achieve. Also I was told not to feed with a bottle but a spoon, syringe or tiny tiny cup to prevent nipple confusion. My DS would only feed in the rugby hold too. Keep persevering as once he learns to latch he won't forget!!!

quietlysuggests Tue 04-Feb-14 20:41:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Imnotbeverley Tue 04-Feb-14 21:02:21

quietlysuggests- no offence but just because your experience was of spending months expressing etc, doesn't mean the OP will, she may just need a bit of support.

I understand the sentiment of what you are saying, but your final statement is very pessimistic and discouraging!

batfuttocks Tue 04-Feb-14 21:03:39

It's called an SNS I think: the tube that you tape to your nipple, it's attached to a bottle of formula so that when the baby comes to the breast they easily get milk and learn the association. It also helps stimulate your supply and let down.

I think all the suggestions if LLL are spot on. This is fairly specialist stuff and will take a fair bit if effort and determination to establish, although you are working with a very young baby so it should be simpler than when people try and relactate after months.

Get lots of help with the latch, keep going with the expressing and domperidone and get in touch with LLL regarding getting an SNS to try.

But I second the poster above: I struggled with poor supply related to luteal phase defect, and whilst partial feeding was possible, it ended up being the worst of both worlds for me. Loads of faff with expressing, breastfeeding and bottles and none of the convenience of just breast feeding. Life was far better for all when I got over my guilt and switched to just formula

batfuttocks Tue 04-Feb-14 21:05:58

Should add - that's not intended to discourage you trying. But there is something to be said for being given "permission" to stop if things are miserable. My la leche counsellor was wonderful and I am so grateful she broached "giving up" with me because I was a bundle of guilt feelings and getting quite low.

Liara Tue 04-Feb-14 21:06:10

quietlysuggests - it took about 2-3 weeks for me to relactate, we then carried on feeding for almost another 3 years, it is not always doom and gloom!

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