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Transition between breast and bottle feeding

(11 Posts)
Werdna Sun 14-Dec-08 17:30:49

Help! I had been exclusively breastfeeding my almost 4 month old dd until 3 weeks ago. I have been also giving (or tried to give) her a bottle of ebm a day which she took very occasionally. What happened 3 weeks ago was that she refused my breasts, or from the bottle , for 12 hours. I took her to the doctor's who gave her some ranitadine for suspected reflux. That night she started taking from the bottle, and taking it well. I think it was because my milk supply had been decreasing (due to several bouts of plugged milk ducts). So I decided to put her onto half formula, as I wasn't able to express a lot of milk then and she wasn't happy with feeding from the breasts. She took it well for week and a half - around 120 to 140 ml of ebm or formula per feeding. This week she has been taking less and less per feeding, and will take only 80 - 90 ml then I have to force her to take about 30 ml more. She is crying at every feed. This morning at 7.30 am she took only 60 ml, then refused to feed either ebm or formula mid morning. By 3 she refused formula again, but decided to take 12 and 7 minutes from my breasts. I don't know what to do, whether to continue winding down my pumping, or to wind it back up! I just want her to eat! She hasn't gained weight these two weeks and although alert and happy when playing seems to be sleeping more than usual.... Any advice? Sorry this is such a long post. By the way, if anyway has problems with plugged milk ducts I found applying cold wet raw potato slices on my breasts then letting dd suck really works. Find out about it from Dr Jack Newman's website.

StarlightWonderStarlightBright Sun 14-Dec-08 17:35:10

Are you aiming to get her weaned off the breast, or to get her to eat whatever it is?

Werdna Sun 14-Dec-08 19:43:48

Long term - breastfeed until 6 months but for her to take the occasional bottle of ebm or formula. But for now, get her to eat whatever it is!
The last two feedings she refused formula, but was agreeable to breastfeed again. Don't know if she had enough to eat though as she's still fussing but won't take anymore. Feel like I don't have that much milk.

StarlightWonderStarlightBright Sun 14-Dec-08 20:17:41

Sometimes fussing indicates that the milk isn't coming quickly enough YET. The best way to make this happen is to continue to nurse through the fussy periods rather than offer an alternative.

Please call one of the phone numbers here for some real life support. It doesn't seem to me that you'll have much of a problem getting to where you want to be.

Good luck.

gagarin Sun 14-Dec-08 20:24:41

"around 120 to 140 ml of ebm or formula per feeding. This week she has been taking less and less per feeding, and will take only 80 - 90 ml then I have to force her to take about 30 ml more. She is crying at every feed."

I don't think you should "force" her? She'll just get more grumpy.

As appetities go up and down IMO 120/feed one week but 90/feed the next can be normal.

Werdna Thu 18-Dec-08 13:36:50

Sorry haven't replied earlier, thanks for both your advice! She is now willing to bottle feed again, and also breastfeed once a day, still taking just 95 ml sometimes but mostly around 120 - 140, occasionally 165. I guess she does have a sporadic appetite, I just wish she would put on more weight!

Shazameazza Thu 15-Oct-09 00:40:36

My daughter is now 14 wks old and I'm trying to make the transition from breast to bottle feeding with great difficulty. So far over the past few weeks I have tried three different types of nipples, formula and breastmilk in the bottle however she does not seem to want to suckle. She did feed from a bottle at 3 wks to allow me on a night out but stupidly did not keep the momentum with this. I have rheumatoid athritis which is coming back with avengence and need to get back on my mediation asap. Any suggesgtions, health visitor does not seem to have a clue.

Werdna Thu 15-Oct-09 21:40:32

It's tough doing the transition. You just have to keep trying. My baby started refusing to breast feed or bottle feed for a couple days, then bottle fed again, then refused to bottle feed and accepted breastfeeding for a few times. This went on for about a month and a half, I was so worried that she wasn't getting enough. In the end she started bottle feeding again, and she would have good weeks and bad weeks. She will adjust eventually. I also experimented with tons of bottles and she liked
the Mam bottles in the end as the teats are more nipple like. My daughter is now 14 months old and healthy. Maybe you should be consistent now and just keep giving the bottle with formula, and not offer the breast or expressed milk at all. She might refuse a couple of feeds, but hopefully when she is hungry enough she will go with the bottle. Just keep an eye out on the weight. If she is not losing weight she is fine. Good luck, let me know if you need any more help.

Shazameazza Fri 16-Oct-09 00:52:00

Thanks Werdna for the advice. Today she suckled on a dummy, I think this is because she is teething at the moment and by putting calgel on it helped. But as you say they can be fickle because she suckled on this today and tonight didnt want to suckle on the dummy at all. I read some advice on the internet which stated not to make it a battle of the bottle, try three times and if no joy leave it which I done. Advice also given was not to try feeding her in the same position as breastfeeding, so i propt her up in her pram and just rubbed her gums with it and she suckled on it a wee bit so I'll try this every afternoon when she is at her most happy and relaxed and try not to force the issue. Lets hope persistance pays off! I've just joined mumsnet so having a message from yourself so soon was a suprise, so thanks again I'm very grateful. x

Werdna Fri 16-Oct-09 14:12:55

No worries, just keep on trying. All babies' middle name is FICKLE! I battled with the bottle all right, kind of regretted sruggling with it so much now, it didn't help at all! One day she will just do it, whether it's in the breastfeeeding position or in your lap facing forwards, which is the way I do it now. Sometimes I dangle a toy in front to distract her and she then drinks the milk without noticing most of the time, but again, not always!

Shazameazza Sun 18-Oct-09 00:25:43

Joy at last after 3 weeks of trying she finally took 2 ounce of formula from the bottle today which is all I made up due to wasting a lot, she would not take any more after that. I then gave her two feeds from the breast throughout the course of today however she took a further 3 ounce of bottle from my daughter tonight, she's now sound asleep. Bottles are made up at the ready for feeding through the night. If all goes well I'll be out on the town next weekend, going to see Michael McIntyre the comedian. I think by training her to suck a dummy really helped cause when pulling the dummy out she is still in the mode to suck in this way. Had a glass of wine to celebrate, ye ha! Thanks again Werdna x

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