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Bottle to breast - please tell me it's possible.

(16 Posts)
Oysterbabe Mon 15-Feb-16 10:59:27

My PFB was born pre-term and spent some time in NICU where she was tube then bottle fed. She's been having exclusively expressed milk ever since as she won't breastfeed. She'll be 7 weeks this week.

I've kept trying her on the breast from time to time in the hope that she'll feed one day. I've had limited success with nipple shields but no luck without. She generally gets angry at having to work so hard, sucks a couple of times then just cries. Anyway she finished her whole bottle this morning so I started to warm up some more and thought I'd try boob again while I waited to try and distract her from kicking off. She seemed to latch on and suckle for about 10 minutes and has now fallen asleep. I can't be sure she was getting anything but I could feel her sucking quite hard and she did have some milk dribbling down her cheek when she came off.

Do you think there's still hope of getting her breastfeeding properly? Expressing is such hard work and I'd love to be able to breastfeed her. What do you think the best approach is? I think it worked this time because she wasn't too hungry so wasn't frantic and fussing.

Any help and advice very gratefully received!

puddock Mon 15-Feb-16 11:02:34

Yes there is still hope - the best approach is real-life support from a lacatation consultant who can see you and your baby face-to-fact, try your local La Leche League or look for an IBCLC in your area.

You might also get more advice if you moved this post to the Feeding section? Good luck!

Oysterbabe Mon 15-Feb-16 11:07:24

Thanks. I didn't realise there was a feeding topic. I've put a copy in there too.

TheTravellingLemon Mon 15-Feb-16 11:08:27

Yes, I did it! As Puddock says, get real life support. I was lucky enough to live in an area where there was loads available and I didn't have to pay. I had a wonderful lady visit me at home and sit with me for over two hours and then I went to a support group once a week.

I never got off the nipple shields though. I still managed to feed with them for 7 months although I admit they are a royal pain in the bum grin. I was proud of myself. It is hard work to go back the other way, but it can be done. Good luck.

ChilliMum Mon 15-Feb-16 11:14:19

Yes of course and you sound like you are well on your way. I would suggest 2 things; use newborn teats when you do give a bottle as the baby will have to work harder for the milk reducing the appeal of the bottle and if you can express manually try and get your milk flowing before you attach baby so again less work. Good luck and hang in there.

Pollyputhtekettleon Mon 15-Feb-16 11:21:41

Yes it's very possible. It will be hard work but if it's what you want then go for it! I think you should have a good read of Kellymom website and familiarise yourself with how supply works. I think she even has info on breastfeeding an adopted baby! But do understand that it's the baby that has to make the supply and that while you are building it there will be moments and days where the baby is miserable and feeding all the time and not getting anything. This happens with every breastfed baby and is a very important part of the process. I think people dont realise that and when they feel the milk is gone and baby is roaring, they top up out of desperation but that takes you even further away from the right supply! In your case I think you need to carefully manage the switch from formula because going cold turkey is too extreme considering the bottles baby is already having (that have replaced your supply at those points in the day for now) but do expect to have some miserable moments as supply builds by baby and be careful that you are giving some formula still at chosen times that the baby is getting enough. So I would wipe out bottles at specific times of the day, one at a time. Do 3 days without that bottle, taking time to breastfeed breastfeed breastfeed (till the supply builds for that feed) and then start eork on removing another bottle.

Pollyputhtekettleon Mon 15-Feb-16 11:23:15

Oh and get rid of the shields. They are really just a last resort for dealing with horrific pain but actually inhibit the baby's ability to feed which in turn has a negative impact on supply.

Oysterbabe Mon 15-Feb-16 11:24:31

Thanks Polly. She doesn't have formula though, she's having expressed milk all the time so I think my supply is quite good. It's the getting her to take it which is the issue.

Pollyputhtekettleon Mon 15-Feb-16 15:26:25

Ah! Sorry I misunderstood. That's even easier then.

Sleepybunny Mon 15-Feb-16 15:34:07

Just to add a couple tips;

When you do bottle feed, use the teat to touch her top lip and encourage her to open her mouth wide, so similar to latching.

Offer boob, in between feeds and as often as possible really. You mind find as she's not starving, she'll latch on and graze for bit. With any luck she'll forget about the bottle.

5madthings Mon 15-Feb-16 15:40:26

Yes it's possible have a look at sns? Is it called feeding system so baby xan latch on and fees from you but at the same time will be getting milk from a little tube attached to your nipple. It will mean she won't have to work quite so hard and she will still be stimulating your breast so encouraging milk production.

Would Def be good to get real life support though.

But I would say Tey a babymoon as much skin to skin as possible and encouraging her to latch and suckle whenever possible.

5madthings Mon 15-Feb-16 15:42:27

Google sns bfeeding and you will get info it's a supplemental nursing system and would mean you could avoid using bottles.

AnnieOnnieMouse Mon 15-Feb-16 15:54:21

Yes, I did it many years ago. DS was prem, wouldn't suck or root until due date. I used to try to get him to feed while expressed milk or formula (had to supplement) was warming up. It was tough for a few weeks, but worth it in the end. I tried shields but baby couldn't get on with them. Do try the lactation advisers, too. Best of luck.

Sparklycat Mon 15-Feb-16 16:00:35

Yes absolutely! I had to express and bottle feed then moved on to using nipple shields as they made my boobs more bottle like for her to accept them (ie plastic!) then at 6 months she magically latched on without them grin

lilac3033 Mon 15-Feb-16 17:18:26

You can! I did and that was with very poor expressing results. DD mostly had formula until about 9 weeks. She couldn't latch regularly (with shields!) until about 6-7 weeks. She still had top ups until about 12 weeks. Just keep trying her on the breast and I am sure it will work! Good luck. If you have breastfeeding clinics I highly recommend them!

FireflyGirl Tue 16-Feb-16 21:52:41

Some good advice here op. Just to add, if you are still giving her a bottle, look up paced bottle feeding on YouTube. It's a technique that means bottle feeding is a bit more like breastfeeding, so less confusion.

It sounds promising, though cake

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