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I'm new here.. This is my first post smile

My son is 11 days old and due to low blood sugar, losing too much weight and jaundice has always had bottle feeds of formula. I'm now expressing what I can so he's still getting my milk, but it isn't really enough (I'm trying the range of different things to help with low supply)

My question is.. Has anyone had a success story with breastfeeding after pretty much exclusive bottle feeding? He's never fed properly on the breast.. When first born he would latch but not suck.. And as the days have gone on he either sucks a few times (not enough to actually feed) or just screams if he's too hungry. My midwife visit a few days ago showed I'm doing everything right - he just doesn't 'get' it or possibly that my nipples are too big for him l. I'm hoping as he grows it will get easier.

I offer him breast before each feed but I'm worried he just waits for the bottle as its easier. I've always wanted to breastfeed so this is so disappointing for me to be going through sad any advice or success stories would be very much appreciated!!
I don't often post here, but I would like to share with you my BF story. Both my babies were bottle fed (expressed milk) from within a week of being born. Both were eventually successfully breast fed. So yes, it is possible.

Both babies were latching, but not sucking. Both had tongue ties that we got snipped (Google tongue tie or posterior tongue tie. Even if you have been told your baby doesn't have one, he may still have a posterior one, which is very hard to see). With the help of lactation consultants, lots of support from my nearest and dearest and perseverance on my part we managed to learn together. The first was 7-8 weeks before he was breastfeeding, the other was 3-4 weeks.

For me, the key was only attempting to breast feed when I was in a good head space and my bubs was in a good head space - if either of us was tired or frustrated then I just bottle fed. I never tried when they were upset because I didn't want them to develop an association with breasts and being upset.

I'm not going to say I didn't stress about it, but I tried not too. Trying not to stress, perseverance, time and maintaining/increasing your supply is the key. If you try when you feel in the mood then one day he might just take to it. If not, then at least you have given it a good go smile Good luck...it is not an easy road to take. I know how disappointing it is when BF doesn't work out the way you hoped.

Hi there, my little girl was not a very enthusiastic feeder when born... In fact she pretty slept at my breast until she was around 3 weeks old. We had to strip her clothes off and wet her with cold flannels in an attempt to wake her to feed... Awful advice from the experts). I expressed for her, and gave her her feeds via a syringe - until that proved too much of a rig morale for mummy and daddy.

After much deliberation over Bottle vs Breast, I opted for the bottle, which she took to like a pro. Once she gained a little weight, she seemed to get a bit more of a drive toward feeding, and she started to feed off me. I stopped bottle feeding once she had gained weight after her post birth loss (which was quite significant).

We went to a lactation consultant who reassured me that we were doing well, she suggested nipple shields which aided her feeding (minimised confusion and made it easier for her) which we only used for a week or so.

She is now almost 6 months old, and although only feeding off me at night times now (her choice), she is doing so well.

I began supplementing with formula feeds in the afternoons and evenings from 4 months or so. I still express and bottle feed her when I feel like it's neccessary!

It is true, the bottle is faster and a lot quicker and easier for bubs, but hang in there. Give it time, and if breastfeeding doesn't work out for you, please know and be rest assured that you've done the best thing possible for you and your baby by loving him and being his Mummy. smile
My youngest is now 3 1/2 months old, we had BFing issues which turned out to be due to an upper lip tie and a tongue tie. I was attempting to BF him and topping up with formula, then expressing when I could. Some days he would have more bottles than he did breast, because he would cry and fuss so much. He had surgery on his mouth (laser surgery done by a pead. dentist) recently and is now completely breastfed. You might need to get him checked out by a pead. instead of the midwife, there might be an underlying issue causing the feeding problems.

https://sixcupsfull.wordpress.com/

Congratulations on your new baby boy! Sounds like you've been through a lot to start with, so well done grin It sounds like seeing a lactation consultant if possible would be a really good idea - I'm not sure how to access this in Australia, but hopefully your midwife can guide you if you don't know. They can ensure baby is latching well (which is really important for good supply) and can teach you what to look for for effective feeding. Breastfeeding is really hard work and takes a lot of effort for both of you to learn! My little girl was big to start with then lost weight and was very slow to regain it and had very poor weight gains due to low milk supply - in the end I did a range of fenugreek supplements, domperidone and regular expressing 3x daily with bottle top ups 2-3x daily of EBM or formula in the early weeks to maintain appropriate weight gain. It was a slow and exhausting process, and many days I literally did not get far from the couch as I spent all my time feeding, pumping or giving top ups to my very hungry baby. Expressing straight after feeds is really useful to try and improve your supply, but just be cautious that you are not emptying the breasts entirely just before bubs wakes up for the next feed - this happened to me too often and lead to a very angry baby!! I was able to use her weight gains to help guide me with weaning the bottle top ups steadily down over the first few months, as I knew that as her weight steadily improved she would need less from the bottle and was getting better volumes from me. Certainly babies when they are hungry will want the fastest option when it comes to milk, and can get easily frustrated! Definitely keep offering breast first before a top up, and be patient - good things take time. grin Some people suggest trying to gently express a little milk by hand before bubs latches to get milk flowing a bit sooner. A lactation consultant should be able to help identify any other issues that are preventing him from staying latched on for the feed. Most importantly, it sounds like you're doing an awesome job and doing everything you can for your baby - keep up the great work! One thing I learnt was that so many people often end up feeling like its breast or bottle with no inbetween, but actually there's lots of different options in the middle that can be successful if that is what works for your baby. If you want to keep breastfeeding then definitely keep at it and get whatever support you need to make it happen, but in the meantime baby needs food so whatever is working to keep your baby healthy is what is important grin Good luck!! grin
Wow thank you everyone for the kind words of support!! ????
We saw the midwife today and my little man is gaining weight like a pro and above birth weight by a bit so at least I know we're doing the right thing ????
Midwife helped us try and breastfeed.. He latches perfectly (special k lips and all) but then waits and doesn't suck more than a few times so nothing happens. We tried a nipple shield and even tried a little hose pouring EBM into the shield so he gets a taste as he tries sucking and that did really help.. He tried a lot longer/harder than he has before so we'll keep trying that now.
I'm feeling better about it now.. I do really want to breastfeed so hopefully he gets it soon!!
Thanks again for the support!!
Congratulations on your new boy. ..
Great news that you are feeling better about it and it sounds as though you have a supportive midwife, which is great. The more support you can get the better.

OurPreciousGift0 wrote:
He latches perfectly (special k lips and all) but then waits and doesn't suck more than a few times so nothing happens. We tried a nipple shield and even tried a little hose pouring EBM into the shield so he gets a taste as he tries sucking and that did really help.. He tried a lot longer/harder than he has before so we'll keep trying that now.


This description of latching perfectly but not sucking does sound a lot like my 2nd (we tried nipple shields and tube feeding also...I hate nipple shields!!!) If you haven't explored the possibility of a posterior tongue tie yet, I would also recommend that.

With us, I am not entirely sure what worked in the end, but these are the combination of things we tried...

* Introduced a dummy so that he could learn to suck. Once he was sucking hard on this, we slipped the dummy off and popped him on the breast (probably not recommended by midwifes/lactation consultants due to nipple confusion, but defiantly worked with both my boys). Some people use fingers instead of a dummy to achieve the same result...we tried this for 2 weeks with no success so tried a dummy smile

* Gently squeezing his checks while he was attempting to suck (will try to find a link to explain the theory behind this idea) but this is something my lactation consultant encouraged us to try. From memory it is to do with stabilising/supporting the facial muscles to help strengthen his suck.

* Posterior Tongue tie corrected

* Giving it time. If I'm honest, I think my babies mouths were too small for my nipples, and it was just a time thing. Once they had grown a bit they were able to suck better.

I kept persevering. One day I was crying because I thought we would never figure it out - the next he just started sucking. Good luck and remember, you have given it your best shot if it doesn't work out smile




Thanks Fraggle!! I thought the exact same thing about his mouth being too small for my nipple! We also gave him a dummy and he sucks so hard on our finger so I think that must be it.

I have awesome news to share.. Yesterday we tried again with the shield while hubby was getting the tube ready with EBM and he latched on and started sucking without it!! I had expressed a little so he didn't have to try too hard to get milk. I'm so proud!! Hr tried for a good 10mins, sucking on and off, on both sides and we had to give him a bottle after but he did a great job for the first time!! The nipple shield must just be that bit better shape or something than my nipple! YAY!!!
OurPreciousGift0 wrote:
Thanks Fraggle!! I thought the exact same thing about his mouth being too small for my nipple! We also gave him a dummy and he sucks so hard on our finger so I think that must be it.

I have awesome news to share.. Yesterday we tried again with the shield while hubby was getting the tube ready with EBM and he latched on and started sucking without it!! I had expressed a little so he didn't have to try too hard to get milk. I'm so proud!! Hr tried for a good 10mins, sucking on and off, on both sides and we had to give him a bottle after but he did a great job for the first time!! The nipple shield must just be that bit better shape or something than my nipple! YAY!!!


That's really great news! Hopefully you are on the up and up now smile

https://sixcupsfull.wordpress.com/

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