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How long should i try to breastfeed? Lock Rss

My little one is now 4 and a 1/2 weeks old and has never once properly attached to the breast due to my large flat nipples and a little tongue tie on her behalf. I have been attempting to attach her with nipple shield but i find that they have gotten in the way so i have stoped using them. I have been working closely with my early childcare nurse to try and get her on and pray that it will happen soon as she has never attached to the breast i have been pumping breast milk since she was 4 days old approx 5-6 times a day.

There have been many times that i have felt that she will never attach but the nurses state that she could in the future. I am getting frustrated however and don’t know if i should put a time limit on myself to see how long it might take her to finally attach to the breast.

AT the present time I am trying to get bubs on the bubs on the breast at least 3 times a day generally whilst a bottle of breastmilk is in a warmer as after a few attempts she seems to get really worked up and I am told this is detrimental to my chances of her trying to attach. After I try this I give her bottle then try again if she seems content enough. Once she is finally settles or asleep after the feed it is time for me to express again limiting time I have to sleep or play with her.

Due to this time limitation I have been thinking if it is worthwhile just changing to formula and bottle feeding her only… however the nurse say that she is improving and at least nuzzling at the breast a little more than she used to. The nurses have also said they have seen babies attach for the first time. I have already rehired the medela pump for another month but don’t know if I should keep trying after this.

Has anyone ever had or heard of similar situations. I would love to hear about them.


Jacki (NSW), Caitlyn Grace born 3/4/2006

I know of a similar situation, not me personally, but a close friend of mine.

She had the same problem attaching her DS from Day 1 and it took her 5 weeks to teach him to attach. I think it was simply her persistance in wanting to breastfeed that kept her going. Sounds like you are getting a lot of help which is great. Do you try attaching her one both sides? Or just one before she gets grizzly? Or possibly trying to attach her after her play?? Or when she's full on screaming-down-the-house hungry??

At the end of the day it is your choice whether you want to keep trying to attach her. Every baby has to learn and it does take a lot of patience even if they do it from day 1. It is great that you are still expressing! Have you considered just expressing and feeding her through a bottle instead of going to formula?

DD#1 - 3.7yrs, DD#2 -20mnths, DD#3 is here! 21.08.

hi Jacki
i had the same problem with my DS. i had an emergency c-section and was on a drip for 6 days due to a high fever. my DS was admitted to the special care nursery and was on a drip too for low blood sugars. because of all the stress and lack of sleep my milk wouldnt come in. i had to comp feed to get his blood sugras up. i also discovered that i had flat nipples and he had a short tongue. i used a nipple shield in hospital with success, and had to pump my boobs every couple of hours to try to stimulate my milk flow.
my milk finally came in about a week later! We went home and i continued to breast feed with nipple shield. on week two my local early childhood centre nurse told me to wean him off the shield as the shield interferrs with feeding. this was impossible as he could not latch onto my dipple! so i expressed (hired pump) and bottle fed him breast milk. it was very difficult to do, express every 3 hours and feed and spend time with my DS! he also then had trouble with settling and would cry for 7 hours! so my milk started to dry up! in the end i cried for a couple of days and finally went to formula (5 weeks). i still wish things had of worked out better, but he is growing very well (10 weeks and 7.5 kilos!!).
i will try again next time, but wont put the same guilt onto myself if i cant. it was a very distressing time, and think this didnt help my DS as he was picking up on my stress.
BUT, if you feel comfortable to keep peservering then please do! i have logged onto the Breast feeding association web site and looked at their forum and there were many people who got their babies to attach after nipple shields, flat nipples and other attachment issues.
i kind of found out more information after i decided to stop! so try all avenues first, but in the end, go with what will make you happy and your baby happy. formula is not the end of the world, but if i had my time again i would have peservered longer. but if you do decide to go to formula, PLEASE DONT feel guilty. you did the best you could and just enjoy your little one, because they grow so fast! and there are plenty more stresses coming up, personally i am looking forward to teething, then there is sleeping, food ... !!

hi jacki
My son is now 5 weeks and i just couldnt do the whole breast feedimg thing. He would always fuss on the boob and never suck properly and i never thought he was getting enough.. My boobs were so so sore by the end of each feed that just went on forever.. I just gave up.. I now am expressing every feed and giving him 1 bottle of formula (s26Infant) a day to help my milk supply. So it only takes me 10 mins to get 120ml which is all he needs.. I am enjoying my liitle man more now and i dont feel sick every time it comes to feeding him..
And i know that he is still getting the best milk it just comes from the bottle instead of the boob..
hope this helps

Ethan 18/04/06 Hannah 13/04/07 Yep we were crazy a

Hi Jacki,
My little boy is 5 wks old and has a tongue tie, I also expressed for weeks and bottle fed, I was told as his mouth was too small (6 weeks prem.) and he had a slight tongue tie it wash making it harder to feed. He is now able to feed at the breast at all feeds with a shield and we are trying to slowly limit the shield. Hang in there it does seem to improve all of a sudden. A problem I did have after all the ezprssing was too much milk. Are you considering getting your babys tongue tie snipped. We are still trying to decide.
Best Wishes,


Hi Jacki,

I've just been reading through your posts, and all of the replies. How is your feeding going?? Are you still trying??

I just wanted to tell you about my son, who is now 2 1/2. I had real problems feeding him right from the start. I tried for about 2 weeks. But in the end he was getting more blood than milk out of my nipples.

My MCHN really wanted me to keep trying but in the end it wasn't worth it. I was upset, he was upset and hungry. I put him on the bottle. Alternating between expressed Bmilk and formula. I have to say that I felt terribly guilty. of what everyone thought of me. And now I know I shouldn't have.

I have since had a little girl, who is fully breast fed. From the moment she was born sho hopped right on and I've never had a problem.

So don't feel guilty if the breast feeding doesn't work out this time. Sometimes its not mum with the problem, its the baby. As it was in my case.

Good Luck


mum of two

Hi Jacki

We where ok till i got my milk in and the she would just screem the hospital down had the midwifes help and i think that just mad it worse they sugested to use a nipple sheild, it only seem to be one side but when we started using it i decided to use it on both sides and we used it for 5 weeeks or so and after that she was fine i breastfeed her for 6 months with out a nipple sheild after that and i found it a real help.

In the end it is up to you what you do.

Tracey, QLD, Katelynn & Emma & Ben

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