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  5. Breastfeeding / Expressing / Bottle confusion

Breastfeeding / Expressing / Bottle confusion Rss

Hi everyone,
My first baby is due in July.
I am trying to get my head around this whole breastfeeding thing.
In an ideal world, I would like to breastfeed but also have the baby take the bottle. I will have to go back to work when baby is about 4 months old so he will need to be on the bottle by then, but also my husband has expressed his desire to help with feeding to bond with his son. I plan to express milk for the bottle instead of using formula.
1. When should I start to introduce the bottle?
2. Can a 4 month old suck from a bottle and my breast without getting confused or is it just one or the other?
3. How do I know what bottles to buy? Is it based on my nipple size?
I really appreciate your help on this.
Hi, mine never got nipple confusion. They all loved the boob, plus I never used a dummy with the first two and demand fed, so I was like their comfort/pacifier too. But my middle child was a terror at taking the bottle. Went through 4 or 5 types before she would take one...

Probably wait a while before introducing the bottle to get your supply happening, unless you want to give your boobs a break, or have a sleep.

With all three of mine I expressed a bottle during the day, did the 7.30pm feed, left baby & bottle with their father. He did the 10.30-11pm feed, settled bub, snuck them back in the room, then we all got up 5-7am so we both (hopefully) got 6 hrs of sleep so that I could rest/ heal. Worked for us.
Introducing a bottle was when breastfeeding problems started for me. I would hold off as long as possible tbh. Your dh can bond with bub in other ways - skin to skin in the bath, baby massage, settle bubs after you've breastfed.
Dd1 refused to take both breast and bottle, so when I went back to work at 7months she was on a bottle only.
Dd2 took a bottle no issues around 6 months when I went back to work, I didn't try doing both as breast feeding was not a fun experience with her.
Dd3 is 2 weeks old and has had a bottle after breast feeding to top her up from the get-go as she had to go under lights for jaundice (on advice from the pead from special care). So far she's going well with breast feeding and usually only has a small top up, which I will continue to do until she doesn't need the top up anymore, as she is settled and growing well. smile
With DS1 we had issues with mixed feeding and eventually at 5.5 months he refused the breast because it was 'easier' on the bottle.

With DS2 he has mixed fed without any major problem. Only having a bottle every few weeks.

I found the medela calma to be awesome, a little pricey but totally worth it. It's only one teat regardless their age as it only allows the milk to come if they suck correctly.

I was told to wait until everything settled down at 6 weeks but by then it was too late. We tried a bottle twice when bub was only a week or two old & he took it no probs. By 6 weeks he flat out refused it.

I think if you mostly breastfeed & then offer a bottle feed every 2nd day or even once a day. That way baby should have a preference for boob but will also take a bottle if you start it right from the beginning (or as soon as your have established breastfeeding.

Expressing once a day or every second day should not increase your supply to much, besides I always figured it was better to have too much milk than not enough. I used to express first thing in the morning as that's when my supply is highest. I would express one side & then feed him from the other. And don't worry about 'stealing' his milk when you express....there will always be enough for him.
Hi, this is a topic that does cause confusion particularly as some babies will take to the breast and bottle with ease, others get confused and others will only take one or the other.

The two main reasons it is suggested to wait is that firstly, although your milk "comes in" during the first week, your supply is not well established until about 6 weeks, early introduction of bottles, skipping feeds and doing scheduled/routine feeding rather than demand feeding can lead to a diminished supply. That said, if you do decide to give a bottle during this time, you can express either by hand or using a pump so that you're still getting adequate breast stimulation (which = milk production). The second reason bottles are advised against is that while some babies take to breastfeeding easily, a very large number take some time to get the hang of it and if you introduce a bottle before you and your baby are confident you can jeopordise breastfeeding because the effort and type of suck required for breast and bottle are different.

All of that said - my experience was that my baby was physically unable to breastfeed due to a tongue tie and although I tried to offer her breastfeeds, it was causing terrible nipple trauma and instead I expressed and bottle fed at least 50% of the time for the first 5 weeks, at which point I got her tongue tie corrected and she willingly accepted the breast and I managed to BF her for 14 months. Because of the early bottle introduction, she went back and forth between the two without any hesitation and never showed fussiness or refusal at the breast. It was a blessing when I returned to work that she would take both easily.

I've just had my second baby, he's prem and only just learning to breastfeed now. My plan with him is to wait until he's confident in breastfeeding - meaning that he latches with ease and can take a full feed without losing his latch and without tiring. As soon as he is doing this I plan to give him the occasional bottle (a couple a week) so that when I go back to work I can be sure he'll take a bottle. I guess my advice to you as a first time mum who is new to breastfeeding is to wait a little bit, just to be sure you and bub are ok with BF'ing and that your supply doesn't suffer.

As for the bottle/teat, there are dozens of brands, shapes, types on the market. There is one brand in particular that is very good for a breastfed baby - it's called Medela Calma and unlike others that flow freely, the baby has to suck in a manner that is much closer to breastfeeding to get the milk. It is dearer than other brands but worth it IMO.

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