breastfeeding tips needed. Don't want to quit breastfeeding.

Amber - posted on 01/03/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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Hello. I have a 1 month old that I am breastfeeding. He was 10lbs 11.5 oz. at birth, and lost down to 9lbs 9oz by the time we left the hospital. My baby's peditrician recommended that I supplment my son with an ounce of formula after each of his feedings so that maybe he will gain his weight back better. After a week of supplmenting him, he gained back up to 10 lbs, which is what he is still at. I don't like the thought of using formula, and want to continue breastfeeding, but my son seems to be fighting me when i try to breastfeed him. He normally likes the football position, but here lately he doesn't seem to like it any way. I am worried that I am going to dry up if I dont get him to feeding better. Does anyone have any advice for me on how to get him to feed from me better?

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Marjorie - posted on 08/22/2011

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GRRR! Pediatrician recommending supplementing. Babies lose 10% at least of their birth weight in the first few days.

Nicole - posted on 01/06/2010

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Quoting Nicole:

Oh dear. I wish they hadn't recommended supplementation. I was pushed in that direction because my son went under the lamps due to a high bilirubin screening and he immediately refused the breast in favor of the bottle. It was the same scenario... I fed from the breast first, then an ounce of formula and back under the lights for him. It only took 24 hours for him to develop a preference and over a week of fighting with him to get him back at my breast.

My midwife recommended nipple shields as my son would not take the breast into his mouth at all no matter how hungry. He became frantic and would scream forever... really.... hours. Best to prepare yourself for a battle and quit the bottles altogether. If he won't take your breast even though he is obviously hungry, try the shields. Medela for sure makes them as that is what I used. Use them as briefly as possible, as they can also cause your supply to go down. With the shield on, he took my breast immediately as it felt to him like a bottle nipple. It took me a few days of feeding him with them, then I would trick him onto my breast with one and slip it off mid feed. Eventually he took the bare breast again.

I hope you get it sorted out! Be strong... remember you are in charge. And my son was also a large baby... 9 lbs 14.5 ounces. We need all the stimulation we can get to keep up with such hefty babies! =)

Best of luck!


i did exactly the same, i used Pigeon nipple shields and, it was about a week and a half battle but he finally accepted the naked breast. My mother (who is very unsupporting of breast feeding ) came to visit me for two weeks and gave him bottle so much that he didnt want the breast again!! it took two weeks to get him to accept the breast again, i stopped bottle feeding completely and he would scream his head off till he too the breast. - i still struggle with my milk production because of this!



but i couldnt handle the sleepless nighta and the running around buying formula, mixing bottles, measuring out powder and cleaning and sanitinsing bottles while my son screams his head off if i'm not prepared!!! also it was alot to carry around when i went out the house - my breasts on the other hand did all that for me!



another thing i did when he kept demanding formula over breast milk is i used PRE- Digested formula (NAN Perlagen) which is a little bit sour - he soon preffered the sweeter breast milk over the yogerty perlagen.

Nicole - posted on 01/03/2010

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Oh dear. I wish they hadn't recommended supplementation. I was pushed in that direction because my son went under the lamps due to a high bilirubin screening and he immediately refused the breast in favor of the bottle. It was the same scenario... I fed from the breast first, then an ounce of formula and back under the lights for him. It only took 24 hours for him to develop a preference and over a week of fighting with him to get him back at my breast.

My midwife recommended nipple shields as my son would not take the breast into his mouth at all no matter how hungry. He became frantic and would scream forever... really.... hours. Best to prepare yourself for a battle and quit the bottles altogether. If he won't take your breast even though he is obviously hungry, try the shields. Medela for sure makes them as that is what I used. Use them as briefly as possible, as they can also cause your supply to go down. With the shield on, he took my breast immediately as it felt to him like a bottle nipple. It took me a few days of feeding him with them, then I would trick him onto my breast with one and slip it off mid feed. Eventually he took the bare breast again.

I hope you get it sorted out! Be strong... remember you are in charge. And my son was also a large baby... 9 lbs 14.5 ounces. We need all the stimulation we can get to keep up with such hefty babies! =)

Best of luck!

Rebecca - posted on 01/03/2010

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Your babys weight loss at the beginning is completely normal. Both of my kids lost about a pound by the time they came home from the hospital. Both were EBF. They recomend not to give bottles to a bf baby until your milk supply is well established (usually around 4-6 weeks) this is because the bottle is easier for them to get milk out of then a breast, as well babys find it hard to latch onto the breast, once given a bottle,because the nipple is softer and more pliable and can become dificult for baby to find and latch on to then an artificial nipple and they will then tend to fuss at the breast. (alot of moms think that they have no milk when this happens but it just a "confusion" at the breast not lack of supply) The best thing to do is to let baby spend more time at the breast (unrestricted access), snuggle skin to skin, nurse in a warm bath, carry baby in a sling and nurse, co-sleep and let baby nurse unrestricted at night. As well you can pump to try to increase your supply is that is a concern. Try to do it in the morning as you will have more milk then, and only pump after baby has nursed his fill. Pump for at least 10 mins even if nothing comes out, this will stimulate your breasts.

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Natalie - posted on 04/19/2011

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my baby was born with a birth weight of 6lb 2oz and didnt really drop much in weight he went to 5lb 15oz... i breastfed him and he took well ect no probs then after a few weeks his weight was really dropping dramatically so i offered "top up" feeds with formula milk... and was feeding constantly sometimes upto 4hrs long i spoke to my midwife and health visitor who just told me to "persist" with it...at my son's 6wk check he was refered to the peditrician as he had dropped below 0.4 line on his growth and still continued to drop... and even prem nappies were too big..
after seeing the peditrician it worked out that my milk wasnt all that its cracked up to be and in turn was actually starving my son this is my 5th child and so was quite upsetting to realise that by me wanting to feed my child was doing this to him even tho i had loads of milk..
I had to put my son on a special prescribed milk called infatrini which is a high calorie milk to put weight on him and after 2 months it done the trick,he is now 5 months old and weighs 13lb and has bottle feeds which he does enjoy altho at first i resented it i convinced myself that by stopping breast feeding i was doing the right thing and a month later from stopping i feel i made the right choice as he has come on leaps and bounds and is such a different child a very happy and contented one...my advice is to follow ur heart but sometimes what we want isnt what the child wants as i found out

Melinda - posted on 01/07/2010

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i was having a hard time breastfeeding and my baby latching on and my sister in law recommended using a nipple guard (which you can buy at target). it worked tremendously. at first she wouldnt do it but then i tried putting breast milk on the tip of it and she started eating. she is 2 months old now

Jennifer - posted on 01/06/2010

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I had a simmilar issue with my son. All I can say is don't give up. he will not starve if you stop the formula. and you can pump to increas your milk production. it took me about a week to learn how he liked it and for him to learn how to latch on properly. we have now been bfing for a year and i enjoy every minute of it even thought in the begining we have alot of trouble.

Amy - posted on 01/06/2010

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Contact your local La Leche League. They can have a consultant come and visit. They are a great help.

Nicole - posted on 01/06/2010

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So did you call him "BRUTUS"?? Just kidding! That's a big a baby! You know...9.9lbs is still a VERY great weight!
I have breastfed 3 babes and am currently. The only thing that I can say is to keep it up and relax yourself....babies seem to feel the stress and tension that we're under so, take a nice relaxing bath, put on some easy listening and cuddle up with him and try again. I really hope that you don't give up and continue trying...I'm sure you'll both be at it in no time :) Good luck

Etta - posted on 01/05/2010

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I had a similar problem with my first baby. He lost 10% of his birth weight and the pediatrician pressured us to supplement. At 3 months he was almost exclusively bottle fed. I took Fenugreek and pumped. I'm not sure if that helped or if he just matured. By 4 months, he pretty much weaned from the bottle. It was a long hard battle that I didn't want to repeat. My second baby also had problems gaining weight. We had a different doctor and I saw a LC right away. I pumped, took Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle and follow my LC's recommendations on diet (some foods help with supply). This time we were back on track in 1 month. I highly recommend finding a LC through the hospital, doctor, or by visiting www.ilca.org. LCs not only provide great information and can show you good latching techniques, but the can also give emotional support which is important in the early days, especially when you're having trouble bfing.
Don't give up!
Good luck.

Michelle - posted on 01/05/2010

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He may have decided the bottle's easier & has gotten "lazy" for lack of a better term. Keep trying to get him back on the breast & keep pumping. Maybe you can call a lactation consultant to help you. If you can't get him to go back to the breast, you may be stuck pumping exclusively (which really isn't that bad if you can keep up with it.) I did it with my first son b/c he wouldn't stay latched on & now that he's talking a lot more we're realizing that he might be tongue-tied. It worked out pretty well, so once my 2nd son came along I EBF in the hospital & then got so tired I just asked for a pump & now I exclusively pump for him too.

Francine - posted on 01/05/2010

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Quoting Nicole:

My midwife recommended nipple shields as my son would not take the breast into his mouth at all no matter how hungry. He became frantic and would scream forever... really.... hours. Best to prepare yourself for a battle and quit the bottles altogether. If he won't take your breast even though he is obviously hungry, try the shields. Medela for sure makes them as that is what I used. Use them as briefly as possible, as they can also cause your supply to go down. With the shield on, he took my breast immediately as it felt to him like a bottle nipple. It took me a few days of feeding him with them, then I would trick him onto my breast with one and slip it off mid feed. Eventually he took the bare breast again.

I hope you get it sorted out! Be strong... remember you are in charge. And my son was also a large baby... 9 lbs 14.5 ounces. We need all the stimulation we can get to keep up with such hefty babies! =)

Best of luck!


I agree with the shields, I had a lot of trouble (my daughter was 9.6lb and lost 12% of her body weight in the first week) I use the Tommy Tippee shields, they are softer than some of the others. My shape means that my daughter is not able to attach properly without them. 



 



Good luck with it. I hope things improve for you. 

Diane - posted on 01/05/2010

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I encountered a simillar problem with my preemie twins and my advice would be to talk to a different pediatrician and a lactation consultant. The other thing to think about is 'why formula?' wouldn't more breastmilk be just as good? There are not more calories in formula than there are in breastmilk so if the issue is that he's not getting enough milk from you then the bottle feeding will only make it worse. Every time your baby gets a bottle it tells your body that there's that much milk it doesn't need to make anymore and your supply will go down even if you pump because the pump isn't as efficient as a suckling baby. What I did with my twins which I'll reccommend to you is to stop the bottle alltogether no matter what's in it and just breastfeed around the clock whenever he wants to eat. Co-sleeping is great for nursing babies, just position him so that he has complete access (look at La Leche League websits for positions) after about 2 or 3 days your body will begin to produce as much milk as he needs. You could also try pumping between feedings during this time and it doesn't matter if you get anything or not, the important part is that you're telling your body to make more milk and it will. Make sure to drink plenty of water eat plenty of food, also rest up. Good luck and God bless!

Jennifer - posted on 01/05/2010

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I found that my baby was fussy and had reflux in the beginning also my letdown choked him. He is now 14weeks and feeds great:) Try standing and swaying/moving while patting your baby's bottom rhythmically- not sure why but it worked wonders when my baby was refusing feeds. i think it distracts them? If your letdown is too quick you can make a scissor shape with your 2 fingers and press around your nipple while you start the feed and gradually ease off as the pressure drops. I had lots of milk so not sure if any of my tips will help? You can do it dont give up:) Your body should balance out and adjust your supply by 8-12 weeks.

Jen - posted on 01/04/2010

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My daughter went through a phase where she prefered the bottle. Instead of dealing with the frustration of a screaming biting baby and a crying mommy, I pumped and fed her the breastmilk in a bottle, as well as offering her the breast. A month or two later, she ended up prefering the breast. Now, at 11 months, I have the opposite problem: She refuses bottles & won't take anything but the breast!

Kristina - posted on 01/04/2010

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Quoting Kristina:

my suggestion is to not offer the bottle anymore until he latches better and for longer your supply might take longer than six weeks to fully establish since you have not been exscusively nursing. if they are hungry enough they will eat and smaller babies open their mouths wider when they cry so that you can get your breast farther back into his mouth the farther back you can get your breast the better the latch will be. i hope my suggestions will help my son was nursed with a shield for the first two weeks and then he did just fine. if you have to call your local hospital and see a lactation consultant there. good luck



i am replying to my own post for you try using the adiri natural nurser it is shaped like your breast so it will be easier switching from bottle to breast requires the same sucking as bf

Kristina - posted on 01/04/2010

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my suggestion is to not offer the bottle anymore until he latches better and for longer your supply might take longer than six weeks to fully establish since you have not been exscusively nursing. if they are hungry enough they will eat and smaller babies open their mouths wider when they cry so that you can get your breast farther back into his mouth the farther back you can get your breast the better the latch will be. i hope my suggestions will help my son was nursed with a shield for the first two weeks and then he did just fine. if you have to call your local hospital and see a lactation consultant there. good luck

Allison - posted on 01/04/2010

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All the advice you got so far is great, I just wanted to add that breastmilk is more calorically dense than formula, so telling you to feed formula specifically for weight gain is just plain dumb. Also, if you had an IV in labor, that can artificially inflate baby's weight. So after birth it seems they've lost weight when they really just lost that extra fluid from the IV.

Courtney - posted on 01/03/2010

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yep i agree with the other ladies, sounds like your son likes the bottle so pump away my dear, pump to feed and pump to store.

Tonya - posted on 01/03/2010

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My daughter is almost 3 months old and around 5 weeks, she went through a few days where she didn't want to nurse no matter what position I put her in. I hand expressed milk so I wouldn't dry up. When she was hungry enough, she ate. She hasn't rejected the breast since. She is only 12 lbs 8 oz so I personally don't think it'll be a tragedy if your lil one drops a pound. I'm not a doctor but sometimes they aren't accurate.

Amber - posted on 01/03/2010

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Thank you guys for all your advice. I will definatley check our kellymom.com, and I will also just keep trying.
Thanks again,

~~Amber~~

Krista - posted on 01/03/2010

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I second the recommendation for KellyMom.com. It was immensely helpful to me when I was figuring out the nursing thing. The most important thing to remember about nursing is to offer the breast frequently and offer both sides! Don't try to hold to a schedule too closely at first: babies aren't necessarily hungry only every 2 or 3 hours. Sometimes they get hungry sooner, sometimes later. I found that writing down how often the baby seemed hungry (and when I nursed) helped remind me that my daughter was getting enough to eat!
Good luck to you!

Lise - posted on 01/03/2010

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Bottles are easier to drink from - so he may have gotten a preference for the bottle. Always offer breast first. You may want to try something like the supplemental nursing system (SNS). That brought my baby back to the boob pretty quickly, but was a pain in the butt.

Just a little history - my baby was born 8.15, dropped down to almost SIX within a couple weeks. I kept trudging away at the breast (didn't supplement - my pedi gave me the name of a LC). She's not 11 weeks and 12.6. It was HARD, but so worth it! Yes, as previous poster said, try new positions. Try feeding him when he's still sleepy so not starving. I'd also pump before feeding my LO so that the milk would be RIGHT there. Sometimes even put some of the milk on her lip before trying to get her to feed.

Check out kellymom.com - it's heaven sent! Has advice on this, too.

Amber - posted on 01/03/2010

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Thanks for the advice. I will definately pump more because I dont want to dry up, and I want to continue to breastfeed him because I know how good it is for him. thanks again.



~~Amber~~

Casey - posted on 01/03/2010

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pump pump pump! try different postions. me and my friend have shared some interesting new bfeeding positions we made up spur of the moment haha. the one i did was cause it was night time and i was so tired i guess i fed him off of one side he was laying next to me in bed and instead of moving him i layed on my tummy and offered the other side. i used me hand to hold myself up and its not that bad now especially if you do co sleep it works great. but pumping will keep your supply up and he will pick up on eating just give hime time. my son was almost 10 pounds too and i have been bfeeding almost a year just eat more smaller healthier meals and feed on demand! good luck!

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