trouble latching, but loves the bottle. can i feed her pumped milk exclusively?

Kelsey - posted on 08/28/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

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my 5 1/2 week old daughter has trouble latching on and bites with her gums when she gets frustrated, leaving me with sore nipples and the urge to switch to formula. has anyone ever been able to exclusivly feed their baby pumped milk? will only pumping cause me to lose my milk supply?

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Monika - posted on 09/01/2009

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yes you can pump but when mothers do that they tend to stop nursing earlier than those who actually breastfeed. Try a nipple gaurd to help with latching and its silicone like most nipples on bottles. If there is a problem at first when your baby tries to latch just squirt some milk in the sheild then try again, dont give up they will get the hang of it in no time. My son is slightly tounge tied which makes for a bad latch and he loves it a little too much and im trying to get him off of it but for you i bet you anything it will work and its better than pumping for milk supply!!

Heather - posted on 09/01/2009

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I pump exclusively with my daughter and it seems to be fine. Just make sure you keep on a schedule, otherwise you may not produce enough. I have flat nipples and she refuses to latch so I just pump and give it to her in a bottle. I tried nipple shields and all but she starts crying hysterically, so I just gave up on that idea. I bought an Avent pump that works better than the hospital grade Medela pump, the only downside is that it is manual so you have to pump yourself. I get about 5 ounces each time and she seems content with that. At night I also use formula (1) to help her sleep better- otherwise she's up every half hour wanting fed and (2) to provide her with flouride to help her developing teeth and gums.

Good luck and I hope this helps

Catherine - posted on 08/30/2009

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It can be done but it is really hard work, and it is way more difficult to maintain your supply. She is so young, I would stop with the bottles and get her back on the breast. Try finding a IBCLC or going to a Leche League meeting to get help with her latch. It will get better if you stick with it, I promise. I struggled with my son for 3 months and then one day it just clicked. I am so glad we stuck with it - hang in there mama!

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Shauna - posted on 01/28/2012

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I tried that when my son was born because he latched on poorly as well and wasn't getting enough (he had jaundice). But he eventually caught up to me 'cause I wasn't getting enough or pumping as often as I should have. I would say keep trying because when she gets it, and she will!, you will be so glad you stuck with it. That's what I had to do with our son. I said screw pumping and the bottles. I breastfed, and even though it hurt like heck for a week, he eventually learned and my breasts eventually got used to it. I'm so glad I didn't give up!

Terra - posted on 01/27/2012

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Honestly it sounds like you've created this problem by giving your baby the bottle in the first place. It's called nipple confusion. Bottle nipples are a much faster flow then the breast and she is probably getting frustrated at having to work harder at the breast to get the milk out. My advice would be to ditch the bottle all together and get to a lactation consultant ASAP to help fix the nipple confusion. EPing is a HUGE time commitment and most of the mom's I know that have had to do (children had health problems that kept them from being able to nurse directly) hated it and wished more than anything that they could just nurse. Also, some mom's just do not respond well to the pump and can't ever pump enough to feed the baby let along keep up a supply.

Sally - posted on 01/27/2012

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I know two moms who have.

One started pumping because the doctors wanted to feed her preeemie by tube and when her daughter came home from the hospital she wanted nothing to do with mom's nipple. I think she did it for a year, but it may have been longer.

The other has a special needs baby who won't swallow and has a tube planted in his tummy. He just turned 1 and she just started have to suplement with formula because her school schedule cuts into her pumping time enough to mess with her supply.

It's a lot more work than nursing, but worth it if the alternative is formula. You have to pump more often than nurse because babies get the milk out much more efficiently.

Have you gone to your local LLL or called a lactation consultant? A little help now could save you a lot of pain and hard work in the long run.

Ashley - posted on 09/03/2009

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I pump my breast milk for my 2 week old baby because she becomes over excited to latch-on when she is hungry and just opens her mouth very wide over my nipple and cries out of frustration from not latching quick enough...so I pump my milk and give it to her in a nuk bottle because the nipple is similar to the nipple of a breast. She seems to not mind that it is out of a bottle instead of my breast....I will admit that pumping seems to decrease my milk supply a little but I guess it is worth it.

Tamara - posted on 09/03/2009

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My son is 9 months old and we had trouble latching on from the start. So I pumped exclusively since his birth. He has never had formula, thus there was no decrease in my milk supply. I even have plenty to freeze.

Kristi - posted on 09/03/2009

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I am the mom of an 8 month old. I have been exclusively pumping ever since day 1! He was early and would not eat. Latch or suck a bottle. I was determined to breastfeed. My sole reason for wanting to breastfeed was because I feel breastmilk is the best nutrition, it is expecially made for your baby. Breast or bottle, either way is COMPLETELY up to mommy and daddy. My baby is very healthy. He is following his growth curve, and one of the happiest babies I have ever seen.

If you want to pump, you need a good double electric breast pump. At first you need to pump quite often. About every 3-4 hours. Maybe in the middle of the night, I dropped my middle of the night pumping when I built of a supply. It can be tiring at first, there were many times I thought about throwing in the towel, but you need to keep reminding yourself why you are doing this...it is the best milk for your baby! After you get in a routine it will be like second nature. I had so much extra milk. I have 4 boxes of milk in the freezer. And I have 6 bottles in the fridge, I had more stored bottles when my baby was younger. ie. he takes more now. You may have an initial drop in milk since you have been breastfeeding for 5 weeks, but your body will get used to it. Mine knows no different. There is a community on here for exclusively pumping moms. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

Alicia - posted on 09/02/2009

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You certainly can. It is a big commitment and a lot of work but I know a few moms who have done it. It does tend to lead to you stopping earlier b/c it is just a heck of a time commitment but it can be done. I agree with the others who suggest getting some help/advice on your babies latch, if for no other reason than feeding from the breast is SO much easier and more convenient. If perchance it is an "easy fix" it will save you time, energy and money. Good luck.

Shell - posted on 09/02/2009

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Kelsey, Please seek help from your Health Department's/WIC breastfeeding peer counselor, local lactation consultant and or la leche league for breastfeeding assistance. Those pros can give you the help you need to either breastfeed pain free or pump and keep up your supply. I am a labor, delivery and baby care RN going to school to be a lactation consultant. My 5th baby was in the NICU and had to relearn to breastfeed, it can be done if that is what you'd like to do:)

Lauren - posted on 09/01/2009

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I had the exact same problem with my baby, and after a lot of struggling a lactation consultant suggested I try nipple shields. They made my nipples seem more like the bottle, and also provided relief from the soreness. After a few months I was able to stop using them, and he's still happily breastfeeding at 13 months. Good luck!

Alena - posted on 09/01/2009

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I EP w. my son for over 11 mo. and had enough milk in the freezer to get us through a year +. I pumped every 2-3 hours while on maternity leave and at least once at night, about 2 am. Once I went back to work, I pumped every 3-4 hours and cut out the night pumping. I never saw a decrease in milk until I started to wean myself. Pump as often as your child would nurse. Your body will adjust. I also had a HUGH supply of milk. Be sure you are eating and drinking enough to replenish your body with the calories and the fluids you need as if you are nursing. Good luck.

C - posted on 09/01/2009

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Yep you can feed her expressed milk in bottles and no you will not lose your milk supply as long as you keep pumping regularily. Relatives of my fiance did so for 12mths with a hand pump. I have been doing it for 4 months with a double electric. Sometimes it can be a pain and other times a great relief! And ...I actually just started breastfeeding my little one again with great success, sooo go figure.

Tricia - posted on 09/01/2009

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I feed my baby pumped milk and she was fine. SHe hated the breast beucase the flow wasnt fast enough for her but she seemed to do perfectly fine with the breast milk from the bottle. I was fine with it because of course the most important thing is her actually getting the milk so whatever method you have to use is always good! Good luck!!

Bethany - posted on 09/01/2009

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Another thought. I have flat nipple, so sometimes I have to pump for just a few minutes to allow let down to happen and also to draw out my nipple. This allow her to get a better latch and she usually has no trouble once I do that. Also if she seems to have a lot of spit she can't get a good, she sits there and gums my boob. I just pull her away wipe off my nipple and her mouth and try to reattach her. It works well for me.

Tara - posted on 08/31/2009

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Yes pumping will diminish your supply over time. I would recommend seeing a Lactation Specialist to fix the latch problem. Usually it's a simple trick! You can try pumping and if u have a great supply it may work. Just note a normal supply will allow up to 2oz per pumping session. It will be ok for a few months but then you will not be able to keep up all day. That is still also ok if you don't mind some formula bottles during the day. Some breastmilk is WAY better than none at all. You can also try taking More Milk Plus by Motherlove to help maintain a supply while pumping. Let me know if you have any more questions. I am a Certified Lactation Educator and would love to help!

Bethany - posted on 08/31/2009

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It's very important to stick to a schedule. I just had to switch to formula for a week while I worked out a food allergy and my milk decreased a little because I didn't stick to a schedule as well as I should have. Also I heard oatmeal increases your milk supply, so if it does get low I would eat oatmeal. Otherwise I see no reason you can't pump exclusivly

Svetlana - posted on 08/31/2009

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Due to my huge and I mean huge nipples my youngest son could not and still cannot latch on, so I exclusivly feed him pumped milk. I pump as often as he feeds every 2 to 3 hours, my milk supply is great. my son's birth weight was 7lb and 13 oz and now at 10weeks he is 13lb and 4oz. I know a lot of people will suggest to push your baby some more with breast feeding issue but I am not sure if it worth it for both of you to be frastrated and stressed. I am mother of four and my little one is the only one who could not latch on, but the most important thing for me is that my little one is getting needed mother's milk at this time. hope I was able to help.

Bonnie - posted on 08/31/2009

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YES, I have exclusively fed my baby pumped milk from the very beginning. He will be 9 months old on Friday and I have yet to have any decrease in production (knock on wood!). For various reasons, exclusive pumping was the best decision for us and I do not regret it one bit. My son gets the benefits of my breast milk and no problem with taking it from a bottle. It was great from the beginning because my husband, my mom, etc, they were all able to feed him with the bottle. I pumped for 15 minutes every 3 hours for the first 4 months and then went to 15 minutes every 4-6 hours. It is possible and can sometimes be the best option for mom and baby. I plan on pumping and giving him breastmilk exclusively until he is at least a year, possibly longer.

Samantha - posted on 08/31/2009

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you can, a friend of mine has pumped for six months and is finally drying up. so if your willing to pump every few hours it can be done

Nicoletta - posted on 08/31/2009

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you can buy a nipple shealed then slowly ween her from it.. they are in the drug stores in the bottle nipple areas.

Lindsay - posted on 08/30/2009

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hi! im just letting u know that my daughter is 5 months old on the first! i have been pumping since she was born!!! I use a swing Pump from Medela!! Its amazing Just pump each breast for 10 minutes and u will do great

Christina - posted on 08/30/2009

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my girl is 4 1/2 months and i am still pumping exclusively, i get plenty of milk and my girl is doing great! we had plenty of issues with latching on and everything at the beginning so we tried for a month and then i started pumping..have been ever since and the pumps work great! it is also wonderful because my husband or mom or sister can all feed the baby....i make plenty for daycare and enough to store in the freezer! if you can't breastfeed then by all means pump! it will be easier on you and the baby if you aren't stressing and its way better then formula! message me if you have any questions!

Amanda - posted on 08/30/2009

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no one can tell you what to do, but I urge you to keep trying with the help of a lactation consultant. you can find some in your area via La Leche League's website. My baby had trouble for a while too because I have/had inverted nipples, and it was more painful than I thought it would be until my baby and I got the hang of it...but by 8 weeks we were both pros! Try getting some help and trying at least until 8 weeks when it gets easier for most people.

Danae - posted on 08/29/2009

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Pumping is a pain but is still better than formula. You should be fine just keep a pumping schedule like you would if you were nursing 2 1/2 to 4 hours between pumps. The more consistent you are the better. Also if you are needing more milk pump until you are dry then pump 2 more minutes it will signal (like she would) that you need more milk and your body will adjust.

Tessa - posted on 08/29/2009

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For the first two months my daughter would clamp down on my nipple and grind her gums together. I almost stopped breastfeeding too. I finally figured out that my letdown was too strong for her so she would clamp down to stop the flow. Do you have a strong letdown and/or an oversupply of milk? I finally started pumping a 1/2 ounce off each breast before feeding her and that that helped tremendously. She is now 4 months old and is able to handle the fast letdown without me having to pump off milk. Also, I put ice packs on my breasts when they were sore and I always put Tender Care Lanolin on my nipple after feeding. I hope this helps and I wish you the best!

Lynette - posted on 08/29/2009

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You should be fine. Many moms continue to breastfeed with expressed milk when the go back to work. My cousins wife was nervous from day one that her baby wasn't getting enough milk since she couldn't measure. For 12 months she expressed her milk for her baby. But I also agree.....DON"T give up!! If possible seek out a lactation specialist to assist you. Good luck!

Cindy - posted on 08/28/2009

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Pumping exclusively would be VERY tiring & few people are able to keep up a really good supply through pumping alone. it would also be hard during growth spurts where feeding can become hourly to increase the supply.

5 1/2 wks is still very young & you & bub are still learning to get in sync with each other. Also, if this is your first child or there's been a while between children, nipple soreness is very common & can take a while to get comfy.

Have you tried nipple shields? I have breastfed 4 children & had never used them but had badly cracked & grazed nipples after this last one (now 9wks old) because his first night I was exhausted after 25hrs of labour, hospital staff were really busy, so I just let him suck all night - in weird & wonderful positions - & it caused some damage. after a week they were blistered & bleeding & I was going insane with the pain then read about nipple shields, got some & it was HEAVEN!!!!!! I used them until my nipples healed (bub never really liked them much but once he was on and a let down was happening he was fine) & now everything is better.

I would try them before I tried pumping.

Nilda - posted on 08/28/2009

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My best friend was able to pump and feed for 3 months only. She described the night scene as hectic, she would have to get up pump and then feed, baby would be fully awakened and the entire process would be too long. You may want to try to pump ahead for night feedings, although, keep in mind the importance of not going too long between pumping to preserve your supply. I reccomend renting or even buying, if you can afford, a hospital grade pump to maintain your supply and better effectiveness. All these efforts will certainly payoff!!

Carina - posted on 08/28/2009

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I was pumping excelusively in the beginning because my nipples were so sore and for me I did have a little bit of a problem with decreased milk supply, but I took Fenugreek & drank Mother's Milk tea which helped me a lot (I continued having a good supply even after stop taking it). But health wise, there's no difference between letting your baby drink expressed milk vs nursing. Good luck.

Aliya - posted on 08/28/2009

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I think you and your baby will be fine with just pumping. I would be sure to try and pump on a schedule so you can maintain your milk. Good luck!

[deleted account]

OH also - my Aunt is a Lactation Consultant. I had problems with biting at the beginning too. Her solution to that was to push the baby's head farther into your chest. It will force them to stop biting and either let go entirely or fix their latch because they'll have to open their mouth to breath. As soon as the bite stops you can ease up a little and let her start breathing through her nose again. I only had to do this for a couple days before he stopped biting.

[deleted account]

I go to a mom's group and one of the girls there feeds her 4.5 month old baby exclusively pumped milk, and has since day one for the exact same reason. She and her baby are both happy and healthy.

Gina - posted on 08/28/2009

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I haven't exclusively fed my baby pumped milk, but I've been to some LLL meetings and heard that nothing gets the milk out like breastfeeding. So my assumption is that your milk will decreas, but not dissappear. Is this your first baby? I was wondering, because with my first, I had sore nipples for 2 months! But after that, we got situated, and breastfeeding was not a problem. If you've never breastfed before, it can take some getting used to-even when you have and it's been awhile since the last baby. HOpe I gave you some hope.

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