Breast or bottle?

Claudia - posted on 01/04/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I was breast feeding my son twice a day for the last few days whilst he was in Neo Nates ICU and the rest of his feeds he was getting breastmilk from the bottle.He was born 8 weeks prem hence the ICU.Now that he is home, I breastfed him at around 5pm and at 7pm he was crying. I tried the bottle with breastmilk and he finished his feed.Does this mean that he did not get enough from me at 5pm and would it perhaps be a better option to then express my milk and give it to him via bottle?

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Minnie - posted on 01/04/2010

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Babies will always take quite a bit from a bottle, just due to the nature of bottle feeding. Bottles dump milk into the baby and the baby has to take it whether he's full or not.



Put your baby to your breast whenever he wants it, regardless of when he last nursed. When he finishes one breast, and if he still wants to nurse, offer the second. Switch back to the first again when he finishes the second. This is how you increase your milk supply to meet your baby's needs.



In the early weeks you NEED to have your baby at your breast, and often. A pump cannot stimulate the release of the hormone prolactin like your baby can. Laying down lots of prolactin receptors during the newborn period ensures a good milk supply later on.

Lyssa - posted on 01/04/2010

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babies will eat about every 2 hours normally. With my son I would nurse him and at first he wouldn't get enough before my milk came in so i had to supplement formula, until my milk came in. He may not just be getting enough right now till your milk fully comes in. Let him suckle as much as he wants at the breast, this will help your milk production. But since there was a 2 hour difference he was probably just hungry again, I recommend nursing him everytime he's hungry to get your milk production going. If he wants to suckle in between, let him, it stimulates the breast to allow your body to make as much milk as he is demanding.

Liane - posted on 01/04/2010

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Kudos to you for keeping up with nursing even while your baby was in the NICU! It can be very hard when you are separated like that. It is perfectly normal for your baby to want to eat every two hours so don't worry that he is not getting enough just allow him to nurse again. Sometimes, he may not even make it two hours before wanting to nurse. It can seem a bit much at first but it won't stay that way forever.



After you establish a good milk supply and he gets a little older you probably won't be nursing so frequently. My third child is now 6 months old. He nurses every 2-3 hours during the day but typically sleeps anywhere from 6-10 hours at night. Every baby is different though so you may find yours creates a different routine. Just make sure he is having enough wet diapers/stools to ensure he is getting adequate nutrition. Good luck to you and keep up the good work!

Lequita - posted on 01/04/2010

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when babies are as young as your little one they eat quite often. they eat frequently because they can only eat a little at a time. besides they only eat what they can handle at the moment. breast fed babies know when to eat and when to stop. but if you want to give him the bottle of breast milk go ahead. the breast milk helps him to bounce back from his early arrival.

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Lise - posted on 01/06/2010

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Quoting Claudia:

Thanks to all of you for your input. I'm also worried about what I'm going to do when his twin sister comes home in about 2-4 weeks. She's still in NNICU and needs to gain about 500g to reach the 2kg mark.


Good luck!  You can do it!  :)  Check out kellymom.com - they have a whole forum for tandem nursing!

Lise - posted on 01/06/2010

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Not at all! Until about 2 mo old, my LO would go through spurts where she was eating every hour, to 3 hours. But every 2 hours is SUPER common! Pumping and feeding is a LOT harder. If you are able and willing, just nurse him whenever he wants. And if he IS fussy in 2 hours because he didn't get enough milk, giving him a pumped bottle will make it harder because he won't be sending your body the "make milk" signals.

Summer - posted on 01/06/2010

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Oh, and I have heard that nursing twins is hard, but you can do it! Just keep trying, no matter what- and don't stress, a lot of moms don't even try to nurse with preemie babes, you have done great :)

Summer - posted on 01/06/2010

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One or two hours apart for feedings at that age is normal :)

The more you nurse the more you produce and the little guy will benefit even more from nursing because he was a preemie (because of the contact and bonding, not just the milk :))

Good luck and congrats on getting him home!

Claudia - posted on 01/05/2010

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Thanks to all of you for your input. I'm also worried about what I'm going to do when his twin sister comes home in about 2-4 weeks. She's still in NNICU and needs to gain about 500g to reach the 2kg mark.

Donna - posted on 01/05/2010

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Claudia, when your baby nursed he may have been just thirsty not hungry. There is a difference. Sometimes my baby only has a small amount and then other time he will drain me dry. Now in saying that I went back to work and expressed and he bottle fed and breastfed with no problems. It is very noticable when you bottle feed the difference between thirsty and hungry. I weaned my baby at 7 months as I had enough of expressing and he hasn't looked back. He was also a month premmie, he couldn't suckle t took two weeks to get him to suckle I never thought it would happen but it did. It's all time and patience.

Michelle - posted on 01/05/2010

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That sounds about right. Breast milk goes through the digestive system pretty quickly. Keep trying on the breast. If you end up pumping exclusively, you have to be REALLY dedicated to doing it or you'll end up having to supplement. Good luck! :)

Diane - posted on 01/05/2010

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I had this problem with my preemie twins, my advice is to throw out the bottle and put him to breats over and over again. Part of it is just him getting used to having all his feedings at the breast and also understanding that the NICU schedule is not there because that's what's best for baby, it's more because that's what makes the most sense in the hospital so don't think that you have to keep him on the 3 hour schedule just because that's what they do in the hospital. Good luck and God bless!

Ainsley - posted on 01/05/2010

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Feed him whenever he is hungry, his tummy is so small right now. In the beginning babies eat frequently and do well without a schedule. They will space out their feedings when they are ready. My baby nursed so much for the first 2 months. Now he nurses about every 3 hours. Keep up the breastfeeding because babies get so many other benefits from nursing and so do you!!!

Elissa - posted on 01/04/2010

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one of the reasons many women think they have supply problems is because of frequent feeding or not being able to express much. Unfortunately instead of dispelling the myths a lot of people reinforce them and women feel they must switch to bottle because baby isnt getting enough. If you feed on demand, every time, your supply will match demand and when hes going through a growth spurt you will feel like you do nothing for days but feed -thats why we have maternity leave, its not for doing housework :D!

Well done for getting this far! Good luck!

Naomi - posted on 01/04/2010

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some infants do eat every 2 hours (or less or more), offer the breast more often. you could also try a pacifier, my son wasn't eating after a certain point and just wanted to suckle, if he was still hungry he'd spit it out so I'd feed again... don't you love the learning process? :)
GL
oh, and continue the breast as much as possible, it also could be that he's a bit on the lazy side and doesn't suck as hard as he can be b/c the bottle eating is such a breeze... don't let that deter you, takes a little time but he'll get it

Katie - posted on 01/04/2010

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I believe in nursing on demand. I let my son eat as often as he wants as long as he doesn't go more than three hours without. Some days he wants to eat every hour, sometimes every two, sometimes every three. I was told that when breastfeeding always try to give them the breast over the bottle. That it helps with milk production and bonding. If a baby is getting both breast and bottle they can get "nipple confusion." Of course sometimes in cases like yours he had to have a bottle. I thinks its great that you have hung in there and given your baby the best even when you couldnt feed him yourself. I think in your situation most mothers give up. It will take him some time to get used to prefering the breast over the bottle. If it were me I would offer him the breast whenever he wants and always before the bottle. Plus continue to pump and store just in case something happens to your milk. I hope that helps. Good luck!

Kacy - posted on 01/04/2010

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Hi Claudia,
I would not worry about the time of the feeds. Brand new babies and babies that are under stress seem to need more nursing sometimes. My youngest Daughter was "plugged in " what seemed like constantly till something in her internal needs system clicked, and she got into a routine.
Your milk will increase to match his demand in a week or two, so don't worry too much about that.
Sounds like you are doing a great job. It can be so hard to breastfeed in a NICU situation, so props to you. Keep up the good work!

[deleted account]

I didn't feed or pump until my first baby was 4 days old as she was in ICU and fed initially through the nose. But once we did start breastfeeding she wanted to be on constantly which was fine by me - I wanted to make up for lost time. She was in ICU because she inhaled meconium and showed signs of a lung infection so was on antibiotics and a ventilator and who knows what else - I was in a bit of a daze and didn't quite grasp what was going on! Demand feeding seems a lot more natural to me than imposing a schedule on a tiny baby. For at least the first few weeks I think we should follow baby's lead before trying to get them into a routine that suits us as they know their needs immediately and it takes us a while to learn them.

Korena - posted on 01/04/2010

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he was hungry everytime he acts hungry put him to the breast...im a LLC so ask me anything ok.....you will also increase your supply that way

[deleted account]

No. 2 hours is a fine length of time to go between feedings. Just put him to the breast again. :)



I don't know from experience, but from what I've heard (mainly on here) pumping and feeding is much harder. A pump isn't as efficent as your baby, so supply issues/supplementing w/ formula is harder to avoid.



Good luck and congratulations!!!

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