View Full Version : Baby prefers bottle over breast- trouble feeding
Sorry about the lenghty post.....
My baby was born 4.5 weeks premmie and was in intensive care for a couple of days and the nursery for 1 week. I could not breast feed at the start, so had to express. For the 1st 2 weeks, my supply was slow to build as doesn't help when bub can't be taken out of incubtor :(
Now my supply is pretty good- just over what bub needs.
Bubs had to be taught how to suck with a combination of breast, bottle whilst using naso-gastric tube. We were allowed to go home when she was on 100% suck feeds (breast + bottle) which took 2 weeks.
Now we have been home for 2 weeks, she only does about 15 mins on breast and I need to top her up 50 MLs of my expressed milk by bottle as she tires and/or fusses....... I think it's now more than physical, and bow a behavioural thing- I think she actually prefers the constant flow of the bottle over the breast which is making life hell. I have to try breast, she then fusses or tires, I then switch to bottle, and then I have to express- all taking over an hour per feed!
Will I ever be able to turn this around!????
I have switched back to slow flow teats (unfort we had to use medium flow to get her going in early days) to try and make her work harder and she's falling asleep!
I am so upset as feel it is a lose-lose situaiton- if I let her go (and fall asleep after having only a bit on breast), she will loose weight and we'll have to bottle even more! HELP!!! Any one else had this situation???
I didn't have your situation, in that my baby was post dates and no health issues. Actually, my situation is quite different, but there's a little bit of similiarity, and if nothing else it bumps your thread.:)
We had really bad attachment so we used EBM a lot, pretty much from birth.
And he loved it! He preferred the bottle 10x over to the breast. He would often fuss at the breast, and even went on a nursing strike for almost two weeks at 3 months old.:rolleyes:
I would always offer the breast first, and then if it got too frustrating, would give him EBM, for the sake of both of our sanity.
It was really stressful and time consuming in the early days...
..but it eventually got better. Now for the last month he loves the boob so much, and finally prefers it to the bottle.
Maybe phone the ABA for advice. I didn't find them overly sympathetic when I told them I was partially bottlefeeding EBM - they said to ditch the bottle completely, but I couldn't do that as I was working part time as well. But they might have some better advice in your situation.
Maybe a lactation consultant as well.
There is a lot of help out there.
The best advice, I have, unfortunately is perseverence. But, of course, you've got the weight issues, so I suppose you'll always have to mindful of that.
Hope things work out.:fingerscrossed:
I know exactly how you feel. At least you can attach for 15 minutes that's a great sign.
My bub is now nearly two weeks old born full term but while I was in the hospital she damaged my nipples with grazes and blisters so I was told to give the nipples a rest for a few days to let them heal. I expressed and bottle fed during these three days and when I went to put her back on the breast (which she had no problem with before) she was now refusing. I spent a couple of teary and emotional days coming to terms with the fact she now preferred the speed and ease of the bottle and my life was destined for constant expressing, which is double the work, or maybe formula feeding.
I decided to get a private lactation consultant in and while she was expensive the few hours I spent with her I was able to attach and feed which made me realise a lot of it has come down to confidence, I know this because when the consultant left I was no longer able to attach her myself.
Now 5 days later after trying and failing many time I finally just let myself and bubs off the hook and realised it's a learning faze and it will happen and sure enough two days later we got there. I haven't had to bottle feed since and realised that bubs was picking up on my stress vibes. As soon as I relaxed it happened.
I know I can't really help your situation but I know that the lactation consultant told me that it takes a lot of energy to breastfeed from the baby's perspective. And as long as you can attach then bubs will get stronger and be able to suck for longer. I'd be more concerned if you weren't able to get an attachement at all which was my issue.
Also if bubs is falling asleep I find changing her nappy before swapping breasts helps just wake her enough to attach to the other side.
Good luck and know there are others struggling as well, your not alone. :thumbsup:
Thanks for your replies.... can't beleive it is so complex!
I will persist- but I find I get frustrated with bubs and she's only 4 weeks so I don't want to1 I am meant to be only loving her and having a good time with her, but I find I just dread feeding times and getting frustrated.
I don't want it to affect our bonding- how did you get around frustration?!
But, if I had to just give up and express, how do you cope with the timing of expressing-does this mean I won't be able to be out of the house (where the expressing machine is) for liner than 3 hours.... I couldn't cope with that for 6+ months!
Hopefully I didn't convey it would be six months of expressing! I'm sure it will work out much sooner. Mine preferred the bottle until six months, but would breastfeed.
Your baby is only 4 weeks and was 4 weeks premature, so I imagine she's only the size of a newborn, with a little mouth that is still getting stronger.
My baby was 4kg and really long, but had a tiny little mouth and it was so hard for him to attach and find the strength to feed, but he got there!
It's so frustrating though, but the long term pay off is great, both to your baby and you.
Definitely see a lactation consultant, ring the ABA, and surround yourself with people supportive of breastfeeding.
And keep offering the breast. I'm sure she'll get the hang of it.
Maybe let her feed until she falls asleep and if it doesn't seem long enough, then wake her up and let her feed some more.
Do you have somebody at home with you? And a glider or comfortable feeding chair? I found the best thing was just to hang out in the chair, watching DVDs all day, while my partner attended to other things. TV series are good as you can watch them in short segments. I think I got through all seven series of Sex and the City and several series of other shows...:o It was funny. I hated it at the time, then after a few months he started feeding in about 10 minutes, and I missed the TV time.:o
Oh, and feeding in bed is really good (but it took me about six weeks to be able to do it) as you can just lie down and drift off.
breastfeeding is hard work for a baby unless you have really fast flow boobs. Good job on giving it a go. try persisting once a day, she may take to it, but if she dosn't then EMB is still wonderful.
good idea about doing it all in front of TV- will give it a go. Until now I have been so focussed on the feed/ milk supply so haven't thought about anything else while feeding!
IF (and hopefully not) I did express for 6 months, does anyone have any tips of maintaining a LIFE whilst expressing???
It's not too band giving bubs bottle when out, but expressing on the run is difficult.
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