JENNASMOMMIE (KIM) , RE; how to get ...
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|Wed, 06-21-2000 - 12:26pm|
JENNASMOMMIE (KIM) , RE; how to get baby to take the breast instead of bottles.......
Here's a link to your post so others can read and comment too:
I can't imagine how frustating it must be for you. From a LC's perspective though I always find hope in the situation when the baby will take the breast sometimes and also when mom has a really good supply. So pat yourself on the back for those to really big accomplishments.
Some tips to get baby on the breast..I will give you all the tricks I have used in this type of situation, but I also think it would be valuable to have an LC experienced in getting bottle fed babies to the breast to come to your home b/c lots of these tricks are better shown than written and she would be able to adjust for anything that is specific to your case.
Trick #1) Try to be really observant about the times she takes the breast. Is it always the same breast? same time of day, same status of baby mood (happy, crabby, sleepy, hungry, not hungry, playful, etc.), same position, really "full" breast vs, more "empty" soft breast. etc. As you make these observations try to repeat them and let her do it in the way she is finding most comfortable. For example if you notice she only will take the right breast..don't worry about offering the left until she gets more consistant on the right. If she takes it when she isn't very hungry try to offer it before she signals hunger. Also, get back to me with your impressions about what makes the one feeding per day successful, describe it to me and that may give me additional clues to help you with.
Trick #2) Try offering a little bottle first if she is not taking the breast, about 1/2 of what she usually drinks, then try the breast, then finish with the bottle if needed. Also, offer the bottle with her up against your bare chest in a position that is as close to bf as possible. Definetly don't try to force the breast, that will only make her more resistant, always use a low key, no pressure approach.
Trick # 3) Do lots of skin to skin contact at feeding time and at other times, as she gets used to liking that she won't automatically associate bare skin with the unpleasant struggle to bf that you both have had. And some babies will sort of latch on their own during skin to skin contact.
Trick #4) When babies are used to the firm feel of the bottle nipple in their mouth sometimes the feel of the breast is too "soft". Some moms can overcome this by sort of squeezing their areola, pretty close to the nipple, your fingers will almost be in the way of where the baby needs to latch. This technique helps to firm up the nipple to make it feel more like the bottle. Hold your fingers so they are parallel to the baby's mouth to compress the areola. Think of eating a big thick sandwich, you squish the sandwich in the direction of your lips, that is how your fingers should squish the areola, so if you are bf with the baby accross your front your fingers will look like a "U" shape if I am looking at you. If you use the football hold your fingers will be a "C" shape. Hold the compression until you feel the baby sucking well, about 10 to 30 seconds, and then slowly release the compression and move your fingers back. Some babies need you to hold compression longer so experiement with that. Also experiment with the exact placement of your finger (closer to the tip or further back toward the chest wall) to maximize how much you can make the nipple stick out and feel firm.
Trick # 5) is to use a nipple shield for the same reasons mentioned in #4 to make the breast feel more like the bottle. A nipple shield is a silicone nipple that you put over your nipple when bf. I use this pretty successfully to "trick" babies into taking the breast after exposure to bottles. They will often willingly take the breast with the shield b/c it feels like the bottle. Once the baby takes the shield and gets used to going to the breast we gradually work to remove the shield. Usually I do this by starting the baby on the shield then when we switch breasts offer the second breast without it. Usually moms can wean from the shield in about 2-4 weeks. There has been some concern in the past that babies aren't able to get enough milk through a shield but these tests were done on babies who were bf successfully prior to use of the shield and with older thicker rubber shields. A newer study clearly showed that the group of babies studied who were preemies did better getting milk with the shield b/c it helped them to mainatain a latch and seal and stimulated suck. IMO, it is better to get the baby on with a shield than not at all, especially since in most cases we are able to get the baby to breast without it in a period of time. I have had some (2 in 12 years) cases where the mom was unable to wean off the shield but prior had not been able to get the baby on the breast at all. Both babies gained just fine.
Ok, I think that is my entire bag of tricks, get back to me with your impressions and what you think or what reason an LC gave you why your baby wouldn't latch initially. That may give me more ideas.
Also, here is my post on position and latch to help review correct technique: