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Introducing bottle feeding for a 4 week old Lock Rss

My little boy is 4 weeks old and we've been finger feeding him most of the time since he was born. I've given up on the idea of breast feeding so am going to introduce him to bottles. We'd bought some Medela bottles and they came with slow flow teats, so tonight we gave him his first bottle feed using those teats. The milk seemed to come out way too fast, he spat out whole mouthfuls of milk and seemed a bit overwhelmed by it.

Anyone have some advice for me on what bottles/teats might be good for a newborn? Should I persevere with the Medela ones (will he just get used to them and not having to suck as hard to get the milk?) or change to another type?

Thanks for your help
You could try the new medela teat Calma - it is designed to make bub suck as they do at the breast to get the milk.

Otherwise, if you screw the bottle lid on tighter, it slows the milk flow and you can control the rate a little by only just filling the teat, so start with the bottle almost horizontal and have the milk kind of lapping into the teat rather than filling. Does that make sense? Think like waves at a beach - but obviously try not to let bub suck in too much air.

May I ask why you are giving up with breastfeeding? Could we forumites possibly help you? The first few months can be hard work (believe me I know) but it's really worth it if you persist and manage to succeed.




Follow my blog "Bed Rest for Baby" at http://www.babysteps1804.wordpress.com

I use the tomee tipee closer to nature bottles with my daughter who is 5 weeks old and we love them! They also havent impacted breastfeeding what so ever. She still latches like a dream. We first used them when she was about a week old and haven't had any problems at all.



You could try the new medela teat Calma - it is designed to make bub suck as they do at the breast to get the milk.

Otherwise, if you screw the bottle lid on tighter, it slows the milk flow and you can control the rate a little by only just filling the teat, so start with the bottle almost horizontal and have the milk kind of lapping into the teat rather than filling. Does that make sense? Think like waves at a beach - but obviously try not to let bub suck in too much air.

May I ask why you are giving up with breastfeeding? Could we forumites possibly help you? The first few months can be hard work (believe me I know) but it's really worth it if you persist and manage to succeed.


Thanks, that really helped. He's not so overwhelmed by it and is taking a good amount of milk now. I also bought some pigeon bottles with different shaped teats and he seems more comfortable with them.

I've given up on breastfeeding for a few reasons. I've never successfully attached him to the breast, I was told he has a small tongue and that this contributes to the difficulty I had in getting him attached properly. I was going to a breastfeeding clinic to get help, and they were really great there, very reassuring and helpful, but in the end it has become too much for me.

When I left the hospital after he was born I already had cracked nipples and one bled for a while. I went to the breastfeeding clinic when he was 5 days old and they gave me a pump and suggested I express for several days to give my nipples a chance to heal. Unfortunately before I could go back to the clinic, when he was a week old I ended up in hospital for several days to have surgery to remove my gallbladder.

I managed to keep my milk supply going by expressing every three hours, even when I was in emergency and up to my eyeballs on morphine, but obviously he wasn't able to drink the milk I expressed, so for about a week I expressed and threw out the milk and his dad looked after him at home and fed him formula by finger feeding.

When I came home from hospital I wasn't able to lift him and I could only hold him when he was very calm after a feed, as if he kicked or thrashed he could really hurt me. A week or so later I did go back to the breastfeeding clinic again, but I couldn't get him to attach properly, I think I was too muddle headed from the painkillers I was on to take it in properly, and my nipples started getting sore again as soon as I put him to the breast. They said to keep expressing and maybe try breastfeeding once a day using nipple shields. They took a swab from my nipples and it turns out I have a staph infection which was why I was getting sore again.

So I started taking antibiotics (in addition to the three other antibiotics I was already taking post surgery) and using a cream. The additional antibiotics affected his stomach, making him very unsettled and unhappy. He started to bite while feeding, which isn't a problem when you're finger feeding but not so great on the nipples. Basically, he'd drink a bit, get a tummy upset have a little cry and bite down in his distress.

I struggled with breastfeeding using the shields, he'd sometimes take the first breast but would always get very distressed being given the second, as the milk didn't come fast enough. That brought on the clamp down biting as well. He'd start thrashing and crying and I'd end up giving him to my husband to finger feed as I couldn't keep holding him, he kept kicking my stomach and causing me too much pain.

At about this point my post surgery painkillers ran out and my pain levels rose again (and I could feel all the soreness from stitches and epidural again too and my nipples really stung. I guess the painkillers had just muted everything down). I also have chronic pain from nerve damage in my arms, which means I always have pain in my arms and shoulders and have difficulty using my arms. The painkillers had also damped down that pain, so when I stopped taking them it all came back really strongly and it became very difficult even holding him in the right position to breastfeed. I tried using cushions and pillows to support my arms a bit but it really didn't do much.

My husband is going back to work tomorrow and a couple of days ago I still wasn't able to feed my son on my own and I couldn't get more than 40 minutes sleep at a time, because expressing and then feeding and settling took so long. My husband pretty much did all the feeding, I just expressed and passed him the milk. I felt disconnected. Over the course of two days, where I was feeling increasingly exhausted and in pain, my milk supply started to decrease and we had to start topping him up with formula. It took an hour of expressing to get almost enough for a feed, where before I'd always had plenty of milk. Also, my milk seemed to be making him sick. It all just got too much.

After I decided to give up on breastfeeding and expressing, I felt like a load had been lifted. I've started taking sage capsules from the health food store and stuffing my bra with cabbage leaves and I'm already down to expressing every five hours rather than every three. On formula my little boy seems to be happy being fed every four hours rather than every two. My mum is able to come around and look after him for me for a few hours during the day so I can get some sleep. She did that yesterday and we both actually had four hours sleep. I'm feeling so much better. I'm still in pain and I've managed to pull a muscle or something in my stomach so once again I can't walk while carrying him, but instead of wanting to cry all the time, I'm starting to think I might be able to do this.

I always wanted to breastfeed, I went to a breastfeeding class during pregnancy and I really believe in the benefits. Part of me is really disappointed that I'm not able to do it, but the more rational part (which exists now I've had some sleep and a day without being belted in the stomach) thinks that breastfeeding was meant to be the easier option and since I've tried and tried without success it's time to cut myself some slack.

So... that was a very long response. Thanks for reading it (if you made it to the bottom!!)

Kat
Just wanted to say congratulations on doing what is best for you and ultimately what is best for baby. My newest is 7wks and I totally relate to your worries and experiences (although perhaps not to the same extreme). I was reading your story and nodding away to myself smile After an extremely hard, frustrating, sad, painful length of time, I made the decision to move to full formula feeds and it has been the toughest experience. I was surprised at the enormity of the guilt factor at not being able to feed my child and the whole "breast is best" that is forced upon us. It may well be best nutritionally for some, but only if everyone is happy. It's certainly not mentally healthy for mum to persevere in extreme circumstances. I'm now going through the guilt of "allowing" my breast milk to dry up - even though my baby voluntarily went on breast strike for several days and then permanently and so in a way, she has chosen to not breastfeed. I successfully breastfed my first baby and so have found it hard to accept that I have been unable to this time. I am thrilled to say that all I have come across (midwife, plunket, doctor, nurse, friends, family) have been so supportive of my decision and were actually recommending I make the move long before I was ready to accept it in my head. They could see that breastfeeding was not best for me and it was not best for baby who (of many things) had breastmilk jaundice for the longest time. My doctor is from South Africa and my nurse is from the UK and they both are quite shocked at the extreme push for breast in NZ to the detriment of those that choose (or not) to bottle feed. Now that I am coming out the other side of this journey, the weight, stress and guilt that has lifted is huge. Although it is still hard at times, I realise now that it is far more important to have a happy and healthy relationship with my daughter and not worry about HOW she is being fed, just knowing that she is now getting what she needs and is thriving and that I am enjoying her again. Good luck and again, congrats on being a great mum!
PS, I also think its sad how we as bottle feeding mums, feel we have to explain why we are bottle feeding.

PS, I also think its sad how we as bottle feeding mums, feel we have to explain why we are bottle feeding.


Hi AngC - thanks for your reply, it was lovely to receive the support, though I'm sorry that you've had to make a similar tough decision. Even weeks later I'm struggling a bit with it and I'm very glad I've got people around me who give me the support and perspective I need. My mum keeps pointing out to me that breastmilk is great, but a healthy happy mum is more important than just having a food source.

I do think it's strange that the breastfeeding experts I saw had the rationale that they were all about what was best for the baby, but when I reached the end of my rope and stopped (which nobody gave me a hard time about, they were all very kind) there was no help or advice with the shift to formula and bottles (and you can see I had trouble with it). All I got was 'You've done the best you can and he'll be fine on formula' and I was suddenly on my own, confused about whether to sterilise, which formula, which bottle...

I hope things are going well for you and your little one and that you are both thriving and happier after the change to formula

smile Kat
So sorry to hear about the gallbladder operation. Luckly for me I have had two successful breast feed babies who latched well (almost number two is slightly tongue tied and took a while to master it).

I had my first major gallstone attack four weeks after DS was born. I have been fortunate to manage the gallstone and went for elective surgery last week. I waited till he was on solids and moving away from reliance on the breast.

Boy can I understand the pain you have been in. I had an emergency c-section and thought that was bad. My friend warned me about the pain after a gallbladder removal and she was right.

Totally understand your position in giving up breast feeding sometimes it is just too hard.
Wow you certainly went through a lot. I had a really rough time in the first couple of weeks too with poor attachment, expressing lots, nipple pain etc and also had a minor surgery. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of support and our issues were able to be resolved and we went on to breastfeed easily. I'm just telling you this because I know exactly how hard it is and to be honest I was VERY close to giving up. Reading your story, I can understand the choice you made and I hope you can let go some of you disappointment and realise you tried your best and it just didn't work out. Yes, breastmilk is what nature intended on feeding babies and it has many undeniable benefits - but formula is not poison and babies will also thrive on it.

I hope you (and others) didn't think I was pushing you for an explanation as to why you gave up, I just wanted to know if it was something that we could give you advice on if you wanted it. But you have already been through the ringer when it comes to BFing.

Glad to read that your baby is coping better with the bottles and now you are all happier and more settled.




Follow my blog "Bed Rest for Baby" at http://www.babysteps1804.wordpress.com


Wow you certainly went through a lot. I had a really rough time in the first couple of weeks too with poor attachment, expressing lots, nipple pain etc and also had a minor surgery. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of support and our issues were able to be resolved and we went on to breastfeed easily. I'm just telling you this because I know exactly how hard it is and to be honest I was VERY close to giving up. Reading your story, I can understand the choice you made and I hope you can let go some of you disappointment and realise you tried your best and it just didn't work out. Yes, breastmilk is what nature intended on feeding babies and it has many undeniable benefits - but formula is not poison and babies will also thrive on it.

I hope you (and others) didn't think I was pushing you for an explanation as to why you gave up, I just wanted to know if it was something that we could give you advice on if you wanted it. But you have already been through the ringer when it comes to BFing.

Glad to read that your baby is coping better with the bottles and now you are all happier and more settled.


Hey Skubala - I didn't think you were pushing me for an explanation, I thought you were offering help, which is never a bad thing smile Rereading my long response, I know I wrote it more for me than anyone else. It had been a really long hard four weeks and writing it all down helped me to process it all. smile Kat

Hey Skubala - I didn't think you were pushing me for an explanation, I thought you were offering help, which is never a bad thing smile Rereading my long response, I know I wrote it more for me than anyone else. It had been a really long hard four weeks and writing it all down helped me to process it all. smile Kat


Funny as I was just rereading my response to and was thinking to myself that I wrote it more for me than anyone else too wink Sometimes we just need to vent smile

I was just thinking the exact same thing & I was lucky enough to breastfeed my first & will hopefully be able to do it again this time around. You should not have to give an explanation to anyone why you bottle feed or justify yourself. Good luck & enjoy your baby smile


Thanks and I agree! Good luck with your birth and new baby smile
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