Breastfeeding Issues with 3 Wk Old

Updated on March 31, 2008
K.E. asks from Littleton, CO
65 answers

Hello!! does anyone out there have any advice for a new mom with a three wk old who is mostly bottle feeding now and wont latch onto the breast without fussiness, which discourages me, so I stop and bottle feed her. She has now used pacifiers and bottles. I've been told I have a flat nipple issue, which is why she cant feel my nipple in her mouth. My question is, is it too late to try breastfeeding?? Has anyone out there had any success at this point and gotten their baby to breastfeed?? I've been using a breast pump and supplementing it to the formula. thanks, Kerry

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.A.

answers from Billings on

Have you tried a nipple shield? I also have flat nipples and my now 18-month old had trouble latching on at first, but they provided me with a shield in the hospital and it worked very well. They are kind of a pain in the neck but after a while my daughter didn't need them anymore. I breastfed a very long time with my flatties, so don't lose hope. Keep trying, it's worth it. Oh, you can get shields (if you're interested) at Target or the Billings Clinic gift shop. You can imagine they are cheaper at Target, though. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me. [email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

It's never too late to try. Well, at least not at 3 weeks anyway. If you have flat nipples, you could try a nipple shield, or talk to a lactation consultant about methods to get her to latch on better. Also, try having her latch on when she's not starving. Maybe midway between feedings to get her to "practice" without getting frustrated because she's so hungry and not getting as much as she wants. It's a lot easier to get milk from a bottle nipple than it is from a human nipple. Just let her practice a little when she's not too hungry, and I think she'll eventually catch on. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Cheyenne on

It's never too late to breastfeed. I also had a flat nipple and I had to pump for 3-5 minutes before I started feeding. I also went to a Le Leche League (they aren't ALL Nipple Nazis...*smile*) or asked the Lactation Consultants at the hospital for help. City/County Health will also send someone out if you contact them and need help. Don't give up though. Also, I would suggest Nuk nipples on Avent bottles or Breastflow bottles by First Years (get them at Target or Target.com) for the bottle because those are the closest to the breast. Use Nuk pacifiers too. It'll help with the nipple confusion. When you feed the baby, either give an ounce from a bottle first or feed the baby when she/he's first showing feeding cues (sticking out tongue, putting hands to mouth, rooting, etc) so that the baby isn't starving and getting frustrated making both of you more upset. But most important...get help! I hope this helps.

S., 25, mom of 4 month old

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.W.

answers from Provo on

I would ask your dr. or pediatrician for the number of the Local La Leche League. They are a breastfeeding organization started by mothers in the 50's, and they are all over the country and very helpful. It is definitely not too late! As long as you have some milk you can increase your milk supply to meet your baby's needs. The LLL can send someone to your house, who is nursing or has nursed before, to help you. If you qualify for WIC, they can also help you out with free nursing consultants. Don't give up, it's worth it!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.W.

answers from Billings on

I would suggest getting a medela nipple shield, it will help your nipple coform to your babies mouth and suckle and allow baby to get milk more quickly. I used a shield for a little while to get my preemie going and then was ablet o stop using it after only a couple of weeks. It would be worth a try!

Good luck and hang in there it is a wonderful experieince once you get past the frustrating phase!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from Provo on

Once your baby begins to refuse the breast over the bottle, it is difficult but not impossible to go back. It is good you are using the breast pump so at least you are not drying up altogether. Get in touch with La Leche League group near you. They can help you better than anyone.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I had trouble breastfeeding also. My nipples were flat also. There are these things called nipple shields that you put on your nipples and breastfeed. This makes the baby feel something in their mouth. It does take a lot of patience and is easier if someone can help you until you and the baby gets used to it. It took me 3 1/2 weeks to get my girl to breastfeed. Just be patient. Also a binkie helped get her suction stronger, to be able to breastfeed. I hope this helps, good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

The thing that worked best for me was nursing with a nipple shield. You can get them at Target.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Great Falls on

One thing that worked for me, was to use a bottle nipple, over your nipple, and then the baby gets your milk, and it does actually pull yours out in the mean time. It has been about 9 years since I did it, but it seems like we used a large flat bottle nipple(like a breast shield). Then after a few minutes of successfull feeding, try to switch over to just the breast, if it is working, by then your nipple should be out and hopefully your baby can latch on easier. There are great la-leache league leaders around. They were the ones who helped me at hard times. It is worth it to look one up.

Good Luck, and don't give up. It is definately worth it to stick it out.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Denver on

See a lactation specialist. Babies don't suck on nipples, they suck on the breast. The nipple issue is a myth. We assume that breastfeeding comes naturally to the mother and the baby. But you both must learn how to breastfeed. Make sure the bottle you are using isn't too easy for the baby. For example, Avent has a nipple with a "1" flow. It's hard to suck just like the breast is hard to suck. Your baby is going to naturally prefer whichever is easiest. So don't let the bottle be the easiest. If it is important to you to breastfeed, keep trying. Don't give up when your baby gets fussy. Try different feeding positions. Check the flow of your milk. Is too much coming out? There is a way to hold your breast that keeps the milk from overwhelming the baby. Is not enough milk coming out? You need to relax. Take a shower or bath. Have a beer or glass of wine. The milk will "let down" easier. Sometimes women put a lot of pressure on themselves in regards to breastfeeding. Try to release that pressure. Breastfeeding or bottlefeeding isn't what's important. You loving your baby is what is important. Best wishes.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.G.

answers from Salt Lake City on

The best advice is to call the lactation specialist at the hospital where you delivered. They can meet with you in person and help you with your specific issues. I had troubles BFing with all three of my kids, and saw a lactation specialist with each. They were always helpful, and always helped me reach my goal of nursing to a year. If you don't have the direct number, just call the hospital. If you delivered somewhere else, you can call the Utah Department of Health and ask to speak to the state breastfeeding coordinator. Good luck....you can do it!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.L.

answers from Boise on

It's not too late to breastfeed but will require extra work and patience from you. There are nipple shields available to help with latching on. I suggest if you really want to breastfeed to talk to a lactation nurse, you can call St. Lukes. I believe you can meet with one for free.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Denver on

Hi Kerry,
I had the same problem, most extremely with my 4th child. It takes a lot of patience. I pumped and gave the mild through a syringe so that the baby wouldn't get used to an artificial nipple and more importantly, so that my milk supply would keep up with the growing needs of the baby.
It is really time consuming, because you need to feed the baby with the syringe and then still pump the breast for the next feeding. If you can afford the time, a long nursing relationship is the very, very wonderful reward. Perhaps another caretaker can feed (push the syringe!) while you are pumping and then you can have a chat. I rented an electric breast pump from the local drug store so that the pumping was more efficient.

I kept trying to put the baby to the breast, every feeding. When he refused, I gave him the milk slowly (so he wouldn't burb it all back up) through the syringe. Lo and behold, one day, for no apparent reasons that we could see, he took the breast and continued to do so until he stopped nursing naturally when he was ready to be weaned.

Is there a La Leche League anywhere in your area? The women here in my local group were very helpful and supportive.

Well, I wish you all the best. Take care, L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.R.

answers from Pocatello on

Nipple shields worked for me! Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi,

Well, it has been 17 years since I last breastfed, but I remember it like it was yesterday! My first son would not latch on to save his soul. I was upset, frustrated, and worried. I had tried all tricks that the nurses told me before leaving the hospital, but to no avail. While my issue was not due to flat nipples, I was determined to make this work. There are many (or at least there were years ago) support groups that should be able to help you. A big one for me was Le Leche! While I can't offer you tips for your specific issue, I would say, don't give up yet. I don't believe it is too late. It is great that you are pumping and supplementing...
Do some internet research for breastfeeding support groups, and I bet you will come up with a lot of options. In general, to reduce stress and frustration while trying to nurse (if you feel the stress, your baby will too), put on some soothing music, drink a cup of hot tea, and try to relax.

I know I am a bit 'old' to have responded, but I hope I have helped some. Best of luck to you!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.W.

answers from Provo on

The problem is very likely not your flat nipple - once she's latched on it is pulled right back into her mouth. It sounds like she is experiencing 'nipple confusion': not a confusion at all, but rather a preference for the ease of drinking from a bottle. When you breastfeed, it takes a couple minutes of sucking by your baby for your milk to 'let down' - for it to start flowing freely. With a bottle, your baby has instant gratification. What's more, she is using far fewer muscles - breastfeeding requires the use of muscles which are so important for her to jaw to develop properly to avoid overbite and crowded teeth as an adult. The solution is to work through that fussiness at the beginning of a feed without switching to a bottle partway through - once she gets used to the work involved, she will probably prefer the flavor an closeness of the real thing - most babies do. Some people find a bit of sugar on the breast (don't use honey unless you're sure it's pasturized) can help 'sweeten the deal' and make the transition back to breast a little easier. It's also often recommended to drop pacifiers during the transition, though they (and bottles) can usually be safely added back after (I think) about six weeks of a good feeding pattern has been established. All the best and good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Boise on

Call the hospital where you gave birth. They should have a lactation consultant. With my first I had to pulp and bottle feed so I had no idea how to nurse. I had a ton of issues for the first few weeks and some days went to the lactation consultant 2 times! After about a week thinks settled down and we breast feed great for over a year. Let me tell you it was work a few really bad weeks for how much easier it was to breast feed once we got a hang of it. If I would have known show much easier it was to breast feed I would have switched my first after 3 months!!
Good luck and haunt the lactation consultant. I know mine was sick of me and wanted me to go away but I didn't till I felt comfortable. I would do I feeding there then try at home then head on back because it took me a lot longer to make it work at home then her office.
Good Luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.K.

answers from Denver on

You may want to try using a nipple shield which will feel more like the bottle to your baby. This way you can still breastfeed her, but it will feel more familiar to her.

Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.O.

answers from Boise on

The first thing you need to do is get into a Lactation Consultant! I am a Breastfeeding peer counselor and we work with cases like your's a lot. BUt you have to take the step to get some help. You can look at your local WIC office or contact the hospital where you had your baby. You can also contact a Le Leache League group.
With inverted or flat nipples, there is breast tissue that is holding the nipple in. With help, the baby can latch on and eventually pull the skin out enough so that it doesn't stay in anymore. Breast shells are a great way to get the nipple to come out. You wear them for 30 minutes before nursing the baby to push the nipple out. Don't try to do this on your own. The baby probably has nipple confusion and will need an LC's help to get back to the breast. Don't give up it is more then worth it!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I would seek the help of a lactation consultant. I don't think it's too late, as long as you still have a good milk supply. Have you been pumping? If you look in the yellow pages under lactation you should be able to find someone. A great book you could look at is The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins. It was my text when I joined the lactation group at my work. You can also look at the following website that has great information:

http://www.drjacknewman.com/

Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I've been exactly where you are, and it can be so frustrating. Nipple shields worked for me with the flat nipple issue, in helping my son feel the nipple at first. A good lactation consultant helps.

My son wouldn't breastfeed until he was 6 weeks old. The first thing I had to remind myself was to be patient and know that this didn't define our relationship, my mothering, or my son. And whether or not we got it, it would be ok. The fact that you are using a breast pump without having a baby who will breastfeed shows you are very dedicated and I'm impressed by that. Pumps are not fun, but you are trying so hard! Give yourself kudos for that.

What worked for us was requiring a breastfeeding session before offering the bottle every time. Breastfeeding takes harder work for a baby to get milk out than does bottle feeding. So if she is used to the bottle, she will resist breastfeeding because she gets frustrated without the immediate milk coming. I had to always "prime the pump" by pulling out my nipples (to make latch on happen) and rolling them around a bit until "let down" occurs, then putting my child on then. If you try this, you daughter will immediately have milk in her mouth, whether or not she's latches on correctly immediately. So she'll be more motivated to try breastfeeding this way. It is also SO vital that you do a lot of pumping, and I mean A LOT. Your supply will go down with any formula supplimentation, and even just with pumping, because pumps sometimes get out more milk at first, but they are used with less frequencey than how often a baby breastfeeds. So your milk supply will decrease once you are a few more weeks postpartum, unless you are diligent about pumping lots and lots and lots.

Anyway, no it is not to late to try breastfeeding (since some get it later, as my son). But it is also MUCH harder to estabilish it this late. If you guys get it, that's great. If not, please don't beat yourself up. You are to be commended just for trying and either way your daughter will be ok. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.E.

answers from Fort Collins on

It is not too late, but it will take a lot of hard work and some tears too. My first suggestion is to call the La Lech League http://www.llli.org// and get someone out to your home to help you with latch on. La Lech League is AMAZING as a support group and they offer SO MANY resources! The second is to stop the bottles. This is probably causing nipple confusion...plus if she knows all she has to do is fuss and then she'll get the bottle then this cycle will continue. I can't tell you how amazing it is to have someone who is patient, supportive, and knows what they are doing come and help you. Also, you may check with your local mid-wife or hospital as they may offer lactation consultants free of charge. Please don't give up :)! There are lots of resources out there and breastmilk is amazing for your baby, for you, and for your wallet. Good luck!!

A. :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.W.

answers from Provo on

I have a baby boy who is a week and half old, with similare issues, as far as the bottles and pacifiers.

We bottle fed him formula because he was jaundiced and my milk had not come in. Well he is better now but seems to prefer bottles becaus they are easier to deal with- less work for him for more food, and because of the delay in the start of breastfeeding, my milk still has not fully come in. He would fuss and fuss when I tried to breastfeed him and it was really frustrating me as well as him.

So I went to see the Lactation Specialist at the hopspital I delivered at- My question was, is it too late? She said she would never tell a woman that- If you are willing to put in the effort it may never be too late.
I would suggest calling up the L&D or Maternity department of the Hospital you delivered at and setting up an appointment with the Lactation specialist- Mine lasted 45 minutes and cost about $30, and it was totally worth it. I left with the ability to supplement my son without using a bottle- he gets a little extra formaula through a tube while I breastfeed him, it is just what we needed. He has pretty much stopped fussing and each day there is a little more milk for him.

I realize that our issues are a little different- but I am willing to bet that a lactation specialist would have some good advice/hints/products that will help you.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.L.

answers from Casper on

I had some issues breastfeeding and I talked to my local La lache league they support and help mothers having problems breastfeeding. Other than that I would say just be persistant with the breastfeeding keep trying and if you are getting discouraged she can sense that and that could be one of the other problems. Try to be positive and dont give up. Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Denver on

Many good responses here. I'll add one I didn't see anywhere. It may seem unrelated, but it is important.

Do as much kangaroo care (skin-to-skin) as you can do with your baby. This is apart from feeding times. Strip the baby down to diaper only. Take your bra off. If you are going to nap, lay on your back with your baby's head between your breasts. Have someone cover the baby with a diagonally folded receiving blanket and tuck it under your back. You can be creative for other positions other times.

Your body is the baby's best environment. Your heartbeat, your voice, your breathing are all rhythms your baby is used to. This helps your baby slip back into instinctive behavior at other times - breastfeeding. It increases your milk supply too. You can't do it too much.

This is not in place of the other suggestions, but support for them.

S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.E.

answers from Cheyenne on

my sister had this problem years ago and someone told her to us the nipple from the bottle put it over your nipple and try that tell she gets used to sucking. good luck B.E

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.L.

answers from Denver on

you shold try pumping for a minute or two before you get baby to try to latch on, it helps stimulate your nipples. I have a three month old and we are just now breast feeding well but we still have to use bottle sometimes I decided its just the way it is and we do both and she is growing and thriving and thats what matters. I wanted to breast feed exclusively but it is what it is.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

If my baby was having trouble latching, I'd take her off the breast and use my pointer finger to rub the top of the inside of her mouth. When she'd get sucking on my finger really well, I'd switch her back to my breast.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.C.

answers from Pocatello on

Hi - yes there is hope - I have 8 children - and totally nursed all but the first. I have an inverted nipple. There is a nipple shield that helps to pull out the nipple. I left it on all the time because it would put pressure around the areola and force the nipple to come out. I gave up on my first baby and eventually went to formula (before the days of pumping much). But the rest of my babies nursed with no problem. Look for the nipple shield that is hard plastic not the soft ones. If you want you can contact me directly - maybe I can help you find one. Debbie

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.E.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Don't give up. Those little babies don't have good suction for about a month it seems. My little guy was in the NICU for 15 days and was bottle fed with my breast milk that I pumped all day long. I tried breastfeeding twice a day while at the hospital but it wasn't always a success. I got the help of a lactation specialist and it made all the difference. I was worried that he wouldn't get breast feeding when we got home. It was hard, but by 5-6 weeks we were on our way. I still did bottle feedings 1-2 times a day just so that I could rest and daddy feed him. We still do that so that he won't lose the bottle feedings. With the nipples, I would highly recommend a lactation specialist. They come to your house if you need them to! Breastfeeding has been the single most magical parts of being a mom. He is now 5 months and growing!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Pocatello on

Good for you for hanging in there! You feel sad when your baby cries, and you are trying to keep her happy and be successful breastfeeding. First, please find a local lactation consultant. You might not have a quick, e-mail fixable problem. I will toss some ideas to you, but please do find real-life help.
A semi-simple solution for babies who are used to the bottle are to use a nipple shield. The Medela brand is available at Target, BUT they come in three sizes (Target carries large only) and you need the size that is best for you and your baby. Baby still must latch correctly, but the baby is probably used to the silicone feel.
Your baby might be used to the milk flowing out automatically like with a bottle, so when she has to suckle for a letdown she may become frustrated. What happens when you pump before latching, then latching when the milk starts to flow?
Pacifiers promote a closed mouth while sucking, best to avoid until she's latching. Bottle nipples need to put the baby's mouth in a wide position as when latching. My first choice would be to try Dr. Browns slow flow or premie flow narrow neck, with baby's lips "latched" clear down by the ring.
Are you pumping every 2-3 hours with a rental pump or high quality double electric pump? Your pump needs to cycle up to 60 times per minute (Evenflo, for example, cycles 25), and frequent breast stimulation will protect your milk supply. You might find you need to pump more frequently, and if you no longer have a full supply, there are medications available by prescription that work wonderfully to get your supply back, and herbs as well.
Please don't give up! A personal breastfeeding helper will allow for a speedier transition from bottle to breast.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.J.

answers from Colorado Springs on

DON'T STOP OR GIVE UP!!!I too had a lazy 'latcher'I went to the extreme with the LeLeche league lady. It took a day and half, I had to totally stop the paci and the bottle. I fed my son no joke with an eye dropper(pumped)and a little plastic tubing that I ran thru a nipple shield. It wa so very stressful, but so rewarding. Call the le Leache league in your area.I promise, it can still happen

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Denver on

They told me I had flat nipples too and I succesfully breast fed three kids for over one year each. I might try to just breast feed for a day? Breast feeding is supply and demand, so if you supplement you are telling your body there is less demand for milk so you my not be producing enough? Are you getting engorged? At three weeks you should be producing alot of milk. There are some great books out there, if you really want to nurse you can do this, your baby is so young you can still totally do this! It is so worth it, it will help you lose weight, it is so healthy for your baby and it will save you$!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.W.

answers from Denver on

I actually had a lot of problems with my daughter latching on for the same reasons. I used a nipple shield for the first month or so until she finally learned to feed without one. It was a pain for the time it lasted. I always tried to get her to latch on without the shield first before using it, but it took a good month for her to learn where I could finally not use the shield. I made it until her first birthday nursing and was so glad I persevered. It was a long first month, but in the end it was all worth it. Hang in there.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Sorry - if this is a repeat, I'm having trouble sending...
It is not too late! Breastfeeding is tough, but you can do it! We all struggle at first. I promise, once you get it, it gets easier and easier. I strongly recommend that you call a lacation consultant. If you are in Colorado Springs, call Kathy at Memorial Hospital ###-###-####). She is amazing! Make sure to get Kathy because they aren't all as good.
Hang in there - this is tough but totally worth it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from Provo on

First of all there are things you can do to reverse a flat nipple. Lots of first time moms have flat nipples. You can get a shield that helps the nipple come out. here is a link to one by medela--http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=94384&...

You could try the shield and then couple it with a supplemental nursing system to get the baby back on the breast. I have lots of ideas that could help you, but I think it would be best if you found a good lactation consultant. I just have lots of experience after nursing 6 kids. You could email me off list at [email protected]____.com and I could give you some phone numbers of some good consultants in the utah valley area. I am not sure where you are writing from though, so I don't know if that will help you. A really good website is www.drjacknewman.com. The bottom line is if you have been pumping to stimulate your milk supply, there is a good chance you could get her back on the breast, but it will take patience and help. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.H.

answers from Missoula on

along with everything the other ladies have said check out the website www.kellymom.com . on the breastfeeding area of this site there is a wealth of info on this topic. also if no one else has suggested it, find a lctation consultant(maybe through your local hospital) there is hope to getting back on track, it may just take some work, hang in there momma!
N.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from Denver on

you could start brest feeding again. just be patient and relax so the baby will feel you relaxed. If you can't brest feed your baby anymore don't worrie. I tryed with all 4 of mine and only was able to brest feed 2 and the longest time was about 4 months. This is commong from a family of sisters who nurse their babies for over a year. your baby will be happy and healthy on formula too. I did find enfimil better for no constipation. similac caused my baby girl to be frenquently constipated. GOOD LUCK!! L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Denver on

Check out a local La Leche League meeting or email them. They are wonderful, so well educated about breast feeding and free.

Good luck working through this hurdle.

S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Provo on

My fourth was also my issue. He had been in NICU for 3 weeks, I wanted him home so I gave him a bottle to make it happen faster. Once home, he wouldn't latch, didn't even like the feel of my skin. So I did tons of skin to skin and other suggestions by the Le Leche, he finally nursed for about 3 days some where around 6-7 weeks. It ended when, I knew he was hungry, at 4 am and I put him to breast, he tried to attach, got frustrated and he finally closed his mouth and acted like he was going to go back to sleep. I offered him the other, he did the same thing. My husband gave him a bottle, he downed the whole thing in 5 minutes flat and I pumped. At a time that I usually get two full bottles, I got a total of 3 oz between the two. I was shocked. My milk was drying up. Because of intestinal issues, his body can not handle formula. It is just to hard on his system. It was a roller coaster on my emotions. I was crying all the time. I finally learned how to wrap something around my body tight enough to hold the bottles in place while I held my baby to have his bottle. This freed up my time, since at the time he was eating every 3 hours. He took about 1 hour to eat (warm up the bottle, feed him, clean the bottle), then 1 hour to pump (get the pump ready, pump, wash the bottles), and I had one hour to do everything else. So by combining the 1 hour of eating and 1 hour of pumping, I was getting 2 hours between feedings. At 7 months, I got him to move to eating every 4 hours. He is also fussy enough, that he will not drink frozen milk. So instead of pumping extra, I have backed off my pumping to 3 to 4 times in a day. He is now 12 months old and is starting to "ween" himself of the bottle. It has been a long road for us this past year.

When I talked with a nursing consultant, it was suggested to me that the baby will do what ever by 6 weeks old. And it is hard to change them after that. I would continue offering her the breast before each feeding. One day she may surprise you and latch on. But if it is killing your sanity, find other ways to get the job done. Even though my little guy is bottle fed, I have still found those to be just as bonding as nursing my 3 other babies. And he is an exclusive mommy eater. Meaning he will only take his bottle from me.

I don't mean my email to be frustrating or discouraging. I mean it to be with a reality check and what is best for the baby. As my husband at the last draw told me, "are you nursing for him or for you?" I finally decided that he needed the milk how ever he was going to take it more than I needed to nurse. It doesn't make you a bad mother because you can't nurse.

I also have a sister-in-law with inverted nipples. Of her two nursable kids, one would and one would not.

Good luck and hope it works out for the best!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.W.

answers from Boise on

Don't worry about it. I know everyone around here pushes nuring really hard, but it really honestly and trudly doesn't matter. As long as you and your baby are happy and healthy, don't stress about it. Not only does that make nursing harder, it's just doesn't help at all. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.J.

answers from Pueblo on

Hi, I too had breastfeeding issues caused from flat nipples. My daughter had issues as soon as we left the hospital. fortunatley my Pediatrician knew of a lactation specialist that would come over for free. What worked for me was a nipple shield. She was able to easier latch on, and nurse. After about 5 weeks, we were able to nurse without the shield. You can probably find them at a old school pharmacy. Or, you could call your OB, and they can prescribe one for you. Good luck. It's not too late to try.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from Denver on

I used Medela's nipple shields for the same problem and my little one took right to nursing. He also had already had bottles and pacis. I think we used the shield for 3 or 4 days before he decided to go without. You can get them in most any Target or Walmart baby aisle. Also Babies 'R Us sells them. I have heard complaints about how expensive they are, but I just figured we needed them. After all, if you end up nursing you've more than paid for them in saved formula costs.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.E.

answers from Provo on

be sure to use bottles with a wide nipple, like avent, to encourage your baby to open wide. the bottles with the narrower nipple are much cheaper, but in helping a baby to breastfeed, i've found the wider nipples to be worth the cost.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.O.

answers from Provo on

Try asking your pharmasist or doctor for a nipple shield. My sister-in-law used one the entire time she was nursing her oldest son because of inverted nipples and it worked wonders. It looks like a pacifier/bottle nipple and it fits over your nipple, seals off and allows the baby to get your milk a lot easier.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi new mommy. Let me first say congrats with your new baby. I know breastfeeding can be difficult, (it took me 15 weeks to get it down with my first and my second automatically knew how); so don't be discouraged. It is never too late. Some tips I have are: 1). That you stop giving the baby formula, or even supplementing. If you really want to breastfeed, you need to retrain yourself and your baby away from this. It will cripple your efforts. Your body is designed for a "supply and demand" connection with your baby. Formula will just fill up your baby and keep them from wanting you. 2) There are tiny ligaments in your breast that are sometimes too "tight" and keep your nipple inverted or flat. Massage your breast to make it more supple and "mushy" if it's somewhat hard, to stretch that out and help your nipples extend out better. It is also helpful to use a nipple shield to pull the nipples out. They're a lot better than they used to be and can help for a long time if needed. 3) As for the fussiness. It takes time to get on the same "nursing" page as your baby. Shoving your breast in the baby's mouth can make the baby defensive. Try "baby-lead breastfeeding"--lying down with your chest completely exposed for skin-to-skin contact. Lay your baby on your chest in just a diaper and let them "find your breast" (It's amazing. The baby,when allowed, will army crawl toward your breast,bob their head around in search by smell and touch and latch all on their own, just like other mammals.) 4) GET SUPPORT --Find your local La Leche League group and call a lactation expert. Find out WHY you want to breastfeed. There are TONS of reasons why breastfeeding is best (from the cost of formula to future allergy and diet problems), and having these in mind will keep you determined and focused. The road is rough at first, but eventually it becomes a smooth, enjoyable ride.
Best of luck to you!
J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, My DS was in the NICU for a week (with pacifiers and bottles). The lactation consultant at the hospital gave me nipple shields to try to help him latch on. Also, another LC told me that babies get addicted to the FLOW of the bottle (since there is no let down). I tried the BreastFlow bottle made by The First Years and the baby has to suck a little longer before milk comes out. You can get it at Target or BRU. I second everyone's suggestion for LaLeche. But, also, I think hiring a lactation consultant for a private visit was the best $60 I ever spent. More worth it than a massage.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.U.

answers from Provo on

Go see a lactation consultant! It is definitely worth it. They will give you the help/tips that you need and can give you the support and encouragement you need too. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.R.

answers from Denver on

A few quick ideas... Parker Adventist Hospital has a lactation clinic every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the lounge on the very far end of the birth unit on the 3rd floor. You might want to go to ANY lactation clinic or consultant (they have them at Littleton Hospital, too; we paid out of pocket to go to a lactation consultant at Rose Hospital after my first son was born).
Have you tried using the breast pump to draw your nipples out and then have her breastfeed after a minute or two of using the pump?
I know it can be frustrating when breastfeeding isn't working... that's why it saved me to go to the lactation consultant with my first son (I have a 3 1/2 month old third boy right now and its easier for #2 and #3 than it was the first time with breastfeeding). I got so anxious before breastfeeding that it became not a calm, relaxing experience for him and me like it was supposed to be. I think intervention with a lactation consultant in a private session (its worth the money if you can just bite the bullet to do that) or at a lactation clinic would be helpful.
R.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.G.

answers from Grand Junction on

My daughter in law had that problem. Go to the hospital and ask them for the things that you put over your nipple when breastfeeding that encourages you nipple to come out when breastfeeding. I don't know exactly what they are called but they work wonders. They suction onto the breast and have holes for the milk to come out. My grandson did so much better because he had something to latch onto. Some lactating consultants don't like them but I think they are the ones who never had problems. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Pocatello on

I also had problems with my first baby, same thing he would latch onto the right but not the left (flat) and no matter how hard i tried the nurses kept insisting on formula, i had my mind set on b-feeding. when we got home he didn't want to work at getting milk, he had gotten used to the quickness of the bottle. I was pumping (now i know how cows feel!!) I would pump from one side first and try to get him to latch on after i had gotten some milk out (also after you pump your nipple is extended) and when he wouldn't i would finish pumping and feed him. I also tried different positions and 'stimulating' my nipple and the sucking motion by rubbing it on the lips and just putting it in his mouth eventually (@ about 2.5 months old) he would finally latch on and eat and not take the bottle (he would gag on the bottle even w/b-milk) and i ended up b-feeding him til he was 1. just keep at it, keep trying..pump your own milk so you don't dry up. but if she won't have any of it after a while that's ok too, you can still give her your milk and if that dries up it's ok to formula her. best of luck

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Denver on

Welcome to my world! I was told I had flat nipples and I was so frustrated nursin my first baby. The lactation consultant gave me the nipple shields made by Medela. It is a silicone nipple that goes over your nipple. It was the best thing that happened to my nursing experience!! They have them at target. It will help so much!! If you want to talk more about it you can email me. I've had two babies and nursed them both succesfully!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from Denver on

Try a nipple shield- it is a plastic cover you put over your nipple to help them latch. I had to use it for about a month- but it worked and we continued nursing for 9 months. And keep PUMPING to keep your supply up! Breastmilk is so good for baby. -B. (I am a physician assistant and mom)

H.J.

answers from Fort Collins on

Hi Kerry,
I have four daughters, and breastfed them all, for 12+ months, with "flat nipples," so it is possible. When I had my fourht, I really was determined to get her to take both bottle AND breast, to give me more freedom. But, (and you'd think I would have known better, having had three kids already, but what can I say? I'm an idiot) I started her too early on the bottle, and she got nipple confusion, and refused to breastfeed; it was harder work for her to get milk from the breast, so she quit altogether. I was frantic, and not willing to give up breastfeeding altogether, so I cried, and refused to give her a bottle; she went without eating for 8 hours (I'm not recommending that you do this; I'm just telling you what happened) and, eventually, she got hungry enough to latch on and nurse. I was too tired and emotionally drained after that to even try the bottle again, so, once again, I was attached for 12+ months to my baby, but I wouldn't trade it. Incidentally, she was the only baby I had where I had cracked nipples and bleeding. It was awful.

All that said, I'm sure it's still possible, and I have some La Leche League contacts if you'd like to speak to someone who has more training than I do. In my experience, I think you have to just keep trying, and, if she weighs enough (I had really big babies, so the 8 hour lapse in feeding wasn't detrimental) then, when she gets hungry enough, she'll eat.

I used plastic nipple shields with my first (bought them at Good Day Pharmacy, but I think they're stocked in other stores now)and that drew out my flat nipples a little. Honestly, I have no nipple--it looks like ALL areola, so it works, it's just that you probably need some support. Contact me directly if you'd like the contacts for LLL.

Good luck, and way to go for trying!!

Best regards,
H.
[email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.H.

answers from Billings on

Hey Kerry,
My nipples are small and both my babies had trouble nursing because of it. I was determined to make it work, so I worked with a lactation nurse. She recommended that I use a nipple sheild, which worked very well. It extended the nipple and gave the babies more to latch on to. With my daughter, I had to use it until she was 6 months old, but with my son, I only had to use it for 3 months. It is a pain to have to wash it all the time, but it was worth it to not have to pump and do bottles (though I did do some of that in the beginning with both children). I think it also makes the transistion from bottle to breast easier because it is sort of like a bottle nipple. Another thing I had to do with my son at first was to give him a little of a bottle, and once he was "primed", I'd quickly switch him to the breast.
Good luck! Breastfeeding is great if you can manage it. Free and healthy!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.K.

answers from Denver on

Hi there-
I've never responded to one of these, but I had the same problem and I knew I wanted to breastfeed - it was a few of the most exhausting months of my life! We used bottles early on and waited to introduce the pacifier, but yes, we ultimately had success. My pediatrician's office has a lactation specialist who I saw (only once - she was great - much better than the hospital lactation specialists). The office is DTC Pediatrics and her name is Stacy. I also used the plastic rings (I can't remember the correct name) over my nipples 30 minutes prior to attempting to breastfeed to pull the nipple out and I put a warm cloth over my chest to reduce pain and help letdown before each session -- it really worked. I was breastfeeding (or attempting) every 2 hours in the beginning because she wasn't completely latching properly or getting much, but I was committed to trying for 10-30 minutes each session. It was a long, difficult 2 months of working on it, but my daughter is now a healthy happy 6 mth old and latches like a pro. It's worth the work, if you can hang in there. Keep pumping after your sessions so that you keep the milk coming in, too. Best of luck. Hang in there, but don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work out in the end.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.G.

answers from Denver on

Hello! The first thing I would recommend doing is contacting a local La Leche League leader. I don't know what part of town you are in, but you can go to llli.org and get a name and address of a leader in your area. You would probably benefit from talking to a lactation consultant, which an LLL leader should be able to help you find. Nipple shields can also help with flat or inverted nipple issues. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Kerry,
I highly recommend a nipple shield!! I had to use one to get my son to latch on as well. Because you have been giving her the bottle, it is much easier for her to suck that way...on your nipple it is more work. The nipple shield is like the bottle nipple but it is a good transition to help with the latch on. it worked great for me. You can get them at target or babies r us. Good luck...

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

try using a breast shield. you can find them most stores. use the shield to make it seem like your nipple is larger and she may be more willing to breast feed.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Pocatello on

I have a friend who had a preemie and was unable to breastfeed for the first 6 weeks, so she pumped and he was tube fed at first and then bottle fed for the last 2 weeks, then when they felt he was strong enough to try breastfeeding, it was the same thing, he wanted the bottle because he got the milk alot faster. The only thing that got her through was persistence. She wanted to breastfeed more than anything so she worked with a lactation consultant and just refused to give a bottle until she felt he had had a good enough feeding from her. So my advice would be, consult a lactation consultant, breastfeed first and then top up with a bottle, and just be persistent is breastfeeding is really what you truly want to do. I have 4 sons, and have had my share of issues with breastfeeding, but stuck with it and was able to successfully feed all four of them for up to 2 years each.It is excellent for both you and baby. Good luck and it does get easier. They are little miracles!

S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I had the same problem and my first child took two and a half months. DON'T GIVE UP!! It is very frustrating, but your persistance should pay off! I personally feel that I was misled by the hospital at the get go. And my advice would be don't use a nipple shield!! If you introduce the bottle it confuses them (I have had two children since that didn't take more than a few days to train.) I finally met with a lactation specialist who suggested making my first baby work a little more with the bottle. This meant pulling lightly on the bottle every 5 seconds or so... mimicing feeding at the breast. They have to learn that the breast is easier and nicer. Try to work a little more each day at making her feed from you. I had to bottle feed for just a few minutes (to avoid her frustration), then switch to the breast. If I can help further please don't hesitate! I know it is frustrating, but if you have tried for three weeks you are someone who understands the great benefits! It will work.. just keep trying!! Best of luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Cheyenne on

Have you tried the nipple cover? I know there is another name for it. Its a plastic little shield that you place over your nipple and it gives your baby the feel of a nipple and they can still get the milk. I had to use one because my baby was premature and couldn't suck hard enough, but with the shield... that's what its called a nipple shield. It worked much better for her.

Ask the lactation consultant at the hospital where you had your baby or your doctor's office. They should be able to help you and give you one of more. They last a long time if you wash them with soap and water.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.T.

answers from Denver on

That happened to me. Your hospital should have a lactation consultant or there should be an independent one somewhere. My daughter refused to nurse for about 18 days. I was so tired of pumping, feeding, & washing and repeating that cycle every couple of hours. The lactation consultant had her nursing in minutes and we never had another issue. What she did for me was sprinkle some formula (liquid) on my breast and then put my daughter right on. She got a little instant gratification and didn't get frustrated. I didn't have any issues with my nipple, but it was so helpful to have someone right there that had answers. Once my daughter nursed consistently, she didn't want to stop...my advice would be to give and occasional bottle after nursing is all set, just to make it easier for dad or a sitter to feed the baby when you might have to be gone. Good luck...now RUN and find a lactation consultant!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.L.

answers from Fort Collins on

Flat nipples are no big deal. The baby should be latching onto the areola and not really touching the nipple anyway. Get a lactation consultant and follow her advice!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Denver on

Hi there,
I haven't had this problem, but there are lactation specialist that can help. The hospital should have given you phone numbers when you left. The La Leche League could probably help too. Please don't give up, I am sure that it is not too late if you get some help from a good source!
The best of luck to you!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches