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Our 2-month old baby is refusing to take a bottle, and my DP feels very left out

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey, everybody. 


My partner and I welcomed a new baby girl two months ago, after trying for two years for my partner to conceive without success and one attempt to get me pregnant. We are thrilled she is here, and my partner is thrilled to have been able to have a child -- but she obviously also has some disappointment around not having been able to give birth herself.  I think she had mostly resolved these feelings, but it is getting hard again because the baby has started refusing to take breastmilk from a bottle for my partner.  This is very complicated since I'm working part-time and in school, and we were counting on the baby being able to be with my partner two days a week (she also cut down to part-time work).  But now that she won't take a bottle, the days she is with my partner have become MISERABLE for both of them, and my partner is feeling very "inadequate" and not like baby's mom. :(  We had considered inducing lactation in my partner, but she gets terrible migraines and was afraid that the medication would make those worse and she also has no time to pump when she is working, so we gave up on that idea. Does anyone have any experience with breastfeeding sadness in this kind of situation?  I'm afraid it's really going to affect our relationship, not to mention make it very difficult for us to share parenting for a few months anyway.  I'm considering trying to buy a lact-aid or an SNS system so that DP can try to latch baby on to her own breast and feed her expressed milk... since she is utterly refusing the bottle at this point.   Has anyone tried using the lact-aid or SNS just to feed the baby, without the goal of inducing a milk supply?  Was it worth it, or just a horrible pain in the neck?


Any suggestions, BTDT, or advice on how to cope with resentment about mommy roles?  This is hard stuff, sharing the mother role...


Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 11
I'm so sorry this is happening!! It took me a while to get pregnant and we thought about my partner trying, and I also felt like it would be so sad for me. So I haven't been there but can relate a little bit.
I think the Lactaid is better than the SNS, although if your baby won't take a bottle she may not take a different breast. Also in my experience the SNS was very challenging. I would meet with a lactation consult to discuss options, there are lots of ways besides a bottle to feed a baby. Finger feeding worked well for us, where the baby sucks on a finger with a syringe or tiny tube and eats that way. You can also feed by cup or spoon. I think your best bet is meeting with someone who can demonstrate those things and give you more options.
post #3 of 11

have you tried different bottles? we've been going through a similar thing lately with our 2.5mo old and had more success last week after we switched to a different nipple/bottle system. that might be the easiest "fix" if you haven't tried it already...

post #4 of 11

My baby who is 5 months now has never been great with the bottle. We introduced it to her at around 4/5 weeks and she refused for two whole weeks. We tried every bottle we could find at our local store and found that she was at least put the Nuk in her mouth for a second before realizing she what was going on and refused it. SO we decided to stick with the Nuk bottle. I also went down to working part time so I am away from the baby for 4 hours 5 days a week so she "needed" to take the bottle. After two weeks she finally took some BM and she slowly got better. Not amazing, but better. After a little less then a month of her "taking" the bottle we had a two week break of me not working. When I went back to working it was like she forgot how to take the bottle and refused once again for a week. Then one day she decided to take it again. She has been taking it now for the past 2 months but she isn't very good at it and it isn't her favorite thing.


I'm sure it makes it hard on you knowing that the baby isn't eating as I felt the same way. I do know that if the baby is truly hungry enough it will eat. Some babies NEVER take a bottle and I was prepared for that. I actually had no idea about this until I would mention it to other moms and they would tell me how their babies never took a bottle. I nursed her before I left her and right when I picked her up. I understand that your partner is feeling left out - try to reassure her that there are tons of babies who don't take bottles and it has nothing to do with her. You guys should be so proud of how successful BFing has gone that baby doesn't want the bottle. Keep trying to give her the bottle everyday but try not to get her so upset that there is no return. If she doesn't take it then no big deal- maybe tomorrow. Maybe try different ways in giving it to her: walking around, her facing outward, in a bouncy chair, etc. Also when mine wouldn't take the bottle the stroller helped calm her and going outside in a backpack helped too. Good luck with everything and try to focus on the bright beautiful side of this- that you have such a smart baby that she just wants the BM from the source :)


Also- I hated it when people would tell me "this to shall pass" but its true. In the moment I hate it and feel like it won't but it actually does. It did with the bottle and with baby not sleeping at night. So just remember "this to shall pass"

post #5 of 11

I forgot- we also tried the SNS and it didn't work for us. It is made for newborns so babe got frustrated when so little was comming  out after she was sucking so much on it.

post #6 of 11

I used an SNS to feed my babe (partner breastfeed) and it worked for me. I could tape the tubes and wear the lid all day in my bra, and attach the bottle of milk as needed. Medala has a new bottle that my baby loved. It is meant to mimic breastfeeding - my babe liked it when very young.


Good luck - I'm sorry this is happening for her - hope that you find an easy solution soon :)

post #7 of 11

I gave birth to our daughter and my partner used a SNS to feed our daughter. There are different attachments for different rates of flow.  If your baby is frustrated that the milk is not fast enough, you could try the tubing for faster flow. We used the SNS in conjunction with induced breast-feeding at first, but ultimately the induced breast-feeding did not work super well. My partner did take medications and did produce milk, but it was a lot of hard work and it became easier for me to express milk and put that milk into the SNS. Our system was Medala. Other possibilities are putting the tubing on your finger and having the baby suck from your finger to get milk. I know a mother who did it this way because attaching the SNS to her breast did not seem to work well.


good luck =)

post #8 of 11
Hi there!

My oldest two refused bottles. It happens. It stinks.

Troubleshooting that issue:
Taste the milk. Some people make more of an enzyme that gives the milk an icky aftertaste. Some people have to scald it right after pumping. I can get away with simply freezing it right after pumping. Taste every bottle before serving. One yucky bottle and my boys refused bottles for 2 days.
Try different times, locations, positions. Maybe she will only take it in the in a sling, facing a certain direction, when she's half asleep.
Try different bottles. Those big square brown nipples seem popular.
Try different containers. Cup, syringe, SNS on finger, SNS on breast. There are different sizes of tubing and the flow rate gets faster if you raise it higher above the nipple.

If none of that works, she won't starve. Some babies sleep through the night at that age. She will probably nurse more at night to make up for it.

The SNS isn't for everyone. My big kids' mama used it for a while with both of them but it irritated her nipples too much for her to want to do it longer term.

On bonding with a baby you don't nurse, my favorite thing is the sling. Nothing made my babies happier than snuggling in the sling and going for a walk outside. That is a great great thing to do with a baby you don't nurse. Reading stories, singing songs, making funny faces and rough housing are all great.

My 9 month old is the only one I didn't give birth to. I nurse him to give DP a break, not for any significant bonding. I get up with him in the mornings, tumble and tickle him, take him potty, wear him while I make breakfast and wash dishes, I take him for walks and we putter around the house together. I snuggle him and I frequently bounce him to sleep. He has demonstrated since he was a few weeks old that I am one of his important people. I have no doubt that he loves me. I think he's the only one who doesn't/didn't love me just for my boobs at his age.

Good luck.
Edited by seraf - 2/26/13 at 6:22pm
post #9 of 11

Just saw this ... I love the Lact Aid system!  FAR prefer it over the Medela SNS. 

I can't speak to the sadness part, but I can say that the LA system rocks!

post #10 of 11

Actually, I can speak to the sadness part (coming from dealing with infertility) ... in that what your partner is going through is her own experience, and there might not be an answer.  She just might have to ride out and feel the sadness until she can build a unique relationship with her baby.  I hope she starts to find her own ground as a mama soon!  Hugs to you both.

post #11 of 11
Also try putting something that smells like you near the baby while feeding. And we even rubbed the bottle's nipples all over my body before the feeding and my son began to take the bottle!
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