Is it possible to get bottle-fed baby back on breast? - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Challenges > Is it possible to get bottle-fed baby back on breast?
lizzylou's Avatar lizzylou 03:20 PM 04-11-2011

Due to numerous complications, my 6 week old has been bottle/tube-fed (NG) since birth. She's latched on a few times but she's never really gotten anything from the breast as far as I've been able to tell. 


I am hoping that she will be off the tube feedings in a month or so. I would really love to be able to nurse her, but I'm wondering if it will even be possible so long after birth?


I haven't been attempting to nurse her the past week or so because she has thrush, and I think we need help with our latch anyway. We're also dealing with a bit of oral aversion after a bad case of reflux which is slowly getting better. 


Any tips? Resources?


(I've been pumping - supply is not an issue).

goldenwillow's Avatar goldenwillow 03:24 PM 04-11-2011

Anything is possible!


I am no expert but I would continue trying.  Our bodies can amaze us.  At least she will have breast for comfort.  LLL has a forum of their own as well you could get help there too. 


This first link has a # you can call for someone in your neck of the woods.  (404) 681-6342


1iberty's Avatar 1iberty 01:41 PM 04-19-2011

I bottle fed the first few days, then gradually transitioned to BF.  I did have some problems with latch at the beginning, and with thrush, etc.  But it was very worth going through the difficulty of the transition!!


cdahlgrd's Avatar cdahlgrd 11:08 AM 04-20-2011

Yep.  But first, remeber that you aren't the only person in this equation.  The baby gets a vote too!


That said, I bottlefed my twins for 2 months before they latched.  A friend of mine got her babe back to the breast after 5 months!


What I felt was important:  VERY LOW STRESS!  When I was pushing and doing everything under the sun to get the boys onto the breast, they fought me tooth and nail.  It wasn't until I had given up, and just bottled them for a few weeks, then tried again on a whim, that it happened.  And it was the same for my friend.  Some babies get wrapped up in the stress around breastfeeding and put their feet down.  So try to keep it gentle and loving and easy.


And it might not work.  And that is OK too.  It sounds like you are both going through a lot.  Be gentle with yourself and your babe!  Breastmilk is great no matter how it gets into a baby!

maryeliz's Avatar maryeliz 10:55 AM 04-21-2011

 My experience getting my 29w preemie from tube to bottle and once a day breast to mostly breast with some bottle has been a lot easier than I expected.  She was tube fed for 6 weeks and then had a mix of tube, bottle, and breast for a month, and then came home breastfeeding with at least two bottles a day.  I had heard so much about nipple confusion and no artificial nipples until breastfeeding is established that I thought we just would not be able to breastfeed, but she has shown no bottle preference.  When we first started, her big challenges were sleepiness and strength.  She always had a good latch and strong suck, so as she has gotten older and stronger she really hasn't had breastfeeding problems.  We did do at least five hours with the lc while we were in the NICU and that was really helpful both in terms of getting our technique down and increasing my confidence that I could read her signs (does she want more, is she full, etc.).  I know there are babies who just outright reject the breast after they have been bottle fed, but my experience is that for many babies, once they are pretty stable, the problems you encounter are just regular breastfeeding problems (latch, etc.).


Like others, I would encourage trying, but also trying not to get too stressed.