Going back to work (x-post in bfing) - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 4 Old 01-22-2007, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've got a ton of questions, sorry!

OK, so I go back to work in two weeks and my daughter is just now 3 months old. I'm able to bring her into work 3 days a week with me but I'll probably leave her with my mom twice a week. Luckily, they are only six hour shifts so it's not like a full day (either 7-12 or 12-6).

I'm getting nervous because when we have tried to get her used to a bottle part time, she won't take it. I'm not in the room at the time (so that she can't smell me) but she just gets incredibly fussy with any attempt. While I"m secretly beaming that she loves breastfeeding so much, I'm becoming very aware of the fact that she will be without me for hours at a time in just two weeks and she'll need to eat.

So, here are my questions:

1. Is there a bottle that best simulates breastfeeding?

2. How far in advance should I be pumping in order to make sure that she has enough?

3. When she does breast feed now, I can't imagine pumping enough for the next day regardless. I've tried pumping and there is very little that comes out. And by the time I"m full enough to pump some milk, she's hungry so I feed her instead (back to square one....)

4. Are there any secrets to get her to take a bottle that we're just not aware of yet?

5. She won't take a pacifier either. I never wanted her to be dependant on one but I think that she sometimes uses my nipples as pacifiers and she's not really eating (case in point, she will look at me with sparkly eyes and smile/laugh while sucking on my nipple). So, I think if I could use a pacifier it would make the transition easier and she might not be as needy when it comes to me on a daily basis. Any recs on introducing a pacifier?

6. Kind of a continuation of question #5, she is really needy with me. I've been at home with her since day one and therefore I know her best and she is most comfortable with me. My husband, grandparents, aunts/uncles can't seem to calm her down when she's really upset but as soon as she's in my arms, she's okay. Again, I'm flattered but it does get a little overwhelming and frustrating...any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Thanks! Sorry for so many questions!
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#2 of 4 Old 01-23-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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I could have written most of your post myself - I feel for you. We've been battling the same no-bottle issue with minimal success. I'll try to pass what I've learned so far...

1 - We've bought and tried about every bottle on the market. From talking to other moms, the bottle your child will take will really depend on DD. It seems some babies really take to the avent bottles - we've had no luck with these. The breast bottle was a joke here. The only bottle we've had any success with is the generic *gasp* walmart bottle. I swear my DD has it out for me already! It's her way of letting me know how po'd she is with the bottle by taking one from the store mom despises:

2 - Start pumping and freezing now if you haven't already. I would rather have too much on hand than not enough

3 - I've been feeding her off one breast and immediately pumping the other one when she's done. You can try to nurse her on one breast and pump the other at the same time, although I've found this type of dexterity impossible

4 We had to resort to a feeding syringe: You can pick one up at your local hospital in maternity. You draw the milk into the syringe and run the tube along your finger. As your baby sucks on your finger, slowely plunge the end of the syringe to put milk in her mouth. As soon as our DD has a bit of mik in her stomach this way, she is more willing to try a few sucks of the bottle. I hate the fact we have to do this but it works.
Also - patience, patience, patience. Have whoever will be be watching her try and try again. I will not be going back to the office full time for a few months but we are having her sitter try the bottle at least 2x a week. I've also found that me trying to give her the bottle is a moot point.

5 - We tried the paci route for the same reason that you are thinking. She does not want anything to do with it so we stopped trying. In a wya I am relieved.

6 - try to have her spend as much time as possible with her in a relaxed setting.

I hope some of this will help

Oh these stubborn babes of ours.....:-)

\m/

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#3 of 4 Old 01-23-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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I have to leave ds for a few hours, usually about 2 at a time, several times a week. While he could go without eating for this long, his routine is to nurse then sleep during the day, then cluster feed at night, which is when I am gone (teaching classes at night so we don't have to pay for childcare, dh takes over for me). Also, anytime he is fussy with me I can just pop him on the boob. I think some of his fussiness with dh is just a difference in how we both comfort...dh is a little more "manly" when handling ds. Anywho, all of this to say that ds WOULD NOT take a bottle at first, no matter what kind of nipple we used...and the only time we tried was when I was gone (once when he was in the hospital and I had gone home for a few hours for some much needed sleep and again when I went for the interview for said job). He finally took one, though, and I think he just was hungry enough that he didn't care how the milk got there.

I haven't even tried a paci due to latch issues we had early on, and he can have a lazy latch sometimes now.

We use the soothie bottle with the slow flow/newborn nipple. I got the one that looked most like the boob and the slowest flow they sold. There is a bottle that is essentially a silcone boob that I was going to order if the soothie hadn't worked.

As for pumping a supply, I usually can only get a bottle or two stocked at any given time - though I am not real diligent because I don't have to be. However, last week I burned my nipple on the crockpot when leaning across the counter - note to self, close robe after nursing. For two days I fed ds exclusively on one breast and pumped the other b/c nursing was just too painful on the burned side. DS nursed more frequently, but I did get six 4 ounce bottles pumped. Yippee!!! And I could have gotten more but twice I bit the bullet and let him nurse that side b/c the pump was just not emptying the breast. I agree trying to pump and nurse is a talent in itself...right up there with wrapping your legs around your head and walking on your hands, as far as I'm concerned.

Can your childcare provider bring dc to you in case she absolutely refuses to eat otherwise or runs out of bottles? For my ds, I'd plan a 4 oz bottle every two hours, plus one more. Also, a friend of mine who watched ds during one of my classes last month said he didn't like to be fed while cradled in her arms, but he would take the bottle lying length-wise on her lap. She propped her feet up and laid him down along her thighs and held the bottle for him. So a different hold might work well.

I'm right there with you on the soothing. One "trick" is to hold dc forward facing against your chest (well, the person who can't get her calm is holding her against their chest) - one hand under her seat and another across her chest. Stand with feet a little more than hip width apart and squat down (plie in 2nd position, if you know dance) then slowly press up to standing. This can also be done against a wall for support. This is something I learned from my Itsy Bitsy yoga book that is supposed to be a great calmer for babies...something about activating the parasympathetic nervous system or sumpin'. All I know is that it has worked everytime we've used it.

I hope everything works out well for you. I was terrified the first time I had to be away from ds but when we had to be apart, he did fine. And it sure is nice to get back to him and wrap my arms around him. We both just kinda melt into each other. Aw. I'm going to go give my little guy a hug, now.
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#4 of 4 Old 01-23-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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Hugs to you! I know how stressful this can be because I was in your shoes a month ago. However, now Claire is eating fine from a bottle, so I can share what we did and maybe it will help you.

1- I don't really think the type of nipple matters much, actually. We tried a couple, but it seemed pretty obvious that she knew how to use the nipple (she'd sometimes eat an ounce or so) but then just start screaming. She just wanted the real deal, no substitutes. So, we just went back to the one that I wanted to use (because we had the most of them) and she eventually like it fine. (The Medela brand)

2- We originally had someone else (usually my husband) try giving her the bottle. This did not work. After my husband trying a bottle a day for several days, (and getting nothing but screaming) I finally said, "this isn't working, I'm going to try to give it to her myself." Then, I tried giving her a bottle for one feeding a day (I found the second feeding of the day was best to try the bottle.) At first, it went no better for me. (be prepared to have your heart broken. Claire would scream, then stop, turn her head right to my breast and start mouthing, I about died.) But I knew that it would be best for her in the end, so I didn't give up.

3- I would try to get her to drink a little from the bottle, coaxing her. Every day, once a day, one feeding would be from the bottle. (If she didn't drink much, I'd put it back in the fridge and try next feeding, or sometimes then in an hour or two when she would be hungry again, just breastfeed her. I tried never to immediately switch from the bottle to the breast so that she wouldn't think she could hold out for the good stuff.) ***We figured that maybe a jump from eating from a bottle and from a different person might be too much to handle, so we hoped that if she could learn to drink from a bottle from me (her favorite person in the world then later she might be ok learning to drink from someone else.

It took us a whole month of doing this one bottle a day thing, but then finally, two days before I was to return to work (Claire was ~9 weeks old when I went back to lab). She finally took the bottle from my husband (who is staying home with her this month, except for the few days a week I bring her with me to work.) without any complaining!!!! Yay!! It was a beautiful day!!

As far as pumping goes: pump after you feed her, every single time, for 5-10 minutes (double pumping). And start saving that milk. At first you won't get much and you'll have to use it for the practice bottles, but it will get easier to pump more and more. Then, you'll also be able to pump after you give her the practice bottle and get more because it's a 'missed feeding.' And then you can start freezing the bits to combine later for when you go back to work. It's really only the first day back that's an issue because you'll hopefully be able to pump enough the first day back for your second day. (Pump every 2 hours at first, especially if you're having problems getting a lot.) Also, make sure you're well hydrated. After I've gone back to work I've had a few issues with having a busy day and not drinking enough water and then not having as much milk. Now I really try to drink lots!

ok, I've rambled on long enough. Probably other people in breastfeeding forum have shared this stuff too, anyway. I hope it helps! Good luck!

p.s. I've had good luck trying to get both Claire, and another baby who refused a bottle, to eat while they were crying by feeding them while standing up and doing deep knee bends and 'jiggling.' Plus, you'll get really, really strong!

DD (2006) and DD (2009) and pos.gif
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