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Could my baby actually prefer formula over breast milk?

42178 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  mamaflutter
My daughter is now seven weeks old. From day one we've had tons of problems nursing latching issues and low supply. I'm now almost completely pumping, because I have high anxiety towards trying to get her to latch because 9 out of 10 times I try she ends up just crying and screaming.

So I pump daily (usually every hour to every two hours) and usually half of her bottles are breast milk and the rest are formula. Starting just this week, Rose seems to hate the breast milk bottles! I'll give her a bottle of fresh breast milk and she'll just fuss and cry and refuse to drink it, she even spits it out! Then I'll give up, get a bottle of formula and she'll chug it down like she's starving to death! Up to this point, she loved her mommy milk bottles and ate it like it was chocolate and was disgusted with formula. Now it's just the opposite!

I've tasted every bottle that she refuses, and I think that it tastes fine, even good. I'm not eating anything differently than usual. I'm taking the same vitamins. The milk I give her isn't too old, at the most they were in the fridge for a day, maybe. I can't understand why she hates my milk so much! I feel like I'm slaving myself at the pump to give her the best milk possible, and she seems to hate nursing, hates my milk, everyone keeps telling me how I should just stop exhausting myself, stop pumping and trying, and just give her formula since that's what most people do and because she likes it just fine!

Any help or encouragement?!
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How about the temperature of the bottles? Are you giving one to her cold and the other warm?

I'll admit I know almost nothing about bottle-feeding but that's the only thing I can think of :-/ Maybe you could try mixing the formula & breastmilk?
They are room temperature to slightly warmed to body temperature.

And when I add breastmilk to formula, she'll drink it just fine, but I think formula is so strong a taste, it hides everything else!
Formula is stronger and sweeter, and yes, babies do get a preference for it, sadly. I mixed mine half and half and got good results (i.e. no wasted liquid gold!). You can also try heating it to a degree hotter than body - warmer things taste sweeter (which is why coke can be soooo sickly at room temp but nice when iced) and breastmilk from a breast is precisely body temperature - by the time it's been put in a bottle and especially by the time a feed is half over it has lost several degrees.

Keep on keeping on. WRT to latching, i know it's horrible and difficult but it will only help to get her to the breast. Try when she's sleepy and relaxed but not starving. I used to have a bath with DD, then get in bed still naked together and hold her close, and eventually she would give it a go. I saved BFing for non-hungry times (i lost my supply due to thyroid issues) because she was on breast strike when my supply dipped so low and would scream and arch and struggle when i tried to feed her from the breast, but she would still suckle at the breast when she was sleepy and relaxed and wanting to suck. My DD was much much older (5 months) so it was harder, your little one is so small still, this can turn around, don't give up!
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I've never heard that babies can come to prefer formula.That's just rotten when you're working so, so hard to make as much BM as possible.
I think mixing formula and BM in whatever combination she'll accept is your best bet.
But I'd really encourage you to work towards supplementing at the breast and eliminating bottles. It is SO tough to work on latching with a baby who is resisting it but many babies become more and more resistant to nursing as they come to prefer the flow from a bottle.
Good luck, mama.

Tiny babies change their preferences all the time. Who knows why they want what they want. The world is new and confusing for them. I bet this is a short phase and will change back soon.

I think you are doing an amazing job. EPing is a hard hard road. At 7 weeks you still have a good chance of getting her to latch if you keep giving her low-pressure opportunities (eg at night or anytime she is relaxed and not too hungry).
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Thanks guys! I haven't completely given up trying to get her to latch, I just get real frustrated with my inability to get her to latch and feel hopeless. I'm going to keep trying, and looking into getting help.

I had a couple questions:
How can I make my milk as healthy and nutritious as possible? Anything I can take? Make it richer? I want the little amount she gets from me to be the best...

Any info about a SNS? Where does one get one?

Originally Posted by Channelle View Post
Any info about a SNS? Where does one get one?
The Medela SNS is available at the odd drug store, online and through LCs. You've seen an IBCLC, right? (If you haven't, that would be my next step. Have you tried any galactagogue herbs or domperidone? Has your babe been assessed for tongue-tie or sucking problems? These are all things a LC can help you with.)
For long-term supplementation I'd really suggest the Lact-Aid system, which is available online at
Good luck, mama. There is really no worse feeling than having your babe refuse the breast. I've been there. I'd keep trying in a low pressure way when babe isn't starving. has some great info on this.
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I've been thinking about the taste of the bm I pump for my baby and wondering if it tastes ok to DS. I know when I get fresh goat or cow's milk from my farmer, they are careful to store it in glass containers until it cools. Otherwise it will take on a plastic taste. I haven't been practicing this with my milk. I pump into the Medela plastic bottles then dump that right away into a Lansinoh bag while at work. I wonder if it affects the taste. Also, avoid eating onions as they will make your milk taste funny as well. The best supplement I've found for enriching your milk is Green Pastures Blue Ice Royal. Its got enough natural Vit D to keep away colds and flu plus all the Omega 3's that are so great for our little ones growing brains. It has kept my 2 nurslings (one was a preemie) in daycare very healthy.

Originally Posted by HappyTomato View Post
I've been thinking about the taste of the bm I pump for my baby and wondering if it tastes ok to DS. I know when I get fresh goat or cow's milk from my farmer, they are careful to store it in glass containers until it cools. Otherwise it will take on a plastic taste. I haven't been practicing this with my milk.
i had no idea about the glass thing.
im having the same problem with ds except he is 6 months old. im buying some glass bottles to pump into on my way home from work today! thanks
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I had probs with my dd latching when she was very little also. My pedi taught me a little trick that worked like a charm. Get a bottle ready and your boob out make sure you have a little help the first time. Anyway get the baby in prime nursing position and try diff positions cuz I'd baby and mom aren't comfy its going to be difficult. Have the baby get a little swig off the bottle than place a few drops on ur nip wile teaseing the babys lip the baby will try to latch. Baby pay only give a few sucks and give up as a bottle is less work but don't give up. It took doing this a few times before dd got the hang of it but she did and we nursed for 19 months. Good luck mama keep on keepen on if that's what u want to do.
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