“It should not be this difficult!” I kept thinking to myself. But it was. Breastfeeding was not easy for me for the first few weeks. Benji had a really strong suck and I was not correctly latching him on, creating sore and cracked nipples. Furthermore, my milk supply only started about a week after Benji was born, and because I was constantly trying to stimulate my boobs for milk supply using either the pump or Benji’s suckle, my boobs were working on overdrive and felt sore. Constantly.
Later on, I think I got a really mild form of thrush – the sharp sting and radiating pain were my only symptoms – and, thank God, Benji never showed any. That also prevented me from breastfeeding comfortably.
So Benji was formula fed for the first week, then after my milk supply was established, was only breastfed half the time while the other half was with the bottle.
It took three visits to lactation consultants, and more than six weeks of persistence to finally feel comfortable breastfeeding exclusively and after all that, 3 months later, I’m now struggling to re-introduce the bottle to Benji.
Again, I told myself “It shouldn’t be this difficult.” But as with most new things, it is. We tried the bottle with Benji a few days ago and he fought it. Our game plan was for me to pump half a feed, leave the room, have Bry feed him, and then finish the half with a breastfeed. It took Benji awhile to realize what was going on and when he did, he started screaming and choking on the milk. Then, after a few rocks and lullabies, Benji calmed down, held on to the bottle, sucked on the teat…and then started screaming again after a few sucks. The entire half a feed probably took 20-30 minutes (vs 10-15 mins on the breast). Today, we tried it again and Benji went even more ballistic. He was almost inconsolable the entire time Bry tried feeding him. The Pediatrician we saw a few weeks back who urged us to introduce the bottle with him again forewarned us about this battle but I didn’t think it was going to be this bad.
There were little moments when I thought back to how difficult it was for me to establish breastfeeding and wondering what that was for, if he was going to need to be bottle fed again in a few months anyway and had I known it was going to be such a battle to reintroduce the bottle to him, I might have never completely given up the bottle with him.
Anyway, I’ve been looking up other ways to help Benji take the bottle again and found more strategies that we might try:
- feeding him in a different room
- holding him in a different position
- having me even further away than I was the last couple times
- offering the bottle when he is hungry but not starving
- offering the bottle when he is in a calmer mood to begin with
- using a sippy cup
- trying a different teat (we’re currently using Dr Brown’s number 2 teat for 3-6 months)
Moms out there did you go through something similar with your kid and if so, do you have any other suggestions?