Post # 1
I have been triple feeding our baby for several weeks with no end in sight. Thinking I may want to drop nursing as it seems my baby gets nothing from me, but I keep hoping someday soon it will all click. Triple feeding is exhausting and emotionally draining. Each time I think we have a good nursing session, and then 10 seconds later my baby is giving hunger cues and sucks down a bottle like she hasn’t eaten in days. It is so upsetting to think we had a good session and then discover that she must have gotten nothing from me as she is still very hungry.
At our two day post-hospital appointment my baby had lost just under 10% of her birth weight. She was in the normal range of loss but approaching a concerning weight. We were told to do triple feedings until we could start dropping 2-3 bottles per day and eventually all bottles to be exclusively breastfeeding.
Two weeks later, baby has gained all her weight back and more and is healthy. But we haven’t been able to drop any of the bottles. She will nurse for a good 20-30 mins and then gives crazy hunger cues until we give her a bottle, where she will normally drink 3-3.5 more ounces.
I met with a lactation consultant earlier this week. Our latch looks good and my supply is good, but when we did a weighted feed she only took a third of an ounce from me. I don’t really know how we fix this. The LC told me to start breastfeeding on demand instead of on a set schedule and to try to drop an ounce or two from each bottle. It hasn’t been long on this new plan, but so far no change in her needing the bottle each time.
I’ve done some research and even read some old threads here about dropping breastfeeding and going to exclusively pumping. I understand that in the long run nursing is less work and doesn’t require you to be tethered to the pump, constantly cleaning equipment, etc. I also want to experience that amazing bonding that comes from breastfeeding. But at this point I am frustrated and demoralized. As I said above, I go in to every feeding session with a good attitude, hoping this will be the time we can eliminate a bottle or at least feed her a smaller bottle. But so far every time she needs the bottle afterwards and the same amount. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong and is completely exhausting.
Anyone drop nursing? Or stick it out and have eventual success?
Post # 2
I’m not exactly sure what triple feeding is? I know that double feeding means nursing and then bottle feeding, but I don’t know what triple is. However, I do know about breastfeeding, so I’ll just start with that. My first baby was a premie that spent 19 days in the hospital. I pumped for 19 days because I wanted to breastfeed. I was told to give him bottles after nursing also, and it affected nursing. I was determined to nurse and we finally got the hang of things and went on to nurse for 2 years. What I did was cut the bottles cold turkey and nursed a lot.
Based on my own experiences and from what I see a lot, nursing mothers don’t get the support and advice that they need. It’s normal for a baby to lose some weight after birth. Our bodies can do what they are made to do, if they are allowed to do it. Your body will produce enough milk for your little one if your baby is allowed to show you how much it needs. Your baby is learning that it’s a lot easier to get milk from a bottle than it is to breastfeed. She doesn’t need to work as hard at the breast because she knows she’ll get a bottle and that’s a lot easier to get 3 ounces down quickly.
Have you not been feeding on demand? That’s one of the best things to do for nursing, especially in the early weeks. You need to get your supply built up. I would recommend taking baby to bed with you for 24 – 48 hours and nurse, nurse, nurse. This builds up your supply and helps your baby to understand where her milk is coming from. This helps you to bond and for your body to produce more. https://www.nourisher.co/blogs/the-milkful-blog/increase-breastfeeding-milk-supply-with-a-nursing-vacation
This has some great tips — https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/
This site has a lot of excellent advice for breastfeeding — https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/ along with Le Leche League. https://www.llli.org/
You and your baby are still figuring out nursing. Once you do, it is a wonderful bonding experience for you and your child.
Post # 3
I exclusively breast fed our daughter for the first 5 months, it was hell and I regret getting pressured into it. I’d feed her on demand and many times that meant cluster feeding ALL NIGHT LONG. I was exhausted, mentally drained, just done. I started pumping and that helped my supply and most importantly, I got to leave the house sometimes! What a game changer. but the best thing I did was start formula feeding along with breastfeeding. Baby was full longer, slept better, and I was able to slowly return to my old self. Please don’t feel pressured to milk yourself to death;-having a newborn is hard enough
Post # 4
By triple feeding, do you mean breastfeeding, then giving a bottle of pumped milk, then pumping so you have your next bottle ready too?
I did that for the first 8 weeks of my daughter’s life and then switched to exclusively pumping because it was too exhausting. In the early weeks when she was up every couple of hours overnight to feed, it meant I was awake 90 mins at every feeding (with nearly a whole hour of that being after both baby and husband were back asleep, as I had to hold her upright after feeding (reflux) and then pump). It just wasn’t sustainable.
Has your daughter been checked for tongue and lip ties? My baby’s latch looked perfect and I had an oversupply of milk, but she had a severe posterior tie that meant she was getting pretty much nothing directly from the breast. Previous poster’s advice about stopping the bottle cold turkey and some weight loss being normal is well-intentioned, but could be dangerous if your baby physically isn’t able to transfer enough milk. We ended up with a hospital admission at 5 days’ old with my daughter quite lethargic because she had lost 17% of her birth weight due to her undiagnosed tie. We had the tie snipped, but never did manage to get properly on the breast.
I am actually just trying to get my milk to dry up now (harder than I thought it would be!). I exclusively pumped for very nearly 16 long months and, be under no illusions, it is exhausting hard work. You always hear breastfeeding mothers talk about how exhausting breastfeeding is. I think pumping is more exhausting still as you essentially feed the baby twice (once when you pump and once when you feed that bottle of pumped milk). Your body also has to produce more milk as you have wastage in a way that you don’t with straight from the breast. Good luck!
Post # 5
Triple feeding is nursing, giving a bottle of breast milk, and pumping. Usually takes us about 75 mins so when I was on the every 3 hour schedule I would be starting the process again an hour and 45 mins after after finishing.
The LC has me feeding on demand now. Hopefully soon my LO will realize she can forego the bottle because the breast is always there to feed her. Thank you for the links, will check them out!
Thank you for sharing! It’s good to be reminded there are other options than both of us being constantly frustrated and constantly feeding. We have had to supplement with formula a handful of times so I am not opposed to that.
Exactly, it is so time consuming. The LC and pediatrician checked her but they could have missed something. Yes, I’ve seen that wastage firsthand and would love for everything to just go directly to her.
Post # 6
I wasn’t sure if a cause had been found as to why she wasn’t able to get much milk from you? I’d look into that first because if it’s something that can easily be rectified then you’ll probably find the triple feeding would be able to stop.
I had to triple feed my son for a bit and in the end got myself an SNS so he was having his two feeds simultaneously.
so I would say if you wish to keep on breastfeeding then I’d do this on demand as much as possible. Make sure baby is actively feeding (a good squeeze of the breast can help get the flow going again)
you could either use an SNS to get the extra milk in simultaneously or do it after. If you’re doing it after I’d used pace feeding. As for what you top up with – expressed, donor or formula is your choice.
As I said previously I’d look to finding and sorting the cause first
oh and another question: how old is your baby?
and most babies will drink a bottle of milk even after having a feed. It’s because they cannot control the flow so all they can do is swallow
Post # 7
Props to you! Triple feeding was rough. We gradually transitioned from triple feeding to exclusively pumping. My baby was like yours. She could never get enough from me directly and I just did not have it in me to keep at triple feeding. Pumping was its own difficult journey but it was worth it. There is no shame in whatever you choose. I will say, my daughter’s latch greatly improved when she got a bit older even though she had stopped breastfeeding. I considered switching back to breast deeding but I was about to go back to work so not realistic unfortunately. We still breast feed occasionally if a bottle wasn’t ready or easily accessible. It’s possible to try pumping now, give it some time and then try to go back to breastfeeding. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I also know some moms that pumped but kept the night time breast feeding for comfort/cuddles. Do whatever works best for you.
Post # 8
Oh bee, I’m so sorry. I went through this same thing (even posted about it before). I ended up switching to EP when LO was around 10 weeks old. It was great for me personally and I took so much pride in it. I EP’d for over 16 months. That said, none of us can say what would work out best for you — everyone’s journey can look so different. I can say that your mental health and well-being are paramount. The early days can be so hard — be kind to yourself ❤️
Post # 9
I have three kids and only one of them was successfully breastfed long term. Youngest breastfed for 26 months like a champ. The other two just never seemed to be able to do it and I ended up pumping. It’s freaking hard and people make it seem like it’s soooo easy and natural- when it’s just not often the case. I’m not any closer to my breastfed child than the other two, and all of them got fed the best way that fit them. I wish you good luck!
Post # 10
Is this your first child? Does DH have the time to help you? We did this for the first few weeks of my sons like. DH helped every time which was HUGE.
I would feed LO then DH would feed LO the bottle while I pumped for the next. Then DH would clean all the parts for next time.
He did this every single.time, including middle of the night. It saved my sanity. Is this an option for you? It would take us about 45 min total.
Post # 11
I assume your baby is still quite young. Is this your first baby as well? My first is 8 months and I found breastfeeding extremely difficult for the first month or so. Baby’s latch was good but he took a couple weeks to gain back up to birth weight and I found feeding quite painful, I think it took awhile for my milk to come in. I didn’t pump at all, so I can’t comment on pumping.
anyways if you’re set on breastfeeding I would just drop the bottle and exclusively bf on demand. As soon as baby gives more hunger cues, give her the breast again. The baby’s suckling will signal to your body to produce more milk, and thus supply will increase. Remember also that young infants go through periods of clusterfeeding, so it will literally feel like you are bf all day and nights it’s extremely exhausting.
Also I’ll repeat what a previous poster said above, the baby sucks down the bottle fast because it’s a faster flow and she just swallows it all and can’t control it like the breast.
Post # 12
What size nipple are you using? I’d go down to a preemie nipple if you aren’t using one already. Sounds like maybe baby has figured out the bottle is way easier and if she just holds out she gets that instead.
Both my babies ate waaaaay more often than every 3 hours. Like at least every hour especially as infants.
Is she actively feeding when you nurse? Big gulps, swallowing, moving her chin up and down?
Post # 13
It’s normal for little babies to feed all the time! If I were you I would try nursing on demand instead of what you’re doing for a few days. At 3.5 months we’re finally at a point of getting to every three hour feeds. It is also a comfort thing for baby to want to nurse, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t getting food when hungry. And it’s nature for them to want to latch all of the time for awhile, it helps signal your body to increase supply.
Post # 14
@splishsplash: Previous poster’s advice about stopping the bottle cold turkey and some weight loss being normal is well-intentioned, but could be dangerous if your baby physically isn’t able to transfer enough milk.
I wanted to address this since it I am the one that said it, but now I see several others have also. I had a 5 lb premature baby (33 weeker) when I did this, so I am aware of what can happen. I didn’t have a full term 7 or 8 pounder. However, by doing bottles you can end up damaging your nursing results. As long as you are monitoring wet and poopy diapers, watching for let down, watching to see that baby is actively nursing, going without the bottles for a day or two is a way to get baby off the extra bottle and onto full time nursing.
@bear123 You poor thing. You must be exhausted. That sounds like so much extra work. I really would taking a few days to do nothing but nurse your baby. The more she is on the breast right now, the easier this will get. She needs to figure out nursing. She needs to build up your supply. Babies give the nursing cues because right now, they are figuring out how to suck and how to make this work. Monitor the wet and poppy diapers. Good luck!
Post # 15
Most babies will drink whatever you offer in a bottle whether they’re full or not, 3.5 ounces is A LOT for a newborn to eat AFTER nursing, are you pace feeding? If not, look it up.
Also, if you want to exclusively breasted then I suggest doing a nursing weekend and drop all bottles and nurse on demand so baby can bring in your supply, if she has 7-8 wet diapers a day then she’s getting plenty.
Lastly, I’ve been breastfeeding exclusively for over a year and a half now and love it but if you’re mentally exhausted then it’s ok to stop if breastfeeding isn’t for you. Good luck!