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Old 07-20-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
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Is back to breast possible?

We have had such a rough start. From tongue ties, to lip ties, and failure to thrive. DD is almost five months old, and I'm worrying that she is too old to get back to the boob... Like you can't teach and old dog a new trick kind of thing...

I have been pumping and feeding the pumped milk, donor milk, and formula through the bottle for the past two months. I am so sick of pumping plus renting the symphony pump. I would LOVE to be able to get her back to the breast. She has nursed in the past with an SNS, and a shield. I got her off the shield and then with going back to school it was easier to pump and give bottles. Although I really want to get her back to the breast. I have been working with an IBCLC, but I'm not sure what she can do for us. Our insurance doesn't cover it, so I have to pay for it all out of pocket. I just wouldn't want to pay for an appointment, and have her not be able to help us.

She thrashes, screams, and cries when I attempt to put her to the breast with the SNS, without the sns, and with the nipple shield, and without the nipple shield. I've tried to find some websites that discuss this issues. Lots that I have looked at talk about relactation, but I do not need to relactate I just need to get her back to nursing from the tap. Hopefully my supply will increase when she starts nursing from the boob again.

Has anyone successfully gotten their baby back to the breast?

Suggestions/comments/links so appreciated!
Amanda, SAHM Mama to Sofia 10/06 and Margaret Emma 2/11

Breastfeeding, babywearing, fully vaxing, attachment parenting, still in school, forever studying, and burning the candle at both ends but loving life and enjoying my girls!
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:09 PM   #2
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Re: Is back to breast possible?

Not sure how most mommas would feel about it, but I had a friend who had severe nursing problems. By the time she got her issues resolved and was ready to have her nurse for real, she was between 6 and 7 months.
She had tried everything possible... then one day they went into bed, both naked, did lots of snuggling and naked time. No bottles, no pumps, no form of food for her except the breast - and after a few hours she decided to latch on properly, and she didn't have any more issues after that!
The baby was definitely far from a high needs baby though, so I'm sure this wouldn't work for all babies, but it did for hers.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #3
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Re: Is back to breast possible?

I never had back to the breast issues it was getting him on the breast after the bottle. DS2 was born 8 weeks early and was on a NG tube for 2.5 weeks. We went from the tube to breastmilk in a bottle since it was easier for him to eat. When we got home at 3 weeks we started working on getting him on the breast. It was a long battle of keeping his weight up, latching, being strong enough to nurse and just getting him to. It took us about 2 months of boobie boot camp and a lot of crying on both ends to get him completely transitioned and another 2.5 weeks of pumping just to make sure my supply would be ok. What I found helpful was Breastflow bottles. His latch got so much better after we started using those bottles. I also found that if I fed him about a 1/4 to 1/2 of a feeding by bottle and then nursed him that helped with the frantic rooting and screaming. My little guy is very impatient for the let down. So while I was trying to get him on the breast, I did some nipple stim while bottle feeding him and when my milk was ready to let down, I latched him. If my milk wasn't letting down as it should (and it often didn't as I was so tense and stressed) I would do breast compressions and that gave him enough milk to spare me a few extra minutes to just relax and for my milk to let down. A LOT of naked time (as PP mentioned).. I still feed DS but we cuddled and had tons of skin to skin contact, this encourages nursing. Babywearing, shirtless, having baby spend plenty of time with breast and not expected to do anything with them. Maybe try a nursing necklace since your DD is older, only let her play with it when she latches and then plenty of patients. good luck!
Ali, wife to A and momma to Punkie (03/2004), Mo Mo (03/2008)and my little ginger baby (06/2010) . I'm abut I don't get paid.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:38 PM   #4
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Re: Is back to breast possible?

Have you read this Kellymom page about getting baby back to the breast? It might help:

Also, I have heard about the concept of "finishing at the breast", which might help your DD learn to love nursing because she's not really hungry when you're trying to get her to latch:
Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, Toddler Boy 3/11, and Twin Girls 2/14!
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:45 AM   #5
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Re: Is back to breast possible?

I feel ya, we are in the same place and can't find much info...and I agree everything talks about relactation which isn't the problem. DD had to be supplemented with ebm in the beginning and around 7 weeks started refusing the boobs. I was devastated We have tried everything but even our ibclc is surprised how stubborn she is. She won't even look twice at a nipple shield, and even tough I have an sns to try I don't think it will work if she won't latch kwim? She gets fussy when she sees my SHIRT go up. I have tried to make peace with it, and I'm committed to ep'ing as long as needed even though it SUCKS and is the reason I'm on here at !:30 instead of sleeping!! I also struggle with low milk supply, so no skipping pumps for me...I can't even read about these women producing so much milk they throw it away...agh! It sounds like you have more in your favor than I do if at one time she took the shield. The kellymom info is the best I've seen, it's just hard to implement in reality...I mean already our lives revolve around feeding and pumping all day. I would read up on maintaining your supply at kellymom as well - good info. I just kind of had to let go of it....I don't think there's any special trick...I will continue to offer it to her and maybe one day she'll surprise me! The thing is I don't want it to become a negative thing and interfere with our I'm trying to get over it and not take it personally. Of course she wants it the easiest way! I've also tried to find other ways of being close with her, and I feel good about how that's going. Feel free to pm me - I've read everything and been to the ibclc a billion times. One thing she suggested that might help you - go buy a medela "calma" bottle - they just came out but are supposed to be the most like breastfeeding and good for switching from bottle to breast. However it's just another bottle, so it won't necessarily get her to latch per say - that's the root problem. Anyway I'm here if you need to vent or discuss options!
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