Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Breast Feeding

Supplementing my breastfed baby

02/19/2007

Question:

My baby girl is now 4 months old. I am breastfeeding her exclusively. I would pump and store breastmilk for the next day (bottle feed when I work by the baby sitter). I`ve started introducing the bottle when she was 6 weeks old. She was suckling well from the bottle and breasts. A few weeks later, about 3months old, my baby had oral thrush which caused her to refuse the bottle, but was ok with breastfeeding.when the thrush was gone, she was fine with bottle.(although she doesn`t really like the suckling from the bottle). SHe would take about 3.5 to 4 oz each time. I would breastfeed her after office hours (evenings and early mornings). Later i had breast infection, and had her suckling from the breast more frequently. That resolved within 2 days. After that, my baby was reluctant with bottle feeding. She would drink only 1-2oz each time with the bottle. But sometimes, as much as 4-5oz (on very good days). Over the past few days, she has been refusing to suckle from the bottle. When she`s very hungry, she would drink about 1-2oz. Her weight gain is not very good as well. She added only 200g (now 5.8kg) last month. Seeing that, I would now go back from work during the day to feed her, but it is quite hectic and taxing.

Initially, i thought it was the food that I take that changes the taste of the milk. but I can`t think about anything that I`ve eaten that is extraordinary.

Now, when we put her in a reclining position to feed her with the bottle, she would cry.

A peadiatrician said that it`s probably nipple confusion. But she has been ok with the bottle since 6 weeks old. Only since a week or 2.

I`ve tried to use a spoon to feed her milk but she refuses. She`d cry.

Any thoughts? I`m a bit desperate as I would hope that her weight gain would be better...and that she`d drink from the bottle when I`m working.

Thank you

Answer:

Nipple confusion is usually when the baby prefers the bottle over the breast.

This situation is just the opposite.

The bottle has a firmer feel and may be hurting her mouth if she has residual thrush.

You may want to check to be sure that is not the case.

If you have plenty of milk, you might try getting it into her by cup or syringe.

Or you might try an orthodontic nipple such as the NUK, which is softer than most nipples and feels more like a breast.

Thrush is often passed from baby to mother, so it may be important to be sure there is no yeast in your milk.

If so, you would need to be treated with an antifungal medication.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati