Childhood Diseases

Posted by: KELLY | 2012/06/11




I have a 5 month old who just stopped breast feeding. I''m a working mom and i only managed to breast feed her in the morning and at night. Now she only wants the formula. any suggestions? i wanted to breast feed her until she was atleast a year old.

Expert's Reply



I hope that one of our regular forum members will offer you some advice or you could write in to our breastfeeding forum on Health24.

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user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2012/06/11

Sorry to hear that your baby is having a nursing strike, it can be most distressing.

When she is apart from you, is she having her milk in a bottle? Sometimes babies begin to prefer the faster and easier flow from the bottle and then begin to reject the breast. Some moms find that having a caregiver offer milk in a cup instead of a bottle can help with this. Perhaps give this a try. You could use a sippy cup or a normal cup - bring it right up to her lips but don''t pour it in, just let her lap it up like a puppy does. Babies can do this right from birth.

With the breast, it takes a little time for the let down to happen - whereas in a bottle it just flows out freely. You can express until let down and then let baby on so that he works less hard for the milk. Once he''s accepted the breast again you could stop doing this.

Many moms find that if they climb in the bath with baby when they get home from work, that baby happily latches on in the warmth and peace of the bath. Many babies are happy to latch on when they are sleepy, so that is another good time to try.

At four or five months, many babies also get very distracted by whatever is going on around them and go on a bit of a nursing strike, feeding in a quiet or darkened room can help with this, or using your usual nursing spot but keeping it free of distractions.

When you are with baby in the mornings, evenings and weekends, just continue offering breast and don''t give a bottle of formula, and he will eventually take the breast - helped along by some of the suggestions above of course.

Its also possible that because you aren''t expressing at work that your supply is going down. Some moms find they can go fine without expressing in the day and baby on formula while they are apart and then brestfeeding when together, but other mothers find that their supply does dip.
THis can be remedied. It can help to express while you are busy feeding your baby - a breast isn''t a container that fills and empties so even if baby has not yet fed from that breast, there will still be milk for him, and what you express out is not much compared to what a baby can get out (its also no indicaTion of how much milk you have).
It also helps to express for 3 - 5 minutes on each breast immediately after baby has fed. You won''t get milk when doing this, but it will stimulate more production.

Remember that the code of good practice for breastfeeding mothers allows you to take two breaks of 20 minutes each in the work day to express - this is over and above tea and lunch breaks which you are entitled to anyway (and which you can use as extra expressing time if you want to).
The key with expressing is to keep your breasts as empty as possible - when they are full, the signal has already been sent to slow down production as less is being demanded from them so less is supplied.

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