The World of Breastfeeding: When Your Infant Refuses to Take A Bottle

Now that Miss M is two months old I feel comfortable talking about our success (and failures) in breastfeeding. Miss M is completely different from her brother in many ways and eating is one of them. Now she’s a champ at latching and sucking just like he was but she’s not as driven by hunger (or she’s more successful at nursing long enough to get enough hindmilk to fill her up). She lets me know when she’s hungry but she never acts ravenous like E did. I can let her go 2-3 hours and she’ll let me know by her facial expressions and coos when she’s ready to eat. Her brother wouldn’t let me go much past 2 hours for the first two months of life much less past 1.5 hours!

Now the problem comes with her taking a bottle. I feel totally fine leaving the house for 2-3 hours at a time while Joseph watches her but anything beyond that and I have to rush home. Sometimes she doesn’t even last that period of time for him and is screaming by the time I arrive at the front door. She has only once successfully taken a (pumped) bottle and that was two ounces from me when I decided to try on a whim a few Fridays ago. She has yet to take another and is quite irritated that we keep offering it to her. I really hope she starts taking it soon! I have started a pretty good freezer stash for when I return to work and I don’t need the added stress of her not eating to add to the craziness of returning to work…

Another problem we’ve run into is Thrush. She’s basically had it since day one. It’s a yeast build up in the mouth and hasn’t quite effected me the same as it did when Ethan had it (oh the excruciating pain!) and I think we’ve managed to keep it under control. But we’ve been giving her medication for it since she was a week old and it’s still there! I HATE yeast! I’m hoping we can clear things up at her next pedi appointment this week.

Now the yeast isn’t hurting her. She probably doesn’t notice that anything is off or different but when that yeast goes to me and starts to build up or worse, create an infection, then I’ll be in a world of hurt. Itching, burning pain. Yes, it’s treatable but I want to prevent it from even happening! So I’m currently taking probiotics and eating yogurt every day to build myself some resistance from it. And hopefully this is transferring to her through my breastmilk.

I have been really lucky with these two wonderful children. Breastfeeding for the most part has come quite naturally to them and with the help of nurses, lactation consultants and friends I’ve grown to be very educated and confident in breastfeeding. I nursed E until he was just over 18 months and hope to be as successful in breastfeeding Miss M. We’ll start with the same goals I set for her brother in that if she makes it to six months we’ll try for a year and if we make it to a year we’ll leave it up to her to decide when she wants to wean. I pray that things go as well as they are now and am prepared to do what I can to keep it going. Now we just have to work on that darn bottle!

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