Part 2 I think my baby has nipple preference now what.
Some mom and baby dyads are super sensitive to the change of nipples introduced into baby’s mouth. Others dyads can go from pacifier to bottle to breast and back again with no issues. Typically the babies who are flexible have very good latching skills when at the breast and have normal oral anatomy and no issues in body structure. The babies who are finicky often have other issues than the nipple preference. Nipple preference is also tied to parents and caregivers attitudes and usage of nipples other than the breast and breastfeeding. For instance, my husband and both grandmas that cared for my son all had a different bottle that they gave him, which both grandmas would tell you were the only one he would take.
What are signs that you should go back to just the boob?
1) Are you in pain?
Focus on laid back breastfeeding, skin to skin, just focus on breastfeeding for a few days if possible.
2) Is baby fussy at the breast?
We are all creatures of habit. Babies develop habits. Here is some of what your baby may be telling you:
When I cry someone responds.
When I root someone puts a pacifier in my mouth and it feels good but I really can’t tell if I am hungry until I am starving.
When I am fussy I get fed and if I fuss enough they go back to the more comfortable nipple for me, either bottle or breast.
Sometimes they put a bottle in my mouth and its super easy to get milk, it just pours in. When I go back to the breast I wish they would just give me the bottle again because the milk just pours in and I have lost the desire to put effort into getting the milk.
I am confused every time I do _______ I get something different in my mouth. I don’t know what to expect or how to react because this is so inconsistent.
All of these are fussy messages that may mean it’s time to focus on breastfeeding for a few days. Or Call a Lactation Professional.
3) Masking feeding cues
Pacifiers mask feeding cues like the devil. It is so important for judicious use of pacifiers before you get the hang of your baby and this breastfeeding stuff. Also do not be surprised if they go from happy to hangry on you in 2 seconds with pacifier usage.
4) Milk supply
The sound of your support person giving a bottle while you sleep may make you see beams of light pour down from the heavens over your partner and that bottle of expressed milk. Milk supply is driven by nipple stimulation and milk removal, when we mess with that bad things happen. In the early days this is critical especially over night. Have your support person bring you baby and let you lay in bed and feed then take them in another room to burp change diapers, etc. The act of breastfeeding makes you sleepy so it will help you go back to sleep easier.
To avoid bottle preference you can use alternative supplementing devices such as syringes and/or cup feeding. These are usually easier short term vs. long term.
Pace feeding is a great way to minimize bottle preferences.
Use pacifiers judiciously. Putting a pacifier into a baby’s mouth every time a baby makes a sound is over use of pacifiers. I will make a caveat for frequent pacifier usage…that is with preterm babies, please follow the discharge advice for pacifiers the NICU gave you.
A clean finger and holding a baby can calm them as well or better than a pacifier and a bottle while waiting for mom to be back with the magic boobs.
If breastfeeding hasn’t been going well (for instance: you have pain with latching, or you just don’t feel “I got this”) then it may be too soon for offering the pacifier and bottles. Get Help see a lactation consultant ASAP.
Remember your nipples are the original pacifier and bottle.