As I have discussed before, breastfeeding Oliver has been something of a nightmare challenge — one that is repeated 6-10 times daily. In order to give me an occasional (and much needed) break, Vik started giving Oliver a bottle about 4 weeks ago. While the little guy never quite took to the bottle with the same enthusiasm in which he takes to the breast, Vik was consistently able to coax him into consuming an almost full feed …
… until last week, when I left the house for a couple hours to have drinks with some fellow mommies, and came home to find that all hell had broken loose. Vik had apparently been trying to get a very hungry Oliver to eat for over two hours, but had only managed to elicit an endless series of high-pitched screams of desperation (and that was just from Vik :)).
This scenario has repeated itself almost every day since. We have tried different feeding positions and times, and have spent a small fortune on the full gamut of bottle and nipple types. Nothing is working. Oliver simply will not take a bottle, and it is really, really stressing me out. I mean, I love my little guy more than anything, but Mommy sometimes needs a break. Plus, it only adds to the pressure and stress of breastfeeding; if our issues worsen, too bad, because there is no longer a feasible alternative.
My lactation consultant and both breastfeeding classes I took warned about nipple confusion/preference, advising me not to feed Oliver with a bottle too early or else he might grow to prefer the bottle and reject my breasts. Never was the possibility of bottle rejection mentioned, despite the fact that this is a common issue that leaves many nursing mothers frustrated and desperate (as is obvious from a basic Google search). It makes me wonder: Are lactation consultants and babies part of some vast conspiracy to ensure nursing mothers are stuck nursing, no matter the cost?
But, I digress …
Vik and I refuse to be bested by a seven-week-old baby and plan to continue waging the bottle battle. To that end, we have combed the Internet and compiled a loooooong and varied list of bottle feeding strategies. And, should all those strategies fail and we find ourselves forced to admit defeat, then cup feeding is apparently an option — a somewhat strange and cumbersome option, but an option nonetheless.
We’ll keep you posted as the battle wages on, but for right now, it is Team Baby: 1 and Team Parents: 0.