Why is this so important? Why struggle with having to learn a whole new process to feed your infant? There are three basic reasons:
1- While there are those people out there that will tell you that there's no such thing as "nipple confusion" I will damn well stand on my soapbox and tell you that it's true, it DOES exist!! I went through it with my eldest son, and have seen many many mothers struggle to get babies back on the breast and latching properly after the baby has been fed with bottles. No, not just "bottleS", sometimes even after a single bottle!! Hungry babies will take whatever is easiest to fill their tummies, and if a flowing bottle that does the chugging for them is offered, many will decided that they don't want to work for their dinner after all. Hence the reason that it's so important to not allow hospital's to push bottle supplement feeding on newborn babies- who are especially vulnerable as they haven't learned how to latch and feed from the breast yet.
2- Supplementing a baby AT The Breast stimulates the mothers breast and encourages milk production.
3- Babes love boobs. Breastfeeding is not just about "feeding", it's not just about getting breastmilk into little tummies... its about cuddling, smelling, and holding. It's about the baby being with her mother- skin to skin if possible- and developing a strong bond that will last a lifetime. Nothing facilitates bonding as much as breastfeeding IMO.
This article talks about the difference between the two big commercial brands of At-The-Breast supplementers, talks about technique and most importantly shows a video of how to do it your self!!!! This is coming from a mom who achieved her goal of getting her baby back on the breast. Her words about her journey back to the breast are inspiring.
Please click HERE to read the entire article and to watch Dou-la-la's excellent video.
People often commend me for sticking it out the 5 months it took to get Lily nursing, and I appreciate that and do take it in, but honestly, the stubbornness that I tapped into to get her ON the breast is the same stubbornness that made me resist using the Lact-Aid, and therefore held up our progress much longer than was probably necessary. I just had to get to the end of my rope, my absolute wit's end, the point where I was truly on the edge of just giving up altogether and EPing for her. I was trying to figure out how I could make my peace with this decision, and I realized that the only way I would ever be able to be okay with giving up on breastfeeding is if I truly KNEW that I had tried everything. And the Lact-Aid was the final frontier. If things didn't work after that, then I would be able to forgive myself, knowing that I had done my very honest best. But only then.
So I took the proverbial deep breath and threw myself into it. And it was tough for a few days, but after that, grew progressively easier - and I saw progress. Real progress. Within 3 weeks she was only taking about 2 ounces per day from the supplementer (I used it at every feed, but only released the flow of the tubing when she was starting to slow down). I kept using it for another week, just to be on the safe side, but really, we had made it. We had crossed over. And it was totally the Lact-Aid - and those who convinced me to try it - that did it.