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Breastfeeding after reduction surgery?

I'm trying to breastfeed my son of 2 and a half wks, but I had extensive reduction surgery about 7 years ago. He was born a few wks early, and was having a problem nursing, with latching on and sucking he would fall asleep. My lactation consultant told me that problems with sucking and latching are very common for early babies, especially boys. I've tried using a SNS(for suplementing on the breast) and a nipple shields, but he still would nurse for very long. So after every feeding I would bottle feed and then pump for 15 to 20 min. It was too exhausting for me, so I've been exclusively pumping for about a week. I will pump every 2 to 3 hours around the clock. I was only pumping 1 oz, but now I get about 1.5 to 2 oz.
I'm wondering what techniques do you have to help me wean him from bottle feeding, when should I try, Should I use the SNS? And any other advice you might have.

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Asked by scillawtp7 at 8:45 PM on May. 1, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (5)
  • Just put the baby to the breast as often as possible. If he seems not to get enough milk at the breast, which you can easily tell by the number of diapers he has, then use the SNS while you nurse, but abandon bottles, they will only compound your problems.

    Keep in touch with your LC (and make sure she's legit. An IBCLC is best). Keep a close eye on him and make sure you're nursing on demand.

    Good luck!

    Answer by Ati_13 at 8:56 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • My son is now nearly 6 months old and I was having the same type of issue. He was nursing and nursing and falling asleep doing it... and he still does it. I was pumping to try and wean him and now he won't take a bottle. You are trying to put him back on breast? I wasn't sure if that was what your question was about.

    If you are having issues with him not taking in enough (to build up your supplies).. then just stroke or take off layers of clothes, massage his legs, or stroke his jaw up and see if those things help to rouse your little one. Boys love to cuddle (in my opionion), I notice he is just so comforted by my presence and it makes him neeeeeed to be near his food-source.

    You are doing a great job and just keep going. I had a "high-needs" child which is one that constantly eats, wants to be held, needs to see everything going on, and loves to be put in a sling. But it does get easier!

    Answer by laurenregister at 8:59 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • Yes, and just keep demand feeding if possible. Right now it may seem like he is always attached to you but as he gets bigger he will go longer and longer in between. Kaden now goes about 3-4 hours in between.

    He was eating for an HOUR and off for an hour... on and off for the first few months! Everyone told me to switch him to formula or rice cereal in a bottle or pump only... I went with my gut and just kept with breast and now it is great!!!

    Hope this helps :)

    Answer by laurenregister at 9:02 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • Try now. I would try to cut out bottles, but I would consider still pumping and putting the bm in the sns. The more he's at the breast the more he will make. However, you do need to consider milk supply being an issue because you've had reduction surgery. Sometimes it is a problem, sometimes not. It is something to be more vigilant about. Do you know if milk ducts were cut? They can reattach, or you may not need the ones that were cut. I'd suggest hooking up with LLL as well.

    In the meantime, cut out all bottles. I am NOT saying not to feed him!! :) Use the SNS and syringe or cup feed. Sucking a bottle is a different pattern than the nipple. It's easy to go breast to bottle, but not bottle to breast. Help him make the transition back to breast by cutting the bottles.

    Answer by apexmommy at 9:59 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • Lot s of skin to skin contact. Get in bed with baby with your shirt off, baby in only a diaper. Let him sleep on your bare chest and see is he starts to scootch down to your breast and start to bob his head to try ad latch on. Watch for any signs that he night latch on.

    Another thing to try is give him about 80% of what he usually takes from the bottle and then try and get him to finish his feeding at the breast. There is a website all about breastfeeding after surgery at


    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 10:22 PM on May. 1, 2009

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