By Olga April
“If you don’t give a bottle to your baby in the first two months, he may never take one,” said an article. Wouldn’t want that to happen, I thought. I knew that I should not give artificial nipples in the first six weeks. To be safe, I decided to wait seven.
By seven weeks, nursing was quite familiar and pain free. I made the decision that it was time to try a bottle experiment. I hand-expressed about an ounce into a bottle and sat down to see if David would drink it. After some initial hesitation, he took it and then happily went back to my breast. I breathed a sigh of relief. I thought I could go back and forth from the bottle to the breast with no problems. A week later, I gave him his second bottle.
Uh oh. There’s trouble in paradise. David wouldn’t open his mouth wide enough to nurse. When he did open his mouth, he immediately stuffed his fist into it and then was furious that there was no milk there. I swaddled him to keep his hands confined but he kicked off his blanket. After a great deal of effort, I’d get him to latch only to hear the dreadful clicking sound. He was sucking his tongue instead of properly latching. When he did latch, I was afraid to take him off even if I was in pain. It took so much work to get him latched, even if it wasn’t a good latch, that I didn’t want to stop and start all over again. The bad latch continued. The blisters came back. The pain came back.