*First, I am not a doctor. Anything in this post is based off of my own experience, opinion or research of how I got my own bottle fed baby to breastfeed. Also, This post may contain affiliate links to products I actually use and love! At no extra cost to you, I may get a small commission for my recommendation.*

Why breastfeed?

Breastfeeding my second son was extremely important to me because of a number of reasons:

First, because its FREE!

Another number one reason is because it is PERFECT and life giving in every way. Silvia is an incredible thing! Did you know our bodies use OUR saliva when we kiss our sweet babies to know what they need? What?!

Also, when our babies nurse, our bodies use THEIR saliva to tell us what they need! Double what??!!

My mistake the first time

I was not able to breastfeed my first son due to a motorcycle accident on moving day and emergency surgery. Here is my full story. I was under an incredible amount of stress because the day before, my husband got laid off.

At the time of the accident, my son was 9 days old. My body went into shock between the postpartum, financial stress, anesthesia and pain meds. Therefore, I lost my milk. I also didn’t know how to recover it. (although I’m not convinced it would have been possible)

When my second son was born (4 months ago) I didn’t have a plan B! I was so determined that no matter what, my body was going to produce milk and that was the end of it!! (type A much?) And I did!

I was making an extra 14 ounces a day without trying. I HAD to pump it off or I was going to explode! Additionally, I planned on going back to work so I was glad to have it!

I decided to have my fourth foot surgery while he was still tiny and immobile. After all, he sleeps most of the day so it would be easy on me. (HA!)

My biggest mistake of the entire process was not pumping every time the baby ate.

I am almost embarrassed to say I only pumped in the morning when I woke up and around dinner time. And both of those were only because I was in pain! I had to! Unfortunately, I got overconfident and thought it would be enough.

I was only on pain meds from Friday (day of surgery) to the following Monday. I used Tuesday to dump and cleanse my milk. But, when I tried to feed him Wednesday, I noticed two things: He didn’t want me and I almost had no milk! Talk about scared!!

How could I let this happen!?!

These are the steps I took to get my bottle fed baby to breastfeed again.

First and foremost, I had to get my milk back up.

I used fennel and basil essential oils to increase supply. First, I applied above the breast on the lymph area with a few drops of a carrier oil (coconut oil or olive oil will be fine).

Additionally, I used Frankincense in my diffuser or applied it to my hands and inhaled it for stress. I made sure to do this when I knew I wouldn’t be holding the baby for at least 30 minutes. Essential oils can be overwhelming to a baby with a sensitive nose. They can’t move away from something like we can.

Also, you don’t want to touch their skin with undiluted essential oils as they can be hot and burn. I exclusively use Young Living Essential Oils because I know they are actually pure and not just “label pure”. 

Pure essential oils never expire or have an expiration date. So, if there is a date, they have additives but do not have to say what it is because of the loose labeling laws.  

Also, I used these cookies, these muffins, this drink, this power pumping, Young Living Life 9 probiotics and this vitamin liquid (put in these vegetable capsules because it tastes disgusting).

I carried around a jug of water that we normally took to baseball games and tried to drink 2 of those a day of pure burkey water.

Additionally, I cut out anything like coffee or excess salt that would dry my milk up.

I did so much power pumping and nursing that my boobs were chapped!

Second, I used a bottle to get him satisfied enough and finished with latching.

I noticed that my baby would not latch on if he was hungry. He knew they were empty! Why go through all that work for 2 drops of food?! Hand me the bottle woman!

We made sure to never change his bottle nipple higher than a newborn zero. Otherwise they will decide the bottle is much easier and will refuse the breast. We use Tommy Tippy bottles and I loved them!

First few days, I started by making sure I had made some breast milk in my boobs. Then, I put just short of what I knew he would eat in a bottle (2oz).

I gave him the 1.5 ounces of bottle then switched to nursing to be completely satisfied. Sometimes it didn’t work if he was overly tired or in a growth spurt and I was left yelling for more milk.

After a few days of trying to get my supply up, and nursing I was able to lessen the amount of milk in the bottle to one ounce then nurse.

Subsequently, a few days later to .5 ounces with majority nursing. By this point I had enough milk to feed him through the day only! No growing allowed this week! Every drop is gold. (Of course we supplemented with stored milk if he needed it.)

The last step I did to get my bottle fed baby breastfeed exclusively again was the empty bottle technique.

In the very beginning, when I noticed he wouldn’t nurse because I was empty, I swear you could see a light bulb turn on over my head.

I got an empty bottle and let him suck on it. He finally got mad enough to nurse. He let go of me out of habit and went back to the empty bottle a few times.  

Finally, it worked! Now, anytime he thinks I can’t feed him, I give him an empty bottle. He is starting to not like the bottle! Success!

What are some of your struggles?

What are some of your victories?!

Do you have any tricks to get a bottle fed baby to breastfeed?

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