Breast refusal :-( - seeking help & support
My daughter is 3.5 months old and we have had a successful breastfeeding relationship and it is only recently problems started emerging. Due to preference, my right breast has been her primary source of nourishment. However, the let down in my right breast got too fast and she began to refuse it after a couple of attempts - still frustrated with the letdown. We tried the football hold which seemed to work for a while...
I have the letdown mostly under control now but she won't even attempt to latch on to my right breast...I think she has some negative association with it...
She is eating from the left breast. Prior to this situation, she would eat only from the left breast - maybe 2-3 times a day. It has now increased to 5-6 times a day. The problem before was that my left breast was not making enough milk - compared to my right...she rarely got satisfied eating from only the left. Since this moderate refusal started, the left side is making slightly more milk...thank goodness. However, the problem still remains that she is occasionally refusing the right breast. Sometimes when she does nurse from it, she gets cranky - upset - pulls off - etc. Note though - it's not like this all the time...
The refusal (of the right breast) generally happens in the late afternoon and evenings. She used to take it at night (during sleep - we co sleep), but now she has started to refuse it. The mornings and early afternoons are okay, not problem free, but much smoother than the evenings.
How can I teach her to nurse her from the right boob again? What can I do? What is going on?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts on the matter.
Re: Breast refusal :-( - seeking help & support
in short, it sounds to me like your baby is telling you that she isn't hungry when she refuses that breast.
do you think your supply has increased to the degree that she is getting more than enough at her other feedings, and just isn't hungry at this particular time because she is full? i've struggled in the past with the pulling off, upset, cranky, arching away issue before in the middle of the day, and realized that, due to my oversupply, juniper was getting so stuffed in the morning and evening and through the night, that she was just not hungry. additionally, i tried sneaking a nursing session in during the night time, out of fear that she, skipping that afternoon meal, wasn't getting enough. boy, did that piss her off for weeks. negative association, indeed. she didn't trust me after a while because i was forcing too much milk onto her, and even put her hands over her mouth every time i would pick her up.
we've come to an agreement that i will listen to her signals.
there is also something called breast preference. my daughter likes the right one. i think it is the position that i cradle her in when i hold her, but maybe it is just the shape of the nipple or boob.
again, i wonder if she is just full, and doesn't want to nurse at that time. babies become efficient at nursing as they get older and practiced.
however, your DD is 5 months younger than mine, so i'm not positive that you can let her go without this particular afternoon meal. i am sure that the super experienced moms around here will help you. i just wanted to share my experience with you, and assure you that it sounds like you are really doing a great job at being a loving milk provider!