This will be kind of long, so just bear with me. Breastfeeding is and always has been a real struggle for me. I had a breast reduction three years ago. And my birth experience was kind of traumatic and I didn't get to breast feed until twelve hours after my little boy was born, he was in the NICU getting formula during this time and I was recovering from a c-section. So right from the start, it was rough.
I met with two LC's in the first couple of weeks. We got his latch figured out and I tried to exclusively BF. But then he wasn't gaining weight and was declared failure to thrive. I started supplementing with formula so that he would gain and grow and be healthy. It was really hard for me, since my goal had always been to EBF. I moved on, though. I came to terms with it. I nursed as much as I could and pumped a few times a day. I also fed formula, but my boy was gaining and growing and thriving, so I moved on. I was feeding my child.
But two weeks ago, nursing started being hard again. He started pulling away and screaming at the breast once a day. Then he did it twice a day. Then he was only nursing in the morning. Then, he refused to nurse even in the morning. He didn't nurse a single time all day for a couple of days. I've been pumping while my heart breaks. Today he actually did nurse twice, once in the middle of the night and once in the morning, but its the first time in a few days.
When I get him into the nursing position, he now arches his back and screams, and won't even let me get the breast close to him. But if I get him a bottle, he drinks it up right away. He doesn't even suck for a few seconds and then stop -- he flat out refuses to even latch on. I also don't think its due to distraction, since he has done this exact same thing as night, in a dark, quiet room.
He will be six months old tomorrow. We have tried some solids, but we only do a few spoonfuls a day, if that. Some days he gets no solids at all.
Any advice? Thanks in advance, ladies.
Re: Nursing Strike?
This sounds like nipple confusion. Babies tend to like bottles because it's so easy to get milk out of the bottle, and sometimes this leads to the baby deciding that only bottles will do. Bottles were unavoidable in your situation, so it's not like you did something wrong by using them.
The best thing to do is to patiently, calmly, gently lure your baby back to the breast. This link has good tips: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/. The skin-to-skin and instant reward techniques are supposed to be especially helpful.