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Thread: My baby refuses to breast feed

  1. #1

    Default My baby refuses to breast feed

    I am extremely devastated. I had a high risk pregnancy and to top it off after my emergency C-Section I had a horrible complication at the incision site because have of it didn't close right. My baby is now two n a half months and since the beginning of his feedings he has always had to have formula. At first because I wasn't producing, then when I FINALLY got some production I had to stop n throw away because I had to have two ct-scans n the ink put in my body took time to get out of my system, then right when I think we are doing ok my milk production drops n my baby refuses my breast or vice versa. He has always from day 1 had a problem pooping on his own so idk if he's eating good or not. However, he is a big beautiful boy who is very alert n strong. His weight n height keep increasing every dr's visit. But now that he doesn't want to even suckle on my breast has made me really sad. I started to notice that he wasn't sucking hard enough but he was staying at my breast for as long as I let him. But then someone told me that he was just using me as a pacifier and not for food. So they suggested only putting him on each breast for 10 min. Those mins turned into 7-8 min then 5-6 mins n now nothing. In fact, as soon as he gets by he starts throwing a fit. I don't know what to do. My mom was very unsupportive and kept blaming me... You're not eating right, you're not drinking enough fluid, you're not holding him right, you've given him all you can. My husband kind of the same... You can't be bummed when ur plans don't work out, he'll be fine with formula, he's just figuring out what he wants. I pumped for 15 mins today and I only got 2.5 oz from both breasts. I usually got that from just one. What can I do? Is it too late for me to put him back on my breast? The bottle seems to be all he's interested in. Regardless if it's breast milk or formula. Should I just pump and offer him atleast his breast milk that way? Will it help me increase milk supply if I only pump more often? =o(

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Sunny Arizona

    Default Re: My baby refuses to breast feed

    Your baby may have nipple confusion. Bottles are easier to eat from so he doesn't have to work to eat. You aren't doing anything wrong and your mom and DH are just not educated enough to be able to help you. Nursing is a cycle. The less you empty your breast, the less milk you will make. So yes pumping more often will help with your supply. Ideally you want to aim for 8-10 feeds every 24 hours for a baby that young. Pumping just until let down and then latching the baby may help get him interested since he will have the same instant gratification that he does with a bottle.

    And NEVER limit the time that baby is on the breast. Suckling helps promote supply. And babies get a lot of comfort from suckling, it is a soothing mechanism. The only one they really have. He is used to being with you 24/7. Suddenly he is in the huge world with all these new sounds and people. You are all he knows. Let him "use you as a pacifier" why do you think they are shaped like a women's nipple? It'll help in this situation since it will stimulate milk and give him a positive association with the breast.

    Here is a link about how supply works:

    Great article on weaning from formula:

    Tips on building supply when baby is not nursing:

    There is more but I don't want to overload you with information. You have a very rough start and did the best you could with the situation and information you had. If you can find a LLL meeting or leader (use the link at the top of the page) they may be able to provide hands on help. The most important thing is you can get him back to the breast. You have milk. Now it's just getting your supply up and getting him to latch. It may not be easy but it is totally doable. A lot of women here have done it, hopefully someone who has BTDT will chime in soon.

    Amy married to my bestfriend since 10/30/04

    Proud SAHM to DS born 2/17/07 and DD born 9/11/08 Both weaned together 11/2011
    Currently milk, peach, peanut and tree nut free. DD has outgrown her wheat, cheese, egg, garlic, and citrus allergies

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: My baby refuses to breast feed

    Exclusively pumping stinks, but it is better than forumula. And it's not too late.


    My baby is TEN months, could not nurse because of a birth defect, yet I'm still trying!
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: My baby refuses to breast feed

    Definitely not to late to get production going again, and it may well still be possible to transition back to breastfeeding. The PPs gave you some great links to follow, and I want to add one more: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html. It talks about all the ways to get a baby who has been weaned or who resists nursing to come back to the breast. In particular, the skin-to-skin and instant reward techniques can be helpful in luring a baby back to the breast.

    I am really sorry your family has been so unhelpful. I suggest being very upfront with them and telling them what you need. Let them know that unsupportive comments are not helpful and you don't want to hear them, and then tell your mom and husband what you do need to hear, things like "You can do this, you are a great mommy," and "Let me get takeout/do the laundry//scrub the toilets while you focus on pumping and nursing" and "It's okay if it's not working out right at this minute, you are working so hard and there's still lots of time to get things back on track".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: My baby refuses to breast feed

    Agree with PPs. Have you tried the nipple shield? DON'T GIVE UP! You can do it mama! You have ALL our support!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: My baby refuses to breast feed

    Wow. You have been through an incredibly difficult time. I don't have anything to add on the breastfeeding side, the suggestions posted above are excellent, and what will work for you depends on many factors. Read the articles linked, you need accurate info about breastfeeding (unfortunately the limiting feedings advice, while surely well meant, was not a helpful suggestion.) Many moms find that, even if ultimately breastfeeding does not continue for as long as they wanted, they feel more positively about the experiecne and the aftermath if they tried every avenue that made sense for them and had good support and accurate information.

    It would really help if your family could support you in the ways you want. It sounds like your husband is trying to be supportive, but I think what you are wanting is support for continuing to try to breastfeed, and he is trying to support you by telling you you are a great mom no matter how you feed your baby, which of course is absoutely true, but maybe not the kind of support you want right now. Here is something written for dads (and anyone helping a new mom) http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf PS there is no way a baby needs to 'figure out' what he wants to be fed. A baby who is showing bottle 'preference' has been (inadvertently due to your very difficult health circumstances) taught that a bottle means food and a breast does not. Very often, a baby can come to love nursing at the breast even in cases when they have never nursed.

    As for your mom, criticism is the last thing you need. She is likely giving you the advice she got, assuming she breastfed. But research in the last few decades has changed what is 'known' about breastfeeding. For example, milk supply has very little to do with what one eats or drinks. (There are some substances, mostly pharmaceutical or herbal, that decrease supply and some that increase supply.) Also, ideas about positioning have changed dramatically in the last few years, and many of the old 'rules' have been thrown out. Positioning changes may indeed help, but who knows if what your mom would suggest would be helpful. That is what you talk to a LLL Leader, a Lactation consultant, or an experienced, currently breastfeeding or recently breastfeeding friend about. From your mom, you want and deserve love and support-in short, mothering. Hopefully you can communicate to her what would be helpful, but it that does not work-well, when a mom is having a difficult time, I suggest she surround herself with supportive family and friends and perhaps avoid as much as possible unsupportive people. Here is an article for grandparents: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...sbreastfed.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; December 4th, 2011 at 12:55 PM. Reason: really can't spell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: My baby refuses to breast feed

    I wanted to say I agree with what the other posters said. I just wanted to add, that you may not of needed to pump and dump during your medical procedures. I was extremely angry when I found out I had pumped and dumped for no reason. There is actually very FEW medical procedures or medications where you have to dump milk. Next time you have a medical procedure or need to be on a questionable medication, contact a LLL leader and have them check their Dr. Hale book, it's a book with most medications listed and the amount of effect they have on the milk and danger to baby. So you can make a educated choice on dumping the milk or not. Most drs just say dump no matter what, that way they don't have to be responsible to know for sure! UHG, it's so damaging to the nursing mother though to do that so often. Makes me really upset. I mean at least tell me you don't know and tell me to look it up some where, I didn't even know there was books out there to look this stuff up till after I had dumped. But, any way wanted to let you know for future as well.

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