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Thread: Nipple confusion and breast refusal please help!!!!!

  1. #1

    Default Nipple confusion and breast refusal please help!!!!!

    My baby girl is now 6 months old. She was doing fine with breastfeeding till she was 5 weeks old.
    Unfortunately she wasn't able to latch on my right breast during the
    hospital. So I was supposed to pump the right and nurse on the left.
    Things were fine till we started giving her bottles when in public.
    Also the 2 weeks befre she started fussing at the breast I started
    pumping my right side more frequently because I was afraid I was
    losing the supply on it. I hadn't really stuck till the pump every 3
    hours schedule for my right side till then.

    But at first she refused to nurse only during days then at nights and since Jan she never nurses! I've been trying everything. I should have seen a lactation consultant earlier but I kept thinking she was going to nurse eventually.

    But finally when I went to the lactation consultant she gave me a nipple shield which my baby girl just chews up. She seems to have forgotten how to even suck cause if I by chance get my nipple in her mouth she gags and she gags on my finger when I put it in her mouth too. She used to suck when I put my finger in her mouth a few months ago. Things looked hopeful a few months ago but I lost hope this month.

    Could you please please help me get her back to the breast??? and start nursing like before??? I was using medela bottles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nipple confusion and breast refusal please help!!!!!

    I assume you have seen it but this article has very good ideas for encouraging a baby back to the breast. http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    It can take time and persistence to bring a baby back to the breast. BUT IT CAN BE DONE. Babies, including adopted babies, premature babies , etc. who never nursed have learned to nurse at the breast at this age and even older. It is not easy and there are no guarantees of success. But it is not impossible. I find that moms usually lose confidence when baby is not nursing well, or feels rejected, frustrated, etc, and, concerned baby is starving, give a bottle-perhaps prematurely. While it is not a good idea to try to starve a baby into nursing, it is also sometimes important to be gently persistent in encouraging baby to nurse.

    So how to so this? Nurse at (or before) the earliest cues. Do not wait until baby is hungry to offer. If you have been scheduling feedings, stop and cue feed instead. If baby has been sleeping long stretches at night, consider letting (or helping) baby wake to nurse. Stop or cut down on pacifier use and swaddling, these practices may cause a baby to pacify right through their natural hunger cues. Even stop scheduling bottles. Comfort nursing often comes first. Offer to nurse whenever, and if baby is not interested, try again a little later. When you do give a bottle, try these tips: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    If baby is to hungry to try to nurse, give a little milk in the bottle and see if baby will finish at the breast.

    Encourage baby to nurse when asleep, just waking up, just falling asleep. I call this calling on the instinctual brain. Your baby had to learn to 'prefer' bottles, instinctually, baby’s prefer the breast.

    In this case, since it has been so long and baby is older, I suspect it is possible your baby may actually have forgotten how to suckle, which may call for suck training. A sign of this may be if baby will take the breast (not resist) but the simply not do anything further, just sort of hang out, even with instant rewards like milk being dribbled on your nipple. Call your IBCLC back and ask her about suck training. I don't know more about that, I am sorry. The nipple shield was worth a try but it is obviously not working, or in any case is not working on it's own. Maybe try it with a lactation aid (see below.) the IBCLC should have more ideas for you. If she does not, ask around locally and try to find an IBCLC with experience helping moms bring older babies back to the breast.

    If baby can suckle at all, consider trying a lactation aid. You can fashion one yourself if you don't want to buy one.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nipple confusion and breast refusal please help!!!!!

    Any success stories please and help???

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Nipple confusion and breast refusal please help!!!!!

    LLLMeg gave great advice. I don't have anything to add except that it is possible to get a baby back to the breast- you just have to be very, very patient, gentle, and persistent. And you may have to adjust your ideas about what breastfeeding success is for you. Some babies will not go back to the breast no matter how hard mom works at it. But if they get breastmilk via bottle, that's still success.

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