Hi, I have a problem with my 11 week old baby refusing to feed while fully awake. He used to only do this at his 'fussy' time in the evenings before bed (starting about 3 weeks ago) but I was able to calm him by walking/rocking and feeding at the same time. Once he latched on he was fine and would feed for sometimes an hour or more until deeply asleep. I guess I should mention that he's always been fussy at the breast in one way or another (except at night), pulling on and wanting back on and sometimes getting quite frantic but up to a few weeks ago he never refused and wanted to eat very frequently.
The past few days the problem has gotten much worse, not just in the evenings but all day long. He will only feed when just waking up, and even then, he sometimes wakes up fully during the feed and then pulls away screaming and refusing the breast again. If I wait too long after he wakes up I miss the chance to feed him, so it's not even that he's overtired, he may have just taken a long nap and still refuse the breast. He feeds very well at night when he's half asleep (these are his best feeds, although sometimes he's too sleepy to finish even one breast). Sometimes I also have him nap on my chest during the day and he'll half-wake to feed every now and then, so he gets some decent meals this way. But these days I have trouble settling him for naps, I think because he is hungry and won't feed, so he doesn't sleep because he doesn't eat, and he doesn't eat because he won't sleep.
I considered the possibilities of too fast or slow milk flow but I don't think either of these options is it. He used to eventually nurse well in the evening when my supply is lower and flow is slow, and he also nurses well in the night time and early morning when I am engorged and the flow is fast. I haven't changed anything in my diet. I've tried feeding him in a dark room, swaddling him, giving him to my husband to calm him and then trying again, but he screams as soon as I put him near my breast. I don't push his head or try to force him. Different positions also haven't worked, lying down, hovering above him etc. He seems to really have an aversion and I can't understand why or how I can help him overcome it.
Up to now he's been gaining weight very well as he was feeding every 1-2 hours during the days. I was actually thinking of putting him on a feeding schedule because he seemed to snack throughout the day and night. But I'm afraid his weight gain will stop or slow down now that he's not eating as regularly and have noticed less wet and dirty nappies the past few days when this has been going on really severely. I'm also afraid my milk will dry up if he stops feeding so frequently, and he often doesn't even empty one breast before coming off screaming and refusing more. I am really distressed and worried. Please if you have any advice I would really appreciate it, I would not like to give up breastfeeding yet.
* I already sent this as a helpform but hope it's ok to put it here as well while I wait for a response. Would really like to know if anyone else went through this, whether you were ever able to get your baby nursing normally again, and if so what you did to make that happen.