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Thread: Heart broken, please help!

  1. #1

    Unhappy Heart broken, please help!

    My son is 4 months old and has primarily bottle fed with pumped breast milk. I have always tried to nurse him at least a few times a week because we both enjoy the bonding time. My son has been an excellent latcher since birth and we have never had any issues with nursing. For the last several days I have tried to nurse him and he arcs his back and screams. He leans in with his mouth wide open but just before he attempts to latch he pulls away screaming. Sometimes he will even lick my nipple. My heart is breaking at the thought that he may not want to nurse anymore I've tried several positions and even acted nonchalant about it to see if he would try. He acts as though he is going to but then quickly pulls away. Please help us!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    New York
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    Default Re: Heart broken, please help!

    scenic girl,
    It is hard to be able to offer help without knowing what your short term or long term goals are.
    if your goal is to be able to maintain an ample breastmilk supply and bottle feed expressed milk.. you are doing great.
    if you want to transition to fully breastfeeding, your infant needs suck training. An IBCLC can give you one on one professional attention to make that happen.
    Your baby might be willing to suckle for comfort after a full bottle feeding. Let him have a bottle first, then offer the breast.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Heart broken, please help!

    It is unrealistic to think that a child who is primarily bottle fed won't have bottle preference. It you want your child to breastfeed I would suggest putting your child to your breast DAILY. At least once a day. And do compressions at the breast 1st so that the let down doesn't have to be worked for. Since he is doing do work at all bottle feeding. In order to be able to switch back and forth it needs to be a consistent occurrence.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,846

    Default Re: Heart broken, please help!

    A baby who is mostly bottle-fed is unlikely to remain a good latcher/nurser. Is there a reason why you've mostly been bottle-feeding?

    This is a good link on nursing strikes: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,299

    Default Re: Heart broken, please help!

    So sorry you are having this difficulty. 4 months is often a tricky time for nursing even with fully breastfed babies, with distraction at it's height, developmentally. Because your baby is primarily bottle fed, this could easily turn into a full blown 'strike' with no return to the breast, addressing this sooner rather than later is smart.

    You have good suggestions above. Is there any particular reason your baby is primarily bottle fed? If there is a way to decrease or even temporarily eliminate bottles, that could help going forward, also if baby is given a pacifier, I would suggest stopping or reducig that until baby is nursing regulary again, if you can.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    50

    Default Re: Heart broken, please help!

    Counter-intuitive, but this worked for my extremely fussy girl - I actually got her to suckle a pacifier to calm down and then pulled a fast one switching to breast. But as the LLL leader above mentioned, pacifiers can be counter-productive too, so be careful. Just something to try before quitting.

    Have you offered the other side when your LO arches away? I also found that mine started to develop a preference around that time, and wouldn't take one and it took me awhile to realize it was just that one. Better one than none!

    Best of luck! Call a local LLL leader and/or LC and keep offering often!
    Mom to daughter C (10/30/11) delivered by midwives in unmedicated birth. EBF after breast augmentation, CD, baby wearing, part time co-sleeping, WOHM.

    SAVED by LLL meeting in week one. (no milk for first SEVEN days!)

    Weaned DD at 20 months.

    Next one due in Feburary 2014!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,299

    Default Re: Heart broken, please help!

    the paci/breast switcheroo is a good idea, kind of like calmimg a refusing to nurse baby with some breastmilk in a bottle if baby is too fussy to nurse. but the paci idea might work better in this particular case as my guess is, baby associates the breast with comfort more than food. Which is fine, a baby will normally associate the breast with both food and comfort.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Heart broken, please help!

    Thank you for all of your suggestions!! I will keep trying I primarily bottle feed because of convenience I guess... I am a FTM @ 32 and when my son was born I had severe baby blues. Breastfeeding was overwhelming and one thing I was able to control. Pumping and bottle feeding at the time was a releif to me even though I still wanted to nurse occationaly to bond with him. For 4 months he has never been picky and has always done both bottle and breast. When he started to refuse I thought it was just an in the moment refusal but when we tried for 4 days and he was still refusing it became very upsetting to me. I wasn't ready to give it up and I thought that he was..... I will continue to try and if we fail I will accept it and at least be thankful he is still getting breastmilk via the bottle. I'm amazed at how quickly our LO's grow up! People always say how they grow in the blink of an eye but you don't grasp it unitl you see your LO growing up so fast... I appreciate all of your input and pray we will succeed

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Heart broken, please help!

    At 4 months in you don't find it MORE overwhelming to pump AND feed? It seems like it would because you are spending TWICE the amount of time feeding. Since you are nursing the pump and then feeding the baby? Any way we could talk you into trying to feed from the tap MORE? Just so you are spending less time on it?

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    California
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    Default Re: Heart broken, please help!

    Agree with DJ's mom--while pumping may have seemed easier initially, once your baby starts crawling and getting mobile in a couple of months, having to pump is going to be way harder than just nursing. You'll be attached to the pump and he will be getting into everything and there won't be a lot you can do about it. If there's any way you can get the baby back to the breast now--if that's something you'd be interested in and would want to try to do--I think it would serve you well in the months to come. Let us know if you are interested, and we can try to help.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

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