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Thread: 6 months old baby breastfed while sleeping, GER

  1. #1

    Question 6 months old baby breastfed while sleeping, GER

    Hi there! I have an almost 6 months old baby who refuses to nurse while awake. It all started when she was about 2 months old, so this sleep-feeding has been lasting for app. 4 months now. Occasionally (one or twice a week) she accepts to nurse while awake, when she is very thirsty. For the first two months I had oversupply and OALD so she was sometimes chocking with milk. Now the problem with oversupply is solved, the OALD is still there but if she nurses calmly she can handle it.

    She was diagnosed with GER around 3 months old and at 4 months old I decided to introduce solids to help her keep the food in her stomach. She likes eating and she has a good weight gain but I wish we had a better nursing relationship. I like to think I overcame the despair I had in the beginning when she was constantly refusing my breast and I was struggling to get her asleep so she would get some milk in. I thought it was a nursing strike and I was expecting it to pass. Now I know she only accepts the breast while asleep but I wonder if this could change in the months to come and she will eventually nurse awake.

    Her older brother was breastfed for 27 months and it was a great experience for both of us, I never expected to go through this. Did anyone have a similar experience? Is it possible to bring her back to breast while awake after several months of nursing while asleep?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    9,428

    Default Re: 6 months old baby breastfed while sleeping, GER

    Hi Joys21. I see no one has responded so I am going to, although I am not sure I can be very helpful! At least this will bump your post.

    This phenomenon- baby nursing only when asleep- is one that we have seen a few other times on this forum. Unfortunately, it is an issue I personally have ONLY encountered on this forum. I am not a lactation consultant or anything, but I have read a bit about breastfeeding, and so far I have not seen anything quite like this described in any lactation literature. I have also not looked very hard specifically for it, so I will try to do that because I am curious myself.

    From what I remember on past threads, this can be a temporary issue. I would suggest approaching this situation in a similar manner to approaching any other type of refusal to nurse/nursing strike. And the best article I know about THAT is this one : http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    I also wonder, what would happen if you did NOT offer to nurse when baby was asleep. I don't mean, refuse if baby is rooting, because of course babies will nurse in their sleep as part of normal breastfeeding. But I wonder if backing off offering to nurse during sleep, if that is what you have been doing, might help baby seek the breast for comfort/food/thirst more during the day.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 6 months old baby breastfed while sleeping, GER

    Dear Maddieb, thank you for your reply. Any opinion or advice is more than welcome.

    My baby seems to dislike the milk itself. If she's not sleeping deep enough, she sucks only until the letdown and then she refuses the breast. She is visibly disturbed by the fact that she's getting my milk. I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that she associates the milk and its taste with the bad experience of her acid reflux. I tried the bottle and the spoon with both my milk and formula and she rejected my attempts.

    Given this situation, not offering to nurse during sleep, most likely, wouldn't get her back to the breast.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    9,428

    Default Re: 6 months old baby breastfed while sleeping, GER

    Ok. Have you been to see a lactation consultant? I am wondering if baby has some suck/swallow issues where perhaps the milk flow is alarming to her. You know you have OALD, and that certainly can lead to a baby being so unhappy with the flow that she refuses to nurse. Have you tried different positioning ideas like: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/...-breastfeeding or side-lying?

    I have heard that some baby's reject the breast due to acid reflux. And anything is possible, of course. But I am pretty certain this is an assumption based on the idea that some babies refuse formula or food due to severe painful reflux, and not at all proven as a barrier to nursing. Breastmilk is not only designed to taste wonderful to babies, it is very soothing going down, and of course nursing itself is comforting. In my experience as a mom to a baby who was diagnosed with reflux and in helping moms with the same problem, reflux babies tend to nurse more often, not less, than their counterparts.

    I assume (?) baby is getting medication, but the problem persists. This would lead me to guess the issue is not reflux.

    As far as baby refusing spoon and bottle, again, that may or may not be related to baby refusing to nurse.

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