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Thread: Refusing to Nurse - 8 Days old

  1. #1

    Default Refusing to Nurse - 8 Days old

    Hello all!

    My son is 8 days old today. We started breastfeeding right away and it was going great until about 2 days ago. For the last 2 nights, my son has been refusing to nurse from about 1am - 7am. I try to put him to breast and he will latch, maybe suck a couple times then throw a fit. He will scream and cry and shake his head. He may still try to relatch a few times, but he won't nurse. Last night I tried for almost 2 hours to get him to nurse. I finally gave up and he fell back asleep. His diaper was dry. I got him to nurse successfully (after trying for about 30 minutes) at 7am. He then nursed again at 8am, 9:30am, and 11am. He woke up and was acting hungry at around 12:45pm, but then did the whole refusal, screaming/crying thing. So I just stopped and he went back to sleep. It is now 2:15pm and it has been a little over 3 hours since he last nursed. Isn't this too long? Shouldn't he be nursing every 2-3 hours? I will say that he does seem to do worse if I wake him and try to feed him. But how long should I let him go? At what point to I pump and give him a bottle?

    I am at my wits end. I feel like I am failing him. I want so badly for breast feeding to work! We had some inital latching issues, worse on the left, and my nipple has a large crack in it. But I think we have fixed that problem for the most part. I usually only have pain during the initial latch for about 20-30 seconds and then nursing is relatively pain free.

    I spoke with my LC on the phone today and she gave me a few tips and tricks to try. They aren't working so far. I see her in person again on Tuesday.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Refusing to Nurse - 8 Days old

    Ok mama calm down. It's early days yet. You are not failing. I'm trying to get this straight. He woke up both nights at one but refused to nurse or you woke him up? How often does he nurse during the day? You should be aiming for 10-12 nursing sessions per 24 hours. If he's nursing enough during the day I'd probably let him sleep but pump after 4-5 hours just to maintain supply (even that's a long time and at odds with the below link but if he's sleeping 6-7 hours while nursing frequently enough at other times then it's not worth the stress for either of you). If you do try to wake him up, do so when he's in the light sleep cycle with twitchy eyes and limbs. you can just hold him skin to skin (with him in a diaper against your bare chest and a blanket over you both) during the day to encourage more nursing. You mentioned a dry diaper. Is he having 5-6 wet diapers and 3-4 dirty (quarter size) diapers. Here's a great link for the early weeks of breastfeeding. http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/ Hold off on bottles until at least four weeks. They can really interfere with baby's latch. Consider alternative feeding methods such as syringe, spoon or cup.

    I'll have to come back. Naptime is over!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Refusing to Nurse - 8 Days old

    Congratulations on the new baby! I'm sorry he's giving you such a rough time.

    I think at this point, you want to be watching your baby's diaper output really carefully- here's a handy resource: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...s/enough-milk/. As long as diaper output remains normal, there's no need for bottles.

    The tips in this link http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/ are useful for dealing with a baby who is having trouble latching. In particular, the instant reward and skin-to-skin techniques are said to be helpful. You might also want to try keeping the lights in the house nice and dim and the atmosphere very calm, in order to keep your LO from getting overstimulated. Definitely try latching baby on before he gives you hunger cues- sometimes babies get really frantic when they're hungry and they get so busy freaking out that they forget to latch and suckle. If your baby gets frantic, try offering him a clean pinky finger to suck, with nail held down towards baby's tongue (if you hold it up, it can damage the delicate skin of the palate). A few seconds of sucking on a finger can remind baby that sucking, not screaming, is the answer to his problem. And sucking on a finger can calm baby enough to enable a repeat latch attempt.

    Good luck, mama! If this continues, please seek in-person help from a lactation consultant. Nothing beats hands-on assistance!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Refusing to Nurse - 8 Days old

    Thank you to Mommal and Zaynethepain for the replies. To answer your questions...

    At night I have to wake him up. He likes his sleep. During the day he wakes up or gives queues that he is getting hungry.

    During the day he is nursing 6-8 times. He does have at least 6-8 wet diapers and 4-6 poopy diapers per day. So I think he is getting enough. It just seems that for his age (9 days old) he shouldn't be going 4-5 hours at night without eating. But maybe I am over-analyzing this. His birth weight was 8 pounds 13.6 ounces. His discharge weight was 8 pounds 4.6 ounces. I think he lost a lot of water weight because they pumped me full of fluids. Way more than I think was needed. He will be weighed again this afternoon and his pediatrician appointment.

    Mommal - I like the tip for trying to have him suck on my finger when he gets too upset. I am going to try that.

    I actually changed up my plan last night and it went fairly well. I was reading posts on the Kelly's Mom Facebook page and there was a lady who posted with similar problems as I am having. Several people suggested offering a small bottle (1oz or less) if they are refusing to latch and then try to latch them. So this is what I did last night....

    10:30pm Nursed well and went to sleep
    2:15am Started to stir, I pumped a little to soften my breasts (I was a bit full)
    2:30am Offered the breast (both sides) - he nursed a bit, but not much and kept falling back to sleep - good news is that he wasn't throwing a fit - I offered the tiny bit of pumped milk by bottle and he took it - he was more awake and I put him back to breast - he nurses better that time, though not for as long as I would have liked, but he seemed satisfied and went back to sleep
    6:45am - basically a repeat of the 2:30am experience
    8:30am - Nursed on the right breast - latched right away and went to town - nursed for 30 minutes - seemed satisfied and went back to sleep

    He has had 3 wet and poopy diapers so far today. It is currently 10am and he is still sleeping. I am sure that offering the bottle is not the best option. But I was far less stressed and the whole ordeal only took 45 minutes. It was the best nights sleep I have had since giving birth. The baby seems happy and well hydrated. While I would prefer to just nurse him and not pump, what I did last night seemed to work. I am hoping that I can phase out the bottle and pump eventually. I will continue to always offer the breast at night before a bottle.

    What do you guys think? I really appreciate your responses and advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Refusing to Nurse - 8 Days old

    He may get frustrated waiting for let down. If you want to only nurse you could try massaging your breasts and squeezing milk out first. Then into his mouth so he gets milk right away. I have had to do this if my daughter is over hungry. Because she gets pumped milk while I am at work she prefers a very fast let down now.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Refusing to Nurse - 8 Days old

    Raniocoy - I have try hand expressing into his mouth with no success. I am thinking part of it was when I was waking him he just wasn't hungry and I was forcing him to the breast.

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