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Thread: Baby refusing to breastfeed

  1. #1

    Default Baby refusing to breastfeed

    Please help! My 6 week old baby has oral thrush and is refusing to breastfeed. Things have been going so well with breastfeeding but the last week it feels like things are going downhill.

    She is hungry and tries to feed but unlatches and screams while kicking her legs and waving her arms. She will only feed for about 2 minutes and only at one breast, where in the past she used to feed for approx 10 min at each breast. She also doesn't latch properly like she used to, only sucking with the front part of her tongue. I assume this is because the thrush is more prominent at the back of her tongue.

    I've taken her to the Paediatrician to rule out ears and other causes. She's diagnosed her with colic and prescribed Iberogast (it has made no difference). She's also getting treated for oral thrush but it's been more than a week and it hasn't cleared.

    She squirms, cries and fusses after feeding, and we have to walk with her in our arms or in sling until she falls asleep. she only sleeps for a short while. When she wakes the cycle starts again.

    Not feeding properly has had an effect on her diapers, less wet nappies and no poo nappy in 24 hours. I started getting worried and gave her expressed milk in bottle. She also fusses with bottle but at least drinks the milk.

    I'm devastated that she won't breastfeed and don't want to continue with bottle. What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,741

    Default Re: Baby refusing to breastfeed

    Hi, I know this is scary. If your baby is not nursing due to thrush, that should be resolvable as thrush is treatable. Sometimes it takes figuring out what the best treatment is (and convincing hcp that you need something other than they are giving you) but it IS treatable.

    Here is what I would suggest:

    1) Feed the baby and protect milk production. If your baby truly will not nurse, you will have to regularly pump or hand express in order to protect milk production and feed your baby the expressed milk. You need not use a bottle, if you are concerned about nipple confusion, consider using a syringe, or open cup instead (let me know if you need more info on cup feeding.) At least, make sure bottles are given as suggested here: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    2) make sure you are only dealing with thrush. Your baby's behavior could be caused by other things-I can think of: forceful letdown, discomfort with the nursing position, even early teething possibly (baby can feel teething pain long before any eruptions)
    3) Treat the thrush as aggressively as you feel comfortable, in both you and baby, while preventing recurrence by boiling nipples and bottles, washing hands, etc. Here is one thrush protocol: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-CP
    4) Gently encourage nursing as often as you can. Short nursing session may be more tolerable to baby than long ones, and if baby can nurse frequently baby can nurse a shorter amount each time and et enough milk. See this article for ideas on how to gently encouraging baby to nurse: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    Does anyone else have ideas for thrush/breast refusal?

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