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Thread: baby refusing my breast

  1. #1

    Default baby refusing my breast

    Hi moms
    my 13 week old baby will not take my breast ....it has been a week. I hold her up to my breast and she screams. I am pumping bc I have to return to work in a week. She takes a bottle fine. I have been starting her with the bottle then quickly putting my nipple in her mouth. Does anyone know why she would suddenly refuse me to start but then will latch on??? I am so confused and getting discouraged....please help!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    9,649

    Default Re: baby refusing my breast

    How frustrating! You are smart to be pumping to keep up your milk production if baby will not nurse.

    I have been starting her with the bottle then quickly putting my nipple in her mouth.
    is this working?

    Babies go on nursing strikes for many reasons. I would suggest, think back to when this first started happening. Any changes? Any issues? Things as simple as baby having a stuffy nose or mom changing her deodorant have caused nursing strikes.

    Also, some babies start refusing the breast sometime after introduction of the bottle and/or pacifier. Obviously baby needs to be fed, so if baby will not nurse you have to give her your milk in something. But it need not be a bottle, you can try cup feeding. If you want to keep using the bottle, make sure it is given using paced bottle feeding technique. See: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf and http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...FD00534CAAC56E Pacifiers are not necessary, so if you are using one, maybe try eliminating it or reducing how much.

    This is an excellent article on encouraging baby to nurse again. Sometimes a mom needs to try the same idea several times before it works: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

  3. #3

    Default Re: baby refusing my breast

    Hi so switching from the bottle to my breast quickly seems to be working. I think she may be a little stuffy actually. I am just afraid when she clears up that she is going to still choose the bottle over me. She screamed at her 4 am feeding bc she wanted a bottle. Its so frustrating I love nursing and the bond and closeness. I breastfed my other daughter as well n she adjusted perfectly (I know dont compare-but its hard not too) Its definitely not easy. Here's to hoping when she clears up she comes back to me ♥

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    9,649

    Default Re: baby refusing my breast

    Hi so switching from the bottle to my breast quickly seems to be working.
    Good! this is a technique for encouraging nursing that is in part an "instant reward" technique and partly a 'calm baby first" technique . Other "instant reward" techniques include dripping some expressed milk onto your nipple before baby latches (and even after, to get baby nursing more vigorously) and also, hand expressing so that there is a little milk on the nipple already when baby goes to nurse. As a calm baby first technique, I know I just said to avoid them, but FYI, A pacifier can be used sometimes this way as well, to help calm baby prior to nursing, if baby being too upset to latch easily is part of the problem. If that is part of the problem, you can also try to offer to nurse at the very earliest cues or prior to any cues, when baby is calm and relaxed, and/or comfort baby other ways prior to nursing as well. It is fine to keep using the bottle this way as well, of course, when you are trying to get baby back to the breast, really anything that will encourage baby to nurse is a good idea. but since bottle preference might be part of the problem, I am just suggesting other ideas that may have similar success.

    I would suggest not thinking in terms of baby "choosing" the bottle over you. I know you don't mean it this way, but this thinking can sometimes lead to moms feeling rejected by baby and this is not the case. I don't think 3 month old babies are capable of choosing anything. They are still very much driven entirely by instinct with a little learning thrown in. A baby instinctually needs to eat, too seek comfort, and to avoid discomfort. This is why babies are instinctually driven to suckle, which is comforting in and of itself & of course, typically results in baby being fed as well. But if baby is given other things to suckle, WHAT they suckle on most comfortably might begin to vary. Basically that means that if baby "learns" the bottle is the easier/quicker way to get milk, they may well appear to 'choose' the bottle.

    This can be counteracted by giving bottles only when needed, small amounts at a time, and on cue, using paced bottle feeding-all so that bottle feedings are as similar to breastfeeding as possible and baby does not become trained to the easier, faster flow of a bottle. And keep trying to gently encouraging baby to nurse as much as you can- whenever you or baby feels like it, using the ideas in the kellymom article. When a baby is refusing the breast, comfort nursing is often what comes first.

    Hang in there! Breast refusal is tough but many times not permanent. Baby WILL nurse, so you know baby CAN nurse.

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