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Thread: Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

  1. #1

    Default Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

    The last checkup weight was 10lb 7 oz (which was 25th percentile and a bit lower than we would have liked) and we are down to 10 lb 2 oz in 4 weeks. THIS IS SCARY!!

    Baby breastfeeds, but doesn't empty either breast and wants the pacifier. How do I encourage longer breastfeeding? If baby doesn't start gaining weight ASAP I will have to give her something else I assume.

    I have tried switching back and forth between breasts, but she just cries and refuses the same breast, then after she gets a bit from each she just cries and wont' take either, just wants the pacifier. Just now, I tried refusing the pacifier and having her sit on the breastfeeding pillow, for about 15 minutes, and she just sucked her fingers and then started crying but would not take the breast, I finally gave up layed her on the couch and gave her a pacifier. She fell asleep.

    It seems to me that she just isn't nursing long enough to get the hindmilk as she does have a lot of pee, but not poo.

    Any suggestions appreciated!

    THanks,
    Celeste

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

    Can you provide an entire weight check history? How old is baby?
    The last checks done on the same scale?
    Is your child's pediatrician aware that your baby has actually lost weight?
    has baby been ill?
    How many times in 24 hours does baby typically nurse?
    A Baby would not lose weight because they're not getting hindmilk. A Baby would lose weight because they are sick or they are not getting enough milk.
    The possible reasons a baby would not get enough milk are that baby does not nurse often enough, baby does not nurse effectively enough, or mom has low milk production.
    Pacifier overuse has been connected to slow gain in breast-fed infants. This is because baby sucking on the pacifier causes baby to not nurse frequently enough, and that would cause a reduction in milk production. But I am not sure that that would explain all that is going on here.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 11th, 2015 at 05:19 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

    I only have 4 weight measurements and the last is not on the same scale. I've orderd my own scale to monitor more closely. The baby's dr does not yet know about weight issue but I will call Monday as office is closed friday. Baby is 15 weeks. We have good nursing sessions in the morning about 3 between 5 and noon but after noon usually only 2 before bed and she often goes all night without nursing. This baby is sooo happy and active I can't believe she is sick. As this is my 4th baby it really does seem to me she isn't nursing often or long enough. She just wants the pacifier and refuses the breast
    Last edited by @llli*ckumelos; June 11th, 2015 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Adfition

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

    The first thing I would do is to take all the pacifiers in the house and bag them up and put them away. When you suspect that there is a problem with breastfeeding, the last thing you want is for the baby to spend time sucking on a pacifier. I know that's a hard thing to do- if you have 4 other children I am sure you sometimes need a way to soothe your baby while you do something else. But again, a problem with breastfeeding should supercede those other things.

    The other thing I strongly encourage you to do is to not let the baby sleep so long at night. Again, I know the long sleep stretches are great for you and probably help you function during the day, but long sleep stretches are counterproductive when there is a concern about nursing or weight. The last thing you want is for a baby to be going really long periods without taking in some calories.

    What sort of scale did you do that last measurement on? A doctor's scale, or a bathroom scale?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

    OK, so if the scales were not the same, or if they were not digital infant scales, or if the weight checks were possibly done incorrectly, then the weight checks may be incorrect. It is important to figure this out. It is one thing if a baby is gaining slowly. That usually indicates a situation that requires monitoring but may or may not be a problem...Some slowdown in gain is normal after 3 months anyway. But It is another thing entirely if a 3-4 month old baby is losing weight. That is possibly a very serious situation.

    We have good nursing sessions in the morning about 3 between 5 and noon but after noon usually only 2 before bed and she often goes all night without nursing
    A baby this age would typically need to be nursing a minimum of 8 times in 24 hours at this age. Some would have to nurse more often, say, 10 or 12 times a day, in order to get enough milk. 5 nursing sessions a day is in most cases simply not going to allow baby to get enough milk.

    it really does seem to me she isn't nursing often or long enough. She just wants the pacifier and refuses the breast
    A baby who needs more milk but will not take more when it is offered may have something wrong causing poor appetite. It may not be obvious. Babies low in B12 or Iron may have poor appetites.

    I can basically guarantee you that most pediatricians are going to see a baby who is loosing weight and put the baby on lots of formula supplement. While supplements may be needed, they are likely to mean the premature end of breastfeeding- unless whatever the issue is with breastfeeding is also addressed. If you want to keep nursing, I strongly suggest some proactive measures to make that happen. I agree with mommal, Aside from limiting or eliminating the paci, baby needs to nurse more often including overnight. I would also suggest getting help in person from a breastfeeding helper if you can. Are there resources like that available to you?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

    My experiences last night. At about 6pm after about 4 hours of not eating I tried to feed the baby. She would suckle about 3 second then pull off and cry. I tried the other breast same thing. I tried 4 times switching just suck a little and cry. I know she would have stopped if I gave her pacifier. I let her cry for a bit and tried again. Same result. Gave in and gave her pacifier. At 7pm I pumped about an ounce to see if she would eat from bottle and she sucked it right down. I worked at it again this time with same result (pull out and cry) then I tried giving her the pacifier for a couple seconds then pulling out and offering breast. She did actually eat this way but I probably pulled the pacifier out 20 times. I woke her up at about midnight and 5am for additional feeding with no problem (but as I said middle of nights and mornings are usually ok). I ordered the medela small to try pumping as she seems to be fine with bottle. I'm not too upset with bottle feeding breast milk. Also I recall that right about the time she stopped liking my little nipples my sister had been trying to feed her with her ginormous nipples... Not sure if that caused an issue but the aversion corresponds.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

    I'm in a pretty rural area with limited resources for most anything. The nearest la Leche is about 60 miles. My dr. Is pretty good at working with me but yes the loss of weight will force supplementation - he will let me use Weston price formula and I do have raw milk in my house ... But I would like to try and work on my breastfeeding issues. As I think on it probably having 3 other young children and a disabled husband might be a hindrance to me having enough capacity and time though...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

    If your baby requires supplements, that is not a reason breastfeeding cannot continue. Formula supplements (or supplemental feedings of your own expressed milk) can be given while baby continues to nurse. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, but I would suggest talking to your pediatrician when a baby is possibly losing weight. It is possible doctor would seek or provide breastfeeding help for you, helping you acquire a pump, or agree to you supplementing with your own expressed milk...etc. It would require figuring out what is going on and then looking at the various ways any problems might be addressed. Again, there may be some medical reason baby is not interested in nursing much, even if baby takes a bottle. Bottles are very easy to get milk out of and babies cannot help but get milk out of them if typical gravity feeding technique is used.

    For a breastfeeding supportive method of bottle feeding, I would suggest paced bottle feeding.

    Have you considered that there may be a delayed let down issue? Does it take very long for milk to start ejecting when hand expressing or pumping? Have you tried the kellymom "instant reward" ideas (see this article): http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

  9. #9

    Default Re: Baby seems to only want pacifier and is loosing weight

    Well, good news and bad news, baby is gaining weight with supplemental feedings, but has less and less preference for breastfeeding. She refuses the breast and takes the bottle more and more.... I am working on the "paced bottle feeding" but she gets really frustrated with that too....

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