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Thread: 4 Month old won't nurse!

  1. #1

    Unhappy 4 Month old won't nurse!

    My 4 month old DD has been congested for the past month with no improvement from use of humidifier, saline drops or nasal aspirator. Since being congested, she has slowly refused to nurse in any position other than the side laying position. I struggle to get her nurse even in that position now & have to pump and cup feed her. I am fairly certain she has reflux because she acts like I am torturing her (fussing, crying, arching back, kicking and pushing away) any way I feed her. I already eliminated dairy, caffeine and spicy foods from my diet last week just in case that could help!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 4 Month old won't nurse!

    Welcome to the forum! What does the baby's doctor say about the congestion? And the reflux?

  3. #3

    Default Re: 4 Month old won't nurse!

    Thank you! Her ped says the congestion is caused by the reflux and that the only thing I can do to help her reflux is keep doing the elimination diet. She's gaining weight fine so he didn't seem to think the difficulty I'm having nursing her was really an issue. It getss more and more difficult every day.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 4 Month old won't nurse!

    The ONLY thing you can do for reflux is an elimination diet? Did the doctor think that medication was not a good idea? Did he recommend nursing her really frequently, or having her sleep on an inclined surface, or wearing her upright in a sling as much as possible? How about nursing in reclined positions (e.g., biological nurturing)?

    When you have a 4 month-old who is a fussy nurser who will nurse only in the most limited positions, I think the best thing to do is to take some time and roll with that. If she wants to nurse side-lying, nurse her side-lying, even if that means that you are stuck at home a lot. The reason why I suggest this approach is that when you have a baby who is resisting nursing, it's usually (not always- you're breastfeeding a baby, not a robot!) a good idea to keep the baby at the breast as much as humanly possible. You don't want her to get the idea that easy meals can be delivered via bottle, so that she starts refusing you completely.

    How would you rate your milk supply at this point- do you have about the right amount, or are you producing quite a bit more than baby needs? (Signs of overproduction: frequent feelings of fullness, fast letdowns, baby coughing/gagging/pulling off the breast during letdowns, mom able to pump a lot of milk with relatively little effort)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 4 Month old won't nurse!

    Man, what is going ON with doctors these days! Seriously.

    Dr. Sears has a pretty good article about reflux: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/hea...t-what-do-faqs "reflux" is a very iffy diagnoses in the first place. In other words, it is way over diagnosed.

    Also, reflux is certainly not the only possible cause of congestion! Have you considered if there may be environmental allergens at play, possibly?

    I also agree that overproduction and fast letdown might be involved.

    4 months (or really, anytime after 3 months) is a notorious time for some very odd nursing behavior. In the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding the authors call this phenomenon "the four month fussies."

  6. #6

    Default Re: 4 Month old won't nurse!

    Her doctor said that medication is just something extra that will be added to my daily routine and it won't help her reflux. My DD is in the 84%ile for her weight so the fussy nursing hasn't slowed her down. Because of this, her doctor said that he doesn't think I have to change anything (since I've already eliminated dairy) but I could eliminate wheat, soy, and eggs if it continues to get worse. I showed him how she arches her back and cries when I try to feed her in the cradle/cross cradle position and the doctor blamed it on her not being hungry. Even didn't seem very concerned about how much I'm struggling to nurse her.

    I have been nursing her smaller, frequent meals. She never seems to eat enough to fill up completely making it impossible to leave the house for more than an hour. My LO still refuses a bottle and the doctor advised me to be more persistent about trying to get her to take it.

    I think I may have overproduction because I definitely have an OALD. I'm not sure if my supply has taken a hit over the past month or if my daughter just wants to constantly comfort nurse.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 4 Month old won't nurse!

    I'm not sure if my supply has taken a hit over the past month or if my daughter want to constantly comfort nurse
    I am confused. I thought the problem was baby did not want to nurse? Oh I see, baby wants to nurse a lot and now you are nursing short meals. This is actually very good for fast letdown issues, and is also good if it keeps baby nursing rather than you pumping and giving baby a cup of milk which is time consuming and not really going to solve any breast refusal problems . But why does that mean you cannot leave the house? Are you not comfortable nursing in public yet?

    Ok, here is what I suggest. If you have fast letdown, then it makes sense baby objects to certain positions. So along with nursing frequently, try positions that help with fast letdown. And yes you can do these positions in public, (some moms think they can't) but you can. They do not require that you lay down, only that you lean back.
    Believe it or not I agree with your doctor about one thing, but it is not insisting your well gaining child takes bottles, which is exactly the wrong way to solve most breastfeeding issues. But, If your baby is gaining well, no reason to be so insistent that your baby nurse at some specific time if baby is objecting. Also no need to cup feed or bottle feed. Comfort baby another way and Just try nursing again later.
    Both fast letdown and baby being 4 months old can separately lead to much shorter nursing sessions then before. There is nothing wrong with this. So no reason to insist baby keeps nursing some specific amount of time, either.
    Why are you doing diet eliminations? I know dairy is suspected by some people to contribute to reflux. So you can see if the dairy elimination does anything. (there would be improvement in about a week after eliminating the food- or earlier.) But I would not suggest doing any other elimination based only on fussy nursing. If a baby is having an allergic reaction to something you are eating, there would probably be other signs. If you do try eliminations, I strongly suggest they be done one at a time so you do not end up not eating anything.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 4 Month old won't nurse!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*briley.lutes View Post
    Her doctor said that medication is just something extra that will be added to my daily routine and it won't help her reflux.
    I find this puzzling! If a baby has reflux, why would the doctor think that medications used to treat reflux wouldn't help? The way I see it, reflux meds have the potential to treat 2 problems: discomfort, and poor weight gain stemming from discomfort. Maybe the doctor's idea is that if weight gain is okay, there's no need to treat discomfort... But I don't understand why that would be the case!

    I guess I am left wondering whether or not the doctor is actually sure that the baby has reflux?

    My DD is in the 84%ile for her weight so the fussy nursing hasn't slowed her down. Because of this, her doctor said that he doesn't think I have to change anything (since I've already eliminated dairy) but I could eliminate wheat, soy, and eggs if it continues to get worse.
    At this point, I'm thinking that it might be worth it to see a different doctor. Let's say your baby's fussiness does worsen. Why not treat her with meds at that point? Why point mom down the path of more difficult dietary eliminations? It just doesn't make sense to me!

    I have been nursing her smaller, frequent meals. She never seems to eat enough to fill up completely making it impossible to leave the house for more than an hour.
    At 4 months, my kids never went more than an hour, maybe an hour and a half, between feedings. The's no way I could have gone anywhere without them! So I don't see this behavior as abnormal, or as a sign of baby not "filling up completely". Breastmilk digests really fast and infant tummies are tiny. They are designed to be frequent eaters!

    My LO still refuses a bottle and the doctor advised me to be more persistent about trying to get her to take it.
    Do you really want her to take a bottle? As MaddieB said, this is not the solution to breastfeeding problems.

    I think I may have overproduction because I definitely have an OALD. I'm not sure if my supply has taken a hit over the past month or if my daughter just wants to constantly comfort nurse.
    Can you tell us exactly what you are seeing that makes you think you have OALD? And are you doing any pumping in addition to nursing?

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