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Thread: 8 m onth old refusing breast, and work trip coming up!!! HELP!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Unhappy 8 m onth old refusing breast, and work trip coming up!!! HELP!

    This is long-winded, I'm sorry!
    My son turns 8 months old in a couple days. I am freaking out because the last 2 weeks he has begun to actually refuse boobie at feedings! I've had him be not very interested or fussy before, but he now does everything physically possible to get away from me. I even tried nursing him on all fours (I felt like a cow) so he couldn't get away from me. But he just won't have it. We've had issues since he was about 3 weeks old when he would just start crying/whimpering/fussing while eating and not want to eat, but overall, had a very nice BFing relationship. My local LLL leader observed him feeding and he latches just fine. He's just fussy at eating.

    And to top that all off, he became a slow gainer after about 10 weeks old. He was a big boy when he was born and was in the 75th percentile for everything. He began to drop off the bottom of the charts at 2 months. He is currently in the 3rd percentile. Well, because of all of this, I started to supplement him with formula at 6 1/2 months (rice cereal introduced at 5 months) . NOW HE LIKES THE BOTTLE more than the breast. He gets the milk faster. He now has ZERO PATIENCE to wait for my letdown, which is now taking up to 3 minutes to happen, whereas it used to be in 30-90 seconds. When my milk does finally let down, he is happy and nurses quickly and eagerly and takes both breasts. But getting him to stay latched on until a letdown happens is next to impossible. The only feeding he is relaxed for is the middle of the night one when he is practically still asleep.

    And to top it all off, I leave for 5 nights/6 days on an out of town business trip the first week of April. I'm anxious that he'll wean when I'm gone and that my supply will dwindle to nothing by just pumping with my Pump in Style Medela pump.

    Does anyone have advice on how I can salvage this breastfeeding relationship, and any advice on what to do when I get back from my trip to encourage him to start nursing again and to keep my supply up while I"m away? I don't want to give up breastfeeding yet, but I'm also so discouraged and just want my baby to gain weight, be happy, and for me to not be so stressed out about this anymore.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: 8 m onth old refusing breast, and work trip coming up!!! HELP!

    (((hugs))) That all sounds so stressful.

    How long has your baby been on strike?

    You mention he impatient when waiting for letdown. What size nipple is on his bottles? And have you tried anything to help with slow letdown and your baby's flow preference? If not, you might find this info helpful (neither link is a LLL resource):

    How is your baby's weight gain now? When not on strike, how frequently does he nurse? How often do you pump at work? What was your pumping yeild like before, and what is it now?

    When you go on your business trip, is there any chance you could take a trusted family member/friend and your baby with? Is there any chance you could postpone the trip? (Just brainstorming here ) If not, would it be possible to rent a hospital grade pump for the trip? The PIS is a great pump, but it's still not exactly a hospital grade.

    I know all of your questions weren't about work, but I'm moving this thread to the working forum where hopefully you'll receive some great suggestions in regards to your business trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: 8 m onth old refusing breast, and work trip coming up!!! HELP!

    While you're apart on the business trip, try to pump every three hours, day and night, to keep up your supply. Stay hydrated, eat well, and consider adding oatmeal to your morning.

    While you're pumping, wait for the second or third letdown, too. It will give you a little more milk.

    To get your letdown going faster when you are nursing, you can start stimulating the letdown, before baby even comes to the breast. That way, once he latches on, he doesn't have to wait as long.
    LLL Leader

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: 8 m onth old refusing breast, and work trip coming up!!! HELP!

    Thank you for the replies. My pumping yeild has never been great, though when I first started taking Fenugreek it was a lot better for about a week--I would get about 2-3 ounces from each breast when I pumped before bed, which at the time, was the only time I would pump (I work at home so can breastfeed freely). BUt now I get between 1/2 oz and 2 oz TOTAL when pumping both breasts at the same time. I wait until I have 2 letdowns before ending my pumping session, usually 10-15 minutes.

    Prior to the nursing strike, DS would nurse 5-6 times per 24 hrs, including at least once in the middle of the night. During the strike he went down to JUST the middle of the night feeding.

    I'm happy to report that I have coaxed him back to the breast by offering it at bathtime, remaining topless while snuggling, and by letting him pinch my nipples out of curiosity. He seems to know where the milk comes from now. However, the frequency is still not the same. He will now nurse between 3-5 times per day. I offer him the breast at the usual times, but sometimes he just doesn't take it, or he will nurse for about 1 minute, get fed up with no letdown, and then refuse it.

    I started deep breathing to try to relax so I'll let down faster, and it occasionally works. Those are good nursing sessions, when my milk lets down in less than a minute. But they are few and far between. Maybe 2 a day this happens.

    As for my trip: there is no one who can come with me. Are there any suggestions for what I can do when I get back home, to coax DS back to the breast? I'm sure he'll be upset and confused and it will likely result in another strike, just when we got through the last one! AhhH! Any suggestion on a type of bottle feeding system that is closer to the breast that I can switch to? We've been using Dr. Brown's and have tried Avent as well.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Charleston SC

    Default Re: 8 m onth old refusing breast, and work trip coming up!!! HELP!

    Hi there, have you tried to nurse him in a dark room, how about a noise machine ? Also you may want to try to not make eye contact with him? What about a nursing necklace to keep him interested? As far as what to do when you come back? I am not really sure, I would just resume normal habits and see what happens?

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