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Thread: refusing to eat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    4

    Exclamation refusing to eat

    I have an 11 week old daughter. We've had several struggles with breastfeeding and have consulted with the doctor often. She diagnosed Sadie with reflux. We've tried zantac and prevacid. Now she has added Reglan to prevacid. Each thing we try works for a week and then stops working. I also keep her at an angle for about 30 minutes after eating. Usually she will eat for 5 to 8 minutes on one side every hour but in the last two days she refused both breasts all together. She just cries and won't latch on. Eventually she gets so hungry that she will eat for a couple minutes, stop, cry, continue for two minutes, stop, cry, etc. I tried pumping this morning and she wouldn't take the milk for about two hours. She finally got hungry enough I guess. Is it something I'm eating? Could she have a sore throat? Is this a typical reaction with reflux? HELP!

  2. #2

    Default Re: refusing to eat

    Hi Sadiejo

    It sounds like you are very worred about your baby! It's always concerning when a baby suddenly refuses to take the breast. This could be caused by any number of factors.

    You mention she recently started Reglan. Did this breast refusal start around the same time? If so, she might be having a reaction and you should call your healthcare provider and discuss it with him/her.

    Do you have any issues with oversupply or forceful let-downs? When you do pump milk, how are you giving her the pumped milk?

    Have you changed any of your personal toiletry items lately (soap, shampoo, deoderant, etc.)? Some babies are very sensitive to smells and don't like it if mommy suddenly smells differently. Similarly, if you've been eating a new food or taking a new medication, it may have caused your milk to change in flavor.

    Has she been ill at all? Sometimes things like teething, congestion, or ear infection can cause the baby to refuse to nurse. Any major changes in the household (moving, family tension, etc.?)

    I also saw on another post where you're planning to go see someone local tomorrow. Please keep that appointment! It's always easier to see things "in person". But until you get to that appointment, let me give you a few ideas to try:

    -different nursing positions (cradle, cross-cradle, football, laying down)
    -skin-to-skin contact as much as possible, even while not nursing
    - nursing her when she's sleepy, or in a dark and quiet place.
    -nursing in an upright position (sit baby on your lap facing you--you may need a partner to help you.)
    -nursing in motion--in a sling or in arms
    -take her into a warm bath with you (again, having a partner nearby to help is probably a good idea).

    I've thrown a ton of questions and info at you here. I hope something helps! Try to get her to nurse as often as possible and watch her closely to make sure she's having enough wet diapers and isn't showing signs of dehydration (fewer wet diapers, dry mouth/eyes, sunken soft spot, lethargy, listlessness, weak cry). If she does show signs of dehydration, get medical help right away.

    Hang in there!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    4

    Question Re: refusing to eat

    Hi Jen

    Sorry it took so long for me to respond. Here are answers to some of your questions:

    We started the Reglan in response to this problem. She's been doing this off and on for about six weeks now. We first tried zantac which seemed to help for about a week but then the symptoms returned. The doctor then switched us to prevacid which, again, helped for about a week. We started Reglan last friday and it hasn't changed anything so far. She still spits up, only eats for 5 minutes at a time and refused to eat on one side altogether.

    Regarding let-downs, I'm not sure what's considered forceful. When I pump I get about 2 oz from the right breast and 1 oz from the left. When I express manually the milk just drips out. I do experience leaking on the opposite side from the side she's eating on but only if that breast is engorged. She doesn't ever show signs of being overwhelmed by milk like she does if we use a bottle.

    I haven't changed any toiletry items but I did change my vitamins. I read that prescription vitamins are petroleum based so I switched to a vegetable based vitamin from our health food store. It is specially formulated for breastfeeding women. I also began taking fenugreek which was recommended by my doctor to help regulate milk production. Typically my milk supply decreases in the afternoon so I have plenty all night long and none in the evening. The fenugreek has helped and I don't have a problem keeping up with her throughout the day.

    The doctor noticed that her throat was a little red last friday but didn't think this would deter her from eating. I have a cold but she hasn't come down with it yet. We use the "sucky thing" to clear her nose every morning but she doesn't seem to be congested throughout the day.

    There are changes in our household and we've settled into a routine for her benefit.

    I have tried all the nursing positions that you suggested and the bath idea. She's not especially keen on baths and gets really agitated. It's not too relaxing for either of us! I do nurse her in an upright position. The doctor suggested it in response to her theory of acid reflux. And she does better when she's sleepy. In fact it's the only time I can get her to eat on the left side. I haven't tried the motion thing. The difficulty with that is that my breasts are rather large and I have to hold it in position for her already. I'm not sure how easy this would be standing. However, I have nursed her using a glider. It doesn't seem to help but I'll keep trying that.

    I thing I might move forward by eliminating dairy products for a while. I remembered that I ate a couple of handfulls of nuts last thursday and friday. Maybe they had something to do with the problem so I've been conscious of nuts in my diet since then. Maybe eliminating these two items will help? How long does it take for them to be gone from my milk supply?

    Kari

  4. #4

    Default Re: refusing to eat

    Hi again Kari!
    How are things going? Is she taking to the breast again?

    Perhaps your vitamins have changed the flavor of your milk? You might try stopping them for a few days and see if that solves the problem.

    It certainly couldn't hurt to eliminate dairy and see how she does. Typically babies who are dairy sensitive are fussy all the time, or at least for a while after feedings. Do you notice this? Reflux and dairy sensitivity do seem to go hand-in-hand for some babies. It can take 10 days to two weeks to completely eliminate all cow's milk protein from your system. Some mothers find their babies are very sensitive and can't handle any. Others find that they can avoid the "obvious" things (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc) but can have a little bit in baked goods, etc. Other mothers find that even just cutting back by a glass or two of milk a day makes all the difference. So, I'd suggest you cut out all dairy sources (check labels and avoid things like casein and whey) for a full two weeks and see if that helps. Then you can gradually add it back and see how much she can tolerate.

    Nuts are another potential allergen. You might keep a food diary for a while and see if her fussiness goes along with certain foods in your diet.

    I hope things are going better for you and that she's at least eating some again. You might go ahead and call a local LLL leader and see if someone can help you in person as well. We can answer lots of questions here, but sometimes it's hard to figure things out when we can't be in the situation and get a feel for all the factors!

    Hang in there!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  5. #5

    Default Re: refusing to eat

    Oh, and one more thought--did this start around the time you started the Fenugreek? I believe it can change the flavor of the breastmilk (it can make the mother's sweat and urine smell like maple syrup). It also can make some babies a little gassy. So something else to consider!

    HTH!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: refusing to eat

    My baby was exactly like yours: she would fight the breast and cry inconsolably. I would struggle sometimes for an hour to put her to breast and she would nurse for 5 minutes and then cry again. My lactation consultant said I had overactive let-down. The pediatrician said that it was acid reflux and also prescribed Reglan. I gave it to her twice and she vomited just the same. Then I read about potential side effects of this medicine and decided not to give it to her anymore. I can not remember any more all the things we tried and what seemed to work and what not, so I don't want to try to give you any advice. I only know that throughout this ordeal she kept gaining weight, she reached all developmental milestones in time and then things somehow got better. Now that she is 10 months old she does not regurgitate food anymore. So there is light at the end of the tunnel...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    2,601

    Default Re: refusing to eat

    Hi there, I remember being in your situation and it is very hard. Please go to the alleregy section on the forum and and read my posts about allergies... This could be your problem? Keep in mind that it can take weeks to get the food our of your body and hers... Also I met another mom who had similar issues as yours and mine and her baby had tonge tie? I hope that this helps!

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