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Thread: Nursing woes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Nursing woes

    My son just turned 4 months and I've been nursing him. I don't have time to pump, and don't usually get enough, so I've been supplementing with formula once or twice a week, when I leave him with my mother. It's usually only for two feedings. However, there were a few occasions (such as a wedding we had to go to) where I've had to leave him for more than 8 hours, and he was given formula.

    This week he's started refusing to BF and will cry frantically until I give him a bottle of formula. When I give in and give him the bottle he sucks it down as if he was starving! It breaks my heart to give him a bottle because I feel like I'm not doing a good enough job of nourishing him. But I can't stand seeing him so miserable. I feel like I'm starving him.

    I began drinking Fenugreek tea and mother's milk, and eating oatmeal. This seemed to really be working. My breasts feel much fuller. I know I'm producing more milk now. Things seemed to be going well. He was down to taking only one bottle a day, and I would only let him have 3 oz. The rest of the time he was nursing. Yesterday, he went the whole day without a bottle. I was very happy and thought my nursing problems were over. But this afternoon he became very fussy and started refusing to nurse again. Eventually he started screaming and I knew he was hungry, but he would not take my breast, even though I felt full. I did every thing to distract him and kept offering my breast hoping that eventually he would be hungry enough to nurse. But by 5:00 pm I gave up and let him have a bottle, which he devoured!

    I don't know what the problem is. At first I thought my supply was low, but now I'm beginning to think there's something wrong with my milk. Maybe it's too thin and not satisfying him, or maybe it's something in my diet that he doesn't like? I've tried to think of what it could be, but I haven't been eating anything different than usual, except the Fenugreek, and this started happening before I took that.

    Does anyone have any advice or dealing with the same thing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Nursing woes

    I feel your pain! My daughter is 4 months old too. I have gone through a nursing strike (only lasting one day) and other times when my daughter would abruptly refuse to nurse even though I knew she was hungry. And she is a bottle-lover too. She reaches for the bottle and screams whenever it's in sight, and then sucks everything right down.

    I'm wondering if your LO has developed a preference for the bottle, just like my daughter. Some babies quickly learn that the bottle delivers milk a lot faster, and then will refuse to breastfeed.

    Some advice I was given was to try nursing with the hairdryer on. The hairdryer works magic and can calm most babies. Maybe that would be enough for your LO to calm down and breastfeed. From there, he may regain trust that your breasts will deliver milk.

    Also, it helped me to feed my daughter more often. If she isn't desperately hungry, then she has more patience to breastfeed.

    I'm also very reluctant to use a bottle with her. I do because it's the easiest thing to do when I'm away from her. But know that there are other options such as spoon feeding or a syringe.

    Hope this helps! And welcome to the forum - the ladies here are wonderful!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: Nursing woes



    I think the main problem is that he got used to the bottle. He doesn't have to work at it to get the formula out of it! With nursing he has to work to get it. I think just stick with nursing, and try not to give him any more bottles. I dunno I'm too tired to give proper advice but hopefully someone else will come along soon and offer up some better advice!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Nursing woes

    Quote Originally Posted by kaustro View Post
    My son just turned 4 months and I've been nursing him. I don't have time to pump, and don't usually get enough, so I've been supplementing with formula once or twice a week, when I leave him with my mother. It's usually only for two feedings. However, there were a few occasions (such as a wedding we had to go to) where I've had to leave him for more than 8 hours, and he was given formula.

    This week he's started refusing to BF and will cry frantically until I give him a bottle of formula. When I give in and give him the bottle he sucks it down as if he was starving! It breaks my heart to give him a bottle because I feel like I'm not doing a good enough job of nourishing him. But I can't stand seeing him so miserable. I feel like I'm starving him.

    I began drinking Fenugreek tea and mother's milk, and eating oatmeal. This seemed to really be working. My breasts feel much fuller. I know I'm producing more milk now. Things seemed to be going well. He was down to taking only one bottle a day, and I would only let him have 3 oz. The rest of the time he was nursing. Yesterday, he went the whole day without a bottle. I was very happy and thought my nursing problems were over. But this afternoon he became very fussy and started refusing to nurse again. Eventually he started screaming and I knew he was hungry, but he would not take my breast, even though I felt full. I did every thing to distract him and kept offering my breast hoping that eventually he would be hungry enough to nurse. But by 5:00 pm I gave up and let him have a bottle, which he devoured!

    I don't know what the problem is. At first I thought my supply was low, but now I'm beginning to think there's something wrong with my milk. Maybe it's too thin and not satisfying him, or maybe it's something in my diet that he doesn't like? I've tried to think of what it could be, but I haven't been eating anything different than usual, except the Fenugreek, and this started happening before I took that.

    Does anyone have any advice or dealing with the same thing?

    just remember, if your boobs don't feel full, that does NOT mean your supply is necessarily diminishing.

    good luck!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    out of my right mind
    Posts
    2,631

    Default Re: Nursing woes

    I agree with the PP that it's most likely just preference for the bottle. I experienced a similar issue with my LO, and I know she would not nurse at all and wanted only the bottle when she was in pain from teething. Perhaps if you gave teething tabs/tylenol/ibuprofen that would help with the teething pain and your LO would be willing to nurse. That was what I always did anyway. HTH

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Nursing woes

    Thanks to everyone for all the advice. It helps to know I'm not the only one going through this.

    Karen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4,160

    Default Re: Nursing woes

    Four months is when we hit our big BF snag too- it's a difficult transition period because (1) they are starting to teethe and (2) they are really taking notice of the world around them.

    Bottle feeding is easy so your LO can quickly eat then go back to whatever the fun stuff is. If your baby is getting super fussy then maybe he's not really hungry. I would try and distract him, maybe take a walk outside or play on the floor for a bit then try again when he's more calm.

    If it's truly a nursing strike then you should also be doing a lot of skin to skin contact and playtime w/ your shirt off! Sounds weird but when my son was being an awful nurser we would play in the bed and I had no shirt on and sure enough he would come around and latch on and nurse on his own terms. Also taking baths together and cuddles are good- so is co-sleeping. At 4 months DS started nursing a lot at night and not so much during the day.

    Hang in there- with time and persistence it will improve!
    Lisa

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Nursing woes

    Are you using a slow flow nipple? If not try to get one it will help to teach baby to get use to the slower flow of milk form the breast. Also remember that bfeeding is much harder work than drinking from a bottle that's why we always feel our supply is not good enough. Most babies will take a bottle even if they had a full course from bfeeding, simply just because it's there! Also remember that four months is prime time for a growth spurt. So baby will be nursing more often to increase your supply!!! Just hang in there you're doing a great job!:tumbsup

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Nursing woes

    I Didn't Have This Problem With My Lo So I Don't Know How Much Help I Am But I Would Suggest Trying To Nurse Your Lo Before He Is Starving That Way He Is More Patient Maybe. Also My Lo Started Teething And That Made Her Seem To Have Trouble Bfeeding. Try Tylenol Or I Put Wet Washcloths In A Ziploc Bag In My Freezer And When I Give It To My Lo I Just Rinse The Frozen Washcloth So It Is Softer But Still Very Cold And She Loves It After That She Would Nurse No Problem Again. It May Be A Bootle Preference Thing But I Would Say Hang In There And Remain Calm And Confident That Your Lo Will Come Around I'm Sure There Is Nothing Wrong With Your Milk. I Would Try Not To Give Bottles Obviously Sometimes You Have To I Would Suggest The First Years Breastflow Bottles They Are Wonderful They Mimic More Of A Real Breast And The Flow Is Slow My Lo Easily Switches Back And Forth Maybe Your Lo Will Do Better With These Bottles.good Luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Red Sox Nation
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Nursing woes

    My LO did the same thing at around 4 1/2 months. He is in daycare, so he gets bottles everyday. All of the sudden he started refusing to nurse, it was so frustrating. My LO decided to nurse again, almost as quickly as he stopped. At over 5 months, he nurses with out any problem every time.

    I would recommend being persistent. I really think that is what worked best for us.

    Melissa, mom to my very busy 4-year-old little man and super busy 2-year-old princess.

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