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Thread: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    4

    Default strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum.

    I am exclusively nursing my 3rd child, 3 months old. Everything has been going very well with our nursing until the last few days. She (and I) got a cold 5 days ago (after my second child had it for a week) and that seems to have thrown things off. The first few days of her cold she would nurse at regular 3 hour intervals during the day, but her sniffly nose made her much less effective. In retrospect, I should have pumped after those but didnt (since I was feeling icky, too). Now we're both doing better illness-wise but I think that my supply was impacted quite a bit from the cold.

    I'm concerned because for the last two days now (now that we're both feeling better) her nursing pattern has been very strange. Yesterday, she nursed at 9 am as usual. She should have eaten again 3 hours later around noon but I offered the breast to her but she was not interested at all. She wasn't upset -- she just wanted to smile at me instead of eat. Then at 1 pm I tried again and she still wasn't interested in eating (she'd suck once or twice, then pull off...I'd put her back on and she'd suck again briefly then pull off), but she was still very pleasant. I forced it for the next hour or so (which made her upset) but she still didn't get much. Then she fell asleep. I pumped after that and got next to nothing (probably stress...). I expected her to wake up again in an hour or so to eat but she didn't. She finally awoke around 6:30 and ate pretty normally. Today, we had a very similar pattern -- normal morning feeding and then strange behavior in the afternoon. Again, she wasn't upset but I am worried that she's not getting enough. Tonight she awoke at 6:00 to eat (after 4 hours) and it seemed like I had very little volume for her. She did pull away and cry at this point, which I interpret as her frustration that she's not getting anything. She immediately went into a deep sleep -- so now I get worried that she is getting dehydrated or something but I am probably just getting myself worked up. I haven't noticed any real change in her diapers but havent been weighing them or anything. But once again I pumped and just got drops on both sides.

    Anyway, my questions are as follows:
    Is it possible that my supply would really have dropped that dramatically so quickly? How long does it take for you to "dry up"?!
    As long as she's pleasant, do I need to worry whether she's getting enough? Or can pleasantness mask something like lethargy or dehydration?
    Should I wake her to eat in the night if she doesn't wake on her own? (she's sleeping from about 9 pm to 4 am).
    Any suggestions on how to keep her on the breast if there isn't really anything coming out?

    Just a few other points of context. My first child I pumped exclusively for 7 months and was always able to produce enough. My second child I BF exclusively for a year, though I did take domperidone for a large portion of that time.

    Phew, now that my novel is complete, any suggestions?

    I hear her waking up so I'm going to go try again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    789

    Default Re: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    I doubt your supply could be gone,but it definitely will have responded to less nursing because our bodies are just that amazing! but i also believe they can respond and make more when needed. try to let you baby nurse alot, like every hour if she will cooperate. if not you might want to do some pumping to send the message to your body to make more.

    her strange nursing could be related to the cold or it could be a coincidence. babies like adults don't always have the same level of hunger all the time. the best way to make sure she's getting enough is to count those wet and poopy diapers. you want at least 6 wet per day and probably at least 2-3 poopy per day at your baby's age though that can vary widely.

    also make sure you are drinking lots of water since your probably lost some fluids being sick, and eating oatmeal has also helped many moms boost their milk production. good luck!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    Hi mama,
    So she is eating once every 8 hours? She must not be feeling good. A small child can get dehydrated very quickly like you seem to know already. It is critical to watch her diaper output at this point. If you feel like she is less active or sleeping more it may be time to call your doctor. A sore throat can make a baby less willing to nurse. Did you have one when you were sick? Have you noticed any ear pulling? Temperature?
    I would consider pumping every two hours during the day to help build up your supply again. It is extremely common for a mother to have a dip in supply when she is sick. If you can't get her onto the breast then definitely pump. Go ahead and pump until you get one letdown or so (10-15 minutes).

    Some babies who experience throat pain or other mouth related trauma will go on whats called a nursing strike. They generally don't last very long, but they are scary for mama. Try taking a soothing bath with baby, spend so time cuddling skin on skin. This will relax both you and baby. They pick up on our feelings rather well. If mama is stressed out and worried baby might feel the same. Sometimes a nice warm bath will stimulate their rooting reflex, and they may peck on the breast. It is easy to help them get in the right position for baby led latching. Some other ideas for getting a reluctant baby interested involve some baby wearing, do you have a sling? Being close to mama for long periods of time can encourage interest. I read about how you felt pressured to feed your baby, and I understand that feeling. At best forcing will make baby have a bad association with breastfeeding or particular breastfeeding positions. Having a child that develops an oral aversion because of too forceful of application is discouraging. I speak from experience here. It is an awful feeling to have a child that MUSt be hungry, but will not eat. Keep us updated!

    Baby led latching positions: http://www.toronto.ca/health/breastf...st_feading.htm

    Real baby pictures of baby led latching: http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/bla.html

    More on baby reflexes: http://www.babycareadvice.com/babyca...icle.php?id=41

    LLL information on nursing strikes: http://www.llli.org/NB/NBstrikes.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    Thanks for the quick responses!

    Just over the last 2 days she has spaced out her feedings to much longer intervals. She generally "tries" a feeding at 3 hours but they are small ineffective feedings, it seems, so it is 8 hours between good feedings. Also, she is having these long stretches of sleep at night (which should be a good thing under other circumstances) so at night time it is definitely 8 hours between feedings.

    I will definitely pay closer attention to diaper output.

    She seems active, perky and alert when she is awake but she seems to be sleeping more. She had a sore throat and still has a cough but what is puzzling is that she nursed better when she was really sick than she has the past few days when she is mostly well (just a lingering cough, but much better than before). No temperature or ear pulling.

    I'll try pumping more...I'm just nervous that I'll pump and then she will wake up and want to feed right after I'm done pumping. I guess we can manage anyway.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I've never been able to successfully bed latch with any of my kids...I think my breasts are too small to "reach" comfortably. Yes, we've been wearing a sling a lot while she's been sick. In particular, I had her in it upright against my chest so her nose could drain better.

    Another question -- is it beneficial to have her latched on to the breast even if she isn't sucking (as in, when she falls asleep). When she does that and just gently flicks the nipple with her tongue, does that help at all by providing a little stimulous? Or is it really about removing milk from the breast that matters?

    As for oatmeal, I've never tried that before. Is it just regular oatmeal? I'm assuming instant doesn't work...?

    Thanks for the support. I'll let you know how we do!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    796

    Default Re: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    MY dd did the same thing and it was an ear infection.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    Comfort sucking will help your levels of milk making hormone Prolactin stay elevated. This is a good thing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    4

    Default Re: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    I wonder if it could be an ear infection after all (though no fever). My 7 year old is complaining that her ear is hurting tonight so I think I will take everyone to the dr. in the morning just to check things out. Here I thought we were over the hump on the family germs.

    In the meantime, I'm going to drink water and pump, pump, pump.

    Thanks,
    Lisa

  8. #8
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    keep us posted. A cold can cause ear pressure in children which can be uncomfy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    796

    Default Re: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    I would just let her stay on and not worry so much about pumping imo.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    4

    Default Re: strange lack of interest from baby after a cold

    I wanted to provide you with a quick update and let you know that I think things have turned the corner now and are getting better.

    We visited the doctor today and got good news -- no ear infection, no worries of dehydration. She's still quite congested but generally looking good (happy, interactive). So that is very reassuring.

    And, Babe must have heard your suggestions to increase feeding frequency because starting at midnight last night she decided to wake up and eat every 2 hours. On a few of those occasions I felt like there wasn't much milk to be had and she pulled off at the end and cried a little bit, but then I was able to soothe her back with a little comfort sucking. And after a couple of the feedings I also pumped a bit just to get a little extra stimulation. So the good news is that she seems to be interested in eating again and has picked up the pace of feeding times which I hope should help a lot.

    My main concern now is that I am pretty confident that my supply has dipped so I hope I can get it up again soon to meet her demand so she doesn't get frustrated. After a couple of feedings she has cried and seemed to be not satisfied and I am sure she wasn't as I can tell that my volume is lower than it should be. So, I am just going to focus on trying to keep up the 2 hour feeding schedule, pumping a little bit when I can, drinking and eating, and trying to relax and tell myself that we can get through this.

    So, we still have a ways to go to get back to our good nursing situation but I feel much better knowing that she is doing ok and now it is just up to me to get the supply going.

    Thanks again for your support.

    Lisa

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