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Thread: My son refuses my breasts...help!

  1. #1

    Default My son refuses my breasts...help!

    My beautiful little boy is 3 months old. He was exclusively breastfed the first 6/7 weeks of life then we tried bottles here and there and formula because I'm not a big milk producer and he was going to daycare at 9 weeks old. Well since starting daycare 5 weeks ago, his fondness for the breast had decreased little by little and now he completely refuses my breasts (about 2-3weeks now). It is so discouraging. I am trying everything to boost my supply and make my breasts a happy place for him. We take baths together, I don't force him on, skin to skin, use a nursing trainer, etc. I am completely exhausted, not to mention I have a 3 year old boy, and I work full-time, don't have my own office so pumping is a hassle, have to use someones office and only get two 15 minute breaks I refuse to give in though, I'm not sure I'll have another baby so I wanted to breastfeed as long as possible this time around and I can't believe I only got 2 months of it I do have to mention I had ppd for a while and was not taking good care of myself, so probably did not help my milk supply. I am taking fenugreek, mothers milk, eating oatmeal, drinking tons of water, trying not to stress (which is hard), trying to get enough rest (which is hard between pumping, working, spending time with boys,etc.)

    Please any advice and help on how to get my son back to the breast. I really don't want to give up, but not sure how much longer I can take all this pumping

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: My son refuses my breasts...help!

    I'm so sorry!

    Does your little boy like a pacifier? If he likes to comfort suck, that would be an easy place to start getting him back to your breasts. After he has his bottle and is no longer hungry at all, he might nurse just for comfort. And once he remembers that good stuff comes out of there, he might continue at other times, too, like when he's hungry. But make sure that your breasts are a happy place for him. And just treat nursing as a form of snuggling for a while.

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: My son refuses my breasts...help!

    Awww . . .I'm honestly going through almost the exact same thing (My LO is 4 months)

    I haven't much advice other than contact as many people as you can for different ideas (here, LLL meetings, LCs, etc).

    Just keep at it, and try to focus on enjoying you baby no matter how he is fed. Keep in mind I'm not saying to give up. Try cuddling with the bottle as is you were breastfeeding. Sometimes I even stick it in my armpit and have my breast bare so he sees that and (hopefully) makes a connection.

    I'm not a good example because I'm having a really hard time too, but sending

  4. #4

    Default Re: My son refuses my breasts...help!

    We were having a terrible time with bottle preference until I switched to the Gerber NUK nipples. They are pretty closely shaped to your nipple and suddenly my LO didn't have a preference anymore. They make pacis too so you can get a matching set to match your shape!
    Carmen-Noel mum to James born naturally 8/28/2010.
    Mommy's little pumpkin head

    We love our amber necklace from @llli*expat-mum. PM her for the most beautiful effective teething aide we've found!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: My son refuses my breasts...help!

    My immediate thought was wondering what kind of bottle you are using. Some babies really decide they much prefer some types of bottles and thus won't nurse...because nursing is work, and many bottles are not work!

    Breastflow bottles make the baby work for the milk. Changing up the type of bottle might be worth a shot. Or changing the method used at the sitter's to feed the baby, such as syringe feeding versus bottle feeding.

    I know you have an older child too, but could you do a breastfeeding vacation on the weekend and take baby to the bed and just hang out? Sometimes just relaxing like that makes a difference.

    Dream feeding might work too. Where you sneak your nipple in while baby is sleeping and nurse them that way.

    EPing stinks, and bottlefeeding stinks, (I know firsthand myself) but if you have to EP, it will be worth it in the long run. However, since your supply is taking a hit, you would need to rent a hospital grade pump and pump as much as you possibly can to get your supply up. If you don't have a good pump (like a Medela, Ameda or Lansinoh) that can make a big difference in your supply as well.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6

    Default Re: My son refuses my breasts...help!

    Thanks for all the support! It is comforting to know that I am not the only one going through this, but don't wish this upon anyone. I didn't have this issue with my first son, he switched back and forth from breast to bottle with no problems and we BF for almost 7 months.

    As far as bottles go, we just switched to the Nuk ones and the Breastflow ones. He gets mad with the breastflow ones because he has to work harder at them, which is probably a good thing. It's like he became a lazy eater after getting bottles at daycare. He does use a paci...the nuk brand one. We have gone to the lactation consultant, she was with us in the hospital when he was born, she said it's almost like he forgot how to nurse. His tongue is kinda lazy. She gave us a syringe with tubing that I have been using to try and get him to nurse, it does work sometimes, but only holds an ounce so if I don't fill it before it empties he gets mad and stops I wanted to try the breastfeeding vacation this past weekend, but it was my older sons 3rd birthday last week and we had to go to my parents so he could get his gift and the sun was finally out one day so we wanted to soak up some sun too! We did lay in bed for a while each morning, but hopefully this weekend we can spend the day there! I will also try the dream feeding. I do pump all the time...every 1-3 hours depending on the day. I usually only pump 1-4 ounces...the closer the pumping time only about .5-1 ounce from each breast and if I go longer than 3 hours I get around 2 oz from each, not sure which is better pumping once and getting almost a feeding worth or pumping closer together, 2-3 times for one feeding. My LO sleeps through the night for about a month now, but I still get up to pump I am using a Medela pump-n-style...thanks to a co-worker who just got done BFing her one year old.

    Thanks for the advice. I will let you know how things go!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: My son refuses my breasts...help!

    I so understand what you are going through. 2 MO LO has been refusing to latch/suck/BF for about 4 weeks. I know how frustrated you must be, because I sure am!

    I'm trying to be grateful that I can still get breastmilk to him and maybe he will change his mind. Also trying to follow LC advice to make the breast a positive experience for him even if he's not BF. Sometimes I can get my nipple in his mouth either after he's already had a bottle or just when he's waking up.

    I get about the same amounts of milk pumping as you do, using the same intervals, BTW.

    Please post if you find anything working for you - I will be checking!

    Hugs and best wishes!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: My son refuses my breasts...help!

    I'm so sorry for what you're going through. It's frustrating for me that my DD refuses bottles- but it must be a million times harder to have a baby refuse your breasts.

    In answer to your question regarding the interval between pumping sessions: I know it's very gratifying to see the ounces practically pouring out of your breasts if it's been a few hours since you last pumped, but remember that the breasts make milk fastest when they are the emptiest. So, if you are trying to build up your supply, which it sounds like you are, it would be better if the pumping sessions are closer together. I had to switch to unilateral nursing because my baby refused my left breast for weeks, and when I was working at basically doubling the supply in my other breast, I would do "power pumping" sessions. You basically take an hour or so spending 10 minutes on the pump, 10 minutes off (or however you want). You don't necessarily get a huge output this way, but you are signaling your breasts to make more milk. Maybe a more robust supply would satisfy your son and make him more likely to want to nurse. Keep at it and good luck!

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010

  9. #9

    Default Re: My son refuses my breasts...help!

    Just to update...I did get him to nurse for about 5-10 minutes 2 times today with no help from a nipple shield or supplementer! Those few minutes are so special, I know it doesn't seem like much, but I'll take what I can get! I held him in the football hold when I went to see him at lunch and he latched right on and started sucking for about 10 minutes I could hear him swallowing and everything!! Then he just stopped and started to get mad, not sure why he was pretty wet...soaked through onto my shirt...may have been the reason. But seems like once his rhythme is interrupted it's usually lost. We get interrupted lots at home by the three year old..I need to barracade the door I guess!! He was sleeping when I got there so he must be more receptive to me when he is sleepy! So this weekend we will give the dream feeding and spending the day in bed to catch him when he's sleepy! Hopefully my 3 year old lets us...maybe he can go to grandma and grandpa's! Wish us luck! Thanks for the support!

  10. #10

    Default Re: My son refuses my breasts...help!

    Thank you for posting this thread. I'm new here, and I came to search for more info regarding this problem.

    I had a low supply to begin with, and now my little one seems to want to nurse less and less and prefers the bottle. I've nursed for 3 months (boy was it a difficult road), and now that everything seemed smooth, we run into yet another problem, and it is just so depressing for me.

    I might be able to get her to nurse 5-7 minutes every time, but then she'll stop. I know she's still hungry, but she won't nurse longer. So, I've taken to pumping more to keep up the supply and this way I am able to give her breastmilk from a bottle.

    Let me know if you run across anything else that works for you. Good luck!

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