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DD will often refuse to nurse and will freak out when offered the breast

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My dd is 11 weeks old.  I am really struggling with her frequent refusal to nurse.  Some days it is throughout the whole day and she will only feed a few times.  Other days this behavior doesn't happen until the evening (when she's usually very fussy).  When I do offer her the breast, she will freak out- literally go into an enraged fit!  The only thing that will calm her is to give her a pacifier or walk her around.


In the evening if I can get her to go to sleep, then when she wakes up sleepy she will feed willingly.  Otherwise she just will not nurse.  This behavior has gotten worse over the last couple weeks.  I'm not sure what her weight is right now, but 2 weeks ago, she was in the 90th percentile.  She ate a ton over the first month or so and gained very quickly.  She doesn't look like she's underweight at all.  


On the days when she has a nursing strike for most of the day her wet diapers are really decreased.  I use prefolds so I can really tell how much she's wetting. 


Has anyone else dealt with this?  Why is she doing this?? It's so maddening.  It's like she hates nursing and gets no comfort from it- instead it's a source of stress for her.


Btw, I have successfully nursed 2 previous children and never had this issue.

post #2 of 8

Could she have thrush? When my son was a few months old he did the same thing and it turned out he had a mild case of thrush. Once that cleared up (with gentian violet and prescription meds) he was fine to nurse again.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've considered thrush before and asked her pedi at her 2 month check-up and a lactation consultant over a month ago- both of them thought no.  She sometimes has a whitish coating on her tongue, but they both thought it was just milk.  I don't know.

post #4 of 8

does she have reflux? maybe laying down is causing the discomfort?

post #5 of 8
Hi there, i had this exact same issue with my oldest dd starting when she was around 6 weeks old. It upset me sooo much. It just seemed she was completely overwhelmed/overstimulated at the breast. She would cry and scream and flail around, almost as if she was beating on my chest at times. This would especially happen at night. To make sure she got enough go eat, I ended up pumping and giving her a bottle at night which I really really despised doing but i didn't feel I had a choice as I knew she was hungry. Thankfully, she grew out of it around 13 weeks or so. Giving her those 1 or 2 bottles everyday didn't interfere with our nursing relationship at all (although trust me I HATED doing it). I feel your frustration mama! Hang in there.
post #6 of 8

Could it be overactive letdown?  You could pump off a tiny bit, just to get over the squirting in her mouth, and latch on again.  Both my sons would scream and gulp, but eventually, they grew out of it.

post #7 of 8

I was going to mention what most of the others have, over-active letdown, reflux, and perhaps even food allergies (cow milk in mothers diet perhaps). Then another thought, is she able to latch, because now that your milk production is in full swing, it could be that you need to soften the breast first by removing a small amount of milk by hand first. I had to do that otherwise it was difficult for my son to latch. Another poster had mentioned doing that and it jogged my memory.


One other thought, due to my over active letdown, my son was upset about latching unless I was in motion, meaning holding him and walking, swaying  or moving, that seemed to relax him quite well and then he would latch. Motion really worked wonders for him and latching. I don't know if you babywear, but that makes it very easy. Plus if she is (perhaps) 'reflux-y',  being upright while nursing in a sling or carrier is helpful

post #8 of 8

My dc's both did this and it turned out to be reflux. They both would feed more willingly when sleepy which is very common with reflux babies. 


www.infantreflux.org has a lot of valuable information on infant reflux.

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