My little angel is 3 months old today and has refused to take my breast for about a month now. She had quite severe thrush at around 3 weeks after I was on antibiotics and it affected her whole body. After getting that sorted out, the next thing was that she got a shot while suckling which made her starting to fuss even more. Feeding started to become strained and I was put on yet another stronger course of antibiotics. I did not want her in all that pain and discomfort of pain, diarrhoea and a very sore bottom so I gave her a bottle after that. She was about 2 months old.
I am sure that she associates pain with being on my breast and is now no only rejecting my nipple, but also anything remotely shaped the same. I had to change the bottles I use since she will not stop screaming and will refuse to eat if I bring anything but her preferred nipple near her.
I do not want feeding to be wrought with anxiety and a struggle. If I just let her feed from her favourite bottles, I have a smiley, happy, relaxed baby who cuddles and laughs all day long (except when there is interesting things going on and she is tired). If we have a difficult feed, trying to even get her to feed from another bottle with a round teat, I have a child who kicks, screams, a writhing child trying her best not to come near me. This at 3 months old is not just a temper and I want my daughter above all to trust that I will never intentionally harm or hurt her. I have tried all the skin to skin I could manage, I tried feeding her in her sleep or half asleep, carrying her, bathing with her, sleeping with her, all positions that exists, I have tried coaxing her and all to no avail. I would love to breastfeed but I cannot deal with my child acting as if she is afraid of me even if I just want to hold her.
I feel that the very painful shot in her thigh while I was told to nurse her, was the last nail in the coffin of my breastfeeding attempts since she never had trouble latching or drinking before that although she was in pain from the thrush for a while. So if anybody reads this, rather nurse your baby right after a shot as comfort. Don't be the one holding her to be hurt and don't let anybody intrude on the safety that your breast should be offering. It is the one thing that I would never have done if I knew what the consequences was going to be.
There are lots of Moms who exclusively pump and bottle feed their breast milk! It is a lot of work. But at least they are still getting their Mama's milk. Plus you get into a routine with it, and it just becomes part of your day!
I had a friend who had to stop after trying for 2 months (there were some circumstances that lead to it, similar to yours) she called me on the day that she decided to let go of breastfeeding, and she told me that she felt like a weight had been lifted. And how her son was so much happier and she was so much happier. She made the decision that was right for her and her son at the time! She was saying it was hard to enjoy her new baby with all the pressure she was putting on herself.
So I hope that you find peace with your decision, whatever you've decided to do! Just like my friend. You are a good Mom no matter what! And it shows with how hard you tried! Good luck with the future, and God bless
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Mama to 1 handsome boy born Nov 29/2009 and 1 beautiful girl born May 21/2013 and wife to 1 handsome man, married since Jun 9/2007.
Oh, that is such a sad story! I'm so sorry that your poor kiddo and you had to go through so much pain and that she's scared of the breast now. But you sound like such a responsive and caring mother. Please don't let anyone make you feel like you're failing for not breastfeeding--I know the rhetoric can get kind of heated. You are doing a great job of making sure your DD is well-nourished and feels safe, happy and loved. If that isn't the whole point of nurturing a baby, I don't know what is! I am a staunch supporter of breastfeeding, but I think you are doing exactly the right thing for your little DD.
Maybe somebody more experienced than me can give you some good advice...all I can think of is that if you wait a while, she may calm down and be willing to try the breast again. My DD has gone through some weird flipflops over time as to attitudes towards this and that! But really, I'm only saying this because you said you'd love to breastfeed. I really, truly think it sounds like your DD is getting what she needs already, and I don't see how having a nipple made of flesh instead of plastic is going to change that much.
Mom to the wacky and wonderful Kalyani (August 2011)