Help please! 7 weeks, just started to refuse the breast... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-15-2011, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Baby will root etc when hungry but when she sees the breast star crying. She'll occasionally latch for a short while but is squirming most of the time & seems to be having some difficulty with the swallow (coughs, vomiting). We have been doing fine until this point - but did introduce a bottle with pumped milk at about 5 weeks (used about 4 times). Is this nipple confusion? Is there anything we can do?

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#2 of 4 Old 06-15-2011, 12:45 PM
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I'm sorry I can't stop long, but I wanted to quickly post a couple of pages which might give you some ideas: (see the links towards the end of the page for info specifically on nursing strikes, but there may be some ideas to help further up the page under the "coaxing" section).


Good luck, and hang in there!

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#3 of 4 Old 06-16-2011, 07:41 PM
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Two of my babies started doing the same thing at about 7 weeks of age. For both of them it turned out to be infant reflux, but it was quite some time before I figured it out. 

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#4 of 4 Old 06-18-2011, 04:19 PM
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The introduction of the bottle does send up some red flags for me. Not that I want to give anybody guilt for using a bottle-- far from it. But while not every baby is subject to nipple confusion, some are, and when it happens, it can be difficult to overcome. My own kids seem prone to it-- I struggled with nipple confusion with two of them. Once I succeeded in getting baby back on the breast, and the other time I didn't, and wound up pumping for a long, long time.

What you describe could be nipple confusion. Both of my kids had only had the bottle once, when they started refusing the breast. If it is, this is what we did about it:

What worked for us was committing to completely getting rid of the bottles. The urge to suckle at this age is strong, and if baby is not given any other opportunity to satisfy that urge, most babies will be back on the breast very quickly. It's best to do this with the guidance of a good health care provider, if baby refuses persistently, because you'll want to watch weight gain and hydration carefully. If baby isn't getting enough from the breast, supplemental milk can be given either at the breast, with a supplemental nursing system or something similar, or with a dropper or syringe. Some people also use a cup, but I found that difficult. You may find it helpful.

With my son, it took about three days. I used to put a bit of milk on my nipple, with a dropper, to tempt him to latch. I'd let him nurse as long as he would. If he fought, or protested, for more than a minute or two, we'd stop, do a dropper feed, and then try again in a half hour. No lie-- this is not for the fainthearted. It was rough. But then again, he was deep in by the time we started this-- he'd been refusing the breast completely for a week by then. It is probably easier if you start sooner rather than later.

On the other hand, when you describe baby choking and vomiting, it may be that you have a very forceful or fast letdown, and baby is overwhelmed by the flow. Do you feel letdown? It can be helpful to unlatch baby, let some of the milk flow off into a towel, and then put baby back on, so that the worst of the fast flow is not flooding baby's ability to swallow. It can also be helpful to return baby to the same side multiple times during a block of time (say, three hours), which is a technique for reducing oversupply. This is called block feeding. You shouldn't do block feeding if you have doubts that baby is getting enough milk, because of course it does reduce your supply. Trying different positions can also help, as can nursing while walking around, if you can manage it-- it really depends on breast size and shape, and other factors. Some women can, and some find it really difficult.

I hope you find an answer. Best of luck to you!

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