Dd refuses the breast now. Please help :(

(60 Posts)
McPheetStink Tue 19-Mar-13 20:40:24

Dd has been a difficult feeder for a few weeks, and it's slowly come down to her not wanting the breast at all during the day. She recoils, gets very upset, bites me a little, then just cries. Over the last week, I've struggled to get her to accept me during the night. It seems as though she has to be basically asleep before she'll feed successfully. Now we are reaching a point where even this is becoming an issue.

I'm trying not to get upset about it, but in my heart, I'm not ready to give it up. Do you think she's made that decision herself? If so, what to do about my achy boobs sad

McPheetStink Tue 19-Mar-13 20:41:09

I forgot to say she is 8mo

VikingLady Tue 19-Mar-13 20:41:11

How old is she?

50BalesOfHay Tue 19-Mar-13 20:45:46

You've done a great job for 8 months. If she's ready to stop then that's fine. It's not a rejection, just the next phase

Lurkymclurker Tue 19-Mar-13 20:54:24

Dd started to refuse me at about the same age and I cut down feeds gradually never refusing and offering before snack/lunch and by 12 months dd was fully off, she just wasn't interested.

I found quiet time and total focus on dd helped with the nice feeding as I called it and I think we both started to enjoy it again.

Good luck

McPheetStink Tue 19-Mar-13 21:23:32

I've just done a sneaky feed whilst she was asleep blush

We do have a lot of lovely, cosy time together. But for me, breastfeeding was something which didn't come naturally. Gosh, it was a real struggle, but we won through in the end. I'm proud to have gotten this far with her, but still sad that it's coming to an end.

Welovegrapes Tue 19-Mar-13 21:27:24

This is most likely to be a nursing strike, as true self weaning is really rare under 1.

I would just be very patient, keep gently offering and try when she's sleepy/calm. Baths together and skin to skin can help. Don't put any pressure on her to feed (I'm sure you aren't), as this can make things worse.

There is helpful info here:


You will want to keep your supply up by expressing if she isn't bf any more and will also want to feed her expressed milk in a cup, as under 1 babies still need either bm or formula daily.

Welovegrapes Tue 19-Mar-13 21:28:33

X post - good re feed!!

You've done brilliantly to get this far. Maybe she'll want to carry on awhile longer yet!

McPheetStink Tue 19-Mar-13 21:33:11

If she refuses me all day, and over night, I've been expressing off what I can first thing and giving to her in a bottle. She accepts this, which is great. The problem has been that I've found myself falling in to a mixed feeding situation, just to make sure she is getting all she needs. Is this ok, for now?

FattyMcChubster Tue 19-Mar-13 21:34:28

Dd is a pita to feed during the day if there's so much as a murder she can hear. We have to be in a quiet dark room or it's just a milky mess. If its not just that, it might be her moving on. You've fed her for 8 months though- that's brilliant! Don't take it personally.

Welovegrapes Tue 19-Mar-13 22:20:48

I think the advice generally is that you should be expressing around the same number of times and times a day that she fed before the strike.

If possible and you get enough bm ideally you would feed her just ebm. But if there isn't enough, ff will be needed to make sure she gets enough milk feeds.

McPheetStink Tue 19-Mar-13 22:26:22

I think my supply has dwindled a bit because of it, and I'm pretty sure my right breast is almost dry now confused I am a bit lop sided blush

I've always found expressing hard. My boobs struggle with it for some reason.

MammaCici Wed 20-Mar-13 08:20:45

Having a decent pump can make a big difference. It sounds like a nursing strike rather than self weaning. If you are not ready to give up would you consider a hospital rental pump? Herbs such as fenugreek could get your milk supply up again. Good luck.

McPheetStink Wed 20-Mar-13 10:10:07

I didn't know they hired out. How do I go about this?

Tbh, yes my pump is a rubbish manual thing, because it's all I could afford confused

I'm off to town in a short while, so where do I seek out fenugreek?

MammaCici Wed 20-Mar-13 10:56:47

Fenugreek from a health food shop. Maternity hospitals usually hire out pumps. I hired a hospital pump (medela brand) for a while. The daily charge isn't usually much but it does start to clock up. I ended up purchasing a medela swing pump. I found it almost as good (if not as good) as the hospital grade one but personal ones shouldn't be shared or bought secondhand. Shop around online for the best deal and maybe hire a hospital one for the meantime. I also had a medela handpump which I found pretty useless. The electric ones are much easier.

Please do have a look at the kellymom website for lots of great info on what to do in specific situations. I've lost track of the number of times it saved my bf relationship with DS. He nursed until he was 2 but we had a very rocky start. I'm very glad I stuck with it. I've never heard a mum regret the time spent bf. Best of luck.

McPheetStink Wed 20-Mar-13 14:24:21

I've got some Fenugreek, which I found in H&B.

And am in the process of researching the breast pump hire.

Thank you!!

Iggly Wed 20-Mar-13 14:25:53

Is she teething?

McPheetStink Wed 20-Mar-13 14:31:25

In fits and starts, yes.

She just gets so upset if I offer her the breast, takes a little 'nip' with her teeth, then cries confused

Welovegrapes Wed 20-Mar-13 14:32:59

What if you give her a little dentinox on the sore teeth?

MammaCici Wed 20-Mar-13 14:47:41

Are you getting enough fluids yourself? I always had to have a drink by the bed to make sure I was topped up. You need enough water to be able to produce milk. I must have been drinking about 2.5 to 3 litres every day. If your wee looks concentrated then you aren't getting enough. It should be a very light colour. Btw, fenugreek makes your wee smell funny too! Check out kellymom about how much to take but from what I recall you need to take enough so that you smell like honey (I think it was honey, not a bad smell anyway, don't worry!). I saw results (more milk) after about 3 days.

McPheetStink Wed 20-Mar-13 15:07:22

She's rather addicted to teething gel blush I'm guilty of putting it on her dummy too much blush

I don't drink enough, I'm rubbish at that these days. There's a health visitor I can see in the morning, and she's fab at breast feeding stuff. Fingers crossed she can help ref the above.

I'm just not ready to give in <stamps foot>

Iggly Wed 20-Mar-13 20:46:28

Why not try calpol instead?

Lonelybunny Fri 22-Mar-13 12:57:12

How is it going now? Can I just say there seems to be a pattern regarding 7/8 mo olds with regards to feeding. They seem to reduce their feeds and I'm guessing this is due to solids and an increased independence and being interested in everything going on. My DD is nearly 8 months and a week ago I was so stressed as she also went like this but now 2 weeks on we are back on track. Reduce the amount of solids you are giving her and see if this will encourage her back on. Could she be coming down with a cold or teething pain? I don't think milk in bottles is a good idea as you will get her too used to those bit maybe water in a sippy cup so she isn't dehydrated and milky solids between feedings. I'm sure things will pick up. Try and express even if nothing comes out . Let us know how it's going.

McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 17:04:53

Right now I'm sat in tears, because I can't even express. It's taken nearly an hour to get 1oz. I don't know what to do. This is really stressing me out, and no one seems to get how important this is to me sad

ChunkyEasterChick Sat 23-Mar-13 17:18:59

I can understand it must be so frustrating when you're stressed about your DD not feeding. However, deal with the expressing thing as a separate issue. If you can crack the expressing, it will take the pressure off of you regarding your DD's feeding (imo).

1) if its still the manual, I seriously struggled with that. My medela swing is ace. It has 2 speeds of suction to mimic the baby's suck - a fast initial one & s long slower such once let-down has happened. Try to mimic that perhaps with the manual?
2) if she will feed sometimes, can you pump at the same time? That way you will be stimulating your supply & encouraging your breasts to 'give it up' to a pump.
3) have you tried a heat pack before pumping to encourage let down? Fill a disposable nappy with hot water from the tap & it'll stay warm...
4) do you have a picture &/or video of your LO to look at? Best if you can hear her cry.
5) eat oats. Along with the fenugreek, it should help up your supply good excuse to eat flapjacks smile


McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 17:37:12

I've just got of the phone to the National Breastfeeding helpline. She says I need to be pumping at least 4 times a day to get my supply back up, and suggested I try to find an electric pump I can borrow. Not sure where from though. Sure start sometimes loans them, but I bet ours won't hmm The stress in my personal life has probably affected my supply too <bastard ex>

And a warm bath with my daughter has been suggested, to spend some skin to skin time together.

So glad I called. Even if I sobbed blush

minipie Sat 23-Mar-13 17:52:47

your local nct should be able to tell you where to hire a hospital grade pump (which are so much more effective)

or try here

Soupa Sat 23-Mar-13 19:10:32

Call round the children's centres and explain, one will have a pump to loan.

In the mean time if you can face giving up bottles, have skin to skin but don't try to force feeds...keep pressure off and try and relax. It is really rare babies wean at this age, Teething and nosiness gets in the way as can thrush and dairy intolerance but as long as you keep skin to skin up and feed at night, or when sleepy etc it usually works out.

Good luck

McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 19:44:16

I go to a breast feeding group on mondays, but tbh the lady there isn't much help blush

Me and Dd just tried to have a relaxing bath together, and all she did was try and climb out hmm She wasn't interested in being calm with mummy. No, she wanted to jump ship.

It's the upset, I'm having trouble with. If I give up bottles, and offer nothing else, isn't that just going to make her more upset?

Lonelybunny Sat 23-Mar-13 19:44:39

I found I couldn't express for a week then other times I get letdown . This was with a manual pump. Can you find a local pick up on eBay.? Does she feed through the night?

McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 19:55:55

She'll only feed in the night if she's literally fast asleep, then she'll latch. If she rouses, she freaks out sad

I really struggle with my pump, and so wish I'd had the money for an electric one. I'll check ebay again.

My main problem is I don't have the privacy to do the expressing when I need to. My home situation is a nightmare for this.

Lonelybunny Sat 23-Mar-13 19:59:58

I'm exactly the same hun . How many feeds at night? She may be doing a bit of reverse cycling. My DD hardly has any feeds at the weekend as her older sisters are home and she is just too distracted .

Lonelybunny Sat 23-Mar-13 20:01:07

I can't afford an electric pump either they are expensive . I'm sure she will pick up , how long has it been going on?

NippyDrips Sat 23-Mar-13 20:07:26

Sorry your having problems.

I am no expert but just spending some time cuddled up topless without any pressure to feed could help.

Calpol an hour before feeds for teething pain and get her checked by the gp incase of ear infection etc.

Keep trying the pump as often as u would used to feed or try hand expressing, it is still stimulation.

Good luck.

McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 20:14:36

It's been a few weeks, but gotten worse. It started off as reverse cycling, but now we are in a full on strike. Like I said, if she's sleeping then I can get her to latch on. But if she stirs, then she bites me and cries. I'm so worried about my supply, that I just keep crying.

McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 20:23:50

There's loads of Medelas on ebay?? They're meant to be good aren't they? What is the suction like?

Welovegrapes Sat 23-Mar-13 20:32:47

Medela swing was very good for me. BUT you need to check whether any pump you buy second hand is 'open' or !closed'. Closed systems are ok second hand but open systems can be contaminated with the previous user's milk. My Medela wasn't hospital grade and there is a huge difference apparently between hospital grade and non-hospital grade.

Why don't you call the local nct and explain your position. They are a charity, so you never know whether they might be able to help?

MammaCici Sat 23-Mar-13 20:36:29

You really have to get your hands on a semi decent pump. I second that some days I'd be able to pump more than others.

I'd get as much into her while she sleeps as possible. Even if it means less sleep for you. I totally get how important it is to you. I'd be the same.

As regards your supply, my DS had cut down to about 4 feeds a day when he was 18 months and then he got a bug and went back to full time nursing / comfort nursing. Within a few days my milk supply went right back up again. I know we are all different but because your supply goes down doesn't mean you won't get it back up again.

Is there a lactation consultant you could see?

My sister always used nipple shields. I wasn't fan of them myself but perhaps your DD would latch on if you use a shield. Just a thought.

Lonelybunny Sat 23-Mar-13 20:45:22

I'm down to 3-4 feeds day time and 1-2 night time and one side at night . Does she have water/juice ?

McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 20:46:50

Thanks for the tip about the pump.

It was so disheartening this morning, to only get a few ounces off. And it took blooming ages. Tonight, was rubbish too. I just sat and cried.

I'm desperate to increase the supply, so much so that apparently some gps will prescribe something which can help? Has anyone had this? Some days we're not even hitting one feed, and I've been having to substitute which upsets me too.

I'll google lactation consultant. Thank you.

Im a bit confused.

Your DD is 8 months. She is, I assume, weaning?

Whats wrong with packing in the breastfeeding, getting your body back, and proceeding with solids and formula confused

I really, REALLY dont get this breastfeeding hero worship crap. If its making you sad, just pack it in.

McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 21:02:27

Monkeyface How dare you.

I'm here, on my knees, asking for help for something which is important to me. If you have nothing to add, without being a prick then please move along smile

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Sat 23-Mar-13 21:08:03

Because the op wants to feed, its best for her baby and for the op,

Her dd is having a nursing strike, the biting and baby being upset are signs that it is a strike and something is bothering her.

Milk should be her main sour e okf nutrition at this age, so if course the op is upset.

She will pick up in your stress tho op sad

What happened if you keep her close so she has access to the breast if she wants it.

Maybe ask on analytical armadillo or the leaky boob on fb, they are great for advice.

Feed her in her sleep when you can and she may well just carry on nursing as normal suddenly.

Is she teething? Have you got your period.

Can you offer milk in a cup so she doesn't get confused between breast and bottle. If you only offer cup and breast that may help.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Sat 23-Mar-13 21:08:44

My body was still mine even when I was bfeeding.

Gintonic Sat 23-Mar-13 22:17:21

OP, I could have written your post 2 weeks ago. I am now 4 weeks in to a nursing strike. I must have read every single relevant article on the whole Internet hmm

You are already trying most of the things I was advised, the only thing I would add is try BFing your LO when it is not a normal feed time, in a different place, maybe even different position.

I have found the nursing strike has done awful things to my hormones, I have been having terrible mood swings, feelings that I can't cope etc. please be aware some of the despair you are feeling could be due to shifts in your hormones. If you try and stick to a regular expressing pattern that will help reduce the confusion for your body.

With respect I would disagree with bunny about bottles. Your LO needs milk, and cows milk will not have all the nutrients of expressed milk or formula. Don't feel bad about substituting, you are giving your baby what she needs. You can always try a cup if you are worried about her getting a preference for the bottle.

My LO definitely prefers the bottle, which is a large part of the problem. I have decided to give up as I can't deal with the impact on my hormones any more. But I know other people manage to come back from a strike so if it is important to you keep trying.

I am not at all surprised by the comment above about why bother, that is basically what every single person in RL has said to me.

McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 22:18:43

I got a doidy cup today to try tomorrow with her.

I'm literally just back from trying to dreamfeed her, and she woke and went nuts at me hmm

What I've done, is bought my pump up to bed with me, and when I would normally feed her, I'll try and pump instead. Also taken some more fenegreek, and a bucket full of water. I'm going to be up peeing all night!!

Soupa Sat 23-Mar-13 22:22:50

She might be upset but if you decrease bottles and allow access to the breast then you increase the chances of feeding happening. It is quite possible that she is waiting for a bottle, some babies get distracted by their ease especially if teething etc.

Your gp can prescribe domperidone which passes into milk but at a tenth of the levels given as a dose to babies. It isn't lisenced as for this purpose in uk though it is in other countries, your gp could find lots of info to support prescription presuming it's ok for you otherwise.

If you google ardo pump agents you should be able to find a local agent.

It is tough, one of mine was a bugger for striking and it was awful. Hope yours picks up like mine did.

Soupa Sat 23-Mar-13 22:25:28

Trying the cup is great, pumping at night is too...don't feel bad if it takes a few days before output picks up.

Don't bother drinking the extra water...it really doesn't help supply you only need to drink to your thirst.

NippyDrips Sat 23-Mar-13 22:32:47

I will cross my fingers for you tonight op.

McPheetStink Sat 23-Mar-13 22:38:34

Thank you. It's nice to feel supported. Not many people understand, which makes me question my own beliefs. I do believe in what I'm doing, or I wouldn't be trying to find a solution.

Welovegrapes Sat 23-Mar-13 22:44:38

OP you are definitely doing the right thing and most strikes can be resolved with patience.

Good luck for tonight and have some un MN hugs!

neontetra Sat 23-Mar-13 22:45:57

I would echo what others have said about trying new nursing positions - when my dd has had nursing strikes (which, touch wood, at nearly 12 months she hasnt for a while) her usual preferred positions make her furious, but she'll feed if i hold her in front of me in strange and impractical ways! Pitch darkness also a winner for us. Very best of luck.

McPheetStink Sun 24-Mar-13 07:41:04

Not much joy this morning either. I tried her over night, but as predicted, she stirred and freaked out. All I managed to express was 1oz confused

I've gone ahead and ordered a medela this morning, which will be delivered tomorrow. My pump is crap!

Lonelybunny Sun 24-Mar-13 09:11:08

My battery died last night so couldbt reply as kids had put my charger somewhere else ! That was so rude of that woman , how dare she say to just give up ?! You keep going my love. I can't even get an ounce out sometimes when I pump then a couple of mornings last week in a row I got 2 from both sides. I think we are not achieving let down which you can only get if your relaxed and like you I'm very busy I have two other children and a DP at home and can't get the privacy time or quietness to pump properly. Try and give less solids so she will need to start upping her milk intake. She should be having more milk then food anyway

MammaCici Sun 24-Mar-13 10:37:05

That "rude" post was by someone who doesn't understand breastfeeding. I doubt she meant any harm. A lot of the time if someone has been unsuccessful with bf themselves they want others to quit to because it makes them feel better.
Best of luck with your medela pump! Hope it makes a difference and that your LO latches on happily soon.

Lonelybunny Sun 24-Mar-13 12:03:38

Yes I spose she was trying to help as I have also thought maybe its time to give in but It was the way it was written. Babies main diet should be milk before they are 1 with a solids alongside to compliment

MammaCici Wed 27-Mar-13 19:05:45

How is it going McPheetStink? Is DD coming around? Hope things are getting better for you.

McPheetStink Wed 27-Mar-13 21:10:50

The pump arrived, and I've tried to use it as much as possible. Very upsetting when a few drips was as much as I could pump, but tonight it managed 2 ozs. So with eating flapjack like it's going out of fashion, chucking Fenugreek down my neck and drinking as much as I can, I think we have some progress.

I'm giving it until next Friday, which would be two weeks, and if by them more progress hasn't been made then I've told myself to pack it in. I've a lot going on right now, and I don't want this to be bigger than it needs to iukwim.

Welovegrapes Wed 27-Mar-13 21:18:36

I think you got loads tonight, op smile I only ever got that max when expressing and quite often I only got 1 oz. I think if you express as many times a day as she was feeding before and get 1-2 oz each time you would be keeping a supply.

McPheetStink Wed 27-Mar-13 21:34:02

Maybe I'm comparing it to when she was tiny, and I used to pump 5/6oz in one go confused

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