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To stop breastfeeding? Confused and upset(9 Posts)
My DS is now 3 months old (13 weeks). He was 7lb 3 when born and 11lb when the health visitor came at 7 weeks, which she said put him around the 50th centile. He is breastfeed however was also having one bottle of formula in an evening. For the last month I stopped the formula and he has been exclusively breast fed. The reason I did this was because he had a ‘nursing strike’ and kept refusing the breast and I was worried he was starting to prefer the formula. It caused me a lot of stress, and a lot of posts on here! I feel like I have a plentiful milk supply and DS feeds often, around every hour and a half in the day, but is only ever on the breast for around 5 minutes before he’s had enough. He also gets very distracted and I find it hard for him to latch sometimes. The only long feed he seems to have is in the night around 3am. I feed him on demand but lately he just seems disinterested and this week had another ‘nursing strike’ which resorted me to bottle feeding him expressed milk. As I’ve been worried about his weight gain we purchased some digital scales the same as our health visitor uses and he has only gained 2oz since last week and from looking at the charts he’s dropped from around 50th centile to 25th. He is a very happy, placid baby, he only wakes for one long feed in the night, I feed him on demand and feel like I’m making enough milk but these ‘nursing strikes’ he’s having and the fact that he is dropping centiles is making me feel like formula might be best for him. This makes me sad as I honestly love breastfeeding but I’m worried he isn’t getting what he needs. The last couple of days I’ve only been able to get him to latch when hes sleepy, bringing him to the breast any other time seems to make him cry! I’ve left an answer phone message to get another appointment with the health visitor but does anyone have any similar stories? Should I continue with the breastfeeding? Should I combi feed again to try and increase his weight? Sorry for rambling!
Does the health visitor service in your area have drop in weighing clinics? You might get seen a bit quicker than waiting for your hv to get in touch. Also have you seen any bf support people? They may be helpful!
When my dd was small i sometimes used white noise and feeding whilst walking around to encourage her to be less fussy/latch better. She didn't go on any nursing strikes so cant advise on that!
@FakeTanandProsecco thank you, they did do weigh in clinics but unfortunately all were stopped in our area just a few weeks before having DS which is annoying yes a lady from breastfeeding support came round during the first nursing strike. She said it didn’t appear to be any physical problem but gave advice and eventually everything was ok until recently when I’ve had the same problem again! I’ll try the white noise though as that may help, I use it sometimes to settle him off to sleep and it does seem to calm him!
Please call a helpline. You need some real life individual and sympathetic support. It can feel so overwhelming when there are feeding challenges. The breast is about the only part of the anatomy that we have such low expectations and expect to fail in its basic physiological function.
ABM and LLL all have wonderful educated telephone helplines.
Argghh i had a whole answer and it vanished. Right.
I had a similar problem with DS around that age. He refused to latch and he would cry the moment my boob went anywhere near him. Or he would latch for a bit and turn away in frustration even though milk was still coming out. He would also feed less often.
If you aren't already doing it i would suggest feeding in a dark room with no one else, but you around. No tv/radio/mobile either. Nothing that would make him turn his head in search for the noise or colorful lights.
I also tackled his crying by sitting on the edge of the bed and bounce us up and down while i held him in breastfeeding position. The movement seemed to calm him and after a couple of minutes he would turn his head and latch.
If the bouncing and dark quite room didn't work i tried the ultimate trick. Dummy boob swap. I gave him his dummy to suck for a few seconds. When there was a good dummy latch rythm i would slowly pull the dummy out and quickly offer the boob. He would latch on.
I think it's a phase, OP. DS is 8 months now and I don't have to bounce him or do the dummy trick, but he still only feeds in a dark quite room.
See what the health visitor says but if he isn't actually losing weight i would try and persevere with the breastfeeding. It's very frustrating, i know.
It might be worth getting him checked at the GP for oral thrush. It doesn't always show as whiteness like the Google images. My DD was similar to your DS at that age and it was oral thrush. The GP will prescribe a topical antibiotic that you paint on before a feed. The thrush causes them pain so they 'strike'.
At exactly this age my ds was too distracted to feed. The hv recommended feeding after naps and it worked perfectly. I had to feed him the moment he woke, while still groggy in a quiet place. Because if this we ended up in the EASY routine (eat, activity, sleep, eat, activity....etc) and that worked pretty well for us through till first foods at 6mo.
Thanks everyone for your advice. I will definitely ring the doctors on Monday for an appointment to check there’s no physical problem causing this. He fed twice during the night while sleepy with no issue, then woke at 8am for a feed clearly very hungry but wouldn’t latch, he just wailed every time I tried to bring him to the breast. I put white noise on and tried to calm him down but he was screaming. In the end we had to give him some expressed milk in a bottle which he guzzled no problem. I want to avoid giving him bottles in case it’s making the problem worse but when he’s screaming with hunger I don’t know what else to do. I will be gutted if this is the end of breastfeeding for us.
I went through this several times. DS Would wailing and wailing and refuse the breast despite being hungry. Eventually though he would take the breast if I walked around with him latched on, swaying helped too. He usually stopped after a few weeks. After solids were introduced we had no more issues. He dropped from the 50th to 9th but HV were never concerned and after solids is back up.to 33rd!
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