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Please help - 8 week old refusing breast

(10 Posts)
wisterialane Sat 22-Aug-09 21:12:10

Hello. DD2 had been feeding beautifully up until this week - between 10-20 mins every 2-3 hours then going through 'til 3-4am for a single night feed.

On Tuesday, she took her normal feed at 1030, then I couldn't get her to latch on at all until at 8pm I finally gave up and expressed when she took 4oz from a bottle, and another 5oz at 11pm. This pattern has continued for the week - she feeds ok in the morning, then the gaps between feeds have got ridiculously long in the afternoons. Today, for example, I fed at midday, then finally got her to latch on again at 7pm.

The thing is, she is definitely hungry and looking for a feed during this time. She screams for it, but won't latch and then gives up and resorts to a grumpy silence. But even if I try and put her on when calm again, she resumes screaming, arches her back and refuses the breast.

I find the whole thing completely distressing, and am worrying constantly about dehydration and her not getting enough food. The feeling of failure is starting to overwhelm me and I don't know how to get things back on track. It can't be right for an 8 week old to go 8 hours in the day without a feed, can it? sad

Any advice?

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Sat 22-Aug-09 22:49:19

Have you looked inside her mouth to see if she has thrush?

Does she have a temp??

logrrl Sun 23-Aug-09 10:53:37

Sounds like you could do with some professional assistance-have you phoned one of the breastfeeding helplines??

wisterialane Sun 23-Aug-09 11:59:17

She does have a slight white residue in her mouth so I have wondered if it could be thrush - but she feeds ok some of the time, it just seems to be in the afternoon that there is a problem. I also don't have any breast pain or symptoms. I am going to see the HV on Tuesday, so we'll see what they say.

She has no temperature, and seems fine in herself, smiling loads, alert, good muscle tone etc. I keep telling myself that she is therefore ok and it's probably just a phase, but it doesn't seem to work!

It amazes me how bad it makes me feel if I can't feed her... I looked at the BF helplines last night, but thought it was too late to call. I will see how the feeding goes this afternoon (she has had two good feeds today, and her 4am went ok) and will call them later if there is still a problem. Thank you.

Gavotte Sun 23-Aug-09 13:58:05

Hi, I've had similar (latching on well earlier in day, and huge trouble getting daughter to latch on in late afternoons/evenings) and something that seems to work brilliantly is feeding lying down, on one side, with baby propped up on one arm. I mentioned this to the HV and apparently it's much easier to get a good latch in this position. Hope it works for you.

mears Sun 23-Aug-09 14:07:51

Have you tried just having her lying skin-to-skin with you, without trying to feed her? Just keep her nappy on and make time to do nothing else. Avoid giving EBM from a bottle because she may develop a preference for the teat.
You haven't changed deodorant or started wearing perfume at all?

Mummy369 Sun 23-Aug-09 23:58:46

Hi, similar to mears here. Have you recently changed or started to wear a new perfume or deodorant, or even your soap or shower gel? It makes your scent unfamiliar to baby and can cause breast refusal. Another cause can be changing the washing powder/liquid that you use - can have the same effect as changing perfume.

Skin to skin is great for bonding with and comforting your baby. If you can make time for this for half hour to an hour a couple of times a day that might really help. Good luck smile

wisterialane Mon 24-Aug-09 11:01:45

Hi - well yesterday was a much better day - she fed twice in the afternoon. I am wondering whether it is as simple as going somewhere quiet and concentrating... not always easy with three yo dd1!

I did wonder about nipple/teat confusion... so will lay off bottles for a bit (DH will escape the 10pm feed now!) No change in perfume or anything I use, but we have been out a lot last week (on hols), and while i dismissed environment as an issue (thought she was too little!), she has been much better since we've been home more. Maybe I am more relaxed too, who knows?!

I will do more skin to skin - I have been guilty of concentrating attention on DD1 as don't want her to feel pushed out, but will need to make time. Thank you.

partyfairy Mon 24-Aug-09 11:07:17

I had this a few years ago with my DD. I think it is called a nursing strike. I remember what worked for us was feeding her while she was asleep! Sounds a bit weird, but she seemed so much more relaxed and did feed quite well whilst she was sleeping in my arms - her instincts just kicked in.

wisterialane Mon 24-Aug-09 11:28:49

Thank you partyfairy - googled and found thisuseful link.

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