I always knew i wanted to do extended breast feeding. However our little girl was born 10 weeks ago and didn't attach properly. I have to date seen 6 lactation consultants several times with no real positive results. At 5 weeks i started to express milk and managed just one breast feed a day so she would remain friends with the breast. However in the last week she has now started to reject the breast. She cries inconsolably when put near it and if i try to attach her. I haven't been able to get her on in a week and I'm coming to terms with this being the end of our breast feeding relationship. It breaks my heart. I will continue to pump as long as my supply lasts but been warned by 2 maternal health nurses that pumping alone doesn't provide enough stimulation so Im unlikely to make it to 6 months.
I feel like a failure.
I wanted to intimacy of a breast feeding relationship and the security it would give my child.
I wanted to help protect her by having a good immune system.
I wanted to protect myself against breast cancer as its so prevalent in my family.
I wanted the ease of feeding that breast feeding allows.
My question to you all is, do you have a similar experience and how did you cope and make up for the loss? Where do I go from here?
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28-07-2012 11:20 #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
Baby rejecting breast - broken hearted
28-07-2012 16:46 #2
Oh I know how you feel, although I got to 5mths, the feelings were the same! My DS out and out rejected the boob after he bit me once and I cried out, giving him a fright..it was the last time he would go near my breast and I tried everyone and everything without success. It was devastating. I wanted all the things you listed there as well, and to top it off my DS was a failure to thrive baby who refused to take a bottle for 2 weeks after he refused to BF (he'd never had a bottle and was a stubborn little bugger!)
How to cope? Well, I guess we just had to get on with it..bub had to drink milk and formula was our only option, I guess I just told myself I was making the best of a bad situation, that I had done and tried everything without success and needed to go easy on myself. I tried pumping, but just could not express enough and my supply dwindled quite quickly. In the end I was happy to give it away and just enjoy my DS, without the stress of pumping all the time, which took time away from DS. I continued to make feed time a special time together and I don't feel we bonded any less or anything.
Anyway, good luck, you have done all you can and that is the best you can do. Go easy on yourself and just enjoy you LO while she is still so little, it goes by soo fast! And there are millions of babies FF that are just fine
28-07-2012 18:22 #3
Have you tried using a nipple shield? Ds1 would not latch on either and by using a nipple shield I was able to breastfeed using this until he was old enough to latch properly... Just a thought
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28-07-2012 18:35 #4
My DS bit me and I cried out in pain. He got such a fright that he screamed and cried and refused the breast for close to two weeks
I was devastated and I was stressed. I just kept trying. I used a nipple shield at first and that helped a lot. And once he was back on I slowly got rid of the shield.
A LC I spoke with suggested lots of skin on skin and just cuddles so that he could see that it was a nice comfortable place to be to bring back that bond. It worked
Definitely try the shield if u haven't already, and once you get your letdown, take it off and try and attach bub again without shield. Bubs may be ok as the milk will be flowing easily then
28-07-2012 18:47 #5
Remember LO is not rejecting you
Just rejecting the breast. My LO went on breast strike at 3months I tried everything, even nipples shields! I was devastated & cried for 3 days non stop! In the end your job is to feed bub, doesn't matter what way. Don't feel down you have done the best you can don't stress, enjoy that beautiful baby
28-07-2012 18:49 #6
I had this. DS suddenly rejected the breast at 10 wk old. I persevered for another 3 wk but it was so hard and we both ended up in tears so had to give up. I expressed but couldn't get enough for full feeds so it soon had to stop. I was heart broken and still regret not being able to do the planned 6 months.
But he's now 20 months and doing so well. Healthy, happy and very bonded to us. So it hasn't affected him and i know i had to stop, it wasn't my choice it was his. I always felt like i had to explain myself to people though, as maybe they felt i gave up too quick. Even though i know i didn't.
I know its very hard but your baby is guiding you to what they want, and all will work out and heal in the end. hugs.
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28-07-2012 18:55 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
My DD did this at about 3 months. She had terrible reflux and was soy and dairy intolerant and my milk was a source of pain for her. Even though she still had the pain afterwards, she would drink EBM from a bottle.
Once she was on good doses of reflux meds and I eliminated dairy and soy from my diet, we got back on track.
Any chance reflux could be a possibility?
28-07-2012 20:12 #8
My DS is also lactose intolerant and saw breast as pain. I was not told to cut anything from my diet I was just told to stop trying to bf. I was heart broken.
Find a ready good friend to cry on and counseling if you can but know it's not your fault you didn't make this happen or you would not be upset.
Your a great mum for caring so much about your LO.
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29-07-2012 02:42 #9Junior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
Thank you so much for sgaring your stories ladies. It helps to know I'm not alone in this devastation. Hugs.
In answer to your questions, nipple shields don't work for us sadly - she can't feed with it effectively so I got blocked and mastitis within a few feeds we had the dr and nurses consider reflux but they all reckoned she was fine. I will continue with skin on skin and cuddles by the breast...but it's now upsetting her just to be near the breast half way through a feed.. Will try after a feed.
Do you think it's possible to get her back on? I'm thinking no.. And I wonder what the point is.. She has a very powerful suck (collapses most teats and drains a Medela calma bottle in minutes which is supposed to be very hard for babies to suck) so bad latching leads to damage quite quickly. Is it common for breast feeding relationships to start out this badly and then heal to successful feeding or should I let go?
Right now concentrating in supply as I don't want to loose that - taking fenugreek but will look into other supplements. Pumping with every feed and trying to get some pumps Inbetween (but this is nearly impossible as she won't sleep during day unless in a sling so struggle to get in additional pumping).
Big hugs to you all. Xxx
29-07-2012 07:56 #10
First of all, on the ABA website there is a chat group of mum's who are long term expressing, so if it does end up that you can't get her back to the breast with perserverance and dedication if you want to EBM feed your baby then it's possible, although hard work.
A close friend and I both had bubs 3 weeks apart that were refusing the breast. Mine was a premmie and feeding at the breast was too much work and he couldn't maintain his weight, so I would breastfeed for a limited time, then pump and top him up with ebm in a bottle. He also had bad silent reflux so started to prefer the bottle and ended up refusing the breast altogether. My friends little girl had tongue tie and got to the point she would scream if put to the breast. I even tried feeding her once just so we could see if it was just a negative association with her mum's breast now due to pain but she screamed as soon as held ready for a feed. Her mum really wanted her to have breastmilk and couldn't always pump enough so sourced donor milk. I gave her some of my stash too as I had a lot from my days pumping when my baby was in hospital. We both tried supply lines, various lactation consultants etc. There were days I was at her house and we'd both be trying to nurse our screaming babies, then be pumping and feeding them ebm with tears in our eyes promising each other that one day we would be sitting there peacefully breastfeeding our babies.
And here we are, almost 10 months down the track, both successfully fully breastfeeding contented little babies!! With my little man, nipple shields were the answer, but not your regular ones from the chemist, slim silicone ones my lc ordered in from Sweden or somewhere. For him they were similar to the feel of the bottle, plus with expressing some milk into the tip first he got the instant reward. Also I wore him with him wearing just a nappy and me bare from the waist up in a wrap snug against my chest and had lots of time skin to skin with him near my breasts but not trying to feed to make my breasts a happy place for him again. Then I slowly weaned him off the shields.
My friends baby was a bit of a harder road. She also had lots and lots of skin to skin - baths etc. She avoided offering bottles but would try syringe or cup feeding. I think she is in the process of writing up their journey in more detail.
We both consumed lots of breastfeeding cookies and invented variations eg brownies, muffins etc. Lots of fenugreek too. I found motillium increased my supply but reduced the quality - eg barely any seperation of the fat when in a bottle and little fat coating the sides of the bottle.
All this to say - it IS possible to get them back to the breast eventually. And if it doesn't work out for you, it IS possible to long term ebm feed (but make sure you get a good electric pump!), and if you have issues with supply, there is donor milk. All of this is said without judgement though if at some point you feel you can't continue. It can be a very exhausting, emotional road, and breaks your heart every time what should be a beautiful, loving experience turns into distress and screaming.
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