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4 Bumps

why won't my son take the breast?

I was an exclusive pumper for the longest time because my son just wouldn't latch right and it was extremely painful to feed him from the source. Recently my milk supply has gone to pumping between 4 and 6 oz per session to barely 2 oz. He eats between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 oz per feeding. the only way i can get him to be completely satisfied is to put him on the breast. but he just won't take it. he will fight me, turn his head and than cry horribly till he falls asleep with out eating. if i'm lucky he will get a mouthful or 2 before he starts fighting me. what can i do?

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Asked by babymomma101110 at 11:36 PM on Nov. 9, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 7 (163 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • You should try meeting with a lactation consultant for this one. Pumping is a really tough way to keep supply up. Did you ever meet with someone to check his latch before when you were having pain? Latch is usually the cause of the pain. A proper latch won't hurt. It may take meeting with more than one LC, just FYI. I know I gained something different from each that helped us get started. It took us 6 weeks of very hard work to get going with nursing, but I'm so glad I did, and we nursed for over 18 months. You can do this!! But get to a LC asap.

    Answer by musicpisces at 11:42 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • How old is he now? My advice would be to keep trying and keep trying. As a last resort, you may be able to use an SNS (supplemental nursing system) and fill it up some with milk you've pumped. You can vary the amount that comes through the tubes, I think. That might get him used to eating at your breast because he won't have to work as hard. You can gradually make it so that he has to suck more to get food, then eventually take the SNS away completely.

    Answer by Mrs.BAT at 11:44 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • Oh, and like music suggested, try to find a lactation consultant. They can help a LOT with nursing problems.

    Answer by Mrs.BAT at 11:45 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • My son is a month old

    Comment by babymomma101110 (original poster) at 12:08 AM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • He may be latching apprehensively because of a forceful let down. So he is only latching at the tip so he doesn't get a huge tidal wave of milk, and this hurts you and the whole system is crummy.

    You can try taking the bottles away completely for 2 or 3 days. Pump out the first ounce then put him on the breast. This will tame the flow a little. He might latch better that way. Trust me, he won't starve himself. He will latch when he is hungry.

    Answer by ecodani at 12:20 AM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • Try try try again and with help with an IBCLC. Make sure you try to feed before baby gets the signals for hunger. Also if you have a quick letdown that may be hindering things but is easily fixed by hand expressing a bit before breastfeeding. Some of your problem may also be nipple confusion and an SNS would be a great way to get baby back to the breast when this happens.


    Answer by mama_l at 12:21 AM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • I breastfeed exclusively, but I had that problem sometimes with a certain breast. For awhile it was like my dd didn't like my left one! Sometimes when that breast got really full she would just turn her head and refuse it. It drove me crazy!! It was usually in the middle of the night when all I wanted to do was finish and go back to sleep. It also sometimes happens when you offer one side and then try to switch to make sure they are both used. She will nurse one side but not the other. Ironically, the longer you go on one side without her feeding the less likely she is to take to it! So you have to be really careful not to go too long on one side or get too full before feeding. Then keep offering it and if she tries and stops, keep offering it until she latches. Also, sometimes a warm shower or warm washcloth helps.

    Answer by carol2m2 at 12:57 AM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • Sucking from a bottle is easier. The Breastfeeding Group has a lot of experienced moms that can help you. This probably won't be easy for awhile. Basically you're going to need to ditch the bottles and just offer the breast. In the end, he won't starve himself. Once you have him latching again, only give bottles when you are gone.

    Answer by Christina807 at 10:18 AM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • He is probably used to the bottle and the flow of the bottle. You CAN get him back to breast. See an IBCLC if possible. Seek out your local La Leche League, their leaders can help, hands on, free of charge, and you can attend their meetings, I love them. I agree that you need to drop bottles, offer only breast, and that it might be difficult at first. I believe has an article regarding this, the title is something like...back to breast. I'd love to help if you have any more specific concerns, but there is only so much we can do on line, you will also need a little hands on help, and support, which I can offer, and the Ladies in BF Moms group too!

    Answer by Krysta622 at 1:05 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

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