Breast refusal - 3 months old

A baby's refusal to feed is a distressing time. Sometimes the refusal is outright; other times just an extreme fussiness. Usually it is temporary and the baby returns to the breast. Share your experiences and support one another through this tough time here.
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Rachwa
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Breast refusal - 3 months old

Post by Rachwa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:57 am

I don't know whether I'm posting to get more ideas or because I need to deal with my feelings about it all.

I breastfed my first son for 2 years with few issues.

Hugo is 3.5 months. Breastfeeding started out well. Then as he got older, he was taking longer and longer to feed and he wasn't draining my breasts well. He gained well, but was diagnosed with lip and tongue tie. We had the tie lasered at 8 weeks old. We saw an immediate improvement in seal and latch. We saw an LC at 10 weeks with further improvement.

A few weeks later Hugo had diarrhoea with no other symptoms. He was still feeding well, happy and content, but poo looked mucousy and was prolific and often (easily 10+ day). Medical advise was to keep feeding and it would clear up, which it did.

I started feeding one side per feed as he was falling asleep after the first side.

I then injured my left side and at about the same time Hugo started refusing my left breast. I tried a range of strategies without much success. I made sure he took the left side at night (he tended to take it in the evening and during the night).

I was not happy about feeding mostly from the right, and saw an LC who was able to reassure me that he was getting enough from one side.

Unfortunately Hugo then started refusing both sides. The number of wet nappies dropped significantly. He lost weight. He now arches his back and screams if I try to feed him. He will act hungry (bopping on my chest, latching on to his fist, sticking tongue out) and then violently pull away before attaching.

In order to feed him I have been rocking him until 99% asleep and then he will feed. He is now having enough wet nappies etc.

Yesterday he had a dirty nappy with small specks of red through it. I'm guessing this is blood.

This morning he had a fairly explosive frothy poo which was a little greenish.

My gp thinks the blood may be irritation subsequent to the diarrhoea he had a few weeks ago. No real answers on the refusal.

I'm feeling really sad and at a loss. I feel like I spend the whole day attempting to feed and it is really hard on my toddler (and I'm also yelling at him because he touches Hugo's head or yells when I've finally gotten him to feed). I'm reluctant to leave the house because feeding is distressing, he screams and gets really agitated and arches his back so violently I'm afraid of dropping him.

The gp has suggested expressing and bottle feeding but to be honest I think if I do that, it will be the end of breastfeeding directly. I'm not prepared to risk that at this stage.
DS1 (T) Dec 2010, weaned Dec 2012
DS2 (H) July 2013, milk is in!

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fellare
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Post by fellare » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:05 am

hugs.

My first thoughts are, perhaps the diarrhea affected the lining of the guts and made him react to some of the protein in the milk (like cow and soy protein)

I also though, there is nothing wrong with expressing and feeding ebm once a day, to give all of you a break! You can cup feed, there is no need for a bottle. Stress doesn't help you or your child and can inhibit let down and make things worst. Once every so often is not going to hurt your breastfeeding relationship necessarily. It's not the same as going to exclusive expressing.

Also, as he's getting older and becomes more efficient at feeding, he might actually want to feed less often. Perhaps that's why he's distressed? I assume you feed on demand, but perhaps having a look at the cues you are reacting to might be worth it.

I don't know. Definitely call the helpline to talk it through!
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Little Tiggermum
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Post by Little Tiggermum » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:40 pm

My first thought is to talk to a certain dietician that is in Perth and specialises in breastfed babies and allergies/intolerences. She's also an IBCLC. (and a medical adviser for the ABA)
Do you know who I'm talking about? Do you think you can see her?
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Monicat
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Post by Monicat » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:05 pm

Nothing to offer, just some love and to say you are doing an amazing job Rach. Be kind to yourself while you are sorting this out xxx
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MamaMagoO?
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Post by MamaMagoO? » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:28 pm

Oh Rach. That sounds so hard. I think LTM has some good advice.

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AbbeyCat
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Post by AbbeyCat » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:30 pm

No advice, just hugs. Must be very stressful. xx Hope you two can find your rhythm again.
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Rachwa
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Post by Rachwa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:46 pm

Little Tiggermum wrote:My first thought is to talk to a certain dietician that is in Perth and specialises in breastfed babies and allergies/intolerences. She's also an IBCLC. (and a medical adviser for the ABA)
Do you know who I'm talking about? Do you think you can see her?
Yes, I know who you mean; I met her at conference last year. I can arrange to see her.
DS1 (T) Dec 2010, weaned Dec 2012
DS2 (H) July 2013, milk is in!

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Ronale
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Post by Ronale » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:28 pm

Hugs Rachwa, sounds horrible. I also think a consult with ltm's suggestion sounds like the go. Glad to hear you might be able to. I hope that she can help
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ClOuD_NiNe
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Post by ClOuD_NiNe » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:14 pm

Hugs, that sounds hard. Getting some professional advice from the person mentioned might be the way to go. I hope you find a solution soon!
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Mummy woo!
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Post by Mummy woo! » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:36 pm

Rachwa wrote:
Little Tiggermum wrote:My first thought is to talk to a certain dietician that is in Perth and specialises in breastfed babies and allergies/intolerences. She's also an IBCLC. (and a medical adviser for the ABA)
Do you know who I'm talking about? Do you think you can see her?
Yes, I know who you mean; I met her at conference last year. I can arrange to see her.
I thought of her first too. Glad you might be able to get some local support. The blood in the stool and frothy poos and refusal made me think allergies.

Hope you get some answers soon - you are doing a great job working through these challenges.
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manomummy
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Post by manomummy » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:51 pm

I too just wanted to offer hugs.
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Rachwa
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Post by Rachwa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:30 pm

Am organising some babysitting for T so I don't have to toddler wrangle...

Would it be usual to develop an allergy after 3 months? Up until the last few weeks he has been the happiest baby in the known universe. Even when he had diarrhoea he was giggling at the doctor.
DS1 (T) Dec 2010, weaned Dec 2012
DS2 (H) July 2013, milk is in!

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marie7
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Post by marie7 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:31 pm

Hugs, just another thought, could it be urinary tract infection? Blood in nappy can mean that too, among other things. I think seeing the allergy specialist is a good idea too. Hope it gets better soon!! I like your sleepy feeding idea too!! At least you know he's getting enough this way while you sort any issues out
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Rachwa
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Post by Rachwa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:31 pm

marie7 wrote:Hugs, just another thought, could it be urinary tract infection? Blood in nappy can mean that too, among other things. I think seeing the allergy specialist is a good idea too. Hope it gets better soon!! I like your sleepy feeding idea too!! At least you know he's getting enough this way while you sort any issues out
Funny you say that. I took him to the GP yesterday and they wanted a urine sample to rule out UTI. Dr taped him up to collect the sample and I went into the other room to feed, sand nappy, with the hope of catching some wee. He was sleepy and feeding when suddenly he started screaming and kicking his legs. I thought he just didn't like having the tape etc on him but I looked and saw his thighs and genitals were bright red and swollen. Poor bugger can't catch a break - allergic reaction to the medical tape :(
DS1 (T) Dec 2010, weaned Dec 2012
DS2 (H) July 2013, milk is in!

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mooki
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Post by mooki » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:14 pm

I wonder if whatever virus or bug he had has irritated his gut and it needs time to sort itself? Just speculating and obviously not a medical professional but if anyone will have more of an idea J will
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