Is this breast refusal?

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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peneva
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Is this breast refusal?

Post by peneva » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:48 pm

My 6 week old baby has been super fussy while breastfeeding over the last couple of days. She feeds really well for the first 10 minutes or so, then becomes really fussy. She starts by pulling off. She goes on and off for a minute or so before becoming really upset. She ends up screaming. I have tried swapping sides when this happens but it doesn't improve the situation.

She takes a couple of bottles of expressed milk every day no problem usually. When she has become really upset on the breast I have offered her ebm in a bottle and she will drink ok for a couple of minutes before fussing again. She does seem to be better on the bottle though.

She currently has thrush which she is on oral drops for, could this cause fussy feeding? Could it be an age thing? I really don't want this to be the end of our breastfeeding relationship. Also I should mention she doesn't feed without nipple shields if that could make a difference?

Please help!

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Penguin
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Re: Is this breast refusal?

Post by Penguin » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:54 pm

It is easier to suck from a bottle than a breast (as in, it takes less effort for the baby to get the milk out) so that could be an issue? Also, when feeding at the breast usually the baby needs to actually suck to get the milk out (so stopping sucking often means no milk in bub's mouth, at least after the first let down squirts) whereas with a bottle the milk will drip or fall out even without the baby sucking hard, so sometimes it can be that bub is sucking quickly to cope with a milk 'flood'.

If you call the helpline on 1800686268 they might be able to help you troubleshoot and give some tips to help.
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Parla.
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Re: Is this breast refusal?

Post by Parla. » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:39 pm

Sometimes around 6 weeks babies are getting pretty efficient, and 10 minutes genuinely is a full feed for them. This can seem very short after the early weeks of long hours spent feeding on the couch. Then they fuss because they've had enough. They might attach again if you offer, but not really want to drink, so they pop on and off.

Sometimes babies get fussy when they have had a let down on the first breast, the flow of milk is slowing down, and are ready to move onto the second breast. It sounds like you've already tried offering the other side though.

Do either of these sound like what might be going on?
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peneva
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Re: Is this breast refusal?

Post by peneva » Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:36 am

Thank you penguin and parla for your advice, I really appreciate it!

Parla - she could possibly be done in about 10 minutes? Once I sit her up and burp her she will happily sit in her bouncer or lie on her mat so maybe she is full at this point? She does drink more if I keep trying with her but comes on and off until she is really upset. Maybe I will offer her the other side and if she kicks around with that to just assume she is satisfied?

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ClOuD_NiNe
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Re: Is this breast refusal?

Post by ClOuD_NiNe » Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:59 am

It is possible that a 6 week old baby can be done in 10 minutes, I know of several who were like that (including one of my own!). The fussing may be her way of telling you that she's had enough, especially if she's content afterwards.

The best way to know if she's still getting enough is to keep an eye on her wet nappy count. There is more info on this page: https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo ... nough-milk
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Penguin
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Re: Is this breast refusal?

Post by Penguin » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:42 am

Also, are you having treatment for thrush? If bub has it then she could be giving it back to you. Usually you need a cream as well as drops for bub - perhaps something to talk to your health professional about?
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peneva
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Re: Is this breast refusal?

Post by peneva » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:39 am

Cloud nine - she may be done after 10 minutes then! She does seem to want to eat every hour to hour and a half when she is awake though in the day, is this normal? She sleeps 6 hours in one stretch at night though then feeds and goes back to sleep for about another 3 so it's just the day where she seems to eat a lot! She is havig enough dirty nappies I'm pretty sure. She used to poop 2 or 3 times a day but in the last week this has gone down to once a day. She wets about 6 or 7 a day though and is gaining about 250 grams a week so I think she is fine?

Penguin - yes I had the oral medication and have some cream for my nipples which I'm using even thoufh I don't have any of the signs of thrush :)

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Yankee
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Re: Is this breast refusal?

Post by Yankee » Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:01 pm

If she's only waking once overnight, she may be making up for it by demanding more feeds during the day so that she gets everything she needs across 24 hours.

If she's happy, weeing often and gaining weight, it sounds ok to me! But you can always give the helpline a quick ring.
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ClOuD_NiNe
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Re: Is this breast refusal?

Post by ClOuD_NiNe » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:29 pm

As Yankee said, babies that sleep for longer overnight may try to catch up on feeds during the day. Your DD's feeding patterns sound a lot like my DD's at that age! Around the 4 week mark DD started to want only one side, but an hour or so later she would take the other side. I eventually gave up trying to offer the second side immediately after the first, as she was so impatient waiting for the let-down and would pull on the nipple and hurt me. It wasn't worth the hassle! So I just went with it and fed her from one side every hour or so.

It's also quite normal for babies around this age to stop pooing so much. Some slow down to once a day like you describe, for others it might only be once every few days or even once a week. But like Yankee said, do give the helpline a call if you're at all concerned.
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PellyintheWilderness
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Re: Is this breast refusal?

Post by PellyintheWilderness » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:30 pm

Sounds like she got the memo about sleeping long stretches at night :)
It's pretty normal for little babies to have a couple of longer sleeps during the 24 hour cycle, and to "tank up" for this by feeding more frequently at other times. It sounds like everything is actually going quite well, apart from the thrush of course.
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