7 reasons why your baby refuses breast milk and how to act
Sometimes your baby does not refuse to feed, but faces difficulties in feeding. All babies have individual eating habits. Some babies are easy to live with, settle easily into food, eat well and are satisfied until the next feeding. Other babies take a while to get started, but feed once they start. Other babies are disturbed from the beginning to the end of the feeding.
There is usually a good reason why your baby refuses your breast and to find out “why” is the key. Knowing what you can do to encourage and support your baby is vital.
Sometimes your breasts may start to feel very full or engorged if your baby starts to sleep longer at night. It’s normal and your breasts will adjust as they get used to your baby’s changing eating habits.
Solution: You can consider pressing the breast milk. This can help relieve any pain, maintain your supply and reduce the risk of getting a blocked conduit. Your breast milk can then be given to your baby, for example with a small cup or bottle.
2) Feeding time
Babies feed better when they are ready to feed. This can be indicated by the baby’s crying, which may be more in the morning or in the day. Just be careful.
Solution: Feeding your baby when your baby wants to, helps make sure he gets what he needs. As long as your baby continues to show reliable signs of having enough milk, this is what matters most.
3) Skin-to-skin contact with your baby
Many babies do not take breast milk because there is no skin-to-skin contact with their mother and reduce their affinity towards the mother or breast.
Solution: Spend a lot of time in skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Your bare chest can help remind your baby that it is a nourishing place. It could be on a bed or in a bath, etc. Skin-to-skin contact can help your baby use her instinct to find your breasts alone. In this way, it can move you away from the pressure.
4) Milk flow rate
Some mothers have a strong flow of milk in the first weeks until their supply settles. Sometimes a baby gets used to the flow and gets a lot of milk without having to suck a lot in these first weeks. He could then refuse to feed when his mother’s supply is established and he has to suck more to get the same amount of milk. If your baby drinks for a few minutes, then goes off, or tries to start again, but he gets angry, it may be because your flow has slowed down.
Solution: Move to the other chest or try to gently squeeze your breast when your baby’s sucking slows down being careful not to disturb his attachment. Moving your hand to different parts of your breast while you squeeze, helps drain different milk ducts.
5) The distractions
Between 3 and 6 months, some babies start to become very difficult to feed when there are distractions.
Solution: If this happens, feeding your baby in a dark room can help you. Providing your baby with food when he is sleepy or just waking up can also help you. Some babies who are very easily distracted during the day feed more often at night when you are both more relaxed. Sometimes wearing a coloured collar or giving an older baby a toy to remember could help feed him.
6) The baby also takes the bottle before 6 months
How a baby drinks from a bottle is very different from the way he breastfeeds. In addition, when a baby drinks from a bottle, he gets more milk immediately after sucking and gets more than one constant flow. A baby who has been drinking from the bottle may have become accustomed to these things and may refuse to breastfeed accordingly.
Solution: Skin-to-skin contact and allowing your baby to find your breasts alone may be enough to help solve this problem
7) Breastfeeding position
Sometimes a baby can get used to the way he is held back when he receives the bottle.
Solution: If this is the case, keeping it in the same position for breastfeeding can help you. This could mean keeping it in a particular style when it feeds on one breast and then in the lower one when it feeds on the other breast.