Breast milk is undoubtedly one of the best foods for the baby. It is an excellent natural source of many nutrients and vitamins that your little bundle of joy needs to grow and develop.
But what if your baby refuses to breastfeed?You must be wondering, my baby refuses to breastfeed, what to do? Let’s take a closer look at some of the common causes of breast refusal in babies, its signs and symptoms, and some effective ways to deal with it.
When Does A Baby Refuses To Breastfeed?
1. There are several possible reasons why a baby may refuse to breastfeed.
2. Some babies may experience difficulty latching on to the breast, or may suck poorly owing to certain medications they may have been exposed to during labor. Narcotics and several other medications may stay in the baby’s blood for a long time, and may be responsible for the baby refusing to latch on and suckle.
3. Abnormalities of the mouth may also cause trouble. Conditions such as cleft lip, soft palate etc may also cause breastfeeding difficulties in babies.
4. The use of artificial nipple at the early stage of life (such as that on the bottle) can also interfere with the baby’s ability to breastfeed.
5. Tightness of the frenulum (a whitish tissue under the tongue), may also result in latching troubles for the baby. While this is not an abnormality as such, many studies have found that it could interfere with breastfeeding.
6. Inverted or large nipples may also cause trouble for the baby to latch on. (1)
7. Other factors such as recent immunization, teething problems, introduction to certain other foods, illnesses such as sore throat and earache, changes in the feeding pattern, changes in the weather, overuse of the pacifier and any other discomfort associated with suckling may also cause breast refusal in babies. (2)
Tips To Detect Breast Refusal Better:
New moms can find it quite difficult to understand their newborn’s needs. In general, a baby who having trouble breastfeeding can demonstrate the following signs and symptoms.
- The baby has less than 6 wet nappies in a day.
- The baby’s urine is dark and has a strong smell.
- The baby feeds gets less than 8 breastfeeds in a 24 hour span. (3)
Tips To Breastfeed Your Baby Better:
If your baby is very small, and breast milk is his only source of food, you may want to take certain active steps to help him feed better.
- Make sure you are positioning your baby correctly while breastfeeding. Get some help if you’re doing it for the first time.
- Hold your baby close to your and encourage him to suckle.
- Try expressing a small amount of milk from your breast to allow your baby to get the taste, which may encourage him to suckle better.
- If your baby is fussy, you can try feeding him while he’s drowsy.
- If your baby is unwilling to latch onto one breast, try to feed him rom the other. (4)
- Feed your baby in a quiet, dark room with no distractions.
- Cuddle with your baby – the skin to skin contact will help your baby get interested in breastfeeding.
- Tackle teething issues – try rubbing his gums very gently before feeding.
- Maintain a breastfeeding routine. Avoid changes in the feeding routine, as they can upset the baby.
- The use of certain perfumes or fragranced soaps may also cause the baby to avoid latching on. If you suspect it is the case, avoid using those.
If your baby has been on a breastfeeding strike for more than a few days, and refuses to respond to any interactions, you may want to have your baby examined by a pediatrician. (5) Baby refusing to breastfeed is a problem which needs to be addressed immediately.
Did this article answer your queries about this concerning condition? Did any of these tips help you out? Let us know in the comments box below.
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