Babies love to breastfeed. The most likely reason any baby is refusing the mother’s breast is that they are full. If this is the case, there isn’t much to worry about. They’ll be back hungry and craving for more. However, it is different when a mother knows her child hasn’t had any food yet is refusing to take some. In this article, we will discuss reasons that explain a baby refusing the breasts.
When a newborn is refusing to breastfeed, the first reason that comes to mind is the mother’s breastfeeding technique. Breastfeeding is not innate, it is learned with practice. The first rule is to put the breast to the baby, not otherwise. The next rule is that some part of the areola, not just the entire nipple should be in the baby’s mouth. Your position should be comfortable for you and the baby. All these help a baby’s latch; which is the way a baby’s mouth attaches to the breast. A baby with a poor latch gets tired easily and gives up after many tries.
Sometimes, the problem with a baby’s latch is that it isn’t strong enough to feed. This happens often with premature babies. They also have small mouths that can not latch well. Most times, they often have to receive special care for some time before they are allowed to go home.
At other times, the baby’s latch is sufficient and the mother’s technique is perfect. Why isn’t the baby breastfeeding well still? Inverted or flat nipples. Most babies breastfeed well with inverted and flat nipples. However, some don’t and that’s a problem. Nipple stimulation or using a breast pump may help draw the out before breastfeeding. It may also be that breast milk production is not sufficient. This usually improves with time although some mothers have to supplement with infant formula.
Some babies have an injury or disability from birth that makes breastfeeding difficult. The diagnosis will be made in the hospital after a doctor’s assessment.
Older babies are not new to breastfeeding. They have taken it well before. Now, they are having a hard time breastfeeding. Why is this? Sometimes they’re just fast feeders. Older babies tend to get distracted by the slightest disturbance. They will get their milk later but they need to do something else for the time being. These reasons appear normal. What isn’t?
Cold. Cold can cause a stuffy nose. This means that their mouth is what they use to breathe. They will find it difficult to breastfeed at the same time.
Pain. A baby that is teething or has an ear infection or any other thing causing pain will find it difficult to breastfeed.
Taste. Older babies can sense the change in milk taste. This may be due to certain foods, hormonal changes, and others. If your baby doesn’t like what they taste, they will refuse to take it.
What Can Mothers Do?
Ensure that your breastfeeding technique is comfortable and your child latches on well. Breastfeed older babies in a quiet and dark environment. Sometimes, you may need to express your breast milk with a pump into a feeding bottle or cup. Always offer the breasts but do not force them to breastfeed.
Talk to another mother with experience for help. See a doctor if the symptoms don’t improve.