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Breast Refusal - A WORRY???

Breast Refusal - A WORRY???

On the occasion of the World's Breast Feeding Week, which is celebrated in the first week of August every year, here are a few tips for new mothers to tackle breast refusal by the new born.

A baby, who refuses to breastfeed and is not in the process of being weaned, is said to be on a "breastfeeding strike". It is your baby's way of telling you that something is wrong. It will take a little investigative work to identify the problem.

What are the most likely causes of breast refusal?

• Your baby is not latching on properly and cannot get a good enough mouthful of breast to feed effectively. Get help from your doctor to improve the situation.
• Nipple confusion is when a baby may become confused if offered a bottle feed sometimes. Sucking from a bottle needs a different action when compared to that needed for breastfeeding, which involves the jaw and the tongue as well.
• Mouth pain from teething, a cold sore or an infection (such as thrush).
• Your baby reacting to your shout of pain when she bites your breast.
• Your baby has an ear infection, which causes pressure or pain while breastfeeding.
• A cold or a stuffy nose, which makes breathing difficult while breastfeeding.
• Supplementing with too many bottles of formula feed, resulting in reduced milk supply.
• Strong sprays of breast milk that may make your baby gag.
• Regular distractions, noise or interruptions while breastfeeding.
• Repeatedly letting your baby cry when she wants to feed.
• A major disruption in your baby's routine, such as a change in the environment or you returning to work.
• An unusually long separation from you.

Overcoming breast refusal:

Breast refusal can be a worrying and upsetting experience, it should be handled with patience and support.

•Encouraging your baby to breastfeed, you will need to express your milk by hand or pump every few hours (about as often as your baby had been breastfeeding) by this it will help prevent engorgement or mastitis and give your baby the milk that she needs.

•Breastfeed in different positions.

•Don't try to force or coax your baby to take the nipple in her mouth. This may keep her away from your breast.

•Try offering the breast when your baby is asleep or very sleepy.

•Visit your doctor without fail to rule out any medical causes or confusion.

•Give your baby more physical contact. You may have to hold her more often or carry her while you work around the home. Skin-to-skin contact will make her feel more warmth (try breastfeeding without a shirt on or in a warm bath).

It is important to breastfeed your baby!! With patience and persistence you'll get back on course with comfort.


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