Sometimes, a baby that is breast fed may suddenly
decide to refuse breast feeding. The baby will
pull away from the breast, then toss his head from
side to side. This can happen at anytime, so there
really is no way to predict it happening.
Refusal to feed from the breast could occur when the
baby is in pain. Normally, this can be due to an
ear infection, sore head from vacuum delivery,
thrush in the baby’s mouth, or teething.
The use of dummies, teats or nipple shields may also
contribute to refusal. Some babies actually find
it difficult to feed from the breast and bottle as
the sucking action is very different. Some become
confused, therefore it’s always best to avoid using
any type of teats or dummies.
Sometimes, the milk just takes bitter. This can
be due to antibiotics, if you starting or in the
middle of your period, or nipple creams. If the
milk tastes bitter, your baby will normally not
want to feed.
Solving the problems
First, you should always try to identify what may
have caused the breast refusal then begin to treat
the cause. Always remain patient and gentle with
your baby. Be sure to hold your baby next to you,
skin to skin, so that he can take the breast when
he wants to, so that he begins to realize that
breast feeding is both enjoyable and comfortable.
Older babies may suddenly take shorter and fewer
breast feeds, although this can be normal with
some babies. Therefore, it’s always best not to
try and make the baby feed longer, but instead let
the baby decide how often and also how long each
individual feeding will last.