If My Baby Doesn't Want to Breasfeed, What Should I Do?
If your baby refuses your breast, it might be due to discomfort (congestion, sore throat, sore gums, illness) or frustration (startled, low milk supply). There can be other reasons, such as your baby being distracted or your mood changing (for example, you're stressed lately or you're using different personal care products).
Hopefully, everything will return to normal within a few days. Until there is a serious problem (such as your baby refuses to take a bottle or cup, is losing weight, peeing or pooping are unusual or less frequent), the nursing strike will surely end. If so, you should contact the doctor immediately. The lack of hydration and nutrients might affect the health of your baby and affect the development of his/her brain if the nursing strike is taking too long (more than a week).
Mothers worry about this refusal of breast milk because their newborns aren't being provided with enough nutrition to grow. Hence, it's essential that you continue to give your children milk through a cup or bottle during this nursing strike. Despite the stress, it is important that you are still feeding your baby in some way.
It won't be long before your baby is back at the breast. During that time, pumping or hand-expressing breastmilk is a smart way to maintain the supply. By doing this, your body knows that your milk is still needed. Milk supply will decrease if the body thinks it is no longer needed. When your baby eventually returns to the breast, this can pose a problem. If the milk supply is slow and low, the baby might become frustrated.
This nursing strike is largely driven by frustration. Along with the low milk supply that makes feeding difficult, the baby might also be frustrated with the milk's taste (the taste of the milk may be affected by hormonal changes, exercise due to lactic acid buildup, and certain medications, smoking and alcohol).
Yelling or reacting negatively to the baby could be another reason the baby was startled. It's therefore imperative to remain calm, whether you're with your baby. Stress impacts your baby's condition, including how well he or she receives your breastmilk.
BABY NURSING - HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR BABY
It is still important to try to feed your baby, even though he/she is on a nursing strike. When your baby is already sleepy, it's okay to stop and try again later. Changing your baby's position will also help him/her feel comfortable. To minimize distractions, it's a good idea to feed your baby in a dark and quiet room. It is also helpful to maintain a relaxed attitude and have skin-to-skin contact.
It's crucial to make every breastfeeding session a positive one. By doing so, your baby will always feel at ease and relaxed. If your baby regularly receives enough breastmilk, he/she will be able to develop appropriately physically and mentally.