Breast Rejection: Solutions for Moms Who Say “My Baby Isn’t Sucking!”

You want to breastfeed your baby as much as possible, we know. But sometimes the baby does not want to suckle even if he is hungry, so he is constantly restless and the situation called breast rejection begins. So why doesn’t the baby suckle? We talked about the situations that cause this in this article. Let’s reassure all mothers who say “my baby is not breastfeeding”.

Let’s find out first: What is breast rejection?

For various reasons, the baby;

  • Not wanting to suck
  • Turning its head when it comes to the breast,
  • Baby crying and screaming at the breast,
  • The situation of giving up the breast in a short time while breastfeeding is called breast rejection. This process can repeat in certain periods and unfortunately sometimes it can push the limits of the mother’s patience. During the period of refusing the breast in babies, mothers say, “What if he does not breastfeed!” they can stress themselves out of fear, and this uneasiness can also be reflected in the baby.

There are many answers to the question of what causes breast rejection. We have mentioned the causes and solutions below. Let’s see why babies don’t want to suckle?

1- Thrush

Thrush in babies is a very common mouth infection! This problem, caused by the fungus called Candida Albicans, is in the baby’s mouth; It appears as white layers on the tongue, palate and inner surface of the cheeks. Rarely, it can occur in the anus, but it can be confused with diaper rash because it creates a red layer here.

If your baby has thrush in his mouth, he doesn’t want to suck, and he gets restless when anything touches his mouth. He or she will likely have difficulty in sucking and swallowing.

2- Nasal congestion

When the baby suffers from diseases such as cold, flu or allergies, he will face the problem of nasal congestion. In this case, he will leave the breast to breathe through his mouth and therefore will not want to suck. This is one of the most important causes of breast rejection in babies. You can use some spray medications, nasal aspirator and steam humidifier with the advice of your doctor to relieve your baby’s nasal congestion.

3- Ear infection

The baby may have an ear infection for reasons such as febrile illnesses, colds or improper cleaning. In such a case, the pain in the baby’s ear will spread to his jaw, and the swallowing movement he will make while sucking will cause great pain. Therefore, his refusal to suck will also be inevitable.

If your baby is crying with his hand to his ear, you may be thinking of an infection. You should definitely get help from your doctor without waiting for the resolution of the ear infection.

4- Teething

Your baby’s first 5th-10th. He will have his first tooth in a month. During this process, their teeth, which are impatient to come to the surface, will put pressure on their gums. This pressure will also cause tenderness, pain and tension. So it’s normal for your baby to refuse to suckle during the teething period!

To treat refusal of sucking due to teething and to minimize sensitivity in the gums, you can use cold teethers and, with the recommendation of your doctor, desensitizing gels. Again, if you have a fever, you can use mild antipyretics and pain relievers.

5- Pressurized milk

When your milk flow is too fast and intense, your baby’s mouth becomes too full, he has difficulty in swallowing, and this excess milk can go into his throat. In such a case, the baby may avoid breastfeeding.

As a solution to breast rejection caused by milk density, you need to reduce milk flow. For this, you can empty your milk by expressing excess milk before breastfeeding. You can also prevent milk from getting into your baby’s throat by using the breastfeeding position by lying on your back.

6- Wrong breastfeeding position

Especially “My newborn baby is not sucking!” Breastfeeding position is an issue that mothers should pay attention to! If you are using an incorrect breastfeeding position that your baby is not comfortable with, she may refuse the breast. In such a situation, the baby does not want to suckle because he cannot hold the breast comfortably, and pulls his head back.

If your baby makes a clicking sound when sucking and does not take the entire breast areola (the brown part around the nipple) into his mouth, you may find that the position you are using is wrong.

7- Mother’s diet

Whether you eat bitter, fragrant or spicy foods and any changes you make to your diet will affect the taste of your milk. In such a case, your baby may not want to suckle because of this new taste.

Pediatric Specialist Dr. Dr. Öznur Yılmaz Gondal suggests that if you think that’s the problem, you should express some of your milk by expressing it, then try breastfeeding.

8- The baby is lactose intolerant

Lactose is milk sugar and is also found in breast milk. If your baby has lactose intolerance, he cannot digest his milk in his gut. As a result, the baby will have gaseous and liquid, sometimes foamy, green-colored poop. This problem is especially seen 6 months ago. This may be the reason why the 2 or 3 month old baby refuses to feed.

Lactation consultant Pınar Güler says that in such a case, her baby may not want to breastfeed. Until the baby’s intestinal problem is resolved, breastfeeding may also be discontinued.

9- Food allergy

Foods such as cow’s milk, strawberries, tomatoes, eggs can cause allergies in the baby. When you consume such foods, their properties are transferred to your milk and therefore to your baby. In such a case, reactions can be seen on the baby’s skin, and reflux, if any, can be triggered. Since the baby has these problems in the continuation, he does not want to suck his milk. For this reason, in order to feed your baby who refuses to breastfeed, you need to remove foods that are at risk of allergies from your diet.

10- Baby reflux

Because of the short distance between the baby’s stomach and the esophagus and the stomach muscles only working while swallowing, he may have reflux problem. In this case, the milk he sucks rises up from his stomach after a while and he may vomit a mouthful sometimes. This problem is especially increased when the baby is placed on his back. In such a case, your baby does not want to suckle even if he is hungry.

Against breast rejection caused by reflux, you can be careful not to overfeed your baby and use a reflux pillow.

11- The mother is pregnant

If you became pregnant while breastfeeding, the taste of your milk will also change due to the changing hormones in this process. Because of the milk that can become bitter during pregnancy, the baby may refuse to suckle.

12- Mood of the mother

If you try to breastfeed your baby when you are nervous and stressed, he will be affected by this mood and will stop breastfeeding by getting restless. Therefore, you should first calm down and breastfeed your baby in a comfortable and peaceful environment.

13- Bottle habit

The biggest complaint of mothers who have to feed their babies with a bottle for various reasons such as working, is “My baby is used to the bottle, he is not feeding!” is happening. This is very normal, the baby may refuse the breast when the baby gets used to the bottle and tries to breastfeed again. But in such a case, do not give up breastfeeding, try to feed the baby who is used to the bottle until he can grasp it again to get used to the breast.

14- Changing the breastfeeding pattern

You’ve always been breastfeeding your baby at certain times of the day, but for some reason you had to change your routine. It will be difficult for your baby to get used to this process and he will refuse to suckle. Because, according to Ayşe Öner, babies may have difficulty in giving up the things they are used to, especially after the 6th month.

15- Having an element around to distract your baby

Babies generally like to be fed in silence and in an environment where they are alone with their mothers. Unfamiliar sounds and faces in the environment can cause them to be distracted and distracted, which can prevent them from sucking.

So what to do with the baby who refuses to breastfeed for this reason? It is very simple, quieting the environment where you will breastfeed, keeping the light dim if possible and being alone can help your baby to suckle in peace.

16- Tongue tie

tongue tie; It is a piece of tissue that keeps the tongue fixed to the lower jaw. In some cases, this piece is shorter and thicker than it should be. In this case, the baby cannot move his tongue as he wishes, cannot fully grasp the breast and cannot feed adequately. He sweats excessively and gets tired while trying to suck. After that, she starts not wanting the breast.

How to prevent breast rejection?

As we mentioned above, there are many things that cause breast rejection and its treatment is done for these reasons. Since the baby who does not breastfeed will face some health problems, the problem must be resolved.

prof. Dr. Gülbin Gökçay talked about a few methods that you can apply to prevent breast rejection, except in cases such as illness. These methods are:

  • Breastfeed your baby whenever she wants.
  • Use the bottle and pacifier as little as possible.
  • Try to breastfeed your baby in quiet and peaceful environments.
  • Observe your baby well, try to solve the problem without wasting time when it comes to physical changes.
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