I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO BREASTFEED BUT MY BABY REFUSES: WHAT TO DO.
The breast milk is the best you can afford babies especially the first six months of life. Aside mothers who do not subscribe to breastfeeding, others are faced with babies who (according to them) refuse breastfeeding.
Do not stone me if I say babies do not refuse breastfeeding/breast milk (I’ll be using these terms interchangeably). It only appears they refuse when they do not have enough (satisfaction).
Again, this dissatisfaction does not mean they want garri and soup or pap and bread. It means they want more milk.
Of course, you go extra when you don’t have a fill! The dissatisfaction might be infant related or mother related.
INFANT RELATED CAUSES OF REFUSAL TO BREASTFEED:
✍️ Lack of sucking reflex.
✍️ Improper latching onto the breast
✍️ Difficulty sucking and swallowing at the same time. This makes them irritable during breastfeeding.
✍️ Holding onto the nipple alone. The nipple is just but a passage way; a channel through which breast milk flows. To have much breast milk, the baby is expected to grasp up to the areola (the black portion of the breast). Etc.
MATERNAL RELATED CAUSES
✍️. Inverted/everted nipple
✍️ Improper positioning of the baby to breast
✍️ Insufficient breast milk either as a result of malnutrition, emotional/ psychological state or disease condition.
WHAT TO DO:
✍️ Ensure baby has rooting and sucking reflex. Rooting reflex is simply the search for breast by babies. (You observe babies ‘scouting’ for breast).
✍️ Ensure baby grasp the breast up to the areola and not the nipple alone.
✍️ Express breast milk and feed either with feeder or cup and spoon.
✍️Do not wait for baby to be hungry before you feed. Do not wait until you’re done with chores at hand before you offer breast. FEED ON DEMAND! Waiting for baby to cry 😭😭😭😭😭😭 before feed makes them irritable and they’ll not feed well at that time.
✍️ Breastfeed bits more frequently than much sparingly.
✍️ Sit properly and position baby properly while feeding. Take baby to breast and not breast to baby (ensure you do not bend over the baby rather, sit uprightly).
✍️ Ensure baby empties one breast before offering another.
You can not possibly have an engorged breast before and after breastfeeding. It must sag, become flappy and of course, empty! Otherwise, you didn’t feed and baby didn’t suck too. 💯💯💯💯💯
✍️Take foods that boosts breast milk production; oats, fenugreek seed/powder, hot fluids/beverages, garlic and ginger (optional) etc.
✍️ Employ the services of hubby to assist in sucking. This will cause blocked ducts to open up for free flow (apologies to single mothers).
✍️ Apply warm water to breasts. This will promote dilatation of ducts for free flow.
✍️ Apply cold water to nipple. This will cause constriction that will make the nipple erected so baby can grasp properly.
✍️ Stay off worries 💯💯. One thing seen to affect breast milk production is the mother’s state of mind. Let go pains and hurts. Focus on your bundle of joy ❤️💯.
✍️ There’s no reason baby shouldn’t be exclusively breastfed! Delete such thoughts. Bind and cast out😁😁.
Note: baby understands only what you feed him/her. You’re the sole determinant of what they eat. It’s your thoughts that they want formula not theirs! It’s your decision to swap from breast milk to another feed not theirs.
Do they talk?🤔
Do they stand up to make a decision?🤔
The ball is in your court!😂👀😂
Article written by Nurse Imajesus Peter Johnson on the occasion of the World Breastfeeding Week in August 2021