Baby's starving but won't eat.

Kimberly - posted on 01/23/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have a bad sinus infection and am on antibiotics. My 4 month old is so hungry but refusing both breasts. I think it might be from the meds and stuff. I really don't want to give him formula. What should I do?

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Rebecca - posted on 01/23/2010

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I agree with the other ladies, just keep offering the breast to her. I wouldnt give her bottles though because if it is a nursing strike it can be very difficult to get them back to the breast after a bottle. I would do either the SNS or in a sippy or regular cup. Dont worry she will eat once she gets hungry enough. If the breast is the only place that she has recieved nourishment from then she knows its the only place she will get it.....unless you give bottles??

Sarah - posted on 01/23/2010

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Check out www.kellymom.com and search for nursing strike. There's lots of good info there about how to "seduce" your baby into nursing again, and lots of links. Also, a lactation consultant can help you. Could be that the med. is causing a problem and that it can be changed, but there are several other things that could be causing the nursing strike. I just went through 3 days of my 5-month old hardly nursing at all, including a 15-hour total strike. I pumped and had my older kids and husband offer my milk in a training cup and bottles, which helped. My baby would nurse when almost completely asleep, so go for the night feedings. And my LAC had me walking around topless, playing with baby so that my breasts were easily accessed, but I wasn't pressing nursing on her, rather letting her initiate when she wanted. I also was able to get her to nurse while we took a bath together. Keep it casual. It will pass. Just make sure she still is wetting at least 4 diapers per day and that she isn't listless. As long as she is still interested in toys, etc., she is doing o.k. Best of luck.

Juliana - posted on 01/23/2010

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Give him formula! You can continue to offer the breast first and then top your baby up with formula. You don't want your baby getting sick.

Geralyn - posted on 01/23/2010

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Ask your pharmacist whether the antibiotic is safe for breastfeeding. [When my regular doc was prescribing an antibiotic for me, I made sure that they looked up the class. My reg doc doesn't see many lactating women, as his patient load is, for the most part, 70+ years of age. I didn't want to trust his knowledge of "BFing-safe" drugs. Pharmacists know everything about drugs....] If I recall correctly, you want to stay with the Class B. The antibiotic could be affecting the taste of your milk, which could affect his accepting freshly pumped milk through a bottle. Do you have any frozen breast milk to use?

May I ask how long he has been refusing both breasts? At 4 months, babies go through a big growth spurt. That usually means their appetite increases, but maybe he's having growing pains? Or could he not be feeling well? My son, in his first year, had several throat infections - one was strep, the other was stomachitis (blisters on his tonsils), and he would not even swallow.... Maybe have his pediatrician see him?

I know that's scary when they don't eat. It usually has to do with teething or not feeling well in my experience.... Good luck with your son.

I actually have a BF'ing book that lists the safer drugs, if you want to send me a message with the name of the antibiotic I could look it up....

Hannah - posted on 01/23/2010

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Call your prescribing physician and make sure the medication is safe for breastfeeding. Some antibiotics are not, or can be passed to your child and give them bad gas, or make your milk taste funny.

If the Dr says it is safe to continue breastfeeding, then try aggresive burping and maybe consider giving gas drops (such as Mylecon) 30 min or so prior to planned feeding.

If that does not work, then go with Erica's idea of pumping and bottling it to him. Make sure you are using a breastfeeding-friendly bottle, such as BreastFlow by The First Years, or MAM.

Heather - posted on 01/23/2010

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Just try a regular cup with a 1oz or 2 of BM if he's screaming to eat.. keep offering your breast he'll eventually take it again. Also can you ask for a different antibiotic?

April - posted on 01/23/2010

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don't try a bottle. if your son gets used to it, he may never go back to the breast. you may end up using bottles all the time. instead try a SNS (supplemental nursing system). it's a tube that can attach to your finger. when the baby sucks on it, he'll get your expressed milk.

Ashley - posted on 01/23/2010

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Definitely call your local lactation consultant, but I think Erica has a good idea by trying a bottle. Maybe try teasing his mouth with your finger to get him excited to eat.

Erica - posted on 01/23/2010

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I took antibiotics and my girls still took my breasts but all babies are different. Can you pump and try to give your baby your breast milk from a bottle? Maybe it's just the smell and that wouldn't be as strong in a bottle. I also think that it may take a little longer but your baby will eat when she's extremely hungry. I wouldn't give in to formula yet. You could also call your doctor or a lactation consultant and see if they have any recommendations.

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