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Why Your Baby May Be Resistent to Nursing


nursingWhen baby hits a phase of fussy nursing, many moms question their milk supply. In reality, a baby who resists or refuses nursing may be reacting to common, treatable conditions: hyperlactation, a slow letdown reflex, or discomfort.

Too much of a good thing

Hyperlactation is the result of an overly strong milk letdown reflex that causes milk to flow too quickly and forcibly for a baby to swallow comfortably. 

How to help

Nurse in a reclined position so both of you can relax.

Discomfort drama 

75% of American newborns are now breastfed.

Teething, earache, nasal congestion, dairy protein sensitivity, or mouth pain caused by thrush can make nursing difficult. 

How to help

If you suspect pain or illness, see your pediatrician. A dairy elimination diet can help relieve symptoms of dairy protein sensitivity. 

Slow letdown

A slow milk letdown reflex can frustrate some babies, particularly those who also receive bottles, since they provide instant milk gratification. 

How to help 

Gentle massage, heat, hand expression, and pumping can help get milk flowing. 

Get Back to Happy

Pump or hand-express to stay comfortable if your baby refuses to nurse. If you’re worried that your baby isn’t getting enough to drink, do a wet-diaper count. At least five to six wet diapers per day mean he’s probably taking in enough fluid. And take heart: like most babyhood phases, nursing resistance is usually short-lived. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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