My 7 months old suddenly refuses to nurse
My 7 months old was exclusively breastfed for 4 months, then I started having low milk supply and supplementing with formula. Whatever I did to try increase my milk supply just didn't work. I know my milk supply is not much nowdays, but still my baby was nursing for a while both breasts in each feeding. I think breastfeeding him got difficult not only because of my milk supply but also because he is just too active and wants to see around, even though I nurse him in a quiet room. He has 2 teeth now, and he's also been biting me sometimes, but still nursed. At nights though, he used to nursed very well for a long time. Now it has been 4 days since he suddenly stop nursing. I've read about nursing strikes, and he has had nursing strikes before, but during the strikes, he continued to nurse at nights. This feels different, he won't even try to latch. At nights, even if I try to sleep feed him, he opens his mouth and as soon as he feels it's the breast he turns around and continues to sleep. I have been pumping my milk to keep my milk supply and giving him the milk in bottles, because I don't know what else to try to get him to nurse again. I have been very patient and offering the breast many times (still trying), I have tried having more skin contact, we sleep together every morning, I have tried to nurse in different positions, I have tried to nurse while walking, I have tried to nurse him at nights, I have tried to use nipple shields. He just usually fusses, and more than fussing it feels like he is throwing a tantrum! What to do? What could this be? Can he be self weaning?
Answer from the lactation consultant:
Sounds like a combination of low milk supply and developmental issues.
It is common for babies 7-9 months to begin to be curious while nursing and sometimes even have a nursing strike due to being to busy to nurse.
However, I think your low milk supply is playing a bigger role.
Have you tried any galactogogues to increase supply? My favorite is Motherloves More Milk Plus Special Blend. I would give it a try along with pumping 8-12 times a day for 20-30 minutes with a good double electric pump. If your supply does not increase, see a board certified lactation consultant who can assess you. If there is no milk there for baby he will lose interest easier.
Liz Pevytoe, RN, IBCLC