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Breast refusal

Breast refusal

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What can you do if your baby is refusing one breast?

  •  Be as calm and patient with your baby as you can if they’re refusing one breast – forcing them will only make it worse.

  • Try various breastfeeding positions, cradle hold, lying down, football hold etc.

  • Try to breastfeed baby when they are calm having awoken from a nap or fresh out of the bath.

  • Express milk onto their lips and tongue to encourage them to attach to the breast.

  • Facilitate skin-to-skin contact and allow natural attachment.

  • If your baby is still refusing the breast, offer the ‘favourite’ side first for a few minutes to settle baby, then offer the alternate side. You may have to switch frequently between sides until baby feeds.

Is breast refusal normal?

In most cases, breast refusal is temporary and can be resolved with appropriate management and support.

However, if you are still struggling and concerned for your baby’s welfare it is important to seek advice from your healthcare provider.

Written by Keryn Thompson RM & IBCLC (L-301766)

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