Help! My Baby Isn’t Breastfeeding – What Should I Do?

When your baby isn’t breastfeeding, it’s easy to start panicking about why you’re having so much trouble. Suddenly you start thinking that your baby is sick, or that maybe you’re not breastfeeding right. But before you start panicking, relax: this article will show you what you should do if your baby isn’t breastfeeding:

What You Should Do

  • If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, try out these tips and techniques to get your newborn to successful breastfeed:
  • Feed the baby: Your milk is always the preferred choice. However, if you can’t use your milk, get human milk from a milk bank. If none of these are viable options, then you should resort to infant formula.
  • It’s important to express milk regularly in order to maintain your milk supply.
    Try to make as much skin-on-skin contact with your newborn baby as possible, preferably chest-to-chest.
  • Keep your breastfeeding sessions simple and short. The best breastfeeding sessions are less than 10 minutes long, and totally relaxed. Be sure to handle your baby in a confident yet gentle manner.
  • Try changing up positions to encourage your baby to feed. For example, side-lying is one of my favorite breastfeeding positions for reluctant nursers.
    Try alternative feeding methods, like a cup, spoon, or dropper. Ask your lactation consultant about using a SNS or nipple shield.
  • Nurse the baby in a dim room with soft music playing. Sit in a rocking chair or lightly bounce your baby to encourage breastfeeding. Also, consider nursing your baby when he or she is drowsy.
  • If none of these tips are working, get help from a professional as soon as possible.

What You Shouldn’t Do

Remember, when it comes to breastfeeding, patience is the name of the game. Here’s what new moms should NOT do to get their babies to breastfeed:

  • Don’t try to starve your baby into breastfeeding.
  • Don’t try to physically force the baby onto your breast.
  • Don’t use artificial nipples to feed – this should only be used as a last resort and with the help of a lactation consultant.
  • Don’t try to breastfeed the baby for an extended period of time.
  • Don’t use pacifiers.

Above all, don’t get frustrated or upset the baby when trying to breastfeed. Your baby will start breastfeeding without the hassle soon enough, especially if you use these lactation tips and techniques!