Breastfeeding for New Moms
Q. My new baby refuses to nurse. What can I do?
A. Search for a local chapter of La Leche League (LLL) to find local support and advice about breastfeeding. LLL leaders are usually available to help.
When my own daughter was refusing to nurse during her first few days I was so worried about her. Her doctor assured me that this was normal and she would start to nurse once my milk came in. When she was still refusing to nurse after my milk came in, I was able to pump breast milk and feed her with a bottle for several feedings until she got the idea. As hard as it was, I am glad I resisted the pressure to give her a bottle of formula. She is now nursing well.
One thing that helped her to learn was to allow her to nurse in whatever position she ended up in. She was a fighter and often struggled when I tried to encourage her to nurse. She often ended up in some really unorthodox nursing positions, but when she would finally settle in and nurse, I just let her stay in whatever position she found comfortable. It was a little rough on my back sometimes, but there was no way she was going to stay in a typical nursing position when she was upset.
This article also has some great information about overcoming breastfeeding refusal.
A. Breastfeeding mothers today have many privacy choices available to them. I prefer to nurse discretely since I am more comfortable that way. I find that a nursing cover works well for us as my daughter is active during nursing, often detaching several times during a feeding and knocking blankets off of us.