Hi everyone! i was hoping to get some insight into Mr. Ethan's reluctance to nurse. He is 13 months old and lately arches his back and keeps pulling off when nursing and is decreasing my milk supply from being done before fully emptying the breast. I was unsure of this behavior and the biting he has been doing being signs of self weaning is here :help or if this is because he is getting his first molars? He will stop nursing to call for "dada" (traitor child) so i was hoping for some suggestions from moms or anyone with experience nursing a toddler. I find most people are unsure why I'm nursing him past a year of age and suggest I just stop it..like he is 15 or something and this is the dirty little family secret or something...so I don't have much support for nursing:rant
Thanks for any help!!!
Re: self weaning...???
Hi:hello and :welcome
It sounds like the both of you are a little frustrated. I'm sorry you don't have any real support where you are. Many moms here can definitely relate. You've come to the right place.:)
Most of the time when I hear of a baby behaving this way, I think of two things: forceful let-down or low supply. If it's low supply, baby usually keeps popping off and on the breast, keeps coming back to it like he wants more. If there's a forceful let-down, babies tend to arch their backs and scream and act like they don't want it. Is it at the beginning of a nursing session when he does this? Are you feeling a let-down when this occurs?
What about teething-can you tell if there's anything going on there? He could just be sore.:shrug
Re: self weaning...???
Thanks so much for responding so quick!
We struggle with low milk supply because Ethan has a short frenulum (tounge tied) that we had clipped but it didn't make a difference so he does not have the ability to empty the breast fully...so I :pump and take 2 different Rx drugs to increase milk supply
He is getting a molar and looks like he is getting thrush (yet again due to not emptying the breast weve been thru this a billion trillion times)
He arches his back in the begining of the session and pulls off and on for a while till the let down comes and then pulls off faster than I would like and fails to finish :banghead
maybe I need to stop slacking on the pumping and increase my milk supply??
I just get sooo tired of the fact I need to pump and wish I could be the lucky moms who just BF and there is no issues!!!
Re: self weaning...???
I have always battled to have enough supply. For a time, I took Reglan to get my supply up and it worked so well that I had oversupply for a time. Ds didn't quite like that, so I looked on the LLL website for resources. This one helped me tremendously. It has tips on how to help your little one handle so much milk or how to help you slow down the flow so that it's not so overwhelming.
This FAQ http://www.llli.org/FAQ/oversupply.html on oversupply was very helpful. This part in particular may be helpful for your situation.
Strategies to Reduce Milk Ejection Force
When a mother produces a large volume of milk, her milk ejection reflex will be stronger. All that milk rushing down the ducts may be more than baby can handle. It's like trying to drink from a garden hose that is turned on full-blast, while lying down on your back. In addition to choking, sputtering, and coughing when the milk comes out, baby may try to control the milk flow by pulling away and adapting a shallow latch. Shallow latching can be very painful for a mother. Or he may simply clamp down in an attempt to slow the flow, resulting in a "biting" sensation. Baby may also scream and arch his back to let you know that something needs to be changed.
It is sometimes recommended that mothers who have oversupply or an overactive milk ejection (let-down) hand-express or pump an ounce or so of milk prior to feeding to help slow the milk flow. However, this practice tends to be counterproductive, because removing that much milk from the breasts increases milk production, which in turn will increase the force of flow even more.
There are many strategies that can help manage a forceful milk ejection without increasing milk production. Placing the baby in a more upright position, so that his head is higher than the breast, will allow him more control during the feeding. Or position yourself so that you are leaning backwards, with the baby almost on top of you after he latches. In this position the milk has to flow "uphill," which will reduce the force of your milk ejection reflex.
Some mothers find that a "scissors" hold on the areola, with the nipple between the forefinger and middle finger, helps restrict the flow of milk. Another option is to apply pressure on the side of your breast with the heel of your hand. (Try to vary the position of your hand to avoid constricting the ducts and inadvertently causing a plug.) You may also find it helpful to breastfeed just as your baby is waking from naps. He will suck more gently when he is still sleepy.
If baby starts to choke/sputter, unlatch him and let the excess milk spray into a towel or cloth. Relatch him when the force of the milk ejection has lessened.
Many mothers with oversupply find that nursing in a side-lying position makes feedings go more smoothly because milk flows from the breast horizontally without the force of gravity and babies can let excess milk dribble downward from their mouths rather than having to swallow it all. (Place a towel under you and baby to absorb the extra milk.) Use a rolled-up receiving blanket against your baby's back to keep him from rolling away from you. If you are still lying down together at the next feeding and are ready to offer the other breast, you can just roll with your baby onto your other side, so that the second breast is against the bed and not flowing downhill with increasing force.
You may find that the side-lying position is somewhat difficult to master and that it is not as easy to get a good latch when lying down. Sometimes it helps to place baby with nipple pointing at his nose so that his neck is extended and he is looking up toward the breast as he latches. Some mothers latch baby onto the breast while sitting up and then slowly slide down into a side-lying position while holding baby gently but firmly so he stays attached. One great benefit of learning to nurse lying down is that you can drift off to sleep while your baby nurses. Don't worry that your baby will have difficulty breathing; babies choose air over food. So long as there are no pillows or blankets around his head, he will be able to move his head freely when he is finished nursing. He may rest his head against your breast as if it were a pillow. (Note that mothers with very large, pillowy breasts need to take special care that baby has room to move his head.) For more information about the side-lying position, see our (forthcoming) Side-Lying FAQ.
Some babies cope with their mothers' strong milk ejection by taking only a little milk at a time, stopping and starting frequently. It is almost as if they are enjoying several courses to their meal. This is absolutely fine; allow him to come on and off the breast as he needs to, making sure to keep offering your baby the same breast for each course so that he has the opportunity to get the cream.
Although it can be tempting to stretch out feedings when your nipples are sore, feeding baby before he gets extremely hungry will keep him from sucking too aggressively, which not only hurts when nipples are already sore, but can cause further nipple damage. An overly strong suck can also cause a stronger milk ejection, making the feeding more difficult.
Re: self weaning...???
My LO is doing the same thing but I am not having any trouble with supply or let down, it is due to our molars coming in. She bucks and thrashes like it is the worst thing for a few minutes and as soon as the let down happens she is calm and relaxed. I think it hurts to suck! Her gums are swollen and bright red:cry