My baby is 14 weeks old. She is gaining weight well, was 7 lbs at birth, 8 lbs 4 oz at 2 weeks, 11 lb 7 oz at 10 weeks, 13 lbs at 13 weeks. Breastfeeding came easily for us, but now it has turned into such a challenge.
I feed her, or attempt to feed, on demand, but lately she acts hungry all the time (hands in mouth, burying her face in my shoulder) but refuses to eat. Sometimes just putting her in the cradle hold position will get her screaming and arching away from me. Sometimes she will latch right on, suck 2-3 minutes, then pull off, look at the ceiling and smile and babble. The hollering doesn't start until I try to turn her back towards my breast. The only way she will eat for more than 3 minutes is in the side laying position. She fusses a little when we get into position, but not usually for more than a minute, and then she turns toward me and starts to eat and sleep on and off for anywhere from 30 min to an hour or more. I'm a SAHM with no other children so I can accommodate her nap nursing demands. But it's been suggested to me that I'm creating a bad habit. Should I stop doing this? I don't know how else to ensure she eats during the day.
At night, after her bedtime routine she nurses just fine (in the cradle hold). Then she wakes up every 1-2 hrs and nurses for about 3-7 min each time, which is wearing me out.
She seems to still be getting enough milk, although I've seen a slight decrease in her output: 5-6 wet diapers down from 7-8.
Should I be worried that she only eats while sleepy? She doesn't spit up very often, but I hear her swallowing a lot and breathing harder after burps, chewing on nothing, and sometimes gasping for air as she comes off my breast. Could this all be caused by silent reflux? Is she reverse cycling even though she has access to me 24/7? Could it be a nursing strike? The pediatrician said she would eat when she was hungry, but I don't feel like that's entirely true in our situation.
She's occasionally cried at my breast for over a month now, but it has steadily increased to every feeding and its so stressful. I thought breastfeeding is supposed to be comforting to her, but I feel like my baby hates it or that something about it hurts her and I don't know how to make it better. It's stressing me out. By the end of the day, I'm near tears and thinking about the sleepless night ahead compounds the situation.
Any advice would be much appreciated.