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Thread: 2 week old fussing/screaming while BF

  1. #1

    Default 2 week old fussing/screaming while BF

    I have gotten off to a great start BF my baby. Milk came in, baby is latching on well, gaining weight, lots of poopy/pee diapers. Problem is...she will latch on fine, start sucking, and then within a few minutes (sometimes sooner) she will pull off, start flailing her arms and legs, and scream the loudest scream ever! It sounds and looks like she is in pain.
    When she finally settles down, she gets all frantic and starts rooting for the nipple like she's starving. She'll then latch on again, only to have the same thing happen again in a minute or two. At first I suspected she was uncomfortable or that something was painful for her, but after checking her diaper, clothes, etc., I realized it is not problem. Then I thought maybe she has gas, but I have no way of knowing. I also tried swaddling her while BF, but that only makes her more upset.
    The only thing that seems to make her stop immediately is when I hold her upright. But then she starts getting fussy and wants to suck again, so I put her bak on the breast, only to have the whole cycle repeat. This goes on for an hour sometimes, almost every times I nurse. I am getting really frustrated! Any ideas on what could be causing her to do this? Is she just a finicky, fussy baby? Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    chesterfield, va

    Default Re: 2 week old fussing/screaming while B

    So glad you got off to a great start! That's always promising! With my son, I can feel on either side of his spinal cord towards the base where his stomach would be if it were on his back, if there are bubbles, then there's gas. He did what you're describing while we were in the hospital so I just fed him while standing. He seemed to grow out of that after a few days. Hope that helps, I don't have much experience! Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: 2 week old fussing/screaming while B

    That sounds like you could have an over active letdown. Does milk come spraying out when baby pops off?
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: 2 week old fussing/screaming while B

    I'm glad you've gotten off to a good start. I agree this sounds like overactive letdown (OALD), which is totally manageable. Your body at 2 weeks postpartum is still adjusting to the supply and demand system of breastfeeding and hasn't quite figured out how much milk it should be making. Chances are, you are making too much and it's coming out too fast for baby to handle effectively. OALD can also lead to gas in a newborn who is having to gulp to keep up with the flow. Try BF in a more laid back position, so the milk has to work against gravity to come out. Also, you can block feed (nurse off only one side for a couple hours, then switch for the next couple hours, etc. By letting your breasts get a little extra full this way, you are telling your body it doesn't need to make so much milk.)

    Don't pump if you don't need to.

    Here's a link about OALD that has lots of good information: http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010

  5. #5

    Default Re: 2 week old fussing/screaming while B

    The only thing that seems to make her stop immediately is when I hold her upright. But then she starts getting fussy and wants to suck again, so I put her bak on the breast, only to have the whole cycle repeat.
    If your baby is OK when upright, than why not nurse her upright? I often had to nurse my youngest this way, due to a combo of forceful letdown (me) and GERD (acid reflux) in baby. I would settle into the couch, couch potato style but with pillows propping me up so I was supported but more upright, and Sammy's legs would dangle down between my knees (he was huge.) Later I found I could lean back more and put him on top, but basically, still in the same sort of upright position.

    I did not know it then, but I was "doing" laid back positioning, with the modifications to make it work in our situation.

    Here is a futher explanation of laid back & why it is helpful (and swaddling often is not) I just posted in another thread:

    Have your tried laid back positioning? (Mom in a couch potato position, (leaning back) baby on top of mom, belly to mom, nose close to nipple, with baby at any angle you like?) This position helps with several of the issues you are describing, (difficult and/or painful latch, forceful letdown, clawing at the breasts.) Plus, it is very comfortable for mom. Soooo Important! Laid back website with video: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Document with description: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Is swaddling helping? If not, I would suggest not swaddling. It rarely helps with nursing, as it is actually suppressing the baby’s natural nursing behaviors. If you are doing it to stop baby from clawing the nipple out of his mouth, try laid back. Often in such cases, baby is not actually trying to claw mom or the nipple out, (even if he is very effective at doing so.) Instead he is trying to knead the breast (normal) but the positions mom is using are not allowing him to do that. Laid back positioning allows baby to put his arms around & hug & knead the breast rather than flailing around and knocking the breast out of their mouth and hurting mom.

    Laid back can feel awkward at first, and what position(s) you and baby will find most comfortable will depend on how you fit together best. Keep adjusting, laid back is a nursing style, much more than a nursing position, if that makes sense. What works is very individual. Forget positioning 'rules' and do what works best for you.

    Explore the biological nurturing website, you may find pix of moms doing 'laid back' in a more 'upright' fashion.

    Also you could try other measures to help with OALD or oversupply such as nursing frequently, nursing one side at a time, letting the first let down out into a towlel before latching...

    Is she just a finicky, fussy baby? Help!
    It is entirely normal for a baby at about two weeks to suddenly 'wake up' and start acting like it is starving to death if it does not get the milk NOW!!!! There is a very funny essay about this in the new The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition, 2010) (I highly encourage all breastfeeing moms to get this book!) This is normal and appropriate behavior, Baby will never again grow as fast as she is now, at the same time, tummy is still very tiny. she really does need to nurse a ton jsut to keep up. Don't worry. You and baby are doing just fine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Mobile, AL

    Default Re: 2 week old fussing/screaming while B

    My baby will be 2 weeks on Monday and what you are describing is EXACTLY what he does as well!! I wasn't sure how to describe it other than a boxing match at times. Thank you for posting, and hopefully everyone's advice can help us both!!

  7. #7

    Default Re: 2 week old fussing/screaming while B

    Thank you ladies so much! The ideas you have presented will hopefully help me. I was thinking that maybe overactive letdown was a possibility, but I don't get spraying from the breast when baby pops off. I will see milk leaking out kinda fast though. Baby does a lot of gulping while I'm feeding her, especially during the first 5 minutes or so. She also starts choking on too much milk when I am feeding her. I'm sure she's getting too much in her little mouth at once. Also, when I am feeding her on one side, I leak a ton from the other breast. It's like almost an entire cloth will get soaked! I will try the upright position and see what feels comfy for baby and I. I'll also try block feeding. Does anyone have any suggestions on helping baby with gas? I suspect she is full of gas and it's not feeling so great for her. I read the article on infant massage and tried it. It seemed to relieve some of the gas in her tummy, but not enough. Do the infant gas meds work, or is this something you ladies don't recommend?

  8. #8

    Default Re: 2 week old fussing/screaming while B

    If its forceful letdown, then helping baby handle the flow or taking steps to reduce the intensity of the flow will hopefully help with the gassiness, extreme gassiness is a symptom of forceful letdown because baby gets a higher concentration of foremilk and less hindmilk. (Some gassyness is just normal.) Personally I never found the gas drops all that helpful with my gassy/colicky/fussy number 1, and now that I understand more about how perfectly breastmilk primes the entire digestive system for life, and how other substances can interfere with that process (and I am not talking specifically about gas drops, just anything else.) I would hesitate to give my baby anything else until it is time to start solids.

    You do not have to see spraying for it to be forceful letdown. If baby is having difficulty handling the flow, that's quite possibly forceful letdown. But it may not necessarily be oversupply! I would not suggest block feeding yet, your baby is very young and your milk supply is still regulating. But here are other good ideas for forceful letdown in this article: http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: 2 week old fussing/screaming while B

    Agree with PPs -- I had similar issues and OALD. One thing that I think helped us was discovering how to nurse in a baby carrier (at 2wks, we'd be talking a moby or woven wrap I think) ...i.e. upright position, but baby being supported and (almost) hands free!

    I never block fed -- but I have always nursed from just one breast at a feeding. That seemed to work for us. If there was still too much milk coming out, I sometimes would hand express a little bit into a burp cloth, just enough so that my LO could handle the flow better.

    Also, we struggled a bit with the whole comfort nursing at first, since my OALD was giving him more milk than he wanted. That's where block feeding or just offering one side will help

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