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Thread: Intermittent Feeding and On/off latching

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Smile Intermittent Feeding and On/off latching

    Our daughter is three weeks old and I've been breastfeeding from the start, though not without the typical soreness, etc that other mothers seem to experience at first. Lately the problem is with her latch and the length of her feedings. They typically last only about 10-15 minutes, then she pushes me away for a bit then wants to feed again. I call her my intermittent feeder! Is this normal? Also, I can finally get her to latch alright, but then she unlatches and bobs around seemingly frustrated with something. She also makes that clicking sound frequently even though it appears. That she is latched on correctly. I know she's getting enough because her bowel movements are very regular and she is gaining weight normally. I'm trying all different types of positions to find one she prefers, because at first it seemed like perhaps my let down was too much. So, we've been trying the laid back and side positions. She's still bobbing around! Any suggestions?

    Thank you!

    Olivia's Mom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: Intermittent Feeding and On/off latc

    Welcome to the forum! What you describe sounds pretty normal for a 3 week old baby, though there are a few things that you might be able to improve. When a baby is gaining weight and producing the right number of diapers, and mom is not feeling sore, you know that things are going really right on the most basic level!

    When baby unlatches after that 10-15 minute feeding, what do you see? Are you letting down that that point? You might see milk squirt, stream, or drip from the breast if you are. Often when a baby pulls off the breast during a feeding, she's trying to get away from a fast letdown. Fast letdowns can also explain the clicking sound- when a baby clicks, she's breaking suction, and that's another thing that can help her cope with a fast flow of milk.

    If a fast letdown is causing your baby to pull away, it would also explain why she wants to feed again soon after- either she wsn't full to begin with, and wants a bit more, or she has learned that if she pulls off for a moment the letdown will subside, allowing her to get back on for some peaceful comfort nursing.

    Couple more questions-
    - Do you feel full or engorged a lot?
    - Do you leak frequently?
    - If you pump, how many oz would be typical output? (And if you are pumping, why are you pumping?)
    - Does baby ever choke, cough, splutter, or gag when nursing?
    - What color are baby's poops? Yellow like cheap mustard, or greenish (can be spinach green, fluorescent green, greenish-brown, etc.)?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Intermittent Feeding and On/off latc

    Here is some more info on clicking: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...n-nursing.html
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Intermittent Feeding and On/off latc

    Popping on and off can also happen when babies are trying to eliminate or have just done so. My LO hated being wet, and would pop on/off a lot if he had a wet diaper (then we started EC, pottying him -- and I discovered he started to pop on/off before he had to pee/poop).
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Intermittent Feeding and On/off latc

    It can be perfectly normal for a baby to nurse 'intermittently' but since baby seems frustrated, I agree, forceful letdown may be involved. For the bobbing and that, keep trying laid back positions, remember this encompasses is a big range of positions for both you and baby and there is no single right way to position to nurse. If you want more ideas on this let me know. Also see if it might be forceful letdown.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Intermittent Feeding and On/off latc

    Thank you ladies!

    Mommal, To answer your questions: yes, I feel engorged a lot, mostly in the morning though she feeds about 4 times at night. Yes, I do leak throughout the day. I was pumping I the beginning, about 5 oz per breast for A few days. Before I figured out that I was probably making the problem worse because I was telling my body that the demand was more than it was. Yes, she does choke and sputter a lot, and milk often dribbles from her mouth when she breaks suction. Her poops are yellow and light, and she goes often throughout the day.

    Thanks so much!

    Lllmeg - I will take all of your recommendations, thank you!

    Thanks for the website redpowerlady! I will definitely check it out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Intermittent Feeding and On/off latc

    Thanks for answering those questions! It sounds like you started out with way more milk than your baby needed, and probably still have some degree of oversupply. That would explain the choking and spluttering at the breast, the pulling away, and the clicking. You've already taken some really good steps to manage the problem by quitting the pumping (your instincts were spot-on regarding pumping causing oversupply problems) and adopting reclined nursing positions. Since your baby is having perfect poops (yellow, frequent), it sounds like the oversupply isn't too bad and that at this point all you need to do is to continue to nurse on demand. Eventually your supply should adjust downwards to match demand more or less perfectly, or your baby will grow into the supply you have.

    It sounds like you're doing just wonderfully!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Intermittent Feeding and On/off latc

    My DS would click while feeding. It was his way of managing my very fast milk flow.

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