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Thread: Pulling off and Frustration at feedings

  1. #1

    Default Pulling off and Frustration at feedings

    My daughter is 4 1/2 months old and she is my first. She is exclusively breastfed and has been doing wonderfully since day one. However, about 3 weeks ago or so she started getting very fussy at her feedings and it is still continuing. She acts hungry and I offer her the breast and she will suck for a few moments and then pull off and then latch back, she does this over and over through the whole feeding. It is mostly on my left side (which does not flow as fast as my right). She finally gets to the point that she is screaming inconsolably. And will really only latch on my right.

    I thought it might be an ear infection at first. We went to the Dr and sure enough it was. She was on meds and the pulling off got a little better. She went back and the infection is gone but the pulling off over and over is still going on. The Dr. told me to pump until my let down starts and this should solve the problem however, it did not help. They seem to be dismissing the problem and she does not seem to be teething....and it seems to be more than just a few day nursing strike (I think). This has been going on for a while now, she is gaining weight and having wet/poopy diapers daily, but I cannot figure out why she is pulling off over and over and it is causing her frustration and I'm afraid my supply in my left side is going to dry up.

    Any help or advice would be appreciated...Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Pulling off and Frustration at feedings

    Have you tried walking around while getting her to latch? A2 did this same thing for a while and the only thing that would keep her on was me walking around. A pain I know but I only had to do it for a couple of weeks. You might also want to try nursing her in a dark room and let her hold something soft like a blanket or small lovey. That helps A2. She also prefers my right side.
    Melissa

    Young SAHM of
    Afton (A1) (1/24/09) and
    Autumn (A2) (8/29/11)

    Sealed in the SLC Temple

    and and now CDing!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,343

    Default Re: Pulling off and Frustration at feedings

    Interesting problem. I mean, I'm sure it's terribly frustrating for you, but it's interesting to me! Is baby okay with the right breast? Or does she do the same pull off and scream routine there? And what would happen if you offered the left breast but maintained baby in the same nursing position she used on the right? (Sometimes a baby just hates lying on one side).

    Sometimes the behavior you mention is just a quirk that baby has picked up. In her little mind, pulling off over and over and fussing is what makes the milk come out.

    As long as she is having sufficient wet diapers and is gaining weight at a normal pace, I think this sounds like one of those "this too shall pass" issues that you put up until baby grows out of it.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Pulling off and Frustration at feedings

    It may be her age-she is starting to notice things around her and wants to interact with you/family, see what is going on. It may work to feed her in a dark quiet room, or at least during the feedings that she seems to pull off the most (for me it was in the evenings). TV/radio in the background can be enough of a distraction for baby to pull off.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pulling off and Frustration at feedings

    Thank you so much to everyone. All of this information is very helpful. I tried walking her around while nursing her this morning and it was the first time she hasn't pulled off. The house was also quite so I will keep these things up...and yes she is VERY interested in everything around so that maybe it also. Thanks again!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pulling off and Frustration at feedings

    She does just fine with the right (usually). Once in a while she will pull off the right, but she also get the milk quicker from my right. I have tried feeding her in all different positions and that does not seem to help Thanks for the help, I think you are right that it is just something she picked up and will have to grow out of. It may have come from her ear infection...this is what she was doing when her ear hurt, she would pull off over and over and maybe she just thinks now that this is how it is supposed to be.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Pulling off and Frustration at feedings

    I'm glad the walking seemed to help. I had to do that with DS for a while, especially in the evenings when he was too stimulated/wound up to settle down and be patient. I would sometimes go in the bathroom, turn off the lights, and turn on the fan. The darkness and the white noise of the fan seemed to soothe him enough to latch on and be more patient...
    Keep up the good work!
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

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