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Thread: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    My DD is 2 months and for the last few weeks will.not.nurse when awake. Same behavior. She will turn her head, fuss, and "punch" my breast. I have to get her mostly asleep to feed, then do dream-feeding or catch her while she is waking up. It's killing me and I don't know what to do. It really defeats the "convenience" of nursing, right? We're traveling for several weeks at the end of the month. I can't possibly do this for each feed while also keeping my toddler under control. (Right now it's just me and DD while I'm on maternity leave so I can spend all day dealing with this while DS is at school). I don't know what to do. It's stressful enough to make me consider EPing, which I did for DS for 12 months, as crazy as that is. But I've never even given her a bottle!

    I have OALD but my OS is nicely under control now. I wonder if it's a GERD thing (she's more the silent reflux type - doesn't spit up but has other symptoms like hiccups about 3 or 4 times a day, choking, coughing, etc.). I've tried various positions, spraying into a towel, etc.. Should I talk to the pediatrician about it?
    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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    I posted a bunch of links on the other thread. But yes, maybe it would help to get something for the GERD. Might help to take a warm bath with her.

    It is also possible she isn't hungry ... Maybe she is filing up on what you are getting her? How are wets and poops? Does she seem hungry?
    Susan
    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!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    Thanks, Susan. I do wonder if she's just not hungry sometimes. Her diapers and weight gain are great (7 pounds at birth, 11 pounds at 8 weeks). Perhaps I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that she is so non-demanding and likes to sleep (unlike DS as a newborn). She was such a sleepy newborn I'm still in the mentality of needing to feed her every 2-ish hours and trying to wake her to do so. Honestly, she sleeps from 9pm to about 3am, wakes to feed, then back to sleep until 6am. You'd think she'd be starving in the morning but she's not at all voracious! I suppose she knows what she is doing. But there ARE occasional times where I suspect she is hungry but she will reject the breast until she is sleepy and relaxed, then she gulps it down.
    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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    Oh man, I had the same experience. First baby screamed to eat every flipping hour. Never ever slept. Second one...like from birth, he nursed for 2 hours, then fell asleep and we could not wake him. I let him sleep and slept for 12 hours myself. Then he woke, ate, and that was that. Every 2-4 hours around the clock. Didn't even seem to have a growth spurt. He stopped pooping like a brand new baby right away, but he was gaining weight like a bad weed, neve losing even an ounce.. He didn't wake up in the morning and demand to eat either. He wanted to check things out a bit. I was sure something was wrong with him for some months

    My third was high needs but he didn't comfort nurse, he didn't take a pacifier, and you could not force him to eat or be near the breast if he didn't want to be there

    If she is doing well, you can simply let her drive the bus at this point.
    Susan
    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!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    Why can't you do it? It's not like if she was nursing while awake you wouldn't STILL be nursing her down and up for her naps and to bed and in the middle of the night right? If you were nursing on demand those would all be times she would be nursing. It's just that if she is striking those are the ONLY times she will nurse. So it's Actually LESS time spent nursing. MORE TIME during the day to deal with your older child. Try not to stress. And please please don't INTENTIONALLY DOUBLE the amount of time you are going to spend feeding! Which is exactly what Exclusive Pumping will do! As long as she is nursing 6-8 times in a 24hour period you are fine. She's 2 months. Are you still getting 3 naps a day out of her? Because up and down for 3naps is 6times. And once to bed with one night waking is 8times. That is enough. I know it's upsetting in that it feels like personal rejection. But from a food standpoint, not only are you fine but you can PLAN to nurse less during the day. Now I am not suggesting that you stop TRYING or OFFERING when she is awake. Obviously you want her to come back to the breast. But a strike does NOT have to be a reason to panic. If you KNOW that you CAN feed her enough during her sleep times and PLAN on that, its completely do able. Don't get discouraged, DON'T PANIC, and DON'T create more work for yourself. Step AWAY from the pump!

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    Why can't you do it? It's not like if she was nursing while awake you wouldn't STILL be nursing her down and up for her naps and to bed and in the middle of the night right? If you were nursing on demand those would all be times she would be nursing. It's just that if she is striking those are the ONLY times she will nurse. So it's Actually LESS time spent nursing. MORE TIME during the day to deal with your older child. Try not to stress. And please please don't INTENTIONALLY DOUBLE the amount of time you are going to spend feeding! Which is exactly what Exclusive Pumping will do! As long as she is nursing 6-8 times in a 24hour period you are fine. She's 2 months. Are you still getting 3 naps a day out of her? Because up and down for 3naps is 6times. And once to bed with one night waking is 8times. That is enough. I know it's upsetting in that it feels like personal rejection. But from a food standpoint, not only are you fine but you can PLAN to nurse less during the day. Now I am not suggesting that you stop TRYING or OFFERING when she is awake. Obviously you want her to come back to the breast. But a strike does NOT have to be a reason to panic. If you KNOW that you CAN feed her enough during her sleep times and PLAN on that, its completely do able. Don't get discouraged, DON'T PANIC, and DON'T create more work for yourself. Step AWAY from the pump!
    Thanks for the feedback! I know I should just try to relax. Added to the anxiety, though, is the fact that she typically only nurses from one breast per feeding. So if I'm nursing 6 or 8 times a day, then each breast is really only getting stimulated 3 or 4 times a day, and that doesn't seem like enough, right? But I guess it is, if it's what she needs? And I guess she'll resume taking both breasts if she ends up getting really hungry.
    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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    IF you feel like you need to pump to maintain your supply than do that. I know two women here who day pumped through strikes. But it was more to relieve actual engorgement than to keep supply up. If she is nursing enough that you aren't getting engorged than I don't know that you need to. I never fed my child on both sides until after his 1st b-day. I don't think block feeding is a problem. It gets her more hind milk. Maybe when she is going down for her naps you pump the other side when done? If you can work that in? So you are getting a little extra stimulation?

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    Ugh. Still won't nurse when awake. I'm trying not to panic and I did get her to nuse several times today while sleeping but this evening had to give her a bottle (3 ounces from the Medela Calma - seemed like it was too fast a flow but she chugged it) of EBM as she was fussing and hungry and rejected the breast several times when offered and I had to tend to DS. I need to be introducing bottles anyway as I return to work in a month. I'm definately not going to use that nipple - much too fast.

    Do you think this might be a positioning issue? Maybe she doesn't like the cradle hold anymore? I think I will call a LC tomorrow and get some more advice? I will also visit a store that sells ring slings and wraps to see how she does with those - it's too tricky to nurse her in the Boba carrier right now as she is still kinda floppy.

    The other issue is that now I am starting to get anxious when she does latch on while awake because of her punching, flailing, etc. This certainly doesn't help elicit a letdown. While my flow is fast when it does letdown, it seems like the stress of this may be impacting my milk-ejection reflex. Any tips to combat that? I will say that I spoke to my OB yesterday and am starting a low-dose of Zoloft for a little delayed-onset PPD/anxiety - I have some other stressors going on and feel totally overwhelmed. I just really need to try to not give up on this. I WANT it to work so bad. I hope and pray this is just a phase.

    Also - she did have three immunizations last week. And while this behavior preceeded that, this past week has definately been worse. One of the immunizations was the oral Rotavirus.

    Sorry for the ongoing rambly posts. I really value this site and appreciate everyone's feedback.
    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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    Oh - wanted to add that this morning at 8am I used the pump to elicit the letdown then put her to my breast and she still fussed. that would leave one to believe that she wasn't hungry. But she'd nused the night before at 7:30pm, fell asleep, nursed at 2:30am. How could she not be hungry by 8am???
    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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Getting worse - won't nurse when awake

    Just successfully got her to nurse while awake by using the pump first to elicit the letdown. It worked! I also held my breast in a C-hold so it felt firm for her and used compressions. I guess i'll just carry around the pump and do this when necessary and hope it passes! Any tips on how to elicit a letdown by hand?
    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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