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Thread: Need help with my 3.5 week old

  1. #1

    Default Need help with my 3.5 week old

    Hi, I have a 3 1/2 week old and I have been ebf since birth. I have pumped when sore and bottle fed only a few times. My lo is nursing every 2 hours for 10 min on one breast. When he falls asleep at the breast I take him off, burp him, and try to stimulate him to nurse more. He always acts like he is still hungry, mouthing my shoulder while burping or rooting if any thing comes near his mouth. When I try to put him back on the breast, he grunts and pulls from side to side. It almost feels like he is going to rip my nipple off and hurts so bad. I have had to start pumping on my left breast because it is too sore to have him nurse from it at all. I am looking for help with this, is there anything I can do? Is there a reason he is doing this? I want to continue nursing him, but if he keeps doing this I may have to just pump and bottle feed him bm. Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Need help with my 3.5 week old

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    It sounds like your primary issue is the soreness, correct? The baby's feeding frequency is normal is. His post-feeding behavior (grunting, mouthing, clamping down on the nipple) is also pretty typical of such a new baby, and should pass with time as he becomes a more adept breastfeeder. In fact, everything you mention will get better with time, so PLEASE don't switch to exclusive pumping. It seems like the easy way out now, but ask any EP mom who has also nursed, and she will tell you that EP is much, much harder in the long run! (Imagine trying to choose between maintaining your pump schedule and caring for your baby, or trying to pump in public, or what you will do when pumping suddenly isn't yielding as much as you need, etc.- all those things are very typical challenges for EP moms.)

    Questions for you:
    - When baby unlatches from the breast, what is the nipple shaped like? Is it symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/wedged/creased/ridged, like a new lipstick?
    - How has baby's output of wet and poopy diapers, and his weight gain, been so far. Can you describe baby's poops- color, consistency?
    - When do you have the most pain: at the beginning of a feeding, when baby first latches on, or at a certain point during the feeding, or at the end of the feeding, or after the feeding has concluded?
    - How would you describe the pain: more of a pinching or stabbing pain, or more of a burning?
    - Your milk supply: abundant, just right, or low? Any feelings of engorgement or fullness on a regular basis?
    - Have you noticed any skin changes in your nipples- things like peeling, flaking, dry skin, cracks or blisters, or the skin of the nipple blanching (turning white) or perhaps turning purple after feedings?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Need help with my 3.5 week old

    Mommal makes good points and asks good questions. If your nipples are damaged, be aware that pumping can irritate damaged nipples more than it helps. There are things you can do to try to treat the cause of the pain once you figure out what it is. I hope we can help you do that!

    I would also try to avoid going to EP. I pump at work, so I end up nursing about half the time and pumping about the half the time. Now that I am beyond the itty-bitty newborn stage (for me, that means my nipples are healed and baby's latch is no longer shallow or pinching), nursing is a breeze compared to pumping, labeling, making bottles, freezing, etc. Pumping is a ton more work and it would be especially annoying on outings with baby.
    I speak from experience - When DD1 was little I was embarrassed to nurse in public so when she would get hungry, I would either go nurse in the car or have DH hold her (screaming) while I went and pumped her a bottle. I soon realized that was torturing both of us and took 3 times the effort versus just sitting down and breastfeeding my baby. I didn't go out much with her because it was such a pain. That felt very restrictive.

    I hope you can hang in there and work out these issues! I can tell you I am just on the other side of where you are now and so glad I stuck with it. My LO is 8 weeks.


    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: Need help with my 3.5 week old

    A baby who is gaining weight and nurses every two hours, 10 minutes on one side only and then nurses two hours later on the other side
    Is doing great!
    My DD2 did that with one marathon session/day at about 5 -8pm of non stop nursing. Otherwise she was all business done at the breast after 10 minutes and then she sucked her thumb.
    If your baby has regained his birthweight and has added some extra ounces per week you are doing fine.
    I know sore nipples are troublesome, I've had that experience too.
    But my soreness improved with time so I stayed the course.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need help with my 3.5 week old

    Thank you all for your responses, I tried a different nursing position and that has helped a lot! I am unsure of his weight gain as of now because he doesnt go to the dr until monday, he saw dr at 6 days old and still had not re gained birth weight. However, he is looking pretty chunky compared to birth so I am assuming he has gained. He is a very good and very efficient nurser, I was having troubles with his pulling on my breast. I now have started to offer a pacifier if he does this to me and he is fine with that! I guess he just wanted to continue to suck but he didn't want any more milk! I appreciate the encouragement and advice!

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