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Thread: 8 week old pulling off repeatedly during feedings

  1. #1
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    Aug 2012
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    Default 8 week old pulling off repeatedly during feedings

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post here. I'm very happy to have found this forum.

    I have an 8 week old daughter who has begun pulling off of the breast repeatedly during most (awake) feedings. Sometimes she pulls off and cries, other times she just pulls off and then pops back on. Sometimes it's with every suck. This probably happens around 50-60% of her awake feeds. She does fine when asleep.

    I do have oversupply issues and think that this began when I went off of block feeding because I was concerned my supply had dropped too much. Her poops became consistently green, also. However, about 5 days ago I went back to a block schedule of about 4-5 hours per side. Her poops are better now and she isn't crying as much, but it's still definitely an issue. Her poops are now sometimes perfectly seedy and yellow...but other times greener and slimier. There was one over the weekend that was yellow with green stringy mucus.

    Her wets are good and she's gaining well and mostly emptying my breasts during feedings, so I feel okay with her intake and my supply. However, I'm concerned about her developing an aversion to breastfeeding. It breaks my heart when she cries during feedings.

    A breastfeeding helper mentioned the possibility of a food sensitivity because of the green slimy and stringy poops I've seen. Also because she is extremely gassy. So, I have cut out obvious dairy (I'm not, at this point, cutting out every bit of dairy...but just not drinking milk, eating cheese or yogurt or ice cream, etc.) to see if that helps. I'm on day 2 of that - how long should I do this before I should see an improvement, if dairy is an issue?

    I took her into the pediatrician last week and she checked out fine. He said it could be milk reflux and recommended Mylanta to see if that helps. I haven't tried it yet because her crying seemed a bit better over the weekend (from the block nursing, I assumed). But now she's crying more again. I may try the Mylanta, but I'm not really sure reflux is the issue. I don't see other reflux symptoms beyond the fussing at the breast...

    Any ideas? Thanks so much!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 8 week old pulling off repeatedly during feedings

    That should read "He said it could be reflux"...not "milk reflux"...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 8 week old pulling off repeatedly during feedings

    What about techniques for helping baby handle the fast flow? Block feeding is not the only way to handle forceful letdown.

    It sounds like baby is healthy and gaining and not in any pain, maybe just some normal digestive discomfort. in that case, does it really matter what poops look like? Food allergies are rare and cause serious issues like poor weight gain, frequent pain, inability to sleep. Gas is a normal by product of normal digestion, and not usually a serious issue, ditto spit ups.

    personally I would not give my breastfed infant mylanta or anything else, except prescription reflux meds (ppi's) IF and only if my child had painful reflux-not gas or spit ups. Breastmilk is designed to prime the newborn gut with healthy flora and anything else in the early months might interfere with that natural process. But that is me. Many moms do use gas drops.

    maybe try these ideas for forceful letdown http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 8 week old pulling off repeatedly during feedings

    thanks lllmeg. i agree about the mylanta - mainly because I don't see painful spit ups or other reflux symptoms. she does spit up fairly often, but never painfully.

    however, when she pops off and cries, I do think there may be some pain involved. she's not popping off during let-down, necessarily. sometimes before, sometimes after, sometimes during. there doesn't seem to be an obvious pattern to when she begins popping off. it's just not ever immediately after starting to nurse...always at least a minute or two in...

    as far as forceful letdown, is that the same as oversupply? i feel like she usually handles let down fine (ie. rarely coughing or choking)...although she often has milk around her mouth and face during feedings.

    I'll check out the link now. thanks so much for your help!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 8 week old pulling off repeatedly during feedings

    I hsould add that sometimes she's fussy and pulling off even when it seems like the flow is very slow. I suppose she could be objecting to a slow flow then...even if she has a difficult time with the usual fast flow?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 8 week old pulling off repeatedly during feedings

    as far as the popping on and off- some babies just nurse weird. seriously. Anything bugs them, they cry-because what else can they do? Try comforting baby and offer to nurse again soon.

    But if it does not seem to be related to flow, and its enough to interfere with baby nursing enough, what about other sources of pain-earache, or baby in an uncomfortable position, maybe? Its early for teething but stranger things have happened.

    I have to say, I am not a big believer that babies object to a 'slow' flow. For one thing, I have talked to many a mom who thought they had slow flow based on behavior like you are describing and it turned out they had forceful letdown. Here is when slow flow could be an issue- baby is used to bottles- Its' called flow confusion. Also sometimes moms report this happening after they resolved their oversupply-basically, the idea is it is mom reduced her supply to such a point, and baby was used to the "too" fast forceful flow and is not longer getting that, so the normal flow feels slow. OK, maybe. But unless a mom has some serious issue with truly inhibited letdown, so-called 'slow" letdown is really NORMAL letdown, and a breastfed baby should be able to deal with it. They have to work a bit to get the milk going- just a bit-and that is normal, and instinctually they would 'know' it's normal.
    But if you think slow letdown is part of the issue, try the instant reward techniques in this kellymom article. That should help if that is the problem. http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

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