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Thread: Only nurses for a short time, but still hungry

  1. #1

    Default Only nurses for a short time, but still hungry

    So my 3 month old has suddenly decided she only wants the boob for a little while, then will cry and stop eating, but still root (won't latch on, though), or just stop. She's not gaining weight well, so she's supplemented and now is taking nearly 3 ounces in a bottle during nursing (I always start her on the breast, supplement when she gets too fussy to keep going, then put her back on if she acts still hungry). I have a few theories as so what's going on, but none of them make total sense. She will comfort nurse like a champ, so it's not that she won't latch at all. It's as though she won't when she's really hungry, though. I'm thinking I either have a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, or an overactive let down (she'll sometimes gag and sputter initially and get very gassy, and that's when she'll reject the breast).

    Our nursing background is long. She wouldn't latch initially (I was induced, unfortunately, and before that had a lot of water retention which made it difficult to exercise as much as I should have). We were given a nipple shield but not shown how to use it properly for a few weeks. At home she would nurse for an hour but still act hungry, and wasn't gaining at all, so we began to supplement. I tried SNS, but then she learned that food flowed faster from the tube than me. My supply dropped, so I pumped constantly (still only get a half ounce to an ounce total each time I pump).She then refused to nurse so I pumped as much as I could but she was mostly on formula. She then latched without the nipple shield around 2 1/2 months, and we eased back on the supplements. She nursed wonderfully for a week. Then this began the last couple of weeks. If she nurses until she's content it takes a good 15 to 20 minutes, but she usually won't latch that long and gets mad around 3 minutes in, and I give in and offer the bottle (she'll push the breast away, scream, etc. for the next twenty minutes otherwise, and just won't let herself get a full feeding).

    I'm at the end of my rope, and I really want to save our breastfeeding relationship (what little we have). Help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Default Re: Only nurses for a short time, but still hungry

    How much are you supplementing each day in total? If you are supplementing at every feed, one technique is to always give the supplement first, then finish at the breast.

    There is a big growth spurt at 3 months which can certainly make babies hungrier & fussier. Or it could just be bottle preference, in general.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

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