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Thread: Six week old very fussy at the breast

  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Angry Six week old very fussy at the breast

    My LO is 6 weeks old and VERY fussy at the breast. We've gone through a few growth spurts and cluster feedings, but this time is far worst!

    First, my daughter was a late preemie at 35 weeks. Latching the first few days was hard, but with the help of my LC she really started to pick up and latching wasn't a problem.

    Now, at six weeks she's constantly pulling off the breast. I've had myself and her checked for thrush and neither of us have it or show symptoms. I don't have mastitis either.

    I do not exclusively breastfeed. I have supplement her and use a bottle at most of the feedings now. I've began to pump in fear that I'll lose my supply. Since I've began pumping my breast have been full, and when I put her on I notice I may have a forceful let-down. She tend pulls off. So, I pump to soften the nipples to fit her mouth better and that doesn't work. However, later in the day when my supply is low she's extremely fussy because my let-down is too slow. When I give her a bottle she doesn't fuss at all. She has no problem latching on. It's the staying latched on that's the problem. She'll pull off every 10 seconds-2 minutes, and I'm constantly switching her breast. This has been going on for over a week. I've switched the nipple on the bottles to a slow release nipple to stop her from getting used to the fast flow of bottles, and that really makes her fussy!!

    I haven't gone back to the other nipples, and I'm still persistent on putting her to the breast. I want to exclusively breastfeed her, and I'm tired of supplementing or using a bottle b/c I'm the absolute worst at pumping!

    I do soothe her. I give her baths or she'll take one with me, lots of skin-to-skin, taking walks, singing, giving her to someone else, and even a few nursing vacations. Am I missing something? Is it unreasonable to not see hardly any improvement after a week? I don't want her to be hungry or frustrated all the time which seems to be the case. I hardly have any support as it is. What should I do? Do you think a nipple shield will work? PLEASE HELP!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Six week old very fussy at the breast

    Are you still under the care of your LC? What does she think? has she given you a plan for weaning off bottle feedings?

    When did the bottle use and pumping start? Or have you always done that? I am a bit hazy on that point.

    How is baby's weight gain? Is she exclusively breastmilk fed, with your milk, even if it is not all at the breast?

    Is nursing comfortable now and do you have a set position, or have you tried a few positions

    OK so a few ideas, that may have to be modified depending on how you answer the above questions:

    Forceful letdown and bottle 'preference' would explain your babies behavior. I am not saying that is what it is, but those are the two possibilities that spring most to mind.

    Forceful letdown has many avenues to try-nursing in a laid back position, taking baby off and letting that first 'rush' go into a cloth, nursing frequently, and letting baby nurse on one side at a time.

    Of course if you are supplementing ,pumping is needed. But pumping on top of nursing baby at the breast may create or worsen overproduction, which will worsen the forceful letdown. And the more bottles, the less likely baby will learn to nurse at the breast.
    If baby is a healthy weight now, can you be brave and just start putting baby to the breast and nurse, and let teh chips fall where they may? Many babies pop on and off, pull off, etc. Babies do not nurse the way they take a bottle! they are tw completely different things. Mom has to just keep trying, because there is no pump or botttles or expressed milk handy and they just have to. This is not to say starve a baby into nursing! That does not work. But there may be a happy medium iykwim.

    Latch: If you are so full baby cannot latch, rather than pumping, try reverse pressure softening and/or just a tiny bit of hand expression to relieve the fullness. Pumping is often counterproduction for this, for many reasons. If baby pops off, wait a bit and latch her again. no reason to switch sides each time baby pops off.
    If baby latches but fusses because 'supply is low" in the evenings, try some 'instant reward techniques-dripping a little milk from an eyedropper onto the nipple and into baby's mouth, or hand expressing a drop or two before latching.

    By the way, a mother either makes enough milk or she does not (and of course most do) Supply fluctuation between morning and evening are entirely normal, probably serve a purpose, and breastfed babies just role with it.

    I am hoping that there is no reall barrier here and baby just needs to learn again how to be a breastfed baby. She will do this by nursing at the breast.

    If she can latch and nurse some of the time, she can nurse all of the time. If none of that works, you can try an at the breast supplementer.

    sorry for mispellings/typos husband needs computer so no time to edit. let me know if you need further info about anything i mentoned

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Atlanta
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    Default Re: Six week old very fussy at the breast

    I spoke with my LC and she really thinks it's nipple confusion and that my LO is becoming agitated to my breast if that makes sense. So, she suggest to keep doing the nursing vacations is to always have my breast in reach of my LO and to just avoid the bottles.

    So, I've been doing that; however, I have given her a bottle a few times. She screams her head off and tenses up her whole body. Yet, I've noticed she's taking less of the bottle and more of the breast. This morning she even had a few feedings where the bottle wasn't even needed!

    Her weight gain is right on point. I have been supplementing with formula as well as breast milk. I'm not the best at pumping.

    Nursing is becoming comfortable. I make the effort to support my back good enough so I can sustain a position. She pretty good at all the positions, but we're still working on lying down and feeding. She gets it down most of the time, but sometimes she gets too impatient trying to latch. It's a work in progress.

    When she was in the hospital she was given bottles and BF, but once we got home I took the bottles away. The bottles came back a little over a week. She was just really fussy!

    The whole nipple confusion is really hard, but I feel confident. If you have any advice how to get over this I would really appreciate it!!! Thank you for your comment! Sorry if my response seems choppy or I didn't answer everything. I am in a bit of rush. Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Six week old very fussy at the breast

    it sounds like you are on the right track. here are some ideas that might be helpful

    try laid back positions, where your body is reclined at least somewhat and supported rather than sitting straight up. Baby can be in any position. this type of positioning seems to help with all kinds of issues, so, worth a try. may seem awkward until you get used to it. make adjustments as needed.

    Don't assume that every fuss = hunger. newborn babies are fussy. Try to nurse, but if other comfort techniques are warranted, do that to! As long as baby is gaining ok and nurses a minimum of 10 times a 24 hour day, you are probably ok. Between weight checks, poop output gives you a good estimate of how things are going.

    How much formula is baby getting now? you might want to discuss with you lc how to safely wean from formula, because as long as baby gets formula, its important to pump for those missed feedings. The sooner baby is off formula altogether, the quicker you can stop worrying about pumping.

    nurse at the earliest signs or cues. or don’t wait for a cue-it never hurts to offer. A calm baby typically latches and nurses better. If baby is already upset and will not calm down, a small amount of formula or expressed breastmilk dribbled on your nipple may help, or give a small amount in bottle to take the edge off before trying to nurse again.

    laid back- http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    feeding cues http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

    fussy baby ideas http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf

    lots of great ideas for encouraging baby to nurse http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    what is typical in early weeks nursing a newborn: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

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