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Thread: Very fussy when nursing

  1. #1

    Question Very fussy when nursing

    Hi All,

    I am hoping for some answers to my BF problems. My son was born 12/3 and initially I had problems with poor latch and then blocked ducts on the right side. These have both resolved, though I still take 1 lecithin pill a day. He has gained 3 pounds since birth and is healthy. He pees/poops 6-8 times a day.

    In the past two weeks my son has become fussy during some feedings. I feed him about 7-8 times a day, and usually a breastfeeding session is about 20-25 minutes. I do nurse him both sides, though more on first side. Anyway, 3 to 4 feedings of the day are huge battles all of sudden. My son has always been one that goes from happy to ravenously hungry in the matter of minutes. I usually nurse him every 2.5-3 hours but it can vary. Well, he is super hungry, I put him to breast, he latches on, feeds for 2 minutes, and is pulling off, screaming and scratching. This happens on both sides. Sometimes he screams even before I latch him. I try soothing, different positions, laying him on top of me in case of too much milk, etc. Nothing seems to work. I end up pumping and feeding him that way and he is fine.

    I would say that in general, he is a high need, more sensitive baby than my other son was. He gets irritable during the day and is very gassy. We have tried gas drops, gripe water, massage, etc. I can't pump every time and I am wondering why he is doing this. Some feedings are fine too, which is weird. Could it be reflux or a food allergy? Please help!

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Very fussy when nursing

    This can be frustrating and confusing for both of you!!

    A few ideas-

    I think the problem is this: "He is super hungry." He may be frustrated that it is taking so long for milk to let down. He may be used to the immediate flow of a bottle, so he gets confused and mad when it doesn't come immediately from you. It can take several minutes of vigorous sucking before let-down happens. Being stressed or having low milk supply can make let-down even slower. Not saying this is the case for you, just that it can occur.

    A couple of ideas that might help:
    - Nurse more frequently. If your baby is getting super hungry, he can get super frustrated with the work that goes into nursing. Typically babies this age (eight weeks or so, right?) nurse 10-12 times per 24 hours. Sometimes babies nurse less often as they get older and thus more efficient, but sometimes they don't. And sometimes babies nurse less than 10 times per 24 hours, but that would be more rare. Nursing more often would help your baby to feel more full more often, not getting to the point of freaking out. You may try offering every 1.5-2 hours during the day and see if that helps!

    - You can try doing breast compressions during the nursing session. This is when you put your hand in a c shape, firmly but not to pain, compress your breast, careful not to displace baby's mouth from your nipple. Compress for a few moments in one spot, then rotate hand and compress in another spot.

    - You can try doing some breast compressions a few minutes before nursing. This could help milk to start to flow before baby latches.

    I do think, though, that as you relax and spend lots of skin-to-skin time with your baby (diapered-only baby one your bare chest, even when not nursing), nursing frequently, this could resolve itself.

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