So objectively breastfeeding has gone very well for both of us: baby has been more than amply nourished (6 lbs 12 oz at birth, 18+ lbs by 6 months!) and I have never had any pain or infection issues at all. I am so grateful! But I am a first-time mom and have some serious insecurity about the way my baby has never seemed to comfort nurse---on the contrary, she regularly goes through phases of outright refusing to nurse except while asleep.
In the beginning I could blame it on bad oversupply/overactive letdown, then reflux (due almost entirely, as it turns out, to cow's milk intolerance---no reflux at all since I cut out all dairy from my diet). Later on it was distractibility, which is still a problem for sure, but clearly not always the culprit. And now I am just hoping this latest difficult streak is more teething (she has two, and I *think* the first two caused less feeding and more night waking). When she wakes at night lately, besides the normal 2-3 wakings to nurse, she will sometimes refuse to nurse in no uncertain terms and scream until I find another way to comfort her back to sleep.
Maybe this is also relevant: baby is a BIG thumb sucker. It makes me wonder why, if teething is to blame for the refusal to nurse, it doesn't bother her to suck her thumb so much. I try to discourage it when awake, or offer to nurse whenever it seems to be vigorous/an indicator of hunger. The number of times I offer during the day is WAY more than the number of actual feedings we get in. (The norm these days is five minutes or less, one side, every 3-4 hours. With at least a couple solid nighttime feedings this is enough to keep enough diapers wet that I'm not worried about her overall intake.)
I read *one* LLL article (written by a leader, I think) where the author had oversupply and felt like her daughter never really enjoyed nursing, throughout the first year, and then she weaned herself around 12 months. Everything else I read or hear is completely the opposite--babies love to nurse and will rarely self-wean before 18 months. So at least there is that one example, but I can't help feeling insecure, being in the apparent minority. I'm just wondering if anyone else has had this kind of experience?