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Thread: Screaming At the Breast And Not Latching Well... HELP!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Screaming At the Breast And Not Latching Well... HELP!!

    Help!! This is my second child... I nursed my daughter for 14 months... but I still feel like such a novice when it comes to nursing my son. He has not nursed as well as my daughter. He is 5 weeks old and the last several evenings, he goes through a couple hours when he acts hungry (fussing, sucking fingers, mouthing around) but when I attempt to feed him, he just freaks out. He starts screaming, arching his back, etc. Sometimes, he will latch on for 30 seconds or so but then he pulls back and screams. Other times, he refuses to latch and when I hold him to my breast, he simply won't close his mouth. When he is latched on, I can hear him swallowing and I sometimes see some milk so I know the problem is not that I am "empty." I also don't seem to have a huge oversupply as far as I can tell. My breasts only leak when I am really engorged and have only occassionally squirt milk (with my daughter... not this time). When he comes off during a feeding, only a drop or two of milk comes out.

    When I stop attempting to feed him, he will settle down for a little while and then the whole cycle repeats itself. I feel like we can't find any position that is comfortable for him... I've tried them all! During most of the day, he nurses fine but sometimes, he gets into this funk that I've described. Also, during the night, he will nurse fine if I just stay in the bed with him but once we get up for a diaper change, the screaming starts again. The last two nights, I have been up for almost 2 hours trying to get him back to sleep again. He won't soothe with nursing. He does soothe almost immediately when I offer him a pacifier. However, after a little while, that no longer satisfies him.

    The screaming is a thousand times more stressful because we have a very small house and no matter where I am in the house, his toddler sister can hear his screams. He has woken her up on multiple occassions so I am always really stressed that his screams will wake her and try everything to get him to be quiet.

    Any advice as to what I am dealing with here? Oversupply? Nipple confusion? Colic? Am I offering him the breast too much or should I continue to offer periodically even though it makes him upset? Do you think that switching rapidly between the breast and the pacifier is causing an issue? He's never had a bottle. I don't know what to do to stop the screaming episodes and get some sleep! ANY suggestions/encouragement would be appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Screaming At the Breast And Not Latching Well... HELP!!

    I should add that he has plenty of wet/dirty diapers even during the screaming/poor feeding episodes and that he seems to be gaining weight well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Default Re: Screaming At the Breast And Not Latching Well... HELP!!

    This is exactly what's happening to me and its my sixth child and she's 8 weeks and I pushed through sore bleeding nipples to only arrive at this.my away feeds well at night and in the morning but come afternoon and evening she freaks out when input the breast in. So what have I done?well I give hernsomenwater in a bottle and once she's calm I take that out then put the breast in sometimes she feeds and is tricked but other times she wusses it and goes back to screaming.also the same with the pacifie once she is nodding off I can put the breast in and she feeds but it is all a bit frustrating.inhave resorted to giving her bottles of formula just so she eats something and I have stopped beating myself up over it I do what I can and if she won't play ball what more can't do?as I say I have 5 othe rchildren so I can't spend all day trying tomfeednher .i have ruled out colic cos the screaming stops when she has a bottle, and over suppl because there's no leaking and not infer suppl because she has gained good weight. I think she's just plain fussy, but I totally understand your frustration it's driving me mad too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Screaming At the Breast And Not Latching Well... HELP!!

    If your baby nurses fine most of the day, and only has this problem in the evening or at night, I would suspect this is just a not good time of the day for your baby! Most people call this colic. Mommal is the resident guru on this subject but since she has not replied I will take a stab at it, I had two kids with pretty classic colic and one without, and it is really different when babies are like this. It is usually daily, it is usually at the same time of day (approximately,) it lasts anywhere from an hour or two to several hours, and it involves baby being very fussy/crying/screamimg and not calming down at all or not calming down for the stimuli baby will usually calm down for (if nursing is usually calming to baby, suddenly it won’t be.) In other words, it is not really a nursing problem. It is a colic problem, and while it is maddening it is also usually temporary.

    In your case you are very concerned about the crying waking your daughter, which is going to make the situation even more tense for you. We live in a tiny house too and had a colicky baby this time around waking our two older boys, so I get it! We use white noise to muffle sound but sometimes a baby crying is just going to wake up everyone, it’s just part of life. If you can stay calm that will help your toddler stay calm too.

    If you think this is really a breastfeeding issue rather than colic, I suggest revisiting the idea of forceful letdown. For forceful letdown to be a problem it only need be a problem for baby, and the things you think indicate ffld may not be present. Leaking, spraying, etc are signs of ffld, but they need not be present for it.

    Luckily there are very simple things one can do for ffld that are generally helpful anyway and do no harm. One is to nurse very frequently and the other is to nurse in a reclined position with baby on top. here is more info on ffld http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/ and on nursing reclined http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Also just doing what is generally helpful for breastfeeding-nursing at earliest cues and nursing frequently, can help with many breastfeeding issues. You cannot offer to nurse too often. If baby won't nurse right then, fine, but it never hurts to offer.

    If a pacifier helps calm baby during colic episodes, you can use it then and only then probably without issue.
    otherwise I would suggest not giving a pacifier at all yet, or as infrequently as you can. If there are any breastfeeding issues pacifier use will very often make the issue worse.

    For the upsetment at diaper change, I suggest making those as quick and quiet as possible. First, only change the diaper at night if it is really needed-diaper is leaking or baby is upset due to having a wet diaper. If baby wakes crying and diaper is wet, but baby will nurse right back to sleep, the diaper is not a problem for baby. Breastmilk poop is mild and unlikely to cause a rash, baby can go a few hours in a full diaper of pee or poop.
    If a change is needed, nurse or otherwise calm baby prior to the change if at all possible.
    keep lights and voices low. If its pee, just change the diaper. If its poop, Use warm water or warm wipes to clean baby to avoid shocking baby with cold. Think fast, calm and quiet for diaper changes.

    hope this helps! congratulations!
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; April 12th, 2013 at 09:41 PM. Reason: added links

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Screaming At the Breast And Not Latching Well... HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Mommal is the resident guru on this subject
    Meg called me a guru!

    Okay, if I'm a guru it's only because both my darling daughters were colicky in the evenings. Fun times. They would both start screaming like clockwork, and scream for several hours. My older daughter would start at 6-7 pm and go until 9-10 pm. My younger one would start at 7-8 pm and go until 11 pm-1 am. It was honestly that predictable.

    During the colicky evenings, the babies wouldn't nurse, or if they did they would latch for a couple of seconds and then pull off and scream even harder than before. My personal feeling about fussy evenings/evenings-only colic is that it's entirely developmental, because there's usually a well-defined interval during which it occurs, usually between 3 weeks and 3 months (though some babies have it longer and many have it for less time).

    In my experience, coping with fussing/colic is all about changing the baby's sensory input. You're trying to find that one stimulus that the baby finds calming. Some things to try:
    - Calm house- lights, TV, and stereo turned down or turned off
    - White noise- vacuum cleaner noise, radio static, dryer noise, etc.
    - Motion- rock in a rocker, sway with baby in your arms, bounce on an exercise ball, swing in a swing, stroller or car ride
    - Fresh air- take baby outside
    - Warm bath- no soap needed, just wash baby in the sink
    - Closeness- snuggle baby close to you in a sling

    Don't stress too much about the baby waking the toddler. This is a short period in your family's life, and toddlers often become used to infant cries and learn to tune them out.

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