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Thread: 4.5 months and still struggling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default 4.5 months and still struggling

    I have been exclusively breastfeeding my son from the start. His weight gain has been alright but since the beginning, every feed has been a struggle! I thought it was over active letdown that would slowly improve while he gets bigger and my milk supply adjusts. It's been 4.5 months and he STILL struggles, arches his back, and hits my chest at the beginning of feeds during the day time.

    It's so confusing because he drinks well at night so he is able to handle the flow. During the day, sometimes he pulls off during letdown and milk sprays out but sometimes he pulls off and seems frustrated that there isn't flow. He refuses to eat and has gone 7 hours without a feed in the day time! I am worried.

    I can usually get him to feed if I force him in the beginning and once he gets going, it's fine. But it's such a struggle and his body arching is worrying me. My ped thought it may be reflux but he doesn't seem to be in pain and does not spit up a lot. We tried a medication for reflux and it did not help.

    I pump when he refuses to eat but he will not take a bottle. I pump to keep up my supply. I do still get engorged but it's really random. Some days, my breasts feel so empty, some days really full.

    What's wrong? Why isn't nursing getting easier? I'm so confused!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,628

    Default Re: 4.5 months and still struggling

    Are you nursing in a different position at night? Lying down? Have you experimented with positions to see what works best?

    It was really frustrating for me with my daughter when everyone said by x weeks things will be easier and they weren't. In general things do get easier but it doesn't always, sometimes it takes even longer. Honestly it's one reason DD nursed so long...after a very difficult first year I really wanted her to keep nursing bc around 9 mos is when it got easier for us.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: 4.5 months and still struggling

    Hi there! I just wanted to let you know angelpoo11 that I am also in the same boat! My DD is 5 mths next week and we too are struggling, some days I wonder whether or not that this is the right thing to do. My girl fights just about every single time I nurse her during the day as well and I have chalked it up to mostly teething and some just being a fussy 4 mth old! She nurses fine at night, and even though she may not want to nurse, I try different positions, (I do not find this helps) but also poking and tickling her back and feet while she is nursing sometimes helps (& I have also blown raspberries and made funny noises) so that she's distracted and doesn't squirm or hit, (so it seems) until the letdown happens which is when she usually calms down. I have also found that maybe she is going longer between feedings and that I may be just trying to feed her too soon and she gets upset with me, so we just try again later. I don't have any answers for you, this is what we are struggling with as well, I don't offer her a bottle or anything, and the days she doesn't nurse as much, she just makes up at night. (So tiring) And we are nursing every 2 hours around the clock, but some days especially in the mornings, it seems she will go 3 or 4 hours, but every day is different, I also had some small issues with over active letdown in the beginning and I think that maybe when our milk supply evens out , they get a little impatient (or so mine is)
    I am so sorry you are struggling!!! I feel for you!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,652

    Default Re: 4.5 months and still struggling

    Can you explain what you mean by baby is hitting your breasts? Is this how baby cues? (It is how my baby cues but she is much older.)

    Arching would indicate reflux but if you tried meds to no avail I doubt it is that. Arching also indicates forceful letdown.

    By this point, a mom can expect her lactating breasts to feel soft most of the time, maybe (and maybe not) feeling fuller around (or past) a typical "feeding time.' (If baby takes a longer than typical nap, for example, or errands keep both mom and baby distracted and busy.) Because you are pumping and feeling engorged somewhat regularly, I suspect forceful letdown due to some overproduction is still a strong possibility.

    If your baby will not take a bottle, then baby is exclusively breastfed, correct? And gaining normally, or not? (Gain rate typically slows after about 3 months btw.) You only need to make enough milk for baby, and baby nursing enough to get enough milk (even if sessions are short) will keep your production where it needs to be without pumping. If baby is exclusively breastfed and gaining normally, you can probably stop pumping as a means to keep up your production. If you do stop pumping but feel uncomfortably full because baby is not nursing at that moment, or not nursing well, again, that indicates some overproduction at this point and can be alleviated with hand expression or just a little 'light' pumping, just to comfort. my point is, extra pumping above and beyond what baby needs exacerbates or causes overproduction and forceful letdown.

    Arching also indicates a discomfort/displeasure with the nursing position. What positions have you tried and are they any different at night when nursing goes more smoothly?

    This age is notorious for distraction and babies "nursing weird" there is even a term coined for it by the authors of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding -the "four month fussies." I know you have been having difficulties from the start, but maybe the early issues with ffld or whatever are now running into the 'four month fussies.'
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; December 21st, 2013 at 01:24 PM. Reason: "are NOW running into the "four month fussies." Not "NOT running into..."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,628

    Default Re: 4.5 months and still struggling

    Yes indeed my boys are almost 5 mos old and get distracted, pull off in a second all the time! It's really frustrating sometime but eventually they settle and nurse,
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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