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Thread: 6.5 month old screaming at breast

  1. #1

    Default 6.5 month old screaming at breast

    My son is 6.5 months old and has been BF with bottled BM supplement since birth. He started some solids at 5 months and loves them. We have struggled from day 1 with BF, having to use a shield until he was 4 months old and struggling to maintain supply that whole time. I am currently on domperidone (40 mg/day) and I pump every evening to help with supply. For the last couple weeks, he has been acting very frustrated while BF. He pulls off, grunts and screams, arches his back, and then relatches. He does this sometimes outside of BF when he wants to be put down or something, so I might think it's just him telling me he's done except that he gets back on after a second, which makes me wonder if he is not getting enough milk. Certainly I don't feel as strong a letdown as I had before, and I'm not engorged like before either. I know that's normal with an older baby but in combination with his behavior it's making me very concerned that he's not getting enough from me. Should I up my domperidone dosage? Pump more often? Or is there another possible cause for his weird behavior? He is currently peeing lots (8+ wets) and pooping plenty (4 medium sized poops today!).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,799

    Default Re: 6.5 month old screaming at breast

    My guess is that he's teething. Or perhaps it's just that he's 6.5 months old- it's an age which is notorious for distractibility. Baby nurses for a few seconds- but hey, there's the cat! Nurses for a few seconds- wait, did I just hear the dump truck go by? That thing is fascinating! One thing that can help with a distracted kid is to nurse in a calm, quiet, low-distraction environment, like a darkened bedroom.

    You might also want to have him in to the pediatrician and have someone check his ears- stealth ear infections can also cause this sort of behavior.

    Based on what you've posted, I'm not sure I see any need for Domperidone. Feeling engorged, feeling strong letdowns- those are generally the product of a mom having too much milk. Most moms wouldn't experience those things that much beyond the newborn period.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: 6.5 month old screaming at breast

    Well in the past when I have tried to stop taking the domperidone, my supply really does tank. I pump every night at the same time (just after baby goes to bed) and I went from getting 3oz to 1. I would love to get off it though; it's expensive!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,257

    Default Re: 6.5 month old screaming at breast

    Do you have a sense of approximately how much solid food baby is eating each 24 hour day? How many ounces of milk in a bottle does baby get each day?

    By 6 months, a breastfeeding mother with normal milk production will not feel engorged (unless, perhaps, baby has gone a very long time without eating.) Mom feeling engorged indicates overproduction at this age. Whether or not a mother feels letdown and to what degree varies from mother to moht and varies over time and has not been shown to indicate anything about milk production. Certainly baby's output suggest baby is getting plenty to eat. What I wonder is, is it possible that part of the problem is baby is filling up on solids and ebm and thus less interested in the breast?

  5. #5

    Default Re: 6.5 month old screaming at breast

    I thought that might be the case, too... I try to limit the solids he gets when I am home to around 4 ice cubes of food per day (he gets more if I'm at work,) and he gets 2.5oz ebm per day. I moved his supplemental bottle to the morning to see if our nighttime feed would get better, and it got slightly easier. His best feed (least fighting) is in the middle of the night,
    I also wondered if I was simply trying to feed him too often and maybe he's just not hungry enough to sustain interest... I offer him the breast before naps to help him fall asleep and again when he wakes, so about 7-8x per day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,257

    Default Re: 6.5 month old screaming at breast

    and he gets 2.5oz ebm per day
    ? only when you are home? what does baby get while you are at work? And why any bottle when you are home?

    I see nothing alarming about 4 ounces of food a day, but how much more does baby get when you are not home? At this age all or nearly all of an infant's nutrition can still be coming from breastmilk.

    I don't think you can offer to nurse 'too' often. But sometimes baby is going to be less interested than others. That is normal. Often, baby may only want to have a quick snack. Sometimes baby is not going to want to nurse at all. This is normal.

    Probably the easiest way to limit solids if you wish to do that is to allow baby to self feed as much as possible. If you look up "baby led solids" or "baby led weaning" you will find info about this method of introducing solids. Solids at this age are not for nutrition (in most cases) but for learning to bite, chew, move food around in the mouth, and swallow. While there is nothing wrong with purees, exclusive spoon feeding of purees may lead to overfeeding, and is not really teaching baby everything baby needs to learn about eating. After two kids I did the puree route with, with my third we have done baby-led self feeding and I am a complete convert.

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