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Thread: Does BFing ever get easier & enjoyable?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Does BFing ever get easier & enjoyable?

    My younger son is almost 3 months old & he is EBF. I BFed my older daughter, who is 4 now, for 18 months. We had a rough start with my daughter as she was very tiny & her Ped advised to supplement with formula on her one week appointment as she didn't gain enough. I had work really hard for a month or two to up my supply but once that was done we never looked back.

    With my son though things are different. We had a good start as I nursed him within half hour of his birth & almost every hour the first 2 days & 2 hours for the coming weeks.

    We have had many bumps after that. I have fast letdown & when that is fixed, my LO gets upset for the next letdown to come & pulls off almost every 2 secs. Of course, fast letdown comes back within 2-3 days & he seems hungry but doesn't eat enough. He also requires a lot of burps as he inhales a lot of air with fast letdown & I spend half of my time getting him to burp. Sometimes it is hard to tell if he is not hungry or he is upset because the milk is not coming in fast enough.

    I know that my issues are pretty non-serious compare to some mamas but I am just tired of constantly dealing with one or the other thing & not enjoying BFing at all.

    Am I the only one who feels it that way? I know it gets easier, but when does it get easy? Am I constantly going to deal with fast letdowns or that will get fixed once & for all?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Does BFing ever get easier & enjoyable?

    Does breastfeeding ever get easier or more enjoyable? What was your experience with your daughter? I will say that yes, assuming there are not major continuing difficulties that can make breastfeeding actually difficult, in most cases it does. But of course every mom is different and every experience is different.

    Barring cases of severe breastfeeding difficulties, in my personal observations, the moms who never really enjoy what is basically 'normal' breastfeeding fall into two main categories. 1) They are uncomfortable with the entire idea of breastfeeding for any number of reasons (poor body image, lack of familial or peer support, not comfortable nursing in public etc.) The other group are moms who are overly worried or concerned about things that are actually fine and normal.

    I see a few things in your post that I wonder about, such as the needing to burp baby so much, the idea he does not eat enough despite being hungry, and the too forceful letdown that turns into a too slow letdown and then back again in a matter of days. Could you tell us more about that? What are you doing to 'fix' the forceful letdown? What happens if you don't do so much burping or baby does not burp? What are you trying for the burping? How do you know baby does not eat enough? If you already addressed these issues in other threads you can direct me to those if you like.

    I know that my issues are pretty non-serious compare to some mamas but I am just tired of constantly dealing with one or the other thing & not enjoying BFing at all.
    I think that any issue is serious if you think it is! Nursing takes lots of time and is a huge part of mothering a baby, it certainly is easier to do if mom finds it overall enjoyable. Of course, no mother loves every moment of breastfeeding and we all have bad days, just as no mother loves every moment of mothering.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Does BFing ever get easier & enjoyable?

    with LLLMeg.

    In my experience, breastfeesing almost always gets much better for almost all moms. Most of the annoyances of nursing a young baby are just due to the baby being small, young, uncoordinated, fussy- basically, to the general characteristics of a young baby. There are certainly exceptions to this rule- there are moms who just don't enjoy nursing and never will, mostly due to the issues that LLLMeg mentioned above. But if you ever found yourself enjoying nursing your older child, or at least got to a point where it was tolerable, then you're almost sure to get to that point again.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Re: Does BFing ever get easier & enjoyable?

    Thank you ladies!

    After first 2-3 months I enjoyed BFing my daughter very much. I also used to keep a blanket with me & would nurse her in the car if we were out & about. And after weaning her at 18 months, I missed the bond & closeness.

    With my little guy, I know I have enjoyed the first at least 6-10 weeks for sure. Even now, I enjoy the night feeds & any feeds where he is sleeping while nursing. When he is awake he is also very much distracted.

    Here is the thread about Fast letdown:

    It came back up when he ate only 5-6 mins on one side only for 2-3 days & that resulted in me being full all the time. Once my body adjusted the supply we started to deal with slow letdown on left side & he used to get upset. He would only latch for 2 seconds & pull off & re-latch & this would continue until I change side.

    As far as burping him is concerned I have really stopped burping him actively. Whenever he pulls off which is about 2-3 times for each side I stand him up & wait for him to burp. He would normally burp 2-3 times. At this point I would try to put him back on the breast, if he refuses I would walk with him for a few mins & he will burp. If that doesn't work then I sit him down straight on my lap for 2-3 mins. If he continues to suck on his hand or my hand when sitting up I know he is still hungry. I have to say my daughter also needed burps even when she started to sit up crawl, though not as much as he does.

    I am certainly a worrier, so this is probably a major factor in me not enjoying sometimes. I do try to tell myself to take things easy & it's easier said than done on some days.

    I made a few mistakes with my daughter which caused my low supply. This time around though I knew better & once the supply was in & he continued to gain as expected I assumed things are easy now & I think that might have set my expectations a little too high. I do need to remind myself that there are some bad days & we are done with the most difficult days.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Does BFing ever get easier & enjoyable?

    I think worrying is normal, especially if there were issues with an older child (or previously with the same child) and also if one baby has very different behavior than older sibling(s). I think it is pretty typical for baby to be more distracted when there is more interesting stuff going on, and having a four year old sibling probably means more interesting stuff is going on!

    IN one of my favorite books, My Child Won't Eat, the author talks about the concern that lead a mother to think something is wrong with how her child is eating (including nursing.) This section is called "Breastfeeding Without Conflict' And one part he discusses something he calls the 'crisis at 3 months.' I am thinking of you as I read this over. I truly cannot put down here what he describes so eloquently, so I can only suggest you get a hold of the book. Also If you pm me I will see if there is a way I can get this info to you. You may think it does not apply to you of course, but it contains so much wisdom overall about babies and nursing that I love it.

    But here is what I wonder about. In the normal course of breastfeeding, a baby in the early weeks is quite likely to have to deal with some fast letdown as a bit of overproduction is typical at this age. As milk production slows or 'levels out' the flow will become less, but not necessarily slow, if that makes sense. This is normal. Most babies will experience this to some degree. So I find it interesting that so many seem to have so much trouble with it! Some breastfeeding experts -ok, Jack Newman, who I very much admire- tends to highlight 'slow flow' or 'low flow' as a big breastfeeding issue. And I am not saying it is not. It can be. But imo, it is something many moms tend to worry about unnecessarily. Because many times what is entirely normal behavior in a baby is blamed on 'slow flow.' (I would say basically the same about fast flow.)

    The good thing about slow or low flow, should it be causing any issues, is that there is a very simple fix for it that works much of the time, and that is breast compressions.

    But it is entirely normal for a healthy, normally gaining baby of two or three months of age to only nurse a few minutes at a time. Baby may continue to act unhappy or hungry for various reasons, but I really believe that in the vast majority of cases, If baby is truly hungry, baby will nurse again shortly more or less on baby's own accord.

    As far as burping, I guess I am on a bit of on anti-burping crusade these days! To me, there is one reason to burp a baby, and that is if baby is uncomfortable due to trapped air. I don't otherwise understand why it is done, and would love to be enlightened if there are other reasons I am missing. In my experience, a baby who NEEDS to be burped will let you know, and then will burp, usually without too much trouble.

    My middle child got the worst of my forceful letdown and was a major 'clicker' when he nursed. I think this created air and he did seem to need to be burped a lot. The hardest was at night when we were nursing (and sleeping) sidelying beside each other and I was too tired to sit up to burp him but he was clearly uncomfortable. So I figured out a way to kind of drape him over my side and burp him while I kept lying down.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Re: Does BFing ever get easier & enjoyable?

    Hi lllimeg,

    I read the section Breastfeeding without conflict from the book my child won't eat. It is indeed quite true on many occasions for me for both my LOs. It made me think of a face my son makes & a typical sound which I interpret as,"lady, I told you I am not hungry"!!! So he clearly communicates & I understand it as well. And yet there are times I see him dive for the nipple as soon as I put him on the boppy to only unlatch the very second. I do think I need to pay more attention & decode what he really wants and more importantly follow my instinct.

    I am very grateful though for your insight, as it made me more relaxed about how much he is eating. If he is hungry he will eat!

    As far as burping is concerned, I wish both my LOs were like yours! My DS will wake up for a burp 10-15 after I put him in his crib even in night after the feed and when he might have already burped once. There have been times when he has woken up 1-2 hours after the feed for a burp. Again, I have stopped worrying about it too much, at least for now


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