This is my first post on the site so bare with me. My baby, PJ, will be 3 months this week so I'm kind of on the cusp between this section and the 3-6 month section. I'm a FTM so breastfeeding was a totally new experience for me but it turned out very well once PJ and I found our groove. But, in the last several weeks we've been running into some problems. I'm just gonna list them here and would appreciate advise on any or all issues.
1) In the last month or so PJ has started getting very "thrashy" while nursing. What I mean is that he'll latch on just fine, nurse for anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes and then will start thrashing and fussing. He'll break away, then latch back on, suck for a few seconds, break away again, and so on. I thought initially that it might be something I ate but, when I pump the same milk and give it to him in a bottle, he would take it just fine. So I thought that I may have a forceful let-down so I tested it by hand expressing and it only ever dripped, never shot out. Just to see if it made a difference, I tried pumping for a couple minutes before letting him latch on - still no improvement. I've also tried multiple positions. He does tend to have a pretty strong oral-colic reflex so I'm thinking that may be a contributing factor but, again, it doesn't happen with bottles. It's also important to note that this doesn't happen EVERY time either. It seems to only be when he's nursing while wide awake....when I nurse him while he's sleepy (like first thing in the morning or before nap time), he's absolutely fine.
2) Sometimes the above occurs with the addition of him becoming very fussy and crying/screaming. He has reflux but is on an adequate medication as evidenced by his improved spitting up and lack of arching. I think this is his way of telling me he's done because if I just back off and put my breast away, he immediately stops fussing. The problem here is that 98% of the time, he immediately starts chewing on his fists and I have to "top him off" with a bottle, which he takes eagerly.
3) In the last week he's started becoming very distracted. I'll put the nipple/bottle in his mouth and he'll take that time to start flirting and will smile and giggle rather than latching on and sucking. We've never made feeding time a playful time and I play with him constantly so I'm not sure why he feels this is the time to play but it ends up taking several minutes to get him to focus and, even when he finally does, he sucks, then plays, then sucks, then plays. It's gotten to where an adequate feeding, either by breast or bottle is taking upwards of 45 minutes when it usually takes no more than 20 mintues.
4) He's suddenly taking much smaller feedings than before. He was up to 4oz from the bottle & 20-25 min total nursing time....now he's only taking 2-3 oz from the bottle and will only nurse effectively for about 10-12 minutes total. He's still eating every 2 hours (sometimes every 1.5 hrs) just like always but, EVERY time he takes these mini feeds, he spends the time until his next feeding sucking on his fists but won't take any more. Again, this doesn't happen every time...maybe 85-90%.
5) I just went back to work last week. My milk supply has dropped drastically. I work 10 hr shifts & generally nurse PJ in the morning before I leave & then pump at work. I find that I can really only pump once, MAYBE twice, while at work. My employer is great & even has a room set aside for me to pump. I'm just really busy all day & end up using 1/2 my lunch break to pump. Then I nurse PJ when I get home & every feedig until bed. He pretty much sleeps through the night so I rarely nurse at night. Anyway, between my returning to work & the other issues, I'm afraid my supply is gonna dry up. I'm only geting 3-4 oz when I pump now when I used to get 6-8 oz. I'm drinking Mother's Milk tea & adding Brewers Yeast to everything but it's not helping.
So, those are my issues. I think that's probably enough!! Ready ladies?? GO!!!