Re: Baby screaming and pushing me away during BF'ing?
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! The fact that you're a NICU nurse is proof that no matter how experienced and how knowledgeable you are with breastfeeding, a baby can still throw you for a loop! What's awesome is that you haven't given up.
My guess is that the early pumping you did created a pretty large oversupply. By 4 weeks you had 250 oz in the freezer- that's a massive amount of milk! Anyway, when you have a big supply the milk tends to come out really fast, and that can be really distressing for the baby. Imagine drinking from a hose when someone turns it on full blast- unpleasant, right? Often when a baby is being blasted by a forceful letdown, the baby will pull off the breast and scream. The baby may also get used to a fast flow and become impatient when the breast doesn't immediately deliver a lot of milk, so the baby may scream even when the milk isn't letting down. Basically, the baby ends up being a Goldilocks nurser: if the milk flow isn't "just right", she's going to fuss. Here are some things which may help your baby cope with fast flow:
- Keep trying the reclined nursing positions- mom leaning back or even lying down.
- If your baby pulls off the breast and your letdown is spraying, just catch the letdown in a towel and then put the baby back to the breast when it slows.
- "Finish the first breast first"- instead of offering both breasts for an equal amount of time, allow baby to spend as much time as she likes on breast A, offering breast B only when she comes off the first side.
- Cut down or cut out the pumping. You have a really large amount of milk in the fridge and I think you can afford to rely on that instead of trying to add to it. Remember, you will likely be bringing home fresh milk each day, and your baby is going to need just 1.5 oz per hour of separation once you're back at work. You may have a pretty big milk backlog once you're back on the job!
- Aim for frequent feedings. The more often your baby takes small amounts of milk, the less full your breast will be at each feeding and that should mean less fuss.
- If baby gets so fussy that she will not relatch, offer a clean pinky finger for her to suck. A few seconds of sucking on mom's finger may calm her enough to enable a repeat latch attempt.
4 weeks is a fussy time of life even for babies who don't have to put up with oversupply and fast flow. Here are some things whichay help cope with general fussiness:
- White noise- fan sounds, radio static
- Motion- rock in a rocker, stroller ride, swing, car ride
- Warm water- give baby a nightly bath in the sink or get in the tub with her
- Snuggle- carry baby in a sling, hold her close to your bare chest
- Calm house- babies can get very overstimulated by noise and light, so turn off the TV and stereo and rely on natural light as much as possible
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!"