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Thread: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

  1. #1

    Default Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    It just took me two hours to try and feed my baby. I cried the whole time. I seem to be bawling every day now! I feel like a total failure and for the first time ever want to just give up. BUT! I am determined not too.

    My daughter is 4 weeks old and has been exclusively breastfeeding. The first two weeks were easy, then on week 3 she started to unlatch and relatch over and over and then cry. At first it was just in the evening, so I attributed it to that fussy time or "witching hour." Then it has moved to other times of the day and now feels like all day long. She would also be in the middle of breastfeeding and suddenly cry or scream and claw at me furiously with her arms and kick her feet too. It is so unsettling to see my tiny baby do this and I can't help but to think I am doing everything wrong.

    Now, for instance like today, she will cry for the breast, she will go on it and seconds later she is crying. Sometimes I try to relatch her and she seems to arch away so I just burp her or hold her. She may calm down again but when I try to relatch its the same thing. Fine for 2 - 10 seconds then crying and pulling away. This will go on for hours and as you can imagine is pretty emotionally draining for me and not at all realistic for life. It is the most frustrating thing for me to feel like she is telling me " Mommy feed me!" But when I do she doesn't eat!

    I have tried everything. I tried different positions, burping her every time she cries, breast compressions (I am confused on the whole let-down thing anyway), singing to her, making sure she has a clean diaper, switching breasts - over and over the whole time really. I am at a total lost and desperate. I feel like a bad mother to be totally honest because with how long it takes her to get some a full belly, since she is eating only 3-4 minutes at a time, she is exhausted by the end of it and sleeps. So she only sleeps, cries while trying to eat and cries and sleeps which cant be fun for any of us and makes me feel terrible.

    I have even tried relearning to latch properly. I had the lactation consultants showing me at the hospital, but thinking maybe this is an issue - because sometimes when she is eating the nipple falls out or she arches herself to look up and it comes out....

    I really love breastfeeding (or did) and don't want to give it up.

    As far as her weight gain, we don't go back to the doc for her 1 month check up till next week but she seems to be making plenty of diapers. I feel like all I do all day is change diapers!

    PLEASE HELP!
    Last edited by @llli*jax1108; November 7th, 2014 at 12:52 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    Hey there,

    It sounds like you are having a rough time Has baby been weighed at all since birth? To see if she is gaining at all? Are you getting poopy as well as wet nappies?

    Was feeding assessed at all since you left the hospital? Would you be able to get hold of one of the LC'S, preferably an IBCLC to take a look and see what they can see?

    I hope you don't mind the questions!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    How do you feel about your supply? When baby unlatches do you see milk? Is it spraying out?

    The crying/fussing at the breast and the latch/unlatch thing can be for several reasons. Over active let down where the flow of milk is too much for baby or low supply and baby is latching/unlatching/relatching trying to get more milk to flow.

    How often in a 24 hour period do you feed? How does it feel?

    I second the recommendation to see an LC, here is a link that may help you find an IBCLC
    http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3901

  4. #4

    Default Re: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    This is so frustrating I have typed this up 5 times! Grrrr

    So my husband thinks that all of my stress is affecting my milk supply and she is also picking up on my negative emotions. It makes a lot of sense. I did manage to cry it out a bit and get some fresh air while she was sleeping and the next feed went perfectly. No crying. Though her eyes were closed most of the time for that one (even though I know they don't need to be open for a feed, but found it interesting because she has no problem when she is feeding at night too.)

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bsua65 View Post
    Hey there,

    It sounds like you are having a rough time Has baby been weighed at all since birth? To see if she is gaining at all? Are you getting poopy as well as wet nappies?

    Was feeding assessed at all since you left the hospital? Would you be able to get hold of one of the LC'S, preferably an IBCLC to take a look and see what they can see?

    I hope you don't mind the questions!
    Don't apologize, thanks for asking them!

    She was weighed at her two week check up and she had gotten back up to her birth weight. I am getting PLENTY of both wet and poopy diapers. Looks just like mustard and seedy but seems like it is also watery?
    At the hospital (she was delivered via c-section so we were there for three days) it was all perfect. We recorded every time she ate and her diapers too. She would eat about 25-30 min total and both breasts no problem. Super easy. I thought I was taking home the perfect baby!



    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tclynx View Post
    How do you feel about your supply? When baby unlatches do you see milk? Is it spraying out?

    The crying/fussing at the breast and the latch/unlatch thing can be for several reasons. Over active let down where the flow of milk is too much for baby or low supply and baby is latching/unlatching/relatching trying to get more milk to flow.

    How often in a 24 hour period do you feed? How does it feel?

    I second the recommendation to see an LC, here is a link that may help you find an IBCLC
    http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3901
    I really don't know how to answer how I feel about my supply...I notice if one is bigger than the other! Other than that, it is all new to me and I don't notice anything really...

    Sometimes when she pulls off I do see milk, but never seen "spraying." There are times when she makes this strange sound sort of like gagging or vocal swallowing? And that's right before she pulls off and cries.

    If it is a problem with fast or slow flow, how do I fix it?

    I have had a few theories of my own come and go with this. Right now I am wondering if I am feeding her before she is hungry or ready to feed. I may be assuming it is all the same as it was when she was a week old and she would be hungry when awake if not asleep! So when she wakes up I feed her. Though this morning I waited it out but sure enough when I was holding her she was trying to root on my upper chest. So I fed her and just minutes into it started the whole 2 hour long crying frenzy.

    I did call a lactation consultant today at the hospital I gave birth at and she said she didn't really know what was going on with my baby since she couldn't be there to witness but gave me other resources. She also said that crying isn't exactly an indicator for hunger, as was once believed. So that's another reason I feel like I may be "force" feeding her and she is getting upset at my angst. Is that possible? And if so, how do I know when she is rooting on me because she needs to eat or because she just smells my breast and it is a reflex?

    If my supply is down, what causes it and what can I do??

    I will look up the resources you gave me, thank you. I will more than likely have a consultant come (is it expensive?) because I am feeling severely depressed and even me and hubby are fighting about it and sleeping in other rooms tonight. We never fight ever! We waited some painful 2 years for this baby to come and now I feel like I can't feel any joy. I am desperate!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    Ok, so weight gain has been good and latching is pain free, which shows there probably aren't any milk transfer issues which is good!

    You can't force feed or overfeed a breast fed baby because they choose whether to latch and whether to suck and how to suck, they can choose to comfort suck or to eat and have much more control over what is going on than a bottle fed baby!

    Your stress can affect your baby and your milk, but a random stranger on a forum telling you not to stress doesn't help,right?! Getting fresh air, having a hot shower, just taking those couple of minutes like you did is really good and great for your sanity!

    Babies cry for lots of reasons, remember almost everything is new to them and they are trying to make sense of it all! I would always offer to feed an upset baby, but if they refuse the breast, then hold them, bounce them, put them in a sling or a pram and go for a walk, check their temperature to make sure they aren't too hold /cold, check the diaper.... These aren't on any particular order.

    Some babies can be colicky or reflux-y even without spit up and so keeping them upright in your arms or a sling can be really helpful.

    If baby is gagging/coughing it can be your let down has squirted some milk into the back of the throat, this can happen to any dyad but if it happens a lot it is associated with fast let down. Feeding in a reclined position can help lots as gravity prevents it from squirting too far. Laid back breastfeeding is great for this.

    As for your husband, try and kiss and make up, this is incredibly stressful for both of you, you'll both be tired and both had your worlds shaken right now, there will be issues, but try not to let them linger!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    Oh and offering to feed before crying is good. Crying is seen as a 'late' cue. If you aren't sure if your baby is cueing to eat, just offer and don't worry if they latch or not!

    That said the newborn stage seemed to look like sleep - cry - feed - sleep for the first few weeks to me at least. It does get better

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    Hang in there Momma!!!!!
    To find a local IBCLC http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3901 Insurance might help cover it or you could ask your pediatrician for a referral if budget is tight or if you really don't have much money, and are on WIC, your local WIC office Might have help for you.

    I know and understand your stress and depression over this! And how it can affect you and your husband. Taking steps to take care of yourself and getting other people to help out with all other things around the house so that all you have to do is take care of you and baby will help. Offer to nurse often (like every 30-120 minutes or whenever you feel like you are full or baby seem like she might latch. But if baby doesn't latch on, don't stress about it and check all the other things and try again in a little while.)

    Basically what all the PP's said.
    Try to relax and do some breathing if baby is agitated and all the normal things have been tried (tried to nurse, checked diaper, checked temperature, tried to burp, etc.)

    Oh by the way, MY LO would FIGHT sleep like it was gonna kill him and that is when he would cry and fuss the most and sometimes he would even resist nursing till eventually he fell to sleep on some ones shoulder or finally latched on and immediately fell to sleep at the breast. He still sometimes even does it at 7 mo.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    Holy cow, can you say drama queen? (ME!)

    Thank you all! Great advice and info. It really helped to center me. I think I was overthinking, over analyzing and overreacting and so not responding to her needs. I am learning there are many other things she could be crying about! I think being sleep deprived and hungry really put us both in a bad place. After a good night we all felt better. Today she has been perfect! I have gotten a few smiles too and she has been eating super peacefully!

    She seems to like little breaks. By the time she spits out the nipple she looks asleep. She likes to arch and stretch a bit and I have learned she will cry until I put her down by herself in her bed or a flat, safe surface. Then after a few minutes she will take the other breast no problem! Sometimes she doesn't. I assume its normal, to eat different lengths of time and both breasts or not. I assume if she is still hungry she will let me know, right!

    Is it super obvious I am still trying to get over this FTM, new mom paranoia? haha when does it go away??

    Thanks again!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    Sounds like you are figuring it out.

    And the newborn phase with the sleep deprivation and trying to recover from having the baby is ALWAYS HARD even when everything is basically PERFECT (if there is such a thing.)

    I'm glad you were able to find a place to come vent and get some support and hear other opinions.

    Yes it is normal for baby to have a quick snack one time and then want a big meal another time etc. You can offer the second breast but baby may not always take it and learning baby's quirks helps and that is always going to be trial and error since all babies are different (MY LO HATED to be put down by himself in his bed or a flat safe surface.) I'm not sure if mom paranoia ever really goes away, you just learn to recognize it for what it is.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Latching and Unlatching, nonstop crying

    Different lengths of feeds, times between feeds all vary! Milk is their food and drink (as well as comfort etc). If you think of yourself sometimes you'll drink a few sips, sometimes you'll gulp a big glass, sometimes dinner will be a quick affair other times a 3 course meal! Just roll with it, your lo will take what they need when they need as long as there's no issues stopping them.

    Am glad you got some sleep!

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