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Thread: 12 week fussy/distracted while nursing

  1. #1

    Default 12 week fussy/distracted while nursing

    Hi! I have a 12.5 week old EBF baby. She is 14 pounds and very healthy, but since 10.5 weeks she has been increasingly finicky about nursing. For a while she would only nurse from the right side if I offered it first (my left side had a faster let down/more milk). I started pumping the right side 15 minutes twice a day to see if that helped... but I don't usually pump and so it didn't seem to do much. Now the right side is producing more than the left side, and so she's rather finicky about both. The past few days I've been pumping both sides 3 times a day for 15 minutes after feeding and getting around 1-2 ounces per side. She doesn't take a bottle or a paci, so I'm not sure what I'll do with the milk, but it's in my freezer.

    Anyways, lately we have to do a kind of dance to get her to finish nursing. We start in the cradle hold, then she doesn't like that (pulls back, arches, cries), switch to football, stand up, bounce, walk, etc. It's stressful, and I want to make sure that she keeps gaining well. She does nurse well when sleepy. She wakes up to eat about twice a night and feeds well.

    The doctor suggested that she might have reflux but I'm not sure that is what is causing this. She sleeps in a swing in our room and takes some naps in a carrier. I am already gluten and mostly cow dairy free for my own health (I eat butter, and am able to handle trace amounts of dairy in things like salad dressings). I do drink goats milk and eat goat cheese. If I thought it was food related I'd probably try cutting out all dairy. She does not have diaper rash, eczema, does not spit up, or have bloody poops. She has green poops very, very rarely (and I have/had oversupply). I've cheated and had icecream and she was fussier, but I was never sure if it was coincidence or not.

    Any suggestions? I thought it was supply, then I thought it was positional, and now I'm not sure what it is. I miss my peaceful nursing sessions though.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 12 week fussy/distracted while nursing

    Hi I'm curious why you are pumping? Are you concerned that you have low milk production? Or are you feeling uncomfortable -too full- even after baby nurses? If you have or have had a overproduction problem of course pumping might make that a problem again. But you don't think the behavior is related to fast letdown?

    Also can you explain specifically what is different I'm not sure what you mean by your baby is not finishing the nursing session. Maybe baby is just eating for a shorter length of time than previously- that would be pretty typical of this age. is baby nursing much less often than before? Refusing to nurse at all? Acting distracted? All of the above?

    Three to Four months is a pretty notorious time for changes in nursing behavior. this seems to usually be a temporary issue, although whether it is temporary because baby changes their behavior back or because moms just get used to the new normal I'm not sure.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 12 week fussy/distracted while nursing

    Hi!

    I'm out of state for a month, and my lactation consultant thought that my daughter was frustrated because I didn't have oversupply any more and so suggested pumping.

    My daughter isn't finishing nursing sessions, and will latch eagerly only to pull off and cry/yell. She used to comfort nurse for ages and was a very peaceful nurser. Now she thrashes about and arches her back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 12 week fussy/distracted while nursing

    Ok so the pumping was a suggestion for dealing with this new behavior? How long have you pumped for and has it helped with the behavior? How do you feel your milk production and letdown are now? When you had OP, did you reduce it by block feeding or some other intervention, or just let nature take it's course?
    If your milk production has reduced to normal and baby is frustrated by a slower flow than before, have you tried breast compressions? Does baby typically switch sides during a nursing session? Switching sides can also increase flow and help a baby stay more interested. Sometimes the best course of action is to just let baby adjust to the new normal. Milk flow slowing down a bit sometimes after 2-3 months is a fairly typical occurrence.
    I am still not sure what you mean by baby is not "finishing" a nursing session. What signals the end of a nursing session to you?
    At this age, many babies nurse for a shorter period. They may nurse more often than before, the same, or less often. But shorter nursing sessions at least some of the time is pretty typical. At the same time they can become more distracted and squirmy. I guess I am wondering how unusual this behavior is.
    Has your child ever gotten bottles? If so, how regularly?

  5. #5

    Default Re: 12 week fussy/distracted while nursing

    Hi Maddieb,

    We figured it out! She has positional torticollis and so we were able to see a pediatric PT for an evaluation. Counter-intuitively, he said to offer the least preferred breast in the least preferred position (so right breast, cradle hold) first and to just let her fuss until she takes it. He did the evaluation and said that it was a matter of preference, but not pain. It seemed like a horrible idea but turned everything around. She told me how much she didn't want it, and then she took it. And each time she takes it a little longer and with a little less fuss. This is also stretching her neck, so it's helping everything. She had laser surgery at a week to fix a posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie, and he said that he thought that might have played an issue in it as well. Though looking at her newborn pictures, the head tilt is in every one, so it probably began in the womb.

    But it sure was confusing! I had cut out dairy and was losing my mind.

    Thanks for your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: 12 week fussy/distracted while nursing

    I am so happy you found an answer and that things are going better! It sounds like you saw a great PT. Yay!

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