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Thread: Just got period; baby fussing

  1. #1

    Default Just got period; baby fussing

    My baby is 9 weeks old. I've been exclusively nursing and also pumping and giving him the milk in bottles on occasion. Nursing has been going really well up until now. Today, he has been very fussy - it is as if he tries my milk and does not like the taste. He has eaten very little and is fussy, which is quite unlike him. This evening, I discovered that I got my period! Could this be connected to his poor nursing? He did accept some pre-frozen milk, but I don't have enough to last the length of the period. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Just got period; baby fussing

    Some moms notice a small, temporary dip in production when they have their period, and it is remotely possible taste is changed slightly. But fussiness and occasional breast refusal is so common and normal it is truly impossible to tell if your baby's behavior has anything to do with your period returning or not. Assuming your baby has been healthy and gaining normally up until this point, there is probably no reason to give baby bottles during your period. Sometimes a very small amount of milk in the bottle prior to nursing helps if baby is so fussy and hungry but will not nurse. But usually it is best to avoid bottles and just try nursing again shortly. Here are more ideas for when baby will not nurse: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/

    To ensure continued good milk production, my best suggestion is to encourage your baby to nurse frequently, at least 8-12 times in 24 hours. Regular bottles might cause issues for several reasons, everything from breast refusal to low milk production. So unless bottles are necessary due to a separation, it might be a good idea to reduce or eliminate all bottles for a while. It would help to know why baby is getting bottles, how often baby gets them, how large the bottles are and what your pumping routine is. "On occasion" to me means less than once a week- which is probably fine. But I do not know what it means to you.

    Of course if baby continues to refuse to nurse, it will be necessary to pump with a similar frequency to normal nursing (8-12 times per day) in order to keep your milk production from going down. So you would presumably be getting milk from the pumping to feed your baby. But that is probably not a situation you want to get into if it can be avoided.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Just got period; baby fussing

    Welcome to the forum!

    Some babies do act fussy around the time that mom gets her period. Whether this results from taste changes in the milk, or a change in flow speed, or some other factor, is unknown. In general, the best way to handle this sort of fussy behavior is to power through it and stay away from bottles. When the only option the baby has for getting fed is the breast, he is going to eventually do what it takes and feed from the breast. When the bottle is an option, he may start fussing at the breast in order to get fed via bottle. If you have doubts about whether or not baby is getting enough to eat, go back to counting diapers. Good diaper output = good milk input.

    Questions for you:
    - Have you recently started a new form of hormonal contraception, e.g. birth control pills, shot, implants, IUD?
    - Have you recently been exerting yourself more heaviy, e.g. taking up an exercise program again?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Just got period; baby fussing

    Thank you for the input - this is very helpful! I have not started any hormonal birth control or a formal exercise program yet. Usually (I'd say 5-6 days out of 7), I solely breastfeed my baby on demand. 1-2 days per week he has some pumped bottles if I am separated for a short time (i.e. for a wedding, dentist appointment, etc.). He has never had any problems with bottles or nursing up to this point. I don't think the issue is one of supply - I pumped this morning and generated 10 oz between both breasts in one pump, which is good for me. I have been trying to pump in the mornings to freeze milk because I'm returning to work in two weeks and want to build up a supply. I was SHOCKED that I got my period today!

    Based on your input, I will try to keep offering him the breast and hopefully he will take it. He has had good diaper output too, which is likely a good sign. My son is also a pretty big boy - he is 14 lb 4 oz at 9 weeks, so it was really unusual when he started fussing and not nursing well today. Hopefully this ends up being just an "off" day.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Just got period; baby fussing

    10 oz?! Whoa, that's not just good for you. That would be good for anybody. It's actually in the realm of significant oversupply, an issue which can cause fussiness at the breast. What would you say your average pump out out is?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Just got period; baby fussing

    Oh wow I did not realize this about the 10 oz. When I decide to pump (which isn't daily), I usually pump right after my first feeding with my son in the morning and, between both breasts, normally get about 5-8 oz.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Just got period; baby fussing

    Yup no issue at all with supply - you probably make more than enough based on the considerably greater than average pump output and it sounds like baby is gaining very well so that is another indication. Overproduction is not a problem in any way, unless it is causing a problem, and it sounds like things have been going well overall so it is not like you have anything to worry about. Just a few things to watch our for. When a mom has OP, she is at a higher risk of becoming engorged, and of plugs and/or mastitis. That is the biggest potential problem.

    For baby, lots of milk sometimes means baby gets more milk at the breast all at once than baby can readily handle. This would be indicated by baby becoming fussy at the breast, possibly refusing to nurse, as well as things like gagging, choking, gulping. Some babies get a little extra gassy or have explosive or green poops. None of these things are harmful to baby, although of course if baby is refusing to nurse that can become harmful.
    Luckily there is a very easy way to deal with any possible issues from OP. They are, encourage baby to nurse frequently, one side at a time if baby prefers that, and avoiding as much as possible anything that tends to increase milk production, like pumping. If you need to pump for the occasional bottle or because you are feeling full, ok. But I would suggest keep it to a minimum and you probably can stop pumping once you have 2-4 ounces or you feel comfortable again.

    He has never had any problems with bottles or nursing up to this point.
    Bottles are not usually a problem at first. Baby goes back and forth just fine, that is typical. At first. Then, for some (but not all) babies, the longer they get bottles, and the more often, the more likely a problem arises and the main problem is disinterest in nursing or breast refusal.

    Bottles potentially cause a special problem for a mom who is overproducing because in that case baby may not nurse as often or there may be a longer space between session when a bottle is given. When a mom is overproducing, frequent nursing keeps the issues of OP to a minimum for both mom and baby. Also, pumping that is above and beyond normal nursing frequency increases production.

    I wonder now if maybe the fussiness is related to your OP? This happens sometimes. If so, frequent nursing and nursing in a reclined position will probably help. More info on position: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/artic...milk-flow.html

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