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Thread: Frantic newborn

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    205

    Default Frantic newborn

    Hello! I haven't posted in over a year when my daughter was nursing. We welcomed baby #2 (a boy) this weekend, and just like his sister, he had an upper lip tie and posterior tongue tie, which we had revised yesterday at the hospital. I am seeing some improvements in his latch and my bruising isn't really progressing further, but it's still very painful to nurse (I'm hoping simply need to heal from the damage before revision). We will be making appointments tomorrow with an IBCLC and someone to do some bodywork.
    My question is, he is a frantic nurser. He will VERY quickly go from being asleep or calm to waving hands and arms, throwing back his head, screaming at the top of his lungs, etc, which just makes it harder to get a decent latch. As I know is normal at this age, he's cluster feeding for hours (going about 5-6 hours straight currently) in the evenings/into the night, which is when my ability to handle and cope with the pain and frustration is at its lowest. All that popping on and off just adds to the pain. Any suggestions of things to do for a frantic nurser, handling cluster feeding while very bruised, and just a reminder about when the cluster feedings like this usually taper off would be welcome.
    ETA: also, since he's basically popping on and off for hours straight, does it matter how much time I give each side before switching him to the other?
    Last edited by @llli*mama7008; April 30th, 2017 at 05:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,912

    Default Re: Frantic newborn

    In this situation, the first question I would want answered is about weight. Has baby reached his lowest weight, is your milk in, has he started to gain? If so, the frantic nursing is probably just a normal newborn quirk that can be solved by getting him to the breast earlier- before he's even giving the earliest hunger cues- and giving this some time. As he gets older, he will figure out that it's nursing that solves his problems, not frantic screaming.

    But given the pain, the ties, the frantic behavior, and the hours-long cluster feeds, I would be watching baby's weight and diaper output VERY carefully.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,267

    Default Re: Frantic newborn

    Congratulations on new baby! A agree with mommal about watching output and gain. In my experience cluster nursing especially at certain times of day can go on for a long time, certainly at least the whole newborn period (0-3 months.) Latch issues that make cluster nursing uncomfortable would (hopefully) be long resolved before cluster nursing would typically taper off. But cluster nursing that many hours at a time? That might be an indication baby is having some difficulty extracting enough milk. Have you tried breast compressions?

    When I had serious bruising from poor latch with my youngest, here is what helped. I found that I had to be very careful to use breast sandwich technique to get baby to latch properly every time baby nursed. I was used to laid back nursing positions and wanted to do that, but for at least a couple weeks while my bruising healed I had to start out sitting up so I could eyeball and control the latch process better. Then I leaned back comfortably once baby was latched.

    But you could also try laid back positioning from the start as it may help with the frantic behaviors (the hand waving, head throwing etc.) as well as with latch overall. If you have time, you can take a look at Nancy Mohrbacher's videos about "natural breastfeeding" where she explains why this helps baby get oriented on the breast, or just ask the LC to help you find positions where baby is able to do this.

    You do not have to wait until baby wakes up to offer to nurse. Offer as much as you like. If baby is sleeping past hunger to the point of being so frantic, you may want to try basically holding baby most of the time so baby has immediate access and can even nurse when asleep. I hope you have someone helping you with your daughter!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Frantic newborn

    Thank you both for your responses! I realized I'd forgotten to reply. =) We went home from the hospital the day after I posted, and his behavior immediately changed (now it's more a matter of making sure he wakes up enough rather than having hours of wake time/cluster feeding!). I think it must have just been a combination of normal cluster feeding and being in the hospital that was causing issues. He's been averaging a lb weight gain per week(!), so thankfully no issues transferring milk.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,267

    Default Re: Frantic newborn

    Sounds like you and baby are doing very well! Thanks so much for the update.

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