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Thread: Cries at the breast

  1. #1
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    Jan 2006
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    Red face Cries at the breast

    In the beginning, my daughter nursed like a pro and she continues to gain weight and length well. The doctor has no concerns about her growth.

    The thing is that there are more times than not where she will cry at the breast. She acts like she is hungry but once she starts nursing, she pulls off and cries. I try changing positions, changing breasts, removing some of her clothing, etc., but she still does this. It's been going on for about two months now.

    We do still have some wonderful nursing sessions and I thought about what might be different during those sessions than the ones where she cries but really there isn't anything.

    Does your baby do this also? How did you help your DC to nurse better?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cries at the breast

    My dd does this from time to time too I find that it is either one of two things, either she is waiting for another letdown (or my let down isn't fast enough for her) or she needs to be burped. Often times after I get the gas out she is able to nurse comfortably. If it is another let down issue you just have to wait and relax and be patient.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cries at the breast

    Maybe teething? My 4 yr old started teething at 3 mos and would do this from time to time..very frustrating

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cries at the breast

    Do you have a very strong letdown? My DD used to pull off and cry once the letdown started because she was getting choked. I could tell because it would spray everywhere, so keeping a towel handy was necessary... then once she was frustrated it was hard to get her back to the breast.

    I solved some of this by using a lying down position. And she grew bigger and more able to handle the flow so we eventually stopped having issues.

    Another pp said perhaps she's waiting for a letdown, and that's equally possible. Picky babies! They like milk to be a just right flow

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cries at the breast

    Thanks ladies.

    I used to have a strong let down but that seems to have resolved itself. I too was thinking that she was just being impatient. She seems to get more upset on my left side than my right.

    I'll try burping her and see if that helps.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cries at the breast

    DD did this once in awhile for me. I could never figure out why she would go crazy sometimes and then eat like a champ the other times.

    What we decided was that sometimes she would actually be really tired when it was time to eat. She would get so frantic that she couldn't latch on and if she did she would freak out and come off. What worked for us was a hairdryer. The white noise would calm her down and allow her to "focus."

    We still keep the hairdryer nearby. Now we are dealing with her being nosey so the hairdryer still helps her focus on what's important (and not that the refrigerator just kicked on!)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cries at the breast

    Does your right side produce more than your left?

    My DD prefers my left boob, the bigger producer, to my right boob--the underachiever. My right side is always fuller and lets down much faster than the left. At 5 months, she sometimes still fusses and pulls off the left a few times before letdown.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cries at the breast

    Lindsey - yes my right side is the producer of the two girls. It's always fuller and seems easier for DD to latch on too.


    I had a hell of a day with her today though. She ate very well at 6 am and again at 9 am. Then we went to our Mother Goose program and to the store. At noon, she nursed a bit but mostly cried. She slept for about an hour and I attempted to feed her again. She wasn't intersted so I let her be. Around 3 pm she was getting fussy so again I attempted to nurse her. She nursed for about 2 minutes and started getting upset again. I switched sides, positions, etc., but she just kept crying. Then she slept again for another hour.

    She started getting fussy again around 8 pm but again when I went to feed her, all she did was cry. At this point I was in tears too. She hadn't eaten well at all today. I ended up putting her to bed. She woke up at 10 and I actually got her to nurse for 15 minutes!!!

    I keep thinking that maybe my milk is sour. Is that even possible? It's getting to the point where I'm thinking of switching her to formula as we are both getting very frustrated over this. What to do.... *sigh*

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cries at the breast

    I keep thinking that maybe my milk is sour. Is that even possible? It's getting to the point where I'm thinking of switching her to formula as we are both getting very frustrated over this. What to do.... *sigh*

    It must be frustrating to hear your baby cry so much! I can reassure you that your milk is absolutely not sour--in fact it's quite sweet! You said in your posts that she's gaining in weight and length, so she's getting something, even if it's under protest I'm calculating from your sig that she's about 4 months old and you say this has been going on for 2 months. Did anything major change 2 months ago? Has she been ill or teething?

    You also mentioned that you previously had forceful letdowns, but that the situation resolved itself--is it possible that you are still having forceful letdowns? LLL's The Breastfeeding Answer Book says:

    From three to six months of age, a baby who is having difficulty handling his mother's forceful let-down may refust or postpone feedings. Even if nursing has gone fairly smoothly until this stage, some babies who have difficulty coping with the mother's forceful let-down may begin to exhibit a reluctance to nurse that may include some of the following symptoms:
    -refusal to continue nursing when the mother switches breasts during a feeding
    -refusal to nurse himself to sleep, preferring instead fingers, thumb, or a pacifier
    -refusing some feedings even when obviously hungry
    -"biting" the breast
    -a marked decrease in weight gain or even weight loss
    -refusal to nurse at all (nursing strike)
    (1997 ed., page 95)

    If you think this may describe your case, try offering the breast when she's drowsy, using nursing positions that she likes the best, nurse on one breast at a feeding. Try to make the most of the times that she does nurse well and try to get some skin-to-skin contact when not feeding. Some other posters have given good advice about managing a forceful let-down too. Keep an eye on her weight and monitor her wet diapers--she should have at least 5 to 6 wet disposable diapers a day.

    Hang in there! Keep us updated!
    Jen
    Last edited by LLL LactoJen; January 18th, 2006 at 02:06 AM.
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Cries at the breast

    I once met someone who's baby had a reflux problem and it sometimes hurt the baby to nurse. They tried medicine and positioning and still the baby would sometimes just cry and cry when offered the breast. I saw this once and it wasn't pretty! I think that baby just had to grow out of this. I'm sure that this is rare, but it's something to keep in the back of your mind.

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