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Thread: Will it ever get easier? I am really beginning to dislike bf.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    14

    Default Will it ever get easier? I am really beginning to dislike bf.

    My ds is now 4.5 months old and we have had our share of problems. He was born at home - an unmedicated peaceful vbac and our first few weeks of bf were failrly typical. he bf night and day. Then over Christmas my supply dropped big time and he lost weight. Upon returning home he began to gain slowly but continued to nurse constantly night and day (every hour or more) I started on motilium and have since weaned off of the dcrug for a more natural apporach of fenugreek, fennel, alfalfa and nursing mother's tea. Supply seems fine but ds is still fussy at the breast...discontent, gassy, and downright vicious when he nurses. He pinches and pulls at my breast, and clamps down and pulls off continually throughout the feeding. My nipples are very sore! The time of day soes not seem to make a difference. HE has yet to sleep longer than a few hours at night ( actually he did sleep 4 hours once after being up all day). He does not nap well at all. I have ried to supplement with the sns but he only takes a few ounces and it makes no difference in his behaviour. We have a ped. appt. next week but I am so exhausted and ready to just give up. I need to sleep and I have a tired and lonely two year old who is really needing some attention too. I have yet to really enjoy bf I find myself counting the months until we can start solids.
    Is this every going to get better????
    Denise

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Will it ever get easier? I am really beginning to dislike bf.

    i'm soooo sorry you are going through this but don't have much advice, as I'm new to this. Maybe he can sense your stress over bfing? Have you tried just cuddling and playing with him topless - eventually he might just happily latch on? That's how I got through some tough times with my little one. Good luck and HUGS!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Will it ever get easier? I am really beginning to dislike bf.

    I had some of the same problems with my ds and I talked to my lactation nurse and she told me to cut dairy out of my diet and the change was almost immediate. Turns out he has an adversion to cows milk just like his mommy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Will it ever get easier? I am really beginning to dislike bf.

    I know this sounds like the opposite of what you would think, but see what you can find out about overactive letdown and hindmilk/foremilk imbalance, maybe ask a lactation consultant before your ped. appt. next week. (I never got much help from the ped.) I went to the lactation consultant at the local hospital (who was free!!! Don't know why...wasn't income-based) because ds was clamping down really hard when he nursed. I couldn't figure out why b/c it seemed like his latch was correct, but he pinched, hard like the viscousness you describe, and nursed frantically. He was nursing fairly often, too. I started to wonder if he was getting enough milk. At night in particular, he would come off the breast mid-feed and scream (or sometimes arch back without releasing ), and not always latch back on even though it seemed like he couldn't have possibly gotten enough milk. If I could get him to calm down, I'd try the other side, and again, he'd nurse for a moment and scream and maybe give up.

    Turns out, in our case, I had an overactive letdown. After a moment of sucking, my milk would let down and spray at him with too much force...I actually had too much milk, and he had to clamp down to try and slow it. Maybe your med. and herbs have actually caught up your supply more than you think? The LC explained that the foremilk (released first) is more like sugar-water to quench baby's thirst, and the hindmilk (released next from deeper in the breast) is actually the denser, fattier, creamy milk that satisfies their appetite. With all the pulling off and quick nursing on both sides, my ds was getting the foremilk from both sides, and not getting to the hindmilk (and since my supply was a little high, there was more foremilk available than if my supply was lower). So, the foremilk was digesting quickly, leading to more frequent nursing, which was not helping.

    Her recommendation for us was to nurse only on one side for each 2-3hr feed, that if he pulled off, to try putting him back on the same side when he was ready again. Same thing if we stopped to burp. That allowed him to get to the hindmilk. (Toward the end of a good nursing, I compressed my breast a little to help make sure that he got every last drop, and listened to hear if he was swallowing. She said to use my judgement...if he really seemed to drain everything and still be hungry, then I could use the other side, but he usually was full if I tried the first breast two or three times instead of switching back and forth every time he came off like I had been.) The unused side would be a little engorged by the next feeding, but it subsided in a few days. (And I think I tried relieving a little pressure by expressing a tiny amount or taking a warm shower.) By the end of a week, the supply had stabilized at a more managable level, so that the letdown wasn't quite so forceful. We also nursed lying on my back, so that gravity would slow the stream a little.

    So anyway, that's the complete opposite of what you've been dealing with over Christmas, but maybe it's come full circle with the herbs being too effective. When he pulls off, if you are in a good light, try to see whether you are spraying/dripping. I didn't realize that I was, but in the LC's office, I actually saw the fine little line of two jets of milk just spraying out six inches across the room (and a tiny bit got him in the face, which made him cry harder, but it was so fine, that I'd never seen it in the dimmer light of our bedroom). Since I was less engorged than the newborn stage, I never dreamed that I actually had too much milk.

    Hope that helps. Do see a LC or a LLL leader, though, to see if they have any other tips for making sure it isn't a low-supply thing. It just seems like a lot of what you described is what we went through. It really did get better, though it cropped up again b/c I went back to two-sided feeding at the last growth spurt, and continued long enough to get my supply a little too high again. But really, it got tons better--today is the first time he's clamped that hard since things settled down (it was 2-3months ago), and that hindmilk really helped him last longer between feeds, nights started getting more managable...
    Last edited by Quiteria; April 20th, 2006 at 01:20 PM. Reason: to clarify a sentence

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,108

    Default Re: Will it ever get easier? I am really beginning to dislike bf.

    My three month old son is still often very fidgety at the breast. He pulls and chomps on the nipple. The only time he's been calm the past few days is when I'm engorged in the morning and he really has to concentrate on what he's doing. I finally read the Happiest Baby last week and started encouraging him when he latches well and suckles well without hurting me. I figuered it couldn't hurt and I like to think it helps a little sometimes. Karp also suggests swaddling a baby who's so fidgety he won't eat well, even a bigger baby. It's an easy thing to try.

    I wish I knew if it was going to get easier myself. I suppose it might eventually, but I guess we just have to hang in there and see.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Will it ever get easier? I am really beginning to dislike bf.

    This only addresses a tiny bit of your problem - but I was drinking Mother's Milk herbal tea too, trying to boost supply, and it gave my son HORRENDOUS gas. Not only was the smell awful, but he cried/screamed from the pain. His gas went away within 48 hours of me stopping the tea. So you might try stopping that for a week or so, see if it helps anything. I have no idea which ingredient caused that, though other women I know have had a similar reaction from fenugreek capsules alone, which is an ingredient in the tea.

    I also do not care for breastfeeding. It drives me crazy. Maybe I'm too analytical! I need to know how much he's getting and I need a schedule (somewhat of one, at least! ). We're still at it half-time but there's no way we're doing this beyond six months. That's my goal for right now. Nursing is more of a comfort thing for my son at this point. He nurses to sleep for an afternoon nap and again in the evenings. I pump a few other times throughout the day. Otherwise he gets formula. Based on how many ounces per day they say he should have at this age/size, I think he gets approximately half breast milk. I would like to have him only on BM but I also like sanity a little bit too, and BFing exclusively just is not for me or our family.

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