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Thread: Sucking air

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Unhappy Sucking air

    I'm new to the message boards- not sure where to post- anyway!?

    My dd is almost 7 weeks old. I didn't think that I was going to be able to breastfeed. After birth, I really wanted to. I did not have a good experience with 1st dd. Stopped bfding at 5 weeks for lots of reasons.
    Regardless, I learned with 1st dd that I had flat nipples. I did not prepare for bfding this time by wearing shells. CLC at hospital told me I'd have to use shields. I have for 6 weeks. This week I went w/o them. Daughter seems to do just as well w/o shields.
    Long story short, she does however suck air. Ofcourse she also did this with shields too. In fact, I thought the shields were making it worse (maybe air was getting in under shield somehow).
    When she first latches she's usually really ready to eat and gulps rapidly. My breasts are full and flow quickly and also are hard ( I liked someone's analogy about sucking a bowling ball). Sometimes, I think that's the problem. She does do better when breast is softer and she's not in such a hurry, but then toward the end she seems to get lazy/sleepy and starts sucking air again.
    I can hear her swallow big gulps of air at times. I hear her tummy gurgle. When I take her off to burp, she screams; doesn't want to burp; is usually hard to burp; then when she does burp, she screams again! I'm getting frustrated with this. I feel like I'm causing her pain. I don't want to stop bfding, but I'm feeling pressure from my family - especially my mom (who will soon be keeping her when I return to work).
    Any advise??


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Sucking air

    Hello Kelley,
    Breastfed babies usually don't have problems with swallowing air (unlike many bottle-fed babies). Newborns want to nurse constantly though (besides nourishment it also gives them a sense of comfort and security), so maybe your baby screams when taken off breast because she wants to get back on?
    I would suggest contacting your local LLL leader or lactation consultant, so they can check your latch without a shield now that the baby is a little bigger.
    It must be very frustrating, but you should not think that you're causing her pain! In fact, bf is the best thing that you can give to your baby! At seven weeks you are almost past the most difficult stage in breastfeeding. Hang in there! Things will only get easier from now on! Soon your baby's mouth will be big enough to latch on without any problems, you may also find than that the air problem will resolve on its own then.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Sucking air

    Hi Kelley,
    Good for you for breastfeeding your new baby! It sounds to me like you and baby still need to work out a few kinks -- the first 6 to 8 weeks are the toughest, so just hang in there! You'll get things figured out.

    Would it be possible for you to contact one of your local LLL Leaders and ask her to evaluate baby's latch? From what you describe, it sounds like a fairly simple latching/positioning issue. If baby is taking the proper amount of breast tissue into her mouth then she can't suck air. You may just want to work on getting her to latch more deeply (more breast tissue further back into her mouth). Pay special attention to her positiong and make sure it's perfect. If she's lying across you, ensure that she's tummy to tummy with you and when you look down you see her ear, shoulder and hip all aligned. It's difficult for us here to help with latching and positioning because written words just aren't the same as actual one-on-one, in person help.

    Try to remember that breastfeeding is best and that anything else is highly inferior. You aren't causing your baby pain by breastfeeding her. You are protecting her against illness and diseases. Not just now but for her entire life! Keep up the good work - you're doing an amazing thing by breastfeeding

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Sucking air

    My db is the same way. He starts off great when my breasts are really full, but then starts getting a little lazy towards the end. I hear his tummy gurgle sometimes, too. That's just an indication that when he starts getting a little squirmy, I need to take him off and try to burp him before he gets too uncomfortable. Many times, he will cry a little when I try to burp him because I know he wants to nurse more. If I try to burp him after he's full, then there's no crying. I just deal w/ his little bit of crying til he burps and then I offer more nursing. Don't give up nursing because you'll get into a rythmn and understanding of eachother soon. My db is 10 wks old now and although he'll still cry at times, I now have the confidence to just let it pass and keep calm about it because I am understanding his needs better.

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