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Thread: Nipple Pulling & Fussing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    8

    Question Nipple Pulling & Fussing

    I'm a newbie here so forgive me, please, if I'm asking an already addressed question.

    Quinlan was born 2 1/2 weeks early and we had some issues getting a good latch and with her consuming enough at each feeding. She would fall asleep at every feeding.

    Finally, we've moved past those issues and she's doing quite well - gaining weight and such. She's a month old now. However, every so often (and a lot last night) she was giving feeding cues and then would fuss and pull at my nipple (very hard) and occassionally pop off (yikes! ).

    I have no idea what this means , but it concerns me because I only have one breast to feed from (as a result of breast cancer) and I'm caring for my nipple like it's the Hope Diamond. I dont' want my nipple to suffer too much because I don't have an alternate for her.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: Nipple Pulling & Fussing

    Hi welcome to the forum. Don't worry about re-addressing questions, it just gives us all a chance to review what we have learned ourselves.

    At around 3 weeks old they start really learning the mechanisms of passing gas. Some of this means that they will want to comfort nurse as they push and strain (over exertion is normal while they learn). The gastro-colic reflex may be responsible for some of the latching on- popping off, pulling with the nipple still in the mouth ect.

    Have you done any gas relief activities, such as bicycling the legs or bending the knees towards the tummy gently? More frequent burping may help too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    288

    Default Re: Nipple Pulling & Fussing

    Welcome! Congratulations on the birth of your baby and breatfeeding after cancer! That's awesome! So, people are going to get sick of me bringing this up, but since it's what I experienced it's what always comes to my mind first... Acid Reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease -- GERD) often leads to the kind of nursing behavior you describe. While many babies with GERD spit up, some do not (silent reflux). I suggest that you discuss it with your pediatrician if it doesn't seem to be gas. (There's lots of good basic and advanced information at www.reflux.org )

    Good luck, and keep us posted!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,721

    Default Re: Nipple Pulling & Fussing

    My LO has silent reflux, as in not spitting up - but she's very uncomfortable. However most times when she does the pulling and fussing stuff it's because she needs to burp. Unless your DD shows other signs of reflux that you aren't mentioning, I'd definately consider gas to be the culprit.

    Congrats on your LO and on BFing with only one breast. And

    ~*Allee*~

    Damon 8/5/99 Heaven 7/24/01 Jasmine 7/20/07

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Missouri
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    93

    Default Re: Nipple Pulling & Fussing

    My DS had the same problems as "lorenzomama". The first thing that came to my mind as well was the GERD. My DS was diagnosed at 4 weeks. He would pull from the nipple, arch his back HIGH, whine a bunch, try to relatch, only to do it all over again. It was a fight just to get him to eat. It may be gas (you could use baby Mylicon drops for gas). But if it gets to where she refuses to eat, but you know she's hungry, it may constitute a visit to the pediatrician. One of the main things that I discovered too was that his breath STUNK like sour milk. That's when you know that it's reflux. The milk was coming back up into his mouth. Just my two cents!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    8

    Default Re: Nipple Pulling & Fussing

    Thanks for the pointers. I'm sending the husband to go get some Mylicon this evening and see how that works. I kind of suspected gas, but all the gas alleviating activities don't ever produce a burp or a fart. Hmmmm . . . where's that dang baby manual?!?!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Nipple Pulling & Fussing

    There are a few more ideas about what the pulling off could mean in this link:

    My baby fusses or cries during nursing-- what is the problem?

    It also says this type of behavior is pretty common in babies around 6-8 weeks old. My daughter still does this kind of thing, but it's because she's distractible or sometimes gets impatient when my letdown isn't fast enough.

    Awesome to have you here.
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Nipple Pulling & Fussing

    My wee man also gets like this and sometimes it's because my letdown isn't fast enough.. especially if I have already recently fed him.

    I found that at about 6 weeks he did get fussier and I think that if he falls asleep soon after feeding without burping he gets gas further down his system and ends up quite uncomforable and flatulent. When he is unconsolably grumpy I think it's usually due to painful gas in his bowels because he seems to cheer up after a few good farts.

    I haven't read those links provided (just about to ^_^) but there is a possibility that you have eaten something that doesn't agree with him? I have a feeling that my boy didn't like that I had been using breast pads. Let us know what you think once you have a theory, because I'd love to know if you have some insight that's applicable to my wee guy.

    And good luck feeding with one side It must be a little nerve racking at times.

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