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Thread: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

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    Pazygozo's Avatar
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    Angry DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    Hello Ladies. I'm sure I read a thread about this a while back, but I can't seem to find it. Sorry.

    I am getting to be at my wit's end! DS keeps popping off the breast at his feedings. He is about 4 1/2 months old and we'd been doing really well lately up until about a week ago. He eats about every hour and a half, usually about 5 minutes each side. But now he takes about 5 sucks then pops off and fusses. Repeat several times, switch to other breast, repeat several times. Sometimes he'll latch himself back on, but not always. I usually have to try to calm him down, only to get 5 more sucks out of the little fellow. This was tolerable up until just the last few days, when all my patience seems to have run out! It's really hard to calm down a screaming child when I am NOT CALM myself. A deep breath only is taking me so far, and I am sad to admit that I get more angry and upset every time. DS needs food AND a sane mother...

    What do I do??? This is SO frustrating.

    Hmm... I think maybe part of my struggle is also a lack of sleep. Partly I just need to vent. Thanks!

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    Default Re: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    I don't have any suggestions, just wanted to let you know I feel your pain. DS has been doing the same thing since he was the same age. He is now 7 mo old and it has gotten worse. I have to go in a quiet room and tell my husband not to bother us for a while.
    My nipples are worn out, but I think our problem right now is that ds is teething.
    Maybe try going into a quiet room.

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    Default Re: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    Any other symptoms your little guy is showing? Arching his back, spitting up, choking/coughing/gasping, etc.? When does he pull off ... before let down or after? Is it only in the evenings/mornings?

    Some reasons for fussing at the breast and popping off repeatedly are:

    Needs to burp
    Overactive Let Down/Oversupply
    Distractible (but this usually doesn't include fussiness/screaming)
    Too Slow Let Down
    Reflux
    Low Milk Supply
    Food Allergy

    I know how frustrating it can be and hard it is to stay calm yourself. I went through really bad nursing strikes starting at 3 months old (I believe it was at least in part due to overactive letdown/oversupply and reflux). I would end up in tears every time I tried to nurse my starving baby and she refused (and did so violently, screaming and crying like I was torturing her). It was heartbreaking and very stressful. We did eventually get everything worked out, but it took some time to figure out the problems and we still have bad days here and there. Hang in there ... it will pass ... let me know on the answer to those questions above!

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

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    Default Re: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    I have the same problem. He just pops off at will without releasing. Sometimes if I just switch him to the other side that does the trick. I think that's how he tells me he's done on that side or the flow is to slow. Sometimes I do breast compressions if he fusses and pops off of both breasts. Sometimes it's a burp or gas. On the hot days when nothing seems to help I think he's just uncomfortable and I turn on the A/C or fan. Sometimes he just wants to look around or someone in the room purposely makes a loud noise because they think it's funny to make him pop off. Ha...Ha...

    I hope that helps I know it can be extremely frustrating especially when you are sleep deprived as well.

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    Default Re: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    i think this is commom just by reading everyone's posts- i have the same problem w/ dd. she was dx'd w/ reflux so i think that is the problem. have you looked into that w/ your LO's ped? mine will attack the nipple like she is starving but after only a few sucks her face gets red & she looks angry & then arches back away... repeat... repeat... i also have OALD which doesn't help. if my patience is really being tested i will give her to dh while i take a shower and calm myself cuz the more frustrated i get the worse she nurses. i take her to a dark room so she can't get distracted by anything & play a white noise cd. i can't say it works every time, but most of the time she will be calmed and nurse peacefully to sleep. HTH- hang in there!

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    Pazygozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    OK, I've been paying better attention today, and the fussiness is actually much less than it seemed when I was so uptight. He still pops off and on, but usually only "fusses" (kindof a more vocal grunt) when he seems to be done with that side - after maybe ten off & ons, with some longer sucking streches mixed in. No arching, no spitting up (at least, not in the middle of a feed, only several minutes afterward), no gagging. He sometimes whimpers a little bit when he is off, and his little arms are going all directions, more than usual, but not frantic. Yet, he seems to be frustrated too. Just a kind of tension.

    It seems like he does this all day, but that is probably just my perception. He's done it at every feeding so far today. I'll keep an eye on that.

    I wondered if he was distracted, but he hasn't been looking around, just staring straight ahead at my breast. Sometimes he looks up at me as if I pulled him off. Maybe he hears something? Dunno.

    The needing to burp could be a very good possibility. I was really consistant about that when he was littler, but I've kinda lagged. THANK YOU for reminding me. That helped once today anyway.

    I have never felt my let down, so I'm not really sure about that, but the popping off and on seems to start after he has been on for a minute or so, so I think it's after the letdown.

    Thanks so much for your support!

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    Default Re: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    Quote Originally Posted by Pazygozo
    I have never felt my let down, so I'm not really sure about that, but the popping off and on seems to start after he has been on for a minute or so, so I think it's after the letdown.
    Is your milk spraying or dripping when he comes off? That would tell you that your milk has already let down. Although I struggled with overactive letdown and oversupply ... my picky little girl also gets ticked off when my milk takes a little longer than she'd like to start flowing (especially since she's used to it coming down fast and flowing hard). So, I've had a frustrated girl from both situations.

    And some babies do really get upset when they need to burp ... especially important with younger babies in the first few minutes of nursing, when they take in the most air.

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

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    Default Re: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    OK, I checked about before/after let down. I have not had milk spraying or dripping except on maybe 10 occasions since those first few weeks, so that may not be the best indicator for me, but I can usually express a few drops by hand if he pops off in the middle after good sucking, when I know there's been a let down by the swallowing.

    So, these days, after the first several pop offs, I could not manually express, so he must have been frustrated that a let down had not happened yet. Then he would take the longer sucking stetches and the popping off would happen again at the end. But at the end I could still express milk, so presumably the milk flow is slowing down and he doesn't like that?? It's thicker milk drops usually.

    I have also been trying switching him back to the first breast after he seems done with the second, etc, so he had actually been eating from each breast twice in the same feeding. Could this be a problem at all? I'm thinking the only problem is the inconvenience, but maybe that much switching has it's own problems?

    Thanks all, for helping me cope! So glad not to be in this alone...

    If he's frustrated about a slow letdown is there anything I can do to speed it up? Pump for 30 seconds or something? What about at the end?

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    Default Re: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    my ds kept doing this as well happened for about3 weeks took him to the dr and he was diagnosed w/ reflux then .. i finally tried some small nipple shields and bam all the sudden no fussing no fighting latches on eats for 15 minutes and is a happy little boy. it may not be the solution for everytime but at least it's something to try! Lots of luck

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    Default Re: DS keeps popping off the breast! Grrr....

    Quote Originally Posted by andrea757
    my ds kept doing this as well happened for about3 weeks took him to the dr and he was diagnosed w/ reflux then .. i finally tried some small nipple shields and bam all the sudden no fussing no fighting latches on eats for 15 minutes and is a happy little boy. it may not be the solution for everytime but at least it's something to try! Lots of luck
    I wouldn't recommend using a nipple shield except on the advice of a lactation consultant (IBCLC). They can introduce a host of all new problems for your baby. See:

    Nipple shields
    Nipple Shields . . . Friend or Foe?

    It would be a wonderful idea to have your local LLL leader evaluate your situation. They can guide you much better than anyone can over the computer.

    Is there a La Leche League Group in your area? The leaders will help you for free.

    Here is the link to find one:
    How to Find a La Leche League Leader Near You
    You can find a list of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant's here.

    To help with speeding along the flow towards the end try breast compressions, see:

    Breast Compression
    and
    Baby wants a faster milk flow

    Here are some excellent techniques for helping a slow let down along:

    Let-down Reflex: Too slow?

    Keep us posted as to your progress and good luck!

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

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