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Thread: Fighting the Breast at Night?

  1. #1

    Default Fighting the Breast at Night?

    My daughter is now 2 weeks old, and for the last week she has been fighting and screaming at the breast - but only at night. I went to see a LC yesterday and she suggested it could be because DD doesn't like "having the breast pushed in her face" and we did some back-to-basics, infant-led nursing. It worked beautifully - but of course, it was 2:30 in the afternoon, when DD normally nurses very well. The LC also suggested that I am waiting too long to feed her, and so she's frantic when she gets to the breast rather than relaxed.

    Last night it progressed like this:

    I woke up to DD snorting and rooting - not yet crying or flailing. So I picked her up and put her on my chest, and she found the nipple and nursed well for five minutes or so. Then she pulled off and fell asleep. I let her doze there for another few minutes, just in case she wanted to wake up and take the breast again. Then I lifted her to my shoulder to be burped (she tends to get gassy), which was also fine. She fell asleep there too, and I left her for a few minutes.

    Suddenly she opened her eyes and started licking/rooting again, and throwing her head waaay back. Her legs started kicking and she was pushing herself away from my body. So I brought her down to my chest again to nurse just like before, but her whole body was so tense that I couldn't get her to even lie against me. She started wailing and bobbing her her up and down as if she was trying to latch on, but she was also kicking and flailing her arms, which get in the way of her mouth. Of course, she wasn't really opening her mouth anyway - just sticking her tongue out between her lips. She got more and more upset. After a few repeated attempts to calm her down (putting her back on my shoulder, taking her away from my breast, etc.) she finally managed to latch on, curled tensely around my boob clamped down hard, looking like someone was going to try to take it away from her. :/ Eventually she relaxed enough to drink normally.

    She did this three times before she would fall asleep! Sometimes she even managed to get the breast in her mouth just fine, but was too busy screaming and bobbing to notice.

    This is driving me crazy. A "feeding" session takes 1-3h like this, and of course it's right in the middle of the night. I am getting about 4h of sleep a night, in 1h stretches. :/ My husband is sleeping on the couch upstairs - because one of us might as well get sleep, right?

    Any advice??? This is my first child, and I'm new to this... I won't give up but I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Fighting the Breast at Night?

    Congrats on your first baby! Breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for her. Your determination is wonderful and it will help you to become successful. I know you are looking for a quick response, so I want to send you some big hugs for starters. You are not doing anything wrong. You are giving your new baby the best gift you can give. The first few weeks are the hardest, but I promise that it will get so much easier as time goes on.

    Anyhow, I am not very experience with brand new babies because my LO was in the hospital for the first month, but I know it helps just to have some positive encouragement for starters. There are lots of wonderful moms here who will chime in and give you some help.

    Have you tried feeding her while laying down? It is a great way for you to get a little rest while you are feeding her. I've found that it also helps me relax which is so important for milk production. Relaxed momma = relaxed baby. You should try feeding her that way when she has good feedings in the afternoon. Then you can work out the positioning kinks. I really love it!

    Where is baby sleeping? It sounds like she is in the room with you which is great. You can respond to her needs much quicker that way. If you aren't afraid to cosleep, I would highly recommend it. You can find some good safety guidelines here. If you are nervous about rolling over onto the baby, I would suggest a cosleeper which attaches to your bed. They can be a lifesaver for breastfeeding moms. If you have a new bassinet, see if you can return it and get a cosleeper. I also liked the snuggle nest which went right in my bed. It has sides on it so I couldn't roll onto it.

    If she is falling asleep, you could try breast compressions to wake her. Read this article to learn more about that.

    I know this isn't a ton of advice, but I know that it is so great when you can get some quick feedback. You are doing the best thing for your new baby and she will thank you for it. Just wait until she smiles back at you with your breast in her mouth. It is the SWEETEST thing ever. Don't give up Mama!
    Becca SAHM to
    Veronica 10/31/05

    and Preston 10/28/07

    <--- me!
    (I love this smiley!)

    I finally got on Facebook! If anyone wants to be my

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