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Thread: Self weaning, already?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Self weaning, already?

    DD is 3 1/2 months. For the last week nursing has been horrible! I had a clogged ducts on and off for a little over a week (thank goodness it didn't develop into mastitis). She was getting frustrated nursing on that side, so she would bite and pull and kick and scream. Now she's still continuing with that behavior, but on both sides. Also, she refuses to nurse at night before bed. She also won't take my EBM at night either. I have lipase issues so we tried scalded and non-scalded and it doesn't make a difference. She wants formula. I was talking to my SIL (she successfully nursed all 4 of her boys) and she said some babies just don't want to be bothered anymore. My SIL wittnessed some of the behavior yesterday and she couldn't believe it. She said she's surprised I'm even still attempting to nurse with the way DD is acting. She's only nursed twice today the rest has been formula or some EBM. Is she quitting on me already?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: Self weaning, already?

    Nope, definitely not weaning. But it sounds like there is something going on there. Can you describe her behavior more? Does she nurse fine initially and then get frustrated or is she frustrated from the beginning? Are there times when she has no trouble or is it every feeding? When did the frustration start? How much formula is she getting? Did the bottles or formula get introduced prior to the frustration behavior?

    Here's a good article that can help you figure out what might be going on.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Self weaning, already?

    When she starts showing signs of hunger is when I begin to nurse. So I don't think I'm trying to nurse when she's not hungry. She'll latch on, but after a minute or two she bites and I mean really bites hard. Then I try to take her off and she won't let go. Just screams while my nipple is still in her mouth. She never used to move her legs. Now she is constantly kicking me in the arm and shoulder and pulling my hair or shirt or whatever she can get a hold of. When I try to hold her hand and pin her leg down she just bites and screams louder. The only time she nurses really well is if she wakes up during the night, first thing in the morning and maybe one other feeding during the day. This all started last weekend.

    She has had bottles before. We had to supplement with formula when she was about 3 weeks old. My supply was low and she wasn't gaining. We stopped supplementing with formula when she was about 5 weeks. Just started giving her the formula again a couple days ago.

    This is becoming extremely frustrating! I go back to work in 3 weeks and really need to figure all of this out before then.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Self weaning, already?

    A 3.5 month old doesn't "Want Formula" she instinctively wants to nurse. But if you put formula or bottles into the mix when there is some other issue, yeah they can be easier. Which is why when you encounter issues and you are already exclusively nursing, the answer is more nursing. Things it COULD be that will not be addressed are: Growth spurt, child growing impatient(Either the letdown doesn't happen quick enough or after it is over the milk flow isn't fast enough for her.) Teething, positioning can affect a teething child negatively. And something you ate that doesn't agree with her. AN nursing strike. These happen for various reasons and simply need to be worked through.
    What your SIL said about a child not "wanting to bother anymore" THAT is the situation being exacerbated by the use of bottles. Because if she IS struggling with a letdown of flow issue and you introduce the bottle than rather than working through it she is offered an easier way. If she sees that she doesn't have to work so hard for her food she won't. But the fact that she is still night nursing lets you know that when on autopilot, she is still instinctively able and willing to get her milk from you. If it is in fact a strike, the best thing to do is to ONLY offer to feed her when she is about to nap, about to get up from a nap, down to sleep, middle of the night, and first thing in morning. If your child is still taking at least two naps a day that is enough feeds. Lose the supplements. They are a slippery slope and nothing you have written indicates that you need them. Babies go through phases with nursing. It's not always easy. Clogged ducts suck. So does the idea that your child is rejecting you. (Which is what a strike feels like.) But let go of the idea that you can't do this OR that your child WANTS formula. Even if there is something in your milk that your child is rejecting that can be worked through. Breastfeeding is work. It is. But it's the healthiest thing for your child and you won't be sorry you stuck with it. No one ever is. Keep us posted.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Self weaning, already?

    At 3.5 months old, a baby isn't ready to wean. Weaning happens when the baby's nutritional and emotional needs are met completely by things other than breastfeeding. It sounds like your baby is having problems with nipple confusion. When you give her a bottle, she is receiving milk right away. When you breastfeed, it can take a while for your milk to let down, so she has to work "harder" to get the milk. This can be confusing and frustrating for a baby. My suggestion is to stop the bottle. If you must feed her formula, only use an eye dropper, spoon, or finger feed. Preferably, you would be feeding her only your expressed breastmilk. When the milk comes from your breast, it doesn't have a lipase problem. This is something that occurs with expressed breastmilk. Offer your breast every hour, even before your little one acts hungry. This will make sure that she isn't getting too upset that the milk doesn't come down right away. As you increase feedings, decrease the amount of formula. It might be hard...but you can do it!

    But she is definitely NOT weaning...unless of course she is able to feed herself three square meals a day at your family table! (just kidding, of course).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Self weaning, already?

    Oh, poor you! I can't add more to what pps said already, but agree. All I can say is that I've been through similar problems with my DD2 and then i was frustrated, but when my DD3 started doing the same thing, I was upset, honestly, almost (sometime not almost:-) cried every nursing, but stubbornly continued to nurse and we're good now (she's 3.5 months now). When she screamed, I'd pull her away, pat her back, walk around with her, rock her, wisper in her ear, did everything I could to calm her down, sometimes even make her fall asleep for 5-10 min in my arms, and then try to nurse again. Mine was the worst in the evenings. But, just like yours, she'd be ok at night. Just be strong and do what's right, she'll get over it. If you're home with her full time, I would nurse and wouldn't give her a bottle. But there is NO WAY she's weaning!
    Mother to 3 beautiful girls

    Victoria, our queen, born on 04/15/1993, our pride and joy!
    Natalie, our little princess, born on 08/24/2008
    at birth 7lbs 11oz, 20"
    at 2 y.o check up: 26lbs, 34 1/2"
    Sofia, our tiny princess, baby-surprize,
    born 07/20/2010 at 6lbs 10oz, 19"
    6 weeks: 9lbs 14oz; 21 1/2"
    2.5 months: 11lbs 5oz

    4.5 months: 13lbs 4oz; 24 1/2"

    We are still exclusively
    at work

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Self weaning, already?

    I also wanted to chime in that babies don't self-wean at 3 months. The natural duration of breastfeeding is at least 2-5 years.

    Lipase is a problem with expressed breastmilk that has had several days to sit, where an enzyme in the milk "pre-digests" it, and it smells and tastes kind of like vomit (what your partially-digested stomach contents smell like). Lipase is most often noticed in frozen breastmilk, which has had the lipase enzyme sloooowly working during the time the milk is frozen. If you're storing milk in the fridge for several days before feeding, it's possible to notice a lipase issue, but it's really much more common to find it in defrosted milk (which has been sitting for weeks/months), than in fresh milk that's only a few days old. If you're expressing and then feeding within, say, a day, it's very unlikely that lipase is a culprit. My fresh milk kind of has an aftertaste to me that is a bit funky, but it's not a lipase issue.

    The fussing and biting/clamping that you describe could be either frustration that milk is not immediately available when you put baby to breast (because she's gotten used to bottles), or possibly that your milk lets down very aggressively once it starts flowing. More info would be helpful to diagnose the problem. But either situation is absolutely workable, and there's no reason to quit breastfeeding.

    Now, as they get older, they will start squirming around more during feedings. My DS at about that age starting the pinwheeling "arm of doom" that would swing around and hit my face. As time went on, he'd kick, pinch, poke his fingers into my mouth and nose, and all kinds of stuff. Unfortunately, that's a developmental phase that will likely continue. Lying still nursing isn't as easy once they get more absorbed by the world around them, it's boring. Which doesn't mean they should be cut off from nursing. It helps to wear a nursing necklace or to have small, soft toys to put into LO's hands to play with while nursing.

    ETA: Oh, my DS also went through a phase of turning red and screaming while thrashing his head from side to side, even though the nipple was in his mouth. That's usually a sign that you've waited too long to feed, and baby is impatient/frustrated with hunger. Or kind of a diva, which I think my son often is. For a few weeks, he'd just spaz out, refusing to close his mouth on the nipple for a bit, while I patiently told him "it's right there. it's in your mouth. it's right there." It's weird, but no reason to stop breastfeeding, and it did pass. I think it helped to offer the breast more often (for us, that was about every 2 hours during the day).
    Last edited by @llli*manatee; October 26th, 2010 at 09:59 AM.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!

    My little boy is my everything.

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