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Thread: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

  1. #1
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    Default Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    My wife wants nothing more than to be the best possible Mommy she can be but we are having some serious issues. First of all, our little guy is a biter and just chomps at the breast. He is 2 weeks old and has always had problems with latching on. All of the LC have given us is headaches with about 4,000 different theories and remedies. Believe me we are all too well informed about the issue of Nipple confusion but isn't nutrition more important than nipple confusions? My hope is that there is someone out there that has encountered such issues who can tell us what they did to remedy the situation. It has gotten to the point where BF has taken the joy of this experience away from my wife who is a first time mother. This is all she has dreamed about and now feels like a failure because no matter how hard she tried nothing is working. Our baby lost 9% in the Hospital and on two weeks was 5-6 ounces short of his birth weight. We are stressed and anything anyone can do to shed light on this would be greatly appreciated. We have given pumped milk to the baby as the MD suggested and now she feels he has nipple confusion and will never get the hang of it. We are debating whether to just pump and feed for 8 months. Please help.

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    Default Re: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    Hi Dad! It sounds as if you and your wife are frustrated over what is best for your baby and how you can continue to breastfeed for the recommended year and beyond with the difficulties you are facing to this point.

    Has your wife been to a La Leche League meeting locally? If not, I would highly recommend that she does. Sometimes the mother-to-mother support and seeing a LLL Leader in person can help quite a bit.

    About the weight loss...it is not always the best indication of whether baby is getting enough milk. Here are tips for determining whether your baby is getting enough milk How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?

    Just without seeing your baby/wife, I wonder if the issue is a "bad latch" because of the biting in such a young baby, coupled with the slow weight gain.

    If your wife takes the baby to a LLL meeting, the Leader can generally see the latch and know if it needs improvement.

    A few more articles about biting, latch:

    What Should I Do If My Baby Bites Me?

    Resources on Latch/Latching on from KellyMom.com-not a LLL resource

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    Default Re: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    Our son chomped for almost three months. Everyone talked about BFing being a relaxing experience, but for us it was anything but. He had a short, tight frenulum which was what caused the problems. We got it clipped at 9 weeks and by 3 months nursing was such a different experience. Encourage your wife to keep seeking help and stick with it. BFing gets so much easier as you get experience. And remember, being a supportive husband is a huge factor in her feelings of success as a mom. Hope you can find a good solution soon.

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    Default Re: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    Also, if you can give some more details of what is going on (feeding patterns, coming off the breast, arching, etc.) someone who has had similar issues may be able to chime in with some help.

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    Default Re: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    He wants to eat all the time which makes us feel he is not getting enough. He is an aggresive biter who goes to sleep about a minute into the feeding. We are seriously considering just pumping and feeding him a bottle that way we know how much he is getting and he is still getting breast milk. It is frustrating and I think it is important for his mom to have some sanity. It is a lot more difficult than it looks.

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    Default Re: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    It`s worth it to stick w/ breastfeeding unless their is a serious reason not to do so. My son nursed almost non-stop for six weeks (and still does sometimes) and I was worried that he was not getting enough. I supplemented at the beginning and it made matters much more complicated (nipple confusion, stress, guilt and lowered supply) But he was gaining weight, had enough dirty/wet diapers without the supplements also so I try not to worry about him feeding so much. I`m really bad at pumping so it was never a temptation for me (although that way you know how much the baby is getting).
    I encourage your wife to continue nursing even though it is hard at the beginning. Her body will eventually catch up and produce the required amount of milk. I cried so much about it at the beginning that I could have filled bottles with my tears, but it eventually gets better. My husband has been more than encouraging through it all and I cannot tell you how much it means to me.
    I know I probably did not tell you anything that you don`t know already. But hope that it helps to know that someone else has also travelled that road before.
    Peace

    Mommy to a busy toddler

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose."
    Jim Elliot

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    Default Re: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by Carson's Daddy View Post
    He wants to eat all the time which makes us feel he is not getting enough. He is an aggresive biter who goes to sleep about a minute into the feeding. We are seriously considering just pumping and feeding him a bottle that way we know how much he is getting and he is still getting breast milk. It is frustrating and I think it is important for his mom to have some sanity. It is a lot more difficult than it looks.
    Hi. Congratulations on your new son! I think it's wonderful for you to be here looking for answers. There are a couple of things you should know about breastfeeding. Nonstop eating is totally NORMAL for newborns. They should eat 8-12x in a 24 hours period. Which can be as much as every hour. It does NOT mean that he's not getting enough. It means he's growing and needs to work w/ his mother to establish her supply. It's crucial in these 1st weeks that EVERYONE wraps thier mind around the fact that all Mom should be doing is feeding her child and being fed herself. Most of us set up Nursing Stations for the 1st 6weeks. That's where you pick a spot, living room or bedroom where Mother and baby are going to be comfortable for HOURS w/nursing pillows, remotes phones if mother is up to take calls, large glass of liquid and snacks. Mothers stays in one spot usually watching television getting up to change baby and pee and get more food for herself. That's it. That's really all she should have to focus on right now. You can show your support by giving her permission to do this, getting her stuff to eat when you get home if your working and taking the baby and doing diaper changes for her when your home.

    You could exclusively pump but you've talked about being concerned about her sanity and it's much more likely to remain in tact if you just help her ride thru this initial overwhelming period. Believe me we know it can be very overwhelming! The reason for that is because exclusive pumping takes TWICE AS MUCH TIME. Mom has to be away from the child to do it and then still take the time to feed the baby. Plus the pump will never be as effective as the baby as extracting milk. So then you run the risk of thinking she's not producing enough because pump the can only get an oz or 2oz in a pump session when the baby could have easily have gotten 4. KWIM?
    You talked about knowing way more than you want to about nipple confusion. It's a real problem especially at this point in the game and should be avoided if at all possible. The issue is that it's way less work to get milk out of a bottle than a breast. Part of staying at it all day during thiese early weeks is that Mother and child both need PRACTICE. If the baby know this is the only way to get food he will do the work needed to get it. If you let him think he has a choice he will likely pick the easier method and not want to do the work involved in BFing. SO of course nutrition is the most important thing. But nothing that you've written here suggests that your child isn't getting enough to eat. He's gaining. Perhaps not as quickly or as much as you'd hoped but he isn't losing weight now and all babies lose weight after they are born. My son weighed 8lbs 2oz when born. He got down to 7lbs 9oz. He didn't have any interest at all in eating for the 1st 24 hrs and I didn't make him. We didn't supplement and it went fine. I did however spend the better part of the 1st 8weeks on the couch in the living room in my night gown day after day. At 3 weeks there was a growth spurt and he cluster fed. That's where I sat up in bed from 12 am til 5 am and every time he'd fall asleep and I'd try to move him , his eyes would fly open and he'd reclamp to the breast. That lasted about 3 days. This is all totally normal and totally natural. As your baby grows so does the amount he needs and the only way to get your wife to make more is to eat on demand.

    BF babies self regulate. You don't need to worry about how much he eats or how much your wife is making. You only need to make sure he has enough wet and poopy diapers.
    I know this is overwhelming. And probably very frustrating that you can't do more. Please help her w/ her doubts by assuring her that she CAN trust her body and that she IS doing what's best for your son. Focus on getting thru the 1st 6weeks, It does get easier. Bit these 1st 6weeks will go much smoother for both of you if you just accept that it IS normal for her to do nothing but feed her baby round the clock in these 1st weeks while they get their nursing relationship established. There should be more education before birth on the amount of time that will be spent doing it. But if you think about it it really makes perfect sense. This baby that was growing inside for 9months needed her to sustain him 24/7. That same baby is now growing outside her, is still needing her to sustain him and is getting BIGGER. It's round the clock until they can hold more than an hour or two worht of milk in their little tummies. This 1st 6weeks, as long an agonizing as it seems, blink of an eye in this 1st year. Just focus on getting thru it. And if your taking visitors, have them bring food. It makes a huge difference in the day if neither of you has to cook. Good Luck. Keep us posted.
    Last edited by DJ's Mom; October 23rd, 2006 at 02:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    Wow, excellent response by DJ'sMom!! I wish I had gotten to read that during my first few weeks when I was feeling just like you and your wife. My last baby seemed to want to eat far more often than my first two kids (they seemed satisfied eating every 2-3 hours right from the very beginning) so I thought my supply was down. I did give her a couple of ounces of formula after a cople of bf sessions to help "fill her up" and it hurt her tummy SO much we stopped. She had lost 12 ounces from her original birthweight and it took 3 weeks to bring that back up. Luckily our pedi said that bf babies often take 3 weeks to regain birthweight versus the 2 that ff babies do.

    Finally I read enough to know that it's normal to eat every hour sometimes. So we just did it. Nursed all the time. And I had some SORE nipples, so even that decision was a tough one to stick with.

    The nipples felt better by week three. She gained her weight back by week three. And by week six she was eating a little less frequently and having more periods of alertness and interaction.

    Looking back, it seems a fairly distant memory and she is 7 months old now. I read once that the first 2-3 months are a transition period for the baby and should be thought of as a "4th trimester"

    Good luck!!

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    Default Re: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    Thanks so much for the replies. My wife has just been diagnosed with Post Partum depression. If it can happen to her it definitely happen to anyone. She is the most intelligent and together person I know. So we have another concern in regards to breastfeeding: They put her on Zoloft. Our concern is that with his early developmental stage what effects there will be on him. The DR. assured us that there would be none but who really knows. Unfortunately this has turned onto a nightmare for my wife, the not latching on, the biting, the constant feeding and pumping and now post partum. Any advice anyone could give would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to be supportive and reassure her to bf because I know if she was in her normal state of mind that is what she would do but it is hard for me to watch her struggle with this and be so blue.

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    Default Re: Biting Issues and feeling like just hitting the bottle

    PPD happens. The sooner she gets on the meds the sooner she'll feel better. The are SEVERAL women here who have been on meds for PPD who BF. I'll send someone over to assure you it's fine. You assuring her that she ISN'T failing and that her Breastmilk IS adequate to sustain your child and that's she's NOT ALONE in ANY of these experiences will go a long ways towards quelling her self doubt. Hang in there and send her our support.

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