Over the past couple of days, I've been struggling with breastfeeding because my son seems to latch, suck three or four times, then unlatch himself and whine. This will repeat over and over for 15 minutes, and finally he will give in and stay latched and drink properly. It is extremely frustrating for me because he is struggling the entire time. It's making me very sore. Sometimes he bites down on my nipples as well in the process.
I'm wondering if any ladies out there know what I might be doing wrong? He used to breastfeed just fine. Occasionally he still does, but more often than not he does this behaviour I described. I'm thinking that perhaps he is too impatient to wait for my let down. What can I do to stop this behaviour? Thanks for any advice!
1)Your let down is too fast making him unlatch as he feels overwhelmed by too much milk. (Would be obvious during feeds at engorged times like first thing in the morning or if he has gone a while between feeds in the day)
2)Like you said he is impatient for your let down - this behaviour often signals the beginnings of a growth spurt where (unfortunately) this constantly hungry but constantly coming off to cry is pretty much the norm. (Much less likely to do this at engorged times like first feed in the morning etc.)
Scenario number one would usually be accompanied by milk spurting quite freely from your breast when he unlatches - but not always. I had this one my left breast but was never one of these women for whom it squirts across the room, my baby was just small and not able to cope with flow that was a bit stronger one side compared to the other. As she got bigger she decided she preferred the side with more/faster milk!!!
Scenario number two can be helped with breast compressions. These eject milk out and stimulate letdown and once feeding is properly underway you can stop doing them. Using whatever hand is most comfortable, cup the breast nearer to your body than to the nipple and squeeze (dont cause yourself pain). Keep the pressure on and see if baby starts to drink properly. If so keep the pressure on till babies sucks are "nibbly" or have stopped. Then release the pressure to allow the ducts to fill up again and to give your hand a rest. Baby may start to feed without a compression when milk refilling the breast drips in to his mouth. You can try another compression once baby loses interest again.
I wouldn't get too obsessional about doing them though, they are just another tool in your arsenal, as you have already said your LO will latch eventually and it is normal behaviour during growth spurts. I did find they helped my LO though and helped to keep me sane.
Hi, my daughter does this and can take up to an hour to latch on and never takes less than 30 minutes, so I sympathise with you.
My health visitor suggested cup feeding a little bit of expressed milk to take some of her hunger away and then maybe she will calm down so you could maybe try that.
I didn't know anything about cup feeding but she gave me a cup and showed me what to do. Also had 4 different people check how I was holding her to feed and what I was doing and was doing it all right.
I will admit it didnt work for me and still dont know why it takes so long for her to latch on but maybe it will work for you. Also my daughter had tongue tie, you could check for that. Has anyone checked how you hold your baby to feed and make sure thats ok?
Thanks ladies. Punk Pig, I think both of your scenerios may be correct at different times, because the odd time when he delatches, I've had milk squirt across the room. Then other times I'm positive my let down hasn't happened yet. He struggles either way and after I'm thoroughly sore and tired, he eventually gives in and drinks. He also sometimes coughs during feeds, which I read is another sign that my flow is too fast for him. I feel bad for the little guy, he wasn't even 6 pounds when he was born. This is difficult for both of us. I've tried the compressions during feeds when his feeding slows, but I'll have to try at the beginning now to see if it helps.
Weebubbles, you're right, he does have a tongue tie as well. I've inquired with my doctor about getting it cut, and she looked at me crosseyed and said "We don't usually do that anymore. Why would you want it cut?" Which I found very odd. She insisted it doesn't interfere with proper feeding, but having one myself I can attest to how it interfered with many things growing up. And yes, while baby was in the NICU for days, his nurses all monitored my breast feeding and had no issue with how he was held. Not sure how I feel about the cup feeding idea, but I may try it if I get desperate enough.
Sounds like this is just one of those phases I will have to grin and bear. Thanks again for the thoughts, it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one having this problem.
We experienced something similar and it lasted til he was about 9 weeks.. My letdowns are just too forceful so he would unlatch as soon as it started spraying.. It drove me wonky. I would just hand express some in a cloth until he could manage better. Feeding laying way back helped sometimes too. Eventually he just got bigger and was able to suck it up (literally! ) and not be afraid but it just takes time.
I came on here to ask this very same question. very frusteration because like you said, my lo used to latch on and stay latched on and now suddenly he is doing exactly like you mentioned!
Did the unlatching start once milk proper came in? I don't think a forceful letdown is apparent when there is only colostrum but once milk is in it causes problems. I agree with expressing off in to a cloth and feeding laying backwards like suggested above. Also feeding more often to avoid feeding off engorged breasts might help.
ya know I think it might be because my little guy LOVES his sleep and I often wake him up to feed him if its been 3+ hours and sometimes Im a bit engorged so I think like you said, it may be a forceful letdown issue!
tongue tie does interfere with BFing. My LO had one and as soon I got it snipped BFing was easy and not painful. If doctor won't clip it try going to a different doctor that will..............or get a Lactation consultant to recommend one and have it done that way
Any opinions, advice, statements or other information expressed or made available on BabyandBump.Momtastic.com by users or third parties, including but not limited to bloggers, are solely those of the respective user or other third party. They do not reflect the opinions of BabyandBump.Momtastic.com and they have not been reviewed by a physician, psychologist or parenting expert or any member of the BabyandBump.Momtastic.com staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on BabyandBump.Momtastic.com are not a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on BabyandBump.Momtastic.com. BabyandBump.Momtastic.com does not endorse any opinion, advice, statement, product, service or treatment made available on the website. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.