Fussy baby at the breast

(9 Posts)
Gem14716ArchieB Sat 20-Aug-16 18:30:11

Hi,

My little boy is just over 5 weeks and has been EBF so far with relatively success (I'll admit I found it harder than I expected).

However over the last couple of weeks we've been having issues with wind. The HV and our local breast feeding clinic have checked our latch and said we're all good in that respect. We've started using infacol which when we can get a burp out has helped us get some real corkers.

But today my little man has been a nightmare to feed and so distressed when feeding. He'll start off ok but then a minute or two in will arch his back, pull up his legs, twist or throw back his head and cry out... all with my nipple still firmly latched in his mouth. He'll then unlatch and frantically relatch himself and the whole thing will start again.

I've tried winding him during the feed in multiple positions, cycling his legs to make him trump and switching him to the other breast. I'm letting this go on for about an hour before I have to take him off before we do serious damage to my nipples from all the abuse.

I'm not too concerned that he's not getting enough milk and he's peeing and pooing like a trouper. I can also hear all the milk gurgling as it goes down.

I'm going to go to the breast feeding clinic on Monday however just wondered if anyone else had a similar experience and could offer any advice?? He looks so distressed during feeds and it's heartbreaking that I can't seem to do anything about itconfused.

Thanks in advance xx

TheFirie Sun 21-Aug-16 01:04:36

Could the flow be too quick for him? If this is the case, try to squeeze and empty part of the breast before latching him.
What positions have you tried?
Are you suing a nursing cushion (the one you put around you belly). He may need to be more raised and possibly have a bit of reflux, so being flat is not ideal. Try holding him on your arm in a 45 degree angle and see if it helps.

Try also attaching him when he is not requesting the breast. So he will not be so famished.

Gem14716ArchieB Sun 21-Aug-16 02:51:30

Thanks for your suggestions!

Yes I think I have a little bit of a forceful let down as he has been know to gag and choke within the first minute or so (although not today oddly). I will certainly give this a try.

We've established our feeding in cross cradle and lying down as we struggled with the rugby hold and no nursing pillow

Could the flow be too quick for him? If this is the case, try to squeeze and empty part of the breast before latching him.
What positions have you tried?
Are you suing a nursing cushion (the one you put around you belly). He may need to be more raised and possibly have a bit of reflux, so being flat is not ideal. Try holding him on your arm in a 45 degree angle and see if it helps.

Try also attaching him when he is not requesting the breast. So he will not be so famished.

Gem14716ArchieB Sun 21-Aug-16 03:38:52

Sorry that reply went a little wrong... Not mastered feeding and doing something else yet obviously!

No nursing pillow - just my post pregnancy belly! We've just done his 2/2.30 feed. So tried keeping him at a 45 degree angle. He fussed twice towards the end but certainly better than during the day yesterday!

As he fusses towards the end of a feed do you think this could be him signalling he's had enough? He normally falls asleep at the breast but the Midwife had me waking him up and bullying him to feed more when he did this at the beginning because he's list 8.8% of his birth weight and apparently that meant he'd had a slow start. However I think this has lead to some of sleep issues (he quickly becomes over tired then colicky and not sleeping during the day. So I do sometimes wonder if he continues feeding even when he's maybe had enough?? I also keep reattaching him when he comes off - should I be doing this?

Thanks x

TheFirie Sun 21-Aug-16 08:49:34

I remember that time when breastfeeding with one hand and typing with the other.... sweet memories . smile

Was he born little or did he lose weight afterwards? I am not sure about forcing a baby to eat more when he spontaneously stops. Why waking him up, babies falling asleep on the breast is the most natural thing, and they have this happy smile.
HIs nappies are full so I would say he receives enough and he is eating every 2 hours which sounds fine. There is no magic recipe that fits all babies. My advice would be listen to everyone and pick what you think sounds right for you baby.
Babies stomach often don't have the perfect pear shape stomach of adult, more like a potato so milk comes up and sometimes it burns because of the acids. If he arches his back at the beginning it might be because of his hunger and not coping with a strong flow. In that case don't wait for him to be screaming for food, if he is awake take him to the breast.
When it happens at the end, he might be full but still hungry.
Try emptying with a pump or squeezing the first flow of the breast, so not only do you decrease the speed but also your DS will receive more of the nutritious milk. You know I guess that the nutritional content of the breast milk changes while you feed, at the beginning it is more to placate thirst, the end is more dense of nutriments.

I know you tried several positions but have you tried them recently or just a the beginning? Try sitting in the bed, not straight, but leaning back with your baby on your tummy.
DS2 had severe reflux with apnea episode and we did the testing with the ultra sound and this is when the gastroenterologist told me about the baby stomach shape and on the ultrasound you could see the milk going down and then straight back up.
Try to reduce your coffee, tea and chocolate intake, and try avoiding dairy for a while (at least one week) and see if it makes any difference. I was put on a strict diet for my son's reflux (no citrus, poultry, tomato, dairy). I am not saying your baby has reflux but maybe a bit of acid, so more time for the feedings and lots of cuddles.

TeaBelle Sun 21-Aug-16 08:52:54

I used to put did over my shoulder after a feed a rub her back for at least 30 minutes or a really good burp

Gem14716ArchieB Sun 21-Aug-16 11:27:12

He was 7lb11 and only a week early with no jaundice so with the exception of his 8.8% loss a healthy little boy.

I saw 6/7 different midwives during my postnatal care as my midwife was on holiday and the last one I saw did get mad when I told her I'd been advised to wake him up and bully him to feed.

He's also been following the 50th centile beautifully since 2 weeks.

On a slight side note I've found all the differing advice from midwives very confusing as a first time mum. These are the professionals yet none of them sing from the same hymn sheet! I know every baby is different but even with regards to some of the basics such as nappy rash, bath and dry skin etc... Whole other post though x

You might be on to something with him being full but still hungry as he will fall asleep at the breast and as soon as I put him down scream and give me all the hunger cues such as sticking his tongue out and sucking his hand. I know he's had loads though as I can hear him gulping it down.

My problem is when he wakes up from a nap he doesn't give those lovely early hunger cues you see in the books/ guides. He goes from peacefully asleep to crying in a matter of 60 seconds. It's like he's testing my reaction skills! So I really wouldn't have time to express a little when he gives me an early cue because I just don't get them. I will try expressing about 30mins before I think he'll wake up. That should help a bit for some of the feeds.

Thanks again for the advice x

Gem14716ArchieB Sun 21-Aug-16 11:28:40

Hi Teabelle, glad we're not alone in spending a long time winding. We easily spend the same time winding as we do feeding!

TheFirie Sun 21-Aug-16 11:57:51

DS1 was born in Switzerland and I bought this book at that time www.llli.org/thewomanlyartofbreastfeeding. A lovely leech league volunteer was also able to help me . Maybe try giving them a call, you don;t need to be a paying fee member to receive help and support.

At 5 weeks, your DS is still a tiny tiny baby and what he needs most is your arms, which of course makes life very very difficult!

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