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Advice please - 13wo fussing and struggling at breast

(17 Posts)
Clueless79 Sat 30-Jul-11 10:00:34

I'm really frustrated at the lack of 'official' support I'm able to access and becoming more agitated and concerned with the situation. Have tried calling LLL and National Breastfeeding Helpline numerous times and no one ever answers plus HV is utterly clueless about bf - actually just shrugged in response to my question and suggested offering the other breast each feed...well duh, hadn't tried that...angry Sorry, just needed to vent a bit.

DS is 13wo and exclusively bf. I would consider us to be well established and I feed on demand every 2/3 hrs. DS is putting on weight well though at last check weight gain had slowed (7.5 oz in 2 wks) but still said to be fine.

Over the last couple of weeks he has begun to really fuss and struggle (tensing up and flailing arms and legs) at some (most) feeds, most often at the right breast. There is no real pattern to the time of day and he also does this on the left. I would have said that the latch is good to begin with and he begins with a period of efficient feeding for maybe 5mins. He's had a bit of a stuffy nose but the problem has occurred when he's been fine and he is generally bright and well in himself. He is pooing and weeing regularly though yesterday he did one light green watery poo as well as a normal one. If I remove him from the breast after excess fussing he'll protest for a moment but then be fine.

The issue is really that it's very stressful feeding him plus the worry that he's getting enough milk - I'd appreciate any thoughts/advice at all.

wigglemama Sat 30-Jul-11 12:48:10

Could it be wind clueless? Maybe try giving a little bit of infacol before a feed? Otherwise. I'm not sure. Its disappointing that you are not getting support with this. I would advise you to keep trying to get a hold of someone though, local bf counsellor, NCT, go to local bf group maybe? I gave up due to lack of support and have regretted it every since. Wouldn't wish it on anyone!

toobreathless Sat 30-Jul-11 13:04:37

Hi Clueless,

Sorry you're finding it hard to access the support you need! Well done for getting this far.

I have a 14 week DD who is very similar & also fussier on the right. Couple of things that helped us:

1. Taking off & winding then putting back on

2. Feeding her on thr right lying on the same side she does on the left (does this make any sense?) i.e not cross cradle but lying with her body away from me on cushions. Get yourself in position then get someone to pass you the baby.

3. feeding lying down, she rarely fusses then.

4. Getting checked (& then treated for thrush) Hazel had white patches on the back of her mouth & i hadn't noticed poor thing.

5. Wearing a necklace for her to fiddle with or just stroking her hand.

6. Could he just be full? My DD suddenly got a lot more efficient at feeding and had simply had enough on occasions.

7. Feeding in a quiet place, DD is definately fussier out than at home. Not terribly practical I know!

Sure someone else who knows a bit more will be along soon,

Hope this helps,

EmmaTheFox Sat 30-Jul-11 16:43:23

Might be in an uncomfortable position? This happened with my DC, although he was a lot younger so we were just getting established... my health visitor suggested changing the way I held him when feeding. I was feeding him by letting his head rest in the crook of my arm, but she suggested holding his neck with the hand on the opposite side to which breast he was feeding on and it worked a treat. He was able to adjust his position and BF easier.

Clueless79 Sat 30-Jul-11 18:06:47

Thanks for all your advice - been away all day and, touch wood, after this morning we've had better feeds. Tend to have 'on' and 'off' days with it. I try winding frequently and don't tend to get wind up until after he's decided he's finished and satisfied though will try going back to infacol which we used in earlier days. I'll also have a go at some other positions. We've had another loose green poo today (lovely) - i read somewhere could be due to lack of hind milk being consumed so that doesn't really make me feel any more reassured. Will get him weighed this week to see.

livingonsaladalone Sat 30-Jul-11 20:27:36

Could it be that you have a really strong let-down on that side which he doesn't like / struggles to cope with? My DS1 was like this (and fed better on right than left), not initially but starting at about 8 weeks. Feeding either on my side or in a lying back position really helped.

Other possibilities that I can think of are that as suggested above he only needs 5 minutes now (he may just have become very efficient?), or that he's getting much more alert and nosey and would rather be looking round the room once he's taken the edge off his hunger (in which case, feeding in a very quiet place / musln over head during feeds may help. With DS1 by this age I couldn't even have the telly on).

To me that weight gain sounds fine, they do slow down a lot at this kind of age (which can be a bit of a surprise if you've been used to large gains in the first couple of months).

RitaMorgan Sat 30-Jul-11 20:47:26

Could he just be finished after 5 minutes? Is that the point at which you swap sides?

Clueless79 Sun 31-Jul-11 14:37:49

I feel like there isn't enough milk or too slow let down rather than too much/too fast - I don't feel the let down at all but do usually hear good swallowing at least to start with. I have considered that perhaps he is 'emptying' the breast more quickly and efficiently than he used to but then why is he still pulling and seeming to get frustrated as if nothing's coming out? It's so annoying not being able to know what's really going on. Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions.

TruthSweet Sun 31-Jul-11 16:23:33

Clueless - does this look familiar? It's a video of a baby fussing at the breast due to slow flow.

If you think your baby is fussing as your flow is slower there are things that can be done to help. Breast compressions can work well to placate a baby who is frustrated with a slower flow. Full instructions here.

I'm not saying that you do have a slow flow issue but that if you do here are some ways identify and to work around it.

jurassicpark Sun 31-Jul-11 22:06:53

could it be teething? Is it any better if you feed lying down? I've noticed similar things with my 14wk old, but also with drooling and a load of chewing.
Could be that it is uncomfortable sucking in a particular position. My DS has been fussy on the right too.

PenguinArmy Mon 01-Aug-11 07:14:48

DD was a 'fussy' eater with it peaking around this time for me it was related to slow let down. There were a few articles on kellymom but tbh it largely seemed the advice was to wait it out (providing obvious things like reflux, illness etc had been ruled out). What worked one week didn't the next.

It was the middle of the night feeds that were the worse especially once I was back at work (which was 4 months not 6 in case you're thinking it will be as bad in a few months time) By 6 months she seemed to have got used to the slow let down. In the first few months it is more hormonal driven hence some issues come out around this time.

Clueless79 Mon 01-Aug-11 12:59:40

Yes the video does look familiar - except it's worse in our case. I'm trying breast compression to some success but not sure i'm doing it correctly. I just feel like he's having to make loads of effort and not actually swallowing much. The fact that I have no idea why this is happening is really frustrating me and I'm getting upset that my baby may not be getting enough milk. I've phoned LLL and National Breastfeeding Helpline repeatedly and no one ever answers. I desperately want to continue breastfeeding but don't know where to access any direct real life support. It's great that people on here have been so lovely and supportive but it's a fairly desperate situation when this is the only place we can get any sense! I'm going to post seperately to see if this is the general picture regarding sources of support...

Thanks again x

RitaMorgan Mon 01-Aug-11 13:08:00

Maybe try the NCT breastfeeding line too? I think the NCT line is actually staffed whereas the others rely on volunteers.

Whereabouts are you based? Someone on here might know of a group near you.

Clueless79 Mon 01-Aug-11 13:27:00

I'm in the North East, near Newcastle. Thankfully I've managed to have a chat with a lovely lady on the NCT line - which also resulted in advice to try breast compression. Feel better for talking to someone but would really like to see someone in person who could have a look at what's really going on. Have just posted a bit of a rant on here - the whole experience is turning me into a crazy lady!!

TruthSweet Mon 01-Aug-11 21:38:01

Clueless - Any near you on here or this is a bit out of date but some of them should still be open or this one is in N-U-T or this?

You should have been given details of bfing support locally by your HV, are you still in contact with her? I know some areas only do the essential checks so you might not be!

twinklegreen Mon 01-Aug-11 21:44:59

local bf support groups here

Clueless79 Sat 06-Aug-11 14:19:06

Thanks for all the advice - have found local groups and had some great local advice this week too so feeling lots better!

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