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Help - Every feed is a battle

(19 Posts)
cakeandcustard Mon 03-Feb-14 18:11:43

Please help me, I EBF DCs 1 & 2 but I'm on the verge of giving up with DC3 (5 weeks). Every feed is a battle, she fusses pulls off the breast and screams at intervals until we're both strung out & exhausted. So far I've tried

Expressing a bit first in case of fast let down
Swapping boobs after first let down in case of frustration at lack of continuous flow
Infacol & frequent burping in case of wind

Nothing works consistently, I've taken to feeding her in the kitchen in front of the washing machine as this seems to calm her down. Sometimes I think she fusses when shes finished as she calms down with a dummy & doesn't need feeding again for a good 2 - 3 hours.

I've had the HV in to look & she said it seems as if DC3 just didn't know what it was she wanted to do at the time, feed or have a chat or fall asleep. She doesn't feed to sleep and very rarely looks satisfied at the end of a session. I'm at my wits end - any ideas?

GingerMaman Mon 03-Feb-14 18:18:09

How is she when not feeding? Does she fuss when lying down

How long has this been going on?

Have you looked into the possibility that it may be silent reflux or she may have cows milk allergy?

pileoflaundry Mon 03-Feb-14 18:28:18

Is her weight gain fine? (i.e. is she getting enough milk despite all the problems?)

cakeandcustard Mon 03-Feb-14 18:32:30

She tends to nap in the sling during the day but lies down in bed with me at night, I think the next thing to try might be gaviscon? I thought about reflux but she didn't strike me as very refluxy, DS2 was and wouldn't lie down, he slept upright on my front. I didn't want to give her gaviscon unnecessarily as it can make them constipated?

cakeandcustard Mon 03-Feb-14 18:33:28

I'm getting her weighed tomorrow, so far shes held her line.

pileoflaundry Mon 03-Feb-14 18:44:56

I tried all the things that you've tried, and if they didn't work, a change of scene was the next one. Stopping the feed and taking DD in my arms for a walk into different rooms, or, if there was someone else around, getting them to take her. Just for a few minutes, and (if lucky) it would sort out the mystery problem. It wouldn't work if it was the first thing I tried though, I had to do the boob swapping, position-changing, re-latching, skin-to-skin, wrapping warmly, wrapping coolly stuff first.

Have you had your DD checked for tongue tie? It could be a little tie, which makes the latch look fine from the outside, or is missed in a quick look in her mouth, but could still make it hard for her to take milk. Not sure if this is a red herring if her weight is climbing well though.

cakeandcustard Mon 03-Feb-14 19:35:07

OMG so there are other awkward ones like mine then. On the reflux front we've just attempted another feed she sucked for a reasonable amount of time, fidgeted, screamed took her for a walk & burped to get through it. Now shes quite happy kicking about on her changing mat, if she was refluxy she wouldn't be happy flat on her back straight after a feed?

MadameBonfamille Tue 04-Feb-14 09:26:10

My little one is exactly the same - she's been checked for tongue tie and it's not that, I've tried cutting out dairy but it's made no difference. I'm at a loss. Her weight gain has been good so far but seems to have slowed down this week (different scales though). I have introduced a dummy as she just seems to need to suck, but doesn't want the milk. Having said that I'm keeping a very close eye on her nappies and weight. I'm getting quite worried tbh and I don't feel like I can continue bf'ing if it carries on as we seem to both end up in tears every feed at the moment. So no advice but lots of sympathy. Looking forward to seeing if anyone can suggest anything! (Dd is 4 weeks old by the way)

Mamabear12 Tue 04-Feb-14 09:33:19

Thats exactly what I had with my son...I felt every feed a battle. I would breastfeed a bit and then pump and feed from bottle if he didnt want anymore breast (bc he would only drink from breast a little and then fuss bc of fast let down). So frustrating! I am still bottle feeding and breastfeed maybe once or twice a day....bc he doesnt seem to breastfeed that well!

fuckwittery Tue 04-Feb-14 09:45:54

This is exactly what happened with my DD3, having successfully bf my first two for 18m each no problems. She had a tongue tie that was snipped but by that time my nipples were shredded and I couldn't keep up the expressing with 2 older DC. It did eventually get easier when she was about 12 weeks and her mouth was bigger and she could control her head to latch as she wanted to but by that time 80% of feeds were formula. If the weight is ok and the feeds aren't painful for you I would perservere.

cakeandcustard Tue 04-Feb-14 12:06:50

Its interesting to know others have similar problems. I got her weighed today & shes still holding her line after two weeks of fussy feeds. My boobs feel fine so far so I'm persevering & keeping a check on her weight. I'm hoping this phase will pass sooner rather than later as I've no clue for a solution sad

Theres a bf councillor coming to visit tomorrow on referral from the HV so I'd be interested to see what she thinks.

MadameBonfamille Tue 04-Feb-14 12:27:08

Please come on here & let us know cake, I'm going back to the breastfeeding support group tomorrow to get her weighed but none of the things they suggested last week have worked. I'm really hoping it will improve by itself - sooner rather than later!

Bexmathews Tue 04-Feb-14 12:33:02

My dd was like this, in the end I ended up giving her a bottle of expressed milk, she took it fine and was much calmer! We have continued to breast feed and bottle expressed milk ever since , dd is 24 weeks! smile good luck

pileoflaundry Tue 04-Feb-14 12:40:13

I should have added that with practice I got better at working out what to do to keep my DD feeding, so it got easier. If on the odd feed nothing seemed to work, I would wonder if it meant that DD wasn't hungry and we'd do something else. This worked almost every time. It's still the case sometimes now (16mo); demands for food or milk, but after a few bites she's done and wants to rush off to so something else.

DD grew out of the fussiness, I was really glad that I managed to stick with it, she is still bfing. As wittery said, if your nipples are still in one piece and the weight good then it sounds like the washing machine is your friend.

I'd assumed that needing to put a bit of work into a feed was normal. I've remember that quite a few feeds would start on one boob for a few sucks, change to the second for a full feed (with burbs, jiggling about etc to keep it going) and then back to the first for another full go. Starting on the 'second' boob straight away wouldn't fix the problem, DD just wanted to change quickly.

I had other feeding problems and read lots, the best was Breastfeeding Made Simple, there are also some ideas on fussing at www.breastfeeding-problems.com. In a nutshell, if the baby is growing well, not ill, and the mum is not in pain and is managing to get some sleep, then it's a success. This stopped me from worrying.

pileoflaundry Tue 04-Feb-14 12:45:07

One other thing (sorry I'd forgotten so much!) is that the 'standard' way of burping DD over the shoulder didn't work, but putting her on my knee, leaning forward gently worked much better. Have you tried different burping techniques?

minipie Tue 04-Feb-14 12:46:53

DD was like this and it turned out to be posterior tongue tie (that had been missed early on) so do get checked out for that. By someone who knows what they are looking for - many don't.

GingerMaman Tue 04-Feb-14 13:01:45

Yes, get her checked for tongue tie. Also look into silent reflux too just incase. My DD had silent reflux and came to a stage where she completely refused feeds whilst awake.

cakeandcustard Thu 06-Feb-14 15:42:05

Hi, The breastfeeding lady (who was lovely) came round and said she has got a minor tongue tie, in the meantime we've managed a few days with relatively settled feeds, swapping boobs etc much like pileoflaundry described. I'm reluctant to get it snipped if its not entirely necessary so we'll see how we go and keep it as an option. Thanks for all the replies & ideas smile

minipie Fri 07-Feb-14 12:24:33

cake I should mention that I know several people who had a supposedly "minor" tt, didn't get it snipped, in the end it did cause them problems however and they had to switch to mix feeding or ff a lot earlier than they wanted to. The snip is over in seconds and there are no known downsides to having it done. It is obviously entirely your decision but in your shoes I would get it snipped...

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