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My baby is such an aggressive breastfeeder, really starting to hate feeding him :(

(7 Posts)
n0seyb0nk Tue 22-Apr-14 21:22:55

DS is 3 months old and I'm finding him increasingly difficult to feed.

He is very aggressive at the breast; sucks really hard, kneeds and scratches me, kicks and thrashes about, latches on and off repeatedly and pulls and gums on my nipple. He also does this weird thing where he latches off and rubs his forehead hard against my nipple repeatedly. It's like feeding a wild animal and it really hurts and my nipples are getting sore sad

He doesn't seem to enjoy it either as he cries and whines a lot and doesn't seem satisfied afterwards, although I know he's getting enough milk.

It's not wind, I do wind him regularly throughout the feed and he's not that windy, just outraged that I've removed him from the breast!

I know he's probably going through a growth spurt and I'm happy to feed him as often as he wants, but when he starts fussing and hurting me I get annoyed and really really want to put him down and walk away sad

It's is such a shame, I fed DD until she was 1 and found it really positive. With DS I'm counting down the days until I can wean him sad

Can anyone offer any advice? Am I doing anything wrong? Is there any way I improve his feeding technique and stop him hurting me?

RedKites Tue 22-Apr-14 23:07:39

Hi n0sey,
What you've described sounds frustrating. I don't have the definitive solution, but have a few questions/suggestions; hopefully something might help.
- Are all feeds equally bad, or are some better than others? Is there any pattern - for example feeds at night vs in the day, in a quiet place vs noisy surroundings?
- You say he's having a growth spurt, and you're probably right... but just in case, is it possible he has got much more efficient recently (I think many mums find this around about 3mo), and that some of his behaviour is because you are trying to feed him, when he's not hungry?
- You could perhaps try feeding him in a different position from normal, or in a different place from normal, etc. This is probably not practical for every feed, but even if you just do it a few times, might set up some better habits?
- For the kneading/scratching, could you give him something soft, e.g. a muslin, to hold/put between him and you?

If you have a local BF support group, they could perhaps observe a feed and might have other suggestions to make? Or if not, you could maybe talk things through with someone on one of the telephone support lines?

Nunyabiz Tue 22-Apr-14 23:26:30

I feel for you. Having flash backs to when Dd was bfing and getting increasingly anxious at the memory (DD2 due next month confused)
Although my/her problem was poor latch (wore a nipple guard)
And colic (she eventually grew out of it)
My DM bought me a breast feeding necklace in a hope to keep her attention and stop her from head butting and clawing me...It didn't work for us as we had bigger fish to fry but might be worth a try for you?

DancingtheTittyTango Wed 23-Apr-14 04:34:12

No answers but just wanted to say my daughter is exactly how you describe! She's always been a 'thrashy' feeder but today it's been every single feed and I've been resisting the urge to chuck her through a window!! She's the same age too, 14 weeks! Im also incredibly sore! I fed her sister until she self weaned at 14 months and I so wanted to do the same here but tbh I feel like if I get to next week it will be an achievement!

n0seyb0nk Wed 23-Apr-14 11:19:14

Dancing sorry you're going through this too but I'm glad it's not just my baby! It is incredibly irritating isn't it.

Redkites to answer your questions:

- feeds in the middle of the night are ok, he's sleepy and I guess my supply is better (?) so he doesn't fuss. Feeds in the evening are the worse, as I'm guessing my supply is less or slower and he's getting frustrated. He's also bad in the day though. Surroundings don't make a difference, I wouldn't say he's distracted, more frustrated.

-He gets upset if I remove him from the breast and arches his back to try to get back on, so I don't think its because he doesn't want feeding. Last night when he was at his utter worse for thrashing and chewing me, I gave up and offered him the 3oz of expressed milk I'd saved and he wolfed it down sad

-I sometimes swaddle him to stop him thrashing so much, I might do this more often as it does help. But when I do this he does the forehead thing, where he latches off and bashes my nipple with his forehead, this is THE most irritating thing he does it really hurts sad

Last night I had to dig out my Lansinoh as my nipples were really sore and red sad

I will go to baby clinic on Friday for the 1st time ever, just to see if they can watch what he's like and give some advice.

I'm so close to just going to buy a box of formula for when I get desperate. That bottle I gave him last night really helped but I hate expressing, I find it hard to find the time, and never get more than 2-3 oz anyway. I know that's not the answer though as it doesn't help my supply sad I'm happy to feed him as often as he wants I just want him to feed nicely ARGH

Poppet45 Wed 23-Apr-14 17:24:15

Sounds like a mild dietery intolerance Distress and agitation while feeding is one of the lowest level symptoms. Could u keep a food diary and see if he's particularly unhappy within 12 hours of serious dairy intake by you. Its almost always dairy that upsets los. Other culprits are soya and egg.

CuteLittleToes Thu 24-Apr-14 00:33:54

I'd say it's a phase. My DS became very restless feeder around that age too.

What helped me was feeding in a boring bedroom (I know you said surroundings don't matter but I'd suggest give it a go). You can also take it further and draw curtains/make it more night-like. If nothing works and he is restless put him down and distract. I found DS fed nicer when really hungry.

HTH flowers

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