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Feel like I've hit a wall with breastfeeding

(15 Posts)
Effiethemonster Sun 28-Feb-16 06:45:35

I thought after the pain of the first 6 weeks it would be a breeze but dd is 4 months next week and feeding her is just stressful at the moment. I thought maybe I had a fast letdown or oversupply but I'm not even sure that's what it is anymore. She hates my left boob, constantly pulls of and on it. The right is slightly better but even on there she constantly writhes around while I'm feeding her and cries at the end of every feed. She's normally calm during nightfeeds but even the two early morning feeds this morning she's been wriggling around and has cried at the end.

I've tried feeding in a dark room, feeding in all positions, feeding walking around jiggling her, nothing seems to work.

I haven't had her weighed since 8 weeks (blush) when she was on the 98th percentile but from weighing her at home think she's on the 81st now. I'll get her weighed at the health visitor tomorrow though. She has constant wet nappies and big poos so I guess she must be getting what she needs?!

I just hate that it's become a chore for us both really, please tell me it gets easier again?

SummerDreams13 Sun 28-Feb-16 06:55:10

This sounds really familiar - I think they get more aware at this age and resent having to stop to eat, iyswim?! Hence the restlessness and thrashing. I never felt confident in breast feeding, but my daughter clearly thrived on it, so I just went with her peaks and troughs of enthusiasm. She went all the way to 15 months and then decided she'd had enough grin

You have to do what feels most comfortable - for me, on balance, it was worth persevering and she came through this point. But don't put too much pressure on yourself and if you need to explore other feeding options to ease the stress, do. It has to be right for both of you! flowers

Effiethemonster Sun 28-Feb-16 06:59:56

Thanks summerdream, I'd really like to keep going as I have loved breastfeeding up until this point- can you remember how long this wriggly phase lasted for you?

nam207 Sun 28-Feb-16 07:22:15

It may have nothing to do with this but DS was a bit like that and it turned out he was allergic to milk and soya, the proteins come through your breastmilk. It might be worth mentioning to the health visitor see if its a possibility. Also, you can get the local breastfeeding consultant round to watch a feed and they can offer advice, that's how we realised our DS was in pain feeding.

Focusfocus Sun 28-Feb-16 08:30:18

You've written my post. My four month old has done this for three weeks now and I can only feed him upstairs lying down usually just before he will nap. Works a treat and he is now EBF actually after I faded around introducing some mixed feeding last month

Effiethemonster Sun 28-Feb-16 19:23:25

Thanks nam- when did that become clear? Only dd has fed well up until now.

Well I'm glad I'm not the only one focus! But the feeding before a nap thing isn't working for us.

Today she had a 2.5 hour nap (unheard of) and had a massive feed afterwards having not fed for 4.5 hours!! I tried to feed her before bed but she just got more and more upset. sad

Maybe she's teething?! I'm clutching at straws!

creamoftomato Sun 28-Feb-16 19:33:02

I think this is really normal for some babies at around this age. DS got really really fussy around 4/5mo and would only feed well lying down in a darkened room some days. I'm starting to detect the beginnings of it now with DD too I think (3.5mo), she's awful fussy now when there's anything interesting going on. Some things that sort of worked: more feeds in boring places, sometimes with tshirt dropped down over their eyes a bit (!), starting a feed standing up and rocking until they are latched on and going and then sitting down! Don't know why the second one works but seems to for both my children! To be honest I think this lasted with DS until he started eating some solids 5.5mo) which seemed to make bm exciting again. Hmm. Honestly I think I just pushed through but you have my sympathies because I remember feeling quite low about it. Hopefully someone else will be along with more helpful solutions!

creamoftomato Sun 28-Feb-16 19:36:20

Oh balls I'm sorry I've just read you've done both my suggestions already, you must think I'm an arse. Do you have a rocking chair? Feeding while vigorously rocking? This might actually be teeth if really nothing works! Or maybe just changing feeding patterns - moving to bigger feeds more spaces apart?

BertieBotts Sun 28-Feb-16 19:40:52

There is a bit of an annoying phase at 4 months IIRC - they just get interested in other things and feeding seems boring to them. I don't remember how long it lasted I'm afraid. You can try doing breast compressions to increase the flow a bit.

Try giving teething powders before feeding. That might help if it's tooth related. Don't give the gel before a feed, though, as it can apparently numb the back of the throat which can cause choking in rare cases.

Effiethemonster Sun 28-Feb-16 20:07:38

Thanks both, I definitely think it's that she finds feeding totally boring now (how offensive grin).

Ha creamoftomato I don't think you're an arse! Actually I retried feeding her after she wouldn't settle for bedtime and did it standing and rocking her and it worked! although not on the left boob...she really hates that left boob!!

I think you're right about spacing out feeds aswell, I'm totally confused about her feeding cues now that she shoves her hands in her mouth constantly so have been offering every 2-2.5 hours but will stretch to 3 from now on. I've been trying to offer more in the hope hat it would extend gaps between nightfeeds (still every 3 hours ugh) but will accept that she's not up for snacking now.

I'm glad it all seems pretty normal though, but will go to my local breastfeeding drop in just to double check everything is ok and see what I can do about that left boob!

Effiethemonster Mon 29-Feb-16 02:04:37

She went to sleep at 8 and haa already woken up twice for massive feeds, why can't she eat like this during the day angry

nam207 Tue 01-Mar-16 21:23:50

When did it become clear

Well DS had always been a hard to settle baby but seemed to feed well.

After the first couple of months his time between poos started to stretch out and at first the HV said it was normal but by around 4 months he was only pooing every 7 to 9 days and he seemed really fussy and uncomfortable (for DS his allergies cause stomach pains and chronic constipation).

The breastfeeding consultant came round and watched a feed and identified that his behaviour and the sounds he was making sounded like he was in pain and we got a referral to investigate from there.

Didn't get a proper diagnosis of his allergies for a few months but at least they'd identified there was a problem.

Even if there are no allergies having a breastfeeding consultant round to watch you feed can be really helpful as they know lots of different tips and tricks and understand baby feeding behaviour really well. For us the Health Visitor arranged everything and they came together, timing their visit to fit in with when DS was usually feeding.

creamoftomato Wed 02-Mar-16 19:17:43

Effie just popping back to see how you're going! And to say I also relate to the feeding cues thing going a bit haywire now that they are at an age where everything is going in their mouth for fun - I remember so clearly thinking with DS that a) I was wasting my precious mat leave feeding him in darkened rooms muttering shush and/or rocking him back and forth and b) that all the BF information I had read and been given before he was born was about establishing feeding with tiny babies and nothing beyond that. I was so frustrated that no one warned me about them getting bigger and distracted (and a million other things no one mentioned - the kellymom website was my saviour in the end!) Anyway I think it does sound like it's probably that distractable age thing. I know it's classic mumsnet cliche but: it will pass, and, do you co-sleep? I've slept with both of mine since they were born and I think it makes life much easier when they are preferring to feed at night (of course it seems like you're encouraging it and they'll do it forever and you have all those worries too, but I gradually night weaned DS with no problems in preparation for going back to work when he was 11mo and it was fine!) Sorry this post a bit rambly! Did you get to see a BF support person in the end?

Effiethemonster Wed 02-Mar-16 21:53:52

Hi creamoftomato! Thanks for checking in on me!
Yes that's exactly it! I cockily didn't even consider that things could become difficult again tbh, i also don't think I knew how emotional breastfeeding would be for me, before she was born I was always "well I'll give it a go" and wasn't overly passionate about it, but now it's incredibly precious to me so blips are always a bit more stressful!

Things are definitely better, I'm feeding her roughly 3 hourly now and this means she's hungrier and more interested in the feeding. She still gets distracted but there has been much less latching on and off and general faffing.

Yep I co sleep, a mix of her being in her co sleeper cot and being properly in the bed with me depending on how she is. I honestly don't think I could've survived without it! And I actively enjoy it now she's a bit older and more robust. She's still up every 2-3 hours at night, I'm just accepting of that at the moment, like you say, it will pass, but there's no way I'm getting out of bed more than I have to!

I went to a breastfeeding drop in, spoke to some mums going through similar phase! Also spoke to a support worker about dd's right boob preference and she couldn't find any real reason for it and said some babies just prefer one boob and my supply will adjust to that. She said to make an appt with the gp to check nothing untoward is going on there though. I'm still offering the left though, just in case she changes her mind!

How's your dd's fussiness going?

creamoftomato Thu 03-Mar-16 21:52:28

DD currently fussy some days and non-fussy others. I'm not sure if it's her age or if she's just a different baby to her brother! I'm really glad you met some other real life mums with similar issues and that your more spaced-out feeds are working for you - faffing is so frustrating. I'm currently trying to remind myself all the time that I know everything is a phase and that she's a normal baby, but it's hard to keep that in mind when you have a baby screeching at your boob! Must try harder I think. I know just what you're talking about when you say it's become really precious to you - before I had babies I thought of BF (and co-sleeping) as just a sort of functional thing, it never occurred to me that it would be so emotional, which of course seems silly now, but hey, what did I know! I think your support worker is right about boob preference; DS was born preferring left, then switched to always preferring right when he was at his fussiest (4-5mo) and then at some point, I think around 1yo, he went back to preferring the left hand side again. I did a lot of googling for 'lopsided boobs'. Joy!

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