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Please help! 9 week old screaming when breastfeeding

(15 Posts)
emmabu Tue 29-Jul-08 21:12:47

My almost 10 week old dd2 is either screaming when I try to latch her on, or feeding for 1 to 3 minutes and them coming off screaming.She was fine up to eight weeks with usually one fussy feed a day but the rest were ok- now every feed during the day is completely traumatic, and takes forever to do . Feeds during the night (about 11, 3 and 6), are fine. I've spoken to a couple of bf counsellors who have suggested:

changing position- didn't work
thrush- no
walking feeding- didn't work
teething- at eight weeks??
feeding when almost asleep- kind of helped but pretty impossible to do with 2 year old dd1 running around in background
using breast shields to help too quick or too slow a let down- don't think it could be this as some of the feeds my breasts feel quite full, other times they don't depending on time of day, and she fusses either way
reflux- not sure, would she be fussy during night feeds as well?

I am getting more and more stressed and tearful at each feed, which I am sure is not helping my supply, which may already be diminishing anyway as feeds are so erratic. Ready to give it all up and change to formula, please help.

RockinSockBunnies Tue 29-Jul-08 22:32:40


Not sure how helpful I might be but wanted to bump so someone else might be able to give advice.

Are you co-sleeping? Would that perhaps help ease your worries about your DD getting enough milk if she feeds well through the night? Maybe if she can help herself and is in close proximity to you then she might get back on track in the daytime?

What positions have you tried? Sometimes I used to feed my DD on all fours with her lying on a pillow underneath me (odd I know but maybe try every position going...) Could you perhaps pop her into a sling (baby-wearing type) and let her help herself as she pleases?

Have you checked around her gums to see if any teeth are coming through? Could you try a cranial osteopath or homeopath (the latter was useful when my DD was small and fussy)? I know you mention that you have a toddler running around but do you have the opportunity to have a few hours with just DD2, baby-mooning, skin-to-skin, feeding on demand (maybe in a warm bath to calm her down?)

If you're worrying about supply, could you pump in between feeds to keep things ticking along?

Hope some of this might help!

aurorec Tue 29-Jul-08 22:40:13

Does she clamp on the breast?
Mine did that at the same age. I had a very fast let down and she found it difficult to cope. She would clamp on the breast to slow down the milk flow (ouch) and by the end of the feed would get herself very worked up. This would happen at EVERY feed.

I would also end up tearful- I had this vision of a happy full and content infant, and instead she would be hysterical and I would be in tears telling the DH that my own baby hated me. This went on for long time and was incredibly upsetting and frustrating.

It eventually stopped after about 12 weeks when DD got 'better' at nursing and my supply got more regular.

I'd say if you can keep it up for a little while longer and see how it goes, she should be getting at the stage where things will improve!

Thinkstoomuch Tue 29-Jul-08 22:44:21

Could it be an ear infection? DS2 was like this and I thought it was fast let-down that was stressing him, but then a few days later his temp soared and his ear started oozing gunk. I think the sucking had been really hurting him.

RuthT Tue 29-Jul-08 22:45:40

I really feel for you sad

Refluxers tend to want to feed all the time as it relieves the burning and posset/throw up feeds a lot. They also seem happier when sat up and scream when you lie them down.

Could be teething - friends baby had first tooth at 8 wks

Are you eating more chilli, onions, garlic, mushrooms? This can make them refuse to eat.

Hopefully this will bump it and someone else can add on advise

RockinSockBunnies Tue 29-Jul-08 22:47:11

Something else I remembered - could it be the hot weather? My DD was quite content to sleep most of the time when she was small and it was hot. I became stressed out thinking she should be feeding more, she became stressed with me proferring my bosoms every two minutes!

Is your DD still gaining weight well? If so, maybe try to persevere until the feeding sorts itself out....

Just keep telling yourself it's only a phase!

omy Tue 29-Jul-08 22:49:33

Hi - don't give up!!! I had the same sort of thing with my DD (now 6 months) - Also fine at night and awful during the day. I had a too fast let down which meant that she swallowed air and needed lots of burping. I felt like she hated breastfeeding - it was so sad. What really helped though was taking her to a cranial osteopath. Philip Roe at this website
She only needed one session! It was like a miracle. She went from being all knotted up to being a nice relaxed baby.

I also took to feeding her lying down on the bed which slowed down my let down and was relaxing for me as well. We still like it best that way!

Good luck!!! It will get better!

Beachcomber Tue 29-Jul-08 22:52:59

Could it be dairy allergy?

Just saying this because your DD's behaviour sounds similar to both of mine. They turned out to be allergic to dairy and were reacting to dairy protein that was passing into my breastmilk. Both of them would latch on and then get upset and pull off and scream within minutes of starting a feed.

I cut all dairy out of my diet and within days things improved. Could be worth a try as this is relatively common.

Hope you get things sorted and are able to continue BF if that is what you want. Good luck.

fadingfast Tue 29-Jul-08 23:03:13

I have had very similar problems to this and went through all the possible reasons (teeth, thrush, ear infection, fast let down, reflux etc etc). To be honest I'm still not certain what has caused this - like you, it's not every feed and the first feed of the day is generally fine. I'm beginning to think it could be a dairy reaction though - I've cut back drastically (but not completely) on dairy and things seem to have improved.

Beachcomber - are your DDs weaned and are they properly allergic to dairy now or just intolerent? Am curious as a friend had a similar experience while BFing and her daughter is showing signs of dairy intolerence now she's weaned. Am a bit scared by the prospect.

maidezmoi Thu 31-Jul-08 16:07:01

I am having the exact same problem! She feeds well for about 10mins and then starts screaming blue murder. The lying down position sometimes works but I have no idea what is causing this

baltimore97 Thu 31-Jul-08 16:41:41

DD1 was exactly as you describe - from about 6 weeks old. She never got any better and feeding in a darkened room when she was sleepy was the only way to get a good day feed down her. There were never any illnesses/issues behind her fussing - she was just a very alert, easily upset baby. She is exactly the same as a toddler. Apparently, I was the same as child - but a switch to bottles resulted in fussing on the bottle rather than the boob!

If DD2 had been like this, I would have been unable to BF feed her. It is impossible to devote the time I devoted to feeding DD1 when you have a 2 year old in the picture. If you have to give up BF because it doesn't get any better, please don't feel guilty. It is soul-destroying when every feed is a battle, and it ended up making me very depressed. The only reason I didn't switch to FF with DD1 is that she also refused a bottle!

springerspaniel Fri 01-Aug-08 07:42:00

How long has this been going on for? If only a couple of days, then it could be a growth spurt. My DS used to do this and it just killed me. Night feeds were better because my milk supply was up and he was sleepier.

Ignore me if I'm talking cack.

maidezmoi Sat 02-Aug-08 21:00:52

Any update on this situation Emmabu? My DD has been on the boob all say since 8am.

Chaotica Sat 02-Aug-08 21:59:12

Could be reflux - DS had it and was OK at night. Try asking GP for gaviscon infant to see if it helps.

emmabu Tue 05-Aug-08 20:49:04


Thanks all for the advice. I am still muddling through! It seems to have got a little better, as the first morning feed (anytime between about 6.30 and 8 depending on the nights), and the next feed (some time between 9.30 and 11) seem to be a bit better, but then it tends to go wrong for the rest of the day. DD not having much of a lunchtime nap (about 45 mins), and wakes up crying, so I wonder if I am feeding her when she is not hungry, i.e. just tired, but not sure what else I can do when she is screaming. I then seem to spend the rest of the afternoon feeding her on and off every hour as she will only feed a few minutes (approx 3) and then scream.She only put on 1 ounce last week, getting her weighed tomorrow.

DD1 was in a pretty good routine after just a couple of weeks, this may have been a bit forced as I used a dummy (and 'that book')?- neither of which I am doing with DD2. I wanted to do it a bit more naturally this time around but it seems she is still not settling in a 'routine' and wondering if this is the cause of the screaming (or vice versa)?

But then reading a lot of threads it seems that a 3-4 hour routine is not the norm with breast feeding anyway? Aaaargh very confused!

No family have any history of food intolerances and not sure I can give up chocolate (already given up tea and coffee and my glass of wine in case this was affecting her)so not approached the dairy intolerance possibility!(Is that irresponsible?) Not had chance, but may try to see a cranial osteopath. Could be also she is a very alert baby- she never goes to sleep after a feed, apart from her night ones, I look longingly at other friends babies who snooze off contentedly after a feed!

Sorry rambling!- thanks all for the advice, it's reassuring even just to hear that others have gone through this. Thought it would all be much easier second time around, but apart from not feeling as anxious, it seems harder with this DD.

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