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Screaming when breastfeeding

(11 Posts)
Tracy551162 Tue 26-Aug-08 11:26:08


My son is nearly three months old and had been breastfeeding well enough until a week ago when he started crying and screaming as I laid him in position for the feed. This happened at one or two feeds in the day only, but has now started to happen at every single feed.

I hold him upright to calm him down but as soon as I lay him in position he screams as soon as I draw him close. If I give him my finger to suck on he's fine, but as soon as I try and substitute for the nipple he screams. I leave him where he is and eventually he latches on, but only after 5 minutes of crying and fussing.

I haven't changed my diet and haven't used any creams on my nipples at all. Has anyone experienced similar problems or can anyone think of what the problem might be?


Ceolas Tue 26-Aug-08 11:31:00

Anything visible in his mouth? Could it be thrush?

What about 'catching' him when he's sleepy? Will he feed then?

tiktok Tue 26-Aug-08 11:35:15

Tracy - this could be a lot of things. I agree with Ceolas about 'catching' him when he's sleepy.

Maybe he has had a fright when he has been feeding? Will need time to forget about it.

Also it's just possible he has an earache - or has had an earache.

Hope you get it sorted. It is very likely to be very temporary, but boy-oh-boy, stressful while it lasts

Ceolas Tue 26-Aug-08 11:43:03

FWIW, all four of mine have gone through spells of this. As tiktok says, stressful while it lasts but usually a stage which passes.

Sometimes you get a reason, sometimes not. Do you have a bf counsellor you could consult?

Penthesileia Tue 26-Aug-08 12:25:21

Is it possible that he's tired? My dd (same age as yours) does exactly this, and it seems to be because she's simultaneously hungry and tired, and gets herself in a bit of a state because of it. I've found - weird, but it works - that if I pop her firmly on my shoulder and jog - quite vigorously! - on the spot for a few minutes she calms down, almost to the point of sleep. Then, when I stop, she starts wiggling towards my breasts as if rooting for a feed. I sit down quickly and pop her on, and hey presto!

I found out about the jogging thing in 'Three in a bed' where the author mentions meeting the woman who wrote 'The Continuum Concept' who told her that women in the Amazon jog about with their babies. One evening, when my dd just would not sleep, despite being clearly exhausted, I tried it - just jogged about the bedroom. Worked a treat. Still does. She falls asleep within a few minutes every time!

Tracy551162 Tue 26-Aug-08 12:29:47

He doesn't have thrush - I've checked his mouth and that seems fine. I've tried catching him when sleepy, but sadly he's either very sleepy or very awake and when the former he feeds so half heartedly and then falls asleep.

The illogical thing is that he is happy to suck my finger in the exact same position and when his mouth is right near my nipple, but as soon as I try and substitute he doesn't like it. I guess he's associating my nipple with something bad that he doesn't get from the finger.

I suppose it's just one of those things I'll never know the answer to. BF counsellor is next step. This bf lark is sooo tough - from cracked nipples to two bouts of thrush and now this. I just long for the time when it's enjoyable and peaceful. Hey ho.

Thanks for help.

MrsJamin Tue 26-Aug-08 13:35:33

DS was like this when he was teething, it helped if he had bonjela.

Tracy551162 Tue 26-Aug-08 13:43:34

Penthesileia - he's not tired as I feed him after he sleeps. It's a mystery! I like the jogging tip, I'll certainly give that a try next time!

moominsmummy Tue 26-Aug-08 20:29:30

has he had a blocked or stuffy nose recently? they can do this screaming thing if they have been unable to breathe during a previous feed

horseymummy Wed 27-Aug-08 23:22:18

hello. my little girl started doing this, and like you said she would suck my finger but as soon as i went to put nipple in she would scream. found out it was due to her teeth. was told the suckling made it feel worse for her so she would cry. In the end she cut two canine teeth at the same time!!(bit weird i know) got round it by rubbing teething gel over the gums, put her into feeding position and let her suck my finger for couple seconds then quickly transferred nipple in. she would winge to start but just rocked her til she settled. still does this every now and then but not as often as before, suppose just when teething pain gets bad. hope this helps (if its same thing) xx

babymutha Thu 28-Aug-08 22:42:53

Tracy - ooh the pain! I remember what it's like - I felt like I was feeding her acid or something she used to scream so much, my sympathies are with you. I don't know what caused it (maybe teething?) but I used to feed her in a meitei sling slung low with her mouth at nipple height so she was upright to feed rather than laying down - and I would walk around the house (or crystal palace with a big coat on). It was the only thing that worked when she got worked up. I am happy to report that it was only temporary and we had about 4 scream free happy breastfeeding months between it stopping and her teeth arriving and the new joy of being bitten all the time. However at nearly 9 months we are still breastfeeding because the pros outweigh the cons (especially the after breakfast lay-down and go back to sleep bliss breastfeed). Good luck!

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