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breastfed baby fighting breast?

20 replies

Focusfocus · 09/12/2015 05:37

I've got a situation with my nearly 8 week old EBF baby.

He has fed well from birth, I've had zero problems breastfeeding, he slept through at night (5-6 hours) from 6 ish weeks without impacting my supply and has been gaining 9-10 ounces weekly. Everything great.

It's just that after about 4 pm each day his breastfeeds get more and more "violent". He thrashes at the breast, arches his back, desperately scrambles to keep breast in mouth, yet pulls away, cries, squeals in pain, desperately sucks for milk (which is plentiful) and squeals more. I then wind him. He goes on boob again, repeat.

Then, the three hours or so before midnight is full of these stretchy discomfort sounds. Loud, straining, constipation like sounds (poo is runny or pasty bright yellow always) - and he face plants, thrashes at breast and cries. Nothing settles before midnight.

Till 4 pm, he is mellow. After that each feed is this bizarre fight with the breast simultaneously seeking and fighting it. Have tried various placebos gripe water, infacol etc, no relief. He gets a warm bath and massage in the evenings.

Also - a taboo confession - he only seems to sleep on his tummy. Will. Not. Sleep. On. Back. Or. Side. His head control is fabulous. He pushes up on his arms into an upward dog/cobra pose from yoga, holds head up for long, and if on tummy, will from time to time shift head from flat on one side to flat on another.

Can anyone help me solve this 4 pm - 12 am situation? Each feed looks bizarre, violent and just so painful for him.

OP posts:
hartmel · 09/12/2015 05:51

That sounds like silent reflux. My son had it. I ended up breastfeeding and gave him the bottle, as I was exhausted...
Will he sleep on his back when he is in a upright position, for example in a pram or swing?
I bought my son a special pillow for babies with silent reflux

Focusfocus · 09/12/2015 06:57

Will look into it. Just to add - I'm not particularly impacted by this, he's a fab feeder, great sleeper, very mellow and feeding is going really well. Not sure my post got that across, EBF is going very well, and I am just trying to get to the root of "the evening problem" as we call it!

OP posts:
Focusfocus · 09/12/2015 06:58

Oh shd be die dos in his back very well in the swing. It's just that the evening feeds are thrashy and settling into the non swinging bed is thrashy!

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Fraggled · 09/12/2015 07:05

Both my babies went through a phase of doing this. I never worked out why, just sort of fought our way through it both times and came out the other side within a few weeks.

I'm not saying don't try and work out why, or don't try and ease the problem. As there may be some issue there that needs resolving as hartmel experienced. But for my two it did seem to just be a fussy phase. Exactly as you described, late afternoons onwards. Lots of screaming, back arching and not latching without a LOT of perseverance on my part. Screaming into my breast, bobbing on and off etc. My feeling was that it was frustration of some kind...

Anyway, as I say we rode through it and continued feeding without problems until toddlerhood both times.

Focusfocus · 09/12/2015 07:05

Oh MN should slow edits! Last post was meant to say he does sleep on his back in the swing. Tiktok your wisdom is awaited!

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Focusfocus · 09/12/2015 07:07

Yes fraggled my intentions too. There's no reason to stop BF at all - he's a perfect BFer, will keep trying wats to relieve him but think it's a phase, and frankly he's okay most of the day,

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Fraggled · 09/12/2015 07:41

My health visitor suggested it was an over supply issue as I did have problems with that for the first 12 weeks. She suggested in-latching as soon as I felt the let-down begin so I tried that sometimes with varied results. Not sure if that's of any relevance in your case just trying to think back!

Fraggled · 09/12/2015 07:41


ALongTimeComing · 09/12/2015 07:46

How is your milk coming out? Is it spraying at let down? Try squeezing next time he unlatches. My baby did this and it was because the milk was really forcefully spraying out in ridiculous directions!

Sleepybunny · 09/12/2015 08:03

Sounds like good old colic to me. Silent reflux is something you'd likely battle with all through the day and feeding wouldn't be so easy.

Baby massage is another useless placebo thing to try. Also playing some relaxing music with dimmed lights whilst bobbing around in a sling helped my first born.

It's tough seeing them fustrated and crying, but you know by late evening it'll pass and gradually the fussy period will get shorter and shorter.

Focusfocus · 09/12/2015 08:06

Aha. My milk overwhelms us both when he puts mouth yo boob. From one boob it sprays spontaneously without any touching at all (DH calls it springing a leak!) I can literally sit still, and the jet goes on. The other boob gushes all over his mouth, my wurst, knees on to sofa. Does this have something to do with it? If so, what can I do?

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Focusfocus · 09/12/2015 08:08

Doesn't help as I don't feel let down at all ever. It's only when I see a pool on my thigh or a jet shooting out that I know

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PenguinPoser · 09/12/2015 08:14

I think it sounds like typical fussy evenings - there's a good bit on kellymom website about it. It will pass. I think if it was reflux it wouldn't just be that section of the day.

mamaneedsamojito · 09/12/2015 08:39

Mine did this too but I put it down to frustration because I was combi feeding and boob wasn't as quick or plentiful as the bottle. We battled through for four months but in the end he stopped latching altogether. Can you try feeding somewhere quiet and dark with no distractions so he is relaxed? Or perhaps pump milk to increase supply? Sorry that's not much help but I do sympathise Thanks

Moving15 · 09/12/2015 09:09

I experienced the same with my first breastfed son from approx 2/to 4/months. I believe it was reflux and the funny poo and gassy tummy was related to the gulps or air from all the fussing. He grew out of it. It helped us to use a sling and walk about with him.

Focusfocus · 09/12/2015 10:09

I've got tons of supply, its all over our bed and his weight gain charts 😃 I think its a combo of a phase, digestive development and an oversctive letdown

OP posts:
Fraggled · 09/12/2015 13:55

Focus - I think you're right. Shame you don't feel the letdown as that really helped me but it should settle down over the coming weeks.

Lightbulbon · 10/12/2015 09:07

Express an oz or 2 before a feed. Then it won't come out as fast.

ALongTimeComing · 11/12/2015 21:47

Hand express a little before a feed in to a cloth to take the initial pressure off, lay back if you can in bed or a nursing chair to see if it makes a difference. So baby is approaching more from on top of you? So to give him a wee help with gravity.

It gets better over time, baby gets bigger and your supply settles. My wee one was the same- screaming, fussing, pulling off but still seeking the boob. Now she's bigger it doesn't go fast enough for her and she massages me with both hands to get it out. Impatient madam!

ALongTimeComing · 11/12/2015 21:50

I was really worried about oversupply, she got green poos but health visitor said that it would settle and it did. I think ...trying to remember...if it isn't all the time then it isn't a problem?

I would be careful about expressing as much as an ounce or two as a previous poster said as you don't want to make your body think it needs to produce more and more? Could just make the issue worse!

We used the sling a lot in the "witching hours" and took it in turns to sleep.

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