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Breastfeeding my 6 month old causing me pain - any way forward?

4 replies

User24689 · 20/04/2018 14:00

Hi Everyone

My DS is 6 months old and ebf. He is quite a big boy, was on 80th percentile for length and weight at his 4 month check, and he currently breastfeeds every two hours during the day and either 2 or 3 times at night. He also has to feed to sleep, its the only way to settle him to sleep unless he is in the car.

He won't take a bottle and won't take a dummy. I've tried lots of different bottles, ebm and formula... it's like he doesn't know what to do with it, he chews the teat and the milk dribbles out, then he gets frustrated and cries.

The problem is that I now can't leave him at all. DH can't feed him or settle him to sleep so I can't be away from him for more than 2 hours and I'm due back to work in a couple of months. I'm started to feel quite suffocated by it, particularly because I also have a really clingy 2 year old!

On top of all this, breastfeeding has given me terrible tension in my neck and shoulders. I'm seeing a physio who is convinced it's the feeding that's doing it as I spend a lot of the night sitting up feeding and it is always worse first thing in the morning. This neck tension is also causing migraines which I'm now suffering from about weekly and always after a run of bad nights.

I would like to wean DS onto formula but I'm worried because a) how? he won't take a bottle b) I would be taking away his main source of comfort and that feels terrible c) nights would be even harder if formula doesn't settle him back to sleep in the same way

Does anyone have any advice please? Would it be possible to just use formula in the day and keep breastfeeding at night? Is there anything I can do about the bottle refusing? Thanks!

OP posts:
BertieBotts · 20/04/2018 14:07

If it's the sitting up position which is causing the problem, what about lying down and feeding like that? You could set up a bedside cot to make it even more convenient (just scoot him back into his own space afterwards) - at his age you'll need to convert a normal cot/cotbed for size, though - or take it in turns with DH to be the one to take him back to his own cot. If you don't want to have him in the bed at all even for feeds, you could set up a single mattress on the floor as his bed and lie down and feed him there. It wouldn't matter if you fell asleep and it would be better for your back and neck.

Tralala33 · 20/04/2018 14:38

Will he drink from a sippy cup instead of a bottle?

doublew · 21/04/2018 19:04

I really feel for you. I have a 6mo who is ebf and feeds every couple of hours through the day but fortunately only once at night.

Have you tried lots of different bottles/teats? A friend of mine whose 5mo was a bottle refuser eventually found what worked was using a newborn teat rather than the size supposedly for her age. Or as previous poster says you could try with a sippy cup although if he is anything like my DS it will be a messy affair!

Good luck!

bassackwards · 22/04/2018 20:58

OP - my 6 month old DD is exactly like yours. I literally could have written your post.

I was suffering terrible neck pain from sitting up breastfeeding her all night until I got the hang of feeding laying down in bed, which has really saved me. It lets me sleep more during the night and is much kinder on the body. DD seems to like it too, although it hasn't reduced the number of wakings per night unfortunately.

And yeah it's really tough being the feeder of a hungry EBF baby who won't take a bottle. What I've started doing is getting my DD to drink from a cup. She's pretty good at it! So I'm going to let her practise drinking expresses milk from the cup, which I'm hoping will mean that I can soon leave her with someone else for a period of time. I have some hen dos looming!

Good luck x

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