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Breastfeeding Challenges
~ A message board archive

storkThis is my second child. My first is 9 1/2 years old, and he was a great breastfed baby. He ate well, latched on well, and it was a beautiful experience. My second child is 11 days old, and I think my breasts are gonna fall off if something doesn't give real soon. Her name is Amanda, and she is having a very hard time. She gets real fussy during the feeding. She wriggles and squirms and takes my breasts in directions they weren't meant to go in. She burps often (like every 1-2 minutes) because she sucks in so much air. She just can't settle down and relax and enjoy it. Needless to say, all the fun is wearing off of me, too. There are the few times when she does relax but those are the times that she falls asleep after 5-6 minutes and refuses to wake back up. She takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes to eat or give up and then she's hungry again after 30-45 minutes. I am so sore, and I can't take much more. Any suggestions? I think I'm going crazy. I thought this would be a great time for us but I'm starting to dread her waking up now for fear of what's to come. I'm fearing both the ordeal and the pain!!! ~ Betsy

stork Hi Betsy:

I am so sorry to hear about the hard time you're having! The first few weeks are often the most difficult.

Is there a lactation consultant or a LaLeche leader in your area who you could call for personal help? These boards can be GREAT but sometimes having someone to talk with or even to meet with in person can make a world of difference. They could help you with positioning and latch on in case there is something simple that would make things easier or let you know if the problem is more complex and how to work on correcting it.

One idea to help with the squirming is to either bundle her in a lightweight blanket so that her arms and legs are not as free to wiggle around or to hold her in a cradle hold and tuck her lower arm beneath yours. Then use the hand (of the arm that is supporting her head) to hold her free arm.

For your sore breasts I would wholeheartedly recommend Lansinoh; it really is a GREAT product.

Sometimes it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to keep a sleepy baby awake but one thing you can try is a gentle 'breast compression.' This is a way of helping the milk flow more easily and keeping the baby interested in nursing. Dr. Newman explains that some babies fall asleep before their tummies are full simply because they become disinterested by the slow flow of the milk.

I hope some of these ideas help. Please consider calling LLL (1-800-LALECHE) or a local Lactation Consultant. I know that some moms are VERY hesitant to do so but it really can help. (And on the off chance that you speak with someone unpleasant, just say "good bye" and hang up, and call someone else!!! Don't let them discourage you.) ~ Elaine

storkBetsy, Just want to give you a vote of support. I am a first time mom with a six month old baby girl. Rita had a tough time latching on at first and we had a pretty tough time the first few weeks. She nursed a lot in those early weeks. Just when I thought I was reaching the end of my rope, we would make some progress and I had renewed hope; it took us a month to get comfortable with each other. After about 2.5 months we were old pros! I had the help of the Lactation Consultant's from the hospital, my family and friends and of course some fantastic online help and support to get me through.

Elaine pointed out to another member that each baby is different, even in nursing habits. This baby might just have a harder time catching on than baby #1. By the way, Lansinoh really does work great. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and Baby Amanda. ~ Lynne

stork Hi everyone, Ellie and I have a had a rough few days. I tried her with rice cereal again (she is 5 months on Sunday), and after a week of her being extremely gassy and grouchy, I stopped with the cereal 2 days ago. I don't know if my milk supply dropped in the week that she was getting cereal, but she has been nursing almost non-stop and I am getting very sore. Ellie's latch-on has also changed, she 'attacks' my nipple until the milk lets down, and she also tugs at my nipple. Could this be because of teething? I have exclusively breastfed this far and I don't want to have to supplement with formula.Any ideas on upping the milk so she won't nurse quite as much would be most appreciated! Thanks ~ Heather

stork Hi Heather, I am sorry to hear what's happening. Have you tried anything other than rice? Tori loves the oatmeal, rather than rice and we have also tried veggies. She loves sweet potatoes!!! I haven't noticed any change in milk supply, only that she eats less frequently, but I still think she is getting the same amount, due to when I pump it is the same. I know everyone is different though. Maybe you should try pumping a few times when she is not at the breast. I hope you two figure it out! Maybe she is going through a growth spurt. ~ Stephanie

stork Heather, I have been going through the same thing. Darian is almost 5.5 months. She would not eat rice cereal but loved oatmeal. Just yesterday she finally did eat rice cereal with some fruit mixed in. We also went through the tugging at the breast thing and she did get 2 teeth. I would just take her off the breast say "nice" in a loving tone of voice and then switch sides. It only took a few times and then she got the picture. She also has been eating and needing a lot more sucking so guess what she now takes a pacifier I wasn't too thrilled about this but she doesn't take it a lot, just when she has the extra need to suck. She was using me as a pacifier and I was getting sore too. I know from experience (I have 3 girls) that this is a phase that will pass. Good luck to you and Ellie! ~ Stacey

stork Hi Heather, Sorry you're having such a tough time. I tried Devin on cereal at 6 months and he couldn't handle it yet, got rashes and everything. So we backed off for a while and now he's going like gangbusters at 9 months eating all kinds of food. So maybe she's just not ready yet. Sounds like your real problem is the nursing though. Have you changed the circumstances when she wants to nurse? Are you still nursing on demand and not making her wait. Maybe if you offer before she really acts hungry, but you know she will be soon she won't act so desperate. When Devin started tugging like he was using me to teeth I just said, "No, that hurts Mommy," took him off, and gave him something that was okay for him to do that on. Then he'd smile a bit, chew on that, then want to nurse in a minute. Now he just pops off and looks at me like "Okay, I need to bite now" so I give him a teether and he satisfies that need then goes back to nursing. I keep teethers all over the house since he nurses wherever. That way he's never without them when nursing and knows he won't have to wait long to latch back on and eat. ~ Jules

stork Heather, hang in there. Rita just turned six months and went through something similar at 4/5 months. By letting her nurse whenever she wanted, every 1.5-2.0 hours, I increased my supply in about a week. When I couldn't nurse her, I pumped in accordance with her schedule. If she nursed at 6:30 am and then went to daycare, I pumped at about 9 am. The regular nursing/pumping schedule caught up with her demand pretty quickly. I also drink Mother's Milk Tea (which works very well for me) and an herbal tincture of nettle/fenugreek blessed thistle. No caffeine or alcohol (dehydrators and lots of water. The tugging stopped after a couple of weeks, but she has no teeth yet, so I don't know if that's the reason. Hope it all works out for you! ~ Lynne

stork Hi Heather, It sounds like you have done the right thing to take Ellie off the cereal before it becomes an expected part of her diet. Although the "recommended" age for starting solids is between 4 and 6 months, I know a LOT of people who did not introduce solids until much later. Particularly when gassiness or other problems became apparent with attempts to start on solids. Your milk is STILL sufficient for her if that's what she wants and remember, mothers' milk changes as the baby gets older and goes through metabolic changes. As far as her latch changing . . . Is that still a problem? It may be connected with teething or maybe it has something to do with having learned to accept a spoon? Good luck with this and as Lynne mentions Mother's Milk Tea is a wonderful thing to stimulate milk production. ~ Cath

stork I am going to go to the doctor later today, I think I have thrush. I am soooooooooooo sore and Ellie has a white tongue. Maybe this is why she has been difficult to nurse. Anyhow, I will let everyone know how it goes. ~ Heather

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