BF problems... still!

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BF problems... still!

Hello ladies, as you may recall Ryan was unable to breastfeed at first because he was so sleepy and tiny. I have been pumping and feeding him bottles, and have persisted at trying to breastfeed. It is getting better and he now latches on ok most of the time, even though it still hurts sometimes (it hurt like hell for a long time in the beginning because of his poor latch). We still have some issues and I am looking for advice.

He will only nurse for about 10 minutes and then stops and falls asleep for a few minutes. He then wakes up again and absolutely refuses to latch back on, screaming his head off, and pushing away the breast, if I try. If I offer a bottle to top him off he roots for it like crazy like he's starving and usually takes another 1-2 ounces. I weighed him on a kitchen scale before and after nursing to see how much he was getting and it seems he gets about 1.5-2 ounces roughly in the 10 minutes he nurses. I don't know why he does this. I wonder if he gets tired of nursing and knows the bottle is coming. One day I just breastfed him and did not top up but with a bottle and he ended up very very cranky and wanting to eat every 1.5 hours. He would also not really go to sleep in between - I assume he was still hungry. Any thoughts on what I could do to wean him off the bottle and get him to take a full feeding? I am buying natural shaped bottle nipples today - we will see if that helps. I will also try to call a lactation consultant for help. It's so frustrating.

I hate having to pump all the time. My milk supply seems to have leveled out (I was overproducing a lot for a while there), but now it's tough to pump enough for the top ups, and if he nurses for only 20 minutes at a time he doesn't drain the breast causing some discomfort. I wonder if he got fussy because he gets too much of the leaner "foremilk", which can make baby gassy and not make them feel full for long. Sigh! Help?

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I would just stop offering the bottle alltogether. I think after a few feedings, he'll realize 'hey, that bottle's not coming anymore!' and maybe start eating more, or just learning to latch on better. I wonder if he's having a little bit of nipple confusion?

I think that's great you're able to weigh him before and after a feeding! Vivian would only nurse for 5-7 minutes on one side each feeding, but just in the last couple days she's been doing both sides. She still only eats for maybe 15 minutes.

I hope the pain when he latches gets better for you soon!

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We had these same problems. In my case I stopped offering the bottle. It's normal for an ebf baby to nurse every 1.5 hours. For the first few days of absolutely no bottles there were times that Luke was nursing every 30 minutes. If a bottle is a must, switch to natural shaped nipples with the slowest flow possible. Wtg with continuing to try. I do know exactly how it is. Luke is 8 weeks and he just got it 2 weeks ago.

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First, Hugs to you! You've been through a lot and you are still sticking it out, way to go!!

I would go see the lactation consultant ASAP! Seriously helped me soooo much. They can watch you nurse and give tips.

Do you have a fast or slow let down? I have a fast let down and Jonah gets overwhelmed and has to stop some times too. During the day I sometimes have to feed every 1.5 hours too. I give a bottle at night or when my nipples are too sore from the frequent feedings.

Good luck!

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Yep, this definitely sounds like nipple confusion. DD did the same thing to me and I ended up throwing in the towel because she refused to BF (I know better now lol!). If I were you I would invest in the Tommee Tippee bottles, as their nipples are shaped just like your nipple shapes in his mouth while he's eating, so there's really no confusion. I'm back to working full time and Trystan drinks bottles from whoever is caring for him. When I get home and feed him all during the evening and night there's no problems at all... and I know it all has to do with the types of bottles I'm using. Try and cut back on the bottles and he'll get the hang of things. Even as an infant, right now he knows that eventually you'll stick that bottle in his mouth, and if you stop doing that (and only use them when you absolutely have to, using the CORRECT type of bottle and nipple) then he'll latch back on. I'll also recommend some good nipple cream, medela lanolin for your nipples... it really helps if they're sore. Good luck and KUP!

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I would stop the bottles too! And defintely go see a LC

It's normal to only be taking an ounce or two at a feeding at this age. They're bellies are still small. They don't hold much but they empty quickly! Atnight Nick nurses probably 2 out of 3 hours with little breaks inbetween. Don't let him trick you into thinking that frequent feedings mean he isn't getting enough. It's easy to confuse a normal newborn behavior with problems. Eating every 1.5 hours is normal. So is every 20 minutes or 3 hours. I think talking to a lactation consultant would really help you know what to expect from your baby and reassure you that your doing a great job!

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Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it! I don't mind if he nurses often for short periods of time I was just worried he would get too much foremilk - he did have one green frothy diaper which I thought could be a sign of it. He's back to the normal yellow now. I bought Playtex NAturalatch nipples and will use them from now on when needed, but I am going to try to skip the bottles as much as possible.

I am beginning to think there is a bigger issue than just nipple confusion (which I am sure he has between the bottles, the nipple shield and the breast). 15 minutes after I start feeding him he often starts squirming like crazy and crying uncontrollably - this can last for about an hour each time. He does not really want to eat during this time, he just screams. It eventually results in passing lots of gas and several poops, and then he is usually better. I did notice that this has gotten worse now that he does not poop as frequently anymore. He does have some feedings in between that are alright without too much fussing.

I am thinking about cutting dairy from my diet to see if it eases his stomach pains. It kills me to see him in such discomfort. He did this at every feeding last night, and I am beat :-(. I am sure he is too. Anyone elses babies seem to have such a hard time passing poop and gas?

I do have Lanolin cream and it helps. The one nipple is worse than the other, there seems to be a persistent crack or blister on it. calling the Lactation Consultant right now. Thanks for all the tips!

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green frothy is a sign of too much foremilk. you can nurse him on the same side twice in a row to help him get more hindmilk. This will work if he is eating again in about an hour or so. i would try that and see if that helps.

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here is a link that may help. The gas is also a sign of too much foremilk or too fast of a let down.

http://www.pollywogbaby.com/breastfeeding/blocknursing.html

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"science_gal" wrote:

I am beginning to think there is a bigger issue than just nipple confusion (which I am sure he has between the bottles, the nipple shield and the breast). 15 minutes after I start feeding him he often starts squirming like crazy and crying uncontrollably - this can last for about an hour each time. He does not really want to eat during this time, he just screams. It eventually results in passing lots of gas and several poops, and then he is usually better. I did notice that this has gotten worse now that he does not poop as frequently anymore. He does have some feedings in between that are alright without too much fussing.

I am thinking about cutting dairy from my diet to see if it eases his stomach pains. It kills me to see him in such discomfort. He did this at every feeding last night, and I am beat :-(. I am sure he is too. Anyone elses babies seem to have such a hard time passing poop and gas?

Mine does this! Except she squirms and whimpers until she pops off, cries, tries to find the nipple again and repeats the process. If i leave her off she just screams even after 2 hours of nursing. Happens most often about 9 or 10 at night and she will nurse on and off for 2 to 3 hours like this but its not every night. I am cutting out dairy and wheat to see if it helps. Was also told to try limiting sugar but I'm already doing that because of the thrush and it doesn't seem to help this issue.

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"gaidinsgirl" wrote:

here is a link that may help. The gas is also a sign of too much foremilk or too fast of a let down.

http://www.pollywogbaby.com/breastfeeding/blocknursing.html

thanks angie! there is definitely more milk than he can handle and today i just let a bunch drip out into a burp cloth between feedings. I was wanting to pump the foremilk off but that will just lead to more milk. hopefully i can get the supply under control. I talked to the LC and she suggested nursing several times on one breast as well, and trying to cut dairy to see if it helps. She also had some good advice on latch i will try to follow and if that doesn't help i can go see her. I tried some of her suggestions and it seems better.

ETA she also reminded me that there is a 6 week growth spurt he may be going through, which could explain some of the fussiness.

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I was going to say, maybe starting the 6 week growth spurt a bit soon? I hope it gets easier for you soon!

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Glad you have some direction/answers!

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I nurse the same side if it been less than 2 hours it seems to work pretty well. The thicker milk will satisfy longer too.

Hoping the tips help.

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When my LO squirms like that it's usually because he needs to burp or has gas. And he is constantly on the boob when going through growth spurts. He was early and in the NICU for loosing too much weight for not wanting to eat he had to have a feeding tube for a few days. So I know how it feels when your trying so hard and they just don't have the energy to nurse. But I promise, the bigger they get the easier the nursing gets. The lanisol cream should help out with the soreness. I would also try to nurse on one side until it feels empty and if you have to pump the other to get some relieve. Keep up the good work!

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Have you thought about any gas drops?

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Yes I thought about gas drops... Might send DH out to get some. After two days of fussing Ryan is back to his normal self! I recall now that both day I ate a huge bowl of oatmeal with tons of milk for breakfast - maybe that was the issue? He still fussed a little when he got overtired tonight and I wanted to see if he really wanted the bottle of if something else was wrong. Sure enough, when I put the bottle nipple near his mouth he was rooting for it like crazy! I didn't give it to him but instead briefly put the nipple shield on and he took it - after about a minute I slid it off and he latched on the boob again. I'll take that :-). And during the day when he was awake and alert he finished his feeds on the breast no problem. Seems to be he wants the bottle when he is sleepy. Will think about a strategy for tonight. LAst night he was up very frequently (sometimes every hour) because he would only nurse in 10 minute increments. That is a little too tiresome in the long run. Oh well, I am just glad he is back to (mostly) normal.

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Elle, I used to give Nicholas a bottle at his night feed because he wouldn't stay awake long enough on the boob to get a full meal. I would pump right afterwards and get some good sleep out of him then. This doesn't work well for Emily but maybe it would for Ryan?

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Yay, I'm glad you have had some success!! Smile

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We have had BFing issues too. Mostly bc I have a really fast flow and Mayleigh can't handle it! She choked on my breast every feeding for the first month when I was exclusively BF'ing. I intro'd the bottle at 1 month, and that is a lot easier. They prefer it bc it is easier! So I mostly pump now, except for at night. FOr some reason she is good with side laying feeds at night. It is a pain to have to pump all the time, but I've come to terms with it and I think we have a good system now. i would rather do this than be tied down to exclusively BF'ing, which sadly is the only way to get past the bottle preference... to not offer one at all. I will give her pumped breast milk as long as I can or feel tolerant to do so. Probably only until 6 months if that, and I'm good with that. Don't stress about it too much! Just do the best you can and be happy with what you have been able to provide!

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"beccasweet" wrote:

Mine does this! Except she squirms and whimpers until she pops off, cries, tries to find the nipple again and repeats the process. If i leave her off she just screams even after 2 hours of nursing. Happens most often about 9 or 10 at night and she will nurse on and off for 2 to 3 hours like this but its not every night. I am cutting out dairy and wheat to see if it helps. Was also told to try limiting sugar but I'm already doing that because of the thrush and it doesn't seem to help this issue.

Becca, any improvement? I am getting to the end of the rope with this behavior.

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She actually seems to be getting worse. I started pumping this week so we could try bottle feeding in hopes that I could pump and give her bottles to make our drive to SD easier but she only took the bottle twice then started refusing it and now she is having problems latching so its a battle to get her to BF and she won't take the bottle either. Oh, and now she fusses EVERY night and yesterday all day long. When DH got home I just handed her over and told him I was going to shower because I needed a break. I felt guilty but I really needed a sanity break. Thankfully today has been better so far and her thrush is completely gone. I'm still not eating dairy except for a little cheese but it didn't ever seem to make a difference.

My best friend sent me this link though after hearing me describe Claire's behavior.
http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html

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UGH that sounds so frustrating. Ryan acts similar, but the timing can be at any time during the day. I noticed the more sleepy he is the more willing he is to take the breast, and the less he struggles. He sometimes refuses the breast, sometimes the bottle. I have no clue why. We tried Zantac and it hasn't made a big difference, and I am eliminating dairy - it's so hard! I really hope this phase passes soon. It takes forever to feed, and then pumping after....