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Mothering › Groups › February 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Awful night BFing, feeling helpless... Any input appreciated.

Awful night BFing, feeling helpless... Any input appreciated.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Ugh-- I'm the question lady.

So, Baby L is ~5 days old.  BFing was sorta going okay. Not exactly-- milk came in at 36 hours but I wasn't getting her latched right, so she did some nipple damage... but we seemed to fix that yesterday...  at least, it was getting better, though it still hurt from the initial damage.

Then last night, she just kept popping off and on. Diaper changed, same issue. Tried to burp (it did seem like maybe she had some gas)-- no change, even after she passed a fair bit of gas.


She sucks for 2-4 seconds and then pops or pushes off and relatches (usually not well)... and fuss and repeat. Eventually sorta seems to fall asleep at the boob (stops sucking entirely) but when I take her off, she cries and is still obviously hungry.  I tried the other boob etc... I guess eventually she got enough milk around 8 pm... whatever.

Then I guess she had a normalish session-- or a series of shorter normalish sessions around 10/11/12 at night... can't remember anymore, but I saw swallowing and she fell into a nice sleep.  Then this morning at 4 am, it was back to the same as above.


It's really awful.  She's not getting anything (not really seeing a lot of swallowing with this terrible new method of hers), but I know there's milk in my boobs because it dripped out overnight.  It doesn't seem to be oversupply either, because she isn't choking or anything, and I didn't see spraying when hand expressing or pumping... eventually I was so engorged (that's the other thing-- engorgement, though not so much my areolae were too firm/stretched to latch) that I had DH set up the gifted Medela Swing pump to relieve me (first time I've used it).  Got a fair bit of milk from both breasts (~1.5 oz total), and my boobs were softer, but Baby L still wouldn't do anything different with my boobs than what she had been...


I really didn't want to start with any non-boob feeding, but I tried a spoon, then a dropper, and finally one of the Medela bottles I had with the expressed milk.  She sucked it right down, no popping off and on or anything.  greensad.gif  She was still hungry, but I didn't keep pumping as it looked like MAYBE she would fall asleep anyway.  Now we have the white noise on, DH is trying to get her to sleep and I have a call in to my MW, who is also supposed to help me with lactation.  So... maybe.


But any thoughts?


I have looked up everything I can, and it doesn't seem to be illness or gas or anything...  ??  It just seems to be a problem with my boobs or my way of feeding or something-- but why all of a sudden?


I have been sobbing half the night.  I don't want to get her started on a bottle.  If you have any thoughts at all, they would be dearly appreciated!   

post #2 of 16

Let me preface this by saying that I'm wandering through the fog of being a new, first time mom who is breastfeeding as well, but I just happened to have had my baby like a week and a half before you did so all I can share is my anecdotal experience and what the public health nurse told me.


While my daughter is a pro at latching, I found that we were having this problem for a few days at around a week and I started getting concerned as well that I was going to have a fight on my hands to avoid bottle feeding. I realized, however, that I had been giving her my finger to suck on as a soothing mechanism for the couple of days leading up to a particularly bad night of poor latching, so I stopped doing that altogether and she hasn't had the same issue again. I figure it's along the same lines as introducing a pacifier or bottle where it's a totally different shape for their mouth to take than a boob and they're so malleable at this stage that anything can throw them off. Again, this might have been a total coincidence, but it seemed to work and I know that you mentioned you've been giving her your knuckle to suck on while diaper changing in a different thread.


I can't recall how old little Buko is (and I have precious few seconds to churn out a response before the princess awakens and demands my attention), but it is a possibility that she's going through a growth spurt as well - I was told they occur around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, etc. She might be really hungry and fussing because she's so hungry, frustrating herself.


You'll probably get a lot more helpful information from your MW, since she can actually be there to see what's going on first hand.


As an aside, I've also been struggle a lot and spending a lot my time sobbing in frustration and bogged down with a billion questions, I just can't seem to find the time to post them on here since DH works all the time and Mila hates being put down for any reason, ever (the only reason I'm able to type this is because she's in the Moby). You're not alone or posting an unreasonable amount of queries by any stretch of the imagination.

post #3 of 16

Lydia was like this a lot earlier on (she'll be 3 weeks on Sunday). It was tough. She would act frantically hungry and the latch/unlatch/not really nurse. I think she just wanted the comfort nursing without the milk. She worked through the worst of it on her own and after we got through it I introduced a paci, which I try to use it as little as possible. I save it for the times when she really wants to comfort nurse but gets angry when I let down.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Teles! 


I sooooo feel you, Mama!  hug2.gif


You may very well be right-- DH and I have been giving knuckle/finger in just the last day for the diaper changes.  If that's it, then I'll be thrilled if we can quickly reverse it.

post #5 of 16
When baby gets panic/fussy and breaks latch, cries or fusses because she cant find nipple or does the headbutting thing to boob, i hold the top back of her head to it and keep my hand there until she's calmed down.
It'll be okay buko! Breastfeeding gets better with time. Love, love
post #6 of 16

Sorry you're having a rough time. Hopefully your MW can access the latch and make sure she's on there correctly.

post #7 of 16

So sorry Buko!  it is hard to get this all figured out.  you're on a learning curve w/ your little lady and i think you can figure it out!


good advice above!  my little guy had this a LOT at night the first week.  i remember just popping it in and out in and out for what seemed like foggy hours of not sleeping.  but he slurped it like a noodle too which hurt like the dickens.  he also had been sucking his thumb in utero (and labor) and i watched him working at his fingers and it is a totally different method of getting ONE finger in that getting a good latch on a nipple.


be patient- she's learning.  if you have enough milk, and she's hungry enough, you can figure it out.  sometimes my guy just needed to be up a bit at night, and while he didn't want to NURSE, suckling was very comforting to him.  i would have to adjust his lips after almost every latch for a over a week, and now he's got a great mouth-opening latch that is effective and gentle on my nipples.  


i found that cluster feeding in the evenings whenever there was any interest (and removing clothes and rubbing feet and back and keeping baby awake) was a good start for bedtime- i seem to be nursing every 20 min from 6-8pm, then one long nursing session around 9:30-10.  then i knew he was tanked up so that earlier sucklings weren't a huge issue.  to my surprise, he wouldn't wake up til 2 or 3 sometimes to REALLY eat.  since i can actually somewhat handle the dance (cell phone light, on and off the boob sometimes for 20 minutes, with frustrated cries in between) until we get him on and then we both promptly pass out til around 5 or 6.  then we do it again.  early morning fun.  

post #8 of 16

i have 2 quick thoughts before i have to get back to my fussy boy.


#1, i agree it may be that she 'wants a pacifier' - my little guy has been doing that a lot because we give him a paci in the car (i can't handle listening to him cry) and he wants to suck all the time but doesn't always want milk . ( i do have some over supply issues and a strong let down, though it rarely sprays, it is still a lot for a newborn..) now that he knows the pacifier/finger is out there .. he looks for it when he is just tired sometimes..  don't jump right to the bottle/spoon etc. she isn't going to starve if she fusses through a couple feedings..  also, remember cluster feeding is normal and any sucking at the breast is extra stimulation for your supply.. 


#2 - try reclining to nurse, she may want to feel more secure and babies are generally more comfortable held on their tummies -they can control themselves better that way and you don't have to worry about fully supporting their head/neck and keeping everything in line... (look up biological nurturing/laid back breastfeeding)

post #9 of 16
I am not a lot of help Buko but I just wanted to say that I can totally sympathize. We have had many issues as well and I've had to get a ton of help from lactation consultants and BF clinics these past two weeks. It's so hard to get everything right and then try and sleep on top of it when you are so upset. Hugs - you aren't alone!
post #10 of 16

Not a lot of time here.

as frustrating as it is, the on and off the nipple head bobbing thing is normal.  And it won't last forever.

what works for me during those times is standing up to latch.  Keep baby in a cradle hold, if that works for you, and stand up with her right in a good position to latch on.  Sometimes just a little swaying of my body works, other times I do a short walk down the hall.

hang in there mama

post #11 of 16

I had a very similar issue with my LO. She was screaming and pulling off the whole time. Which would then get her full of air, which would make her cry more. I think we decided it was a combo of things. Overly hungry and frustrated which led to crying which led to gas and then more crying. Here are some suggestions that worked for us and it seems to have passed.I know it's so frustrating and sad, I wasn't sure what to do, but we just kept asking our doula, other nursing moms, and kept trying to nurse


1. It sounds simple, but I didn't get it until my doula reminded me. Don't wait until baby is crying to nurse. As soon as baby wakes, nurse. If baby is awake and being very active, moving mouth, lips, etc, nurse. If it's been a couple hours since baby nursed, gently wake and nurse. We literally nursed almost every 45 minutes one day. Just keep offering a breast.


2. try gripe water or gas drops to help with all the air baby is ingesting while crying.


3. Try different nursing positions, the best for us were reclining (tummy to tummy) and standing/walking (as suggested above) sounds complicated but try walking shhing and nursing. I finally got her to settle by cradling her, right beneath my nipple so she just had to reach up, then walking, and shhing. This worked amazingly well.


4. Also check for a tongue or lip tie. My LO had both, although according to 4 pediatricians and 2 lactation consultants she didn't have a tongue tie.


Most of all hang in there, it gets better!

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Don't have much time or ability to reply right now bc I have cabbage on my boobs and am leaking milk down the front of my body. I got to see an LC and it was just extreme engorgement from some dumb things I did (hot showers, pumping that time-- of course I was feeding on demand and as soon as she started rooting, but that's not bad in itself). Anyway, she showed us some things and we are working on it!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Oh, one thing keeping me going through all this-- despite bleeding nipples and now engorgement & baby struggling at the boob, she was 4 oz OVER her birth weight today at the ped's-- 5.5 days old. So I am proud of my persistence!
post #14 of 16
Originally Posted by buko View Post

Oh, one thing keeping me going through all this-- despite bleeding nipples and now engorgement & baby struggling at the boob, she was 4 oz OVER her birth weight today at the ped's-- 5.5 days old. So I am proud of my persistence!

wow, that's impressive! keep on it. <3

post #15 of 16

biggrinbounce.gifSo glad you're sticking with it and getting IRL advice, it's the best when someone can help in person. I'm so happy she is gaining well, good on you for sticking with it.

post #16 of 16

Were you engorged when she started the pulling off thing?  That could have made you so wickedly engorged in itself, but not been the initial problem.  



I automatically though of my kids (all three) have had times, especially at the beginning when the milk did not come down fast enough for them and they would scream and pull off over and over.  Eventually I would have a let down, but not before they did some damage.  I don't remember exactly, but I think I was left with terribly sore, engorged breasts with cracked nipples. (Happened the most with DD1, less with DD2 and not so much with DS).  Anyways, if taking care of the engorgement doesn't cure her fuss, perhaps try to stimulate the milk first so it will be ready when nursing begins.


Hope you figured it out though.

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