DS is almost 9 mths. He has been a frequent/short feeder since birth. In the past few months, nursing him has become increasingly difficult because of the way he nurses. He sucks for a minute, pulls off, comes back to suck again, pulls off, he will push at my breast, scratch at them, pull all but the nipple out of his mouth and then pull at that while he is nursing....for almost every feed. This happens if we lie down, if I sit and hold him, if I nurse him in the wrap, or if we are alone or with other people. If I think that he's done and try to put my boob away, he'll scream until I put him back on, but then repeat the same pattern again. My left nipple is so sore and is even cracking. I went to a BF clinic, and the nurse thought that maybe he had silent reflux that was making him feed this way. We did a trial of reflux meds, but it didn't seem to help any and I wasn't comfortable continuing with medication that I wasn't sure he needed. He has several food intolerances (soy/dairy/gluten) but I have been free of all this for a while now, so I'm not sure if this is related to the way he nurses.
He is so rough with me that it is really taking a toll on our nursing relationship; a lot of the time I don't enjoy nursing him (which makes me feel awful) and I have even thought about weaning him at a year, even though I nursed my first son until he was over 2 and fully believe in extended BF. Has anyone else experienced this with their LO's? Do you know what caused it? What did you do to get through it?
I think the goal for you would be to find something he tolerates if he has allergies. Have you tried everything including sheep's milk? My understanding is that some brands taste better than others.
I had a lot of troubles starting around the same time with nursing my son, although for different reasons (scraping and bad night habits). At some point the relationship is more important and for me it was at 13 months: I scheduled him on to bottled breastmilk and started weaning around 11 months. Looking back I wish I had started sooner because my exhaustion from dealing with the problem had an impact on my son that I now regret; I was so irritable. You seem very dedicated. I know your instinct at this point is to give in to demand: start now just in case, work very slowly to wean to bottled breastmilk, then mixed with formula/alternative milk. I kinow it seems like weaning might actually make your job even more demanding, but if you have a good pump and If you start really slowly you will have the time and energy to continue looking for a solution, but it will not be nearly as difficult/traumatic for either of you if you start now.
In the meantime I also hope you find the solution to your actual issues and are able to keep it going. I am sorry I don't have a suggestion in this area but I would definitely go to LLL and contact them for tips; I got great advice by contacting my local leader via email.
Married to overworked DH since 2003, happily mama to DD (01/09) and DS (4/12)
Does your lo have clogged nose or maybe because of the milk pressure? DD was also like that when either of this 2 factor is present.
Anyway, if not..I agree with pumping specially in your case that your lo is allergic and having a sore breast is really painful plus it heals too long. Bottle feeding can still nourished your bond with your baby, increase skin to skin contact and talk to him often. But, got to be ready bottle feeding needs more effort than BFing. Goodluck!!
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I second the PP's question: does he have a plugged up nose or sinus pressure? That might make it difficult for him to get the right nursing suction.
You might also want to wait to nurse next time until he is really quite hungry. I know my son will sometimes "play" when he's not that hungry, but nurse more seriously when he is.
Just a thought.
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