being mauled while bf - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 04-01-2003, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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is this normal? my 3 month old is a violent intense bf'er. I should also mention that he is very high needs. When he BF he wont cuddle or cradle with me. He has his head turned to me and his body as far away as he can get. There is nothing sweet about our nursing sessions. He flails his arms & legs out like he is doign jumping jacks and reaches up and smacks my breasts and claws them. I have scratches all over my chest, neck, breast, and face. He punches me with his fist in my already sore breasts and he reecntly started smacking MY FACE. I know he isnt doing this intentionally but it is a horrible scene to watch & I am embarrassed to BF IP anymore. At church the nursery worker asked me if he is always this aggressive & disobediant when he nurses. I told her he was neither bc he is only 3 months old. Is this behavior of his normal? If I try to restrain his arms or wrap him in a blanket he screams and squirms worse. HELP!
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#2 of 6 Old 04-01-2003, 04:58 PM
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Kat, I am moving this to Getting Started where it may get more answers.
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#3 of 6 Old 04-01-2003, 10:37 PM
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Disclaimer: I am a new mom, not a LLL leader or LC or even experienced.

My son( 8 weeks) does some of these things. I make sure to keep his nails short, so my breast doesn't get scratched when he caresses it. (It feels like a caress when the nails are short!)

If he's flailing around and kicking, he might have gas. Sometimes babies use sucking to pass wind. He might not even be that hungry, but likes the sucking and the closeness. Burping him can often stop that behavior, or holds that put pressure on his abdomen, like the football hold. This has just started happening with my baby and this has worked for us. The punching the boobie thing also sometimes happens when he flails around. I just grab the little hand.

I'm not sure I know how to think about a 3 month old as disobedient! That's pretty wild! One thing I read is that three month olds get really distractable when they nurse. I guess because at three months he can finally see things that are a little further away? That might also account for sudden flailing, especially if he's whipping his head off the breast to look at something.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#4 of 6 Old 04-03-2003, 02:34 AM
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When your milk lets down does it come shooting out of your breasts? This sounds like it could be over-active let down.

My oldest daughter squirmed around so much and often would hit me if I didn't hold on tight to her hand. This went on for nearly four months, and the whole time I just thought I was trying to feed her when she wasn't hungry. Finally, I asked for help and an LLL leader suggested that I nurse her from one breast only for a few hours. I think I ended up switching only after three feedings, and it got so much better in about a week.

My DD did nurse calmly in the evenings, and once I knew about over active let-down, I realized that she could nurse calmly then because my supply had slowed down by the P.M. Before I got my supply under control, I could hear my milk landing in her stomach (no kidding), but as a first time mom, how was I supposed to know that wasn't usual?

I hope this helps you out.

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#5 of 6 Old 04-03-2003, 10:03 AM
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I had something else to add, along the lines of let-down. The lactation consultant I saw the day before yesterday said that overactive let down could also make the baby violently pull off the breast. And even normal letdown is upsetting to a baby who is sucking so he can fart (excuse the unromantic imagery!)

This morning when I tried to put my baby on the breast in bed he was very fussy and did that flailing thing, had trouble latching on, so I changed his diaper. As soon as I did, he calmed down and ate like a person, no flailing, no boobie-punching. Of course then I had to put up with the kind of crying he does when I change his diaper at 5 AM when he's hungry--call the consulate! This is an outrage! I don't think of my baby as "high needs" but he is sensitive to what the rest of his body is doing when he eats. Sometimes I'm so eager to give him the breast to make him happy that I forget his tushie.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#6 of 6 Old 04-03-2003, 12:47 PM
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Please call a LLL Leader or IBCLC. they will be able to help you more over the phone or in a RL visit than we can here.

If it is overactive letdown, besides offering only one breast for a 3 hour period, you can try nursing lying down or semi reclined. Either of these will be less stressful. Lying down lets the excess milk dribble out the side of his mouth, semi-reclined makes the milk go "uphill."

Has this just started happening, or is it new? I'm wondering if he is an archy baby? Tense, never relaxed? What works to calm him down? Soothing music, or music with a loud drumbeat? White noise, like a fan, vacuum cleaner or clothes dryer? Some moms wear out a vacuum trying to soothe their babies. A cheaper way to go is to make a recording of the sound. Can you nurse him standing up and walking around in the sling?

Read The Fussy Baby Book. Very helpful.
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