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nofrillsmamma 06-24-2014 05:08 AM

Losing my love for breastfeeding DD b/c of pinching.
I think I may have written about this months ago...

DD is almost 15 months old and ALWAYS wants/needs to fiddle with the other nipple when she is breastfeeding. She pulls, she pinches, sometimes with fingernails. I tell her, "Be gentle with mamma," and show her how to push or knead gently, but it doesn't work. I firmly move her hand sometimes; I gently move her hand sometimes; most of the time now I just try to surrender (breathe deeply...and wait for her to fall asleep or finish her milk!). I let it keep happening months ago, because I knew it was her instinct, and it worked for her purpose: her twiddling/fiddling with my other nipple got my milk to let down faster.

SO, this has been going on for a few (several?) months and has become harder and harder for me. DD cries when I pull her hand away and can't go to sleep if it is bedtime/naptime just then without pinching/pulling/twiddling. Basically, whatever nipple isn't being sucked on serves as her "lovey."

I do sometimes give her a little stuffed animal to hold, which keeps her satisfied for a bit...but also usually keeps her awake, because she wants to play with it and "talk" to it!

I have also tried a beaded necklace, which she will fiddle with for a few moments but always goes back to the boob. If I wear a turtle-neck shirt (so she can't get to boob #2 easily), that also gets her crying/screaming/ANGGGGGGRY!

Who else has this happened to? How did you get past it? Will she stop, eventually? If I'm diligent about removing her hand, will she eventually no longer scream out in protest?

I intend to BF her at least until she is two, and potentially until she weans herself, whatever age that is. Most of the time now, however, breastfeeding is not the joy it once was. I am tense either with pain or anticipation of pain. I know this affects my milk supply and quality. I need a solution, mammas...please?!

tiqa 06-24-2014 06:32 AM

Both my daughters tried to fiddle. I don't care if it's instinctual, it drove me stabby. You can either get a fiddle necklace (some sort of pendant they can twirl) or do what I'm doing right now as I type - leave the other breast covered with a bra or shirt. Or, if I'm topless at night, I wrap a blanket or sheet around it. :)

nofrillsmamma 07-01-2014 11:29 AM

Please, mammas, I could use some more suggestions here.

I'll take a look for a twirling pendant of some sort as suggested above. (Thanks for that!) Doesn't matter what shirt I wear, though; DD is adept enough by now to get into my shirt!

sierramtngirl 07-01-2014 11:39 AM

I had the same issue- I redirected DD to twirl my hair. And we redirected early on so it stopped being a problem. I will also say that it was this age that my DD started to understand "owies"-- that might help, as my DD never wants to hurt mama (and this was the case when I was pregnant for #2 !) She is still nursing at 2 yrs & 3 months, tandeming with baby brother (another way to stop twiddling!).

ananas 07-05-2014 07:18 PM

I go through it with mine too (19 mo). It's a lot better now but there were times it was very frustrating. I've just always said "Gentle". If she gets rough I pull her hand away and say gentle again. If she's not gentle that time, my hand goes over my other nipple and I don't let her get to it. She fusses for a minute but then calms down.

IdentityCrisisMama 07-05-2014 09:57 PM

Both of mine were big twiddlers. I feel your pain! With my first I think I manYaged to compromise by letting her put her feet on my torso instead of my body, which looking back was sort of a ridiculous plan. With my second I had wised up a bit (and perhaps toughened up a bit) and I think I set some limits before the habit got too bad.

I do think that talking to your DC outside of the nursing session is a great way to go. Just level with her. Tell her it bothers you and makes nursing unpleasant and you want to try to nurse without her doing that. If you want you can say that you know it will be hard but that you will comfort her if she is upset (but remind her that you won't let her twiddle).

An alternative (which is what I did with my second) is to hold her hand flat on your other nipple. This makes it bearable for me because she's not really twiddling. Another option (something else I have done) is to tell her she can twiddle when she is finished nursing. One or the other but not both. You could also try holding her hand or something like that.

I feel ya, mama!

Asiago 07-06-2014 06:41 PM

It must be instinct because it increases milk production and also speeds up letdown, so more milk is ingested.

One_Girl 07-06-2014 07:25 PM

I remember the twiddling as something I despised. I covered the other nipple with my arm and pressed from the top of my breast down around on the side she was nursing on to increase flow. From what I remember it did irritate dd but she did get over it. I've always been comfortable allowing dd to manage disappointment when the alternative is having an irrationally irate mother.

IdentityCrisisMama 07-07-2014 05:35 AM


Originally Posted by One_Girl (Post 17759538)
I've always been comfortable allowing dd to manage disappointment when the alternative is having an irrationally irate mother.

Yep. OP, maybe you can try to really internalize that YOU being comfortable is in your child's best interest. A very good life-lesson as a mom. :x

alk209 07-11-2014 10:54 AM

When my dd developed this habit, I let her do it at naptime, until it drove me too crazy and I had to stop her from doing it. We missed a couple of naps over it (and I really do mean just a couple) because she seemed legitimately unable to fall asleep without it (or was just too angry), but they resumed quickly. She still tried to get her hand there, but I would jut hold it and kiss it and that seemed to work well.

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