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My daughter was the nursing champion of the universe. She came out raring and ready to go (even the nurse at the hospital helping me said "Wow. Usually they don't take to it THAT quickly"). I never had her on a schedule, but she had a hard-core internal textbook schedule and she would start rooting and I'd feed her and she'd be happy.

I feel like I had such a good experience with her, that maybe I have unrealistic expectations for my son, who is now almost eight weeks old.

Starting when he was born, he slept 5 or 6 hours straight. I don't know how long, actually, because the nurses would wake him up because he had to eat (and I had to get my supply in). And not just once or twice, but every single time. Then he'd smack on for maybe 10 minutes TOPS, and then purse his lips and would have nothing more to do with my boob. NOTHING would make him open up.

But here's the cincher: by the time we left the hospital, he had GAINED weight. So he was obviously getting something. (And my milk came in right on time, on the 3rd day... yes it was a C section)

I feel like things have just gotten worse, without technically being bad: his latch is bad 1/2 the time, but I'm just so happy that he's actually on that I don't even care anymore. He comes on and off constantly, without warning, and smacks his lips a few times as I spurt all over him (I thought that was a myth!), and then lunges back on, bad latch and all. I try to hold him on (not tightly, obviously: but firmly) and he wriggles and freaks out. It also makes it very hard to nurse discretely. I know that's probably a contentious issue here, and I wish I were more comfortable with my body (I don't even own a bathing suit), but I'm just not, and it makes me very uncomfortable that there's no way for me to nurse him in public without exposing myself. And with a toddler to run around after, I can't just not leave the house for the next year.

He'll only eat for a few minutes, but unlike the newborn period then he'll be hungry again 1/2 an hour later. With my daughter, she'd feed for 1/2 an hour every 2-3 hours, with him he feeds for 2-3 minutes every 1/2 hour.

I don't know if this is really a "challenge," as the title of the forum describes, but I'm finding it hugely frustrating. Part of me thinks that I can't really complain, because he is gaining weight beautifully, but it's not the really wonderful experience I had with my daughter and that I was looking forward to having again. I have absolutely NO intention of weaning him anytime soon, but I'm just not very happy right now.

Sorry for the really long post. Has anyone had a similar experience, of a nursing experience which is frustrating without being technically bad or problematic?
 

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This might seem like "mean" parenting, but since he's gaining weight great, could you just not let him eat when he's wanting to nurse just 1/2 hour later. Distract him via other methods (like taking him for a walk, rocking him, dancing with him in a carrier, etc.). Then he'd be ravenous after another half hour went by and he might nurse longer. You could stretch this out gradually and do it like once or twice a day?

Obviously if his weight starts to suffer, you'd have to go back to cue feeding, but a bit of scheduling might help here. (I know that's usually so AP-unfriendly, but a happy mom is part of the picture too....)
 

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My LO is the exact same way, and it is very frustrating. Half the time he falls asleep even when I have him down to the diaper, other times he is so fussy at the breast, he is ripping and pulling and it really hurts, add to that a bad latch after he is done squiggling and freaking out as you put it. I don't know what to do either, other than what you said, I hold him on firmly as well. It is extremely frustrating and it is getting to be very painful as well. I think my little guy is this way right now because my supply is low, but he did that early on as well when I had a better supply.
I do try and hold him off a bit so that when I do put him on he is hungry and stays awake and doesn't pull of, also it lets my boob refill a bit better and he may feel more satiated if he is getting a better/stronger flow.
I'd like to hear others suggestions on this as well.
 

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I recommend seeing a lactation consultant or at the very least call your local La Leche League counselor!

There are SO many little things that might be possible to change to get your little one to nurse better. I definitely do not recommend limiting breast time or trying to extend time between feeds with a newborn.

There are different reasons his latch might be bad and without watching him nurse I'd be hard pressed to help you. However having nursed 3 children I can tell you I have had the largest myriad of obstacles to overcome! I stuck it out even when I wanted to quit in the worst way and I am extremely glad I did.

Get out of the business of comparing your kids now, everyone will be happier! My first would nurse for 45 minutes at a time and my second was done in 5 minutes every time! My third nursed about 20 minutes at a time when she was a newborn. There is no hard and fast rules about how long they will nurse.

He also may be coming off because your milk flow is too fast for him. There are different ways to handle that and one that worked for me was to lay flat on my back and have baby on top of the nipple and use gravity as your friend. Also it helped for me to nurse the baby after pumping a bit. Newborns also have a reflex to not want their heads held while nursing (how would you feel if someone was dumping a drink down your throat and you not only couldn't keep up but you couldn't get away!)

With all that said, you can check out (if you haven't already) Kellymom.com and really, try to seek a good lactation consultant. Consider chiropractic for the baby, sometimes something might not feel just right and a little adjustment is all it takes!

Hang in there Mama! Nursing a baby is hard work sometimes and can be really frustrating but know you are doing the best thing ever!
 
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