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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My lovely peach of a daughter is 3.5 months old and has developed a weird and annoying habit while nursing, especially at night.<br><br>
A bit of background--for the first four weeks of her life, nursing was excrutiating for me. P was clamping down too hard while she nursed and doing something weird with her tongue. After two LCs, a craniosacral therapist, and the passage of time, things got better and by 6 weeks nursing was completely pain-free. The one suggestion I got that actually helped was to support my breast with my hand while P nursed. I had to do that throughout each feeding for a while--if I didn't, it either hurt, or she would slip off my nipple and we'd have to relatch again.<br><br>
After a few weeks of that, I was generally able to let go of my breast after she got latched on and got started. I was able to read a book while nursing! Or talk on the phone! Or brush my older daughter's hair! Hooray!<br><br>
But. For the past week or so, she's started to "slip" off the nipple a lot, even if I'm supporting my breast, and especially at night. We co-sleep and she nurses in the side-lying position. She'll wake up, I'll get her latched, she'll suck for about 30 seconds, then unlatch herself, and then will immediately start rooting for the breast again. So I'll help her relatch, she'll suck for about 30 seconds, then she'll unlatch herself, and will immediately start rooting again. And so on and over and over again for an hour or more. I switch sides, it doesn't matter. I cradle her head in the crook of my arm, it doesn't matter. I let her lie flat on the mattress, it doesn't matter. <b>It is driving me crazy.</b> Not only can I not doze peacefully through her nocturnal feedings, but all this readjusting and so forth is causing me all kinds of pain in my neck and shoulders.<br><br>
Why is she doing this? It sometimes happens during the day, that she'll slip off and on, but that's usually because she's either distracted (she slips off and giggles at me, which is just adorable) or gassy--which doesn't seem to be the case at night. It just seems that she is having a real problem keeping my nipple in her mouth. She's gone from having a too-strong latch to a too-weak latch. Or is it just an annoying habit that I'm going to have to live with?<br><br>
It just occured to me that the one thing I haven't tried is sitting up in bed and holding her on my lap while she eats at night. I really don't want to have to do that, but I guess I could try it and see if it helps. Any other suggestions?
 

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I'm no LC or LLLL, but from my own experience with a difficult nurser, my first reaction is to tell you to find a speech pathologist who specializes in feeding disorders. We had problems similar to what you first described with your daughter. Our son clamped and chomped and held his tongue in back and used it to push the nipple out and up, rather than down and back. Excruciating. I threw him on the bed more than once and wanted a puppy instead of a baby.<br><br>
Our speech pathologist (trained in Felden-Kreiss (spelling?) therapy) was wonderful. She knew just how to relax certain muscles and how to retrain and coax others so he learned to use his mouth right. But it was complex and she knew exactly what she was doing.<br><br>
I don't know if you can find such a person, but there must be someone in your area that does something similar, or someone who teaches Down Syndrome babies to nurse?<br><br>
Please keep trying and get more help. It sounds like you've been trying hard to do that and I applaud your dedication and hard work to do the right thing for your daughter.<br><br>
-Lindsay
 

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My 4.5 mo dd does this at night. I have hickies all around my areolas from where she slips around and tries to keep nursing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> She also is bad to "slurp" my nipple back in when she realizes she has lost it. I really just think it is because she is so sleepy and that warm milk is a powerful sleeping serum. :LOL I also have noticed that sometimes she is slipping around because my breast is so wet (sometimes from her saliva-she's teething, and sometimes because she lets milk dribble out of the corners of her mouth to combat my overactive letdown). If I stop and wipe off my breast and then let her relatch, sometimes that helps.<br><br>
Sometimes it also helps her to stay latched if I sort of sanwich my breast between my thumb on the top of my breast and fingers on the bottom (or vice versa) and sort of smush my breast (I think some people call this the sandwich method) and push (very gently) the breast toward her mouth. Also, if you are pushing in the breast for her nose, be sure to push down and toward her mouth instead of pushing back. Okay, none of that probably made any sense, sorry. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><br><br>
Also wanted to say that dd was not good at laying down to nurse until after she was 4 mo. Maybe your little gal just needs more time. You have come so far to this point, please don't give up! I gave up way too early on my ds and greatly regret it. Just try to get through one night at a time.<br><br>
I really don't have any other suggestions, I just could feel your frustration and wanted to send you some good vibes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the replies! I am going to be offline all weekend so just wanted to check back in quickly.<br><br>
Leosmom, I think my daughter must have done exactly what your son did, with the chomping and the clamping and so forth. If I hadn't had the memories of nursing my older daughter to hang on to, I think I would've quit--it hurt so bad! It doesn't hurt anymore--I think she's just not a "natural" nurser and still has a kind of wonky latch. I'll keep the speech therapist idea on the back burner, but I kind of hope this is just a phase.<br><br>
Veggiemomma, that's a good point about the drool and the milk making everything slippery. I'll try to remember to keep things dry. The strange thing is that she was nursing fine lying down until a week or so ago. I do kind of do the "sandwich" hold (although, stupid as this sound, I think I'm getting some kind of carpal tunnel thing...I get pains from my wrist up to my neck if I hold my breast too long in that position. I'm a mess!) She's a big baby, too, with really good head control, so I think it's not just the position.<br><br>
And believe me, I'm not about to quit! I would nurse her standing on my head at night if I had too. And SHE doesn't seem to be upset by all this at all. I'm just wondering if there's anything I can do about this now...and frankly, I'm a bit worried about what's going to happen once she gets teeth...I'm afraid that at that point, all this slipping and relatching will become painful instead of just annoying.<br><br>
Anyway, thanks again!
 

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Your experince with dd sounds like my ds. The first weeks were SO painful. I was determined not to give up (and didn't), but he's my first and I was afraid it would never end.<br><br>
When ds would keep unlatching during a nursing session, I finally learned to stop nursing for about 20 minutes or so. Then when we'd try again, it was much better. It was like maybe he wasn't really hungry and just wanted to suck but didn't want the milk. That may not be the case with your dd, but I just thought I'd share our experience. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
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