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Odd newborn behavior

721 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Geofizz

My daughter is now 14 months old (today!) and we're nursing fine, but I'm still curious about what the cause of her difficult behavior with nursing in her first few weeks of life.

Starting from the very first time Karen latched on, everything would be fine for a few minutes, but then after maybe 30 seconds to 5 minutes she'd throw her upper arm forward into my chest. Since her suck at the beginning wasn't as strong as her arm, she would pop off and get frustrated, making it very difficult to relatch.

We got through this in time. Every single time I nursed her in the first few weeks, however, would require someone to hold her upper arm to prevent her from pushing it forward. After about 2 weeks, I got comfortable enough with nursing that I could hold the arm myself, but before that I needed help from another person.

After 3-4 weeks it stopped being much of a problem because her latch got stronger than her arms. I stopped noticing her doing it at all after ~2 months. I guess she got out of the habit.

Karen's birth was fast: My water broke at about 8 am one day, but my contractions didn't begin for another 12 hours. Karen was born after 5.5 hours of contractions, 20 minutes of that pushing. We got to the hospital about 20 minutes before she was born -- yes, that means I was pushing in the hallway. No meds at any point. She was born with a 4 cm lump on the side of her head, which the midwife said meant that I'd been dialated to 4 cm for a while (I'm guessing a week) and that showed where her head had been pushed up against the cirvex. I also struggled with flat nipples -- I pumped for a minute or so before attempting a latch between the time my milk came in (~3 days pp) and about 8 days pp. I'd pump just long enough to draw out the nipple.

Anyone heard of this behavior? Any clues to what caused this? I've never seen any description of this in books on getting started. At this point I'm mostly curious.
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I'm guessing it was simply a jerky infant movement that came about in that position at that time. I'm sure it wasnt anything to worry about and i know it seems curious, yet thats what those newborns are.... curious and mysterious and hard to figure out sometimes.
ps: glad all is well with nursing
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There is something called the startle reflex. Could have been that.

As I was typing, I just remembered how my first daughter would sometimes hit me while she nursed. I had a terrific, almost out of control, let down and I think she did that when the milk gushed out and she didn't know how to deal with it.
I think babies do a bunch of weird stuff like that, depending on habits they picked up in utero. Some try like the dickens to get their thumbs in their mouth, alongside the nipple. My ds was so strong from birth, we also needed octopus arms to get his hands out of the way in the early weeks. He would be mashing my breast all over the place.

Some babies suck on their own tongues in utero, and then find it hard to keep their tongues down and out when they nurse.

Some may refsue one breast, b/c they don't like to lie on that side, b/c of how they were lying in the womb. You can sometimes trick them by nursing in football hold on the refused side.
Wow, that sounds familiar. Octopus arms. I love it. That was exactly what we needed.

All the nurses in the hospital kept complaining about how strong Karen was. She still is a lot stronger than other kids her age. I still find it odd that the nurses were complaining about it, though it did make nursing more of a challenge!

I do wonder if it was a habit from in utero. That might be what it was. I spent the last 3 months of my pregnancy with an arm sticking out my side!
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