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5 week old constantly fussing at breast

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#1 Rach_V

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:01 PM

DS is 5 weeks old and for the last couple of weeks has become extremely fussy at the breast at just about every single nursing session. His weight gain and output are excellent, so I know that he is getting enough milk, however it has come to the point that feeding is just incredibly stressful and frustrating.

He will pull on and off constantly, cry & grizzle, push away from me but still seem to be TRYING to latch back on. He very rarely comes away from the breast satisfied or content. If I attempt to burp him, he cries & grizzles. If I attempt to put him back to the breast he will cry & grizzle. He only feeds for a few minutes at a time.  

I honestly can't believe that his weight gain and output are so fantastic, because he is just never happy during or after a feed! I do have a forceful let down, so he'll often pull off to avoid choking, which is fine. Unfortunately the rest of the feed has just become one big ordeal too.

He isn't a gassy baby, has no trouble bringing up a burp during/after feeds and poos are the "proper" yellow colour.

Has anyone else experienced this?

#2 MrsFeral247

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:12 PM

I was at the other end of the scale with slow letdown and low supply, but from ABA meetings etc I've heard of this. Can you try quickly hand expressing before a feed to get the main letdown out of the way, then attach bub?

Maybe call the ABA line 1800686268 they're amazing. I honestly had periods of calling daily, especially in those early weeks!!

It sounds like you've done an amazing job to get where you are. For me, about 6-8 weeks is when things completely changed and started getting easier, not harder. Good luck!

#3 indigo~

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

My bub does the same thing, so I'll be interested to hear suggestions also. My bub has reflux so I wondered if that was a contributor, or whether my supply was low (tho dd is putting on good weight).

She pulls off the boob but still acts desperate to get back on with open mouth and scrabbling hands trying to drag the nipple to her mouth, but when it's right there in her mouth, she won't close her lips around it.

She gets massively frustrated (as do I!) so I sit her up and try to calm her down and swap sides. I also try to burp her. Sometimes I just have to stand up and distract/walk her around. She's 13w actual / 7w corrected age.

#4 Franni

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:45 PM

Could it be oral thrush?

#5 Lainskii

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

My 7 week old (real age, corrected age is 0) does this as well, except he is very gassy as well and cries and clenches stomach after a feed. He only started doing it about 1.5 weeks ago.

I think it is because of my fast let down or possibly reflux (seeing the Pead in 1.5 weeks) I'm trying block feeding but it doesn't seem to have made much difference.

It is very frustrating and I'll be keeping an eye on this thread to see if anyone else has any other suggestions, hints.

Edited by Lainskii, 10 December 2012 - 09:29 PM.

#6 Mung bean

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:36 PM

Have a look for tongue tie, my DS was like this and he still gained perfect weight. Instead he fussed a lot at the breast.

#7 lucky 2

Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

If you have lots of questions and unknowns in regards to breast feeding then could you see a LC?
The LC will be able to take a breastfeeding history, assess both you and your baby and watch a feed, this is the ideal way to find out more about about behaviour at feeds.
Having said that, a 5 week old isn't the most settled usually, but being very difficult to feed is another thing.
My dd was very fussy to feed so I would keep switching sides often up to 8 sides before a feed was finished because she would keep coming off and crying. She too was growing but pretty miserable.
On the basis of coming off your breast choking combined with the fussy feeding, I think the LC would be best, to check on attachment etc.
All the best.

#8 Rach_V

Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:03 AM

Thanks for the replies, I'm glad I'm not the only one! I have seen an LC a few weeks ago, but will try and get in again. Saw the MCHN because the LC is booked out for more than a week and she checked him for tongue tie, thrush, etc and could find nothing. She also doesn't think it's reflux.

We're thinking maybe he's so used to the really fast flow at the start of the feed that he is getting impatient and frustrated waiting for the subsequent letdowns during a feed?

Anyway, I'm persevering with it, hopefully he settles down sooner rather than later. I'm switching him between breasts when he starts to grizzle and cry  and pull on and off, that seems to be helping a little, hopefully he doesn't get too gassy with it.

#9 ez21

Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

Hi OP.  I went through this exactly with DS2, and it lasted a couple of weeks.  The only difference is that he was really gassy.  He too thrived regardless of the very fussy short feeds.

He is now 9 weeks old and is a lot better although he does have the odd feed when he is really unhappy, which usually coincides with when he needs to do a poo!  In my situation I think the fussing was caused by a fast letdown as well as wind pains (the two often go hand in hand).  When I started the feed, the wind pain would intensify, he would get wriggly and take in air as he tried to cope with the flow.  I managed the situation by spacing feeds to 3 hours (to allow DS' tummy to have a rest) and only feeding from one breast at a time (I had so much milk that I needed to do this to settle my supply anyway). I would also express a little bit if I was really full and recline when feeding.  I also found that focussing on a really good latch with his whole body tucked closely into my body helped.  DS was worse when he was tired or overstimulated although, if you got him at just the right stage of sleepiness he would feed really well (I found that the night feeds were really good because he was really calm and drowsy).  Feeding in a really calm and quiet environment was essential for us.

I wish you luck, I know how frustrating and tiring it can be.  Like Lucky2 said, it's best to get it checked out by a LC.  I saw a LC and was able to rule things out and get a bit of a management plan together.  You'll get through it and I'm sure it's just a stage.

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