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baby getting frustrated at breast

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#1 Swizzle

Posted 23 December 2005 - 12:18 PM

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem or could suggest what might be happening here...

I have a baby girl just over three weeks old, and until now has been breastfeeding well - putting on a great amount of weight each week and no real dramas.

Until the last few days however, where she will feed really greedily and quickly on the first breast while the flow is quite quick, but as soon as it slows down a little, its like she becomes really annoyed, starts pulling on my nipple, kicking her legs, and sometimes pulling off and crying, getting tense and generally grumpy and irritable. Its like she has no patience or cant be bothered to work a bit harder after the initial flow to get the hindmilk? Surely she cant be emptying the breast after only 3-4 minutes?

I usually give in after a while and give her the other side where she again drinks quickly and greedily until she becomes frustrated again. I then try going back to the first breast again and so on and so forth.

Its becoming a bit of a battle and I feel that she is just getting crankier and crankier every time she feeds. I am worried that she is only ever getting the watery foremilk.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks and a Merry and safe Xmas to everyone...

#2 Tpe

Posted 26 December 2005 - 09:26 PM


I just posted this in another thread so I'll copy and paste it too you..

I have the same issue with Charlotte (4wks). But we finally figured out it was I had a quick initial let down and then the milk slowed. Charlotte got so cranky that she would pull off and not want to reattach as she wanted a bottle of EBM (she gets the milk faster and doesn't have to work as hard to get it.)

One of the midwives suggested that I offer the 1st side until she starts carring on and then offer the 2nd side and then back to the 1st as your 2nd letdown should have kicked in by then. She was telling me that you can have multiple let downs and that the baby will grow out of being so impatient. (Humm my 5 YO is still impatient just how long do I have to wait lol)

I hope this helps.


#3 Swizzle

Posted 27 December 2005 - 08:18 AM

Thanks for that,

I have been doing tha the last day or 2, and have noticed that when I go back to the first breast there seems to have been another let down and she drinks a bit more, but I feel like I am having to swap breasts 4 or 5 times!

I gave her a top up of EBM last night, and she was much happier and went to sleep straight away without even a grizzle. Normally she will protest for about 5-10 minutes beofre finally letting go and falling asleep.

So I guess I will keep perservering... I dont want her to become too lazy and only accept it out of a bottle as it is a lot quicker and she doesnt have to work for it...

#4 fionah

Posted 27 December 2005 - 07:21 PM

A very similar thing happened to me at about 6 weeks. I did the breast swap & persevered & it all settled down & he is still b/f now.  
He also had days where he would prefer 1 breast to the other, and i let him have the other as much as i comfortably could & he grew out of that too.
Sorry, i dont want to seem nosey or criticise but i am just wondering about the EBM. Are you going back to work soon, is that why you are giving the bottle? as i believe that at an early age giving a b/f baby a bottle can confuse the baby as sucking at a bottle & a breast are 2 different sucking actions. I do know lots of babies can successfully do both, but if there are troubles at the moment, i would hate you to have more.
Good luck with everything. I hope things are going better.

#5 armylou

Posted 27 December 2005 - 07:45 PM


Hi, your bub might be going through a growing period. I remember this with both my kids at about 4 weeks and then 3 months. I went through a day or two of them being very frustrated as they weren't getting enough milk. I swapped sides a few times as you said that you were.

With my first baby I went back to work when he was 6 weeks old so we gave him EBM from the first week. (I first time I expressed it was only 10ml and took ages!) Don't listen to anyone who says that babies that young cannot go between the breast and the bottle. My little man had no problems. We did this until he was 11 months old, when I gave up as I was 5 months pregnant with my second child.

If your baby after two or three days is still getting frustrated, maybe just check that they are latching on properly. Also if it is hot where you are maybe your baby just needs that water more than that heavy stuff!

Hope everything goes well.

#6 ~clairebear~

Posted 28 December 2005 - 07:58 AM


I've had this same problem since DS was very little and it's still going on.  

I read some brilliant info on www.kellymom.com and it seems that DS just prefers the fast flow of milk during letdown & gets impatient when he has to work at it.  It's always worse in the evenings when my milk isn't as plentiful. (pm me if you want me to find the info for you.)

Switching sides does help to stimulate more letdowns and keep him happier for longer.  I also wrap him if he starts flailing his arms around too much.

I agree with the advice to just accept your DD's little foibles and ride it out.  I've learned to relax about it - DS is putting on a massive 400g a week so I know it's not a supply issue or a foremilk/hindmilk issue.  Nowadays, if he fusses too much I just end the feed rather than letting us both get worked up about it.

As for avoiding bottles, well you'll always find somebody who had no problems but that's no reason to scoff at the advice - fact is, it *can* cause nipple confusion and I would think Paige is especiallly vulnerable if she prefers a faster flow.  I successfully introduced the odd bottle at around 5-6 weeks.

Hope it gets better for you!

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