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Help please - not feeding today

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26 replies to this topic

#1 Rosiebird

Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:05 PM

My 4.5 month old is not feeding properly. She had 2 grizzly days, feeding constantly and my supply increased, leaving me with sore, hard, lumpy breasts. I block fed last night (several feeds from the right breast) because it was much more engorged, lumpy and painful than the other breast. Now today, she has block fed from the other breast - and after a full day of feeding from only the left breast, it is still lumpy, engorged and painful!! She hasn't had a wet nappy since lunch time, no dirty nappy all day and she isn't really feeding properly. She's arching her back and protesting after sucking for only a few seconds, then she bites down hard on my nipple with her hard gums and cries. She's not sleeping well today either.

We had a long day travelling yesterday evening and today so I wonder if it's just because she's unsetlled.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My breasts hurt, I'm overtired and she's cranky (and presumably hungry and thirsty as well).

#2 Mamabug

Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:19 PM

Rosie, sorry to hear you are both having a rough day.

All I can think of is, if your breast is engorged, the nipple may be to hard for her to attach properly, resulting in the fussy behaviour?

If it is, hand express a bit of milk to soften the nipple and then let her try attaching.

Express of a bit of milk to relieve pressure, but don't empty the breast as that will just stimulate supply. When feeding - if possible - take off your bra and let the other breast drip freely to relieve pressure as well.

Of course, you know the drill about wet nappies etc, and I have no doubt you will be keeping a close eye on your little one. original.gif

Random stray thought - possible early teething? Does she have any swollen gums or "tooth buds"? Try rubbing her gums gently and see if that helps to settle her?

#3 kissy10

Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:23 PM

Stop me if you have already done this, have you seen a lac consultant? If you are in Melb, I have an awesome lady!!

Mamabug has some excellent advice. Try expressing a bit first or a warm compress.

#4 Marchioness Flea

Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:53 PM

Could she have a sore throat or earache? Some babies go off feeding when they have an ear ache (though mine never did.)
Does she have a temp?
If she's not had a wet or dirty nappy by tomorrow morning I'd possibly take her to the ED to get checked over. Or a GP for a second opinion. It's different I would think when it's your own child and not someone else's

#5 Expelliarmus

Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:57 PM

I would express off to soften the breast and massage to get the lumps out. It does sound like she is having trouble latching onto the engorged breast.

Another possibility - since she's clearly not had a lot ingested today, is that she is teething and is finding it painful to suck. Will she suck on a dummy/clean finger? If she won't do that either she is probably teething or has an ear ache and it hurts to suck.

If she is refusing the left breast her right ear might be paining her.

To get something into her, if she won't attach or suck, spoon or cup fed what you express out.

Edited by howdo, 16 April 2012 - 07:58 PM.

#6 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:02 PM

I would take her to the GP tomorrow. Whenever my babies acted like this they either had an ear infection or a sore throat.It sounds like she could be unwell. will she sip water from a sippy cup?

Hope she is a bit more settled tonight for you.

#7 Mamabug

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:11 PM

Another thought!

When mine were struggling to feed when unwell, I would express into a 10ml syringe and drop feed them that way. Was a time consuming, but I found it easier than expressing fully and then re-heating and feeding. And I only expressed as much as they would take.

#8 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:11 PM

Hi there,
Sorry to hear about the feeding issues.  I had a lot of problems so my initial thoughts are:

Your breasts are too full and hard for her to get a good grip on.  Perhaps try expressing a bit to soften them?  Would also help that lumpy, large discomfort.

Sickness as mentioned.  I assume you've had no previous issues with reflux?

I'd definitely get her checked by a doctor if she's still not feeding tomorrow.

#9 SplashingRainbows

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:14 PM

Agree with all the pp suggestions.

One thing that has worked for me when my baby wouldn't feed (due to illness) is to express some into a sterile cup an use a syringe to drop into baby's mouth. Once he got the taste and had a few ml that way he would then attach and feed properly.

I would be expressing as much as possible and feeding anyway you can get it into her. Both your breasts are likely to be engorged by now and it is important you keep them working as much as possible to avoid mastitis, or a drop in supply.

Hope you find something that works.

Snap mamabug!

#10 Rosiebird

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:19 PM

Good news, I finally got her off to sleep and then gave her a dream feed - she fed for 20min!! (Normally less than 5min for a feed). She must have been starving, the poor little thing. I know it was a good feed because my poor, lumpy, engorged breast is now completely soft and empty.

All evening she was sucking everything else in sight - my fingers, toys, my dinner plate - but I think she was too overstimulated to concentrate on feeding. She wasn't

I've still got lumps in the other breast but she can work on that one overnight  wink.gif I've got a feeling she's going to be up and down all night.

I have a suspicion that she is "reverse cycling" because I had a very busy week at work and couldn't spend much time with her during the day - so I think she is making up "mummy time" at night.

#11 Mamabug

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:22 PM

Good to hear Rosie!

And a possible preview to when she hits the "stickybeak" stage mine is at now she's almost 8m months. Can't settle to feed during the day when there something - anything! - going on around her, but will happily feed when asleep, and two or three times at night!

#12 Rosiebird

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:57 PM

Has anyone else fed all day from one breast and all night from the other?

I used to give one side per feed and even though the breast wasn't drained, it was comfortably soft. Now, it is taking 5-6 feeds to drain one side and by that time the other side is starting to ache. Is block feeding a good idea or should I switch sides each feed?

I had these problems when she was a newborn, I thought we had it all figured out until this week!

Also, it is usually only one segment of the breast that is badly affected (ie. the whole breast will be full but the inner/lower quadrant of the breast will be one enormous painful lump). Does that mean that there is a blockage? \

#13 libbylu

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:01 PM

I think if you look it up all the baby books say that many babies go through a breast refusal stage around 4-5 months.  My DS did this.  He hardly fed for two weeks.  It was quite distressing and painful as I was so engorged all the time.  The only real decent feeds were at night or when he was sleepy.  It's hard to imagine how he survived on so little.  In any case, it stopped as suddenly as it started and he was back to big normal feeds again.  It was such a relief.  Hopefully it doesn't last that long for you.

#14 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:05 PM

If it were me, I'd try to get back to switching sides, although by the same age, my DD was feeding from both sides each feed?
Block feeding I think does tend to increase the risk of mastitis, if my memory serves me correctly.
If the lump is painful, it could well be a blockage.  Can you try to massage it?  I used to use my shower nozzle on painful lumps, the hot water directed full blast worked quite well!

#15 Riotproof

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:06 PM

Rosie, that does sound like a blockage that could lead to mastitis. Can you try standing under a hot shower and massaging it out? It only happened to me once and I managed to get it out that way.

Don't avoid feeding from the lumpy one. You can massage it at the same time and try to position the baby so she drains the lump.

Edited by Riotproof, 16 April 2012 - 09:06 PM.

#16 suline

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:11 PM

try to position the baby so she drains the lump.

Try and aim her chin in the direction of the lumpy area…awkward if it is on top though  biggrin.gif

#17 Rosiebird

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:16 PM

Riotproof, thanks for that advice. She has managed to drain the lump little by little each feed today but it took from 6am to 8pm. I tried to position her in different ways to drain all quadrants of the breast but she was too cross. It's definitely not mastitis - yet - but I don't want it to develop.

Dinah, I've had oversupply issues since day dot so she's never managed to finish the milk from one breast, even on a normal day when she's feeding 2-4hrly. It means I'm lopsided after a feed but it worked okay

Libby, glad to know that the breast refusal stage doesn't last!

Mamabug, she is becoming extremely distractible. I'm trying to feed her in a quiet dark room but it's not always possible and even in the bedroom there seems to be fascinating things for her to look around at (and taking my nipple with her!)

#18 mummyinahurry

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:25 PM

Have you tried feeding EBM from a bottle? That helps when my DS is too cranky to breastfeed properly. Just an idea  original.gif

#19 lucky 2

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:30 PM

I have a suspicion that she is "reverse cycling" because I had a very busy week at work and couldn't spend much time with her during the day - so I think she is making up "mummy time" at night.

Before you made this post I was thinking of suggesting you retire to bed with her, have quiet time and skin to skin/on your chest naked (with nappy) time, but you are very intune with her and yourself so you may be right with the above.
Reverse cycling could be the busyness and as mamabug said it could be the common distractibility that peaks at aound 4 months.

If the most congested area is the lower segment perhaps try bfing lying in bed then her chin will be where the problem is.

As per pp's I'd be concerned if your repeated feeding on one side led to congestion on the other breast.

How about making sure your areola is soft, attaching well, catching her when she is snoozy or asleep, ? warm pack ac, gentle massage during feeding, maximise the milk intake on that side with gentle breast compressions. If she wants more then of course offer the same breast if it is not softened.
You could then use a cold pack if needed and consider antiinflammatory medication if you are someone who can take them.
If you other breast is uncomfortable from not being fed then express enough for comfort and move on to that breast for the next feed.
The above is usual management of an oversupply.
If you actually have symptoms of mastitis such as redness or fever/myalgia then I'd be expressing after feeds to aid milk removal.
Could you give ABA a ring too and if this keeps up and your breasts are not settling down then getting in touch with a LC could be helpful in guiding you.
All the best.

#20 Rosiebird

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:58 PM

Sounds like a plan, Lucky2. I'll start doing that from tonight. She's fast asleep now with a full tummy so hopefully she will sleep a few hours.

#21 lucky 2

Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:49 PM

I hope the night goes well and that you avoid any further complications (ie mastitis), I suppose you can only be on the alert and be guided by your breasts and baby. And I hope you get some sleep!
All the best.

#22 Riotproof

Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:07 AM

Does it feel any better, Rosie?

#23 Soontobegran

Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:13 AM

Just saw this thread.......hope she is doing better today Rosie.

#24 wallofdodo

Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:10 AM

To help clear the lumps when she is feeding, you can sort of massage the lump towards the nipple.

And as for the one side, towards the end, I pretty much fed exclusively from one side. A couple of suck on the right, then a full feed on the left.

Hope you had a quite night and today is relatively normal... whatever normal is! It seems to change every few days with a baby.

#25 Copper and May

Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:43 PM

QUOTE (Mamabug @ 16/04/2012, 07:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Random stray thought - possible early teething? Does she have any swollen gums or "tooth buds"? Try rubbing her gums gently and see if that helps to settle her?

My babies all had teeth by this age, so perhaps this is what is happening and some children/baby's panadol will help and make your baby more comfortable. wub.gif

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