Fussy/refusing breast @ 13weeks - desparate for help!

A baby's refusal to feed is a distressing time. Sometimes the refusal is outright; other times just an extreme fussiness. Usually it is temporary and the baby returns to the breast. Share your experiences and support one another through this tough time here.
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Fussy/refusing breast @ 13weeks - desparate for help!

Post by Jem45 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:36 pm

I had previously posted about my 13 week old boy who seemed to finish feeds very quickly, (around 5-10 minutes total on BOTH sides) I have satisfied myself with your feedback and some other research that it can be normal for a baby to become realy efficient at the breast to the point that they finish each feed that quickly, however over the past week my sons fussiness has increased even more to the point that he starts crying, coming off at around 2 mins into a feed. He starts sucking for 30 seconds, then come my letdown where he gulps and swallows hard. After the initial fast let down and comes off breat repeatedly, thrashes about, then cries inconsolably. Ill take him off and put him on the other side where he'll drink for about 2 minutes max and then want to come off again. He pulls off distressed but keeps trying to go back, bobbing his head, opening his mouth and latching before crying and coming off again. I take him off to calm him down which takes about 5-10 minutes and he doesnt want to go back later even if I offer again. (sucks, nothing comes, screams again...)
I am heartbroken and dread every feed, I feel like I am torturing him as I feed him, though I have no idea why. Ive tried feeding in every imaginable position, in a dark quiet space etc no difference. He doesnt do this for night feeds, where he'll suck hard and well for ten minutes and come off finished.
On a possibly related matter hes had some red blood in his nappies the past few days, the GP couldnt find anything immediately alarming wrong with him, Have sent off stool samples for testing and have a paediatricians appointment next wednesday. ive stopped eating all dairy, eggs, nuts in the meantime in case its an intolerance to that.
He is not fussy between feeds (roughly every 3hours) and otherwise ok. He has about 2-3 just wet nappies in 24 hours, (theyre not all super heavy though) and 3-4 pooey nappies. His weight gain is ok, MCN was happy with his gains though hes on 25th percentile.
So sorry for the ramble, but any insight is much much appreciated.

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Post by DellaWellaWoman » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:44 pm

Have you given the breastfeeding helpline a call? It sounds like there could possibly be a few different things going on, and a counsellor can talk through exactly what's been happening, what you've already tried, etc and try to help figure out what might be happening?

The number's 1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 268), and it's staffed 24/7, so please feel free to call RIGHT NOW! Even though it's Australia Day, the counsellors rostered on have CHOSEN to be rostered on today, so they really do want to talk to you!

All the best in figuring out what's happening, and getting back to a more 'relaxed' breastfeeding relationship :)
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Post by Nedsmum » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:56 pm

He could be getting wind in his stomach. I would suggest very gently lifting him up when he thrashes around, and uncurl his body and lay him upright and over your shoulder. I'm not a big 'patter' for burping, but I found that this gentle way was enough for my kids most of the time...

Usually when they calm down a little, and in the upright position, they burp...and then they will go back on the breast again...
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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Post by Jem45 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:26 pm

Thankyou for your replies :-)

DellaWellaWoman - I did speak to a counsellor about it, she was lovely but didnt have any suggestions, said I had already tried what she wouldve suggested. She said I should speak to dr about it which I am, but I was hoping for a non medical suggestion...

NedsMum - I've tried winding, sadly he continues the fussing even after a big burp :-(

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Post by fellare » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:52 pm

hugs, that sounds really hard and it does sound like it could very well be something medical going on.

Could you replicate the night feeds during the day? Same bed, dark, position etc.
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Post by Monicat » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:40 pm

A few thoughts - could he have had all he wanted at that time? If you have a strong let down he may be getting quite a lot during those two minutes or he may only feel like a short feed? Is he otherwise ok with plenty of wet nappies? I also have a strong let down and my two would generally only feed for a few minutes on one boob and were full, so he may be getting enough, even in those few minutes if his wet nappies, skin tone etc are ok.

The other thought was he may be wanting to comfort suck but getting annoyed that there is milk coming out. I had this problem when the babies were little and they would want to suck to fall asleep but milk kept coming out and they would get annoyed.

Another thought - are you using bottles at all? They can very quickly get the idea that bottles are easier and it is harder to get them to "work" to get the milk from the breast.

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Post by strolltotheshops » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:41 am

The blood in the nappy could be a separate issue, and isn't one I have any comment on.

In relation to the pulling off, bobbing around and so on, I wonder if it's a phase that will pass. It's really challenging when they do this, but it could be something that will improve with time. I know you said you've tried different positions and feeding in a dark room, so you've probably already read these links but I thought it might be useful to post them just in case you find something reassuring in them:
- Breast refusal https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/breast-refusal
- The Distractible Baby http://kellymom.com/parenting/parenting ... ible-baby/
- Reverse Cycling http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/reverse-cycling/

You're doing a great job.

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