Tuesday, February 22, 2011


First I have to do my Day 16 post, the topic of which is celebrity crushes, I believe. Yikes. Ok, well, I already discussed my early teenage love of Richard Gere, which thankfully has passed. My celebrity crush of recent years is Christian Bale. I have loved him since he was in Disney's "Newsies" like a hundred years ago. This crush is of the less lusty variety, I might add; I certainly don't find him UNsexy, but there's more to it than that. I think he's an amazing actor, and I think he chooses great roles.

Now. On to my Issue. I'm having breastfeeding problems with Jamie. Enough that it makes me want to give up actually nursing altogether and just pump and feed him bottles. Either that or I'm about to take him to a specialist to see if he has reflux issues or something. Not that he spits up, really, but the kid just hates to eat most of the time. Even when you know he's hungry he yanks his head away, claws at my breasts, chokes and gags, and generally acts like nursing is a torture.

It all kind of came to light a few weeks ago when my sister was here and was watching Laura (my OTHER sister) and I nurse our respective babies. Smith was being quite and had kind of wrapped himself around Laura's abdomen to comfortably nurse, but Jameson had one hand out against my chest, shoving his head away from me while the other was clawing at the underside of my breast. Meanwhile his entire torso was arched away from me. Jeni laughed and observed, "He literally couldn't be further away from you and still be eating!"

It seemed funny until I considered that unless he's half asleep, he ALWAYS nurses this way: simultaneously eating while sort of... fighting me. And he is constantly yanking his head off and grunting and fussing, and has to be re-latched. He's not much better with a bottle either. He'll eat from it, but he shakes his head back and forth and coughs and gags and fights it.

I thought reflux maybe, but he hardly ever spits up. Any ideas/suggestions?


Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

OK, lots to suggest... first, if you're ever in need of a HUGE resource of breastfeeding advice, check out www.kellymom.net (Might be .com?)

Here are some questions:
1. What color are his poops? If they're green or kind of frothy, it could be a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance or an oversupply issue. (I have huge, huge oversupply issues with my kids). Oversupply and imbalances lead to very gassy, fussy babies with green poop and sometimes, spitting up.

2. You could have an insanely strong let-down. I have a friend whose let-down was so strong initially that she used to joke that when here kids ate, it was actually more like controlled drowning than nursing. It literally poured. They'd choke, sputter, pull back, cry and be overall cranky until things settled, (about 5 minutes in for her). You can pump for a few minutes before starting to nurse to let that settle down if that's it.

3. Silent reflux - This is the nasty kind that doesn't manifest with spit up. He could be having reflux issues without spitting up but still with lots of pain. I'm definitely not a fan of medicating little ones, but if you're at your wits end, might want to consider asking the pediatrician for an antacid to see if it helps him. If he seems calm and happy, that might be it. Does he lay and play quietly? Does he sleep ok? Or does he prefer to be upright? Also clues.

4. on the flip side to the fast let down is the super slow let down. Maybe he's wanting more milk faster. Again, pumping can help get the flow going.

5. How's your supply?

Here's a good page: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/fussy-while-nursing.html

Hopefully this gets you started on finding a solution! There's not much more discouraging than having the one thing that's supposed to be all bonding and easy be difficult and crazy.

Thoughts and prayers for you my friend! If you want to email me for questions or venting, (a good friend is a LLBC), my addy is rollingthroughlooneyville @ gmail.com

jen(melty) said...

Nothing good to say but it made me sad. J was like that, and i spent a year thinking he just didn't want to be anywhere near me. The only time he'd remotely settle was at night, and only if I put him on a pillow. He did not want my arm under him or touching him. But then he'd snuggle with me in a sling if I gave him a pacifier. Wish nursing that kid wasn't so hard. I think Jen's post is a good start. Hope you figure something out! Don't give up sooner than you want though!

Scottish Twins said...

Have you tried nursing in other positions? He may just have a hard time in that particular position. Does he do this when you are lying down in bed nursing?

I would try some other holds, like a football hold, and see if that helps before I would resort to pumping. I exclusively pumped for the last two months with Gabe and it was HORRIBLE. So much work!!!

Hillary said...

I have no help for your issue -- but I'm with you on the Christian Bale love. All the way back to Newsies, too.

Hope you sort out the nursing thing. (And also, could you and your sister have picked out better names for the boys? Love.)

saly said...

Liv had what they called silent reflux, and that was EXACTLY how she nursed. She almost never spit up. We ended up having to supplement with the gentle formula and I mostly pumped to feed her breast milk. It was hard, but fixable. She was on Xantac and Prevacid too.

You should talk to the doctor; maybe he's just a fussy eater, you know? But it could be something more too.

Thinking of you...I know how hard it can be

Misty said...

My middle son did this, too. I didn't really address it though and he nursed until he was 19 months.

I thought it *might* have been undersupply issues? He was a kind of scrawny kid. Super super active though. (Still is!) I second the kellymom site. Luck!

Lisa said...

Do you have a La Leche League? They can help identify what's wrong. I second pretty much everything Jen@rolling said.

Marie Green said...

Oh, poor bear! That sounds really frustrating. Before you take him from breast, I'd get an expert opinion (especially since bottles aren't much better). That doesn't sound normal to me, and it sounds like the little guy is really uncomfortable.

I have an insanely strong let down, but this doesn't sound like how my babies acted. Sometimes they choked or gagged for the first minute or so, but then they'd settle. It's the way he fights you throughout that sounds off to me.

Good luck and let us know what you find out or what you end up doing!

Kelsey said...

Oh man - I'm sorry about this. I had a relatively difficult time trying to nurse Michael (I never was able to exclusively nurse him, but that had more to do w/ his prematurity). It is so frustrating! I echo the thoughts of people who are suggesting a professional opinion before giving up - especially if the bottle isn't any better, sorry I don't have more advice than that. I was able to see the a hospital lactation consultant at the hospital where Michael was born - wonder if you can do the same.

I'm sorry for BOTH of you and hope that a solution becomes clear soon, it just seems like it shouldn't be heartbreaking to try to feed our children, you know?

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

oh! two more things... one: does he take a pacifer? He may be a super efficient eater and want to suck for comfort, but he's full. A pacifer might help satisfy that need. Or it may be the complete opposite. (Don't you LOVE that? ERgh).

Also, ear infection? My first kid had them ALL THE FREAKING TIME, (despite the lore of breastfed babies never getting them), and they made her so sad when she had to suck.

Really hoping it gets figured out!

Sarah said...

Thank you so much everyone! This is all very helpful. The silent reflux sounds very possible. Also the ear infection thing! He DID have one about a month ago, and the issue has definitely worsened since then. Maybe it never fully cleared up, so swallowing bothers him? Because he's also recently started refusing his pacifiers, which he used to love, and instead just chews his fingers. But he doesn't always SUCK them, just chews. So that also makes me think maybe the ear infection/swallowing and sucking pain thing?

Lisa said...

My first thought was a let down that is too forceful for him to handle. With a 3rd baby your let down is often stronger and he's getting too much too fast. I know I almost choked my 3rd baby because of this. I tried pumping just a little off before nursing and it worked well.

Good luck!

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

I'd definitely think ear infection. It nearly ruined the whole nursing thing with my first born. She NEVER got fevers, but had some rip-roaring infections that made sucking super painful.

Also, no one mentioned, but it's a possibility... teething? Horrifying, no? But my baby brothers had two teeth a piece at 4 months old. Fully grown in. Oy. It can totally make nursing tough too.

Good luck!

d e v a n said...

You've gotten great suggestions, so I'll just say GOOD LUCK!!