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688845 tn?1325182236

Baby very fussy while feeding

I'm not really sure what is going on with my son and breastfeeding. He is 4 weeks old today and the past few days it has been very difficult to get him to breastfeed without fussing and being upset. It seems that he is suffering from painful gas and he tries so hard to pass it. He will turn red and grunt and then start crying. He does this while breastfeeding and will keep unlatching and tries to push my breast away. If I pump and give him breastmilk or formula from a bottle he doesn't do this. It's not a case of nipple confusion or anything like that because he is a pro latcher and never had any issues it's just the past 2-3 days this all started. It's making breastfeeding very difficult because I have to basically fight him to stay on and keep re-latching him however if I give him a bottle he drinks the entire 4 ounces without stopping at all. When I do breastfeed him and he's calm he will only eat for 5 min then doze off and will be hungry again in an hour but when I bottle feed him with breastmilk he will go 3 hours without being hungry again. So I'm not sure why breastfeeding has started being difficult but I would like to figure this out. I've been pumping to keep my supply up during these past few days since he will only eat for a couple minutes. Is it possible the gas affects him more when breastfeeding rather than bottle feeding? I always thought this was the opposite. Is there anything I can do to help him when he seems like he's in pain? Is he too young for gas drops? Yesterday was especially difficult, he was upset the entire day, I've never seen him cry so much and he also didn't have a bowel movement for 18 hours so I'm wondering if that had something to do with his discomfort. I just want my happy baby back = (  
11 Responses
1428239 tn?1333457053
He might be getting frustrating with the extra work the extra breast takes. A friend of mine  bf for 4 months then started having issues like this and after a couple weeks stopped taking the breast all together :(.  Out of no where.
If it is gas bicycle his legs frequently.  If itsreally bad when he unlatches lay him on his back,  put some pressure on hiis belly and pull his legs up towards his chest.  it is normal for babies to get increasing fussy during 3 to 6 weeks. Cecilia definitely did and surprisely right around 6 weeks, there was a huge turn around. The best strategy for now is for each feedinv when possible start with the breast, keep relatching him for a bit and then if necessary give him the bottle. So he has to work a bit for it.

Cecilia in the, evenjng only during that time would eat then un latch cry out then open her mouth over the nipple then shake her head fast while grunting. Evenualy re latch then do it again. I found myself feeding off and onfor 2 hrs. Frustrating but we made it movie time. She would be really fussy on the breaks before she wod relatch. Evenually she would go to sleep. it still happ ns on occaisson but she is less fussy in between. Now i just keep relatching her for 30 mins then i walk around rocking her to sleep, usually now she goes to sleep at that point but if i dont try the rocking,  she will off n on feed for along time. Alot of it is comfort nursing.
1428239 tn?1333457053
After 28 days,  bowel movements go down to avg 1 a, day but it can be normal to go a couple daya without one.  Cecilia has gone a bit over 24 hours without one.  But generally will have a day with 2-3 followed by a day without one. Her gas does seem to be more painful when its been a while since her last bm
1169162 tn?1331232353
Is this happening all day or just in the evening?  If only in the evening, then this is pretty typical for a 4 week old - I remember being very frustrated with my son because I worries that he was not getting enough milk, but it a pretty common phase for 4-6 week olds, especially from about 6-9 pm.

If it is all day long, then it could be something else. You may have a slow letdown and he is getting frustrated with that compared to how fast the milk comes from the bottle.  Try hand expressing for a minute or two before you feed him, so that the milk is already there.  He may prefer the faster flow (which is not unheard of), and he may also be experiencing gas or reflux.  Does he have any other signs of reflux?  Any spitting up or fussiness when flat on his back.  Reflux can be quite painful and he may notice it more when milk is not flowing regularly.  Gripewater can be helpful for gas, as can the positions petite wonder suggested.

I would first rule out gas and/or reflux. If it is not those, then you may have a son who simply prefers the faster flow.  Personally, I would not offer a bottle anymore and be patient with him - if you keep offering the bottle then his preference may deepen.  Of course, if you are happy pumping and bottle feeding, then you could go that route as well, but I think that this is much more work than breastfeeding.  

I also recommend going to a La Leche or other breastfeeding support group and talking to a lactation consultant about this - I found them so, so helpful.

Hang in there. I know it can be hard and frustrating in the early months.  You are doing a great job and trust me, it does get much easier.
688845 tn?1325182236
Thanks for the tips. Thankfully today has been so much better- he seems like his happy self again. Yesterday the crying and fussiness was an all day affair. No matter what I did I couldn't soothe him. He also was extremely over tired he only napped for a total of 40 minutes from 6 a.m.- 9:50 p.m. so he was a mess. Is it normal for newborns to go through periods of not napping? He's been napping today like normal but I've noticed it's been more difficult for him to fall asleep on his own like he used to.
So thanks again , he has been nursing regularly today and hasn't been fussy so I'm hoping yesterday was just a very off day for him.
1428239 tn?1333457053
cecilia had a day where she was up from 5am until 3pm, one day, it was rough..  she has some days where she sleeps all day and night and others where she may only have 2 1 hr naps...
171768 tn?1324230099
if possible, stay away from the bottle for a little while, or switch to a slower flow nipple. He may be developing a preference for the faster flow of the bottle. As for gas, I thought that babies tend to get less on the breast, which is partly why so many bottles try to mimic it. You can try mylicon drops- most babies LOVE them and it helps with gas.

at that age, my kids had random days where they would sleep for almost 24 hours straight, waking only to eat. That was often followed by more alert days. I think it was growth spurts. It also explains the fussiness while nursing those 2 or 3 days.
688845 tn?1325182236
Thanks everyone. I don't believe the flow is the problem because when he starts to s u c k to eat he almost immediately starts swallowing so the milk is coming out quickly and he chokes multiple times so I'm wondering if my let down is too forceful? He always chokes and it makes him upset so this might be why he does much better with the bottle.
179530 tn?1368936603
When he takes a bottle is he taking formula or breast milk?
688845 tn?1325182236
He gets both. Mostly breast milk but I've had to supplement as well.
171768 tn?1324230099
my letdown was pretty forceful too. I ended up having to do block feeding, or nursing from one side only so that she only had to deal with 1 initial letdown.
171768 tn?1324230099
forgot to add, you can try feeding him in a more upright position when you start nursing so the milk isn't shooting down his throat during the initial let down
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