What can cause a 6 week old baby to scream and pull away from the breast?

What is going on when a newborn pulls away and screams while breastfeeding?

36  Answers

2 12

Please get help from Le Leche or an organization that has breast feeding consultants. a breast feeding consultant has to have thousands of hours of experience to get that title. So many people's solution is just to give up and there is probably a very doable answer. I was a peer counselor and I can think of a few things but it would be irresponsible for me to give advice knowing so few details. I would encourage you not to give up but get help right away. Also, the chances are, even if you have a pediatrician or a family doctor they likely have had very little training in this area. That is usually the case. Dr's are much more likely to encourage you to stop than to go through the trial and error process with you to find a solution. '

Does the baby gulp while eating. Gulping is good but gulping and gasping for air can be something else. There is a less usual situation where mom makes so much milk particularly fore milk that it chokes the baby and this frustrates them. It also can cause a lack of weight gain because the baby is getting drink but not food - the hind milk, which has the fat and solids.
I had this issue with my daughter and I thought she wasn't getting enough when really she was getting too much of the wrong kind at a time.

A professional can help you the best. In some communities there is even free help if you dig a little.

6
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There could be so many reasons why an infant is pulling away and screaming. Breastfeeding is much more than a time to "feed" your baby. It is a time of bonding, nurturing, relationship building between mother and baby that makes for a great experience. When a mother is experiencing stress, anxiety, frustration, depression this can affect this what is suppose to be a positive experience. If the infant is screamiing then their needs are not being met either physically or emotionally. Sometimes the mother is not producing enough milk or it is not flowing fast enough for the baby which causes the infant to become frustrated. The infant may also be teething or experiencing a medical ailment which is making them irritable. Nonetheless, if this continues for mom and baby then mom needs to make some adjustments even if that means switching to bottles (whatever works best for baby).

5
0 3

i was recommended buy breastfeeding consultant to start pumping and give my son the milk in a bottle i had to give him formula for a few days untill i had enough supply to start giving him my own milk. but it worked great i wish i was told that with my lil girl she did the same thing. it is a frustrating thing to go threw and that stress can effect your milk supply so its best to just relax and get some video of your baby and watch it or your baby as you are pumping. it will make life easy.

38 102

The first thing that comes to mind for me is gas. All my babies have done that when they're tiny, and it usually means their belly is hurting, or they need to burp. The other thing that can cause this is frustration, if the baby isn't getting a fast enough (for their satisfaction) flow of milk from the breast. The baby becomes frantic with hunger and can't understand why the milk isn't flowing faster, and this can result in pulling away and screaming. The first thing I'd try though is when the baby does this (you didn't specify gender some I'm going to go with "her" since I have a baby girl lol), sit her up on your lap and pat her back for a few minutes to see if you can get her to burp and release any gas that might be causing discomfort. Also if you think it might be lower GI gas, lay her down on your lap, feet facing you, and "bicycle" her legs then alternate that action with gently pressing her knees into her belly to release any gas that way. Tiny babies often get gas b/c their systems just aren't fully matured yet, so they need help releasing it. If you don't think it's gas, then try just monitoring your milk supply. Does baby seem satisfied at the end of a feeding or does she cry and want to nurse again a short time later? She may not be getting enough milk. I'm not saying that's the case; it's just a thought. If you do discover it's low milk supply, try taking fenugreek, which is an herbal supplement that increases milk supply; it's worked for me. Good luk!!

3
38 102

*luck* lol

0 1

I also want to add that a sometimes a baby with thrush will do that. My son got thrush the first time when he was 7 weeks. He would scream at every meal. As soon as we got the thrush under control he was just fine. So just be sure that's not what it is, even a mild case can cause discomfort for a newborn.

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4 0

We found out our son was allergic to milk/dairy at 2 months old. He would do the same thing. Also very collicy and fussy. We walked, rocked and held him all night long. Screamed when he pooped. Had very bad runny poop. The old pediatrician we had said everything was fine. NOT!
On the advice of an after-hours peditrician; we quit cold turkey on the breast feeding and went to a soy formula. After 2-3 days of formula, we tried breast feeding. After the second swallow, he started screaming! I yelled for my husband to make him a bottle. Baby drank it with gusto!
At 8yrs. old he is still allergic to ALL and ANY dairy. We read ingrediets lists constantly! He can't even have something where they also process dairy, he's that sensitive.
Just wish we could have found out sooner what was going on. Thankfully the old pediatriacian retired. Some people are really against soy formulas. But I feel it saved our baby boy; and saved me and Dad's sanity! BTW he would not touch the special non-allergenic formulas.

2
38 0

My third child also had severe reactions to dairy (among other things). Fortunately, I had the support system available to explain to me how to eliminate it from my diet, avoiding unnecessary weaning.

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9 6

my son is 6 weeks & has done this several times. i would keep trying to bf him thinking he was still hungry & maybe there wasn't enough milk coming out but he would just suck for a few seconds, start crying & bunch himself up like he was in pain & then start nursing again for a few seconds & then start crying & so on & so on. it was really starting to scare me until i finally figured out that he wasn't hungry, he just wanted to suck on something so he could go to sleep & he was crying because his tummy was getting too full. i have started giving him a pacifier when he gets like this & he's out in a flash

2
0 0

Def a visit to the chiro, Lilli is 6mths now n been 4 times, each time theres been a prob which they fixed painlessly, and 90% of reflux is cured from this treatment, its really good to keep having them checked, last time i took lillo, just a couple of weeks ago, cause she was fussing at breast n hurting me, her c1 was out, after her visit all good

2
0 7

sounds like acid reflux.....premier pink salt from Premier Research took care of this issue with my daughter...just add 1/8 tsp a day to bottles of pumped milk or formula or you can take about 1 tsp and the baby will get in from the breastmilk directly. You have to do this everyday but it worked for us and super quick.

2
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That's what my daughter had, but it wasn't severe enough to pull away screaming, but after feeding, she was restless and agitated, and she would act uncomfortable. Not to mention the enormous quantities of spit up. We used a prescription medicine we got from the doctor, but I am glad to hear that there is another remedy.

21 0

sounds like reflux. The first thing to do is an elimination diet for you. Everything that Mom eats passes through her breastmilk and if a baby is allergic to any of those foods he will get it through Mom's milk. The first thing to eliminate from Mom's diet is dairy. And when I sat dairy, I mean not a molecule of it! Read all ingredients of any packaged foods and if it even says something like it containes whey protein or whey solids, don't eat it! If that helps but there is still a problem, other foods to eliminate are gluten, soy, chocolate (yes chocolate can cause problems!) and even gassy foods like beans and cruciferous veggies.

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3 0

I agree with consulting a lactation specialist. I had the same exact problem and it turns out my milk supply was gone! He was screaming because he was so hungry! It broke my heart when we figured out what was going on. There could be a variety of reasons this is happening and I think talking to the lactation specialist will really help! If you find a La Leche League representative in your area they really help as well. Good luck!

1
0 16

My son did not scream but definitely would pull away from the breast when he had enough milk but still wanted to suck.

1
1 1

Could be thrush, the baby could have reflux or gas. Sometimes my baby would do that and I would burp her and she would be fine.

1
0 16

Teething

1
1 20

at 6 weeks thats very rare.

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0 10

My son used to do that and I thought he wasn't getting enough milk. He did it mostly toward the end of the feeding 'session'. For him, he didn't want to eat, he just wanted to suck. After many painful feedings like that I stuck the paci in his mouth after he did it and waited a little while and he fell asleep. I could be as simple as that or something more serious, so call your nurse hotline! (Our pediatrician's office has a nurse help line). Hope it gets better soon!

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8 0

My son did this. I eventually gave up and just pumped. Turns out he had severe allergies and it's like he could sense that my breast milk had things in it that he was allergic to- my son also began projectile vomiting because of his allergies, too, though.

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1 0

My 7 week old since he was 4 weeks old has all the symptoms of Gerds so i took him to the docs and he gave me Zantac to give him twice a day so ive been giving it to him every 12 hours but it seems he needs it every 8 hours. My baby will screams when i try to feed him and shakes his head, spits up, has hiccups 4 to 5 times a day, didn't like laying on his back, sounds like he is spitting up and swallows it, arches his back and grunts and groans, has what they call "catnaps". Since ive started the zantac he sleeps now 3 to 4 hours at a time a night and has longer naps during the day and when feeding him now he doesn't scream so its about 90% better till around the 8 hour time hits. Im still waiting to see a peditirician to confirm its Gerds. Its hard to know if your doing the right thing by giving them the medication.

0
1

We had a similar issue, but he pulled away from the bottle. I am an exclusive pumper and haven't had either child latch properly. Both were some degree of milk intolerant. With the first, I quit pumping because he was lactose intolerant and the constant "keep doing what you're doing" from the consultant and his doctor weren't working for us. He would scream after every feeding. We figured it out on our own and switched to lactose free formula. Worked great and he outgrew it at about 18 months. With our second, our new pediatrician confirmed that our baby was milk intolerant to the point of having an allergy. We figured this out after he would scream right at the end of every feeding. I eliminated milk entirely from my diet and the screaming was gone! Our pediatrician said that milk intolerance is more common than one would think. He is now 7 months and has grown out of it. Good luck and don't give up.

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33 0

Mine was low milk supply, had to work out pumping sessions and later - supplementing, but only when we already knew how much I'm producing and it was still not enough, but way better.

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12 0

This happened with my son and it turned out to be my breast, Apparently I he couldn't handle my milk ducts. I now pump and feed him from a bottle and do lots of burping and at 2 months old, he eats 8 oz every 3 hours very easily!

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62 0

Gas

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31 0

Do you have over-active let down- does your milk come in really fast and forceful? Young babies get frustrated by not being able to keep up with the milk flow. They feel like they are trying not to drown. If so, lay down on your side with her when you breast feed. The gravity will help slow the milk flow down so that she can keep up and any extra milk can trickle out of the corner of her mouth. You can also lay very far back in a chair to feed. Gravity is your friend in this situation- go against it.

Are you worried that your baby is not eating enough and are constantly putting your baby to your breast when he/she might not be hungry? Sometimes moms are fearful that their baby is not eating enough and are forcing their babies to eat more when they aren't hungry to help with their fears. Your baby will tell you when he/she is hungry. You can also tell when your baby is getting the hindmilk (heavy milk) when your breast is empty. You know when your breast is empty, because it feels empty. There is only breast tissue. I wouldn't say that the hindmilk is a real reason why the baby would be pulling away- just a side note.

Does your baby have a white coating on his/her tongue? If so, it is the sign of thrush- yeast infection. Will have to be treated with probiotics. You can get these from a Naturopath.

Generally babies don't ingest a lot of air when breast feeding, but gas can be produced from digestion of milk sugars causing gas. You'll have to figure out when he/she is exactly starting to cry- near beginning, middle or end of nursing, this will help you significantly in determining what the cause might be.

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1 0

The baby may be teething, have an ear infection or just not be hungry at that time. If she/he does not want to nurse at that time then stop. Your baby will let you know when he/ she hungry. Good luck.

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7 8

My son had that problem. He had severe reflux. So whenever I had a letdown he would gulp it down and then his reflux would act up. To help you might pump and then feed your baby from a bottle.

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448 0

For my daughter, it was the fact that I had been supplementing, and she got more from the bottle than the boob, so she only wanted the boob when she Wasn't hungry.. only like to suck to fall asleep or for a snack!

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35 11

When my breasts are engorged or in the morning my letdown can be quick and it makes my kids choke. They hate that. I pull them off and let it drip onto a cloth. Don't hold baby too close so they can back up if it becomes too much for them to handle. Also try and prop them up so that they are sucking from above rather than the milk falling down into the back of their throat. (A boppy or pillow under the my brest friend pillow is great for putting them at level with your beasts.) You might also notice that your little one fusses if they poop during feedings. (mine comes on and off and sometimes clenches down while pooping.) If you notice the colic or fussiness after feedings, try to eliminate gassy foods, citrus (for spitting up or reflux) caffeine, or dairy if they're constipated or having trouble pooping. Good luck and try to talk to a Lactation Consultant, too.

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56 0

my son started that when he was a baby they tested him he was allergic to milk but he would scream and he would throw up like every where get him checked out or you can try soy formula also can be that youve been eating to rick of food that gives him a tummy ace if so try to eat less rich food more fruit milk so on

0
7 6

my son used to do that as a newborn later we found out he has reflux

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130 18

If you are giving bottle and nursing then it could be he wants the "fast flow" of the bottle or like some listed it could be reflux or even teething. My son had reflux and would cry and pull away when trying to breastfeed or bottle feed. Please refer to - http://mommby.com/Breastfeeding_and_Bottle_Feeding/FeedingTricks.php for some things we did to help my son and also this article for some information on reflux - http://mommby.com/Medical/Reflux/About.php although check with your child's doctor too! Good luck!

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38 0

Here's another perspective on the matter. Once I learned about watching for this, it made nursing a lot smoother for us!

http://www.parttimenappyfree.com.au/breastfeeding.htm

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275 21

Growth spurt growth spurt growth spurt. They all do that about that age. In 4 or 5 days a week tops it'll settle back down.

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5 24

My thoughts are that something is causing pain~ could it be urinating, bloating, sore mouth from thrush?
I would have your baby checked for a urinary tract infection. My baby had one for months before we knew what was causing her to scream. It took a simple round of antibiotics and then probiotics to restablish the good bacteria and she was a happy baby. And i was a releived mother!

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161 9

Could one of a few things; reflux, supply issues - letdown too quick/too slow, milk protein allergy or food allergies or intolerances, lactose intolerance, tongue tie.

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0 17

My first son did that a few times when his nose was stuffy (happened around 2 weeks old)... he wasn't able to breathe well while breastfeeding so he kept pulling off, screaming and gasping. I suctioned his nose and made sure my breast tissue wasn't blocking his nasal passage and it was much easier.

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0 0

Have you talked to your doctor or a lactation consultant? What are the other symptoms or behaviors associated with this? Any vomiting of any kind? What is happening before the feeding, etc.? Your doctor, La Leche league or some similar group might really be able to help point you in the right direction.

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2 0

First, have you made sure that there is a steady flow of milk coming from the nipple? Sometimes we fail to produce enough milk even as early as 6 weeks. Then again, it could be the taste of the breast milk. If your diet has been high in sodium, it changes the taste of the milk. Also, you should check with your doctor to make sure you aren't experiencing a back up of milk leading to mastitis. This could produce a sour tasting milk.

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3 20

i feel that it could be hungry. Are the getting a bottle at all even if is freast milk? If so that might be your prolem.the bottle runs faster than your brest. And I found out the hard way that idea! My son was supplimented every so often, abt 1 x's a day.but he wanted to eat then and there so when he was on me he woild often times pull off @ scream b/c he had to work for it! He mursed for only 3 months but I continued to pump for another month so he got both with out knowing it! My daughter is the opposite she has had 3 emergency 2oz bottles as I took to long I'm the store. But she doesent even know how to drinl out of a bottle.
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26 13

My 7wk old has done this several times. She has had a lot of gas so we've been giving her gas relief drops 1-2x / day. However, I think the main cause of this behavior has been frustration. I have a very good milk supply and forceful let-down and often times she wants to "comfort" nurse and gets frustrated that she is getting milk she doesn't want. We have offered her the pacifier and sometimes it works, but despite the extra milk, she prefers the breast. She only does this during evening feedings when she's over-tired and/or over-stimulated and wants to nurse to fall asleep.

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