breastfeeding advice please

Stephannie - posted on 08/23/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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i have a 3 month old baby that i am breastfeeding, and i dont know if shes going through a growth spirt or if im not producing a enough milk for her. i start to feed her and she'll cry and not want to eat on one boob but then will eat on the other, and when she eats on both its only for a short period of time and then she wants to eat in another 15 minutes. sometimes she dont want to eat at all and starts to cry when i go to feed her and i have to trick her and give her a binkie then she'll start to suck and eat. i dont know what to do.

29 Comments

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Misty - posted on 08/26/2009

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Hello Stephannie.. I breastfeed both of my babies for 2yrs each.. its normal. for them to eat and always want to be on your boob.. sometime you may think that you are always feeding them but that is because they may be eating more it wil take your body at least 3dys to produce more milk. on the other hand she may just want to be on your boob. not only is it feeding time but its also comfort and that bond that you will have.. stay strong., but when they hit 6months its awesome and they start playing with you and its the greatest. sometimes it seems like thats all you may do but stay strong and cont to do what you are doing.. It will all pay off in the long run and you will be happy u stayed on it. cause the bond is something you cant take back.. GOD BLESS YOU AND BEST WISHES..

Amanda - posted on 08/26/2009

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One possibility is teething. I know 3 mos is typically kinda young, but not always. Just remember that when you get frustrated or stressed about it the baby will pick up on your stress level. You seem like a great mom who is doing the best you can(loke we all do). Hang in there it DOES get easier!

[deleted account]

It sounds like a growth spurt, and is completely normal at 3 months. If you are worried that you are not producing enough, you can't really make that determination based on how often she eats. If she's not producing enough wet/dirty diapers or not gaining weight, then you'll know you have a supply problem. Your supply is probably just fine. And the best way for you to keep your supply up anyway is to have her on the breast. It's okay if she "uses you" as a pacifier, because that's what cues your body to produce more milk. Believe me, it is a challenge during the growth spurt period, but she absolutely will not be doing that forever! You'll probably find she feeds less an less often over the next few months. If you're looking for a great breastfeeding resource, I suggest this one:

http://www.kellymom.com

Deann - posted on 08/26/2009

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I bf both of my boys and with both of them I had trouble producing enough. I would pump and try to get some stored up but after a little while i didn't even have enough to pump. So at about 4 months I had to swap them to formula. And before they went 100% on it i would swap feedings, one with brest milk and the other with formula to help my body catch up.

Brandy - posted on 08/26/2009

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Sounds about right, at three months we had the most trouble nursing. It will pass, in no time she will be nursing like a champ. Keep in mind other issues she could be having such as as ear infection, stuffy nose, cut in her mouth, and so many more. Once you check her up and down and she seems fine otherwise I wouldnt worry anymore. By about 4 and a half months nursing got a lot eaiser. Growth spurts can also be hard on mom and baby but they only last about a week. Good luck! by the way my daughter and I just finished up nursing last week, we made it 15 months!

Lacey - posted on 08/25/2009

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i bf for 5 1/2 months. Around my 4 1/2 - 5th month i wasnt producing enough milk, i talked to my dr and he said use formula and bf. that was great becauseit gave my boob a break from him sucking so hard to get milk.

Sarah - posted on 08/25/2009

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Sounds like she is going through a growth spurt. They usually hit one right around 3 months. You kinda feel like a milk machine for about 3 days and then your body realizes that your baby needs more milk so it starts producing more. She will eat when she is hungry and believe me she will let you know when she is :) If you are concerned call your doctor but I wouldn't worry too much!

Elizabeth - posted on 08/25/2009

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Hang in there this is hard! I breastfed all 3 of my kids for a year soley and you go through several crazy phases. I have to ask if you are taking juice plus? If you are stop immediately! I went through this w/ my 2nd and didn't realize it. But w/ my 3rd she did the same thing and I stopped taking juice plus and the crying stopped. The vitamins have way too much stuff in them for nursing mothers. Good luck you can do it!

Megan - posted on 08/25/2009

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I agree, although "using you" might not have been the best choice for Dr's words lol Sucking feels good to babies, and the milk breaks down and creates pleasant feelings as well (it's called something . . . can't remember) so they tend to crave those feelings even if they are not hungry. Kind of like how some adults comfort eat if they had a bad day or something. I am no expert but I would try to get her on an eating schedule if possible, and encourage her to "drain" your breasts at each feeding. Pumping will help stimulate your boobs to produce more milk if you think you aren't producing enough. Certainly some women cannot produce enough, but that's the exception rather than the rule. Try the milk tea mentioned, it might help. Or you could be eating something she doesn't like or that is bothering her tummy. Also, it could be an issue with her latch. If she isn't latched on properly, with a big chunk of your breast in her mouth (not just the nipple) she won't get enough milk. Are your nipples really sore? If they are, that could be a problem. Finally, check her mouth for thrush (it looks like curdled milk but won't go away). My son & I had that at around 8 weeks. It can be very uncomfortable for both of you but it is treatable and you might not have to give up nursing (I didn't). LOL that's a lot of crazy advice but I got a lot of it when I was bf and I managed to do it for 18 months, so most of it worked for me :)



Just keep in mind that if your daughter is losing weight or looks dehydrated, you might need to supplement.

[deleted account]

Quoting A. Kate:



Quoting Lorelei:

I had a similar issue my son is about 3 months. The doctor told me he was just using me as a pacifier and I would have to just let him cry. He also said that i had to go at least two hours between feedings. I couldn't stand listening to him cry so i tried extremely watered down juice. It worked like a charm he goes 3 hours between feedings. some times they just need a drink they are not really hungry. you can try "juice". (i also tried plain water but he spit it out or i had to add flavor)





 






:( Your doctor may be very intelligent in some things, but here he showed no wisdom at all.  How can a 3 month old baby, who can't even do the simplest thing like wipe his nose, be using you? He can't talk at 3 months, so the only way he can communicate is by crying. He cries for help, comfort, but most importantly, YOU, Lorelei.  There are children who sleep 6 hours at a stretch from birth, others that are simply high-need and have to have the support of their parents to adjust to the "outside" world like your son may be.  It's nothing detrimental, bad, or wrong. If he called for you and wanted to breastfeed (wanted comfort from Mom), then that shows what a great bond he has with you. Lorelei, you provide him with everything--warmth, food, cuddlings--and if you withhold that, of course he'd cry. Why does his one and only withold what he needs?  I tell you this: you cannot spoil a child with love. Spoiling a child comes with material crap.  Love you can give, give, and give, and he will learn by your example to give, give, give it back to you.






"Just let him cry" is a horrible thing to advise a mom.  A few people dared to say that to me, and I (depending on who it was and how cheekily they said it) told them straight damn out: "Letting Virginia cry means I close my heart to her. Perhaps you did that with your kids, but I'm not going to with mine." 






When your child begins to cry to "use" you, the sound changes, and your "momsense" will notice it. My daughter is now 11months old, and just now begins the "manipulation" crying when something displeases her (like when I snatch my butterknife back out of her hands), the crying she does is different.






I think what she meant was that her baby was using her as a comfort object, its not a use like we understand the term.



 



Actually its good to let a child cry, not for long periods of time or anything but to learn how to communicate as well as giving them lung strength (which is helpful if they get sick, the stronger your lungs are the better able you are at fighting off an infection) babies can get too wound up with emotions as well and crying helps to calm the storm inside them (its like an older childs tantrum)



 



From early on all of my children had different cries, one for hungry, one for tired, one for needing a bum change, and even one for "wow too much is going on, i need quiet time!"



 



I am not arguing or anything just giving a different point of view.

A. Kate - posted on 08/25/2009

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Quoting Lorelei:

I had a similar issue my son is about 3 months. The doctor told me he was just using me as a pacifier and I would have to just let him cry. He also said that i had to go at least two hours between feedings. I couldn't stand listening to him cry so i tried extremely watered down juice. It worked like a charm he goes 3 hours between feedings. some times they just need a drink they are not really hungry. you can try "juice". (i also tried plain water but he spit it out or i had to add flavor)


 



:( Your doctor may be very intelligent in some things, but here he showed no wisdom at all.  How can a 3 month old baby, who can't even do the simplest thing like wipe his nose, be using you? He can't talk at 3 months, so the only way he can communicate is by crying. He cries for help, comfort, but most importantly, YOU, Lorelei.  There are children who sleep 6 hours at a stretch from birth, others that are simply high-need and have to have the support of their parents to adjust to the "outside" world like your son may be.  It's nothing detrimental, bad, or wrong. If he called for you and wanted to breastfeed (wanted comfort from Mom), then that shows what a great bond he has with you. Lorelei, you provide him with everything--warmth, food, cuddlings--and if you withhold that, of course he'd cry. Why does his one and only withold what he needs?  I tell you this: you cannot spoil a child with love. Spoiling a child comes with material crap.  Love you can give, give, and give, and he will learn by your example to give, give, give it back to you.



"Just let him cry" is a horrible thing to advise a mom.  A few people dared to say that to me, and I (depending on who it was and how cheekily they said it) told them straight damn out: "Letting Virginia cry means I close my heart to her. Perhaps you did that with your kids, but I'm not going to with mine." 



When your child begins to cry to "use" you, the sound changes, and your "momsense" will notice it. My daughter is now 11months old, and just now begins the "manipulation" crying when something displeases her (like when I snatch my butterknife back out of her hands), the crying she does is different.

Sarah - posted on 08/25/2009

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sounds like she could be teething, even though she's young.. If you ARE running low on milk, or think you are there is a tea called mothers milk they sell it at watsons on main steet. It REALLY helps milk production, I almost completely lost my milk and it brought it back.

A. Kate - posted on 08/25/2009

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Another thought: There used to be this old misconception (actually, it still exists for some people :( ) that you had to wait at least an hour for the milk to stock up again. False! Your breasts are not milk warehouses, but milk factories, so amazing is the woman's body created! I say "factories" because as your child drinks, milk is produced, and after a breast has been drunk almost empty, it takes a mere 15 minutes to be full again.

A. Kate - posted on 08/25/2009

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At 3m, my daughter also got fussy and wanted nothing to do but nurse, nurse, nurse. It's normal, and also normal if she prefers one breast over the other. My daughter prefers the left almost exclusively. It was kind of lopsided until the milk supply got into rhythm, but now she's still breastfeeding at 11months.
Have patience. The best advice I got at that time was, "Find the nearest La Leche League adviser near you." Their webpage is http://www.llli.org/ and at the top in that grey bar is a dropdown menu. That's where I got the best, pro-breastfeeding advice, and I can only recommend them further!

MANDY - posted on 08/24/2009

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THE MORE U PUMP OR SHE EATS THE FASTER UR MILK WILL BUILD UP, MY 2ND ONE ATE MORE THAN I COULD PRODUCE AND U WILL DEF KNO IF SHE IS OUT OF MILK. I SAY U HAVE TO HANG IN THERE, BREASTFEEDING IS VERY UNPRIDICTABLE.

Charity - posted on 08/23/2009

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First of all she is a girl. She wants it fast and she wants it now. If she will only take to one side then you need to make it clear to her that both sides are just as special as the one. It might have to do with the lazy way we feed them in the hospital or she just may need the extra encouraging to keep suckling the other. If you have been feeding since birth than she is just acquiring her own type of self pleasure. Keep up with the binky and when she crys with that make sure she immediately goes on the tit that she wasn't happy with.

Sarah - posted on 08/23/2009

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Hi, the first 12 weeks was hard for me to breast feed, then it got easier. For a while I had to feed him on and off for an hour and then let him cry it out for 2 hours so that his feeds were 3 hours apart, then I increased this to 4 hours,

Danae - posted on 08/23/2009

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I gave both of mine binkis and it never screwed up my production. Are you on a schedule at all, does your body have enough time to re-produce?

Danae - posted on 08/23/2009

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I would pump before I feed to see how much I got and then feed her that out of a bottle, if she sucks it all down and looks for more you know its a production problem, If she still eats very little you know its not you. Maybe its a teething issue or something else.

Tina - posted on 08/23/2009

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My Cody did and still does once in awhile. I believe it was from him teething. Try putting an ice cube in a washcloth for the little one to suck on. Once the temperature of the mouth returns to normal, try to feed again. I know it's hard. Cody does this a lot when we are out and about. I know he's hungry and when he eats its for a very short time. It's difficult when you want to visit with people, I just keep telling myself it's the best for my baby.

Catherine - posted on 08/23/2009

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Fenugreek...totally my best friend when I went through this with my son. My body wasn't producing enough milk because he was a lazy nurser as well as having a pretty bad latch which didn't get fixed. Fenugreek can be taken in tea form, (someone already suggested that) but I've found that the taste is disgusting so I took the pills.

The best way to find out if she's getting enough to eat is to weigh her right before she eats and then again right after, unless you're pumping, then you can just measure in a bottle. Even if you pump after a feeding and get a lot of milk, that doesn't necessarily mean she's getting enough. It could be that she's not eating anything. You should try to manually express some milk before she starts a feeding so it's not so hard to get the flow going for her. However, if you've been giving her a pacifer this might be a completely different problem. Most lactation specialists advise against giving fake nipples because babies like to reject the breast afterwards. Hopefully that's not what's going on with your little one.

Melissa - posted on 08/23/2009

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If you are able, find a breastfeeding support group to attend and get help. I go to one run by a lactation consultant and she is so helpful. The nice thing about going ot groups is they are almost always free and appointments with consultants can get pretty expensive.

My own suggestion is to pump after she eats and see how much you get, if you are able to get half an ounce or more after she has eaten then you are producing great and definitely do not need to worry about production. Also try pumping before it is time for her to eat and see how much you are producing, then just give her the pumped milk. I just started the Mother's Milk Tea and have heard good things about it. There are a lot of homeopathic things you can try so do some research.

Lorelei - posted on 08/23/2009

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I had a similar issue my son is about 3 months. The doctor told me he was just using me as a pacifier and I would have to just let him cry. He also said that i had to go at least two hours between feedings. I couldn't stand listening to him cry so i tried extremely watered down juice. It worked like a charm he goes 3 hours between feedings. some times they just need a drink they are not really hungry. you can try "juice". (i also tried plain water but he spit it out or i had to add flavor)

[deleted account]

One thing to check is that if she goes without for a little longer than usual your breast should feel more full or get bigger. Another thing to think about is how hard your breasts feel. I found that if my child went too long between feedings mine ended up hard like rocks and then my child wouldnt want to feed since it was quite difficult.



When I bf my kids I did not let them have anything else to suck on like a binky or bottle. if they needed something to suck on for comfort i would overly clean my pinky finger and let them have a go at that.



Something to try would be to either have a bath or shower and use your fingers to "pump" out some milk, if it comes out easy you probably have a good amount, but if it takes a while then you may need to get it checked out.



be careful of the foods you eat and what you drink, some kids can get picky and you may not even notice that you are drinking the same thing before or during a feeding that could wind up annoying a little tummy.



I also found that kids can be picky on nipple types as well, one of mine flows easier than the other and all of my kids seemed to pick the easiest one to eat from (Ive had three kids all bf'd, and one on the way I plan to bf as well)



If you have a flow problem I found that a warm wet cloth put on the top of the feeding side helped a bunch.



If you notice digestive issues get your milk tested to make sure its ok, for some mothers their milk ends up sour or spoiled and the child will just refuse it.

Tania - posted on 08/23/2009

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When my dauhter was that age i was having the same issue. I pumped and used formula, you could try that.

Anna Clarizza - posted on 08/23/2009

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keep stimulating the milk flow by allowing her to suck more even for a shrot period of time... i've been breastfeeding for 23 months now and still going... it was the best motherhood experience!

Jen - posted on 08/23/2009

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She could be telling you that you're not producing enough. You know your body best so if you feel like you're not producing enough then eat a lot of oatmeal, take fenugreek, drink mother's milk tea. You can also talk to a lactation consultant and they can help you and your daughter.

Larissa - posted on 08/23/2009

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i went through the same thing at about 3 months, and it was quite simply my body was not producing enough milk for my baby........some women can and some women can't. i cried and tried everything cause i so wanted to do the best for my child, but if u are not producing milk there is not much u can do and by 4 months we had to switch 100% to formula. keep trying but if it comes to it don't beat yourself up cause its nott your fault and just cause it happened to me does not mean that this is your prob too!!

Amanda - posted on 08/23/2009

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Relax. This is hard. I bf for ten months with my son and went through this at different points. My suggestion to you would be if at all possible, pump. If you can build up a side supply to feed her you will know for sure both if she is getting enough and if you are producing enough. It might just be that she is going through a phase. Hang in there if you can.

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