View Full Version : Breastfeeding mamas - HELP! Struggling at 6 month mark.

November 26th, 2013, 01:35 PM
Hey mamas,
Looking for some advice, maybe just reassuring words lol, I'm not sure. My baby turned 6 months 4 days ago and it's like within 1 day.. nursing went from being totally 100% effortless to me being borderline ready to give up.
I know 6 months is usually a growth spurt, I have started introducing baby food & cereal and he is cutting 2 teeth at once. So obviously he is trying to nurse much more frequently and I totally feel like he is not getting enough AT ALL, he seems so unsatisfied, so after feedings (about every other) I am usually giving him a little baby food, some cereal etc. But he is also now ALWAYS kneading the skin on my boobs (or pinching or grabbing) while nursing and kicking me, he is gumming a lot too because of the teeth. He grunts and gets SO worked up, I think he is frustrated that there isn't more or it's not coming fast enough. I literally dread having to nurse because it's like he is attacking me lol.
I made it to 8 months with nursing DS1 and I don't remember this 6 months issue (I stopped because he was constantly biting and breaking the skin). Is anyone else going through this? How do I get him to calm down when nursing so I'm not being hurt? Should I be maybe feeding more baby foods & cereal? He loves eating and does great with it, I just didn't want to give too much and it be hard on his tummy. Once these 2 teeth are a bit more through I am SUPER nervous for my boobies :( haha. Any advice welcome!

November 26th, 2013, 04:14 PM
How many times a day is he getting food?

November 26th, 2013, 04:26 PM
Today so far -

3:00am: breastfeed
5:00am: breastfeed
(These 2 feedings are new, I think cause of the growth spurt - he usually doesn't wake through the night!)
8:00am: breastfeed
11:30am: breastfeed then beef vegetable baby food
2:00pm: breastfeed then a bit of mushed banana
3:30pm: rice cereal mixed with breastmilk

The rest of the night will probably go as follows -
5:00pm: breastfeed then some peas & carrots baby food
7:00pm: breastfeed then some of a rice rusk
Goes the bed at 9:00pm but at 10:30pm I "dream breastfeed" him or whatever they call it while he is sleeping.

He always seems so unsatisfied. I feel like he is eating so much food, but maybe it is not enough? He is having 2-3 bowel movements a day and doesn't seem in any pain from his tummy so maybe he can handle/wants more.

November 26th, 2013, 04:29 PM
I've breastfed my oldest son until his first anniversary, I was lucky that he got his first two teeth when he was 12 month, almost 13 month. I can tell you that it is absolutely normal that during certain periods the baby seems not to have enough. What I do in such cases, I just start combing breastfeeding with bottles with formula, normally I do not need to do it longer than 3 or 4 days, and then everything gets back to normal. However, if you have a feeling that your baby is really hungry and upset each time after you finish to breastfeed him, there may be an issue, I've heard that some babies may simply give up breast at certain age, or maybe it's because he's cutting teeth, just be patient and I'm sure after a couple of days it should get better. If not, consider introducing more solids and combine breast milk feedings with formula. I'm now breastfeeding my second (he's almost 5 months and it goes quite smoothly, although I had some difficult moments with him as well). Good luck.

November 26th, 2013, 08:39 PM
I'm new to breastfeeding, but so far we've made it to 5 months and I'm only giving Mavus a little formula at night after breastfeeding him to make sure he is super full. I'm not sure how much I can help but when I feel like I'm not producing enough and he is extra hungry I take fenugreek 3 pills 3 times a day and pump after feeding him for a few days and it helps a lot.

November 27th, 2013, 12:09 AM
Truthfully, I think the key is to just keep nursing, even pumping if you have some time in between. If he is, in fact, going through a growth spurt, your body will adapt to his eating needs and he won't be so frustrated. One thing I might suggest is watching him for problems with pain.

My daughter hit a "stage" about a month ago (5.5 months) where she was doing a lot of what you describe, kicking, "biting", breaking suction, kneading the breasts, scratching, etc. It was really miserable. I bought a teething necklace thinking she needed a distraction. But it was 4 days later that she had a raging ear infection. So if he is having discomfort, teething or otherwise, it could be causing these issues. Not necessarily that there isn't the milk for him. But that he is uncomfortable eating at all. It could absolutely have everything to do with teeth, but keep an eye on the ears, throat, and other less obvious areas where it might be causing him pain to eat.

You might even try to back off the solid foods a bit to see if you can up your supply by having him nurse more often. It sounds counterintuitive, but it might be what your body needs to start making a bit more for him.

Good luck. Nursing issues aren't fun.

November 27th, 2013, 04:13 AM
I'd go with hotdogz&boyz to keep nursing. Introducing formula will not up your supply.

I experienced this behaviour between 4 and 6 months with my oldest (i fed him 16 months, ds2 was breastfed for 25 months). I actually had to calm him down with a pacifier while walking/soothing before i could latch him on. I also pumped a lot after a feeding and gave him the rest of it, but i'm not certain i would recommend that as he got used to 'well, i get a bottle anyway which is a lot easier'. But, however, all of a sudden, it was fine again!

Your number of feedings seem ok to me.
I would recommend you to apply 'breast compression' to really empty the breast and to keep him nursing Breast Compression (http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&id=8:breast-compression&Itemid=17)

Also, when you think he didn't drink your breasts empty enough i would pump the rest of it.

Are you familiar with babyled weaning? Baby Led Weaning - The Mush Stops Here! (http://www.babyledweaning.com/)

The idea is that baby eats his own food, you decide what, he decides how many he takes. Up to ten months i would recommend to first feed and then give some solids, in order to keep your milk supply ok in case you have a big eater who doesn't want to drink anymore after his solids because he's filled up. Remember that solids fill him up but your milk is much more nutricious dense, so don't replace breastfeedings for solids up untill 10-12 months. By that time, your milk supply will also be flexible enough to go with the fluxtuation of feedings (sometimes more, sometimes less per day).

GL! I think everything will turn out just fine!

November 27th, 2013, 02:20 PM
Thanks for all the replies ladies!! Very helpful.

I will keep my eye out for other signs of something causing the pain for sure, I never even thought of that. Although I'm crossing my fingers it's just the growth spurt - he sees the doctor tomorrow for this 6 month check up so she will check him out!
I gave a bit of formula after his last feeding last night to help him sleep better - he didn't drink very much of it after breastfeeding, this was his first taste of formula but he did sleep better. I think I will try that for now at nighttime and the solids, I really think he enjoys the food, I can't eat anything in his sight without him freaking out if I'm not sharing! I can't pump anymore - I literally have nothing in there haha the first couple months I pumped a nice big stock but now there's just nothing.

Thanks also for the link to baby led weaning - so neat. I didn't do that with my first and I really want to incorporate that with this guy, I actually tried to give him a bit of my stew for lunch and he loved it! I also let him share my banana when I'm eating one and he loves that too.

atomic sagebrush
November 27th, 2013, 05:52 PM
This is totally normal and it's something that all of mine have gone thru at one point or another. I just kinda put up with it and nursed more frequently till the supply caught up. I'm not sure if the pinching is related to the frequency or just a coincidence - I think they find it soothing almost like a security blanket to do that. My boobs are always covered with scratches!! They all did it but two of them were way worse (and one is my daughter I'm nursing now). I try to hold their hand while nursing or give them something to hold, which doesn't work that well LOL!

November 27th, 2013, 06:26 PM
Yes I try to hold his hand as well so he either retaliates with MORE kicking or wiggles till I let him go free LOL. Oh babies!

November 28th, 2013, 04:07 AM
Here's another helpful link to a weaning food introduction schedule in English when you want to apply baby led weaning.
Borstvoeding.com: kenniscentrum voor borstvoeding - Schema - Weaning food introduction schedule for babies older than six months (http://www.borstvoeding.com/voedselintroductie/schema/engels.html)

Unfortunately the rest of the site is not in English, because it's my bible when nursing ;-)

For baby led weaning you may also want to google 'Rapley method'

November 28th, 2013, 11:39 AM
Thank you! I really wish I had of heard of this with my first!!
Curious - why do they say not to reheat left overs for babes? I often eat left overs as my lunch

November 28th, 2013, 02:38 PM
You're welcome!
I think the reheating is about nutricional values that'll decline during reheating. I don't know exactly if this is based on sound scientific evidence ;-)

Enjoy the baby led weaning! Letting them eat yoghurt or spaghetti with tomato sauce is def the messiest meals you would have (not to mention broccoli ;-)) but def the most fun! It's lovely to see how they enjoy eating as they discover the structure and taste of a variety of food.

December 3rd, 2013, 10:49 AM
How is it going now with nursing and complementary feeding?
Hope you're ok!

December 3rd, 2013, 01:24 PM
How is it going now with nursing and complementary feeding?
Hope you're ok!
Hi! Thank you for asking, he had his 6 month needles last Thursday and is now sick so it seems we are just hitting a rough patch. I stopped giving formula at night time cause it seemed to not be working anymore but now he is only waking to feed at 4am then 8am (before it was 3am, 5am, 8am). So I am just trying to keep up with him :) I am assuming the extra feeding was for a growth spurt which is now over. He has also calmed down and isn't attacking me quite as much thankfully!!
Complementary feeding is going well! He loves it, he gets so upset if I am not sharing lol. It just makes me nervous at times because I feel he has trouble with the swallowing - I don't want him to choke! How do you deal with that?

atomic sagebrush
December 3rd, 2013, 01:40 PM
No, the reheating is a food poisoning preventative, becos babies are more sensitive to microbes in food than older folks are. So things that would not make us sick can give babies diarrhea.

PS - me too on the choking risk!!! I saw someone give their tiny baby a whole banana and I was in a cold sweat the entire time because he choked like 50 times...I know this is not popular but I do prechew food and it's worked well for my three little ones (would never have dared do such a thing with my first two LOL)

December 3rd, 2013, 04:33 PM
Well, that gagging can look awful, but it's actually preventing him from real choking. The reflex for gagging is really in the front of his mouth and will gradually get to the back as he gets older.

My experience is that at first they will gag relatively often but as they get handier with food they don't anymore.
Try to experiment with different sizes, sometimes the smaller, the more they gag. Make sure you cook really hard food, like apples a short time.
And keep faith that he'll know how to handle too big a piece; by gagging it to the front and spitting it out. Off course: know what to do when he really seems choking (baby first aid) but i actually never heard of babies choking when applying this method (but there will be stories on the net, i don't doubt that). The theory is that they'll choke more easily in half pureed food than in whole pieces.

Glad the growth spurt is over and he's now more easy to nurse :-).
All the best!