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Why does my 3 week old baby unlatch and scream after just a few minutes of breastfeeding? adult content

My son has had a very difficult time learning to breastfeed. He either fights me by screaming his head off before a feeding even begins or he'll unlatch after just a few minutes and scream. He has good days and bad days, but he is almost four weeks old now and should have the hang of breastfeeding by now. I feel like I need to make a decision soon about whether I'll stick with it. :( I just feel like it's not good for him to be putting up such a fight when it's time to eat.

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Asked by jkovacs at 10:08 AM on Sep. 30, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • He could have reflux. I would make an apt to discuss it with his ped. Good luck, mama!

    Answer by Kword at 10:11 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • OALD? if you can feel when you're letting down, just unlatch him and express it into a bottle. (people say a cloth, but why waste? LOL!) it gets better, i promise.

    Answer by gracefulsky at 10:12 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • Have you pumped to see how much is coming out? I'm asking because my son did this. To find out from my doctor that there was no milk coming out. Baby latched fine, but he would get upset when he would suck and nothing came out. He ended up losing too much weight and we started formula or he was going to be hospitalized.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 10:12 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • Would he have that even though sometimes he latches on and sucks for 20 minutes on one side and 15 on the other? He usually does end up latching on, but not without a fight. ONce he does, he eats pretty well...

    Comment by jkovacs (original poster) at 10:14 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • My daughter had some issues with reflux, so I would ask the ped about that.

    Otherwise it could be that he's super hungry and isn't patient enough to wait until your milk lets down. My baby gets like that sometimes until I feel the milk let down and then she's fine.

    Good luck! Hope it works out before you have to give up!

    Answer by samiam828 at 10:20 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • I would guess that there is some form of over-active let down and/or reflux. Leaning more toward the over active letdown if he is eating well once he gets comfortable.

    Check out There is a lot of good advice on bfing (among other things.)

    Answer by balagan_imma at 10:20 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • Pumping does not indicate how much you make. Babies can get out more than you think.

    Never pull him off and switch sides. Always let him suck as long as he wants and wait for him to pull off. Don't wait for him to be too hungry. Every peep he makes latch him on. That will signal you to make plenty of milk. If he does in fact latch on and eat, you are making plenty. Does he wet at least 6 diapers a day? If so, you are making enough and he is getting plenty. Don't supplement yet, the minute you give him a bottle of formula is the minute your body will start making less.

    BF babies eat WAY more often than formula babies. It digests so much easier and faster that they need to eat all the time and at 4 weeks, he should be having a growth spurt and want to eat a lot more.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:20 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • And if it's overactive letdown, express some before you put him to breast. Hand express it into a bottle/bag. Then, latch him on like normal.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:22 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • Also make sure you are burping him fully.

    Hold him on your lap like this and bounce your knee a tiny bit as you pat his back. Also make sure you are streching him out fully while burping him, because an air bubble can get caught in him belly and it is very painful.

    He can gulp air when he is crying , so he could have a gas bubble before he even starts nursing.



    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 10:32 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • Also I want to reassure you that is gets better. The first month sucks, but it gets SOOOO much easier after that. You have worked so hard to breastfeed, don't give up right before you get the pay off of the ease of breastfeeding.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 10:34 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

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