pushing face into breast while nursing

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2005
pushing face into breast while nursing
Mon, 10-19-2009 - 8:04pm

My daughter will be six months old tomorrow. I've noticed the last several days that she is getting upset while nursing. She will push her face into my breast, start to cry, and then will often bite me before giving up. I am afraid it's because of low milk supply. Tonight after she did it she just kept trying to go back to the breast and kept getting upset. So I got my DH to give her a bottle of EBM and she drank it right up. I usually have a very good let-down, but I sort of feel like she's not getting enough milk from me right now. Since we usually BF I have no idea if she's eating more or less. I do work and pump there and have been getting less output but my pump times vary from day to day and I have no real consistency with the pumping. She's eating the same amount of EBF with her caregivers while I am at work (no change there).

New things: 1 - I just got a Mirena IUD inserted although my ob-gyn says no way this is causing a decrease in supply.
2 - we've recently started her on banana and today avacado. She doesn't really act very interested in these solids and only eats a few bites before I determine she isn't interested. She's had no allergic reactions.

At one point I thought she might be constipated but she's had a bowel movement every day including today.

I honestly don't know if any of these things have anything to do with it...anyone have any experience with something like this?

I'm tempted to start fenugreek (I already eat oatmeal daily) but worry about the side effect listed on Kellymom of increased menstrual bleeding (IUD has caused some HEAVY bleeding and I would really like to avoid more...)

TIA for any advice or insight. I'm terrified of not being able to nurse her or losing my supply as I was planning on nursing her well into toddler-hood. I'm afraid that if it IS a low supply issue that I better fix it now or else. :(

Photobucket Thank you to Heather (butterfly746) for my lovely siggy! Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 10-19-2009 - 11:47pm


What makes you think that your supply is low? Is it just the behavior? Behavior is NOT a reliable indicator of supply.

"It's important to note that the feel of the breast, the behavior of your baby, the frequency of nursing, the sensation of let-down, or the amount you pump are not valid ways to determine if you have enough milk for your baby." Is Your Milk Supply Really Low? http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html#supply

How are her wet diapers? We would be expecting 4-5 or more wets in 24 hours. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enoughmilk-older.html

Many BF babies will skip days between bowel movements - this is NOT constipation. Constipation is hard dry pellet like poop.

If baby is not interested in solids yet then wait a few weeks and try again. Six months is the earliest solids should be started, but there is no reason to start if baby is not interested. Instead of spoon feeding give baby a couple small pieces of avocado (a GREAT first food) or banana on her tray. If she eats it great, if not that is okay too. Keep in mind that for the entire first year solids aare just for fun. Your BM is the perfect food for the entire first year and beyond. So even a baby that is "into" solids at this age would only be getting a couple bites per day. THis gives an idea of the MAXIMUMS baby should get. http://www.mother-2-mother.com/samplemenus.htm

FWIW,my second DS did not start solids until about 9 months and he was over 20 pounds at 6 months. We nursed through pregnancy of DS #2 and then tandem nursed until DS#2 was about 42 months. My current nursling will be 6 months on the 23rd of this month and I doubt we will start solids for a while yet. We do self feeding or sometimes called baby led solids,so we do notuse purees at all. Some other ieas for finger foods: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/finger-foods.html

Keep in mind that much of what is written about starting solids and getting baby on 3 meals a day is written from the prespective of having baby weaned (or mostly so) by 12 months. So going SLOWLY is recommended also to avoid premature weaning. Baby led solids is a good choice for BF moms in part becasue like BF it allows baby some control over the amount of solids eaten just like with BF.

It is possible that he Mirena could effect supply, but generally for most women it does not. Did you do a trial of the mini-pill to make sure your supply was not sensitive to the progestin? This is recommended because a few women are sensitive to it, but generally that is earlier in the lactation period.

"Progestin-only contraceptives are the preferred choice for breastfeeding mothers when something hormonal is desired or necessary.

Progestin-only contraceptives come in several different forms:

* the progestin-only pill (POP) also called the "mini-pill" (Micronor, Errin, Nor-QD, Ovrette, Microval, etc)
* the birth control injection (Depo Provera)
* the progesterone-releasing IUD (Mirena, Progestasert)
* the birth control implant (Norplant, Implanon).

Milk supply: For most mothers, progestin-only forms of contraception do not cause problems with milk supply if started after the 6th-8th week postpartum and if given at normal doses. However, there are many reports (most anecdotal but nevertheless worth paying attention to) that some women do experience supply problems with these pills, so if you choose this method you still need to proceed with some caution.

If you're interested in one of the longer lasting progestin-only forms of birth control (the Depo-Provera shot lasts at least 12 weeks, but effects may be seen up to a year; the Mirena/Progestasert IUD and the Norplant implant can last up to 5 years), it may be a good idea to do a trial of progestin-only pills (mini-pill) for a month or more before deciding on the longer-term form of birth control. If you find that you are among the women whose supply drops significantly due to progestin-only birth control, you can simply discontinue the pills - rather than struggling with low milk supply for several months until the shot wears off or you get the implant or IUD removed.

Do note that the Mirena/Progestasert IUD delivers its hormone directly to the lining of the uterus, which only leads to a slight increase in progesterone levels in the blood stream (much lower than that found with the progesterone-only pill). As a result, there is much less chance of side effects from the progesterone than from the Depo-Provera shot or mini-pill."


Have you considered that baby may be teething? My boys get teeth early (usually around 4-5 months) but some babies will bite when teething. Teeth often hurt the most BEFORE the teeth actually appear.

Biting: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/biting.html

Teething help: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/teething.html

Remember baby taking a bottle, becasue of how the bottle works, does not necessarily mean that baby was hungry. "When the bottle goes in the baby's mouth the mouth fills with milk, the baby is obligated to swallow and the action of swallowing initiates another suck. The suck again fills the mouth and the cycle repeats, giving an appearance of the baby "gulping the bottle down hungrily".

This of course only contributes to mom and dad's fear that the baby wasn't getting enough at the breast and they keep offering more and more bottles (understandably). Which then causes a true low milk supply." http://www.mother-2-mother.com/cc-baby-b.htm#Fussiness

Also might take a spin through this on fussy nursing behavior http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/fussy-while-nursing.html
There are LOTS of things (distractability, growth spurt etc) that can cause baby to be fussy when nursing.

HTH! Follow up with additional questions,let us know what you think.

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