My one week old is finicky about nursing. I feed him every 3 hrs or when he acts hungry. Sometimes he will latch for a 15 minutes total (both breasts), sometimes it's only about 2 minutes over a 15-20 minute period of trying. He will latch for a few seconds & then pull himself off the breast. He does this over & over. He roots all over it with it in his mouth, but won't latch. Then he latches & lets go. He gets frustrated & starts screaming. Other times he latches for 6-7 minutes & then falls asleep & won't wake up to take the other breast. I know I have milk because it will be dripping out & because I pump when necessary. Please help! I have no idea what to do.
Carissa, The early days of breastfeeding can be very difficult. Baby is still figuring out exactly what to do and your body is still adjusting. When you notice that he latches and then immediately unlatches you can try using hand compressions to help him get a mouthful of milk. This way when he latches he is immediately rewarded with a mouthful of milk. When he falls asleep at the breast you can try stroking his cheek or foot or gently unlatch him and burp him to get him to wake up even just a little bit. to feed more. Be sure to continue offering the breast anytime you see those feeding cues.
If his nursing pattern doesn't start to regulate you may want to see a local Lactation Consultant so they can evaluate a feed and help resolve any issues. You can locate one at ILCA.org. Best of luck and keep up the good work!
Molly Petersen, CLC