Nursing Video

Ok.  I’ve been filming Ruby nursing for a long time.  I don’t think I’ve ever, before now, had a video that adequately demonstrates what a session is like for us – a typical, frustrating session.

I hesitated to post it, because there is a ton of boob.  Really, a ton.  And Ruby was bottomless, but I covered that up.  (It took FOREVER.)  But I want everyone, all of you who have tried to help and offered suggestions, to see what it’s like to attempt to nurse her.  She desperately wants to – she cries when I unlatch her, when I take it away.  This nursing session was just over an hour from her previous feeding, so she’s not overly hungry or ravenous.  She’s not distracted.  This is completely typical.

I’m trusting my community and my lovely followers to know themselves, and also those of you whom I work with that troll my blog: if you don’t want to see my breast, don’t push play on the video.  That means you, Dad.

Facebook Comments
  • Jackie

    I wonder… has her soft palate been checked?? if it’s short, it might trigger a gag reflex, which might cause her to pull back and only want the tip of the nipple. Since the tip is a poor latch, she isn’t getting proper flow, which could be why she’s pushing, pinching and pulling at your breast, in an attempt to get a better flow. I suspect that part of the problem (just a guess) could have something to do with the back of her mouth or her throat for that reason. Also, maybe look into the throat sphincter to see if it’s closing properly; does she get acid reflux?

  • OUCH!! That made me wince just watching. Oh honey, I don’t know how you’ve held on so long. It must be so painful for you.

    I wish I had some sort of advice, but the only thing that looked obvious to me was that she wasn’t latched on far enough. I’m sure you already know that though. She looks really frustrated too. Like it’s not coming out fast enough for her. Which I’m sure you know, also. Sorry, I can’t be more helpful. I really hope someone else can give you some help.

  • Jane

    It seems like one of the biggest issues are her hands and keeping them from pinching and pulling. Do you think swaddling her could work? Perhaps it would be enough for her to relax just a tad more? Just an idea.
    Good luck.

  • Angela

    Egads, that looks painful! You are so calm. I would have cried and stopped.

    I hope you find the answers you and Ruby need.

  • Kate

    Oh, mama. This kinda breaks my heart. I hope someone can help you. Sometimes Lily does those behaviors, but only until let down. Once the milk starts flowing, she calms and nurses just fine. But until that moment – ouch. I feel your pain. And I am so, so sorry. I love you & miss Ruby. I hope you find help & answers.

    • Thanks mama. I love you millions. Your support means so much. <3

  • Maria

    Hey Mandy… I tried to DM you on twitter but can’t so copying and pasting onto this… Been meaning to send you a message ever since seeing the video. But been soooooo busy!

    You have had such a rough time with the breast feeding… Sounds like you were mismanaged and ill-advised from start. You have done soooo well and sound like such a lovely mummy! I really relate to your determination breastfeed.

    When I saw the video the other night, I saw behaviour from Ruby, I very occasionally get from my baby Seth. I wonder whether ruby has developed some of these habits after the difficulties and frustrations related to the earlier probems and it may be you just need to break them.

    I am not an expert so can only relate to personal experience but I have found that Seth tends behave in a similar way occasionally (pulling his head back, fidgeting) and getting upset and agitated for 2 main reasons. One, because I put him on an empty boob (like if I put him back onto one he has just fed from) and he gets frustrated, usually I just swap boobs then and he is ok,. Or the 2nd reason is if he just wants to nurse for comfort, to put himself to sleep and is not hungry but gets a fast flowing boob, then again he gets all frustrated and starts pulling back and kicking and complaining… I tend to then just go and put him in cot to sleep but if he is not settling himself, try him out on a less full boob….

    I don’t know whether this would make sense for what is happening when you have a bad nursing session with ruby. I think your handling of situation is good now, gently telling her to not pinch and soothing her. Sometime Seth too may be fiddling or digging his nails in so I just put my finger I his fist for him to hold and stroke his hand and he settles down….

    I did wonder about her latch but I know that other times you have said she feeds beautifully… But as I said, maybe ask a bfeeding counsellor like @makesmilk to take a look at video.

    Hope it works out. She is soooooooo gorgeous! As is ronan. You sound like you are having a busy time too right now. Hope it calms own for you!

    • Thank you so much, Maria <3 I double checked – we both follow each other… Twitter must have been having issues. But I'm glad to see you here! I think you've hit the nail on the head with the bad habits statement. I feel like pinching my breast is her fiddle, as when I leave her "at breast" and put a pacifier in her mouth, she continues pinching and grabbing the exact same way – that leads me to believe it has nothing to do with the flow coming out of my breast, and simply just what she thinks she's supposed to do with it!

      Thank you so much for watching and commenting and caring. I can't tell you how much it means to me. Your support is so, so helpful. <3

  • L

    Have you tried a nursing necklace or other smallish toy to distract her hands? It was around this age that my daughter latched (no, not that kind of latch!) on to a fairy finger puppet that became her lovey for 2+ years! My son, however, is always going for the nipple that is not in use and will not accept any substitutes! Do you ever let her play with the other nipple? Not that it is fun but, it may be better than the pinching. Thank you for having the guts to put this out there. Hopefully it can serve as a wonderful example to other breastfeeding moms and produce some answers for you. Hang in there!!!

    • I’ve been trying to introduce a lovey to her – we’ll see if she takes it! I’ve offered her the other nipple, as she plays with either of them if she’s not nursing. She really just seems to want to shallow the latch up. I’ll be giving a new nursing necklace a try in the near future as well – I’ve tried a few that I have at home, but she’s not interested. >< Thank you for your comment!

  • I have spent a lot of time thinking about your video. Due to ongoing issues with my Ruby, I did some more research. I found something that might help you. If she is not taking the nipple into the back of her mouth, onto the soft palate, then she may still be tongue-tied. It may not have been clipped all the way or may have re-adhered. Below is a website with a very informative PowerPoint presentation that explains why that is. There are also pictures in the PowerPoint and videos on the website that may help you determine if your Ruby is still tongue tied. Hope this helps!

    • Samantha, I think you are right. She definitely has some re-attachment. Her tongue tie is still pretty evident. We’re going to have to get it re-clipped, and that has been a bit of a struggle for us. Thank you SO much for your input and your support. You guys are an inspiration. <3

  • OK, this is NOT going to be well liked by all the LLL leaders BUT:

    I’ve had this happen with my babes, they pull back and push my breast nearly out of their mouth. Babies arn’t stupid, they know what gives them a better flow. I think that they pull back to INCREASE SUCTION! The increased suction makes the milk come out. It looks like your little one is working VERY hard to get the milk out. When I stopped using the supplementer this happened with mine, they needed to pull back to the point of pulling themselves off me. My #4 sat happily sucking away at 10 mo old as far away from my chest as possible. BTW my areolas and nipples are large like yours. I don’t know if that has anything to do with anthing, but…

    Now that my babe is 20 months old and has a bit bigger mouth she doesn’t do this as much. Oh and BTW, thanks for commenting on my blog, that’s how I made my way back here! 🙂 I’ll try to write part 2 of my BF story soon!

  • Wow…I actually just cried watching that video because it reminds me SO MUCH of what I went through nursing my second son, Phoenix. I was in an awful state of postpartum depression and we had houseguests for 6 months after he was born, so I really didn’t have the energy to go through trying to figure out *why* he was pinching and pulling and crying at the breast. To make matters worse, when he ended up not gaining weight for three months (I suppose because he wasn’t nursing properly so my supply started to dwindle), his pediatrician basically told me I was starving him by continuing to nurse. I had successfully nursed my first son for three years, so I really didn’t understand what went wrong with Phoenix. I always suspected a tongue tie, but he was examined a couple times for that and they said no. I also suspected acid reflux, since he was a pretty bad sleeper as well and just generally moody, but again the Ped. said no.
    I really hope you find the answers you need for you and Ruby.

  • Mark

    Unable to view the video.. 🙁