ask an expert

My baby screams while I nurse him, what's wrong?

My baby is three and a half months old and he is screaming while I nurse him. He will be content for the first few minutes and then he will start crying and pushing off my breast.

I will then switch sides and he might be ok for another minute or two but then he will start crying again. I have tried to burp him between breasts and he cries so much he won't burp.

My doctor also had us start giving him a few ounces of supplement after each feeding because he was not gaining weight. He had only gained two ounces in three weeks. I also know that I have plenty of milk. I can pump about two ounces after he has eaten.

My breasts do feel less full after he eats too. It's like he gets so worked up he can't eat anymore. He is a very happy baby at all other times. He hardly ever cries except when he eats. Do you have any ideas on how to help him eat better?


Rita Madden | Other Provider

Rita Madden

I would recommend making an appointment with a lactation consultant.  It sounds like you have a good milk supply, but he is having a difficult time removing it.  It could be a number of things going on including latch, too fast or too slow of milk flow, scheduled feedings, or your infant's oral development.

During the consult, a weighted feed should be performed.  This is when we weigh baby before and after a feeding so we can get a snapshot of what he can remove at the breast.  A suck assessment should also be performed to help determine if it is in fact an issue with oral development.  Together you and your lactation consultant can discover the root cause and help formulate a feeding plan to get you both back on track.

Read more answers by Rita Madden