Is it normal for my baby to squirm while nursing?

Q: My baby moves around a lot while I'm breastfeeding. Is this normal?

A: If nursing is not the blissful bonding you were expecting, don't worry. Some squirming is normal, but if your baby is especially thrashy, she could be frustrated. One possibility is that your milk is coming out like gangbusters, making it hard for her to keep up. This torrential-letdown effect often happens in the first few weeks of nursing, before your body gets into a rhythm of producing the right amount of milk. If your breasts are engorged, that could be another reason your baby is having a hard time. When breasts are full, it's difficult for her to latch on, because your nipples are flat. Pumping some milk before each feeding should help both engorgement and heavy milk flow. Finally, it's possible that your baby may have gas and need to be burped more often during nursing sessions. --Katy Koontz

Originally published in Parents magazine, August 1999. Updated 2009.

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