More BF'ing anxiety! Does it ever end?

(5 Posts)
Orenishii Tue 15-Jan-13 17:54:55

I've posted a few times about breastfeeding - there always seems to be a new problem after the previous one is solved!

To recap as succinctly as I can:

DS was tongue tied, and we had horrific latching problems in the beginning. To add to that, he would not let me know when he was hungry and we had to wake him every two hours and syringe colostrum/milk in. Then the tongue tie clinic said we'd adapted, he started putting on weight, he seemed to feed efficiently for 20 mins or so, the HV was happy, we decided not to cut the TT.

Now at 11.5 weeks, he only feeds for 3 mins per side. I keep switching sides - sometimes I can eek a feed out to 20 mins in total, other times he comes off the nipple with...gusto, and isn't interested in re-latching, though does seem to reach for it with his mouth. Sometimes he will go back to his 20 min feeds.

He's not gained any weight in about a week, and before that it was slowing according to HV but he'd gained 14 oz in 3 weeks, which is apparently average. I've inadvertently ended up having him weighed for 3 weeks running, which I think hasn't helped. When I've expressed, he's guzzled it down. I've read a lot that 3-5 min feeds each side are normal but the new slowing down of weight gain worries me. He tends to feed every 2.5-3 hours because I'm still in the habit of every two hours, but he also possets. He sleeps very well.

Is he Ok? Plenty of wet nappies, poos, is happy and alert. I sometimes think he needs a couple of weeks not being weighed, that these charts are supposed to be over months, not weeks. Other times I think he can't possibly be getting what he needs. I compress my breasts after the let down sometimes too. I'm taking Fenugreek, and read Kelly Mom a lot but just can't seem to shake this feeling I'm not feeding him well.

Oh dear, wonderful ladies of MN, with your wisdom and never ending help...please reassure me or tell me if there is something wrong. I have such anxiety about this, and it seems since he was born I've had some kind of worry about his feeding.

tiktok Tue 15-Jan-13 18:15:10

Aw, orenishii, you have had such a hard time....it is really common when mothers have a Big Problem getting bf going at all, that they take a long time to trust the process, and understandably, too.

It can help to find someone to talk to about this - someone non-judgemental and knowledgable, who will listen to your current concerns about the feeding and your baby's well-being, and who can assess this (a good HV would be great, or a breastfeeding counsellor, though you'd need to check with the HV about the health side).

The very fact you are taking fenugreek, reading Kellymom, and compressing your breasts suggests to me you feel the whole show will collapse unless you are constantly vigilant.

Nothing you have said about his weight, his behaviour or the length of his feeds suggests anything other than a normally-bf almost-three-month old. 20 min feeds every time just don't happen with most babies of this age - they become super-efficient at taking what they need in less time and they need the 'spare' time to look, learn, interact and play smile

There's a wide variation in how long babies will feed for each time, but your baby does sound the normal spectrum smile

Yes, frequent weighing is a bad idea - read your red book, and you'll see some blurb about monthly weighings being the maximum needed below six months. Anything more often is just not clinically helpful (except in cases where babies are not flourishing), and it can be so misleading.

Good idea to give yourself a clinic break smile

And do think about sharing your worries with someone in RL.

Orenishii Thu 17-Jan-13 10:39:35

tiktok thank you, I could kiss you. I'm sorry for only just replying but you know...newborns and all that. You're a constant source of reassurance and sense on these boards and I'd like to give you a hearty hug and a big thanks because I keep re-reading your response and it's made me feel so much better these last few days. I feel like printing it off and posting it on my fridge door!

I think you're spot on with the whole collapse of the breastfeeding show - I have so much anxiety about it and it is about trusting the process. I just can't wrap my head around the idea that he's getting enough - especially when I torture myself with expressing. EVEN THOUGH I KNOW the logic behind a lot of these things!!

Good idea about speaking to someone - my HV is worse than useless as at the last weigh in, she said "are you sure you want to continue breastfeeding?". GOD. I feel like - there's so much pro-breastfeeding propaganda, for want of a better word, but when it comes to the slightest bump in the road, the HV's leap enthusiastically towards the simplest and easiest solution for them to keep their charts in line i.e formula supplementation. All that does is feed the anxiety.

To anyone who stumbles across this thread and is feeling similar anxieties, read tiktok's excellent response and please be reassured.

tiktok Thu 17-Jan-13 10:46:28

Glad I helped smile Agree with you your HV is maybe not the person to share your feelings with....but maybe you will find someone else.

Jims Fri 18-Jan-13 22:18:34

I feel exactly the same. I find it really hard to trust my baby to take enough as he had two UTIs for which he was hospitalised and his only symptom was not feeding properly - a few sucks on a let down and then going to sleep. He's 10 weeks old and now he feeds anywhere between 3 minutes and 15 minutes. I stressed myself out yesterday when he did a whole day of 3 minute feeds but he seems fine again today. But we've made it this far... and I'm proud of myself for that. Plus I keep telling myself we're nearly half way to weaning!!

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