Constant Breast Feeding 4 day old - help!

(19 Posts)
kelsterdotcom Thu 20-Jun-13 23:22:24

I know this is ridiculously early to be asking this, but my 4 day old is constantly bf which is great, but to the point where he won't sleep unless he's on me/feeding and I've had two hours sleep in the last 48 hours. I'm delirious with exhaustion and contemplating giving him a formula bottle now so I can try to get a couple of hours sleep. Will this mess up my breastfeeding supply or will it cause him problems with wind/digestion? He is already having trapped wind problems and I don't want to exacerbate them. Any help or advice would be appreciated as me and my other half are pulling out hair out through exhaustion. New parents, eh?!

Many thanks

Kelly

extracrunchy Thu 20-Jun-13 23:26:44

I'd give him a bottle - if he's been feeding that often your supply will be great anyway! Are you sure he's latching on properly and getting a good feed? Might also explain the wind if he's latching funny and taking on lots of air.

We used to do a formula feed last thing before bed - meant DH could be involved, I could get some sleep, and DS would stay down for a bit. Worth a try?

Congratulations! grin

kelsterdotcom Thu 20-Jun-13 23:52:32

Yeah he's latching brilliantly - had my midwife come out today to check I was doing it properly and she said it was spot on. She also said I shouldn't do the formula feed at night though which is why I'm so hesitant - however, sleep deprivation is now winning and it's stressing us out, which I don't want to happen as little man will no doubt pick up on the vibes.

Thank you so much for the response - he's currently asleep on my other half but I can guarantee as soon as we put him down he'll be up squawking again. The formula bottle is cooling as we speak! Thanks again smile x

KeepTryin Thu 20-Jun-13 23:54:22

Hi. Good work getting to four days. I nearly gave in at 3 days and again at 3 weeks. I'm now four months into breast feeding my first. I think what you are describing is completely normal and just clever baby making sure your supply gets well established! I think if you give formula now then whenever you stop the formula, baby will start feeding more again to bring the supply up to the increased demand so you'd be in the same boat again. I remember feeling like that time of not being able to put DD down would never end! It did grin Try and stick with it, you're doing really well! I'm sooooo glad I stuck with it now, it's so easy now, and so convenient!

lurcherlover Fri 21-Jun-13 00:00:46

Personally I think this is too soon to introduce formula without risking bfing problems. He's feeding non-stop to get your supply established (at 4 days your milk is only just coming in after the colostrum) so introducing formula could be counter-productive: it might make your breasts not produce enough milk (as bfing is all about supply and demand) and if you go too long between feeds at this stage, you can get over-engorged quickly which can cause other problems (eg mastitis).

It's a horrendous stage, when you're feeling awful after the birth and hormonal and sleep deprived. But honestly, it only gets better. For now, I'd focus on getting more rest - can you feed lying down? If so, k

lurcherlover Fri 21-Jun-13 00:02:54

Personally I think this is too soon to introduce formula without risking bfing problems. He's feeding non-stop to get your supply established (at 4 days your milk is only just coming in after the colostrum) so introducing formula could be counter-productive: it might make your breasts not produce enough milk (as bfing is all about supply and demand) and if you go too long between feeds at this stage, you can get over-engorged quickly which can cause other problems (eg mastitis).

It's a horrendous stage, when you're feeling awful after the birth and hormonal and sleep deprived. But honestly, it only gets better. For now, I'd focus on getting more rest - can you feed lying down? If so, kick DH into the spare room, keep the duvet and pillows away from baby, and try feeding lying down in bed. Much safer than inadvertently falling asleep on the sofa. Stay in bed and get people to help you - don't even contemplate getting dressed.

Honestly, this is bad but it gets better!! Congratulations on your lovely baby.

lurcherlover Fri 21-Jun-13 00:06:16

I would also send dh to the spare room so he can sleep at night, then during the day he can do more in the house - no point you both being up at night when he can't do much for the baby. If he is rested at night, then in the day he can do the cooking and housework while you rest/feed, and can take baby for a walk in the pram whilst you sleep (it's a rare newborn that doesn't sleep as soon as they're being pushed in a pram).

extracrunchy Fri 21-Jun-13 08:40:39

True about supply and getting it up and definitely definitely worth sticking with bf - does get easier, but just one bottle at night (regularly - so there's no issue with you adapting and not being full at that time) so that you can get some rest and DP can be involved in feeding is not going to do any harm!
Hope you got some sleep. It does get easier grin

tiktok Fri 21-Jun-13 10:08:05

Kelstar, this is normal behaviour at 4 days. In fact it should be celebrated because it shows your newborn is healthy, and well on the way to establishing great breastfeeding and a lovely relationship with you.

Yes, you could offer formula but this has downsides - you will be uncomfortable and full (not good); this makes it more difficult for your baby to latch on (not good); you introduce something that is not tailor-made and physiologically-appropriate in place of something that is; in some babies this may have health effects. The other thing to realise is that it might not even work ie it might not settle your baby for long.

You need help, support and nurturing....your baby may well be happy enough to be skin to skin with someone else (his dad?) while you sleep, given that it's as much the human contact he craves as the milk.

I don't know how trapped wind is diagnosed, to be honest, especially not at 4 days, when babies who are sometimes unsettled and squirmy are the norm. Why do you think he has wind, trapped or otherwise? smile Chances are his unsettled squirmyness is just him showing he does not want to be put down to sleep and wants to stay with you, on or near the breast.

extracrunchy - a regular bottle at this time is not a good idea. The baby is four days old. Some women might get away with intro'ing regular bottles, many won't sad

extracrunchy Fri 21-Jun-13 10:29:28

It's obviously not nutritionally better than BM but one bottle to allow mum to rest is not going to hurt. Many babies only have FM! We did it with ours and he remains very healthy and bouncy. BF is best as we all know, but enforcing it with stressed mums is not.
That said, at 4 days, constant BFing is pretty normal!

extracrunchy Fri 21-Jun-13 10:30:47

(We did one bottle I mean)

tiktok Fri 21-Jun-13 10:35:49

You said a 'regular' bottle, crunchy. Hurrah it did not have an adverse effect on your own breastfeeding. It might well on someone else's. One bottle is something most women would get away with at four days. A 'regular' bottle starting at four days....not so much.

No one is suggesting 'enforcing' breastfeeding only - the OP has to decide, and she needs information to help her do this.

extracrunchy Fri 21-Jun-13 10:48:56

I mean one regular bottle at bedtime - so set time and body adjusts accordingly...

TheSecondComing Fri 21-Jun-13 10:55:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

haloflo Fri 21-Jun-13 10:58:09

Congrats on your new baby!

Are you having lots of visitors? Maybe ask them to stay away for a couple of days. New babies always feed lots at night so you must try to sleep in the day. Your partner could try and take him for an hour or so just after a feed- rock, sway, cuddle him to sleep. He can sleep on his chest (babies love a mans chest usually) and watch telly whilst you head to bed. Or light swaddle may help you put him down?

If he won't settle for your partner ask your mw to show you how to feed lying down. he should eventually fall asleep and you can too. if you are wary of co sleeping ask your partner or other family to check on you both although instinctively bf mums don't squash their babies. I don't sleep as deeply next to a baby though so option 1 is probably better.

If all else fails maybe a dummy would help?

If sounds like your milk is nearly in. If you get through the weekend, then the next week i am sure things will seem brighter.

Look after yourself too - you are doing a great job though.

tiktok Fri 21-Jun-13 11:02:09

extracrunchy - I know what you mean. You mean a regular bottle given at the same time each day.

This may have an effect on the OP's overall breastmilk supply. It didn't for you. It might do for her.

Yes - supply does adjust....downwards. Not a good idea to start this at day 4.

Breastmilk needs to be removed frequently to establish and maintain a supply. A regular bottle means a regular extended gap between feeds. This decreases overall production.

This worked ok for you. It is absolutely not good advice for everyone.

DuelingFanjo Fri 21-Jun-13 11:05:18

Congratulations, personally I think that you need to stick with the breastfeeding. it's hard for a while, sleepless nights (and days) and what seems like constant feeding but introducing a bottle will just disrupt your supply. This time will pass so quickly, it just doesn't feel like it at the moment.

magpieC Fri 21-Jun-13 11:15:20

Hi OP We're at four days today and are getting by by taking shifts - DP had her for the first half the night (on his chest while he played his xbox) and brought her into me for feeds. Then at 4 we swapped and I took her and gave her lots of feeding and cuddles while he got some sleep.

Not great but we did each get a few hours and as it's our second time round we do know that it will get better even if it seems relentless at the time.

Keep with it if you can - and maybe see you on a thread in the small hours tonight :-)

Poppet45 Fri 21-Jun-13 13:50:44

Hi OP, how are things? The getting sleep in shifts is a helpful idea as is getting dp to do lots during the day so all you have to focus on is feeding. Lie in bed or the sofa with a good book, chocs or nice film and you can use the time to rest up after the birth. And if dc is your first sleep whenever they do in the early days. Four days is prob a bit early for wind post birth. Prob normal newborn need for constant holding and feeding just like the 9 previous months. A v occasional "emergency" bottle to top up your sleep might be ok (but there are safer strategies like those above if you want to bf) but a daily one is way too risky at this stage unless you dont mind switching to ff. It only takes a few bottles for some babies to give up the effort of nursing at the breast and instead they just latch on and lie there expecting the milk to flood into their mouths like from a bottle. Some babies never get this confusion others get it so badly its the end of bfing. But you wont know which way your child will react. If you want to bf its best to be cautious. Theres lots of time to get routines sleep and bottles going when dc is older. This phase wont last long.

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