Breastfeeding constantly - 2 week old - thinking of stopping...(15 Posts)
since my baby girl was 10 days old, she's been having phases every day of constant feeding. It's really getting me down. I've not been feeling myself for days, feeling sick, anxious, and have lost my appetite. My friends put this down to hormones, but I just feel completely fed up with breastfeeding. Before 10 days, she was feeding every 3 hours of so, filling up, and settling well. Now she never seems to settle. I don't think that the hot weather is helping, but tonight me and my husband have basically decided to quit breastfeeding, we've just given her a formula bottle and she's crashed out!!! I feel so guilty for thinking about giving up so soon, and will try and see a breast feeding counsellor tomorrow, I just wondered if anyone else out there has had a similar experience and how you got through it/what you did. Has anyone tried mixed feeding? How does it work? My poor brain is spinning...!
I'm sure others will be along soon with lots of helpful bf advice and encouragement but fwiw, I introduced a bottle each evening for my dd at 2 weeks and it worked really well for me. My supply continued to grow in line with dd's needs and she didn't suffer any nipple confusion etc. I may have just been lucky, but if it eases our stress and you're thinking of giving up bf in any case, it might be worth trying.
clairey sorry you are feeling so down
Good idea to see a breastfeeding counsellor.
Babies as young as this often need to feed a lot - especially in hot weather. It is absolutely normal for them to feed a lot and to be restless and difficult to settle and to find comfort and (of course!) hydration at the breast. It can be a very intense time, but not a reason to stop breastfeeding if you are otherwise finding bf is going well and she is thriving on it.
The bfc should give you the opportunity to talk it through, and in the meantime, simply stopping suddenly is not a good or healthy option for you - you may get engorged and worst case, develop mastitis. So it would be a good plan to go back to breastfeeding overnight and think about what you want to do in the cold light of day
You won't find this helpful at all but my 6wo is and has always been exactly the same. It's definitely challenging but apparently not necessarily unusual. I've been working on putting her down when she falls asleep on me. Sometimes I get 30 seconds; sometimes ten minutes. Surprising what I get done in the short time she's off me!
Two weeks old is really early on so the reason your baby is feeding all the time is she is trying to build up your milk supply so it's the right amount for her. Added to that, her stomach is tiny, so she quickly works the milk through her system and regularly needs a top-up.
In other words, this is totally normal. It's also very hot so she is probably thirsty too. I find it difficult going three hours without a drink at the moment, so it makes sense that a baby does too.
The first few weeks are the most intense part of breastfeeding.
The way I got through it in the early weeks (fed my first son for a year and a half; my second son is 17 weeks old) was this:
- I treated breastfeeding as my job. I didn't worry about making meals or the housework. That was my husband's job!
- I watched lots of great TV while breastfeeding and just accepted being pinned to the couch.
- I followed the baby's rhythm and tried to work around it. For example, if he had a decent sleep in the morning, I would use that time to go out and achieve things, so then I felt like I had done some activities later when I was stuck to the sofa. That made me feel better mentally.
- I got my husband to wind the baby in the night after I fed so we shared the waking up a bit. (No winding now necessary at 17 weeks).
And I tried to remember it is a tiny, tiny period of time that it is like that. This is much easier second time round because I know now that it all changes so quickly. My 17 week old feeds a lot (he is a massive chunk ) but it is absolutely nothing like those early days. We have days out and about everywhere with nothing but a bag of nappies, wipes and sun cream. Breastfeeding is the easy choice now for me.
I don't know much about mixed feeding - hopefully someone else can comment. But bear in mind that if you want to keep breastfeeding, you need to let your baby get your supply up in this early stage. So don't introduce too many bottles or your supply will really suffer.
Anyway, this may all have been useless. But as the woman whose first baby used to have mammoth feeding clusters of eight hours or so, I know it can be really hard when you want a pee/a break/a sleep. Hope the BF counsellor has more useful advice.
Just another person chiming to say that we also went through insane feeding at the 10 day-2 week mark. It was tough. One feed went for 14 hours. I was pretty much beside myself. But it ended, she went back to having actual breaks between feeds, and at 7.5 months we are still feeding. The early days were really tough but they do end, and I was glad I stuck with it.
Tiktok's post above is exactly right - if you do decide to stop, talk to one of the experts about how. Cold turkey isn't the best way.
Good luck with whatever you decide. It does get better.
Kellymom says there is often a growth spurt between 10 days and 2 weeks. My DD is 2 weeks today and has definitely been feeding loads more the last few days. The heat isn't helping I'm sure.
It will pass, though (this is my DC2 so I remember very similar with DC1) it is worth ploughing on if you can. But also mix feeding is totally possible and may be a good compromise.
Another one here to say well done. It is so hard at the beginning - but well worth sticking at it if you can. But not to the detriment of your mental health.
Hopefully the bfc will be of some help - and you can just take it one feed at a time (even if they do seem only 10mon apart).
I fed my first DS only for 7 weeks. DD is now 23 weeks and having down both, bf is now the easier option for me but that doesn't mean it's right for you.
I'm waffling now but just wanted to say well done for what you have done so far. It will be worth it later on but don't beat yourself up if you decide to stop.
Please see HV or GP or anyone if your low mood persists more than 14 days.
I fed each of my DCs for between 10 days- 3 weeks, I never managed more. I got horrible blisters that were really painful and would sit there sobbing at every feed.
This was despite getting lots of help and advice about latching etc. it just didn't work for me. I had 3 DCs.
Despite feeling guilty at the time of giving up, I also felt huge relief. It really is about if you want to persevere or if you feel enough is enough. sorry I can't give better advice or tips but try not to beat yourself up.
Your baby sounds completely normal, remember her tummy is tiny so she can only take so much milk in one go. Also, she is still getting used to the world. She has spent 9 months in a beautiful peaceful place, being fed on demand. Suddenly she is out in a big scary world, and you, her mum are her safety and security. When she suckles it releases hormones within her body that make her feel comforted and secure. You may find that using a soother/dummy helps when you need a break.
She will also recognise your husband's voice and smells, and the voices of anyone who has been around you a lot during late pregnancy, so can they step in and do the winding, take her for a walk, etc?
She has crashed out after the formula because babies cannot stop suckling, so if you give her a bottle she will suckle until there is none left. This stretches her tummy and the sleepiness afterwards is the same as you or I would get after a big Sunday lunch. Formula also contains thickening agents to make her feel fuller for longer.
BF is the easier option in the long run, but only you know whether it is the right option for you and your family.
It's also worth remembering that you can have a glass of wine when breastfeeding. I found having a glass of wine each evening helped me feel more human, and less of a milking machine.
Support groups are really good for meeting other mums going through the same problems.
I'm a Breastfeeding peer supporter, and experience lots of mum's feeling the way you do.
Many babies at this stage enjoy long periods at the breast, your both still learning so as time passes you'll both become more efficient with the feeds. Make sure you get your latch and positioning checked, as this will eliminate insufficient feeding, where your baby has to work unnecessarily harder at the breast.
Other reasons for constant feeding is the heat, growth spurts and cluster feeding. Also babies get comfort from sucking, so since your baby is 10 days old stress from the delivery can still be present.
Regarding your low mood and anxiety, do you feel that this is related to Breastfeeding or being a new mum? It's such early days that you need to be kind to yourself. Let these emotions come and go naturally, don't hold onto these feelings but don't resist them either. I would advise to have a chat with your gp/midwife/health visitor should they not improve. Just to be on the safe side.
I feel sick with nerves when I get anxious, do not pressure yourself to eat 3 meals a day. Try and eat little and often, and sip lots of water, juices etc. Treat yourself each day with your favourite food, bath or book etc. During pregnancy your body lays down extra fat stores for Breastfeeding so drinking fluids and eating little and often won't effect your milk supply.
The pro-lactin and oxytocin hormones released during the feeds should help relax you, but at this stressful early stage it will be hard to notice them.
Also remember sleep deprivation is a huge culprit in affecting your moods and well being. So try and rest as much as possible.
Lastly, by 6 weeks your milk becomes "full milk", it's changing constantly at this transition so don't think this is how you'll baby feed forever.
Good luck and try and get along to a Breastfeeding group or see a bf peer supporter, as they will help you with this difficult stage.
Forgot to add guilt is a normal emotion too. You have not failed in any way, shape or form. You've provided 10 days of Breastfeeding which is marvellous!
wow, thank you so much for all of your help, i really wasn't expecting such support so quickly from you all!
We had a good night, she fed every 3 hours at the breast, she is sleeping in bed with us which makes it so much easier for me and her.
this morning she's actually settled after feeding for about an hour over 2 hours of feeding. so am hoping that she will be more settled today, yeah right!!!
how long is it till she'll get into a routine? just wondering what others experiences have been? i know all babies are different but i guess i just need some kind of light at the end of the tunnel.
i never thought it would be this tough. people tell u but u just can't imagine it i guess. i'm lucky that my hubby is such a rock, and i have good friends that i can talk to. but it's also good to talk to u guys, as you've been there too!!
I'm guessing that with bottle feeding the demand thing still exists, so would it just be the constant feeding but with a bottle or would that side of things be different cos she might feed better??? any bottle feeders out there got any experiences to share??
Just wanted to add a well done so far. I'm 2 weeks ahead of you (daisy was 4 weeks on Sunday) and I felt terrible at 2 week's. With the pressure of midwives wanting me to top up because she wasn't gaining weight and stress in the home between my Dm and Dp I was like you on the verge of giving up on the basis of my mental health.
But I'm a stubborn Yorkshire lass at heart and the thought of an easier life in the future if I can get throughthis initial period, plus support from MN and a bbreastfeeding group has meant I stuck with it. It's still tough now but I feel it is better than 2 weeks ago.
Do what's right for you - but if you want to make bf work then you do need support, as its much tougher than I and probably the general public imagine.
Worth noting that if you are enjoying bedsharing, it is much safer if you are breastfeeding.
And yes, she would still probably want to be in your arms and sucking even if you stopped breastfeeding.
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