Please please please I need help.(22 Posts)
Ok, I know I'm constantly on here moaning about how crap breast feeding is going etc but for the past 7 months its been nothing but a struggle. I can't sleep at night as I'm up feeding and googling solutions to my breast feeding problems.
Dd is 7 months (I will try and make this short) and doesn't want to feed in the day but just lives to wake up 5-6 times at night. I also have a 2 year old and shattered. Feeding is like a wrestling match and I've taken to pumping and putting it in a bottle just to try and get something in. I'm pumping 6oz and she is taking two. She eats well, but screams sooooo much until she is fed. Hunger or my dh suggested silent reflux.
We've just moved to Spain and the paediatrician said my dd is very healthy and gaining lots of weight but is a tense little baby and gave me anti-histamine drops to calm her and see if she would sleep a bit. I've used them only tonight as I was so desperate.
I know she isn't getting all her recommended amount of milk. What do I do? Can someone suggest a plan of action? I'm really unsure what to do.
How do you know she isn't getting enough milk?
Can you try and concentrate on the fact that a paediatrician is happy that your dd is gaining lots of weight and is very healthy? That sounds to me like she is getting all that she needs. There is not much point trying to measure quantities of breastmilk as it isn't the same as formula in terms of the quantities that "should" be given. If your dd is producing wet and dirty nappies, is gaining weight and is healthy then she is getting all the milk she needs. All babies are different and feed differently.
Also soon solid foods will become more and more important, so how much milk she is getting will become less of an issue.
The antihistamines are simply to make your baby drowsy and want to sleep more. I don't think that a GP or paediatrician in the UK would prescribe them these days, and I would be reluctant to use them myself.
I'm assuming you have tried to feed in the daytime in a quiet dark room with no distractions. How is she with solid food?
Could it be tongue tie? If not I would try cutting back the night feeds. Easier said than done. We did it by giving my ds a couple of feeds of a bottle of water if he woke before 12:00. I know it doesn't work for everyone but by doing this he did drop one night feed. With the other 2,3 or sometimes 4 we gradually decreased the amount of time he was on the boob/bottle or the amount mls he had. Then he went down to one feed! Bliss
Why does your DH say silent reflux? Because I would be inclined to suspect it. Symptoms are similar to tongue tie.
Does she have dairy at all?
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She had tongue tie and had it snipped and then re-checked. My dd just doesn't seem to be finishing feeds properly to the point she gets distracted leaving my milk squirting everywhere and exposing me to the general public lol. Luckily in Spain breast feeding doesn't embarrass any onlookers. After exposing me she then doesn't want to feed.
I feed in a dark room as often as I can but when we r out there's not much I can do.
She's absolutely loving solids and doing very well with both textured purées and finger foods.
I think I panic because 600ml a day sounds like a lot and I can't see how she is getting all of that.
How long should she be on the breast for at this age? I don't know why but I feel like I'm doing it all wrong.
Advise really does vary in different countries.
Has silent reflux been ruled out? My dd had hers snipped but still had silent reflux.
When my now 10 month old was 7 months she could very often have a full feed in about 7 mins. At that age they are starting to get distracted by things going on around more and more. I used to just try again in half an hour if she hadn't had much.
Why do you think she needs 600ml? There is no way of measuring how much bm a baby is taking. Anyone who suggests a specific amount of ml/oz of bm that a baby should be having is talking bollocks, they really are! There are guidelines for how much formula a fully formula-fed baby should be having, but this is only a recommendation and absolutely does not apply to breastfeeding.
The only way of judging if a bf baby is getting enough milk is to check their weight gain, and their wet/dirty nappy output. Your DD sounds absolutely fine in these respects, and the paediatrician thinks so too! It's great that she's taking well to solids too. There's no point comparing how long she spends on a feed with other babies as there is such a wide variety of timings, I don't think it would be helpful.
I think you sound like you are doing a great job btw
Agree with ExB. Especially about darkened room. I use a relax app on my phone to calm before I feed. If she is a stress head you could try a cranial osteopath. Worked for my first daughter x
You sound like your doing an amazing job but having a hard time and very sleep deprived. The antihistamine will just act as a kind of sedative, not really my thing but your call. My ds used to feed for 40-60mins so I was really suprised when I had dd and she just seems to graze, 10 mins here, 3mins there. It's all totally normal just each baby is different.
The tongue tie may be effecting her feeds but if she is content, gaining weight and has plenty of wet and dirty nappies it sounds quite normal to me. My dd also comes off all the time and exposes me to the world but this is because she is nosy and easily distracted, could it be the same for your dd and that's why she prefers to feed at night?
You've done very well to bf to 7 months, and as the paed. is happy with with her growth she's obviously thriving.
I found that baby massage really helped with one of my children - I went to classes here in London, but maybe there's something similar where you are. It helped with gripey/colicky/digestive problems, and made both me and him much calmer. Added bonus of meeting other mums and their babies.
I also used to do night feeds in my bed, which made life much easier - though I believe it's not considered best practice these days. Your paed/HV might be able to advise on that.
You've given your baby a great start, and if you decide to stop breastfeeding in order to get yourself some sleep, that wouldn't be so terrible.
Could you express enough for DH to do a night-time feed or two, to give you a bit more sleep?
Have you considered cosleeping? My LO is the same and still wants to breast feed 5 times a night at nearly a year old. Cosleeping is the only way I get enough sleep and stay sane.
When was tongue tie cut and checked (and who by)? This sounds like my dd who had posterior (missed by many many) tongue tie and only identified and cut at 7 months after so much bf stress.
When in we fed side-lying in dark room.
When out I could only feed rocking or walking with dd upright in sling with muslin over head to block out visual stim. I did this (in various slings) until 12 months- she wouldn't let me talk and would bite if I did! Was so hard and she was so distracted and a terrible sleeper. No one really understood.
If reflux (which can be linked to tt and dd also had this significantly when under 4 months) feeding so much at night might be uncomfortable for your little one and so wakes unhappy and needs more to settle. Nonetheless if used to that amount of milk at night will be hungry for it and need to be weaned of gradually. I would start by cutting out/down the earliest feed contrary to all the dream feed advice. dd also needed burping and holding upright after feeding until really late else uncomfortable, grunts and hiccups.
I wouldn't personally be comforted by pead. being 'happy' 'cos of prescribing anti-histamine rather than trying to find a cause; more gentle solutions/reasons for tenseness rather than medication.
Her tongue tie was cut by Janet Everest I'm haywards Heath hospital. Dd was 2 weeks old and I went back when she was around four weeks but Janet told me there was no tongue tie anymore.
I try and cover her with muslins, breast feeding covers, anything to hand. I try and go somewhere quiet but it see she only wants to feed morning and night. All night! I'm so sleep deprived that I have a very short temper with both children and dh. My relationship is suffering and so is my mental health. Nothing helps her sleep and she won't take any milk, pumped milk, in a cup or bottle, straight from the breast, formula in a cup or bottle.
What can I do? I feel jealous if I see anyone giving their babies bottles as they get to have a break and let someone else feed them.
Then start bottle feeding her.
We did, four sessions of crainial osteopathy that cleared my bank account swiftly, baby massage, co sleeping (she stayed on my nipple the whole time, I'm not joking). All sorts.
She will only take two ounces fr a bottle and that's with perseverance. I have at least 20 different ones. My dh is sick of me talking about bloody breast feeding but he's not the one getting up all night.
Maybe it might be worth trying to cut down on the night feeds to see if she then wants more feeds in the day? If the night wakings are meaning you're not getting any quality sleep ever then that won't be helping. You would need to enlist the help of your DH though - don't know how practical that would be?
I would start by cutting down from 5-6 night feeds to 3 or 4 so it isn't a huge change. So if it's been less than say 3 hrs since you fed her and she wakes, your DH goes in and does whatever necessary to settle her without feeding (you may need to wear earplugs so you can sleep). It will be easier if your DH does the settling to begin with as he won't smell of milk. After 2 or 4 nights she should begin to realise that she won't automatically get fed and hopefully will wake less in the night. This may well mean she is keener to feed in the day. You can then try to stretch her out to only having 2 feeds a night. What do you think about trying that?
If you're squirting milk everywhere maybe your letdown is a bit much for her? Try expressing to get the first rush out, then latch her on but don't express to get bottles - you don't want to artificially increase your supply.
Also, what's your bedtime like? If you don't have one already get a firm, consistent bath-pyjamas-boob-bed routine in place at a set time each night. Spend a couple of days on the sofa snuggled up offering boob every hour all day, even if she only has a few mouthfuls. Make sure she really knows her night from day.
I found 7-9 months really hard, getting the balance between food and boob right. At 10 months, when i get my timings right, we're on breakfast - mid morning - mid afternoon - bedtime feeds and one or no short wake ups a night. 3 weeks ago ds was up and unhappy for up to 2 hours a night. 6 weeks ago i was feeding 3-4 times a night. It does get better
I didn't try it (dp unwell) but i know many people have had success by just not going in at night, send daddy instead. It breaks the association. I night weaned in combination with some gentle sleep training, but my baby is a fair bit older than yours and was through the major growth spurts when we started.
No reason he shouldn't do 7-midnight for example while you sleep though, he's a parent too! My dp does breakfast and i get 2 hours or so to snuggle down free of responsibility. Absolute bloody lifeline! And great for their relationship to have that time together
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