BF - too much?

(14 Posts)
rubytuesday75 Thu 20-Mar-14 14:27:27

My 12 day old (4 week premature) son is breastfeeding more at night than during the day. He is feeding for around 2- 2 and half hours at a stretch, with breaks in between for winding and me attempting to put him down, and him screaming his tiny lungs out when I do.
I am averaging around 3 hours sleep a night and I just can't cope anymore. I know that breastfed babies need to feed more frequently and I am happy to do that but it's the lack of sleep that is killing me.
The midwives have been and said his latch is beautiful, he feeds really well and is putting on weight, lots of wet nappies etc.
He also feeds like this during the day so I feel as if all I do is feed. The HV came today and asked if I had been out with him. When I said that I was feeding for 2-3 hours at a stretch (daytime), she just smiled and said that this is normal.
So this is just a post to tell someone, anyone really, how I am feeling in the hope that I am not alone and not the only person to feel this miserable about something that should be wonderful.
I couldn't breastfeed my daughter very well - I tried for 2 months' and it tipped me into PND. I really want to feed my son this way but I can see that the tiredness is getting to me, even 12 days' in, and I am so scared that I will get ill again and won't be fit to look after him.
I don't know what to do.

isisisis Thu 20-Mar-14 15:02:44

Oh ruby, I'm sorry your having a difficult time. Congratulations on the birth of your son, having him early must of also been scary.
You sound like you are doing everything right. Have you got anyone at home helping/supporting you?
I think, in similar circumstances, posters usually recommend getting checked for tongue tie. I know you said he'd been checked but it's really easily missed. Do you have a local breast feeding cafe you could get to for some practical help?
I know you really want to breast feed but it really isn't worth damaging your mental health.
A friend of mines recently had trouble feeding & the infant feeding coordinator at the hospital told her to give formula for 48hrs so she could rest & re group. She did & has now successfully established breast feeding ( with a lot of help & support).
You may of thought of this, but what about wearing baby in a sling? The closeness & warmth may settle him in between feeds & give you a little more freedom.

rubytuesday75 Thu 20-Mar-14 15:37:09

They checked for tongue tie as did my doula. I am doing the skin to skin as much as I can. I don't really want to give formula but I think I may have to in order to get some sleep.
Thank you for replying I don't feel quite so alone.

TheScience Thu 20-Mar-14 16:24:41

I have a 17 day old, and if we are at home he likes to feed like this too!

Feeding lying down is the key to getting enough sleep - your baby will probably settle better if he is snuggled up next to you too.

I have an older child too so have to leave the house sometimes, but actually I find he is ok once we are out - so I give him a good feed both sides and then stick him in the sling/pram and go out. He usually stops crying and falls asleep pretty quickly once we are moving.

Is your baby actively sucking/swallowing for the whole 2-3 hours? Sometimes I find swapping sides as soon as DS2 slows down speeds the feed up considerably as he would happily just doze in my arms with a nipple in his mouth all day otherwise.

MistletoeBUTNOwine Thu 20-Mar-14 16:32:31

Just want you to know you're not alone, mn literally saved my sanity when DS was tiny and fed ALL THE TIME. He's now 10 weeks and still feeds pretty frequently and doesn't sleep too well in the day but goes longer and feeds quicker on a night. He did have TT which made things worse, it will get better; he's still getting your milk established. I found 6 weeks to be the magic age. HTH thanks

ErynsMummy1 Fri 21-Mar-14 20:54:49

Congratulations on your new born!! I am so sorry to hear you are having a rough start. I know how difficult it is and the lack of sleep is a killer. My DD is now over 4 months old and still sometimes feeds 2-3 times a night...the lack of sleep really gets to me. I find that during the night, she settles much better when I feed lying down, she still feeds well, but appears comforted quicker than when I sit up in bed or in a chair. I can always close my eyes and rest too. I sometimes lie down to feed during the day. Don't be so hard on yourself either, feeding is good for baby, yes, but you have to take your own health into consideration, and it isn't worth making yourself unwell over. Do what is best for you both. Good luck...you are not alone.

isisisis Sat 22-Mar-14 06:15:46

ruby how are things going?

rubytuesday75 Mon 24-Mar-14 19:16:37

Had the midwife today. he has only gained 80g in a week so is not back to his birth weight yet so they won't discharge us. He is feeding more during the day now, with just 3 1 hour feeds at night so I am managing to get a bit more sleep which is making me feel more human. They want me to top him up with EBM after every feed but I can't keep up with expressing that much. I only get about 40 mls a time and he takes all of that in one sitting. thank you so much for your advice and supoort it does mean a lot.

FrankelandFilly Mon 24-Mar-14 20:20:28

I just wanted to post in sympathy. My DD is 14 days old and EBF. She's my first and I honestly had no idea how hard and exhausting BF could be. I have a very sore cracked nipple on one side which doesn't help things and she's feeding for up to an hour every 2 hours. She manages a bit longer between feeds at night but also refuses to sleep in her Moses basket so we've ended up cosleeping by default. Last night I had four hours sleep, split by a 2 hour feeding/nappy changing session.

I'd just like people to tell me that I'm doing a decent job and that I'm not causing myself problems with the sleeping situation.

Rebeccalikesgin Mon 24-Mar-14 20:32:00

Sorry you're having such a hard time. I am glad to read above that you are getting a little more sleep now. I had similar problems when my dd was tiny, but also with v v v sore nips so also posting in sympathy. You're not alone at all it's so hard isn't it! I started giving formula at night from about 8 weeks so I could get a bit more sleep and it worked but my supply dwindled and I have stopped now sad at 18 weeks. You're doing so so well, don't be too hard on yourself. Xx

isisisis Mon 24-Mar-14 21:24:20

ruby glad you're getting a bit more rest. The expressing in top must be exhausting. Have you got a good pump? You can hire a fancy hospital grade one via NCT if it's going to be a longer term thing.
frankel you are doing a grand job. Do whatever you need to do to make your life simple. If you don't want to cosleep long term you can move baby later. Ignore anyone who says you're 'spoiling' the baby. How can you spoil a baby with to many cuddles?
Congratulations to both of you again, try & find some time to just enjoy your tiny ones. Mines 7months now, the time has flown by.

rubytuesday75 Tue 25-Mar-14 08:51:23

Had the midwife today. he has only gained 80g in a week so is not back to his birth weight yet so they won't discharge us. He is feeding more during the day now, with just 3 1 hour feeds at night so I am managing to get a bit more sleep which is making me feel more human. They want me to top him up with EBM after every feed but I can't keep up with expressing that much. I only get about 40 mls a time and he takes all of that in one sitting. thank you so much for your advice and supoort it does mean a lot.

MissRatty Tue 25-Mar-14 11:38:28

Hi Ruby...I have just read this and I really sympathise with you as we were in the same boat...regained birth weight fine BUT the feeds were taking so long that they just ran in to each other. I was so exhausted and spent many a night crying my eyes out. OH was able to give expressed top ups to LO so I could get a decent stretch of sleep, which helped massively.

I agree about trying a hospital grade pump, and would also advise going to a BF cafe or clinic...they saved my sanity and gave me back my confidence. Turned out that LO had a really poor latch, which isn't totally fixed but is very much improved.

It also helped as there were lots of other new mums there struggling with BF so I didn't feel like the only one.

Mumsnet also helped, as I could log on any time and look through posts where others have similar experiences.

picklepen Tue 25-Mar-14 12:19:04

Hi Ruby
Really, really sympathise. DS is 6mo now but had TT at birth that was missed until 4 weeks. He fed all the day and all night and had slow weight gain until it was diagnosed. By that time I was doing interspersed formula feeds to give by boobs a break- it didn't change the amount he fed or slept. I went back to BF exclusively when he was treated and it was so much better, though I can echo that 6wks seems to be the time it settled properly.

I also echo the advice to go to a breastfeeding clinic, especially if there is a La Leche league one. The midwives ARE NOT trained in breastfeeding and their 'good latch' is meaningless. The BF clinic saved my sanity, diagnosed the TT (I'd been told he didn't have one), and supported me with BF afterwards.

I was unable to pump as he didn't give me any time to and how in heavens name are you meant to when it hurts and he wants to feed again in 20mins time? It put another layer of pressure on me that I didn't need. I know it worked for other women though.

And it helped to realise that your hormones are making you feel like shit, and to remember that it will pass. It really will.

thanksthanksthanksthanks brew & cake

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