Frequency of feeds

(47 Posts)
aliphil Fri 28-Sep-12 13:49:37

My 6 wk old DD will often feed for 45 minutes to an hour on one side and then 20-30 minutes on the other. Then she'll go anything from 2-4 hours without a feed. Is this normal? My ante-natal group met up yesterday and everyone else's babies seem to feed for shorter periods but more often.

Also, in the last couple of days she has started sucking really really hard, and it often hurts. Is this normal, or does it mean I'm not producing enough or something? She latches on well - I've got people to check that - but I keep being told it shouldn't hurt by now.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Fri 28-Sep-12 13:57:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aliphil Fri 28-Sep-12 14:17:21

It doesn't hurt like when she isn't latched on properly, more like when she tries to pull away without coming off - but she's tucked in close. I think I may have a blocked duct on one side, which I'm attacking with massage, hot flannels and ibuprofen, so I wondered if that would stop her getting enough or make it harder work for her.

Lansinoh is wonderful. grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 28-Sep-12 16:51:26

Are there any other signs that she may not be getting enough milk that is making you worried? Are you getting plenty of wet and dirty nappies? Is she bright and alert at times? From your post, I don't think supply is an issue though.

Personally I wouldn't leave a 6wo for more than 3 hours in the day without a feed but if your baby is happy and thriving I wouldn't worry too much smile.

aliphil Fri 28-Sep-12 17:16:05

Yes to both wet/dirty nappies and alertness (currently kicking and cooing on DH's lap). When she goes over three hours it tends to be because she's been asleep - either at night or in the sling.

mawbroon Fri 28-Sep-12 20:11:56

Does she match any of these symptoms here?

The pulling/slipping off thing coupled with the length of feeds and the hard suck make me wonder about tongue tie, also the blocked ducts.

What do you think?

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 28-Sep-12 20:33:18

That link has just made me cry mawbroon. I struggled so much with feeding DDS and asked for help from many people, none of whom were much use in the end. Really wish I'd known about MN then.

mawbroon Fri 28-Sep-12 20:36:41

Sorry to hear that JiltedJohnsJulie sad, didn't meant to upset anybody.

Do you think your DDs might be tongue tied?

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 28-Sep-12 20:42:49

Oh I know that and don't worry about me. I think that's why I hang around here sometimes. It was so shit for me and the sleep deprivation nearly drove me insane. If I can stop just one person from having the same experience then I'd be happy.

mawbroon Fri 28-Sep-12 20:44:57

All I seem to do just now is post about tongue tie.

DS2 is almost 7yo and we are dealing with the consequences of untreated tongue and lip ties.

That's why I am hanging round these parts too. Hopefully I can prevent others having to go through what ds is going through just now.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 28-Sep-12 20:49:27

My DS is 8 and is having speech therapy. Are they the same sorts of problems your DS has?

mawbroon Fri 28-Sep-12 20:55:04

No, funnily enough, everyone thinks of feeding and speech being the only things that tongue tie affects, but his speech has always been great and although we had problems feeding, he went on to feed for years!

His tongue tie also caused a high palate which has caused severe orthodontic problems, he is about to get braces to expand his palate and even up his jaw sizes. He also suffered sleep apnoea on and off (linked to high palate) and has trouble breathing through his nose and lots of ear trouble as the palate takes up the space needed for the nasal passages and eustacian tubes.

Linked to the tongue tie directly, he had allergy and intolerance, reflux and terrible bloating, dreadful sleep problems (didn't sleep through much til school), really fussy eating, erm there was more, but I can't remember off the top of my head.

Sorry for the highjack OP, but this is why I feel so strongly about proper checks for tongue tie.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 28-Sep-12 21:00:57

Think you are the only person I've come across who has had similar problems but your poor DS. Mine doesn't have half of those problems but will need a brace and didn't sleep through until he was 5.

mawbroon Fri 28-Sep-12 21:04:27

Is he tongue tied? If so, I would advise revision.

mawbroon Fri 28-Sep-12 21:07:04

PM me if you like JJJ, rather than highjack aliphil's thread! Sorry aliphil!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 28-Sep-12 21:09:13

Yes, sorry for the hijack aliphil, will back out now.

aliphil Fri 28-Sep-12 22:30:56

No worries about hijacking, mawbroon and Julie! DD has some of the symptoms in mawbroon's link but not all. The paediatrician at the hospital and a La Leche League counsellor both said no tongue tie, but having read the stuff about it being hard to diagnose, how can I be sure they were right? The LLL woman did say the frenulum was very prominent but that it didn't seem to be causing her a problem - but then DD wasn't at all keen to open her mouth! Worried now ...

mawbroon Sat 29-Sep-12 08:53:02

You can contact milk matters (they were who I linked to), they have a virtual service where they help to identify tongue tie. It would be a good starting place I think. And if there is a tongue tie, they can point you in the right direction for knowledgeable help.

aliphil Sat 29-Sep-12 14:48:52

Thanks, I'll look into that. I might also print out the list of symptoms, mark the relevant ones and show it to the health visitor and GP at our check-ups next week - worth a try.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 29-Sep-12 20:17:50

Think that is very wise aliphil. When I read mawbroons link last night I thought it said that not all tongued tied babies have all the symptoms but agree that milk matters virtual service could be a good thing to try. Have thought about it today and think DS might have had upper lip tie.

mawbroon Sat 29-Sep-12 20:25:23

Lip ties rarely come on their own JiltedJohnsJulie. I have read that they are almost always accompanied by a tongue tie.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 29-Sep-12 20:27:04

Where were you when I had DS?

mawbroon Sat 29-Sep-12 21:17:25

Did you say he was 8? Where was I, hmm I was child free and blissfully unaware of the stress and heartache that tongue tie can bring!

I am so sorry you had such a bad time trying to breastfeed. The more I learn about tongue tie, the more I realise how lucky ds1 and I were that he managed to feed despite fairly restricted tongue and lip ties.

aliphil Sat 29-Sep-12 21:44:56

I checked DD using the list and images here, and I think she does have a tongue tie. I think also a lip tie - I had this, not knowing what it was till now, until it was removed as part of an orthodontic op when I was 17 as they said it caused the gap between my front teeth. (DH thinks he might have it too but won't let me look!) It sounds like I should ask my mother if I had tongue tie - she's a doctor, she should know! - or possibly related feeding problems.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 30-Sep-12 10:41:44

Sounds like it could be that then aliphil. DS also has a lovely big gap between his front teeth, which I really like. Just to offer a ray of hope, I went onto feed DS until he was 2.8 smile.

mawbroon Sun 30-Sep-12 11:49:31

aliphil, as I said downthread, lip ties are usually accompanied by a tongue tie, so you probably have tt as well.

Where are you in the country? (you don't need to say of course) There is a clinic in Huddersfield where the dentist uses laser for tt revision and he does upper lips as well. We travelled a 480mile round trip to get ds1's tongue and lip done a couple of weeks back.

aliphil Sun 30-Sep-12 19:41:30

Waiting to hear back from my mother, but looking in the mirror the membrane under my tongue seems pretty big. We aren't very near Huddersfield but there seem to be doctors at several hospitals not too far away that do the procedure, if we can just persuade the GP to refer us.

Julie, thanks for the ray of hope. At the moment the thought of those pincer-like gums (and later teeth - argh!) clamping on to my nipples for that long is horrifying, but perhaps if we can get to a point where I'm not in tears at every feed I might change my mind.

aliphil Tue 02-Oct-12 23:41:54

My mother says I never had a tongue tie - but then she didn't know I'd had a lip tie! I suspect when she was trained TT wasn't recognised or wasn't considered important; she said all she knew about it was that a lot of people used to come to the surgery with children who were said to be tongue tied but weren't - ???!!!

Health visitor didn't seem entirely convinced this morning, which may not be surprising as DD helpfully stuck her tongue out further than I've ever seen her do before! Initially she said that as DD is gaining weight she's clearly feeding well and so it's not something we need to worry about unless it causes speech problems later, but when I emphasised the pain it's causing me she agreed to refer us for assessment. No vacancies for two weeks though.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 03-Oct-12 09:58:18

Sorry to hear that there are no vacancies for two weeks, is this something you could consider paying privately for?

Come to think of it I had a gap in my front teeth too. Had major dental work done for another medical reason at 17 and no longer have the gap, but its there on all my childhood photos. I was ff though so DM wouldn't have suffered the pain you are experiencing.

mawbroon Wed 03-Oct-12 10:19:38

Aaaaargh at your HV. She clearly doesn't understand about TT.

As JJJ mentions, paying for it privately is an alternative option. You would also get to choose who does it. Milk Matters (who I linked to earlier) would be able to advise you of knowledgeable people in your area, or as I said earlier, there is the Huddersfield option.

He uses laser and will also do an upper lip tie if there is one. He was trained by Dr Kotlow, so will do a good job.

DS1 had his revised earlier this year locally. We paid £2k (needed a general anaesthetic) and it wasn't done properly. We had it done again in Huddersfield at the cost of £250 + £50 for the osteopath (recommended) and the difference is amazing!

If I could turn the clock back, I know I would have travelled to get ds1's done as a baby. If only I knew then what I know now sad

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 03-Oct-12 11:38:30

Don't feel bad about it mawbroon, it's taken me 8 years to even realise what was up with my DS. <searches for shit mother emoticon>

aliphil Wed 03-Oct-12 14:20:20

Money is a bit tight as I'm not working and wasn't entitled to any maternity pay/allowance, so we'd rather not go private if it's avoidable. The HV could only refer us to the local assessment place, so when we see the GP on Friday I'm going to assert our right to be referred wherever we choose (might need DH's help with that blush) and see if we can get anything sooner.

I was bf, but I don't know how long for; my mother went back to work unusually early (for the 1970s). I suppose if I did have tt it could have been one that didn't cause problems, or she could just have put up with the pain.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 03-Oct-12 14:22:45

Hope all goes well on Friday then.

mawbroon Wed 03-Oct-12 14:42:24

Yes, perfectly possible to be tt but feed well. DS2 is living proof of that. He fed like a dream from the off.

aliphil Fri 05-Oct-12 16:18:21

HV phoned while we were away this week to say she couldn't get us an appointment and we should talk to the GP. GP today was very nice, lovely with DD's routine checks (all fine) and my stitches issue, but clearly not convinced about any tt. She's referring us, but had no idea how long it would take as she'd only heard about the place recently and had never referred anyone there before. I think it's the same place HV tried so probably at least two weeks. Don't know how to cope. sad

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 05-Oct-12 16:57:08

Really feel for you aliphil, how is she feeding now? Do you think that talking to a BFC about how you are feeling might help?

aliphil Fri 05-Oct-12 22:11:07

I'm a bit hesitant about that because when I went to the local breastfeeding cafe session I ended up feeling a really bad mum for not enjoying feeding DD much and not wanting her to be permanently attached. She feeds well, in that she's putting on weight and producing an appropriate number of wet and dirty nappies. It's just that she feeds for a long time (just finished a 90 minute session) and it really, really hurts.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 06-Oct-12 08:49:36

So sorry that you ended up feeling like that. You are not a bad Mum, sounds like you have an as yet undiagnosed feeding issue and if you are in pain, you need support.

Is there a different bfing support group you could go to or a La Leche League Leader nearby? All BFC aren't the same, the last time I needed help I rang the National Bfing Helpline and the BFC was really helpful and lovely. Hope you get a nice one too.

aliphil Sat 06-Oct-12 17:01:35

This was a La Leche League Leader. hmm I might try ringing the NCT one, or the National helpline as you suggest - thank you.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 06-Oct-12 18:04:24

So, so sorry about that. I've only had to ring them twice, one I rang the NCT Line and my problem was sorted in one call and the second time I called the National Bfing line and again, they were great.

Hope you get the same luck.

aliphil Sat 06-Oct-12 21:28:31

I tried the local NCT counsellor but got no reply, so tried the national NCT helpline. The woman there was quite helpful and suggested a few things that apparently hadn't occurred to the HV or GP - like try nipple shields to help with the pain, and get checked for thrush. I was in tears feeding this evening, and DH said some very rude things about the local health services and then announced he wanted to fix the problem now! That might be a bit optimistic, but he went out and bought nipple shields. He has announced that we are going back to the doctor on Monday to get DD and me checked for thrush and if it's not that to kick up a big fuss about not getting a faster referral; BF-ing counsellor said most areas will do a very quick referral.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 07-Oct-12 19:39:53

So, so glad that you've got some good suggestions this time and that your DH is being so supportive. Keep taking the painkillers and I hope all goes well tomorrow at the GPs.

aliphil Mon 08-Oct-12 15:35:07

The nipple shields aren't an unqualified success; they seem much too big fir my nipples and DD doesn't like them at all. Plus on one side they made me really itchy! But I've been using one on the more painful (non-itchy) side for the beginning of the feed and then taking it off once she's calmed down a bit. It doesn't do much for the pain of her gums digging in though.

This GP was slightly better than the other. She took swabs from DD and me to check for thrush, though she said it didn't look like we had it. She also didn't seem convinced about tongue tie but agreed to see if we could be referred anywhere faster. What helped most though was not being fobbed off with the idea that everything must be OK because DD is gaining weight and/or the suggestion that I could "just" express or use formula.

The secretary phoned just now to say she can get us an appointment at a hospital a couple of hours away. I am now terrified that they will say I'm wasting their time, she doesn't have tt and if it hurts it must be that I'm doing it wrong. To make matters worse my MiL will be with us as she's visiting that day.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 14-Oct-12 08:48:46

Sorry haven't replied earlier, haven't really been near MN this week. Have you had your appointment yet? So glad too that you didn't get fobbed off at the GPs.

As for the nipple shields, haven't got any experience, maybe you could start another thread asking for advice on those or call the helpline again?

aliphil Sun 14-Oct-12 12:09:21

Appointment's tomorrow - fingers crossed! Having my MiL in tow won't help but the only appointment we could get was on a day when she'd already booked her train ticket to visit.

aliphil Mon 15-Oct-12 20:31:14

The consultant said it was a very mild tongue tie but they would snip it anyway to see if it helped - so they did. But she also said that because at 8.5 weeks DD is rather older than the majority of their cases, it's possible that she's already established her feeding habits and it will still be painful. Damn the paediatrician who said she didn't have one! angry

Now I have to find out how to teach DD to latch on properly, not with her gums - if that's even possible. I think a visit to the breastfeeding cafe is called for.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 15-Oct-12 20:34:39

Really hope you get the help of a good BFC.

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