Do I give up BF?

(52 Posts)
Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 18:06:00

My DS is 11 weeks old tomorrow, and I have been struggling with breast feeding. At the beginning, it was cracked nipples, and constantly worrying if I was doing it right. Recently, he spends less time on the breast, and screams blue murder if I go near him to try and get him to take more! I have gone to breast feeding clinics, spoken to helplines, and visited our local infant team. They think he is teething, so I've used bongela on him, which helped over the weekend. I went and got him weighed today, and he has gone from 12.3 last week to 12.8, so I was quite pleased. However, today he has slept more than usual, and although he has wet nappies, they aren't as heavy as usual. The breast feeding clinics have told me to top him up with formula if I'm worried. I just seem to be constantly worried about him getting enough, and its really stressing me out. I just want to enjoy my little boy! I have trouble expressing, as I cannot express enough to feed him. I don't know whether to just go into bottles, but what if its a terrible mistake? At the moment he does have a regular bottle of formula in the night that DH gives him, so I know he is fine on bottles. Has anyone else been in this situation?

LaCiccolina Tue 11-Dec-12 18:14:08

Stop and take a breath. The first three mths of bfing can be to put it mildly soul destroying and a blooming nightmare. Everything feels wrong and lots need fixing but..... You have DONE 11 WEEKS!!!! Woo hoo!!! That's flaming MARVELLOUS!

Is he suffering colic? Try corelief? Reflux? Try angling him a bit or put a towel rolled up under mattress to raise one end. He is most definately fine and getting enough as he's putting on weight. That's all u need to know.

Slow back down. Just focus on one feed at a time. Not a day, just one feed. Ur feeling better in urself but its still early doors yet.

U are over or nearly over the worst bit. I promise it gets better from here out. And u have us. There's always someone watching this subject!

LaCiccolina Tue 11-Dec-12 18:16:19

Try to avoid formula very much. A bottle a day is fine but he really doesn't need topping up.

Something doesn't seem right here, the breastfeeding clinic just told you to give formula top-ups? Did you discuss with them the screaming? Has he been checked for tongue tie? What did the people on the help line say?

Sorry for all the questions, I know it's tough to put all the info in one post but from what you've said it doesn't seem like everything has been properly explored.

Startail Tue 11-Dec-12 18:56:03

Stop stressing, stop weighing nappies and just feed him when he wants to be fed.

You've done the difficult bit in getting to 11 weeks.

Just chill out and take your lead from him.

No expressing, no extra formula, let him decide.

You may find he really does prefer bottles, DD1 did, but she was always mixed fed and never much liked BFing.

After I spent a day in hospital she decided bottles were the way, she was 5 months.

If your DS has only ever had one bottle at night I suspect he will get back to BFing sensibly.

good luck, no one ever tells the truth about how stressful BFing is.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 19:09:10

Thank you all. DS has no tounge tie. Lady in the clinic watched me feed, no issue with latching etc. She said she couldn't figure it out. She passed my details onto the infant feeding team. I went to see them on Friday, and they agree that he looks well fed, and that I should try and carry on, but if I'm at all worried to top him. I have tried to just feed him before bed, and he refused the breast. In desperation, I prepared a120 ml formula feed, which he has taken. (even took the bottle away mid feed, and tried to replace with my breast, and the screaming started again) so have just given him the rest of the bottle in tears, feeling very much rejected!

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 11-Dec-12 20:37:05

Sorry you are feeling worried about it all, sounds like you are doing brilliantly though. 11weeks in is fab & that weeks weight gain is spot on smile

When you say he's spending less time on the breast, do you mean feeding less frequently or spending less time feeding? At around this age they become much more efficient feeders & start spacing feeds a bit more. DS could polish a boob off under 5 mins some feeds grin He also started feeding every two hours rather than every one thank god

brettgirl2 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:43:36

Formula fed dd1 did exactly the same and ended up on gaviscon for silent reflux which did nothing. I just had to chill out and feed her on demand. Ime (of mainly ff lol) they always take night feeds better as they wake up when really hungry so it is prob that which makes it seem like he takes formula better.

If he's gaining weight then he's getting enough I reckon. FF is they aren't feeding well can be equally stressful as dd1 you can see exactly how much they are taking and start comparing to others.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:44:44

Hi seriously. He can go between 2 and a half to 4 hours between feeds. I was feeding him every 2 and a half hours, and the infant feeding team (will call them IFT for ease!) just advised to let ds decide when he gets fed. I have just managed to breast feed him, and he went about 7 minutes. But during the day he feeds for 5 mins or less, and that's when the screaming starts. I'm a natural worrier anyway (had CBT a couple of years ago for it) so finding it very hard to trust that he is getting enough.

brettgirl2 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:55:27

Don't breastfed babies get quicker as they get better? My job share's daughter got down to about 5 feeds of 5 mins per day bu about 4 months. 4 hours between some feeds is reasonable they are all different aren't they?

Honestly, it isn't better agonising about how few ozs of formula they've taken in a day when everyone else's baby takes 6 every time a bottle is pointed at them.

Of course if you want to give up breastfeeding and would feel happier ff then I'm not exactly one to judge. Am just saying that it won't necessarily solve it.

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 11-Dec-12 20:57:32

Ah bless you I know how you feel. The whole baby thing makes me anxious! DS only ever fed for max 15 mins & I stressed out for months that he wasn't feeding long enough. Turns out he was just an efficient feeder & the others caught up around 12 weeks smile

If you're getting wet nappies & he's gaining weight then you can relax & enjoy your little guy and congratulate yourself on a job well done! It is a leap of faith but it sounds like you're doing it. If he's screaming it may be because he's not hungry.

They can also loss their appetites & get more sleepy during developmental leaps. Have you seen the wonder weeks? My lactation lady showed it to me when I was panicking around the same time that DS wasn't eating.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:04:40

Funny you should mention developments! DS started on Sunday to support his upper body weight on his arms, so maybe that's something to do with it. And maybe counting ml or oz is there best way forward. I just can't wait till he is eating 3 meals a day! smile

FridgeBenefits Tue 11-Dec-12 21:05:50

Not to bang on about a tongue tie, but who checked for one? They are often un diagnosed and can be very difficult to spot. (I was told my son had no tt, even though it was obvious)
If you want to carry on bfing (and it is entirely your choice), I would find Analytical Armadillo on Facebook and ask for some advice, and maybe find an independent BFing councillor.

narmada Tue 11-Dec-12 21:10:28

My two children only fed for a max of 5 mins EVER. Some are just like that. If he has put on 5 oz in a week he is likely doing fine - is he doing that regularly?

I think it's unlikely your baby would be sleeping for long periods if he were hungry.

Is he getting formula in evening, or in middle of night? Night feeds are important for maintaining milk supply in many women IIRC.

LaCiccolina Tue 11-Dec-12 21:14:01

Counting mls doesn't tell u anything. Honestly. If he's looking healthy and putting weight on then he's absolutely fine.

Babies get very efficient at bfing. Dd used to polish one boob off in 5mins then scream for literally a couple of hours. Colic remedies helped a bit but time is the main answer. Their tummies are still extremely young. Afternoons was always worse screaming wise and early eve. Would cease about 8pm and then she would glare at me from her basket as if I'd been keeping her in pain for previous hrs... sad

As u have seen already every few days and weeks there are big changes in growth that affect them. The next four weeks should make an awfully big difference. It's like a light switch, suddenly and for no reason or warning it gets better.

Then we will see u on the sleep thread.... ;) keep going u r doing so very well xxx

ThoughtsPlease Tue 11-Dec-12 21:18:37

What did he weigh when he was born? How does he sleep at night? Are you only worried because he cries if you try to feed him more when he might have just had enough? How long has he been screaming like this for?

All 3 of my EBF DC have only weighed 12lb at 12 weeks and all slept 11/12 hours at night by that time too, so they weren't hungry.

brettgirl2 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:18:49

Counting mls really doesn't tell you anything. DD1 (on average) had about 600ml a day and DD2 about 1000 ml. Up to 6 months they both followed the 25th centile line confused

brettgirl2 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:19:35

And contrary to popular belief you can't make ff babies feed more than they want to either.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:31:46

DS weighed 6.12 when he was born. Weight today was 12.8. I've had 3 different bf counselors check him for tounge tie, and they all say he doesn't have it. Sleep wise, we start his bed time routine at 6:30, which is bath on alternate nights, massage with olive oil, and then me feeding him. He then is very restless, and keeps waking up until he finally goes down at 9pm. he then wakes about 2am, then 6am. Over the weekend though he slept till 4:30, but we were at the pil's, so different environment maybe?
He did feed on the breast tonight, and fell asleep on it as well. Maybe I am trying to feed him when he doesn't want it? (or as my dh says, maybe ds's eyesight is getting better, and he is scared of my big boobs!)smile
I know I just need to relax about the whole thing. Tomorrow will be interesting as my dh is going out tomorrow evening, so I really will just have to trust all is ok. When he gets home from work, he is normally the one who assures me all is OK.

Have you tried rugby ball hold when feeding him? DD was a bit overwhelmed by big boobs at that age and sometimes struggled to feed.

Mostly, you are doing great, he'll eat when he is hungry. At that age DD was going anything between 1 and 5 hours between feeds. Also, he is sleeping well (better than 2 year old DD!) so he is getting enough.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:44:36

Thank you all so much for replying. Now he is asleep feeling a bit better, as I figure he wouldn't sleep if he was hungry!

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 11-Dec-12 21:45:22

I would say you are better off counting wet nappies than mls. They will be your best indication smile

ThoughtsPlease Tue 11-Dec-12 21:49:34

The weight gain is ok isn't it? Has anyone said differently?

DS is currently 7 months, he weighed 7lb 10oz at birth and weighed 12lb 14oz at 17weeks. He had regained his birth weight and more at 5 days, but his weight gain just slowed over the weeks, he has always been happy and alert and slept well.

When do he start the screaming?

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 11-Dec-12 21:50:09

And yes defo wouldn't be sleeping if hungry . You're doing a great job. I'm so envious of that sleep!

ThoughtsPlease Tue 11-Dec-12 21:50:55

*when did

narmada Tue 11-Dec-12 21:51:02

OK I have run those figures through the WHO infant growth charts. He seems to me to be climbing centiles quite sharply. I revkon his behaviour might therefore be him telling you he is full grin.

I had a baby like this. I just could not believe she was getting enough. Looking back now I can see she was a right porker.

sleeplessinderbyshire Tue 11-Dec-12 21:58:28

my DD2 feeds for 5 mins tops in the day. she has one long snuggly feed at bedtime most days but really sees boob as a quick refuelling stop before she's off to have some more fun elsewhere. If i offer the breast again after she has detached herself she screams blue murder like I am killing her and will not relatch. often she feeds for 2 mins max. she is 21 weeks and ebf and a porky pudding happily growing along the 50th centile she's just a quick feeder. Her big sister is tiny and a stressed loads when she was a baby that she only ever fed for 10 mins max and usually 5-6 mins she has stayed on the 2nd centile since birth so was clearly just eating the right amouunt for her

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 22:09:07

He has started the whole screaming thing in the last couple of weeks. Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe its because he used to feed till he was asleep, and now he wants to feed, and carry on looking around.
He has had wet nappies today, its just some weren't particularly heavy.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 22:10:01

narmada, thank you for taking the time to plot that, I really appreciate it smile

narmada Tue 11-Dec-12 22:26:28

Very possibly. Babies get VERY distractable around four months.... he is just a bit advanced wink. DD's pattern went like this: feed for a microsecond, pull off, ooh, what's that briiiiiight thing, forget was ever hungry.... couple hours later screamingly hungry, feed for a nanosecond, pull off.... and so on.

Gillyweed001 Wed 12-Dec-12 08:01:22

That's kind of what he does! And I can't force him to eat. Must learn to go with the flow....

Gillyweed001 Wed 12-Dec-12 16:41:37

Sorry having a really wobbly day. DS barely feeding on breast still, and he now hasn't pooed for 2 days. I've just been in tears, as I am so stressed. DS is I'm front of me on his play mat though, kicking around, so can only assume he is fine? I know I keep answering my own questions, but its making me feel really ,miserable. He has slept a lot more during the day as well, which has now got my stupid brain thinking that he is sleepy because he hasn't fed enough....

ThoughtsPlease Wed 12-Dec-12 17:01:30

My DS used to go for several days without doing a poo, are his nappies wet?

Has he been screaming today?

How long has he slept for and how did he sleep last night?

Gillyweed001 Wed 12-Dec-12 17:12:31

his nappies are wet, he is not screaming. He went to sleep at 9 last night, woke at 2:30, then 7:30. Today he has slept for an hour at 10, and then from 1:45-4:00. Normally he doesn't sleep at all in the day.

narmada Wed 12-Dec-12 17:23:12

Is it possible he is coming down with something?

ThoughtsPlease Wed 12-Dec-12 17:40:44

That sounds fine to me, 3 hours daytime sleep, and a good night.

He's not screaming, and you say he seems happy, how many feeds has he had today?

Gillyweed001 Wed 12-Dec-12 17:51:44

He fed for about 10 mins at 8, then has had about 4 under 5 minute feeds throughout the day. He was on the breast for about 20 mins at 1pm, but he was asleep, so don't think he was feeding for all that time. At 5 I offered him the breast, which he refused, but he took 50ml of ebm. I currently am doing skin to skin with him. I'm probably overtired, and over analysing issues that aren't there. I just love him so much, and just want to make sure he is OK.

LaCiccolina Wed 12-Dec-12 17:52:50

He still sounds pretty normal and his pattern reasonable against ur previous posts. Bf babes can go up to a couple of weeks between poos. The milk digestion is so efficient there's nothing left to poo, it's normal bf baby behaviour.

Actually his sleep sounds quite good for u. Are u taking time to rest when he does? Are u overdoing it? Look I don't want to suggest anything as I'm no doctor, but are u both getting air? Going for walks? The excercise releases hormones that bouys moods. I know it's cold but u might both benefit. PND can also come on months after birth. It's fine to be worried and nervous as the first few months are nothing but pressure, just look after urself as well as ur beautiful babe.

Gillyweed001 Wed 12-Dec-12 18:00:32

I go out for at least a walk each day, as I would go crazy being sat in all day!smile I know I need to just relax, but as I've said before, I'm a natural worrier, and had CBT for it a couple of years ago. Right, I'm going to have a word with myself, and try not to stress. Thank you again for replying, sorry I keep going on!

ThoughtsPlease Wed 12-Dec-12 18:03:01

He gains weight ok, he's slept well, he has fed regularly, although you think not for very long, but he seems happy. I think he sounds fine, but I'm not a doctor, just another mum.

Just wondered why you gave him a bottle of expressed milk when he didn't want the breast? How long was it from trying to breastfed before giving him the bottle?

ThoughtsPlease Wed 12-Dec-12 18:04:23

By the way your last comment about loving him so much, was lovely. smile

Gillyweed001 Wed 12-Dec-12 18:24:29

Thanks thoughts! I tried to breast feed him, and after he only fed for only a little time, I offered him the bottle straight away, as he was still fussing, but not taking the breast from me. I know I am probably worrying over nothing, I just can't help myself.

Seriouslysleepdeprived Wed 12-Dec-12 19:23:47

My DS would go 9-10 days with out a poo between 3 & 6 months. I really miss those days! He goes all the time again now he's on solids.

The biggest thing I've learnt about babies it that they change all the time. Occasionally they'll sleep longer, shorter, not at all. Eat more or less on some days than others. I guess we are all like that when we think about it.

Did you find your CBT helpful? Can you use any of it to manage your anxiety a bit?

11 weeks - probably time for his 12 week growth spurt. Babies can go a bit funny around growth spurts times. Just keep trying!

(And well done for getting to 11 weeks!!)

Gillyweed001 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:36:31

Of course, he has now just fed for 30 minutes on one side, and is now on the other! I have been trying my techniques, will just have to try harder smile

Seriouslysleepdeprived Wed 12-Dec-12 20:15:27

It takes a long time to in grain new ways if thinking & that's without the added pressure of the baby brain! Sounds like you are doing a great job & I'm still v envious of your good sleeper envysmile

Gillyweed001 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:22:14

Thanks seriously. How long does your DC sleep for? Guess by your name, not a lot sad

Curtsey Wed 12-Dec-12 20:35:25

OP, is it possible that your milk supply has calmed down a bit now that he's 11 weeks old - and that he is indignant that the milk's not coming as fast as he's used to? Would explain why he's happy to take the bottle instead of having to work a bit harder at the boob.
Next time you're feeding him and he starts to fuss and scream, could you try to get up and, holding him in your arms, walk around jiggling him or patting his bum while he feeds. Sometimes that has the effect of pacifying them enough so that they calm down and suck.

Just a thought, because this is what happened with my DD.

ChunkyTurkeywiththetrimmings Wed 12-Dec-12 22:06:15

I can't add anything sensible that hasn't already been said but please do trust your instincts!! Also this website is fantastic for explaining the ins and outs.

Keep it up, you're doing great!!

Seriouslysleepdeprived Wed 12-Dec-12 22:10:38

It varies really Gilly just when I think I've cracked it something else happens - illness, crawling, teeth, food allergy & it goes to pot again! There is a lot of positive thinking and CBT techniques going on here!!

midori1999 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:01:08


His weight gain is good, in fact he's climbing centimes, so it's very good. His nappy output is good. He seems happy most of the time and is active and alert with periods of sleep. He is meeting developmental milestones.

That all sounds pretty good to me. smile

Babies can/do get fractious at times, especially around your DS's age as they start to notice the world around them more and get a bit conflicted about wanting to look around and wanting to feed. Sadly, we can't always work out why they get upset, but it sounds to me like the BF is going great.

Do you know anyone who is breast feeding? Can you get to a support group or some of the LLL meetings? Maybe chatting to other BF Mums would help build your confidence?

Gillyweed001 Thu 13-Dec-12 07:37:02

I've been doing lots of skin to skin contact with him. And I may try and get to a breast feeding cafe today, hopefully there is one near me. Thank you all again for keeping me sane.

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