3 week old & breastfeeding - tough day(20 Posts)
Hi, having rough day 3 week old feeding all the time, saw bf counsellor last week who said I needed to keep him awake during feeds, despite my best efforts to do this he's still only going around 1.5 hours between feeds. Nights are tough also - got a 3 year old & my husband has been sleeping in with her. Tonight baby wouldn't settle at all & each time I put him down he kept crying the rooting so I kept feeding, felt teary & tired & unsupported by my oh who just sat there not saying a word.
Getting lots of well meant advice from my in laws today, mainly that I should be giving formula once a day! Oh and apparently he needs a dummy! Sister in law saying I need to stretch him out longer between feeds because I'm teaching him its ok to snack and top up whenever he wants and that me constantly feeding him when he cries may be giving him tummy ache!
My head hurts and I feel thoroughly fed up & knackered tonight. Could be a long night ahead. Quite tempted to kick snoring OH back into daughters room as he's of no help anyway!!!
Any advice welcome! Xxx
Sorry no advice but HUGE sympathy. Will have to go to bed soon (day from hell tomorrow grrr) but briefly, how did you get on with DD? 'Cos 99% of people having hell with BF are on PFB's and obviously you're not.
Also you're only three weeks in FFS, ILs and SIL can go take a flying one... far too soon to give in to the Formula Fairy if that's not the road you want to take.
Back in the dim and distant past our ancestresses used to do something called 'lying in'. They vanished into their rooms for a month or so before baby was due, and did not emerge until baby was 40 days old. Now I don't think the disappearing before baby even arrived was strictly necessary - although it did stop them being expected to rustle up a 20 course feast for a load of slavering Knights - but the forty days of complete peace and quiet to get a grip on yourself and your new baby? V. good idea indeed and well worth carrying through to our hectic modern age.
I do hope someone else replies to this soon I really have to go to bed... love and hugs OP, it will get better, you know that already but remind yourself at regular intervals.
could it be a 3 week growth spurt tonight? Totally normal for baby to sleep a lot at 3 weeks old- if you are worried about keeping him awake, you can try taking a layer of clothing off him during the feed, but what you are describing sounds totally normal behaviour to me tbh.
Ignore all insane advice and remind yourself that you are the mum, and you are doing the feeding and other people, however well-intentioned are not actually the parent of this beautiful baby.
Of course you are tired and a bit down. Delegate all possible tasks to oh tomorrow and just concentrate on resting and feeding (yourself as well as your ds).
It will be easier soon.
I have a 9 week old op and it has been tough. If your area is anything like mine, you never see the same person twice & when you do they give you different advice! Luckily for me it's my fifth so I just follow my gut instincts now. I was told to wake the baby at night which was the worst idea ever, he didnt appreciate it, neither did I. He found it hard to latch on which meant he wasn't feeding for long. If yours is only feeding for short periods you could try re-attaching to see if the baby will reattach and finish the feed? I've never heard anyone say you have to keep the baby awake at such a young age, all they want to do is sleep! My oh has been sleeping in a seperate room and I love it! has given me time to establish feeding with this one which normally takes me about 6 weeks. Don't be too harsh on your self op. I get all the same comments but I've git very good and ignoring. I've realised now that nature will do what it does best if I just let it & things will settle down. Hope that helps. Good luck.
I'm 8 weeks in (also with a 3YO) and I can tell you it does get better!
DS2 was only going 1.5 hrs for about 4-5 weeks and then it gradually stretched to 2, then 3
Are you feeding from both breasts at each feed? I found that feeding from one, and going back to it if it was less than an hour since the last feed meant he started to go longer. Ds is a snacker so it meant he was getting some more of the hind milk.
There is light at the end of the tunnel! Ignore your in laws, only give formula if you want to.
Thanks for all the replies and support. I did bf first time round but it all went wrong around 5 weeks as my little girl had bronchilitis & when she got better she fed constantly but I had an awful chest infection that took 3 lots of antibiotics to get rid of, by 8 weeks it still wasn't gone & I had PND & put her on formula. Think this is why I'm more stressed about feeding this time, I really want to do it longer.
Sorry I maybe wasn't clear - bf counsellor meant keep him awake whilst feeding however this seems impossible! I'm quite sensitive and always worrying I'm doing something wrong which is why all the helpful 'advice' from the in laws is taken by me almost as criticism . Kind of wish my husband would just appreciate how hard it is & that I'm doing well!
Amazingly after I wrote this my little boy went almost 4 hours -- amazing although I know it probably won't be a consistent thing but wonderful to get more than an hours sleep!
Thanks again for all the replies & support xxxxx
Hi my little guy was difficult to keep awake whilst feeding. I would have to strip him off to his nappy for day feeds which helped.
He also fed every 1.5 hours for weeks. You're not doing anything wrong, some babies are just like this. I also ignored the unhelpful formula suggestions as I really wanted to BF. I felt frustrated at the time that my family didn't get this.
I would check that your DS been checked for tongue tie, as it can result in frequent feeding & is often missed. see here
If you repost under feed the world/breast & bottle feeding there are lots of great support there.
1.5hrs between feeds for a three week old is normal. Keep going, and it will get easier - the first few weeks are the toughest, but the lay things out to be a breeze for the rest of the breastfeeding time.
Tell your in-laws firmly "Thank you, but This is the choice I have made. If you can't support that, I would appreciate you keeping your opinions to yourself". You don't need them to knock your confidence.
To keep baby awake - stroke his feet, talk to him, blow softly on his face.
Your sister is talking bollocks, by the way
Congratulations on your new baby. IM-one-baby-only-E your baby sounds like a proper baby, and it will probably get much easier once you are past the first few growth spurts. I remember how hard it was not to dissolve into tears when people sort of looked on and made suggestions about how I was doing it wrong, and were apparently incapable of recognising or uninterested in my vulnerable state. I was counselled to start formula, try and extend the time between feeds, not let the baby fall asleep when... blah, blah, blah. The only things that worked for me were: 1. lowering my expectations - my baby didn't fit in with any 'sanctioned' model for bfing 2. throwing things at my partner - who seemed to have missed the fact I was emotionally trashed 3. ignoring the growth charts (we went from the 75th at birth, to the 0.4th at 6 weeks, to the 92nd at 6 months). Next time I shall be enacting no. 4: No visitors except those that I ring myself and invite - my partner was always happily arranging social engagements for me to endure - clearly I did not throw heavy or numerous enough objects on said throwing occasion. And no.5: a t-shirt with 'Only solicited advice accepted' printed on it.
It feels terrible, but at this age if your baby is pooing and weeing, and you are responding to its crying, bingo, you are the perfect mother. Sorry your ILs etc seem unable to see this. We think you are marvellous, specially since you are surrounded by the sadly confused.
I hope you have had a better day today. I remember feeling like I was constantly feeding my DS at that age. I never expected breastfeeding to be as hard as it was both physically and emotionally. I felt that I struggled a great deal with it so have enormous respect for all mothers who choose to breast feed. It felt like my DS feed all day, all night and I'm not sure what I was expecting (first baby, bit naive I think) but it really wasn't that. I has always wanted to breast feed my baby and had discussed this with my midwife but I don't think mothers are given enough info about some of the difficulties that can be faced in those first few weeks. Obviously they want to encourage as many people to breast feed as possible but as a reasonably well educated woman in her early thirties, I would have appreciated a more rounded picture of what to expect. Not that I wasn't given support after - breastfeeding support groups are amazing. I dragged myself to one when DS was three weeks, looking a mess, tears running down my face and was met with kindness, understanding and the best advice. Please, please, please never feel guilty for whatever choices you choose to make for the good of your baby and yourself. I chose to move on to formula at five weeks for a number of reasons, mastitis being one of them, and it was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I cried for days but realise now that, for me, it was the best decision. Im sure that many mothers may feel that I shouldn't have made the change to bottles but for my own delicate mental and physical state at the time, I made the best choice for my relationship with my son. Everyone is different and no one is the perfect mother - I'm far from that. Ultimately, you know and sense what you and your baby needs. Ignore all others who proclaim to have infinite wisdom. The person who knows best is you.
Sounds like you are doing great to me. I think the best thing you can do with bf is a) forget about trying to stretch out feeds - too stressful and counterproductive ime b) take it absolutely one day at a time c) eat a lot of cake - advice from my brilliant bf counsellor.
Thanks everyone! Not sure we are going to get a 4 hour stint tonight! His poo was a bit green today :s I think I'm right in this may mean he's getting too much fore milk? This is possible as when in laws were here & had a house full I prob wasn't concentrating on my feeding, or could be my antibiotics I am still taking for kidney infection. He doesn't appear to have tummy ache. Am building up a stash of expressed milk so daddy can take over one evening & let me get some rest & also maybe he will feel more included and useful - that's the theory!! Xxx
Just wanted to add my voice to others saying feeding every 1.5 hours for a 3 week old sounds normal to me. I have a 3 month old and even now, she's only going 2-3 hours between feeds during the day.
I wouldn't try and stretch out the time between feeds during the day myself, in case that makes him catch up during the night! As someone else said upthread, one thing I did with my first was if he was having short feeds very close together, was to do two feeds from one side before swapping. It is so hard to keep them awake while feeding, isn't it? One tip my midwife gave me was to press their earlobes. Also just used to jiggle them about a tiny bit just as they were dropping off - often started them going again.
Good luck, hope you have a better night tonight.
Yes green poo = not enough hind milk. Just start the feed from the same side you ended on last time (when you can remember which one that is).
1.5 hours sounds very normal. if you're surrounded by ff in-laws (as I was with DS) they can't believe how 'often' a bf baby feeds, because they are used to feeding a baby 5 or 6 times a day, not 10 or 12. look at weight gain, lots of wet and dirty nappies, etc. and don't worry about times. It is knackering at first but it gets better (this was my mantra both times). You do have to be a bit bloody minded about it and ignore the sniping. You're doing great.
I was on antibiotics with DD (by this time the in laws had realised that I was a champion breastfeeder so they butted out) and her poo was aaaaaaaaaaawful, green, mucousy, lumpy etc etc until I came off them. but it could also mean too much foremilk apparently.
You're doing great (I said that before but it's worth reminding yourself).
DS had green poo on & off for the first couple of months. Freaked my out initially but I relaxed when it was explained that it happens for all sorts of reasons.
Antibiotics can definitely do it. If they are unwell with a cold etc or stressed, if you eat something that increases your gut motility (nuts did it for us)- green poo. DS has problems with dairy & soy so green poo again if I eat that. A bit later on teething does it also.
The brilliant kellymom has more info here and here
Join the discussion
Please login first.