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Can anyone help me figure out what is going on? Still struggling with 4 wk old ds and breastfeeding

(11 Posts)
plasticspoon Wed 01-Dec-10 12:15:01

Hi, I posted a couple of weeks ago about my ds' mammoth all night feeds. Thank you to all those who replied but we are still struggling and I just don't understand what the problem is.

His pattern has now reversed so that at night (from about 1am) he is contentedly feeding every 2-3 hours and sleeping well in between (we co-sleep).

However in the daytime he just wants to feed for hours and hours, stopping only when he falls asleep. He never seems satisfied and as soon as I take him off he starts chomping on his fist, quickly moving to crying.

He starts off the day ok (he let my dh hold him for a whole hour this morning) but by now (midday) he is back to wanting to be on the breast.

While he is on the breast he goes through phases of sleepy sucking and frantic sucking, pulling off and re-latching poorly over and over, making my nipples sore. Sometimes I think it must be because he's hungry (my breasts feel empty during the day and the only time I hear him swallowing is at night) and sometimes it seems to be connected to wind or bowel moverments, which he seems to find very uncomfortable.

He then has a screamy period in the evening where nothing seems to comfort him. The only thing that seems to work is the fast-flowing feed he gets after my breasts have had a couple of hours rest.

He is gaining weight and has lots of wet and dirty nappies. His nappies have a distinctly green tinge to them. He's on infacol as the HV suggested colic.

Sorry for the long post - I can't see the wood for the trees to understand what is going wrong here. I have a baby who spends most of his waking hours upset or trying to feed (often both at the same time), sore nipples, feel low and lots of headaches, and I can't even give the baby to someone else to hold between feeds because most of the time there is no between feeds!

tiktok Wed 01-Dec-10 12:19:03

A lot of what you say could be normal, plasticspoon...hard to say. He's clearly healthy and thriving. What is his weight gain? If it's massive, then it may be you have over-supply?

Being miserable a lot is not normal, though, you're right. I don't think it sounds like poor intake, though someone knowledgable watching you feed might have suggestions for amending the latch to enable him to have a deeper one.

plasticspoon Wed 01-Dec-10 13:43:13

Tiktok, thank you. I'm very grateful for your reply. I am so determined to bf that I will continue even if it does mean I don't leave the house for 6 months but I really hope we start enjoying this part of our relationship soon I am so looking forward to a happy, awake baby who will give me a little positive feedback on my parenting!

His weight gain seems pretty steady - still on the 25th centile which he was at birth. He gained slightly less (1oz) than average last week but I keep reminding myself that it's not an exact science.

My feeling is that his latch is not very effective. At night when my milk is faster flowing it's not a problem as he barely has to suck to get the milk but in the day he has to suck for longer to fill up - does that sound plausible?

Everyone I've spoken to just looks and says his latch looks fine. However we often really struggle to get him on as he keeps his hands by his mouth and my nipple nearly always looks like a lipstick when he's done. When he does latch well it seems to slip during the feed so I've started to trying to sort of pull his chin down to try and correct it without taking him off, hoping that he won't get as frustrated.

When he is really fussing and coming on and off over and over he tends to launch himself at me like a little wild beastie and the latch is never good then, but trying to correct it seems to lead to more upset so I often don't.

On the upside I am so grateful to have bf to offer him comfort. He really does love the boob Also so grateful for mn - saviour of many an anxious first time mum's sanity!

sugargirl1 Wed 01-Dec-10 13:46:35

plasticspoon could it be that his sucking reflex is just very strong? My daughter was similar - always seemed to be wanting to suck something and I kept offering her my breast -even when I knew she wasn't hungry - until one day I gave her the dummy. It was amazing - it offered her comfort especially when it was time to sleep...hav you tried a dummy?

notnowbernard Wed 01-Dec-10 13:47:58

If he is thriving (and he is, if weight gain and dirty nappies suggest) would you consider a dummy?

Lots of people hate them but 2 out of 3 of mine loved them and it didn't interfere with bf. They were just very sucky babies

gummymum Wed 01-Dec-10 14:32:33

dummy sounds like the obvious solution for a thriving baby who needs to suckle more than feed. If he's hungry it won't satisfy him so you'll soon know - not sure why they have such a bad name these days?

crikeybadger Wed 01-Dec-10 14:36:48

Lipstick shaped nipples is a sign of poor latch plasticspoon.

Would second the suggestion to get someone to see you feed in real life- it might just be a minor adjustment but it could make all the difference.

fel1x Wed 01-Dec-10 14:43:30

if you try a dummy then it could allow you to have the hour or two between feeds that he seems to need to get good fast flowing sucking going on

plasticspoon Wed 01-Dec-10 14:44:43

HV has also suggested dummy but I thought there was a danger of reducing supply as they suckle at these instead of your breast? that said I am considering one for when we are in the car/ he is in buggy and I can't feed him immediately

sugargirl1 Wed 01-Dec-10 17:32:41

A dummy itself will not reduce your supply but will in fact satisfy your baby's need to suckle without putting him to your breast. You therefore don't have to make as much milk to satisfy him. When he rejects the dummy it is because he is hungry and you can therefore offer him your boob. Your body will adjust and control the supply of milk to the demand.

blueberrysorbet Wed 01-Dec-10 17:53:43

hi there
my ds wanted to feed what felt like all day and all night, it is very tiring but worth it and they do have growth spurts when they do feed all day and all night. you must eat lots of good food and I must say I didn;t excercise all my energy was on feeding.

You might need to do the early morning feed, then when he is falling off trhe nipple, put him in the buggy for a walk for a short time, ie an hour to give yourself a break, then back to feed. Perhaps your baby has wind? you could try gentle tummy massge, and some gripe water? also raise his bed at back like in hospital and his pram, just fold a towel under the blanket to keep him raised, it must be very painful for him if he has colic as well. Maybe the infacol is not agreeing with him, see the doc or health visitor again?.
comfort feeding is ok as you are supposed to be comforting him and make him feel safe, you are his mummy! My ds gradually had longer between feeds- I just lay on the sofa before and let him feed, only swapping him to the other nipple if he fell asleep.
The other help might be to get your partner or helper to cuddle him and walk him round a bit whilst you have a rest in another room or eat in peace- i ate lots of cold meals with one hand! babies smell milk and will keep at you.

I didn;t use a dummy so know nothing about them. i was advised to but I prefered to let ds suck and find out what the issue was- it was wind and getting used to being out of the womb - your ds is only 28 days old! its very soon to know his ways...

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