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4wk old - very hungry, i cant seem to keep up

(9 Posts)
vmcd28 Fri 17-Dec-10 13:18:53

My wee ds2 is 4w today, and seems to have days where he wants constantly fed, every two or three days, maybe. I just can't seem to keep up with doing this a d with life, if that makes sense. If this was my first child I could indulge more, but ds1 is 5 and is at school, so he needs a lot of attention too. Not to mention all the other things that need done at this time of year. Dh is great, does the washing and makes dinner etc, so I've got support etc.
I just don't know what to do. On the hungry days, ds is always behaving like he's hungry, and often just cries or fusses when he's not latched on. It's worse in the evening , which I believe id common, but this isn't so much of a problem as ds1 is in bed. Then at 11pm approx, he takes 90 mins minimum to feed and settle to sleep. He'll wake either once or twice in the night then sleep til 8am or so. The 11pm marathon is really wearing. Thinking about a couplr of ounces of formula at that time to see if he settles quicker (not trying to make him sleep longer, just to settle him quicker).

Any advice/support/thoughts? Many thanks!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 17-Dec-10 15:04:49

VMCD, just wanted to say congratulations on your LO and really sorry but don't have the time to do a proper post now (school run) but will hopefully make it back later.

Have you tried one of the bfing helplines?

Hope this bumps it for you and someone will be along to help soon.

moonstorm Fri 17-Dec-10 18:04:25

Just wanted to say ds2 was the same, he is now 8 weeks and it all seems to work. I'm glad I persevered as now that things are settled all I need are my boobs etc.etc. It started to get easier at 4 weeks then again at 6/7 weeks for us. I can't say the same will be true for you and it's up to you smile, but I'm glad I kept going.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 17-Dec-10 18:36:55

vmcd sorry I couldn't post much earlier, how are you getting on now? Have you managed to talk to a bfing counsellor yet?

Woodlands Fri 17-Dec-10 18:59:05

I remember that stage. At that age my DS seemed to have one hungry day, one sleepy day and one happy day. It does get easier...

I remember being so tempted by th carton of formula that was in the cupboard so many evenings when it was 11pm/midnight and DS was still frantically clawing at my breasts in frustration, desperate for more milk. I managed to hold out because I kept reminding myself that only by letting him feed all he wanted would my milk supply respond to keep up with him. And it did... eventually. He will have growth spurts but you just have to remember the more you feed, the more milk you'll have.

good luck!

vmcd28 Sat 18-Dec-10 10:24:50

Thanks for the replies!
Julie, I haven't spoken to Breastfeeding support yet. I will do today if it's the same.
Last night ds2 was literally attached to me for 3 out of 3.5 hrs. It wasn't the end of the world cos we were all just watching a film, so I could go with it. The problem is that I feel literally empty by then so I'm not sure if he's even getting much milk.

Moonstorm, thanks for the encouraging post. It helps to know there is hopefully a big bright light at the end of the tunnel.

Woodlands, this is what confuses me. If I feed him every time he's hungry, the milk production will increase. Ok so far. But he doesn't tend to be so hungry the next two days, so what happens is I'm engorged and uncomfortable for a day or two, and then the next day it all begins again.
ALSO, if he was to get, say, a couple of ounces top-up EVERY night, surely that wouldn't affect my milk supply?

Anyway, that's another day down, so let's see what today brings, and see if I can get ANY time to get any of the 7 million xmas presents wrapped!!

mousesma Sat 18-Dec-10 11:00:48

Unfortunately this all sounds normal for this age. My DD was exactly the same and constantly fed until about 6-8 weeks. She didn't stop cluster feeding for hours in the evenings until 12 weeks.

It is exhausting though and I found it a struggle with one child so it must be doubly difficult with another child to look after as well.

I'm not an expert on this but my understanding is that the cluster feeds are stimulating milk production and if you introduce even a small amount of formula regularly at this stage when breast feeding is not fully established then you will compromise your milk supply. I think that the FF will essentially means that you never reach your full potential for milk production which could lead to an early cessation to BF. I'm sure someone more scientific can clarify that better later.

There also is the issue that giving FF will compromise the virgin gut and your DS will miss out on some of the benefits of breastfeeding such as protection against allergies and ezcema.

I'm not anti mix feeding and I have been mix feeding DD since 14 weeks but you should be aware of the downsides so you can make an informed decision. I hope you get a solution that works for you and your family soon.

jojane Sat 18-Dec-10 15:08:07

With my second child I topped up with an oz or two of formula a couple of times a day due to mastitis and very badly cracked and bleeding nipples. I did this from a few days old until about 3 weeks old, I then breastfed until 13 months with some expressed bottles. I must wanted to let you know that you can go back to just breastfeeding after a period of formula top ups etc. We also used a dummy during those couple of weeks as Dd was a very sucky baby but I couldn't tolerate her using me as a dummy whilst my nipples were so cracked,

littlesez Sat 18-Dec-10 16:12:18

If your getting engorged why not express to relieve it a bit then use that to topup or if you have a parter who wants to maybe take the pressure off for one feed? or even just rest your boobs!

I gave 1 bottle of expressed milk once a day from early days due to lots of problems which i won't bor eyou with. However I think it is worth waiting til your supply settles down until you start thinking about adding formula even for just one feed. I have heard so many times of people doing top ups and it snow balling into dropped supply and eventually ending BF before they really wanted to. A couple of my friends started of with acouple of ounces and used the words "slippery slope" to describe what happened next.

The thing is if LO is only waking once or twice a night I would say thats pretty good going. Many babies at this age are waking one or two hourly! So maybe the big marathon feeding is worth it for the long gaps through the night?

I only have one baby so can only empathise with having two with one breastfed must be hard work. Not sure if you have breastfed before but it does get easier honest they have a big groth spurt 4-6 weeks then another about 4 months (of course all babies are different thou) so maybe just having a couple of days or weeks then it may settle down, hope it does for you soon. I remember how tiring it was!

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