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Help with breast feeding frequency and hunger signals

(7 Posts)
runnermum2 Fri 17-Dec-10 18:39:22

I would really appreciate some help with breast feeding. My daughter is nearly 7 weeks old.

My husband is not very supportive (of bf - he is generally v supportive) and each time I get upset he tries to persuade me to move to bottle.

The big problem is that my daughter sucks her hands constantly so it is hard to know when she is hungry. Sometimes she feeds well but other times she is on/off the breast all the time and I don't know whether she's just not hungry or whether I don't have enough milk.

When she cries 15 mins after a long feed (45 mins) my husband gets frustrated if I offer the breast again. If he takes her and rocks her she'll often fall asleep for 4 hrs or more so does this mean that she's not hungry. And how will I know if he is hungry. And if I don't offer the breast every time she demand will my milk dry up?

It seems like such a big issue between us and I really need some help. Also I'm starting to not want to cuddle my baby because she always seems to want feeding then. She is gaining weight well - 18oz over last 3 weeks.

Please help!

Megletitsnow Fri 17-Dec-10 18:46:30

You sound like me when I was bf! I just kept feeding and feeding and got in a right stress about it as I was never sure whether it was safe to slow down a bit and risk my supply going down. I have to say if my DD had had a long feed and cried afterwards I would give her a very long winding session as something usually came up and she calmed down. I also didn't want to cuddle DD as I was sick of bf, I missed out on the nice parts as bf took over. She gained weight well though and is currently wearing a toy bin on her head and bashing her big brother hmm.

If she's gaining weight then it's working but maybe try more winding and she might be very gassy?

Hopefully an expert will be along soon (and I might be wrong).

thisisyesterday Fri 17-Dec-10 18:46:55

well just a few points:

you can't over-feed a breastfed baby, so feeding her every time she appears to want it is fine. In fact, it's good because (as you know) feeding on demand is what keeps your milk supply going

She is clearly gaining weight well, so I don't think you ahve any reason to worry about not having enough milk. Babies want the breast for a lot of reasons, food, warmth, comfort, security... so it might be that sometimes she just wants to be near you and cuddle which is why she fusses?

I would say that if she falls asleep quickly and easily when your husband cuddles her then that's fine, and sleeping for 4 hours is fine too.
If however, she is crying for a long period and is particularly upset when he takes her and is eventually falling asleep I (personally) would prefer to feed her again

It is normal for them to want to feed frequently sometimes, so don't be put off by that.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 18-Dec-10 08:32:10

runnermum, you sound like you are doing a really good job and your husband sounds great too. Think that he is worried about you but personally I would ask him to stop mentioning the formula as it seems to be adding to your stress. Perhaps you could get him to read this and it might help to reduce his worry about you.

Also, does she cry after every feed? What happens if you just put her on the breast again, will she nurse and fall asleep?

All this sounds pretty normal though, and the weight gain sounds fantastic so have confidence in yourself smile

It would probably with a good idea to go to a local bfing group too as mixing with other bfing Mums can be great for giving you confidence and picking up tips. And have you talked through your concerns with a Bfing Counsellor too?

TigerFeet Sat 18-Dec-10 08:41:48

Wow 18 oz in 3 weeks - that's great - you're doing a brilliant job and you really don't need to worry about not having enough milk. Are you getting plenty of wet/dirty nappies? I rather suspect you are!

Some babies just like to suck for comfort, both mine were like that. Can you see her swallowing, are her ears wiggling? If she's actively feeding then you'll be able to see that she's swallowing milk. If she's not, then it's a comfort thing.

I definitely think that you'd benefit from a BF support group, is there one local to you? It's hard when your dh thinks that a bottle will solve all problems (that was me this time last year) so simply meeting up with and chatting to other bf mums will help you keep going

runnermum2 Sat 18-Dec-10 11:52:09

Thanks everyone. i feel more reassured now and it's great to know that there are other people who have experienced the same thing. I think there is a BF support at the childrens centre so I will go along there (when the snow stops).

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 18-Dec-10 12:37:08

To be honest I just fed every time ds cried for the first 3 months! Sometimes he would have a big feed so I knew he was hungry, sometimes he would suck a bit then fall asleep so I knew he was tired, sometimes he would keep coming off so I knew it was something else - needed a burp/nappy change/bored/over stimulate/too cold/too hot.

By 4 months he'd got a bit more predictable so I now know roughly that if he's crying around 9am he's likely to be hungry, if he's crying around 10am he's likely to be tired, by 12 he'll be hungry again. If I can't work out what he wants I still always offer him a boob though.

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