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Getting very disheartened

(29 Posts)
Mammie81 Fri 17-Dec-10 19:07:36

My DS is now 2 weeks old and still feeding constantly in the evenings. Ive taken to giving him a formula feed as I just feel like by continuing to BF I'm just slowly starving him.

I would like to be able to give him an expressed bottle of BM in the evening instead but I can only get out around 30ml each time (10 or so minutes between the regular feeds)

Is that a normal amount or is my milk supply low - which would also explain the 6pm - 2am non stop feeding?

ps, My mum says hes just crafty and wants a cuddle, not milk, but I dont think its that sad

StrawberrySam Fri 17-Dec-10 19:43:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fiveisanawfullybignumber Fri 17-Dec-10 19:43:55

Hi Mammie. It's perfectly normal for your Ds to feed alot more (it might even feel like constantly) in the evenings at this age. It's called cluster feeding, but it doesn't last forever.
See if you can get someone to check your latch to make sure he's sucking effectively, but my advice as I did it is, get a good DVD or program on TV and settle on the sofa with him for the evening. Ask periodically for chocolates, drinks etc to be brought to you.grin

fiveisanawfullybignumber Fri 17-Dec-10 19:44:49

Xpost SamSgrin

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 17-Dec-10 19:54:59

Mammie please don't feel disheartened. From what you have described its pretty normal behaviour for a 2 week old baby. Remember that your LO has spent 9 months tucked up with you so its only natural to want to be with you all the time.

Kellymom is a great website, have a look here at what they say about cluster feeding. Honestly, it is normal and no indication at all that you have a low supply.

One of the only reliable ways of telling if your baby is getting enough milk is by seeing if they have enough wet and dirty nappies. Not being able to express milk isn't a good indication at all. Many Mums feed successfully and hardly ever manage to express a drop, including me. Your baby is much more efficient at getting the milk out that your pump will ever be smile.

If you still think you have a low supply please have a read of this on Kellymom.

Also, are you getting any RL help? Are you in touch with a local Bfing Counsellor or have you called one of the helplines? Is there a local Bfing Support group you could got to? Do you know any other Bfing Mums? Sometimes just mixing with other Bfing Mums can be enough to put your mind at rest but I really think you need the help of a Bfing Counsellor.

At 2 weeks it could be a growth spurt too, remember the more you feed the more milk you produce.

After all you've said I think your Mum might just be right this time smile

Nagoo Fri 17-Dec-10 20:06:18

my dd does what you say, exactly the same, wants to be attached from 6.30 to 11pm, falls asleep feeding if she wakes up she wants to be on again. she's 3 weeks today and was 'worse' last week, keeping me up til 1.30.

So it has got better in the last week!

i've no worries about supply, as her nappies are wet/dirty. I can only express 1st thing in the morning. It doesn't work in the day at all, even though dd will sometimes seem to drown herself when feeding, she's obviously better at getting milk than I am.

theidsalright Fri 17-Dec-10 21:37:58

Just whatever everyone else says-the constant feeding does not mean there is not enough milk or that you are not satisfying your baby.

This is the interplay between babies body and your body at it's best/worst, depending how you look at it! Baby sucking at your breast helps your body make more milk. Replacing a feed with formula therefore interrupts this pattern and the milk production.

Kellymom is the BF bible though!

Mammie81 Fri 17-Dec-10 23:41:54

Ive managed to express 40 ml today and I think that will satisfy him tonight instead of the formula top up.

Im just worried about the expressing, Ive read that some women can get loads. 40 ml seems very paltry sad

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 18-Dec-10 07:46:04

Mammie, so glad that you managed to express 40 mls, thats fantastic.

Please don't get disheartened after reading other women's posts about expressing loads. I really meant it when I said I could hardly ever express a drop with DS and he fed constantly. So I was in much the same position. However, when I look back at his pictures he became very chunky very quickly and there were loads of wet and dirty nappies.

Expressing just one of those things that some women seem to be able to do easily and others really struggle. It is no reflection whatsoever on how much milk you are producing, honest smile

Keep feeding and keep posting, you are doing a great job smile

ethelinaTheBloodyGreatXmasElf Sat 18-Dec-10 07:54:42

When I first expressed I could only get 10ml at a time but it increased each time and by about 4 weeks I was getting 50-60ml and by 7 weeks was up to 100ml from 1 side. DS is 14 weeks now and I get 150ml per breast. I pump once a day late morning after ds has fed as this is when I have the most to spare.

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 18-Dec-10 12:44:30

Mammie, I've never been able to express and my ds weighs a stone now. Some women can express loads and some can't express any, but it doesn't tell you anything about what the baby's getting.

Are you hand expressing or using a pump? I have had better luck doing it by hand.

tiokiko Sat 18-Dec-10 13:22:27

I found expressing really hard too - I would pump for ages and get a tiny trickle.

One of my friends had the opposite experience and could pump huge amounts - her DD had 2 bottles of EBM each day and she still had a freezer full of it - I got really excited when I cobbled together enough for one bottle!

It did get a bit easier but I don't think there is necessarily any relationship between what you can pump and what your DS can get when he feeds.

I do remember DD going through several phases of cluster feeding, and it did get better. Just relax into it, get comfy and have something to eat/drink on hand, a good book/TV/MN to entertain you and don't worry too much.

AliBellandthe40jingles Sat 18-Dec-10 13:30:11

The best way to ensure you have good milk supply is just to feed and feed and feed.
In your position I wouldn't be topping up, I would just keep swapping the baby from one side to the other.

This cluster feeding won't last forever, but it is entirely normal and is how your baby increases your milk supply to meet their requirements as they grow. You will find that he does it at intervals over his first few months.
It is nothing to worry about, and you should go with it rather than trying to fight against it or overcome it somehow with top ups.

With the expressing - please don't worry about how much you are producing. I have never been able to express more than about 30/40ml at one sitting, either by hand, by electric or manual pump and I fed DS until he was 2. He had nothing but BM until he was 6 months old.
So I had loads of milk, it just didn't come out very well except when DS was sucking!

Also, in the nicest possible way your Mum is bonkers. 2 week old babies are not 'crafty' they just need to feed little and often as their tummies are so tiny.

heidipi Sat 18-Dec-10 13:59:44

Hello and sorry Mammie81 to crash your thread - I'm in the same situation with my 4 week old and at my wits end today. She just cries and cries from 6pm onwards if she's not on the breast and to be honest as I've usually already fed her 5 or 6 times by then, my boobs just can't take hours of solid feeding, it hurts! It's not the latch, for the rest of the day there's only discomfort for a few seconds as she gets on and adjusts, but by the evening she's fractious, thrashing and coming on and off throughout so I'm ending up really sore.

I'm mix feeding as a result of supply problems early on - she has one or 2 formula feeds a day, usually 9pm and sometimes a top up at 11pm, but today I gave her formula at 11am because I'm so sore after feeding so much over the last few days. I've expressed 90ml which she can have later instead of one of the formula feeds but I know I won't be able to keep up for the rest of the day by expressing - I just don't get enough out for a full feed. I daren't use nipple shields again as I think they caused problems with my supply in the first few days in hospital.

I don't know what I'm asking really - just ranting. If it didn't hurt so much I'd just settle down on the sofa with a DVD but I really can't bear it - and it will only be worse for tomorrow. What can I do?

I'm sorry I know I sound so miserable but my DP can't help and I don't know who else to ask?

Thanks for listening - aargh.

Jen2727 Sat 18-Dec-10 16:00:19

I have a 4 week old who has started cluster feeding in the evenings too. I have managed to express for one bottle a day which has helped. But i agree about the soreness, she thrashes about and comes on and off. I was starting to wonder whether i had mastitis as i was that sore one side in particular. I am hoping that it is quite a short phase because its only been happening for the last 3 nights and my patience is already dwindling!

fiveisanawfullybignumber Sat 18-Dec-10 16:05:45

Heidipi, have you got some Lasinoh cream or similar. That may help the pain. Have you tried DD with a dummy, sometimes babies just need to suck. You could still keep feeding her regularly in the eve, but use the dummy to settle her in between. My DD had reflux and would overfeed to neutralise pain, causing her more tummy pain and more crying, more trying to feed, vicious circle for us.

Mammie81 Sat 18-Dec-10 16:52:21

Thankfully it doesnt hurt me, Ive been lucky so far in that respect, and this is whst makes me think his latch is fine.

Last night he feed from 6pm till 3am and again my mum has said he's just spoiled. Even giving him the expressed milk didnt calm him.

I have to keep going though. I cant see any other way forward other than BF and everyone says it gets better - friends too. I cant give up knowing it might pass soon.

When does cluster feeding calm down usually?

tiktok Sat 18-Dec-10 17:29:55



This is not spoiling your baby - honestly, that is a terrible, cruel thing to say, really it is.

You cannot spoil a tiny baby by meeting his needs for comfort, closeness, reassurance, love and milk.

There is nothing at all in your posts that suggests you are 'slowly starving him'.

Unless he is losing weight or looking thin, or giving any other sign he is not well then you don't have a breastfeeding problem but a confidence problem (and possibly a mother problem if she makes a habit of saying undermining things).

What's wrong with wanting a cuddle? Why is this 'crafty'? Of course he wants a cuddle. He's two weeks old and the world is new and he needs you to build up his trust in the world - he was inside you a fortnight ago!

Mammie81 Sat 18-Dec-10 17:48:14

He did lose a bit if weight initially but hes put it back on again this week and his face looks much chubbier. Hes having the right amount of wet/poo-ey nappies too.

Mum thinks hes using me as a dummy and that we should try him on one but I dont want to do that in case it interrupts his suck.

Thanks for the reassurance smile. Fingers crossed we wont need a top up bottle (of expressed or formula) at all soon!

moonstorm Sat 18-Dec-10 17:52:42

Mammie

My baby is offered a boob whenever he wants. I see it like this - I would rather sit and feed (with tv/ magazine/ looking at him etc), than listen to him cry and get upset. Milk is so much ,ore than nutrition. So what if he uses me as a comforter? So what if he only wants to suck (I imagine when he's old enough he'll take to his thumb like the rest of the family). I can offer him all the comfort he wants.

My mum always says to make the most of it - when he's a toddler, he won't want the cuddles (ds1 - 3 - only wants cuddles etc when tired, the rest of the time he's 'too busy').

Do what feels right. Feed him, comfort him.

I often think if milk came out of another body part, there would be fewer issues about comfort sucking. Finger feeding anyone? How many pepople let their babies suck a finger for comfort? If milk came out of a finger, would there be an issue?

Ds is 9 weeks, I never look at the clock when feeding him ( I did with ds1). If he asks he gets (I'm good at feeding walking around after ds1...). I notice now though, the feeeds are spreading out.

They are babies for such a short length of time. Do what feels right for you.

moonstorm Sat 18-Dec-10 17:55:32

Honestly... Does it matter if he is using you as a dummy? You are the world to him Why swap you for a dummy? (Unless YOU want to smile )

Almost all babies lose weight to start with.

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 18-Dec-10 18:00:53

He isn't using you as a dummy - a dummy is a mummy substitute! I think they're brilliant for times when you can't comfort them yourself, but it's suckling at the breast that's the natural thing for a baby to do, sucking on a bit of plastic is a handy replacement.

moonstorm Sat 18-Dec-10 18:02:14

MoonUnitAlpha phrased my last post better! T

SXMummy Sat 18-Dec-10 18:20:02

Hello, I also have a 2 week old. I've found this chain helpful as my little one is doing a similar thing and I've found it rather disheartening in the last couple of days too. I've been in tears over it. I don't have any suggestions to help unfortunately. The other posts seem far more experienced to recommend specific ideas. All I can say is that some days (or nights!) just seem better than others. I suppose thats how it will be.... I just wanted you to know another new mum with a similar age of baby is out there and feeling very similar! I also wondered last night at 3am if I'd spoilt her, or was effectively over feeding - should I be walking around or soothing in other ways than resorting to food immediately maybe or do I just go with it? I've decided that 3am is just not a good time to think about anything at all. Thanks to you for posting and the others for responding. Please update with how it goes or more tips to help us!

AliBellandthe40jingles Sat 18-Dec-10 18:40:12

Ignore your mother and you will be fine, sounds like she hasn't got much of a clue about BFing and that she's forgotten what new babies are like!

It will pass, honestly. It will come back from time to time - babies cluster feed when they are going through growth spurts and these happen frequently during the first 3-4 months. The best way through them is just to feed as much as possible because this sends the best messages to your body that more milk is needed - you will be amazed how quickly it will respond.

You are doing really well, be proud of getting to this point

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