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Feeding 4pm - 4am and still hungry

(16 Posts)
Renlovesyou Thu 23-Dec-10 15:00:55

Ive cluster fed my little one for 12 hours (regularly since he was born, hes 19 days old) and hes still hungry at the end. Ive resorted to giving him a bottle at 4am as I just cant stand to leave him hungry and screaming, it breaks my heart.

Ive not done this every day, sometimes its an expressed bottle.

Whats going on with him? Its so disheartening to feed for 12 hours and then have him still take 40ml of formula sad

MumNWLondon Thu 23-Dec-10 15:48:42

If its an expressed bottle when are you expressing the milk?

Renlovesyou Thu 23-Dec-10 15:52:47

In the morning when my boobs are fuller, after his morning feeds which are at regular times now. Sometimes Ive expressed as late in the day as 3pm and I can still get a fair amount. (20 - 30 ml)

mum2oneloudbaby Thu 23-Dec-10 15:55:05

I'm no expert but have you checked your latch i think it can affect how much/how easily they get milk if it is wrong.

i'm sure somebody with more knowledge will be along soon

MumNWLondon Thu 23-Dec-10 15:57:02

The problem might be the expressing.

I always had loads of milk in the morning and less in the afternoon because prolactin levels are higher at ceetain times of day. If I had pumped it all off in the morning there would have been less for him in the afternoon IYSWIM. In the early days I felt quite full all morning but less so later on in the day.

Why are you expressing and what happens if you do don't express at all?

Renlovesyou Thu 23-Dec-10 15:58:08

The midwife came yesterday and has said hes feeding welll. Ive seen 2 MW's at home and some at breastfeeding workshop and they all say its fine.

He was born a week early and low birth weight, could it be that hes just a hungry boy trying to catch up? (perhaps thats naive)

tiktok Thu 23-Dec-10 16:00:04

Would it help to reframe the situation as 'my baby is still very young and he needs to be close to me and my breast a lot - he dozes on and off but he can be very sure he does not want to have any sort of a longer sleep away from me and cries and cries if I put him down, so I just feed him as this is very comforting for him - it's really heartening to see him able to express his needs and his love for me in this way '

Obviously you need to make sure you can rest and comfort him at the same time, and I'm assuming he is thriving and healthy.

But he is normal, from what you say, and there's nothing 'going on with him'...does this help?

Renlovesyou Thu 23-Dec-10 16:00:41

I did wonder that myself too MumNW. Im expressing just because I thought that if I had loads in the morning, and hardly any at night, I should express it when I was full and spread it out over the day. This way I had a bottle of expresed milk to give him in the evening rather than formula?

Hope that makes sense.

tiktok Thu 23-Dec-10 16:01:21

I can't see the point of expressing, to be honest - just bf him direct

MumNWLondon Thu 23-Dec-10 16:15:11

I have never expressed before 6 weeks - and even then I'd never take more than 2oz per day (for freezer stash) because expressing in the morning generally meant that he'd have to work harder for his milk over the rest of the day.

Renlovesyou Thu 23-Dec-10 16:23:36

Thanks all. All my partners family keep suggesting I dont have enough milk and Im starting to feel a bit like Im rubbish at all this.

VeronicaCake Thu 23-Dec-10 16:36:40

You aren't being rubbish you are being awesome. Cluster-feeding can be hard but if you think about it from the babies perspective it makes perfect sense. Your baby is still new and getting to grips with things, you are the person he needs most to help him feel safe and secure, feeding means he is being nourished, kept warm and knows you are there. When he is at his most tired and vulnerable in the evenings he needs it most of all.

DD fed from 6pm -2am for about a week at that age. I can remember sitting up with her mentally going over in my head 'I am not going to be breastfeeding for the rest of my life, she will not want to do this when she is 18' but it did feel like it was lasting 18 years at the time!

It will probably stop really soon. Try not to agonise over your milk supply ( easier said than done) at this stage it is still settling down, your DS may be trying to catch up but my DD was a high birth weight and she did this too. It is just a baby thing. And the reason your partners family don't realise it is normal is because even people who have breastfed loads of babies have pretty hazy memories of the first 2 months or so.

HermyaTheRedNosedReindeer Thu 23-Dec-10 16:48:58

He might not actually be feeding all the time, he may be comfort sucking.

Although it really doesn't help at all when people are putting you down when you're at your most vunerable.

The first few weeks with DS were a bit of a nightmare BUT it did get better. Mentally I kept telling myself 'lets just get through one more feed and see how we are' or 'lets get through one day, just one more day'. When I thought like that it did help take the pressure off a bit. I also did end up giving my DS a dummy after one hellish night, a couple of sucks and he slept for a couple of hours and allowed me to get some sleep.

I hope things get better for you, it's all so new at that age. Just remember you're both learning a brand new skill and sometimes it takes a little while to get there.

Also well done for getting this far!! grin

Renlovesyou Thu 23-Dec-10 18:19:01

I keep thinking "6 weeks, I must get to 6 weeks". I dont know why 6 weeks, it just seems like it might have improved by then. And if it hasnt I'll just have to move the goal posts.

Thinking of it like that is really helpful VeronicaCske. Its true, I wont be doing this forever! smile

Renlovesyou Thu 23-Dec-10 18:20:23

oh and I just massaged my right boob to warm it up for him, and we had a squirt of milk shoot across the room! Grim but reassuring! I have got milk! grin

mum2oneloudbaby Fri 24-Dec-10 11:24:39

Both DCs were like this (DS just about getting past it now at 7 weeks) I found you need to go with the flow but to help settle a bit on the comfort front what I found worked is to strip you both and get some skin to skin.

Get comfy and warm and snuggle this helped me particularly in the early hours of the morning when things are at their bleakest. Nothing beats a warm soft DS for me to make me feel more positive about the first few hard weeks.

And I fed DD until she was 1 so it does get easier just stay focussed and ignore the negative vibes from other people. So long as he is putting on weight and is healthy you are doing everything right.

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