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Exhausted and down with constant feeding :(

(9 Posts)
Boogiemumma Sat 25-Jun-11 19:23:47

My DD is 2 and a half weeks and I'm breast feeding her. We a rough start as she had a tongue tie which has had to be cut twice - once when she was 2 days old in hospital and then again at 2 weeks. She is now latching on okish though I do struggle to get her to open her mouth very wide. My problem is that she is a constant feeder, especially from late afternon onwards and she will literally have a feed from both breasts - and then want to go back on 10 mins later and will scream the house down until fed. Her feeds are often quite short - 5-10 mins and she isn't constantly sucking. In the night she'll be on the breast typically for several hours. I'm so tired and it's really getting me down and I'm getting sore from the continual feeding. I've had great support both in hospital and from a brilliant breastfeeding counseller but I'm starting to feel a bit of a failure at this. Is there anything I can do to try and get her to go longer between feeds, I feel so exhausted I'm starting to think that BF is affecting how much I'm enjoying my daughter and that makes me very sad sad.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 25-Jun-11 19:26:56

my daughter was exactly like that for the first couple of weeks, but settled down by about a month.

Are you sure she is actually hungry and not just sucking for comfort?? maybe you could try a dummy or help her to suck her thumb?

but stick in there- it honestly does get easier!

NotQuiteCockney Sat 25-Jun-11 19:28:22

Wow, you've really been through the mill, both of you.

If you're getting sore, it sounds like her latch isn't quite right.

First of all, did they get you massaging under her tongue after the op? They recommend that at our local hospital. That can help keep the tongue tie from regrowing, so to speak.

Second, have you seen the breastfeeding counsellor recently? What sort of position are you using to feed?

Third, is she dozing on the breast? What's happening in those 5-10 minutes? What happens if you just keep swapping her from breast to breast? Have you tried breast compression?

It is really pretty normal for tiny babies to feed often in the afternoon/evening. It's called cluster feeding. But it can be exhausting, but it sounds like you've been through a lot.

RitaMorgan Sat 25-Jun-11 19:30:02

I found 2 weeks was my lowest point too - just the utter exhaustion! You aren't doing anything wrong though, frequent feeding and cluster feeding in the evenings is so, so normal for a newborn.

When you say constant feeding, is it literally constant or are there some breaks while she's asleep during the day?

The first 6 weeks especially are really tough, but if you can get through it, breastfeeding becomes so much easier and more enjoyable. You're doing brilliantly to have got this far, especially with tongue tie. Just hang in there, there's light at the end of the tunnel!

lagrandissima Sat 25-Jun-11 19:35:07

Hello there. Sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment. Just wanted to say that what you're describing (afternoon/evening constant feeding) is pretty normal (nick-named 'cluster feeding').

Your DD is, as you say, fresh out of the womb and it is pretty normal for her to want to feed/suck - it's academic whether its for nutrition or comfort, and it's probably a combination of the both. But having been fed in utero 24/7 it takes a bit of time for babies to establish any sort of routine, and when you're breastfeeding it's not a bad idea of feed 'on demand' in first couple of months to help establish a good supply of milk. By the third month you'll producing lots of milk, your DD will have more strength and expertise at sucking (and will feed more effectively - clearing your breasts more quickly, so feeds will reduce in time from 40mns or so, to 10mns or thereabouts - it's not an exact science).

It takes a huge leap of faith to believe that what your breasts are producing is going to feed your child, but it does work (we wouldn't be here otherwise!). Your breasts will be sore intially, and you could look on www.kellymom.com for more info about how to care for them at this stage. But please take heart, things will get better.

Try not to worry much about other things - housework, getting 'back to normal' (that's completely different now anyway), or whether you should be adhering to someone else's routine. Try to be guided by the baby - if she's rooting and you can offer a breast, then do so.

The early days, weeks and months of breastfeeding are terribly difficult and tiring, but it does get easier and in the long run it can be very rewarding for you both - not least for the health benefits, the convenience and the economy, but also for the amazing bond and closeness you will experience (once you've gotten over the soreness and are feeling more confident about BFing).

smallpotato Sat 25-Jun-11 19:46:18

Have you tried co-sleeping? It was the only way I could get through it with DD2. I had a tough time BF DD1 and gave up earlier than I wanted to, so with DD2 my motto was just feed, feed, feed, everything else could (and did) wait.

I was in your position exactly a year ago, now I'm sat here BF my 1yo to sleep! The first few weeks/months are tough but BF an older baby is so easy and rewarding it is worth it. Good luck!

smallpotato Sat 25-Jun-11 19:46:18

Have you tried co-sleeping? It was the only way I could get through it with DD2. I had a tough time BF DD1 and gave up earlier than I wanted to, so with DD2 my motto was just feed, feed, feed, everything else could (and did) wait.

I was in your position exactly a year ago, now I'm sat here BF my 1yo to sleep! The first few weeks/months are tough but BF an older baby is so easy and rewarding it is worth it. Good luck!

Boogiemumma Sun 26-Jun-11 21:14:51

Thanks ladies some reassurance in that I'm not alone, will try some of the suggestions. Tend to have some days better than others and I tend unsuprisingly to get more despondant the less sleep I have.

sc2987 Mon 27-Jun-11 13:06:33

Seconding everyone else that it will get easier, just be patient. However, I would definitely not give her a dummy - this early she is still establishing your supply, so she should suck on demand, even if it's for comfort. I wouldn't give one anyway - that's what the breast is for!

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