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Baby won't stop feeding - HELP!

(19 Posts)
Scorpette Fri 01-Jul-11 13:52:01

DS (PFB) is 6 wks tomorrow. All he wants to do is BF or fall asleep on my tummy - he goes absolutely mental if I put him down for a second or he is transferred/put onto another surface to sleep (ie his moses basket). He will tolerate someone else holding him for up to 10 mins if he needs winding but that's it. An example of what I mean is this: yesterday, He was up at 5.50 - was on my nipples until 12.30, bar a couple of 10 mins naps cuddled on top of me (started screeching if I moved). I managed to get him to sleep in his moses basket - a miracle - until 2pm, whereupon he latched on, between a few short naps until 7.30. My partner then took him off to another room so I couldn't hear him crying so I could eat. Back on the breast from 8pm until 11.30 when he finally fell asleep and we got him into his moses basket after 7 tries! He then slept well until 4am this morning and he was back on my breast. He's still there - am typing a few words of this an hour whenever I get a hand free! He is so demanding that he doesn't like me to move or do anything but touch/hold him as he feeds. I feel like I'm in a remake of Boxing Helena! It's also bad for me to be sat in one position for so long as I had pre-eclampsia. He won't feed in any position apart from the 'normal' across the body one.

He will settle in his car seat or pram, but I can't drive and can't get the pram down the stairs inside our apartment block on my own and can't walk very far either, as am still recovering from severe SPD and birth injuries. All this means I can't get to any local groups, as am essentially housebound with pain and health probs. My parents do come over to take him out in his pram a few times a week but they are OAPs and look after my 91 yr-old Gran too, so I don't want to impose too much and them doing stuff for me is not a long-term solution anyway. Also, I have allergies and digestive problems and can't eat normal snacks and quick meals, so am going huge stretches of time without eating (sometimes 8 hours in the morning before I can eat) and when I do eat, it's because I've put him down and am ramming something into my gob whilst he bellows and sobs uncontrollably nearby.

I'm suffering v badly from vasospasm (blanching of the nipples - excruciatingly painful) and have seen a lactation specialist to sort out the shallow latch issues which have caused this. She said that once he is latched on properly he'll not want or need to feed for these huge stretches of time any more, but I have improved things by 70% and although it's really helped the pain, etc., he's still feeding just as much. HV and paediatrician both just say I should put him down and let him cry it out, but I can't bear it - I don't agree with letting babies cry until they're so distraught they shut up and apart from that, I can't stand the noise. And we live in an apartment block, so I have to think of the neighbours (man below is retired, so in all day).

Have tried expressing but never have time free or enough milk left to do it very often and when I do, he'll often drink 3-4 fl. oz and still want an hour or more on the breast straight after!

It's not only boring and frustrating and painful, I worry that only wanting to feed could start to retard his development - he has no interest in his bouncy chair or play mat or anything. He doesn't even like being winded, as it takes him off the boob!

He's not tongue-tied and is perfectly healthy. He's not even particularly chubby!

Any tips? I feel like I'm suffocating here sad Sorry it's so long - just trying to get all facts down. This has taken me 6 hours to write inbetween mad feeding!

japhrimel Fri 01-Jul-11 14:04:55

How's his weight? My DD had issues with not getting a deep enough latch (it looked fine to MWs etc but wasn't good enough for her) and her weight gain was worryingly slow at first. In the early weeks, she was on the boob most of the time - a typical "feed" would be 90 minutes, with continuous cluster feeding in the evening. Her feeds (at 6mo) are now 5 minutes!

Do you have a sling? He may just want to be held by you. So even if you don't feed in a sling (can be done, can be very useful) you may be able to get around without him crying with a sling.

Do not worry about development. The first 3 months are all about growing and waking up to the world - it's sometimes called the 4th trimester!

Could relfux be an issue? Wanting to continuously suck is sometimes associated with this - as it hating being put down.

CareyHunt Fri 01-Jul-11 14:14:16

Does he always feed like this, or is it just over the last few days?

6 weeks can be time for a bit of a growth spurt...they feed constantly, your supply ups a bit, and it all calms down a bit. You've just got to go with it to be honest, it's a PITA.

Even if you can't manage to eat as well as you should, make sure you are drinking plenty- it's really important for your supply.

My first one was also un-putdownable, I'm trying to think back to things that helped. Bouncy chair in front of the washing machine seemed to occupy him for a bit, as did hoover running. Also did a lot of carrying in a sling.

I haven't tried it myself, but I have heard great things about cranial osteopathy for v. unsettled babies.

Above all, it WILL improve. Keep your chin up smile

Scorpette Fri 01-Jul-11 14:27:50

Thanks guys. His weight gain is excellent and he has been like this since week 3. I have a sling but haven't used it properly yet - I just cannot get the hang of putting him in (I have a v large chest, so it's awkward) and my breasts and nips are still so painful from the vasospasm and constant feeding that having him against my chest is agonising anyway. He doesn't seem to like me actually cuddling him for the sake of cuddling, nor anyone else cuddling him - he just wants my nipples! I cry for huge stretches of time as he feeds because it's unbearable and so overwhelming. Not PND - it's just bloody awful.

thisisyesterday Fri 01-Jul-11 14:30:21

have you thought about keeping a food diary?
my ds2 was a very unhappy baby, he cried almost all the time and wnated feeding continuously.

turned out he was intolerant to egg and dairy and once i cut them out of my diet he was far, far happier and more content.
i think he wanted to feed a lot justbecause it made him feel a bit better while he was nursing

RitaMorgan Fri 01-Jul-11 17:10:50

Have you tried a dummy?

YogaMummy2B Fri 01-Jul-11 17:47:23

By the sounds of it your baby has silent reflux. Very common and made worse in many cases by mother consuming dairy whilst BFing. Your LO is also more likely to have intolerances if anyone in the family does!
If a dummy helps, it may just give you a little break for the loo at least!
Ask HV about silent reflux and try ranitidine as a first option for medication, it's an antacid. Worked like a miracle with my DD at 4 weeks and after 3 days I could have had a brass band playing in the bedroom and she would have still slept!! Previously I could not set her down and once didn't go to the loo until 3pm! My SIL called round and I realised I was about to have an accident if I didn't hand my LO over!

Adjoko Fri 01-Jul-11 23:09:03

Have you considered the option of introducing formula in your LO feeding routine to give yourself and your nipples a bit of respite. I am a 100% for bf and trying to bf entirely myself but it seems like you are really on the edge of what you can emotionally bear and even for your LO sake, better a healthy mum giving bf+formula than a nervously on the edge mum bf-ing only. It could be as well that it is becoming a vicious circle where your baby can feel your tension and is even more nervous; hence his overwhelming desire to be with you, on your breast for comfort and reassurance.

The dummy is also an option I agree with RitaMorgan.

In any case your baby is healthy and strong so do not worry or feel guilty about trying a couple of alternative options as he has enough reserves and will always feel loved by you because you genuinely do.

Scorpette Sat 02-Jul-11 18:25:34

Update: have been swapping him from breast to breast more often and giving him his dummy when he seems to just be sucking for comfort or out of boredom and this has cut down the time he's on my breast a little bit. I looked up silent reflux and I think he does have it, although not too severely. I'm trying to follow the online tips to combat it.

I really appreciate everyone's tips and suggestions smile

I am also trying to cheer myself up by reminding myself that at least all this BFing is making me lose the horrendous amount of weight I put on during my pg really quickly!

afussyphase Sat 02-Jul-11 21:23:59

our first dd was exactly like this! I'm also all for breastfeeding (in fact I'm doing it at the moment with dd2) but here's what we did: I wrote down all the feeding times to convince myself it wasn't normal. Then I showed them to the health visitor. She recommended topping up with a little formula - like 60-90 mL after a good solid 45-60-min breastfeed if the baby was still hungry. Of course she checked the latch, sucking, etc. We did it. It was great - I'd get at least a 1hr gap between feeds and sometimes more, which was such a huge relief at the time. She NEVER took a dummy, NEVER wanted to just be held. She was simply hungry, I guess. She loved breastfeeding till 14 months when she decided that was enough. Good luck, I really hope it goes well for you.

HumptyDumpty1 Sat 02-Jul-11 22:06:56

I have no advice, just wanted to say you are a miracle woman for coping and you should be very proud! I would have no hair left...

KeepOnSwimming Sun 03-Jul-11 03:23:09

My baby is still very young - 6 days - but ia also like this! 3 hour or 4 hour feeds.... will try some of the suggestions here...

Hope you find your solution!

TruthSweet Sun 03-Jul-11 11:18:42

KeepOnSwimming - 3 or 4 hour feeds are normal at 6 days so there isn't much you can do to stop it that won't endanger your milk supply being established. Giving a dummy might change her ability to latch (dummies use a piston type tongue motion rather than the wave motion of bfing and offering top ups will tell your body to make less milk). Slinging baby can help you get a rest from feeding on the sofa though!

This is of course providing that baby isn't still losing weight, nipples aren't mis-shaped when a feed is over (lipstick shaped or compressed/blanched) and you aren't in pain for the whole duration of the feed, in which case it would be a good idea to get a Infant Feeding specialist MW or breastfeeding counsellor to check the latch/attachment/positioning.

If there is no ongoing pain, nipples are nipple shaped at the end of a feed, baby is doing at least 6 wet disposable nappies and pooing at least twice a day (£2 coin sized, yellow/korma coloured perhaps greenish but not dark green or meconium looking) then it is just newborn baby behaviour that will get easier as they get older. It is tough though!

Yesmynameis Sun 03-Jul-11 11:28:54

Scorpette, I just wanted to second that you are AMAZING!

I think your current plan of using the dummy seems to be the way forward and what I would have suggested too reading your op.

I would also persevere with the sling, if you can find a way that's comfy for you it'll enable you to get out and about, eat etc and generally make life a bit easier. Looking back I should have gone straight for a sling with my dd, for some reason I didn't and ended up glued to the sofa for weeks. Next time I'll be going straight for the sling!

Good luck and keep doing what you're doing, you're doing brilliantly smile

KeepOnSwimming Sun 03-Jul-11 17:15:44

Scorpette - sorry to hijack

TruthSweet - yes it is painful and my nipples end up lipstick shaped, but whenever I do get her positioned correctly she re adjusts the latch and it all ends in tears. She finds it very difficult to open her mouth wide enough to take my somewhat outsize nipples... might just have to wait and endure until her mouth grows bigger! If her chin is against my skin opening her mouth to take the nipple only comes halfway up it, and she misses... if you see what I mean..

Anyway - will be trying a breastfeeding support group this week!

TruthSweet Sun 03-Jul-11 18:21:32

KeepOnSwimming - You have probably not seen this animation (it's Russian o fairly obscure grin) but it is a useful way to see the 'Flipple' technique of latching (also known as Exaggerated Latch/Attachment) which can help in getting a baby to get a deeper latch.

This thread might also help as it has a good RL video on the last post and another good written/picture explanation on a link the 2nd post.

Has your baby been checked for tongue tie by the MWs? Sometimes a baby's ability to open their mouth wide is hampered by a TT and this can cause lipstick shaped nipples. I'm not saying it is that for definite but it might be a good idea to get it checked just to be on the safe side.

KeepOnSwimming Sun 03-Jul-11 19:21:13

TruthSweet. They did check but I might ask again as it was very cursory.

Cool animation! I'll give it a try!

KeepOnSwimming Sun 03-Jul-11 19:59:24

Blimey that Flipple thing works! One side anyway.... just got to stop her readjusting herself now,...

TruthSweet Sun 03-Jul-11 20:19:52

Glad to hear it's worked for you. Sometimes different techniques work on different sides for mum/baby so it's always worth giving things a whirl to see if they help or not. If she's not used to a deep latch she might want to go back to what she knows (shallower latch) so may try to maneuver herself to a more familiar position before she becomes accustomed to it.

It's worth having a look at this especially the list of symptoms of TT to see if they 'fit' you and your baby.

It's also worth asking for a referral to a TT clinic rather than getting an inexperienced MW/HV to check and miss it as some TTs are as plain as the nose on your face and anyone could spot them, and other ones are very sneaky and need a trained eye to spot.

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