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9 week old agitated feeding seems I don't have enough milk?

(12 Posts)
LoobyLou33 Wed 06-Jul-11 22:33:52

My DS is 9 weeks old and his feeding has gone really weird in the last 3 days. I've been ebf him since getting home from hospital (started on formula primarily as in special care) and he's been gaining weight well and feeding well.

Having settled into something like one boob every 3 hours or so, he's been wanting both of them and at least every 3 hours if not more often since Saturday. Sometimes he'll only feed for a few minutes before yanking back, sucking just the nipple (OUCH!) shock then crying and fussing. It feels very much like there isn't sufficient milk for him and he's most upset. Sometimes switching him to the opposite boob helps, and changing positions helped yesterday, but this evening it didn't matter which position he was in - he was distressed and coming off.

I wonder if it's a growth spurt but it also worries me that my milk is drying up? This evening he only sucked for 3 mins on the right boob before coming off and crying - when I tried expressing it a bit later there was virtually nothing there (and usually I express a bit each day so I have a few ebm bottles for when I want some extra sleep/to go out, so I know I CAN get a decent amount at the pump).

I wonder whether my expressing has contributed to this (only ever give DS one bottle per day of around 80 ml), and/or the fact that last week he started sleeping for a bit longer? He went for 5-6 hours straight rather than 3-4 which was wonderful for my sleep + sanity, but he's now back to 3-4 again. confused

Any suggestions or reassurance would be welcome- very concerned he's going hungry!! sad

I tried the helplines tonight but no luck and next local bf clinic is Friday...

kimberlina Wed 06-Jul-11 22:51:29

Didn;t want you to go unanswered tonight. I think it is very unlikely that your milk is drying up if you've been demand feeding for 9 weeks or so. And if you are stressed or worried as you express you won't get nearly as much.

When he comes off could it be that you have a forceful let down and he's coming off because he can't swallow quickly enough. Do you ever have milk squirting out when he comes off? Have you tried putting him back on if he's crying?

Could he be cluster feeding if he is sleeping a little bit better?

Don't really know the answer but if you are having good wt gain and plenty wet nappies then I really don;t think you need to be worrying about drying up.

I would feed feed feed as he wants.

Hope someone more knowledgable is here soon.

TheRealMBJ Thu 07-Jul-11 05:38:30

Your milk isn't drying up.

It sounds as if your DS is becoming frustrated at the breast and this may be because he is becoming frustrated (as he gets older) at waiting for your let-downs, it may be compounded by the fact that you are using a bottle as the flow from a bottle teat is constant.

He may also be going through a growth spurt (9 weeks is not an uncommon time for a mini-spurt iirc).

It may be worth trying to drop the bottle for the time being and just feeding on demand and as much skin-to-skin as you can manage.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Jul-11 11:56:51

Like the others have said it is highly unlikely that your milk is drying up or that he is hungry but if you are stressed it may be compounding the situation.

Is he givng you plenty of wet and dirty nappies? Is he bright and alert at times? If the answer is yes I think you have very little to worry about.

Have you tried the Helplines today or is there a local Bfing Counsellor you could call?

LoobyLou33 Thu 07-Jul-11 21:27:07

hi thanks for the replies and reassurance: kimerlina i did read yours in the middle of the night but couldn't reply, appreciate you responding quickly. smile

he;s been much better today and gone back mostly to one boob per feed so i suspect it was a growth spurt though i didn't think they happened at 9 wks but each bubba's different! it was stressing me a bit but that's a vicious circle isn't it, as it's hard to stay calm when ds is getting upset. i was putting him back on a few times but same response. i'm going to a bf drop in tomorrow cos even though today's been better it's been up and down since weekend.

i've dropped regular bottle feed for now but will still need it on occasion - is it common for babies getting emb to get fussy like this? i do hope not as it's saved my sanity to have the odd afternoon and evening off!

the only other thing i wondered about is we've had lots of visitors since friday anda few with little (noisy!) kids...wondered whether that could have affected his feeding as i was doing it while they were around.

LoobyLou33 Thu 07-Jul-11 21:30:05

ps jilted yes he's very alert in fact even more this week than before and nappies are wet and dirty as ever!!

TheRealMBJ Thu 07-Jul-11 21:50:18

smile

Glad to hear it Looby. Yes, I do think the increased activity could have contributed to his agitation (they are so, so sensitive at this age). Here is some good information about fussiness and preference here too

I wouldn't worry too much if you still need to use an occasional bottle of ebm.

TheRealMBJ Thu 07-Jul-11 21:51:38

confused Not sure where that 'preference' came from

japhrimel Thu 07-Jul-11 21:59:30

Yanking back like that and trying to nipple suck actually suggests to me that he wants to comfort suck but doesn't want much milk - they get less if they clamp down or shallow suck. So it could be teething, or just feeling a bit needy or rotten.

kimberlina Thu 07-Jul-11 22:21:24

Glad it helped - I remember feeling so alone in the middle of the night smile Why do difficult moments always come in the middle of the night? Or maybe things just seem more difficult in the middle of the night. grin

kimberlina Thu 07-Jul-11 22:22:07

Blimey - that's a lot of 'middle of the night's grin

LoobyLou33 Tue 12-Jul-11 15:44:54

just an update - I called NCT helpline Sunday after he did it again and they said it sounds like thrush. Apparently if baby has an infected mouth it can be painful to do the harder sucks so they pull off.

He doesn't have white spots but I remembered feeling shooting pains in both boobs last week (not bad enough to do anything about it) and also had some itchiness, so it seems quite possible. I'm treating us for thrush anyway and will see if that helps.

The NCT counsellor suggested stroking/massaging his cheek up to temple to alleviate any pain and this has worked in getting him back on or to latch on and have a proper feed (sometimes he would barely latch on at all before pulling straight off). Thought I'd share that in case it helps anyone else.

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