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exhausted from breast feeding

(13 Posts)
ChloBurt Mon 11-Jul-11 08:53:56

my 10week old is still feeding every 2 hours day and night. My health visitor has told me that she is using me as a human dummy and doesnt need 2 feed this often. she has told me to make her go at least 3 hours between feeds. i have tried this but after 2 hours she is hysterical to feed. she only feeds for a very short period.

Any advice or tips on getting her to go longer between feeds? or take larger feeds?

GreenTeapot Mon 11-Jul-11 09:03:19

Your health visitor is nuts. A 10 week old feeding every 2 hours is normal. Of course she's not using you as a dummy, she's only tiny and she needs held and fed and to be close to her mum.

Be careful that you don't attribute your tiredness only to breastfeeding. However you feed her, at this age most babies still need carried, cuddled and comforted all the time. And formula won't necessarily mean she goes longer between feeds.

Having said all that, I think you need more support and rest. Do you have a partner, mum or friend who could take her out in the pram between feeds so you can sleep/eat/have a bath in peace? It is still early days and while this is normal it is also when the real bone-aching tiredness sets in. Don't feel you should be functioning fully yet - it's ok to have to ask for help.

GreenTeapot Mon 11-Jul-11 09:05:08

Also how do you feel about cosleeping? If you make sure you take precautions to do it safely it is a sanity-saver and means you can feed almost in your sleep smile

Secondtimelucky Mon 11-Jul-11 09:31:35

Greenteapot is right - it's totally normal in a 10 week old. DD ate pretty much every two hours during the day until she started on solids. If she's hungry, she's hungry, she doesn't understand that she's 'supposed' to go longer.

HV's talk bollocks mostly sometimes.

CelebratedMonkey Mon 11-Jul-11 09:36:07

My son fed every two hours in the day pretty much until he was weaned. I was lucky and he would go much longer at night. Ten weeks is very little, so you might find that night feeds start to go longer than two hours soon. Day time, you can certainly try going to three hours (I know some breastfed babies who were very happy with this), but I remember I could never manage it.

bunnyfrance Mon 11-Jul-11 09:39:27


Have you had your iron levels checked? Breastfeeding does take it out of you and you may feel less exhausted after taking a supplement.

HappyAsASandboy Mon 11-Jul-11 09:46:14

I think this is entirely normal. My twins fed every 2.5 hours until about 16 weeks (though I think they'd have fed more like every 2 if I could have physically done it - I was starting nappy changes as they got really hungry, but the cycle of changing - feeding - winding took 2.5 hours!). Then it went to more like 3 hours from start of feed to start of feed, and each feed shortened from about 45 mins to about 20 mins. Somewhere around 5 months, the feeding became really fast - they'd be done in less than 10 mins, and then when I started solids, they dropped to 3 feeds in the day (and an uncoutable number some nights!), all of which were super speedy.

I agree that this is likely to just be your baby's way of making you hold her close while she is so tiny and vunerable. It will improve, I promise smile

As an aside, she really isn't using you as a human dummy! The dummy is an artificial mummy, not the other way around!

Good luck - IME it is worth persevering with the breast feeding. It got so so much easier and was a breeze in the end grin

EauRouge Mon 11-Jul-11 09:58:05

Agree with the others, your HV is wrong. Human dummy? Sheesh hmm

2 hours between feeds is pretty normal, she'll probably go longer between feeds as she gets older. Feeding on demand is the best way to breastfeed, trying to space out feeds will just result in a miserable hungry baby.

DD1 was a frequent feeder and co-sleeping stopped me from going on a killing spree. It's not for everyone though, some mums find a side car cot or similar set up better. There are lots of options.

A decent diet also helps, try to eat lots of healthy food and maybe take some supplements if you think your diet is lacking in anything. I think the NHS recommends that BF mothers take vitamin D now anyway.

Is there a BF support group like LLL that you could go to? Sounds like your HV is not a great source of accurate information.

MamaChocoholic Mon 11-Jul-11 09:58:49

your health visitor is wrong. it makes no sense to say every baby should go 3 hours between meals. does every adult in the country eat the same number of meals at the same times?

my babies still prefer to feed 2 hourly at 9 months! like yours they only have short feeds. they can go up to 4 hours at this age, but I found they then had l.o.n.g feeds which I don't enjoy. turns out I prefer short but frequent feeds too!

it's hard at night though, but she will learn to sleep longer as her ability to sleep develops.

AngryGnome Mon 11-Jul-11 18:06:10

Agree with the others, this is a pretty normal feeding pattern at that age. The "human dummy" thing is silly too - it is true that your baby will get comfort,closeness and security from feeding in addition to nutrition which is a lovely bonus :-)

It may be that it is not just bf making you tired - having a newborn will tire you out. Is there anyone who could take your baby between feeds so you can have some rest - it can feel relentless at times.

japhrimel Mon 11-Jul-11 19:18:39

You would expect a baby to be able to go for longer than 2 hours between feeds at night by 10 weeks though. Try cramming more feeds in during the day and having someone else go into her for every other wake-up at night. If she's insonsolable, definitely feed her, but if you can get more milk into her during the day she should gradually start to need less at night.

At about the same age, my DD was feeding at least every hour when she was awake, because that's how she could get enough feeds in given she was catching up on weight gain and slept through the night!

You may also find switch feeding, breast compressions and feeding in a quiet room helpful to lengthen daytime feeds.

Muser Mon 11-Jul-11 19:41:54

Swaddling might help at night, I used a swaddle pod which you just zip them into, but you can just use a blanket. I found swaddling meant she didn't startle herself awake so would go longer at night.

japhrimel Mon 11-Jul-11 21:25:35

The book 'the no cry sleep solution' has got lots of useful tips to help a baby learn to go back to sleep without nursing.

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