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Should I continue to breastfeed?

(17 Posts)
Ahamer Fri 09-Sep-11 21:02:10

Confused about what to do. My 5 week old is breastfed apart from his 11pm feed. Recently she hasn't seemed v content during feeds, she seems to get v frustrated. Tonight she'd fed from both breasts but still seemed upset. I decided to try a top up of formula thinking she may have a little bit but she actually drank 160ml! She is a good size, 9lbs 6ozs at birth. Now I'm unsure what to do next. I feel like I've been starving her & know that's always going to be on my mind if I continue to breastfeed. But not sure I'm ready to give up. I've tried expressing but really struggling with this. I just want her to be happy & content. Would appreciate hearing your thoughts. Thanks!

bumbums Fri 09-Sep-11 21:12:32

Is she going a good time between feeds? My only advice is to stop all formula and breast feed as much as possible! Especially the 11pm feed. Give it a week and see if things improve/settle down.

Find your nearest La Leche League meeting and go or call the leader. They are a brilliant support.

Moodykat Fri 09-Sep-11 21:16:41

I'm in exactly the same boat! I have started to give formula after every feed and it's all starting to go tits up! If I didn't have DS1 running around I would be breastfeeding every half hour or so which is what DS2 seems to need but it's just not fair on DS1!
Don't mean to hijack your post but just wanted to say I feel your pain!

allday Fri 09-Sep-11 21:17:03

Lots of people do successfully mix feed. I am not one of those people so I might not be the best person to advise.

Most babies have a growth spurt at this age. The need more milk at 7 weeks than they do at 4-5 weeks (if you bottlefed you would put more formula in the bottle the older they get) and in order to make sure they get more then they very annoyingly start to cluster feed to make your body produce more milk. When your body has caught up then they settle down again. If you choose to top up with formula then your body won't catch up with they baby's demands and he will need more and more formula and its likely that you will end up stopping breastfeeding altogether.
If you want to continue breastfeeding then the best thing you can do is spend the next few days having lots of skin to skin and feed him constantly lots. Your milk supply will increase and s/he will settle down.

mercibucket Fri 09-Sep-11 21:18:47

is her weight gain ok?

sounds entirely normal from what you've said so far for a breastfed baby. they increase your milk supply by feeding, so the more they feed, the more milk you will produce next time round. So if she's going through a bit of a growth spurt and wants more milk, the worst thing to do (if you want to keep bf) is to offer formula topups and the best thing to do is to keep letting her bf as long as she seems to want to. they often have a growth spurt at around 6 weeks so more than likely she's working hard to increase your milk supply, which your body will do automatically if you just let her feed, even if it seems hardly any time since the last feed!

they also often 'cluster feed' in the evenings, I seem to remember this is to do with your milk producing hormones being most active at this time so if they feed lots in the evening/night you will make even more milk (which is why it isn't always a good idea to do the late evening bottle a lot of mums do - at least if you are worried about your milk supply)

thisisyesterday Fri 09-Sep-11 21:19:37

i am sure she hasn't been starving! she may, however, have started to prefer the nice fast bottle over the slower stop-start breastmilk!

If I were in your position I would cut out the bottles for a while and just breastfeed

MigGril Fri 09-Sep-11 21:22:13

5 week's is still really early day's. It's quit possible this is a growth spurt.

Why did you offer her a topup of formula? If you baby seems unseatled after offering both side the best thing to do is offer the first side again. You can keep offering the breast switching between sides untill she seatles. It's very comane for babies this young to cluster feed, ie want to feed often with short gaps between feed's. If you top up with formaula instead of offering the breast your baby will not be telling your body to produce more milk this can lead to a downward spiral of adding more formula as you feel your baby isn't getting enough.

The best thing to do is just offer the breast again, this way your body will produce more milk. You never run out of milk it's always being made and the more baby feed's the more you'll produce. Another thing to note is even a baby that's full after a BF will take more milk from a bottle, as the milk flows out faster from a bottle and stopping sucking doesn't stop the flow of milk.

I think your doing a great job you just need to relax trust your baby knows what she's doing and feed her when ever she ask's for it and you'll do just great.

RitaMorgan Fri 09-Sep-11 21:22:27

Totally agree with TIY - if you want to keep breastfeeding then drop the bottle, especially during a growth spurt. You haven't starved your baby, she just needs to suckle often to up your milk supply.

MigGril Fri 09-Sep-11 21:26:26

Moodykat - do you want to carry on feeding? If you can get help with your older one for a few day's go to bed with baby and just feed feed feed untill your supply catches up.

If not then can you do this over a weekend and learn to feed in a sling so you don't have to stop to feed the baby giving you hands free time you your older one.

Moodykat Fri 09-Sep-11 21:49:43

MigGril - how would I tie my sling to be able to feed in it? I'm so conflicted about whether to carry on or not! If taking to bed with him were an option I would definitely do that but sadly it's not something that would work for us. Some great advice on here though. My Dr even told me the other day that a bottle of formula at night helps them sleep! It's amazing how many people unknowingly tell you things that could completely fuck up the chances of being successful at bfing. sad

Ahamer Fri 09-Sep-11 22:48:33

Thanks for all the really good advice but I really feel she would be more content on bottles. Not sure I can cope with dropping the nighttime bottle feed. When I was breastfeeding fully, she wasn't settling well at night and I was getting very little sleep. Wouldn't be so bad if she was my only one but also got a 4 year old to keep up with. Although I may keep going until he starts full days at school in just over a week so I have more chance of catching a nap during the day. No more children after this so don't want to rush into something I'll regret. Still don't know what to do!!

Moodykat Fri 09-Sep-11 23:24:54

Ahemer, I think you are me!

Moodykat Fri 09-Sep-11 23:25:19

Oops, Ahamer! blush

MigGril Sat 10-Sep-11 06:41:38

It is hard with an older one. I to have a baby and an older one, but thankfully DS is quit an easy baby.

Would it be go to speck to someone in person have you tried ringing one of the help lines.

Do you have a local BF group, try your local childrens centre as they offten have a breastfeeding group baised there.

I would google the sling tyes on YouTube to give you an idea on how to do it. It's best to see then for me to try and explain. I actually used my ring sling for feeding in rather then a warp as I could put it on in a hurry. But you deffantly can do it in a wrap sling to.

The not seatlying in the evening is very normal for a baby this young, they cluster feed and it is the best time of day for stimulating your milk supply. Due to hormone level's, you have less milk in the evenings but this is higher fat content milk. I understand a lot of people fine giving a bottle at this time helpfull but it can impact on long term supply something you should be aware of.

Even if you use formula as a stop gap untill your older one start's school as long as you keep feeding a few time's a day you can get back to mainly breastfeeding when you have more time on your hands to concentrate on feeding. It's not a complete loss.

CamperFan Sat 10-Sep-11 08:20:51

To both of you struggling: 5 weeks in is still really really early days and it is really common for a baby to be unsettled, even if they have previously seemed more content. This could happen even if they were on bottles. OP, if you don't want to drop the 11pm bottle, then don't, but I doubt there is any actual need to top up after you have bf'd. At 5 weeks I was still feeding constatntly with DS2 - can you get your mum/MIL to stay so you can focus on feeding? That's what I did when DH went back to work. If your 4 yo is starting school next week, then you will have so much more time.

I have read that a baby will often drink the top ups even if they are not really hungry, just because it virtually flows into their mouth - it doesn't mean you have been starving her! You just need to have confidence in your body that it can do this. I am just saying this because I am still feeding at mnearly 11 months, and after the first 8 weeks or so it has been great, and after struggling with DS1 and stopping early, I have really appreciated it this time round (will be my last too, so I know how you feel).

cmm Sat 10-Sep-11 08:29:57

I have a 5 yr old girl and 11 wk old boy, both breastfed. Little girl was so unsettled but calmed down eventually and now sleeps fab! You have my empathy, it is so hard! But Even when she weaned she was unsettled!! Little boy is so different! Haven't done loads different, still offer boob whenever, but I haven't forced a bedtime routine with my new baby, just let him cluster feed. It's tiring but he then started to go three ish hours between feeds during night, then about five hours and now at 11 wkd sleeps 11-6!!! My personal feeling is to go with the cluster feeding and feed feed feed! If a baby us still hungry after a bottle, you'd give more bottle and not think bottle isn't suiting them! Therefore if baby unsettled after breast offer more! Like one poster said, houngan switch between them all the time till they settle. They are just increasing the milk supply to get more rather than asking for more through a bottle. It really Is a personal thing though. I have a bf woman who is fully trained who supports me' too, met her at a group she ran last time. Getting support is so useful. Good luck! It will get better! Xx

Sunflowergirl2011 Sat 10-Sep-11 08:40:02

I bf both my girls until 9 months, gradually moving to bottles from about 7 months iirc. All I would say if you switch to bottles is bear in mind all the faff and work needed with sterilising etc. When I started to give my oldest a bottle in the mornings it was a bit if a pain as we had to get up earlier to make the bottle, let it cool etc, whereas when you are bf you are ready straight away. also, trust your body, nature is a wonderful thing, you are not starving your baby ( but I know how bad you feel when you think you might be! )

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