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So fed up of breastfeeding

(13 Posts)
hiss42 Mon 26-Sep-11 18:40:15

My DS is 6 weeks and he hasn't been off my boob in all that time. He still feeds every hour at night, as well as cluster feeding (being permantly attached more like) between 4 and 8. I'm literally raw.

He gained an entire 1lb in his first week and is putting on a ton of weight and I've got a lot of milk. It's just the constant feeding I cant deal with. I can't do anything. Even the rare moments he's not feeding, he won't be put down. I haven't even been able to wash up because he just screams if I put him down! My back is killing from being hunched over at night because I'm exhausted and carrying him round in a sling all day!

How can I stop him wanting to constantly feed? I know it happens in growth spurts but this has been a solid 6 weeks! I've tried expressing and he takes a bottle but it takes longer to pump milk then it does to feed him.

wishingforsleep Mon 26-Sep-11 18:49:06

Sounds like you need a break. Maybe you could try giving him a dummy, he might just like suckling for comfort rather than hunger. If it is hunger, maybe combination feeding will give you a rest. A little bit of formula is not bad. There is a lot of pressure to exclusively breastfeed, but your sanity and wellingbeing is more important.

jaggythistle Mon 26-Sep-11 18:58:39

at about this age my DS got a bouncy chair with vibrations and would sometimes happily watch me make tea or even have a wee nap while i put my feet up. any chance he'd like that?

the constant feeding won't be forever, try to hold out a bit longer and it should get better. smile

try to get a wee comfy corner to set up in so you don't end up hunched over, i had to try a couple of different pillow arrangements.

I'm not sure that formula would help, from what I've read on here some newborns like to feed often and be held a lot anyway. plus you'd have bottles to prepare and clean which always seemed like a lot of effort!

same with expressing, i just did it when i had to for going back to work.

try to give yourself a break and leave the washing up if you can.

good luck and hope things calm down soon for you.

TheBluthCompany Mon 26-Sep-11 19:02:02

Sounds like you're having a tough time. He's still very tiny at 6 weeks, it will get much easier. As he grows he will get quicker at getting the milk out too. My DS was a bit like that and he still feeds frequently (every few hours at 7 months) but he only takes a few minutes now.

Do you have people around you who can help? Try not to worry about the housework. Make sure you get a bit of time to yourself each day, even if it's just half an hour to take a bath.

Well done for getting this far!

HandMini Mon 26-Sep-11 19:05:04

Please don't give up! Exactly like you, my DD fed all the time in the first six weeks, I had incredibly sore nipples, and I really didn't feel like we had BFing cracked until around 8 weeks. BUT...thank goodness we did, because now it's so easy, and lovely, and great for comfort and cudddles and soothing as well as feeding.

Could you perhaps try to introduce the beginnings of a routine? Nothing crazy, but perhaps just a quick bath, into a fresh sleepsuit and swaddle at 8pm after the clusterfeed. I did this from 6 weeks and it worked surprisingly well to get DD started on sleeping longer than an hour or so at night. If nothing else, it would help you feel as though your day is not just one long feed.

I second the advice for dummies - you do need to persevere with them - help your baby by lightly holding them in place until they get the hang of them. I found the Tommy Tippee cherry teat ones the best.

Brilliantly well done on your feeding so far...a pound in a week is amazing.

EauRouge Mon 26-Sep-11 19:18:09

Sounds like you're doing a fantastic job smile The first 6 weeks can be very tough, I've heard it described as 'boob boot camp' but once things start settling down (which will be very soon!) then it does get a lot easier. How often would you say he's feeding exactly and how long does it go on for?

You've been given some great ideas on how to cope, I agree that a formula top up may not be the best idea. 'Comfort' sucking at this stage will really help to establish your supply so at this stage it's important to let your DS feed away. He will get more efficient at getting milk out and before you know it things will be easy.

My DD1 was an un-put-downable baby and a vibrating bouncy chair was a god-send! You can move the chair around so that he can see what you're up to, that may help. What sort of sling do you have? Would a different one be easier on your back?

Mampig Mon 26-Sep-11 19:26:57

Could u break it up by taking him for a walk in the buggy? My ds fed constant like that for first few weeks too. Dh took him for walks in the evening either buggy or just carried him. The fresh air zonked him for an hour and I got a break for bath or shower smile. He would have cried for a while but then settled but cos he was out of house I couldn't hear him so got some much needed me time wink . It will get better in a couple more weeks though x

ShowOfHands Mon 26-Sep-11 19:27:37

DS is 3wo and the same but I will say, my nipples aren't sore. I use lansinoh regularly but am v careful to check my latch, EVERY time. It's easy when you're exhausted and feeding all the time to get sloppy with it. It's possible to ride out these early weeks without the pain if you attend to the latch well.

DS is also gaining 1lb a week and feeds constantly. He lives in the sling. DD was the same. I know it passes though some days it doesn't feel like it.

organiccarrotcake Mon 26-Sep-11 22:48:11

This is very normal newborn behaviour rather than breastfeeding related, but it's so intense when it's only you who is able to do the feeding. It's worth remembering that this is how your milk supply gets really set up, and in another couple of weeks this will be "set", so all the hard work so far has done loads of good.

Can you get someone to check your sling? If it's hurting your back it might need adjusting, or you might wish to try a different one. What do you have?

Some babies are just really intense like this, no matter how they're fed, and they just need that constant closeness while they get used to being out in the world. It does improve, it really does, and by carrying him and keeping him close you're teaching him that you will respond to his needs, and that he is ok and safe. Research shows that this helps to make a high needs baby more independant.

Don't make this feel that you can't separate from him though - it doesn't have to be just you. Can your OH, or a friend carry him in the sling for a while? With a high needs baby it's often a good idea to work out strategies to get through the first 8-10 weeks (after which things often start to settle) rather than fighting it (which just doesn't work), so sharing the carrying can help. If he's taking a bottle ok, although expressing is a pain is it enough to get a bit of you-time? An evening bath or just a walk out on your own?

Try to grab those moments when you can to give you the energy to get through the next few weeks. It WILL get better.

organiccarrotcake Mon 26-Sep-11 22:49:28

I did miss the bit about the soreness though - sorry. What have you done so far to try to fix this?

fallingandlaughing Tue 27-Sep-11 17:09:23

One really useful tip I had from a breastfeeding support worker was to follow the rule of baby to breast, not breast to baby. She got me to sit shoulders back in a comfortable chair, shake my body so it was relaxed and bring DD to the breast. It really makes all the difference to the strain being put on your body.

Housework can wait, don't feel bad about having to devote all your time to the baby, it will be for such a short time.

TheProvincialLady Tue 27-Sep-11 17:22:16

What kind of sling are you using? A stretchy wrap sling is very comfortable and you would usually be able to carry around such a tiny baby all day without getting a back ache. Whereas baby bjorn and many other types are murder on your back and not great for the baby either.

It wold be perfectly ok for you to hand your DS over to someone else for an hour or two in the daytime (or evening), if you wanted to and if there was someone you could do that with. He won't starve in that time but you would get a break.

Have you tried feeding lying down? Being hunched over suggests that you are sitting up to feed and if you are that exhausted it would be safer for you to lie down and do it, provided you co slept safely and following all the guidelines. Does he sleep in a cot /crib/moses basket at the moment? If o you may find that he is waking every hour mainly for comfort and would settle much better with you next to him. I loved co-sleeping as it meant I could sleep while DS fed and I felt so much better for it. It doesn't have to last forever so ignore anyone who talks about making a rod for your own back etc.

This stage won't last long, honestly - it just feels like it at the time.

bolshyvicky Tue 27-Sep-11 17:52:37

Please don't give up. This is normal. This unsettled behaviour might well continue if you weaned your child onto formula (this happened to a friend of mine- and she was heartbroken).

I was given a sling as a gift and was very committed to "babywearing" - until my child was actually born. It was backbreaking and exhausting and when you have a very alert, feedy baby, it's just giving them more things to look at and be stimulated by. Trying taking your child around in a pram, even in the house. It'll give you a rest.

It will get easier. Six months sounds like ages away, but it isn't, and your life will be so much better when your older child can be fed by you, anywhere, rather than faffing about with stupid bottles.

Please feel proud of the wonderful work you're doing and the gift you're giving your son by breastfeeding him- warmth, comfort, health, closeness and love. Dishes and stuff can wait- you can't get this time back with your beautiful little boy.

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