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4 week old - short feeds

(14 Posts)
citymonkey Mon 03-Oct-11 11:17:59

I posted another thread a couple of days ago about my 4 week 3 day old son feeding for shorter periods - around 10 mins per feed max as opposed to usual 15-20, and queried whether this was to do with the heat. I also noticed in last couple of days that my milk really squirts out - when little one came off the boob after few minutes yesterday, it squirted him in the face and I covered myself in the stuff. I haven't noticed this before now and pretty sure it wasn't always like that! This morning I wanted to see what flow of milk was like so after 7am feed (which lasted only about 8 mins) I expressed for only second time and got 2.5/3oz in about 8 mins. Last time I tried I got about 1.5oz in about 15 mins.

Could the reason he is feeding for less time be because milk comes out so quickly? Also if I express 2.5oz in 8 mins does that mean little one gets about the same amount when he feeds for the same length of time?? I am just really worried he is not getting enough food. Up until now he has been gaining weight on track (and I will get him weighed a week tomorrow as HV last time I saw her said come back for weigh in 2 weeks - or should I get him weighed tomorrow too?). He is producing plenty of wet and dirty nappies and duri g the day goes 3 hrs between feeds (I wake him if necessary) then generally same with one longer stretch at night.

Can't stop worrying about it!!

tiktok Mon 03-Oct-11 11:34:15

Everything sounds fine - you are a mother with what sounds like a generous milk supply and a fast 'hair trigger' let down reflex, and there are lots of people like this...their babies cope just fine, usually.

I think it will help if you trust the process (which is no more difficult to your body than breathing or circulating your blood) and your baby - healthy babies adapt to what they need and what the 'provision' is....usually. Nothing in your post indicates a problem, except with your confidence smile

You can also trust your baby.

Healthy babies who have reached their birthweight do not need weighing more often than once a month and more frequent weighing is pointless at best, and misleadingly anxiety-making at worst. Waste of time and resources, IMO smile.

Expressing is not the same as a baby feeding direct. If you express 2.5 oz in 8 mins, this could be more or less than your baby gets in that time - it's a different process, and you don't need to compare.

Would a breastfeeding support group help build your confidence, do you think?

citymonkey Mon 03-Oct-11 11:41:05

Thank you so much for your reply! You are bang on re the confidence thing... As in I don't have much! Am very anxious about him generally and maybe a bf support group would help. I should try and find one in my area.

I guess I just worry there is some underlying problem. He seems quite restless when he sleeps - v v noisy at times, wriggling and grunting a lot. I don't THINK he is in discomfort but am worried that he might be??

I am exhausting myself with the worrying but I just can't help it as I feel like I don't know what is normal.

lucindapie Mon 03-Oct-11 12:27:18

Hi Citymonkey,

I have a 5 week old, and am pretty new to this mothering business also! My baby is also a v noisy sleeper and I read in a baby book that's completely normal.
As a matter of fact, my baby sleeps much more quietly in a wrap, I have no idea why, she is so quiet then I check she is breathing as it's really unusual for her not to be noisy!

tiktok Mon 03-Oct-11 12:32:55

Restless, noisy, wriggly sleep with random grunts, snorts, sneezes, farts plus a side-order of wiggles and writhes is normal, normal, normal....most young babies do it at some time, and some babies do it a lot.

It does not mean there is something wrong. It's an artefact of our modern society where we just don't come into contact with new babies much until we have our own that makes this worrying to us - we just dont see sufficient babies to know just how normal the restless wriggly stuff can be.

Babies are not stoical. If they are in pain or discomfort, they do not sleep through it.

Meeting other mothers in real life is a fantastic antidote to the worrying thing, which as you say is exhausting, citymonkey.

estya Mon 03-Oct-11 22:52:21

My LO is, and has always been a very quick feeder although I really struggle to get anything to speak of from a breast pump (have tried 3 types including the medela swing).
She has always put on weight well etc so i think its just the way her and I are made.

(despite what some midwives will tell you) expressing isn't an indication of your supply.

citymonkey Wed 05-Oct-11 18:45:02

It's odd because he will also start feeding (lately he has started coming on and off a lot so it can take 45 minutes to get him 10 mins of food) and after 6-8 mins will start to really fuss and pull away (sometimes with nipple still in his mouth, sometimes not) and seem to get agitated and cry, I don't know whether because he is full or not full enough though. It's really distressing and I almost feel scared of him because I am worried he is in pain or something? I can't tell if he is in pain, or agitated because he is getting milk too fast or too slow (if anything I would assume too fast - see above). I feel like I don't know what to do. If I sit him up he will sometimes sit quietly and be burped, sometimes will push his legs out and throw his head back. I am so anxious, I feel like I don't know what he wants and that he doesn't get any comfort from me.

Have made appt to see Clare Byam Cook tomorrow as she has come recommended by various people.

citymonkey Wed 05-Oct-11 21:03:45

PS though have just done a search on here for CBC and am amazed at the vitriol... Am hoping she will be able to help me though.

tiktok Wed 05-Oct-11 21:54:26

Hope things go well for you, and you get good support and help, citymonkey.

I think you may have over-supply....there are ways to deal with this, though, and when it gets easier to cope with, confidence improves.

Mollcat Wed 05-Oct-11 22:27:36

Throwing his head back sounds like it might be reflux. I know grunting, noisy sleeping, feeding very little and often/feeds taking ages (they sort of merge into one another after a while), these things are all normal, but I spent weeks thinking I didn't want to be a fussy new mum when I thought something was wrong, then the last two months being fobbed off. Now he's being treated for silent reflux and I think I'm starting to see some improvement in his multiple allergy symptoms through cutting out dairy.

Don't totally discount your instincts because you don't have the confidence (yet) to follow them - if you think your LO is in pain you might be right. But other mothers would be a good place to start - might help you get some info to approach a GP if you are still concerned.

citymonkey Thu 06-Oct-11 22:40:27

By way of update, it seems I do have v fast milk flow. Poor little one gulping it down. CBC when I met sighted this morning watched me feed him (it wasn't that bad a feed typically - or maybe they just aren't that bad!) and showed me better feeding and winding position. She also explained some BF mechanics to me re flow / milk supply which was helpful. Action plan was (i) try nipple shields as these can help with milk flow, and (ii) if that doesn't work, try feeding him EBM from a bottle as if he will take that ok then we know is a BF issue. If on the bottle experiment he only takes small amount / is still v fussy etc, could be an indicator of silent reflux, in which case trip to docs.

I have made an appointment at docs for tomorrow anyway.

After I saw her, I went to a friend's house and fed him there, but with lots of burping and winding between (using her technique) and he had a longer feed and I got him to have both sides. He was awake for about 2 hours, and then fell asleep in buggy. I had to wake him for next feed and he went 4 hrs between. The 4pm feed was less good - didn't use shields (I wanted to see if could replicate the earlier feed!) and some crying / pulling off. He had a sleep and then woke at 6:30pm. I used shields for one side (that went well) and not for other (didn't go so well). He fell asleep on my chest when I was winding him at about 8 but woke again at 8:30 - he seemed hungry so I gave him another 15 mins or so but he had the pulling away for a bit then I put him on other side with shield and was better. Settled on my chest and I put him down about ten ish. I am a bit baffled. Bearing in mind I guess all babies have reflux to some extent (which is why they are sick, but usually it isn't problematic):

- shields seem to work which makes me think issue is fast flow coupled with wind
- how do I know when he is not settling because he's a baby and sometimes they don't (!) vs reflux causing discomfort??
- he doesn't seem to mind being put on his back, though am going to experiment with this when have fed him...
- he can go 3 (most usually), 4 or even 5 hrs between feeds - if he had reflux would he not be limited in how long he can go be ause of how much his tummy could take?
- iI need to note whether he is in discomfort after feeding generally - but again, what is wind vs reflux??

I need to find a BF group I think.

TikTok - your thoughts much appreciated!!

citymonkey Thu 06-Oct-11 22:42:25

PS I should also say it was wonderful talking go my friend (mother of two) today - she saw me feed him (was a good feed but we winded him lots) and her view was basically wind and that the other stuff was basically normal baby stuff.

MigGril Thu 06-Oct-11 23:06:56

My though (from a mum of two one who had reflux and one not) is that if it was reflux, he'd want to feed more often then 3-4hours. BM seem's to help with the acid pain so they feed little and often. I take it your thinking silent reflux as he's not being sick?

I think you will find reflux baby's cry a lot and are very incosolable at time's, DD was a very grummpy baby untill she turned 6months and outgrew the reflux issue. But she was also a sick baby so it was quit clear it was reflux.

Baby's can be quit unseatled at time's and often we don't know why, it is hard. I hope you find some answers

citymonkey Fri 07-Oct-11 13:26:02

Thanks MigGril - he doesn't really cry incosolably much / at all, and he isn't sick much (just normal baby amount I think). He frequently goes 3 hrs between feeds (I wake him in the day if nec) and will go for 4 hours or more sometimes.

The 'silent reflux' symptoms I can identify are basically:

- he gets the hiccups a lot
- when I don't use the shields he comes off the boob quite a lt; I think this has to be to do with my superfast flow??
- sometimes he seems like he's been sick and swallowed it back down - occasionally this results in a big cough or splutter and he will make an odd face
- after feeding he can be very squirmy / making straining sounds / seem unhappy, though I have noticed that I can usually get a burp out of him at these times
- he feeds for a short length of time (but given my fast flow / abundance of milk, when he feeds for five mins he could be getting a lot of volume).

I am starting to give him gripe water which has been recommended. Am taking him to the GPtoday, am going to try and get him weighed.

I feel like such an incompetent that potentially I don't know the difference between wind and reflux...

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