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Feeling a bit confused!

(17 Posts)
sarahseager Sat 22-Oct-11 09:33:37

Hi all,

Im looking for some advice as i just feel like i'm in a bit of a muddle and things seem to be getting more confusing!

I have been exclusively breastfeeding my nearly 5 week old DD and she has been gaining weight extremely well (17 oz in 9 days at one point - eek)! I know that this is great and hv etc tells me she is thriving but I seem to have an extremely fast let down which can make feeding often quite stressful! She often gets overwhelmed with the milk and cries and coughs and splutters, it's very frustrating for her and can often take 10 mins or more for her to settle on the breast!

I was hoping this would settle down but it doesn't seem to be getting any better, perhaps a little bit worse! I try to hand express some milk off before a feed but it's difficult when she is so hungry and desperate to get on! She is also feeding very often, sometimes it feels constant, I do accept this is just the way it is when she is still so tiny but I'm concerned that the feeds never seem to satisfy her - I've had my latch checked and told that this is fine so this is why I'm getting a bit confused, I often feel like I don't know what boob to use either as she seems to do snack feeds! She can also spend quite a while on the breast once she does get on there, it's all so inconsistent!

The only time she doesnt seem to want to feed is when she's sleeping and this is hard to achieve! I would love her to be awake and settled but she only does this for a few mins at a time.

In addition to this in the last couple of weeks she has been displaying signs of possible silent reflux, she doesnt really cry about it but she is often quite unsettled, arching her back and straining, coughs and splutters randomly and chews like something has comeback up, she sometimes brings up some curdled milk but not enough to be considered being sick, I think it's just posseting. She can't sleep on her back at all well either unless in car seat or bouncy chair, in her Moses basket she wakes up after about 10-20 mins and wiggles and strains and grunts and groans until she wakes up again which results in another feed!

We took her to docs and he said its probably reflux and prescribed gaviscon but my instincts don't want to let me throw medicine at the issue and I wonder if it's something that may settle as she grows?

I know she is still very little, but her inability to settle at night is making me confused about what to do for the best, and the lack of sleep is getting a bit intense!

Sorry for the very long post just wanted to get all the detail down!

Thanks in advance for any advice xxx

tiktok Sat 22-Oct-11 09:43:34

This ticks all the boxes for over-supply, sarah - which is usually easily dealt with, mainly by block feeding (you can search for details here or google it, or find it on www.kellymom.com.

There may be reflux there as well, exacerbated by the over-supply, but my guess is your baby does not need medicine once the over supply is sorted.

MigGril Sat 22-Oct-11 09:57:31

As tiktok say's it's possibly over-supply.

But I just wanted to say your doing great, your baby's gaining loads of weight. The only happy and awake for a few minutes is quit normal at this age she'll get more awake as she get's older. Some baby's are difficult to setal away from you to she just wants comfort and to be close. Try to do things that will help maximaies your sleep as lack of sleep make's everything seem much worse. Nap when baby nap's even an extra hour can help.

Good luck.

RitaMorgan Sat 22-Oct-11 10:12:30

She obviously is thriving so don't worry that you're not satisfying her! Most breastfed babies do like to feed often, as the breast is food, drink, love, comfort, security, getting to sleep etc etc The 3 hourly feeders are the exception rather than the rule.

With sleep - lots of babies won't sleep in a basket/cot, or will only sleep in them in the day. I didn't get my ds in a cot at all until he was 5 months grin Naps were mostly in the sling, pram, or in bed with me, and he was in bed with me at night too. This is just a being near you issue rather than a feeding issue.

When you say you don't know which side to use - just swap sides every time she comes off one side or falls asleep. If you're feeding frequently and offering both sides often then I really wouldn't worry about which side was used last. I was terrible at remembering - I tried using a bracelet to remind me but then I forgot to switch the bracelet over too hmm

With the forceful let-down, have you tried taking her off when you feel the let down and then putting her back on when the flow slows? You need a muslin or breastpad handy for this!

sarahseager Sat 22-Oct-11 10:19:28

Thanks everyone, I really do agree that it probably is an oversupply problem just got to get my head around working through it!

Yes when the let down comes she will pull off anyway and often get covered in milk, I always have a couple of muslins handy but I can't seem to slow the flow, she goes off and on again with milk dripping everywhere until eventually she settles, unfortunately it seems like a vicious circle because I don't know when the milk has slowed down and she gets more and more frustrated and upset because she wants to feed!!

sarahseager Sat 22-Oct-11 12:52:13

Just a quick question about block feeding as I'm a bit confused, if you feed off one breast for a long time won't this just stimulate even more milk? Or is this then regulated by not using it for the next few hours?

MigGril Sat 22-Oct-11 13:30:39

I think the idea is that you don't feed from one breast for a period of time thurs the amount of milk the breast produces is reduced as more sucking=more milk.

tiktok Sat 22-Oct-11 13:35:31

Because it's frequency of feeding that drives supply (more than total time spent on the breast - which is why anyone saying babies 'have to' stay on X mins each feed can be ignored), and because the breast work more and more 'independently' after the very early days, reducing frequency reduces volume - that's why block feeding reduces supply.

Hope you find it helps, OP.

nickelbabe Sat 22-Oct-11 16:27:12

that's interesting - the block supply thing.
Does that also work in reverse then (sorry to hi-jack!), that if you think your supply isn't enogh ,that you can keep swapping breasts to increase supply?

Mampig Sat 22-Oct-11 16:36:48

Yes- I used to switch nurse to up my supply and it worked. Ds might have got 4/5/6 sides per feed!! Until things settled that is- now he takes 2 sides.

sarahseager Sun 23-Oct-11 18:35:02

Hi again, I've started the block feeding today, 4 hours on each side, am happy with how it's going so far. I was just wondering how long will I have to continue for, or is it just until I feel supply has stabilised? Not sure how I will know?

Thanks again x

TinyDiamond Sun 23-Oct-11 19:00:14

I have been doing block feeding for exactly the same issue. I have been using 5 hour blocks for just under 3 weeks now. I am only just starting to see a difference. Hopefully it will work a bit quicker for you but keep at it. Good luck

BobbieSox Sun 23-Oct-11 19:30:12

Sarah just wanted to let you know I am in exactly the same position. With my older child it was the same and I only ever offered one side, so we basically block fed the whole time she breatsfed (6 months). The gushing thing kept happening but as DD got older she learnt to cope and didn't pull off so much.

Now have 4 week old DS and its the same story, spluttering, pulling off, not settling for feeds...its a bit miserable isn't it?! (Also feel milky all the time, its always dripping or spraying somewhere on my clothes). So just some solidarity for you and the hope they will get big enough to cope soon, as my DD did. Sorry for crap typing have a sleeping beauty draped over one arm smile

sarahseager Sun 23-Oct-11 19:49:59

Thanks so much for your support everyone, it really does help to know that there are others out there in the same situation! smile xxx

sarahseager Mon 24-Oct-11 11:15:31

Me again with another question! I'm pretty sure the problem with oversupply and fast letdown is mainly with my left boob, is there anyway I can adapt the block feeding so that I limit the left boob more?

Reason for this is because my LO started feeding off left this morning at start of my 4 hour block and because there is no pattern to her feeds I'm concerned that she will be stuck on there too much therefore stimulating more milk!! She is currently on her 3rd feed since 9am!

The right boob doesn't seem to swamp her in the same way so i'm wondering if I can do a longer block on this side?

Does this make sense or defeat the object?

Thanks x

lilham Mon 24-Oct-11 12:05:31

I also have a fast letdown and oversupply issue in the early days. Because my DD was sleepy and didnt feed constantly, I did one side per feed. I also have one side with more milk. But I just keep with one per feed and don't worry too much about things. Either DD learned to cope with the fast letdown or my supply slowed down, because eventually I don't get a soaked bra, wet vest and gagging DD anymore. I used to tuck a muslin in my bra to help keep it drier during feeds.

MigGril Mon 24-Oct-11 12:42:38

I don't see why not. You can offer her the right more then the left, say the right for 6hours then the left for 4hours. You cetainly can have different flow on each side, this is actualy quit normal and some baby's and mum's will preffer one side over then other.

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