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Ebf 8 week old feeding every two hours and I am exhausted Mummy

(9 Posts)
TumbiGirl Sun 07-Oct-12 22:30:02

I have been feeding my ebf 8 week old DC2 on demand every two hours for the last two weeks and I am shattered. He was a reasonably big boy when he arrived (4.08kgs) and has thrived weighing in at 6.08kgs at seven weeks. In the earlier weeks we had the occasional three or four hour stretch between feeds, mainly (and luckily) at night. These longer stretches seem to have all but disappeared.

I have a very demanding DC1 who has just turned three and feel like I'm at the end if my tether due to lack of sleep. (I ebf DC1 for six months however due to latching issues we needed to use nipple shields which affected my supply. To boost this I needed to pump after every feed. Pumping on top of feeds (which were lasting over an hour each) was particularly stressful and I don't look back on that time with fondness at all). The breast feeding this time around has been so much easier (no nipple shields required - yay!) however much more frequent and with an intensity I'm not sure I can keep up.

I am considering swapping the dream feed for a bottle of formula for my husband to give to baby primarily so that I can get to bed as early as possible. I realise I could express a bottle but I'm not sure I have the time or energy to do this with a demanding 3YO as well as. Would swapping one of my eleven or twelve feeds a day affect my supply?

Any pearls of wisdom will be gratefully received.

SirBoobAlot Sun 07-Oct-12 22:33:25

This Too Will Pass.

During the first three months, especially the first two, they do a huge amount of growing and developing. I know its hard work, but it really does settle down soon. You're doing brilliantly, and before you know it, this phase will be a distant memory.

TheSydenhamSet Sun 07-Oct-12 22:49:05

Are you able to feed lying down at all. I find this an absolute God-send for the night feeds. I latch ds2 on and it means I can doze/fall asleep. In spite of the fact that he's feeding pretty frequently in the small hours I feel like i've had a good night's sleep. (I co-sleep with him not for any ideological reason but because I've found that sleeping side-by-side with him feeding when he wants to suits us both very well - can't recommend it enough!).

TumbiGirl Mon 08-Oct-12 00:40:13

Thank you for your encouragement. I'll try the feeding lying down, it could be my saving grace.

Seenenoughtoknow Mon 08-Oct-12 01:10:29

The reason I would try as hard as possible to avoid giving a formula bottle, is that the more you feed in the earlier weeks/months the stronger and better your supply as baby grows. Generally, those who substitute breastfeeds with formula early on seem to suffer supply problems later. Also, giving baby a teet of any kind (bottle/nipple shields/dummies) in the earlier weeks/months can cause nipple confusion which (and I speak from experience) is a nightmare best avoided!
My dc's both fed every hour/two hours for the first few months, but my supply through regular feeding on demand became really good, and things got easier after the third month.
It sounds like you are doing fabulously. Some advice a friend gave me during the difficult early months was that my primary job was to ensure dc was fed, warm and loved...my primary jobs therefor were not the hoovering, washing up or other less important things we fret about.
A nice way to keep dc1 happy is that every time you feed dc2, tell dc1 to bring a favourite book and cuddle up together with both dc's on the sofa and read it to her/him. Then dc1 will look forward to feed times and will see it more as his/her time than dc2's!
Best of luck and really well done so far smile

Seenenoughtoknow Mon 08-Oct-12 01:15:11

Also, like TheSS above, I had my dc's in bed with me to feed lying down. If you do this though, just check on the net for help on safety issues with co sleeping, as there are a few and it's best to do it the right way for peace of mind.
Can't recommend it enough though smile

beakysmum Mon 08-Oct-12 01:27:05

Yes, you can swap a breast feed for a bottle from about 3 weeks onwards and it doesn't affect your supply. Just keep the bottle to the same feed time every day e.g. 10pm for you. Your body is amazing and somehow knows how to adjust to this!

I did it with all 3 of mine. Another advantage is that all mine therefore accepted a bottle, I think because they had all had it once a day from a fairly young age.

Also, I used to express just once a day about 8am when I was fullest and get about 3oz. This meant I had enough for a 6oz bottle alternate nights, so I felt they were getting very little formula overall. Again, your body amazingly gets used to this and produces the extra!

Not for everyone, I know, but it worked for me. I know just how exhausting the constant feeding can be. You are doing a great job x

chocolatetester1 Mon 08-Oct-12 08:34:07

You are doing so well. Not surprised you're knackered tho! Ds2 is 4 weeks, feeding every 3 1/2 hours. The time is because as he is healthy and big, increasing the wait between feeds by 15 or so mins a week has been possible. I wouldn't try to go from 2 to 3 hours gap all in one go, but can you stretch him a bit if you take it slowly? The first time is always the hardest, then they take a bigger feed at the next opportunity so it gets easier for them to wait a little longer.
We also do a formula dream feed and have since the start of week 2, it gives me a break, he feeds well etc. it keeps me sane and hasn't affected milk supply.

MigGril Mon 08-Oct-12 13:25:44

beak, that's great it worked for you. but it doesn't work like that for everyone, some women can miss a feed without effecting supply others find is the slippery slop to completely formula feeding.

As op had supply issues with her first it's probably best if she avoid formula at this stage if possible.

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