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Breastfeeding. 4 months in and, oh my goodness, I'm on my knees!

(17 Posts)
maldivemoment Mon 29-Oct-12 21:50:55

Smugly thought that if I had mastered breastfeeding by 12 weeks then I had cracked it and it would be plain sailing. Fast forward to now (week 18) and I'm really finding it tough. Can any of you tell me if I'm doing this right? Or indeed if I'm doing it wrong! I'll try to keep it brief...

Baby 18 weeks this week and still feeds every hour, sometimes even more frequently! She is gaining weight brilliantly but does not seem particularly satisfied after a feed. By that I mean she rarely comes off the breast by herself. She either falls asleep or just comfort sucks for aaaaaaages, in which case I have to take her off as I also have a 4 year old to build lego with/bake cakes with/build dens with. You get the picture!

Her sleeping is really pretty poor too - related? She constantly fights sleep during the day. Could this be that her little tummy ain't full enough? If she does sleep it's only when fed to sleep and then she'll waken after 5/10 mins. At night she still clusterfeeds for about 2/3 hours and has done so since birth. She will fall asleep anywhere between 9/10pm then pretty much wakens every 2 hours. I feel like a 24 hour milking machine.

So, this is all beginning to take it's toll and I think my supply may be an issue. I honestly think if I let her she would have my boob in her mouth ALL DAY and I am finding the sleep deprivation really tough now - headaches, lightheaded, etc. We tried to give her a bottle of expressed milk last night and she wouldn't touch it sad.

So tomorrow I'm off to buy some fenugreek to boost my supply. I know many would say feed more often but I honestly don't think I can feed anymore often than I'm doing at the moment and surely if she were more satisfied she would be able to go a little longer??

Hm, so much for keeping it brief! Can anyone help?

mawbroon Mon 29-Oct-12 21:53:16

DS1 was exactly like this. He was tongue tied.

list of symptoms here

maldivemoment Mon 29-Oct-12 21:58:56

Oh God! I thought tongue tie was always related to slow weight gain and fussiness at breast. No?

Right how do I go about getting this checked. We have a local NCT breastfeeding support group. Would that be better than GP? Or should I see Health Visitor?

mawbroon - did your situation improve? Have I left it too late?

Thank you

mawbroon Mon 29-Oct-12 22:05:09

There is no "always" about tongue tie, every story is different. DS1 never fussed at the breast, ever.

It improved around 9 weeks when he started sometimes going 2hrs between feeds, but this will have been because he learned to compensate for the restricted tongue movements. It went undiagnosed until he was 6yo.

Sadly, many HCPs don't know how to identify a tie unless it is a really obvious one. I would suggest contacting Milk Matters who I linked to.

Does she have any of the other symptoms on the list?

maldivemoment Mon 29-Oct-12 22:17:48

Ran through the list v quickly but she appears to have 12 of the symptoms!

Thank you for your input mawbrron. It is very much appreciated. If I contact Milk Matters would they then advise me to discuss with GP?

mawbroon Mon 29-Oct-12 22:20:45

They might do, I am not exactly sure which line they will take, but I think they will advise you of your options based on where you are located.

mawbroon Mon 29-Oct-12 22:24:30

Oh, and you asked if you had left it too late. No, not at all. Never too late, even as an adult.

maldivemoment Mon 29-Oct-12 22:30:57

Thank you. We're in West of Scotland. Will give them a ring tomorrow.

mawbroon Mon 29-Oct-12 22:35:14

Good luck. There is also a brilliant tongue tie support group on Facebook with some real experts on it.

crackcrackcrak Mon 29-Oct-12 22:41:46

Milk matters has a discussion page on Facebook called the analytical armadillo -lots of tongue tie and general bf resources on there.
I think nct group may also be helpful or whatever local latch on there is - you definitely need to have a feed observed and the latch checked.

It might be a tongue tie but could just as easily be a growth spurt if feeding was going well before this phase. There is a definite established sleep regression around 4 months too.

maldivemoment Mon 29-Oct-12 22:50:18

Thank you crack. This ain't no growth spurt (I wish it was!) as it's been this way since Day 1.

Every night I go to bed hoping and praying that today was the worst day and tomorrow it will get better. Been saying that now for 4 months which is why I'm thinking there must be an underlying cause.

whenwill Tue 30-Oct-12 17:06:58

I was going to suggest tongue tie too. There was someone on here in Scotland before with tt and the doctors were saying it wasn't worth doing anything and they don't worry about tt these days. It is like this in a lot of areas actually but it very significantly affects bf in many cases even 'minor' or 'hardly there' ones. Please don't accept first opinion if going to nhs, gp or even some priavate hcp.

OneTwoOrThree Wed 31-Oct-12 04:36:31

Is your baby otherwise happy and settled, including happy to lie flat? A good friend's baby was similar and had undiagnosed silent reflux.

pommedechocolat Wed 31-Oct-12 17:44:24

Silent reflux? A very common reflux symptom is chaotic feeding. I've had it with both mine - weaning was my only saviour.

Pourquoimoi Wed 31-Oct-12 19:00:54

I know nothing about tongue tie but wonder if she just likes suckling, she has done it very regularly since birth and it is comforting. When I got to a similar stage of being frustrated at feeds lasting forever, my hv said to give him 20 minutes each side then give a dummy. Whilst I was anti-dummy, it did work very well and made feeding continue for a long time. Your baby is clearly getting enough milk by weight gain and thriving so I doubt your supply is an issue.

Good luck

lotsofcheese Wed 31-Oct-12 19:30:00

I'm wondering if she's comfort-sucking & using it as a method to settle herself to sleep?

Can she settle herself to sleep without feeding? If not then I suspect she's become reliant on feeding to sleep.

maldivemoment Fri 02-Nov-12 21:34:46

Update; saw GP today and he is referring us to Paediatrician.

However, have also sought advice from NCT support and various other mums who have overheard my moans and I've been really surprised by the number of folk who say "normal, normal, normal!" In fact one friend told me that 'back-in-the-day' this is the reason it was encouraged to wean at around 4 months because babies suddenly become fractious and unsettled.
What's also encouraging is the number of folk who have said "oh yes, my little one used to feed aaaaallllllllll the time too."

So not feeling quite so hopeless. (Of course now I've written that tomorrow will prob be horrendous!!!!!!)

Thank you all once again.

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