BF nightmare(12 Posts)
My DS is 4.4 weeks old. Am BFing him. He isn't gaining weight quickly. He cries A LOT and brings back milk quite forcefully about 3/4 of the time.
He cluster feeds from 7pm til about 1.30am. It's exhausting me. He struggles with wind, screams, arches his back and gets very upset after/during feeds.
HV came and saw him doing all this, last Friday evening. She recommended mixed feeding. So am giving him a very occasional bottle of Aptamil Comfort milk. He only takes about 2/3oz. I've no idea if that's enough, because obviously I've no idea how much he gets from a breast feed.
He doesn't bf for long, usually about 15 minutes, then comes off and it's 20 odd mins of winding, a bit of sleep, then he's screaming again. It can only be wind or hunger surely? He's never awake and 'happy', just crying or asleep or feeding. I feel sad for him.
As for me, my breasts are agony. Not just the nipples, but the whole breasts. So so tender, I can't bear it if anything even brushes against them. They aren't engorged, and it's not mastitis. It's just agony all over.
My neck and back and arms are so achy and sore.
I just want to give up. But DS bf's to sleep and I don't know if he'd ff to sleep.
Please help, I'm shattered and I'm sore and I'm feeding constantly, day and night. I'm miserable and my other two DCs are 6 and 3 and are getting ignored. DH is supportive and very hands on, but he's back at work now, so he's out 8-6.30 every day.
Thanks in advance
Hello mummyismagic, didn't want to read and run. You are trying so hard to bf, and no one would deny that, and I am sure there'll be some wise words from those more expert than me in a bit.
But, I just wanted to say the maxim happy mummy= happy baby. Whatever you decide, to bf or ff or a combo which works better for you, you are in charge, and you are in control. Your baby will sleep no matter, ff or bf. it might take a bit of cuddling or soothing but he will sleep, he's too little to have a habit which can't be undone pretty quickly.
It will also get easier when your kids are back at school (and preschool?) so maybe you can sleep when baby sleeps?
Can hubby do feed in the evening with formula so you can get an early stint of sleep?
Oh love, you sound exhausted. Well done for persevering this far.
At his age the little and often + cluster feeding is all totally normal and designed to stimulate your milk supply.
I think I'd be discussing reflux with my health visitor and looking into things that may help with that. A friend of mine used dentinox with good success.
For the first 6/7 weeks of his life my ds2 literally fed and slept. He would feed, for varying times, fall asleep on me and then as soon as he woke up he would want to be back on the boob. It passed.
Try to reassure yourself that at this age, everything is a phase. It will pass.
I'm not sure about the pain to be honest - is it like a hot, tingly pain? That's how I would describe my let down reflex and I still get it now at 6 months.
Have you seen the kellymom website? Definitely worth a look.
I hope you're okay and that you get a little rest tonight.
Unmumsnetty (((hugs))) for you. It'll all be okay, I promise.
HVs often do not know a lot about how to resolve bf problems. Get some proper bf advice from LLL tomorrow morning. Adding formula is often not the best thing to do unless you are actually looking to slowly wind down breastfeeding anyway. If you want to continue, mixed feeding will not help if you are having breastfeeding management issues. In some cases, formula is necessary, but a bf professional will be able to talk you through that.
If you are in pain also I suspect there may possibly be some sort of milk transfer issue and it may be worth getting your baby professionally checked for tongue tie and latch issues.
Agree with some specialist BF advice is needed here and investigations for reflux. Try keeping upright after a feed. What about infacol or colief, might be colic?
Thanks do much for everyone's advice. Last night he didn't settle til 1.30am! He's been a tiny bit better today. He's had one ff and the reet bf feeds. Am calling GP and HV again tomo. Also LLL.
Just want him to be a happy boy!
My goodness you could be me about 10 months ago! I'm afraid I don't have the solution just bucketloads of sympathy - it is really distressing to see your baby so upset after (or often in my case, during) feeds. DD would scream blue murder, back arching, flailing and was just inconsolable. She was dropping centiles and everyone was concerned. I was at my wit's end. We had the odd 'good day' of breastfeeding but mostly it was gruelling and sad - I never experienced that breastfeeding bliss I thought I would and to be honest I still feel a bit down about that
It didn't help that I received some nasty comments about eventually switching to formula after trying everything- people can be shits Don't beat yourself up about it and know that you've done an amazing job and should be seriously proud of yourself
I ended up bfeeding for 6 weeks (although quite often EBM as DD was worse on breast than bottle), then mix feeding for a few weeks longer. We tried:
*Infant Gaviscon for possible reflux: but health professionals didn't think it was this as the Gaviscon had no effect (may be worth a try for you?)
*eliminating dairy from my diet: no difference
*dummy: she hadn't had one until her symptoms peaked (around 4 weeks old) but this helped settle her mid- and post feed and made the most difference
*Colifef/Infacol etc: bugger all difference
It is definitely worth looking into reflux and also reading the chapter on it in The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan, which is very detailed and makes some good suggestions.
You could also look into tongue tie. DD apparently didn't have it but I wonder now if it wasn't picked up. I've heard it can be responsible for uncomfortable feeds and windiness and I wish I'd known that then as I would love to have seen a proper specialist (apparently doctors and HVs routinely miss TT) to have ruled it out at the very least.
Sorry, this is an essay. Anyway - the outcome was DD fully outgrew this phase at 3-4 months (I know that probably seems like ages away now!!) and feeds reasonably well now. She will only feed little and often though and doesn't love her milk all that much. Fabulous with solids though - an absolute delight to wean, if that's any consolation!!
Could it be oversupply/forceful let down? When mine was 3wks we were getting evenings full of screaming and it culminated in projectile vomiting all over me. I had asssumed I wasn't producing ENOUGH milk and that was why she was unhappy, but I read the LLLs guide to oversupply and the symptoms matched. I guess she wanted to settle down for a quiet evening of clusterfeeding and comfort suckling herself to sleep, but I just kept spraying massive quantities of milk into her!
It was quite an extreme case, so I switched to 12hr blocks straight off and have been that way ever since (up to 9mo) and she's never vomited since. (burped a bit up, but not forceful vomiting).
That's an interesting post, thank you. What are 12 hour blocks? xx
Yes block feeding sorry. I was swapping sides very regularly, I guess because my mum came from the old school '2mins only on each side' era and I got the idea that breastfeeding was a quick thing! Had obviously done a bit too good of a job establishing supply....But I could tell because I would literally forcefully spray into her mouth and she struggled to keep up - 'clicking' while drinking and losing the latch as well as physically coming off.
Good idea to speak to a counsellor of course but if you think you match the symptoms just leaving her on one side when you would normally have swapped for a single feed to see if she's more comfortable wouldn't hurt. No change? swap, and don't go any further.
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