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baby breastfeeds for hours non stop at night and still remains hungry

(14 Posts)
moran Mon 08-Apr-13 09:03:56


My baby is 5 days old and I have troubles in the last two nights.
I am breastfeeding her and it seems to work well during the day. But when I start her evening feed around 20:00 she continues to feed for hours with 5 minutes breaks for pooping and burping. It seems that she feeds but still remains hungry...
Last night she was feeding from 20:00 until 3:00 and became so frustrated eventually she started crying and looking for something to suck while my breast was still in her mouth. Eventually I gave her some ready milk and she eat around 70 ml.

I don't believe this behavior is normal, her breastfeeding for hours and still being hungry.

Any advice?


Emilythornesbff Mon 08-Apr-13 10:28:22

Don't worry, it is normal.
Your milk supply is still getting established. She is cluster feeding.
If you let her feed as much and often as she wants then in a couple of days your supply will have increased for her and things will level out.
If you want to keep up the bast feeding it's best to avoid formulas because every feed she takes that's not from you means she's not stimulating your breasts to make more milk.

Check and optimise her position : tummy to mummy, wide mouth, head extended so chin is leading into your breast, cheeks nice and full etc. and let her feed until she comes off naturally (which is what it sounds like you're doing). Offer both breasts for each feed to stimulate your milk. If she doesn't want both you could help incase your supply by hand expressing a little from the second breast.

It will be ok. It's early days. I had the same thing around that first week.
You might find it helpful to get to a breastfeeding support group.
Or, if u like to read around a subject look up information on feedback inhibitor of lactation, which explains the stuff around supply and demand. Maybe google "fil la lece league"
Good luck

TerrariaMum Mon 08-Apr-13 11:19:44

One thing that really helped me at that point was to remember how tiny their tummies are. They are not much bigger than a walnut! So they will be hungry ALL the time.
And what Emily said. This is normal.

SirBoobAlot Mon 08-Apr-13 11:21:55

At this age that is completely normal.

Try to avoid giving her any formula right now as this will interrupt with your supply in the long term.

It settles down soon.


oscarwilde Mon 08-Apr-13 11:30:45

It's totally normal unfortunately. Exhausting and soul destroying [especially when you see them guzzle down a feed of formula and then crash out] but normal. If you use formula, you will affect your abilty to solely provide bm for your baby. Whether that's a problem for you or not is your decision smile Been there, bought the t-shirt and have two DD's who have had formula top-ups which caused me no amount of failure angst with DD1.

Lack of sleep, water and food will affect your supply and most people have poorer supply in the evenings because they are knackered and have been sitting on the sofa feeding nonstop since 4pm

My DH brought me breakfast in bed [tons of porridge] while I did the 7-8am early feed. I ate that and then crashed for another hour or so before the next feed started. It helped a lot.
You will have more milk in the morning, if you can find the time to express even an ounce or two, you can top up in the evening with it. You might need to switch the pump back and forth a few times to get even 1 ounce. Again this is normal especially with a firstborn. Try for 15 mins tops, if you do it regularly it will help to stimulate supply. Finding the time is the tricky part, 20 mins after a feed is often a good time and you will see if your DC is feeding effectively too. Gina Ford has some useful schedules in her Contented Baby book - I found it useful as a quick flick through in the early sleep deprived days as a suggested guide as to when I could fit in a shower, breakfast etc. She's big on looking after yourself and pro bfing even if you disagree with schedules per se.

It is relentless but it will be so much better in a few weeks, you just have to get through it now. smile

oscarwilde Mon 08-Apr-13 11:32:51

Oh - def offer both boobs at every feed too. Two kids in and they've never been satisfied with what I produce in one to keep them going for another few hours, just make sure that you start the next feed with the last one you fed from.

SirBoobAlot Mon 08-Apr-13 11:44:12

Actually the sleep / food / water thing is a myth. Those are important for mum's well being, but not important for milk production; your body will make that it's priority.

And unless you are struggling with low supply (which it doesn't sound like the OP is) pumping at this stage is a bad idea, as it will stimulate over production.

Sorry to disagree with you, Oscar, but I end up seeing a lot of mums who have pumped as their milk is coming in, and it sets them up for a host of problems as they are then battling oversupply for the rest of the time they are breastfeeding.

VenusRising Mon 08-Apr-13 11:49:59

Maybe contact a lactation consultant to make sure the latch is right?

Well done!

BertieBotts Mon 08-Apr-13 12:16:47

Offering both boobs is good advice though smile

tiktok Mon 08-Apr-13 13:05:51

agree with sirboob. pumping at this stage in this situation is at best unhelpful and at worst risky to future ease and comfort. there are scenarios where expressing now is a good idea - not here.

op less than a week ago your baby was inside you.maybe he loves being close. smile

any of the bf lines will help and support you.

good luck and post an update!

TerrariaMum Mon 08-Apr-13 15:55:16

Oh, I forgot to say something that really really helped me. When I was establishing bfing and DH was on paternity leave, he took charge of all nappy changes. Even now, he still does all nappy changes when he is home. It made all the cluster feeding, sleep regression bits easier knowing that there was one thing that I did not need to worry about.
Plus DH had an official job which made him more confident with DD. Could you arrange anything like that?

oscarwilde Tue 09-Apr-13 00:22:25

All I will say is that I've had two babies lose 15% of their birthweight in ten days. With the first my supply was poor, the second baby was preterm and a poor feeder. Without turning this thread into a bunfight the experience was demoralising, isolating and exhausting.

I fail to see why expressing 25-50ml in the morning to be used in the evening is going to have any major impact on supply. Worst case you are slightly ahead of the first growth spurt! Sometimes it's that magic ounce that's needed to send a baby off for two hours so you can get some restorative kip smile
OP, I hope things are improving. It is v early days just try not to stress too much

tiktok Tue 09-Apr-13 00:54:15

oscar, sorry about your experiences.

In some cases, expressing is appropriate and helpful. At 5 days it is usually not - unless the baby is (of course) not feeding well/at all/shows signs of dehydration.

Piemother Tue 09-Apr-13 01:15:36

Agree with others. At 5 days mums body and baby are working v hard together to get a milk supply established. Early cluster feeding is a bit of a pita but just something you have to get through.
Dd2 fed solidly all/every evening for about the first 3 weeks (she's the greediest baby I have ever met) then promptly slept through the night from then on. For me it's one if those don't mess with nature things.

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