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Interested in your chosen method of feeding your newborn

(11 Posts)
atrcts Tue 14-May-13 09:42:07

When I had my son he was born by forceps so had huge cuts and bruises all over his poor little face which must've been very sore.

I was in a bay of 3 other new Mum's and my baby was the only one who screamed all night long. Unfortunately he was born with very loud adult-sounding lungs and not little meows like the other baby's had!

The only way I could soothe him was to snuggle him close and allow him to feed. All night. Then all day. Then all night again. Apart from being exhausted and aching from holding him non-stop, my breasts were more painful than the giving birth pains.

I was in hospital 2 days and checked with midwives a few times that I was breastfeeding properly with a good latch etc.

When I got home, by day 3, I would cry and stamp my foot on the ground in agony as he latched on to me. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. shock

Around 10 weeks it was no longer agony but I never want to go through that again. A breastfeeding specialist told me online that I would have my given my breasts sufficient rest between feeds, which has prompted me to read around the subject but the advice is quite conflicting:- from "expect it to hurt" to "it shouldnt hurt" and "dont have any breaks between feeds as it helps the milk to cone in" or "feed for only 10 mins each side hourly for the first 2 days". blush

Hence i decided to ask this question to you all:

In the first few days - and weeks - how often and for how long did you feed your newborn for, and how long did you have between feeds?

Any tips, pointers, insight and experiences very welcomed!

noblegiraffe Tue 14-May-13 10:35:13

Every baby is different. I've read many stories on here of newborns feeding constantly, day and night.
My DD was different, she was sleepy and reluctant to feed. In the first few days she would happily go 5 hours sleeping without waking up for a feed (and believe me I tried.) I was tearing my hair out trying to get her to feed, she lost too much weight, was being monitored by the midwives with regular weigh-ins etc.
The official advice from the hospital was to aim for 8-12 feeds per 24 hours, which I think is good advice, and to offer both breasts at every feed.
DD would never feed for longer than 5 minutes, and never takes the second breast.

Just as a contrast to your story - constant feeding sounds rubbish, but the opposite is bad too!

Let down was toe-curlingly painful for the first few weeks, but never lasted more than about 10 seconds. I knew to expect that after my first though, and the 'it should never hurt' thing isn't true! It needs to be modified to 'it shouldn't hurt for the whole feed, if it hurts for the first bit, that's normal, and will get better with time'

Meringue33 Tue 14-May-13 10:38:33

LO sometimes fed continuously for up to six hours at a time. I used lots of Lansinoh and air dryed nipples after each feed. Also sometimes DP would take him away for an hour and rock him to sleep to give me a break.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 14-May-13 13:17:56

Dd fed constantly and while it wasn't physical pain, I was so utterly exhausted, its hard to explain how bad sleep deprivation can be. To make things worse he wouldn't feed lying down, so I couldn't snooze.

I did give it another go though with dd. She fed for 10 mins every 3 hours and was quite happy to sleep by me at night, when she wasn't feeding that is smile

Looking back I think DS had tongue tie and upper lip tie. Dd shows no signs.

Victoria2002 Tue 14-May-13 14:35:20

I fed on demand and my newborn rarely fed for more than 10/15 mins but fed every hour or two at least, day and night (for 6m)! I never had sore nipples or any other pain despite him having a posterior tongue tie. I agree re totally conflicting advice and from my personal experience don't value too highly the advice of midwives and health visitors versus breast feeding experts like bf councillors/LC/peer supporters

Kasterborous Tue 14-May-13 15:19:15

I only managed breast feeding for three weeks. I fed her myself from birth but when they weighed her on day four she had lost too much weight as I wasn't producing enough milk. My milk finally came in around day six and we finally got home. Those first few days she was constantly on my breast. I ended up with a massive crack on one nipple and dreaded having to feed her as it was so painful. My midwife was lovely and I tried expressing instead but had to say enough is enough, I was spending all my time expressing or feeding. After three weeks I gave up I was in such a state and felt guilty as hell and still do, even now she is a healthy one year old, got tears in my eyes just typing this but in hindsight it saved my sanity at the time and was the right choice. I just felt such a failure.

atrcts Tue 14-May-13 22:20:59

Thanks all for sharing your different stories/experiences.

It really does go to show how different each baby is! I was lucky not to have cracked nipples - it sounds horrendous. I do sympathise Kasterborous with what you went through. I believe I'd have done the same.

I am not afraid to go to formula if I need to - mainly because my Mum formula fed me and I was pretty healthy growing up, whereas my breastfed son has already experienced mild eczema and asthma in his short life!

I will try to breastfeed though, as it is easier (so long as it's not too excruciatingly painful)! So if I can I will.

gwenniebee Tue 14-May-13 22:31:16

I did the foot stamping through the pain business too, and also thought that breastfeeding was more painful than childbirth.

My dd was sleepy and wouldn't feed for the first couple of days but once she got the hang of it she fed alllllll night long. We got there in the end (it took 12 weeks to get pain free) - she is still bf at ten months and I would do it again.

HadALittleFaithBaby Wed 15-May-13 01:06:52

I'm breast feeding on demand ( DD is now 4 weeks). She was low birth weight and struggled to start so she had formula top ups to start along with lots of breast feeding. I also hand expressed colostrum and then used a pump when my milk came in to give her too ups (using a cup). We were able to stop the cup feeds after a week. We introduced a bottle of EBM at 3 weeks which she has once a day. This gives me a bit of a break in the evening. I do take her off and switch sides if she wants more after about 15 minutes but sometimes she'll cluster feed for hours - if she's hungry, she's hungry. I just make sure I'm comfy and have snacks and drinks on the go. If the latch is right, it's not painful, just tiring.

I highly recommend the womanly art of breast feeding. It really helped me. I wish I'd read it before I had her!

lalalalalal Wed 15-May-13 01:24:23

Both times it has 'hurt' a little over the first few weeks. It was a toughening up hurt though and only for the first 10-15secs of a feed rather than the whole way through. Baby's lips both times went all dry looking and then flaky: they were toughening up too!

If you get consistent pain throughout a feed then chances are the latch is wrong. Take the baby off and try again.

I have never ever bothered with a feeding routine. I don't eat at the same time every day: why should a baby??! Whenever my baby looked hungry, upset or just in need of some comforting, I offered the breast. Sometimes that was every 10mins, sometimes (rarely!) that was every 3hrs.

One risk of feeding to a set time is that you'll 'miss' a growth spurt, when babies feed seemingly all the time in order to increase your supply. That's why feeding on cue/demand is much better IMHO.

BF can be tough to begin with and you feel like you're constantly feeding. It gets better and it is so so so worth it.

One piece of advice I heard was really great: your role in the first x weeks of your baby's life is to feed it. If that means not moving from the sofa/bed for that time, then so be it. Forget the housekeeping and entertaining people. Feed.

KingRollo Wed 15-May-13 06:53:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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