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Having a bit of a breastfeeding crisis, any advice?

(26 Posts)
sweetkitty Thu 25-May-06 13:07:56

DD2 is 18 weeks and exclusively breastfed and it's going really well. She's 17lbs 2ozs now on the 91st centile for weight and height so a big healthy girl. Her sister was completely different a dainty little thing who I think reached 17lbs at about 11 months so they are both so different.

The crisis I'm having is I don't think the milk is satisfying her enough now especially in the evening. I had planned to hold off weaning until 6 months but I don't know if I can, I won't be started until 5 months at the earliest though.

She'll feed at 5pm, then at 7pm then she's restless and frets so I'll feed her again at 9pm then she'll have another feed at 10.30pm. I thought she would have started to calm down with the feeds by now. She also feeds twice in the night as well.

Sometimes she is so fretful I even, for a brief moment, think about a bottle of formula. I don't know if expressing would even help. Is is just a case of feeding, feeding and more feeding and hoping at 6 months once solids kick in things will settle down?

tiktok Thu 25-May-06 14:05:32

Sweet, this is a normal pattern. It could be your baby wants some more milk at this time, and if she does, then simply responding to this by feeding is absolutely the way to go. Giving solids is not the answer to a baby who's hungry, because generally speaking, early solids replace milk, and because they are less calorie dense than milk, the baby gets fewer calories, not more.

She may well go back to having gaps in her feeding in a little while.

Formula would of course feed her, but why would you want the hassle? You'd have to buy the formula, sterilise the equipment, make up the milk, wash the equipment....and still sit and feed her. How would that save you time? You have the milk she wants, inside your breasts. And it's better stuff than formula

expatinscotland Thu 25-May-06 14:14:10

FWIW, sweet, DD2 is six months by calendar in a fortnight.

I tried her on a breastmilk 'slushie' - some EBM frozen to slushy stage - and fed it to her on a spoon.

She wanted more, more, more - during her break at every feed. She started constantly trying to eat things - not just suck them - even picking objects up and putting them in her mouth and waking up twice a night for more milk.

So last night, I fed her some baby rice thinned down w/EBM.

She LOVED it.

She's 24 weeks, and the guidlines are just that, not written in stone.

Like your DD2, she's a MUCH bigger baby than my first daughter, and seems much hungrier.

magnolia1 Thu 25-May-06 14:17:11

My dd4 would cluster feed like this in the evening and it would happen for a week or so ebery few weeks. Sounds pretty normal to me and the idea Expat had about breastmilk slushies sounds great

moondog Thu 25-May-06 14:19:59

Sweet,more of your milk!
The more she feeds,the more you make,so of an evening,feet up in a comfy chair in front of the tv.
It will do you good too.
The best thing for her!
Have a look in the breastfeeding/bottlefeeding archive.
Absolutely loads on this topic.

Remember.there are fewer calories in babyrice than in breastmilk so the push to wean earlier really doesn't make sense.

expatinscotland Thu 25-May-06 14:24:53

Oh, just saw your dd is 18 weeks!

Mine's 24. Wow! That went fast.

mears Thu 25-May-06 14:34:17

Getting to 6 months is really a 'mind over matter' thing in my experience.

You have to be prepared to feed frequently when demanded. If DD is hungry, give her more breastmilk.

I don't know if you have read my previous posts on this in the past, but i only ever got to 6 months with my last baby. I gave in with the others, earliest 20 weeks, latest 24 weeks because I worried I was depriving them of food. With last baby I just kept feeding and found that she actually settled back down again with breastmilk only. She went back to longer stretches between feeds and sleeping through the night again from about 22 weeks to 26 weeks.

From my experience I know that extra feeds will be enough. It rteally depends how you feel about it.

Expat - how brilliant are you for still breastfeeding BTW.

Babies fists in their mouths at this stage are not actually signs of hunger. Babies go through an oral phase where they actually 'feel' with their mouths so everything, including fists, goes in it.

expatinscotland Thu 25-May-06 14:38:06

She's a wee stoater, mears. Can't believe it's been nigh on SIX MONTHS since she was born.

expatinscotland Thu 25-May-06 14:39:24

Aye, fist goes in. And last night, she managed to snag one of DD1s toys in the bath and chew that, too.

Keep going, sweet. You're nearly there w/it!

sweetkitty Thu 25-May-06 16:24:49

thanks everyone

I know expat I cannot believe she is 18 weeks/4 months already seems 2 minutes ago I was sitting here desperate to get her out.

thanks tik tok I completely agree with you I don't think I would go through with actually giving her formula I've always said I'm too lazy to bother with all the prep of a bottle. Last night she was feeding for nearly an hour I sometimes wonder if it's comfort sucking.

After having DD1 who was a 10 minute one side speed feeder who never cried for food and slept 11-6am from 6 weeks this one has been a bit of a shock. She's a little stoater too expat

sottovoce Thu 25-May-06 20:34:36

My DD (now 14 months) went through a phase of never being satisfied.... I remember at 5 months she would look longingly as her bigger friends got "real" food! I wanted to hold off for as long as possible,not least as we were going to Italy when she was nearly 6 months and I thought it would be easier if I could just whip out a booob and have done....

I managed to solve it by having a feedathon most nights when she went to sleep. We're talking an hour and a half plus. She loved it and so did I. Especially with a large glass of wine in my hand . She wouldn't last til morning, but I was so glad I stuck with it. If you hold off weaning for as long as poss, you spend less time on the baby rice and progress to easier food (and no doubt tastier) much more swiftly. DD didn't get her chops round anything until nearly 7 months in spite of her fist eating and longing looks and she rocks !


suzi2 Thu 25-May-06 21:14:45

weaning and meal planning is such a bother I would hold off as long as possible. Boobs are so easy!

Rach69 Thu 25-May-06 22:25:08

Sk - I sympathise entirely when i had dd and her brothers were 2 and 4 I lost weight so quickly rushing around after them (Plus she was a 'good' baby sleeping etc) I just didn't have the time to build my milk supply up and gave up bf at 4 months (the earliest of all my 4 and the only one I've stayed at home with!). This time I have plenty of fat, plenty of time and enforced rest due to caesarian/weather/sloth etc that I think my milk supply is easier to step up. I think it is just feed, feed, feed!

hunkermunker Thu 25-May-06 22:43:10

SK, remember how we were desperate to go into labour at the same time?

Well, I can report I'm joining you on the exhausting 4m growth spurt feedathon front too!

DS2 is quite settled in the morning and early afternoon, but late afternoon and evening...he's been feeding like a giant hungry gannet. Some nights he's sleeping better than others - some nights he's up every two hours to feed for an hour.

BUT I remember this with DS1, and I know that he settled and by about 20 weeks he was sleeping through (not that that lasted, just four short weeks later he cut his first tooth and then the fun really started!) - now, had I given him food at 17 or 18 weeks, I'd have thought it was that that had settled him and forever trumpeted that fact on forums such as MN But he settled with just bmilk and was fine on that till six months (and in hindsight would probably have been fine on just bmilk till seven or either months because he didn't eat much of anything else till then!).

Keep it up SK, you're nearly there!

(And EIS - you're quite a woman, you know? )

loomer Fri 26-May-06 09:13:26

This is really interesting.. my entirely breastfed DD is 19 weeks today, and I gave her baby rice with her early evening feed yesterday and day before - reason being that she seemed less and less satisfied with her breast feeds. This did seem to help her sleep for longer, but now I'm thinking that this is self-defeating?

It sounds from what you say that I should stick with the frequent feeding. The only thing that was worrying me with is that she has fed more and more frequently over the past month, and we have moved from three hourly feeding to pretty much two hourly now, which is far less condusive to actually getting anything done around the house, and is more exhausting during the night. Plus her feeds keep getting shorter - during the daytime she doesn't manage much more than ten minutes these days, and this morning only had about 6 minutes before losing interest - can anyone reassure me that she is getting sufficient milk?

Thanks to you all for the great advice and support on MN... I haven't found anything like it in RL!

tiktok Fri 26-May-06 09:52:49

loomer, it's almost certain the nutritionally-speaking, your little girl does not need the baby rice.

If she is feeding more often, there may be a number of reasons for this.

She may be needing more calories, to grow ...babies do not grow by exactly the same amount every week

She may be expressing a need to be close to you at the moment.

She may be asking for shorter feeds because she is going through a learning spurt, seeing what's going on around her and so on, and so takes rather less milk (maybe - we can't tell from the clock!) and needs to feed more often to get what she needs as a result.

She may be sleeping longer at night and needs to feed more often in the day to make up for it.

The frequent feeding will not last. There is no rush for baby rice. Baby rice does not mean the baby gets more nutrition, because solids as early as this replace breastmilk ie they are not an addition to it.

Babies can be relied on to take what they need at the breast as long as it is offered to them in response to their cues.

Giving baby rice and any other solids at this age is a hassle most mothers can do without - if you feed her more often (as you are doing) you won't need to mess on with rice or purees or whatever. And she will be better off for it

expatinscotland Fri 26-May-06 09:57:01

I feel badly now for having fed her at 24 weeks

Skyler Fri 26-May-06 10:07:12

I went through a bad patch when my dd2 was about 19 weeks and wanting to be breastfed all the time. Everyone was pressuring me to wean her but I stuck it out and I am so glad I did. It was bloody exhausting but a week later she settled again and we were able to put the solids off till 26 weeks after all. Proof it was a growth spurt and my milk was enough for her in the end. Not saying it was easy at the time but I put it off by being lazy (not having anything sterilized or any breast milk expressed ready)and just taking it a day at a time. Good luck.

Skyler Fri 26-May-06 10:08:15

Expat - Don't feel bad . There is not much between 24 and 26 weeks is there?

Skyler Fri 26-May-06 10:11:49

Oh and solids made NO difference to either of my dd's sleeping through. They still didn't.

expatinscotland Fri 26-May-06 10:14:46

She's still bf'd, Skyler, and that's a real achievment considering I didn't want to try bfing her at all when I first fell pregnant.

I did make some purees and freeze them for her, though.

She is big for 24 weeks - sitting up well, leaning forward on her hands whilst sitting, cooing, etc.

Skyler Fri 26-May-06 14:09:29

Awww, she sounds fantastic and WELL DONE YOU on the breastfeeding esp as you weren't keen to begin with. What an achievement. I hope you feel proud!

sweetkitty Fri 26-May-06 14:22:02

me again, good to see loads of my Due in Jan 06 friends on her too I think DD2 has been on a growth spurt since the day she was born!

It is pretty exhausting never mind near impossible to feed her as often as she wants I think she would either like to be on the boob or asleep snuggled up to it just in case she fancies a snack. But with a 22 mo DD1 this is not possible.

Sometimes she is on for about 5 mins then is grinning up at me ot sometimes an hour.

Loomer my DD1 used to be the fastest feeder ever, I used to worry she wasn't getting enough milk as she was 10 mins one side max and I had to remember to feed her every 3 hours or so and she slept through 11-6am at 6 weeks. She was and still is a tiny little thing who's as bright as a button, so rest assured your little darling is getting enough too.

RobertdeNiroswaiting Fri 26-May-06 14:34:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CKMUM Fri 26-May-06 21:51:15

well done for perservering.

my youngest fed even more freqently like this and ddin't take solids at all until 8 and a half months so it doesn't mean your DD is ready for solids.

However, since then has ate loads, she always has something in her mouth now! It gets easier wehn they take more solids and when they take other fluids too, mine only got the hang off taking a cup a few weeks ago and is 14 months. Until then she would gag on bottle or cup so i ws startin to think I'd never be able to leave her!

It does get easier, i know you must be exhausted but you are doing a fantastic job, keep it up and don't worry about her being hungry, your milk is great for her

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