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What exactly gets better at 6 weeks...?

(23 Posts)
2plus2plus1 Tue 30-May-06 13:19:04

OK, so it may seem a stupid question, but the consensus is that BFing gets much(?) easier after 6-8 weeks. I am currently 5 weeks in after threatening to give up numerous times for numerous reasons. Expecting to have a bad week 'cos DTDs on half term & approaching the dreaded 6 week growth spurt. What can I expect after this time to make it easier? I am not expecting miracles (well maybe secretly hoping), but want to be realistic so that I don't end up giving up when I don't get my miracle. Any experiences welcome.

Pidge Tue 30-May-06 13:23:48

Personally breastfeeding hurt like crazy for the first 4 weeks each time (I have two dds), I was literally crying through feeds, and was raw and bleeding. Yuk. That improved at about 3-4 weeks with my second dd, more like 6-8 weeks with my first dd.

The other thing that sometimes gets easier, often a bit later than 6 weeks, though, is that the baby gets more efficient at feeding. So you don't spend quite so much of your life sitting in a chair, with baby at the breast. Personally I never really minded sitting around for hours on end (), at least once it stopped hurting, but I guess also my two were both fairly quick feeders, and rapidly were down to 20 minutes per feed, even quicker by 5-6 months.

Good luck either way - you've already given your baby a great start. So give yourself a big pat on the back, and take each day as it comes.

Oh and by the way - in my experience - growth spurts don't necessarily occur at the predicted times - so don't worry about it in advance.

azroc Tue 30-May-06 13:24:30

What is it that is currently a problem?

oops Tue 30-May-06 13:25:58

Message withdrawn

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 30-May-06 13:27:04

I would say that the feeding gets a better pattern, and your breasts therefore regulate better how much milk to produce, meaning that you don't get times when they feel like they will explode, and times when they feel really empty.

CorrieDale Tue 30-May-06 13:29:30

The let-down pain gets better. DB has a better idea of what to do. DB smiles at you - makes it all seem a lot better!

2plus2plus1 Tue 30-May-06 13:44:28

Thanks for the support. Looking for motivation to get through this week.

As for what I currently hate - it is the relentlessness. Doesn't necessarily spend long at a sitting, 10-30mins depending on time of day. It's more the freqency. She normally feeds 5-7 times from 8am-2pm & pretty much constantly (10mins on, 5 mins off if I am lucky) 10pm-midnight (by which stage we are both frustrated by the lack of flow). I have come to terms with the fact that this is pretty much normal at the moment but can't carry on at this rate for much longer.

SabineJ Tue 30-May-06 13:49:21

I found the first weeks difficult because my nipples were hurting / bleeding. What helped me was the breastfeeding counsellor for the NCT. She was very good at pointing out what will get better with some sort of timescale. In my case, I knew that I had big nipples so I would have to wait for DS2 to grow but that at about 6~8 weeks, it would be OK.
For the rest, I think it is getting easier just because they are getting more predictible. So feeding is not always at random times and of a random lenght.
If you have still some problems with feeding especially if it is still hurting, I would contact the NCT. They will be able to help you and give you some advice.

FrayedKnot Tue 30-May-06 13:55:54

The frequency will probably drop down from 6 weeks. I can even remember DS was almost feeding at relatively consistent times by 8 weeks, i.e. I could predict a pattern and started to work things out around it.

DS was a morning feeder too, and sometimes would feed every half hour all morning. But not beyond the 6 week stage.

HTH!

2plus2plus1 Tue 30-May-06 13:58:21

I have to say I have had no pain from day one, except when she decided to grab & twist the nipple in frustration, with sharp nails which have now been trimmed (lol). My issues are largely driven by frequency, which thinking about it gives me a sore wrist from holding her all bloody night.

FrayedKnot Tue 30-May-06 14:00:50

You need to get the lying down feeding knack!

Difficult when they are really tiny, but what a godsend once you've cracked it! Have you tried?

2plus2plus1 Tue 30-May-06 14:07:17

Having tried the laying down thing properly, although last time I tried I was still VERY sore after delivery & not too mobile.
I don't mind the cluster feeding in evening cos at least I can watch telly & get DP to serve me. It is when it turns to constant feeding at 9-10pm that I find it hard. I would like to be able to do a little more in the mornings too (like get dressed!!!).
She does sleep 5-7hours most nights tho so at least I do get some break (&maybe I shouldn't complain.

2plus2plus1 Tue 30-May-06 14:08:30

Should read 'haven't tried the lying down feeding properly...'

mawbroon Tue 30-May-06 15:06:41

2plus - I was desperately waiting for "it" to get better after the six weeks and nothing seemed to change. I thought I was sentenced to months of a baby that I could barely put down without him crying to be fed. Then one day, all of a sudden on 27th Dec (see it's so significant I can remember the date!!) when he was 9 weeks old, he started to go around 3 hours between feeds, he started to sleep for longer periods and I felt like I was getting somewhere.

Now, they are all different, but if things don't magically get better after six weeks, hang on in there as you will reach this point soon. You have broken the back of the most difficult time and you will reap the rewards if you just keep going for that little bit longer. Well done for getting this far.

moondog Tue 30-May-06 15:11:05

Hang in there 2plus.
I would really work on the feeding lying down issue.
It really helps.
Maybe the relentlessness of the feeding in the early days (which drove me mad too-am by nature a verey restless person) is God's way of telling us we need this rest???

Just a thought.

suzi2 Tue 30-May-06 19:11:50

I was holding out for the 6 wk thing and was threatening formula every 2 mins! 6 wks came and things were still relentless. DH convinced me to keep going. 8 wks came and it was no better. But then after that DS started feeding about every 3-4 hours and it all became lovely.

Hang in for a wee bit longer - it will calm down

anchovies Tue 30-May-06 19:27:25

Another vote for feeding lying down, I don't think I'd have coped if we hadn't mastered that early on! Here's hoping it calms down soon for you, my ds2 is now 13 weeks and I honestly wouldn't dream of stopping now, it would be madness now everything has become so easy!

Pidge Wed 31-May-06 21:29:14

Yup - didn't master lying down feeding with dd1, but utter exhaustion made me master it pretty fast with dd2!! Use LOTS of pillows, at least one for your back, and another to prop up the baby, and another for your head.

Also - regarding the evenings - I so well remember that phase. Baby permanently attached to the breast from about 7pm till midnight, exhausting and demoralising. That took a while to fix with my first dd, but managed to get dd2 into more of a routine of going to bed early evening after about 7 weeks. Spent a week basically rocking her and cuddling her (and feeding her) in her bedroom from 7pm ish until she began to get the habit of going to sleep at that time. Still took a while for her to get the whole staying asleep thing, but it did mean I finally managed to eat supper without dripping food over baby at the breast!

Good luck.

FrannyandZooey Wed 31-May-06 21:34:53

I just found it stopped hurting so much and I actually started to enjoy it. Before then I found it painful, boring and tiring.

It became one of my favourite things in my life.

Can't say much better than that

laundrylover Wed 31-May-06 21:41:01

When dd2 was cluster feeding I expressed at breakfast and gave her a bottle at that 10pm sucky time. However it seemed that she in fact just wanted to suck so I gave her a dummy (am a real dummy snob too!) but it did the trick. She's now 9 weeks and seems to not like the dummy so it just got us through that phase.
Agree with what was said about growth spurts as can't remember mine having any really.
Dd2 now going long times between feeds but I've had mastitis and need her to feed frequently - ouch!

nickyp08 Thu 01-Jun-06 13:25:04

I am in total dispair.. i got two kiddies to look after a home to run and a constant breast feeding baby so guess what i am knocking it on the head and going to bottle feed cos the times he has had a bottle he has been a dream of a baby and not this constant crying/feeding we have had for the past 4 weeks..... i want to enjoy my baby and breastfeeding is making it such a chore and so frustrating.... i feel like i am neglecting my other two and that is just not fair on anyone...

2plus2plus1 Thu 01-Jun-06 16:51:21

Nicky you sound like my twin sister...

scienceteacher Thu 01-Jun-06 17:15:42

At the six week mark, your supply of breastmilk should equal your baby's demands - most women have too much milk at the beginning.

But that doesn't mean six weeks is a magical time for everything. I actually think that 7 weeks is a low point in energy - lack of sleep has finally caught up with you, friends and family have deserted you, there are expectations that you should be 'back to normal' and so you try to be efficient with your chores and your appearance.

It does get better!

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