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Baby not getting enough from me?

(20 Posts)
mildred37 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:46:36

My DS is 17 days old and he was a big baby - 9lb2oz ar birth, now shot up to 10lb. He's a happy enough baby but for the last few days I just can't seem to feed him enough. He feeds from both breasts and falls asleep, then wakes when I wind him and I have to feed him again before he settles - however this afternoon he's had breastmilk 4 times in the past 2 hours, and DH has just had to give him 40ml of formula as he was still rooting and screaming with hunger sad. I want to continue BF as its so much easier and obviously better for DS, but he just doesn't seem to get enough from me anymore. I was hoping I could last alot longer with BF but DS is so hungry all the time that I physically have nothing left to give.

Am I doing something wrong? is there anything I can do to encourage supply?

HeadFairy Mon 17-Jun-13 19:48:14

The way to encourage supply is to feed as often as possible. Especially at night.

HeadFairy Mon 17-Jun-13 19:49:37

Sorry, that sounded unecessarily harsh. Congratulations! smile

It's really hard work, and unfortunately there aren't any quick fixes. If you're determined to bf then topping up with formula will only make your supply reduce as your baby will be getting calories from the formula.

showtunesgirl Mon 17-Jun-13 19:50:06

BF works on demand and supply. The best way to up your supply is to keep putting him to the breast over and over again. Your DS' behaviour doesn't sound unusual at all.

I think the most helpful thing to remember is that bottle routines eg once every three to four hours don't work for early BF.

Also that breasts NEVER run out of milk, you don't have to wait for them to "fill up" again so to speak. One person on this forum informed me that breasts are like rivers rather than buckets that can be emptied.

HeadFairy Mon 17-Jun-13 19:51:26

I must admit that both my children were pretty much permanently attached to my chest all evening at this stage. It could be cluster feeding, ie the baby feeding almost continuously to stimulate supply and to build up calories to last through the night.

I got very good at eating my evening meal with one hand while the other held a bfing baby grin

showtunesgirl Mon 17-Jun-13 19:52:19

Also as his weight gain is going up, he's definitely getting enough from you OP so well done!

piprabbit Mon 17-Jun-13 19:54:18

More than likely you have plenty of milk. I never saw much of my milk, there was nothing to express, I never got engorged etc. but the babies kept weeing, pooing and growing. Drinking pints and pints of water seemed to be the most useful thing to do.

Getting upset and fussy in the afternoon and evening seems pretty normal behaviour for a baby, I never found out why but it did gradually get better as mine got older. My MW said it was colic, so I used Infacol (I'm not sure it made much difference but at least I felt like I was taking positive action).

If handing your baby to DH for a top-up bottle, while you go for a walk or a sit in the garden (or a nap/bath/shower/eat some food) before the night time onslaught, works for you and your baby then that is fine too.

Splatt34 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:55:12

You have enough milk, that is illustrated by the fact that he has gained so much weight. Congratulations.
My DD2 is 18 days old and at 12 days when she was last weighed was 8lb 3 down from 8lb 15 born.
It is so hard but you need to keep feeding. We are topping DD up with formula (2oz twice a day) on advise of the breast feeding clinic due to weight loss and I am taking fenugreek but what is happening with you sounds normal. With DD1 it was relentless, again we had major issues with weight gain.

mildred37 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:56:05

Thanks for the replies. It's just frustrating (and upsetting) when DS is so obviously crying and it's making me feel like he's not getting enough. He's now back on the breast after his formula as he still isn't settled. I don't think he's even hungry as I haven't heard him swallow once.

mildred37 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:57:14

*crying with hunger, that should read.

HeadFairy Mon 17-Jun-13 20:01:04

He could also be using you as a dummy and getting some comfort. Again, that's normal and I was quite happy to let it happen. It was definitely preferable to a screaming baby. Just so long as your nipples are up to it.

Splatt34 Mon 17-Jun-13 20:02:28

PS - I wrote assuming you want to continue EBF.
I am a big fan on combination feeding but I can't help but feel that breast feeding needs a bit longer to establish and was quite upset on Friday when we started topping up already.
DD1 was combination feed from 6 to 13 weeks (the FF) and it worked great

plummyjam Mon 17-Jun-13 20:05:22

If he's having plenty of wet and dirty nappies and has put on that much weight he's getting enough.

A newborn baby's stomach is the size of a walnut and empties really quickly. Sucking stimulates the breasts to make more milk too so at the beginning babies feed very often and sometimes for hours at a time - so called cluster feeding. This is normal behaviour.

It is only several weeks down the line that most babies fall into more regular feeding patterns.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 17-Jun-13 20:08:52

Aww lovely you're not doing anything wrong at all. he's only 17 days old and breastfeeding really is so much more than food, it's comforting, warm and familiar in a world which is suddenly very bright, loud and confusing. It helps him feel safe, calms tummies, helps him cool down as well as warm up and is basically the only thing that he knows and understands right now.

It will pass and will get easier as he gets used to being in the world and different ways of being comforted like dad etc. DH could try a sling?

McBaby Mon 17-Jun-13 20:09:16

There is a big 3 week growth spurt. My LO fed very regularly for weeks just go with what they want as he tries to increase you supply to match his growing need. It is a great opportunity to sit on the sofa and watch DVDs. When they gat a bit older you can't sit still anymore!

My DD was an evening cluster feeder and would feed for best part pf four hours from 6-10 every evening for the first couple of months.

TwitchyTail Mon 17-Jun-13 20:13:23

Totally normal and he WILL get enough from you, as long as you let him suck on demand. At the moment he is stimulating your supply to meet his needs. Your body will respond. He will probably still feed a lot because his stomach is so small and breastmilk is easily digested, though. That's just how newborns are. Size is irrelevant.

It is frustrating I know, and probably one of the commonest reasons women stop breastfeeding without actually needing to; I almost did, until luckily someone explained the mechanics of breastfeeding supply and demand to me. It is logical to think that baby feeding constantly, not settling, and guzzling down formula if offered is a sign that your body can't make enough milk - logical, but incorrect.

Keep doing what you're doing, slather on the Lansinoh after every feed, and hold your nerve smile It helped me to remember that lots of women with twins breastfeed them - if they can make enough milk for two or more, there's no reason why you or I can't make enough for one!

HeadFairy Mon 17-Jun-13 20:15:35

I would echo what splatt said, I didn't start introducing formula for mixed feeding until I'd been bfing for months and it was well and truly established.

I also took Fenugreek to stimulate milk supply, plus I read oats were good too so I ate a lot of flapjacks grin

Make sure you drink lots too.

HadALittleFaithBaby Mon 17-Jun-13 20:35:35

Hang in there, we had exactly the same feeding (but with a small baby!). This feeding is your baby's way of telling your body to produce more milk. Gradually I found DD going longer between feeds and sleeping better.

How does he sleep? One issue I think we had is that I sometimes misinterpreted tiredness as hunger. I go with the baby whisperer idea of EASY. eat, activity, sleep, time for you and the time scales from this website. So if she's fed, been awake and starts smacking her lips/fussing I see if she'll sleep - rocking her, in the car, pushchair. Recently bought a swinging chair which is a godsend! If she won't settle then ok, she's still hungry! Only exception is bedtime when she cluster feeds for hours....

NoWayPedro Mon 17-Jun-13 21:19:41

Just to echo everyone else that this is totally normal behaviour for a BF newborn smile. Right now you just need to lie down/watch TV, eat/drink on demand yourself and not stress smile. If you let baby do what he wants he'll be happy; at this age they think you and they are one person - well you were until recently!

- sucking stimulates supply
- could be grow spurt
- could be for comfort
- could be evening cluster feeding/fussiness

Colic is inconsolable crying throughout the day not just evening time so doesn't sound like that to me. Bit of infacol won't do any harm though.

Learn to feed lying down; I got loads more rest that way.

Congrats smile

IWipeArses Mon 17-Jun-13 22:31:17

Wow, his weight gain is brilliant! He's getting a lot of milk. They do feed a lot when they're small. Every now and then they'll start feeding more regularly, by in general it settles right down. Feed him when he wants feeding, you'll make enough. Rest whenever you can and eat plenty so you don't get tired. You're doing a great job.

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