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Breast fed baby never satisfied :(

(37 Posts)
cookiewuk Tue 18-Jun-13 21:47:20

My dd is now 25 days old and is ebf. I have found it incredibly tough, very painful and exhausting. Although the pain is easing now dd doesn't ever seem to be satisfied. She cries constantly if she's not being held or fed. Im at my wits end as I can't get anything done and can't make her happy. She wants feeding every 20 - 60mins during the day and every 2 - 3 hours during the night. She will feed for up to 40mins at a time but doesn't settle afterwards.
I really don't know what to do as I feel awful with her screaming all the time, i just want her to be happy and content. She is gaining weight, a lot actually, but my milk can't be doing her any good. My partner is also getting desperate and is trying to get me to switch to formula. Is this the answer? Please help!

Manchesterhistorygirl Tue 18-Jun-13 21:50:03

New babies do feed on demand and do seem very unsettled. How is her winding going? Does she pull her legs up when she cries? She may have wind issues rather than be unsatisfied.

I'm sure one of the more articulate posters will be along shortly.

You're doing a great job if your lovely dd is putting weight on.

crikeybadger Tue 18-Jun-13 22:00:42

What is she like when she is feeding? Is there any choking or spluttering?

You mention good weight gain - how much would you say is the average weekly gain?

You mention pain.... Was that sore nipples caused by poor attachment do you think or something like thrush?

Sometimes frequent feeding can be a sign of pain...I wonder about reflux although I don't know much about it, but others on here will.

Lastly it could just be that you have a "high needs baby" who prefers to be held a lot and fed a lot.

Chatting things through on one of the breastfeeding helplines might be worth a go.

HTH smile

TheSecondComing Tue 18-Jun-13 22:05:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smartiepants79 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:12:36

It took til at least 6 weeks ofor feeding to settle for me. Up til then it was very hard work.
If she is gaining weight then your milk is doing exactly what it's supposed to.
It doesn't sound like hunger is the root problem. Does she have bad wind? Reflux?
Please don't let anyone talk you into giving up unless YOU want to. You may regret it.
Formula will not help if she has wind or reflux. Could in fact make it worse.
You could try mixed feeding.
A bottle a day to give you a break. It worked for me but many people can be a bit anti it.
It is hard and can be hell for a awhile. I would say try and stick it out till 6 weeks but only you can decide what's best for your family.

blueshoes Tue 18-Jun-13 22:34:44

My dd used to spend hours on the boob and I thought she was feeding because when I pulled her off, she cried. Turns out she finished feeding pretty quickly but just wanted to sleep with my boob in her mouth (treating me like a human dummy, no less).

Could this be why she is not settling?

mrsfuzzy Tue 18-Jun-13 22:48:37

everyone will hate me but what is wrong with using a bottle if you cannot breast feed or are having lots of problems, i couldnt do it due to medical reasons but was made to feel like a social pariah by some very smug mothers who knew nothing of my situation but my 6 kids have all grown up without too many problems, and are all healthy to boot, we can't all do or even want to do the natural way, it;s personal choice

mrscog Tue 18-Jun-13 22:59:10

This will sound a bit unhelpful, but she sounds like a typical newborn to me. I had to constantly feed or hold my DS for the first 6 weeks. Have you got a sling you could wear her in around the house? You're probably nearly at the stage where things will improve, so just try and enjoy some days on the sofa watching tv smile.

Also crikeybadger gives excellent advice, crikey do you remember my threads over a year ago when I was struggling to feed DS? Well he's 15 mo now and still bfding! I'll never forget your help, thank you smile

evelynj Tue 18-Jun-13 23:01:10

I would try the one bottle if you feel comfortable with it. That's what I did with my ds1 after 5-6 weeks as I was so so miserable with the pain & exhaustion of bf. Have you tried a dummy or do you not want to do this? They're not called pacifiers for nothing!

If you go for the night bottle, I'd be tempted to do a last breastfeed at e.g. 9pm or whatever then leave little one with next bottle feed to dh so hopefully you get an extra couple hours of unbroken sleep. I'm planning to do this if all hoes well with dc2 due in 4 weeks.

Like pp said, you need to be comfortable with the choice you make but ff may not be the golden answer you hope. For me it saved my sanity. I also believe that the most beneficial things of ebf have been delivered by about week 4 but it's a wonderful thing to be able to do for as long as you want and are able.

Good luck

halestone Tue 18-Jun-13 23:04:37

I ebf my newborn (who is now 6months) she was extremely unsettled and didn't sleep much. She also like yours had a weight gain of 1lb per week (she has always stayed on the 99th centile line). I found breastfeeding very hard going but at the same time something wouldn't let me FF. I think i thought of myself as a failure if i introduced Formula. I now know this is a stupid way of thinking. I began to express some BM to let DP try and feed her.

To be completely honest DD became a much more chilled baby when someone told me about the 4 trimester. Basically if you revert to doing things you did alot whilst pregnant whilst holding your baby close they calm down abit. This meant i ended up on my birthing ball bouncing alot and she chilled right out. This is also a reason your baby might like being held they need your smell and touch and to hear your heartbeat still. They say the 4th trimester lasts for 12 weeks after birth i don't know if that helps you or not but it helped me.

Also try finding the postnatal thread from the month your little one was born this helped save my sanity.

And one last thing, if you do feel like introducing formula do it, even if you only do it as a one off to see how it works. Your sanity is the most important thing at the moment. Although if your baby is having good weight gain and loads of wet and dirty nappies your doing fine grin Good luck with whatever you decide OP and congratulations on your new arrival thanks

Smartiepants79 Wed 19-Jun-13 07:30:28

There is nothing wrong with bottles at all.
But it must be YOUR decision and no one else's.
Bottles give more freedom and can be reassuring as you know how much you've fed them.
They are not necessarily going to solve the problem if it is an issue with wind or reflux. They are not a cure all for babies who appear 'hungry'

Wishfulmakeupping Wed 19-Jun-13 07:39:38

Have you tried call the national bf helpline they gave me somehow advice about spacing out feeds when my dd was 5 weeks- she was basically snacking so was constantly hungry as she was never having a good 'meal' try giving them a go with their advice I got her feeding less often and she started sleeping through better too smile

yoyoyo Wed 19-Jun-13 07:50:54

Hi, mine too feeds constantly I have found the introduction of a bottle at 7pm gives me a child free break (rests the poor nips) & a chance to catch up with DH.
I would stick with the BF for a bit longer its so much quicker to get food into baby rather that the faff of preparing bottles with the bonus of being able to tread a book/use the ipad & the huge cash saving.

YouMaySayImADreamer Wed 19-Jun-13 08:00:03

You dd sounds just like my ds at that age - i can sympathise, it was hell. I think a lot of the behaviour of newborns ia attributed to bf when a baby is bf, because they tend to use the breast for comfort as well as food.

My ds screamed every waking hour between feeding and was just so unhappy even after feeding. I had never met a more miserable baby and i even started to think friends and family wouldnt want to come and see him. I was in tears conatantly. The doctor diagnosed colic and recommended that i give him a dummy and prescribed colief drops. The dummy helped a bit because it meant my partner could comfort him too and give me a break, but the colief drops worked a miracle. They are a bit of a faff to use when bf and took a few days to start working, but ds gradually became a different baby. People started commenting on how laid back and happy he was. I would dedifinately recommend.

Of course, it may not be colic, but for me, anything was worth a good try when i felt as you did.

YouMaySayImADreamer Wed 19-Jun-13 08:04:58

I should say that i mean that i think a lot of newborn behaviour is wrongly attributed to bf because the natural instinct is to use the breast for comfort as well as food, whereas non bf babies dont have this option, so if anything it could be harder to comfort your baby if you werent bf (although i know that at least someone else could have a go!)

LovingKent Wed 19-Jun-13 08:14:50

Congratulations on the birth of your DD. My DS used to feed for Britain too and I found breastfeeding exhausting but stubbornly refused to give up and things did get better. Have you seen a Breastfeeding counsellor? Is there a breastfeeding clinic or baby cafe in your area you could go to? I found our local one a massive help. Ours will also advise about mixed feeding and giving up if that's what you decide to do. Hope things settle soon flowers

crikeybadger Wed 19-Jun-13 10:26:09

smile Mrscog - great that you are ' still ' breastfeeding !

Mrsfuzzy - no one will hate you for saying that, but I don't get the impression that the OP is wanting to give a bottle...maybe I'm wrong tho . As other posters have said, giving a bottle may not improve the situation depending on the reason for the fussing and crying.

cookiewuk Wed 19-Jun-13 11:07:17

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply.
I really felt at my wits end last night and needed to get things off my chest. My midwife is coming round to see us today so am going to talk things through with her as well.
To try and answer some of your questions, the pain i feel is in the nipples especially when she really chomps down or is sucking extra vigorously. I also feel the pain deeper inside my breasts and sometimes have shooting pains.
She is gaining 10lbs a week so she must be getting some goodness from me i guess.
She does hold onto her wind so I do think some of the upset is due to a bad belly. We're trying her with infacol atm but it isn't helping hugely.
Your right in saying Im not keen on giving formula especially stopping breastfeeding completely as i am proud of myself for persevering this long even after being in agony and crying constantly for days. I do find my resolve wavering however when Im exhausted and she just won't stop crying unless she's attached to me. Its made more difficult with my partner and his mum telling me to switch to bottles.
Thankfully my family are very supportive of bf and keep encouraging me to continue.
Does anyone have any advice as to how i can get her to go longer between feeds as i think she is snacking and napping rather than eating and sleeping?
I don't think it helped that yesterday i had had no sleep and met my friends 2wk old who is ff and goes 4 hours between feeds during the day and up to 6 at night.
Thanks again for replying x

cookiewuk Wed 19-Jun-13 11:09:52

Oh god i was rambling there wasn't I! Im still suffering from lack of sleep I think lol. Also i obviously meant she's putting on 10oz a week not 10lb :/

Smartiepants79 Wed 19-Jun-13 11:48:27

That is very god weight gain. I suspect she is not feeding for hunger but for comfort.
Have you tried going out between feeds. I used to do that. A trip in the car or buggy can help stretch out between feeds.
Other than that just trying to distract her? It's hard, sometimes you just have to be a bit tough and stick out the crying for as long as you can. Tricky but as she gets older a better pattern should become established.

AmandaCooper Wed 19-Jun-13 12:20:54

10oz a week is a huge amount you must be doing tremendously well and your milk is clearly chock full of goodness!
I am no expert on breastfeeding but does it help you to know that my experience around the 3-4 week mark was just as you describe? DS fed constantly but was often fussy and fretful at the breast. At that age they are so floppy and fragile and difficult to position comfortably. It's apparently a common time for a growth spurt - I must have spent the whole time googling, unconvinced that it could possibly be normal. I got a lot of reassurance from reading threads like yours. It soon passed thank goodness!
Tell your partner and your mum that this is really important to you and, as baby's weight gain is no issue, ask them to support and encourage you in breastfeeding rather than trying to reassure you that it is ok to stop. Ask them to help you find more comfortable positions to nurse in by building a nest of cushions and pillows and blankets around you and under baby to support you both and keeping you hydrated with lots of drinks. They could also help to wind the baby if winding is something you choose to do - my mil is a world expert at this!

AmandaCooper Wed 19-Jun-13 12:21:59

*his mum

Lurksome Wed 19-Jun-13 12:26:13

Have you tried using a soft sling like a moby wrap in between feeds?

mawbroon Wed 19-Jun-13 12:52:13

For the first 9 weeks, my DS1 cried if he wasn't nursing. He only slept in short bursts, naps were never any more than 40 mins. His weight gain was ok, but he was on the breast 16hours a day sometimes, so it was obviously taking him a long time to get the milk he needed. He never came off the breast of his own accord and never once had the milk drunk look that I have seen in other babies.

Many years later, it came to light that he was tongue tied which pretty much explains the difficulties we were having.

Has your dd been checked by someone who knows what to look for? Note that this is unlikely to be your HV or GP.

FaddyPeony Wed 19-Jun-13 13:07:41

I second the sling recommendation.
So much. And it also does sound a little like wind I think. My DD used to suffer badly with wind. We tried Infacol but it made it worse. It took me a good while to realise that we needed to wind her for a long long time. She grew out of the worst by about 9/10 weeks. Not fun at all. But you are in the eye of the storm now, try to hang in there, the worst will be over very soon! You're doing amazingly well with that weight gain.

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