Newborn FEEDING FRENZY !!! - Tell me it won't last!

(21 Posts)
handlemecarefully Tue 20-Apr-04 13:28:54

I breastfed dd for 12 weeks but never really 'got on with it' - won't bore you with details, but it didn't go smoothly so packed it in earlier than I intended.

Ds is just 5 days old today - and in some ways its going great. Had only mild soreness which is already easing off, he seems to latch on and feed fine etc, and even managed to breastfeed him comfortably in public yesterday (big thing for me). However since day 2 he has gone on a feeding frenzy in the evenings. I remember that dd used to cluster feed in the evenings but nothing like ds. Last night for example, he was continously latched on from around 17.00 until 23.30 (typically only 'resting' for 10 minute intervals). By 23.30 I could tell I was running on empty and so my will power cracked and I gave him 2 fl oz formula which he guzzled like a man possessed....(felt dreadful about how this might affect my milk supply, give him nipple teat confusion and generally mess things up)

My main issue is that this is having a detrimental effect on my 21 month old daughter - I can't attend to her needs at all between 17.00 until her bed time at 20.00 and feel that she is being horribly neglected. She is getting quite distressed which is very upsetting.

I can't quite remember, so would be grateful for your advice - I think this sort of feeding frenzy eases off eventually doesn't it? Roughly when do they start spacing the intervals between feeds a bit more 'sensibly'. If this goes on more than a couple of weeks I would seriously think about jacking it in (which I don't want to do)since it would be cruel to my daughter to continue...

mears Tue 20-Apr-04 13:50:52

Handlemecarefully - it is unlikely he actually 'needs' to be on the breast for that length of time as far as getting milk is concerned. More likely that he just loves being there. Try feeding him from one side at a time. By that I mean feed him, wind him and put him back on the same side. He may well settle for longer. Don't be duped into thinking that he is hungry because he took formula. When offered babies will invairably take it because it is something different. It is the same as when you are stuffed full after a main course. You are suddenly able to make room for a pudding
Watch him when he is feeding. He should start with fast sucks which will slow and become rhyhmical as the milk lets down. You should hear him swallow with each suck. As he comed to the end of the feed he will do 'flutter sucking' which is when he is really putting in an order for the next feed and getting some hindmilk at the end. He should then spit the nipple out. Wing him at that point then offer him the same side again. Do not let him lie at the breast for long periods doing nothing. When he has had a good feed and is unsettled, give him to DH so that you can have time with your DD. Get your DH to try skin-to-skin contact. Undress babe except for nappy and cuddle him agains his bare chest under a loose jumper. That can help soothe him. The way to succeed with breastfeeding is not to think that you 'must'have the baby attached all the time. Be confident that he is receiving enough milk. You wouldn't permanently sit with a bottle in his mouth if bottle feeding. Also get DH to take him out in the pram in these light evenings. It will settle down, early days yet. Stick in there

suzywong Tue 20-Apr-04 13:56:14

Handleme ...
I can't top Mear's wise words, but just want to offer yousupport.
Do hang in there it will be worth it, I know how hard it is to stop worrying about the first one while you do a big long night time feed, but this is a good opportunity for DD and Dh to form a routine of their own (when he comes home) which will help make her feel special and give you and baby some time together. For the first part of that frenzy time, you could let her have a picnic tea (cold food snacks) and give in to Disney and buy her Nemo to watch.
Hope this helps, keep it up, and you are no where near being cruel to your daughter

Clayhead Tue 20-Apr-04 14:11:12

As usual, mears advice is spot on.

Just wanted to offer my support, dd was 20 months when ds born so I know how you feel. Am still feeding ds nearly 8 months later, so am living proff it can be done. In the early days, I resorted to carrying ds round whilst bf on occasion, just to get dd into bed (dh works shifts and so is not often available in the evening). Now dd loved watching him feed, even to the point when she shouts, 'Mummy, boob' when he cries! She just sort of got into it, I encouraged her to put a cushion on her knee and 'feed' a toy which made her feel involved and grown up.

Good luck xx

mears Tue 20-Apr-04 14:58:22

Forgot to say when do you bath him? If you do it in the evening, change it to the morning as sometimes that unsettles babaies. If you do it in the morning, change it to the evening as it might exhaust him. If he likes a bath then put him in with dd - she might like the interaction. No faffing about with cotton wool balls etc for baby no.2 (or more). Plonk him in and give him a quick wipe over You could then chat to dd as you feed him whilst perched on the loo. He might conk out long enough for you to get dd to bed in peace

fairyprincess Tue 20-Apr-04 16:56:14

congratulations on the birth of your ds - 5 days old - lovely

My little ones have all fed alot in the first weeks. I just let them get on with it. I found that breastfeeding holding my baby in one arm whilst moving around helped me to get everything done when I had other children to look after (the days of breastfeeding whilst reading/tv whilst lounging were often memories as I had to run after other little ones). I could have baby latched on and happily feeding/sucking whilst I was doing all manner of tasks (baths, potty, meals, washing, having a snack myself....)In fact I'm breastfeeding dd now & typing. This works for me - my other little ones didn't have much loss of my attention. In fact when they need me and dd also needs me they ask if I can feed her! Sometimes carrying baby in a sling can help as some babys will be very happy just being carried around whilst parent gets on with things.

Good luck - best wishes to you

Good luck

frogs Tue 20-Apr-04 19:44:20

Brilliant advice here. The only thing I would add, tho' I expect many people would disapprove, is that it might be worth trying a dummy.

My three were all big hungry babies who could get their quota of milk out so quickly that they could satisfy their hunger long before they'd satisfied their need to suck. It took them a bit of time to learn how to 'hold' the dummy in by sucking, so at first we had to hold it in for a little while for them, but I found it preferable to offering myself up as a human dummy for hours on end.

But I know lots of people disapprove of dummies in breastfed babies, so it's only a tentative suggestion...

hazlinh Wed 21-Apr-04 05:13:29

Can't really offer much professional advice, but IME it DOES stop after a while! There is light at the end of the tunnel....
dd was feeding almost constantly from 3 weeks up until about 6 weeks old..practically 12 times during the day and around 4 times at night..I think it was partly to do with her getting colicky at that time.

It also coincided with her growth spurts - these occur at about one to three weks, six to eight weeks and at three and six months, and most babies will breastfeed more frequently then, I'm told.dd's now 9 weeks old and I'm dreading the next growth spurt esp as I'm working and will have to store LOTS and LOTSA EBM for the caregiver!!!!

i did try to get her to take a dummy back then out of desperation, (to the horror of my m-i-l!!)
but clever lil ddd didn't want anything to do with it! Bought 4 different types and brands but she refused to take to any of them!

what a lot of ppl suggested to me was to put her in a baby bjorn carrier or something similar that would allow you to b/f while going abt your daily chores. I never tried it myself cos my carrier wasn't really suitable for b/f, plus dd ALSO refused to get into one of those...aaahhhh..too clever for her own good..

dot1 Wed 21-Apr-04 14:20:15

ooh - HMC - I'm right there with you! Ds2 is now 12 days old and from about 4pm - 10pm would feed constantly if I let him. I'm also feeling guilty about not being able to give ds1 any/much attention - dp is having to do everything, and we always used to bath him together - I miss being a part of this now...

Mears - thanks for your advice - I'm also going to try this - putting him back on the same side.

I agree it's probably more that ds2 is just getting overtired/fed up at this time of day and just likes to suck. We cracked and bought a packet of dummies yesterday - just so that I could be freed up a bit, but he's not taking to it at all, which I'm half pleased about, but means I'll be stuck on the settee again this afternoon/tonight - he just howls if he's not being fed...

Anyway HMC - sorry, no advice, just empathy - if you find the magic solution let me know!

Utka Wed 21-Apr-04 19:49:14

It's so nice to know we're not alone, isn't it?! DD2 is 8 weeks old today, and has had exactly this same pattern - feeding constantly from late pm to mid evening, before conking out (normally on the boob, much to my dismay, since I worry about setting up the wrong association etc. etc.)

DD1 didn't do this at all - used to do really big feeds and then settle herself to sleep, so I was really concerned when DD2 started doing this.

I would really echo Mears's advice though - getting them to have a really good feed from one side first, is key. I've discovered, for example, that dd2 being so windy means that she often seems full, when in fact she's not, and she just needs a burp. I've been surprised often that when I put her back on the same side after winding her, she still finds milk there (I can tell from the glugs and the lovely milky moustache afterwards!!)

She's a really quick feeder, and the tendency, having a 3 year old as well, is to think she's finished the first time she spits the nipple out - you know what it's like, there's so much else to do as well. I'm trying really hard though now to persist in winding her and trying her back on the same side.

I think the hardest thing is that the frenzy always seems to happen at the time when your older one needs you the most, and when everyone is really knackered.

I know you don't really want to hear that someone is still having the same experience as you at week 8, but trust me, you will find your own ways of managing both of them.

I distinctly remember being in floods of tears in dd1's bedroom during week 1, looking down at her sleeping peacefully, because I'd missed giving her a goodnight kiss before she fell asleep as I was feeding dd2 in another room (dh had put dd1 to bed). I remember thinking, "I'll never manage to deal with both of them at the same time", and mourning the loss of the time when it was just the 3 of us, and the time when she was as small as dd2. But now we're finding ways of accommodating the needs of both of them. Feeding sitting on the loo seat may not be my best place to feed, but it means I can play bath games with DD1 - I also do this during stories before bed.

One thing that seems to work for me is actually bathing DD2 first, getting her ready for bed and giving her bedtime feed during DD1's bathtime. We often have to break off (not my preference but needs must), but at least I know that whilst I'm brushing teeth, wiping bottom etc., if DD2 cries, it's because she's tired, not because she's hungry. I tend to park DD1 in front of a video after tea, in order to get this done. I also do her hot meal at lunchtime now, and always have a cold sandwich tea, as this can be prepared well in advance if necessary.

Hang on in there with the feeding though - particularly as it's going better for you second time around - you will find your own ways of doing things.

Good luck

handlemecarefully Wed 21-Apr-04 21:55:39

Thanks for all the advice. Utka - your memory of being in floods of tears during week 1 in dd1's bedroom really rang true, I've been the same; yesterday and today mourning the loss of one to one time with her.

I will have to become adept at feeding whilst on the move, or starting my dd on some activity to keep her occupied before feeding ds.....

handlemecarefully Wed 21-Apr-04 22:10:36

I should just add that I would like to be confident - as Mears suggests, that ds is getting enough breast milk but fact is I'm not. If I stop trying to feed him during one of his long continuous mega sessions he wails loudly and his mouth is opening and closing like a distressed fish! That's when I tend to cave in and offer an oz of formula (I did the same last night at midnight as I did at 23.30 the night before). Perhaps I am being defeatist due to 'baby blues' and I'll feel a bit more capable in a week or two!

Ghosty Wed 21-Apr-04 22:33:11

HMC ... sorry you are feeling low about this.
I really understand where you are coming from ...
I can't top Mears' advice but all I can say is that it will get better if you persevere.
Do you have much help at home? I spent the first 2 weeks with my mum at home to help with DS dinner etc and DH was always home from work in time to bath DS and put him to bed while I sat on the sofa permanently attached to DD. The 3rd week when my mum went home, DH took some time off work (a couple of full days and then the rest 1/2 days) by which time I was getting a grip and more able to 'do' baby AND DS.
Week 5 DH went away for 5 days for work and I was left holding the baby ... and DS and I managed fine.
I too spent hours crying over DS's sleeping form, mourning the loss of time with my first baby ... I think I even sat there one night stroking his head whispering 'sorry darling, sorry darling' with tears running down my face ... I so relate to that.
The main thing is IT DOES GET BETTER AND EASIER ... DD is 11 weeks now and we muddle along quite well ... DS is used to his sister being around and I can 'do' it by myself if I have to. The feeding frenzy stopped at around 3 weeks and I was able to put DD into a routine that fitted around DS ....
Hang in there honey ...
Your DS needs to feed like this to get your milk going ... I can seriously say that I don't believe we really established breastfeeding until 8 weeks ... 5 days is very very early days
Hugs {{{}}}

mears Wed 21-Apr-04 23:31:35

Handlemecarefully - how do your breasts feel? Are you aware of them being full? Do you feel the letdown when you are feeding? Very long feeds can also be a sign that the baby is not fixed as well as he could be. Sometimes a minor adjustment can make all the difference. Make sure he is facing you, his tummy against yours. Don't have him lying on his back with his head turned to the side because he won't get a good fix on. Make sure he has a good mouthful of the areola - more underneath than on top.
What is his feeding like the rest of the day? How long does he go inbetween feeds in the morning and afternoon. Does he have wet and dirty nappies?

The early days of breastfeeding can be really hard work. The feeding you are doing should result in good milk production.

The problem is more likely to be the lack of time you have with your DD.
Sounds as though you are laden with guilt about what you percieve to be a lack of attention for DD. This part of going from one child to two. Combining feeding and activity with her a re a good idea. As he gets older you will get more time with DD but one to one can be hard to achieve whether breast or bottle feeding. You will get a handle on it but it is early days. I remember handing DS2 to my next door neighbour so that I could bath DS1 alone in peace. It was the hardest thing ever going from one child to two. I had many a tearful day in the early days. You have made a beautiful baby and your breasts are capable of feeding him. It just can be an overwhelming task at times. Make sure you utilise your DH as much as you can and ignore that mouth going like a fish. I would give him a dummy before anymore formula TBH. Sounds as though he wants to suck in the evening. I used a dummy for the last 2 just to get some peace when I needed to do other things.

He is only a week old and still has to learn how to feed efficiently. He will get better as the days go by. Try and get to bed earlier and take DS with you. Do you take him into bed to feed during the night? I would to try and sleep and feed at the same time. Are you getting any sleep in the afternoon? If not you may well be at the end of your tether at night due to tiredness. You will start to get more confident as the days go by. You can do it but you need help to co-ordinate it all. Best wishes, mears

hewlettsdaughter Thu 22-Apr-04 10:03:16

HMC, sorry you're having problems. My new dd (ooh! first time I've written that!) isn't necessarily staying on for hours, but I am - I think - having latching problems - and it really hurts when she clamps on. DS is doing ok, although I've noticed a few wobbles when I can't do something for him straightaway. It's hard, isn't it . But I'm sure it will get better.
Like dot, I'm also trying the back on the same side trick - thanks mears.

handlemecarefully Fri 30-Apr-04 15:14:13

A belated thanks to everyone (especially Mears) for the advice.

Ds is now 2 weeks and 1 day old and I have stuck with the breastfeeding and it has become easier. Dd is gradually getting used to having him around and is making an adjustment to this, I too am making an adjustment to dividing my time between the two of them...and its starting to feel 'simpler'. Ds is getting more 'efficient' at feeding and now taking circa 25 minutes per feed (rather than 45 mins) and usually going for 2 hours in between. He was weighed yesterday at 14 days old and had regained his birth weight plus 1 oz.

So all in all feeling much more positive about things.

Thanks again for the support.

MrsDoolittle Fri 30-Apr-04 18:37:22

HMC - dd is three weeks old tomorrow and I have just been through the exact same thing, only I didn't have another little person to worry about. I have been feeding or thought I have been feeding all evening for most of the first two weeks. Then suddenly everything slowed down and I realised that she hadn't been latched on very well alot of the time and although I had refused to believe it (because my Mother had said so), she seems to have cut out alot of messing about she was doing with my nipples. I thought maybe she had grwon onto them - they are quite large!!

mears Sat 01-May-04 00:34:54

HMC - glad to hear things are improving - well done for sticking it out. It will continue to get easier the older he gets, honestly

dot1 Sun 02-May-04 11:48:46

HMC - glad things are sorting themselves out for you - it's so flipping tricky, isn't it? I'm also trying to reduce the length of time ds feeds for - particualarly the night feeds... I've got him down to about 35 minutes - but that's mainly because I've stopped changing his nappy, unless he's pooed! It's so hard when he doesn't let go of my nipple unless I break the suction - I always feel really mean doing it. He's also going for longer between feeds in the morning now - can be 3 hours if he has a good sleep, but is still feeding pretty much constantly in the afternoon/evening...

Ah well - we'll get there and in a couple of months time it'll all seem much easier (is what I'm telling myself, anyway...!).

Jasmine1990 Sun 19-Mar-17 14:54:33

If this continues please don't let professionals tell you it's normal. I went 10 weeks with tongue tie!

Constant feeding, latched on for an hour plus. Baby never seemed satisfied. What's their poop like? Can tell you if their getting only for milk and not hind milk.

arbrighton Mon 20-Mar-17 15:52:36

Jasmine, you've just posted on a thread that's over ten years old!!

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