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Baby feeding constantly

(25 Posts)
Snufflingburr Sun 07-Jun-15 17:03:08

My newborn is feeding round the clock, I just have to keep swapping her from breast to breast. Is this normal? How can she keep it up with no sleep? I thought maybe it's because my milk hasn't come through properly yet?

NickyEds Sun 07-Jun-15 21:04:14

Are you still in the care of the mw? I'd get in touch with her TBH. New borns generally sleep quite a lot- I remember ds wouldn't stay awake for a full hour. How old is she?

StarlightMcKenzee Sun 07-Jun-15 21:32:22

Keep a diary. Write down the start times of each feed and the end times. Add it up over a 24 hour period.

It is normal for feeding to take as long as 10 hours or so in a 24 hour period in the early days and for a couple of weeks as their mouths get more efficient.

If it is taking more time than that, see if you can get a feeding specialist to check your latch and it might be sensible to also record wet and dirty nappies to see whether or not the milk is getting through.

Set up 'feeding stations' around your house with water/remote/book/phone in place and make sure others are feeding and watering you. It won't last forever but at the moment this is what your baby needs.

Hillijx Sun 07-Jun-15 22:00:40

Mine didn't go into "sleepy" mode until milk came in, admittedly this was on day 3ish so not a long wait. At least she is feeding, keep going, talk to a bf support but it will get better.

StetsonsAreCool Sun 07-Jun-15 22:04:06

How new are we talking?

both of my children did this - DS (5mo) in particular - until my milk came in, and then they started sleeeping for longer stretches and just waking up to feed.

SweetAndFullOfGrace Sun 07-Jun-15 22:06:11

DD was like that. She fed 20 times a day when she was tiny. The bf consultant I spoke to said it was within the range of normal, some babies are just snackers.

It may help not to switch boobs though, the fatty milk often comes later in the feed, so if you have a baby who only takes a little each time they may only get the watery stuff at the start. Some people don't have much difference between fore- and hind- milk but I certainly did - when I pumped from full boobs I could fill over half a bottle before it started to look milky. So I used to feed from one boob for a few hours (regardless of how many feeds) then switch.

SweetAndFullOfGrace Sun 07-Jun-15 22:07:22

Oh if your milk hasn't come in yet discount the one boob for a few hours thing.

Lookatmyredtrousers Sun 07-Jun-15 22:08:37

Yy to the above- why are you swapping breasts? Baby might not be getting enough fatty milk
Are you getting wet and dirty nappies? How old is baby and what colour is the poo?

nottheOP Sun 07-Jun-15 22:14:10

You're feeding and being a human soother/dummy.

I will share something that I didn't realise for months. Some babies don't go to sleep when they're tired or even look tired for that matter.

So... when your newborn has been awake for about 45 minutes, including feeding time, start getting them to sleep by putting them down/rocking/pram walking/dummy/Sling/cuddle, whatever works.

It really helps to watch how long theyve been awake for & avoid overtiredness. The awake time extends as they get older.

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 07-Jun-15 23:00:10

Don't worry about switching from breast to breast, presumably when she seems finished with the first one? Only feeding from one breast for several feeds in a row is called block feeding, and is usually done to reduce supply not increase it.

The foremilk/hindmilk thing is somewhat of a myth. There's no need to try to engineer feeds to get "hindmilk".

tiktok Sun 07-Jun-15 23:54:35

sadsad you're gonna be totally confused now, OP.

If this is a newborn, seek help from the midwife.

Please don't start trying to engineer feeding - feeding in response to your baby's needs is absolutely normal. Even when normal is very frequent feeding. Your baby feeds to be close to you and to get the familiar taste and smell of you. She was inside you just a short while ago.

Do see the midwife for further reassurance. Remember that people here can't see your baby and they don't know how old your baby is.

Please please don't worry about 'the fatty milk'.

tiktok Sun 07-Jun-15 23:56:08

And don't worry about being a human soother.

That's what mothers are!

Please please don't start timing feeds or feeling you must put the baby down after a certain time.

StarlightMcKenzee Mon 08-Jun-15 04:37:49

The diary isn't to decide if the baby should have had enough but to collect information for support or reassurance.

It helped me enormously to produce evidence that my baby was feeding for 16 hours in a 24 hour period. I 'thought' it was all the time and professionals dismissed me as exaggerating. Turns out there actually WAS a problem, not least that 8 hours free of feeding was not sustainable for ensuring I had enough sleep, to eat, to wash etc.

SweetAndFullOfGrace Mon 08-Jun-15 08:38:36

Oh dear, sorry OP! I was told to do the one boob thing in my circs but it may have been bad advice. Listen to tiktok, she's the bf guru!

One thing I know is definitely helpful from that newborn period - do what the baby wants, they're much better at knowing how to be a baby than any of us. They will tell you what they want, just give it to them. You can't go too far wrong that way.

tiktok Mon 08-Jun-15 10:17:13

Sweet, it's really common piece of misinformation - not at all surprising you were told it.

It's quite wrong, though sad Most mothers probably can build up and sustain a supply deliberately using only one breast per feeding session. A sizable minority cannot. Milk supply is driven by removal of milk from the breast. If you are only removing it one breast at a time then that reduces supply - which is why it is recommended for women who suffer from*over supply*.

Concerns about getting 'the hind milk' and deliberately restricting the baby to one side at a time are way out of fact, any HCP saying this is giving themselves away as someone who needs updating smile

Lookatmyredtrousers Mon 08-Jun-15 11:20:03

But that is how milk works isn't it? The watery milk comes first to rehydrate followed by the higher calorie milk. My Nct group have all been told this by Nct, our midwives, HV etc. Not in relation to swapping boobs (I've never heard of that, apart from trying to remember to use alternate boobs between successful long feeds (ie 7am feed from The right for 20 mins, refuses offer of second breast, baby wants next feed at 9am so offer the left first) but in relation to making sure baby gets long enough feeds.

A nct friend had issues with her babies weight gain and poo because he was quickly falling asleep in the breast so she was putting him down to sleep. So I wanted to check because I do think from what I've read she was given the correct advice.

CultureSucksDownWords Mon 08-Jun-15 11:33:08

My understanding is that it is not quite as simple as that lookatmyredtrousers. I found this article on Kellymom quite helpful, but no doubt tiktok can/will explain it better than me.

tiktok Mon 08-Jun-15 11:37:11

Redtrousers, you're not wrong.

"The watery milk comes first to rehydrate followed by the higher calorie milk."

This is basically correct. Not always - not when babies feed with only ever short gaps between feeds. It's also not a situation where the milk neatly divides into two sorts.

But babies sort this out for themselves. No need to deliberately only ever offer one breast per session.

tiktok Mon 08-Jun-15 11:38:35

This is quite a good blog post on the topic.

Lookatmyredtrousers Mon 08-Jun-15 11:48:01

Thanks so much and phew! Great blog post. I sort of assumed there wouldn't be a magic switchover but I guess the way it's presented does sound a little like that.
I'm so pleased because my friend woke her son at the breast to keep him feeding for longer and it worked

Snufflingburr Mon 08-Jun-15 19:04:43

Thanks everyone, yes I'm swapping breasts once she's had a long feed on one or I'm feeling very sore on one side. Most of her feeds are 20-45mins long, I'm sort of alternating between these feeds but going a bit on instinct. Baby is 5days old, had to have c-section under GA. The milk has started coming in now, from the feel of it I'll be able to tell from breast fullness and throbbing which side to go for! Have seen midwife today, she says all is well. I just have to hope baby sleeps longer between feeds as the milk comes in.

Elllimam Mon 08-Jun-15 19:10:44

Ah that sounds better, I was a forceps with DS1 and section DS2 and my milk didn't come in till day 5 either. Both of them cluster fed all night for about the first week and then it got better. Good luck with feeding.

Raveismyera Mon 08-Jun-15 21:01:30

Snuffling sounds like you're doing a brilliant job. I had the same delivery as you and it's hard, but the advantage of being in hospital longer is making the midwives help you feed! They did worry me by constantly putting her on the breast whilst I was off my head on night 1 though grin

My milk came in on day 5/6 but it wasn't noticeable really- you might find if your dc has been establishing a supply beautifully your demand will meet it and you won't necessarily get engorged.

She will stop the constant feeding but watch out for the day 9/10 growth spurt- killer!! She regained all her birth weight and went up another 3oz though so it was all worth it grin

Snufflingburr Tue 09-Jun-15 13:46:51

My milk is in now, but yes no engorgement yet - hoping I'll get away without itwink. She's feeding well, the latch is a little improved and her nappies are getting stinky, all good signs I think! She fell asleep on me during feeds last night and I got a couple of hours sleep. I hope we're beginning to settle into it a bit more. I'm determined to keep breastfeeding!

Hillijx Wed 10-Jun-15 19:59:41

Well done, first few weeks are hard work, but once you come out of the other side it's so easy and enjoyable

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