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Constant Breastfeeding

(29 Posts)
KitKat36 Mon 26-Oct-15 13:00:42

I have a five week old who won't stop feeding. I don't mean that he feeds and then wants more an hour later, I mean literally goes on and on for hours. This morning has been since 10am and now at 12:30 is still showing no signs of let-up. I've had to put him in his pram and ignore him for five minutes for the sake of my sanity.

I've seen a lactation consultant and been to an NCT breastfeeding drop-in and both thought the latch looks ok. Supply seems to drop right off in these mammoth sessions and I really don't want to start bottle feeding.

LO gaining weight at a rate of knots so he's getting milk (400g last week and tracking the 50th percentile exactly).

I haven't slept for more than ten hours in the last four days and I'm at my wits end. Any tips on what I might be doing wrong would be really appreciated. I can't take much more of this grin(

mintbiscuit Mon 26-Oct-15 13:06:57

No advice except to say it's totally normal and does get better. Babies feed for hunger AND comfort. Both are necessary for them and you are doing a wonderful thing by providing both.

Also bear in mind they are having lots of growth spurts in the first few months.

Your supply is fine! Boobies are magic and are constantly producing milk. Even if you feel less full there is still milk there for dc. Promise!

400g?!!Sounds like you are doing a fab job grin

tiktok Mon 26-Oct-15 13:16:54

sad it's very hard looking after a 'velcro' baby...but what is certain is that you are not doing anything 'wrong'. Your baby is thriving smile

However of course you need a break and a chance to rest.

Often babies like this like being in a sling so they are close to you - the breastfeeding is not just a way of eating and drinking but it satisfies the need for closeness and security too. The sling allows you some hands free opportunities. If you have someone around who can give you a break, perhaps they can care for your ds in a sling, too.

At night, you can explore safe ways of co-sleeping.

It's likely this is a short-lived, intense phase that will ease off in time. He is not likely to continue to gain 400g a week, so when his appetite eases off, so will the need to be bf quite so often.

Hope this helps.

Artandco Mon 26-Oct-15 13:19:14

Look at buying a baby sling like the close baby one. You should be able to feed baby in it so at least during the day you can still do things when baby feeds

mintbiscuit Mon 26-Oct-15 13:40:59

The sling was a life saver for me. The caboo close is great.

daluze Mon 26-Oct-15 15:52:36

Agree with a sling advice - I got a stretchy wrap and my DS2 loves to sleep in it. Best to get to a sling library to try a few different ones, buying a sling is as individual as buying shoes - you cannot predict which will fit you best without trying them on. Otherwise chocolate and kindle kept me going. Actually, I read more books during ths first 6 weeks of DS2 life, than during the last 3 years. And it will pass - now at 10 weeks my DS2 only feeds ~10min per feed - I hardly can start reading!
You are doing great and your baby is thriving, and hopefully you'll soon get a bit of time for yourself too!

ppandj Mon 26-Oct-15 15:56:21

I am no bf expert but just wanted to say from my experience this was normal but did get easier. The close caboo was great for us. You're doing a great job!

Plantpot83 Mon 26-Oct-15 20:14:04

My DD is the same age, I have had periods of this too. She's my first so I can't say how things will progress, but I have noticed that when she has wind she feeds to try and make herself feel better, but it doesn't work so she gets more upset and goes for more breast. so I have been winding her more during feeds as soon as she gets wiggly on the boob. I have also given her to my partner as she can calm down abit when she doesn't smell milk. That said sometimes she just seems ravenous (lip smaking, tongue poking out) even though she literally just ate and all there is to do is feed her! I feel your pain!

pootypootwell Mon 26-Oct-15 23:16:05

I remember one day when my DD was about the same age, she fed for twelve solid hours, I was exhausted!

There is a big growth spurt around 5-6 weeks so that might be part of it. I would second the recommendation to look at co sleeping so baby can pop on and off as he wishes. DD goes through phases of only wanting to sleep with me so I just go with it, I find that I can at least get some sleep this way, although I do find that I sleep very lightly, and the sleep feels of a poorer quality than when she is in her own bed.

scandichick Wed 28-Oct-15 21:52:50

Maybe a dummy would help? I know they're not everyone's cup of tea, but you do need rest. If it helps, they're recommended from 2 weeks in Sweden, where almost everyone breastfeeds. The guidelines here are usually six weeks, but I caved at five and it helped a lot.

Nottalotta Thu 29-Oct-15 05:38:41

I agree this was normal for us swell although i had some earlier issues with weight loss abduction slow gain. I was asked how often he fed and for how long. They (hv, mw, bf people) really didn't get it. He would be on and off the breast for hours at a time. I never knew if it was one ling feed or many feeds of varying length (5 - 40minutes) this seemed to matter to the hv.

Anyway, it does get easier. DS was comfort sucking a lot. Carrying him in a sling/carrier helped and still does. He would nuzzle for a feed then fall asleep after a while. Now we have more of a very very loose routine, i know i can pop him in the sling, book out and he's asleep sometimes. in less than a minute. I go for a walk, wash up or just stand and read. He's 14wks now and those early days are like a distant memory. And hard as it was, i miss them already!

KitKat36 Wed 11-Nov-15 18:16:46

Thanks for advice we're now two weeks further on and it's still going on. I literally sob for two hours every afternoon. He won't sleep unless walked around so I never catch up on sleep. I hired a PN doula who couldn't get him to sleep either.

I'm at my wits end I don't know what's wrong with him he's growing he's stil gaining 400g or so a week. I had a horrific pregnancy and really thought after he was born that I'd get to enjoy myself with him and so far I just think I can't do this sad

Has anyone put their baby on formula or mixed feeds to solve the problem? Is there likely to be anything medically wrong?

Chaby Wed 11-Nov-15 18:22:08

My son was exactly the same, and I know how exhausting this must be for you. All I can say is it will calm down soon, you've done a great job to get this far. I promise it will soon get easier xx

Doodlekitty Wed 11-Nov-15 18:23:22

I know it's really hard but it is perfectly normal. Unlikely to be anything medically wrong. Try contacting la leche league for more support.

I combination fed my first due to slow weight gain. He had 1 formula bottle per day. We timed it so I could feed him and go to bed then dh would give formula and stay up till he next woke. It would get me a couple of hours sleep and was a bit of a godsend but we have not done it with ds2 as he doesn't need it.

Remember happy mummy = happy baby so do what is right for you x

Nicknamegrief Wed 11-Nov-15 18:30:33

Have you spoken to your Health Visitor about how you are feeling? Are you getting out and about during the day and able to vent to anyone else? Sometimes just going to a breastfeeding support group on a regular basis can help

It does get better. I find the 6-12week period really hard (I have four), I am always the very tired and more emotional and they really just want to be held and fed during this time.

FF/mixed feeding does not guarantee that they will be any less demanding.

gamerchick Wed 11-Nov-15 18:32:19

Everything you're saying is completely normal. You're both really in the 4th trimester.. We have our babies early because of big heads.

I PROMISE this will end.. Some end sooner than others.. My youngest was 16 weeks before he stopped cluster feeding.

A clean little finger nail side to tounge can help with a sucky baby or try a dummy. There's nothing wrong with the odd bottle of formula if you need a break although you might get a bit engorged.

Honestly your baby is just doing his job and your boobs are learning. This won't last forever.

Could you try the lying down to feed if you're knackered? That was a real sleep saver with me.

timelytess Wed 11-Nov-15 18:33:30

Dear OP,
You are at your wits end with a baby who is doing all the right things and behaving perfectly.
What needs to be changed are not his behaviours, but your expectations.
Imagine for a moment that you fully accept your baby's needs and meet them. Everything else waits. You have a peaceful life, you and the baby are happy.
Can that really be so bad?

tiktok Wed 11-Nov-15 18:36:17

Have you tried a sling, OP?

Diddlydokey Wed 11-Nov-15 18:41:13


I did mix feed from weeks 3-6 then ff. Bf was too much for me. I felt selfish giving up because it was working for ds but giving the one bottle in the evening showed that he would settle for 5 hours rather than not at all.

It's your choice, you've done really well to get as far as you have. Try to be kind to yourself.

Diggum Wed 11-Nov-15 18:47:14

I really feel for you OP.

DD was the same. I remember ranting that "they" said she might feed every hour but they didn't say she might feed FOR an hour every hour.

Then suddenly one day around 12 weeks I realised that she was going for two hours between feeds. TWO! It was a revelation.

Before that the other revelations were 1)a sling 2)trying and done how succeeding in feeding lying down side by side- she slept with boob in mouth and I dozed blissfully for two hours. It saved me.

mintbiscuit Wed 11-Nov-15 18:53:23

OP it's really unlikely to be a feeding problem or medical one from what you say. Tbh it sounds like it's more of a settling/sleep problem. Mine have all been like this. The constant attachment is baby's way of soothing themselves. A sling will help you at least be able to move about whilst baby sleeps next to you. Could you try this?

cabbageleaf Wed 11-Nov-15 18:59:50

I know how you're feeling OP, DS was the same and he had me in tears quite a few times! I'd definitely try a bottle of formula, at five weeks your supply is well established and you can definitely give a bottle without your milk drying up. If you have anyone who can help, get them to do the feed and go and have a rest. What I'd do is set a time, say two hours, in which whoever is helping only disturbs you in case of a real emergency. That way you can rest properly.
Also, ignore whoever tells you to just suck it up, if you're in tears every single afternoon you need to change something!

I do think the sling is a good idea, I'd put baby in a sling, pop a dummy in and see how that goes.
And YY to bf lying down, a lifesaver.

Hope it gets better soon, bf can be really tough!

GothJoose Wed 11-Nov-15 19:06:50

Op my dd was the same. Her cluster feeding ended at 11 weeks now she feeds roughly every 3 hours and for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

I found 6-10 weeks hard. The only ways I managed to get breaks were 1) put dd in pushchair and go for a walk. She's scream being put into it but as soon as we were out of the front door she'd stop 2) Co sleep. We'd have a lot of afternoon naps together.

You could try formula if you need a break but your dc may refuse a bottle I'm afraid. Have you tried a dummy? My dd wouldn't entertain one but my friends found they helped

KitKat36 Thu 12-Nov-15 18:23:00

Can't get out much. Push the buggy round town for an hour most days. DH works 7-7 so it's a long lonely shift.

Starting to get into pain with amount of sucking latch checked and fine if eccentric.

Sleep is awful because he moans, grunts and snorts in his sleep so am up all night with him then too. He then refuses to nap in the day unless on the move. Cosleeping unsafe due to excessive tiredness.

Timelytess, problem is I'm doing exactly that and meeting that need however it's pushing me to the brink; I can't leave him alone to eat or sleep so it's not really sustainable. He's also on and off the breast and screaming throughout the feeding which is heartbreaking and makes me feel even more sh!t than I did already about pregnancy, c section and general cr@pness as a mother.

HV concerned about lack of sleep but also thinks a stage. GP prescribed infaco!

GothJoose Thu 12-Nov-15 19:27:06

Op, have you tried formula yet? If you're really at your wits end there is no harm in trying. I get the feeling that you don't want to use formula because you think it means you've failed. You won't have failed, breast milk isn't going to dry up over night with one feed.

I assume you are using lanisoh or equivalent re nipple soreness?

Sounds like he may have wind if latching on and off. Have you tried gripe water, my dd preferred that to infacol. My dd would always wake at 4am and I'd have to cycle her legs until she farted.

I do second time post. Once I accepted that I was confined to the sofa for a few weeks and looked at the positives (got to watch a lot of films that I like, lots of baby snuggles, could eat cake all day) it made it easier for me to cope.

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