newborn breastfeeding and sleep advice needed(32 Posts)
I have a lovely 2 day old and am trying breastfeeding after not managing with my first due to labour complications.
I am already a struggling so would appreciate some non judgmental advice please.
Background is I had pnd ladt time and have been very nervous during this pregnancy about getting ill again to the point where I was being monitored for antenatal depression. Sleep is hugely linked to my mood - even getting an extra hour cab make a massive difference.
Firstly congratulations! In what way do you feel you are struggling? What's babyssleep pattern like so far and for how long are feeds. My 3rd baby is 4 weeks now, I didn't manage to bf my 2nd but this time seems to be easier x
Sorry didn't mean to post already.
Brought baby home from hospital yesterday after being in for a few days (induction, labour and 1 night on postnatal) where j only got about 4 hours sleep in total. Since bringing baby home he has wanted to feed constantly all night and won't sleep in his cot so I have sat up all night with him so feeling pretty ropey and massively tired.
Breastfeeding is not going amazingly so far. I can get him to latch on and think he is eating (hospital thought he was too) but my nipples are so so painful already so think his latch is wrong. Overnight he is falling asleep on me so probably some of it is comforting not eating.
Guess my questions are :
Is it normal for a 2 day old to want to feed all night? How long does that phase last? My milk feels like it is coming in by the way but not here yet.
How bad would it be to introduce a formula bottle so my husband could give me a couple of hours rest. When should I do this?
Would a dummy help to comfort my baby so I can put him in his cot for an hours kip?
Or just mess up bf.
What is the easiest latch position for a newbie to avoid trapped wind and poor latch issues?
What creams work best to get rid of painful nipples and how quickly do they work?
I kind of feel like I need a plan. Using bottles is looking appealing as my dh can help but I don't want to give up on bf yet. Trading my mental health for babies wellbeing etc.
Congratulations , honestly there's nothing normal for a newborn they take a while to settle in and it's not unusual for them to be up all night .
You will feel rough but it does get better .
If you nipples are sore he might not be latched on properly , your midwife / health visitor should be able to help with position .
There is no hard and fast rules so if you want to try formula do it ditto a dummy it's completely your choice .
Everyone says it but housework etc can work grab a nap when you can , I did made a massive difference .
Once the baby is around 6 weeks you could bring in a bedtime routine that can help towards settling down for longer .
Can wait not work !!! I've just re read your post and about dummies being bad for bf , I think they do say that now but I've had 4 kids and 1 had a dummy and they all bf the same .
I think you could try the formula for Last feed at night before bed , but I'm not sure the best time .
Are you winding the baby after each feed as if they are not latched on they can gulp air as well and that causes them to not settle as wind a very uncomfortable for babies , I only say this as I thought only bottle fed babies had to be winded , after four kids until my h v pointed it out on my son this time .
My first night on pn ward was terrible my little one wanted to feed constantly but then suffered with reflux. This combined with the heat on the ward was awful. One of the midwifes came to me during the night and took baby away for a few hours and gave her a formula bottle to give me a rest. It was only 5 hours but it made the world of difference. She recommended that I get some little bottles for emergencies, sma do a starter pack of sterilised uht milk similar to those in the hospital so that they are ready to use. I've got some in just incase I need a break or I'm ill for any reason and DH can step in quickly and easily, I'd definitely try this so your husband can help and you get some sleep.
Do you have a BF support worker? I had a visit on day 3 from mine along with my midwife who will help with concerns on latching on. Unfortunately the soreness is normal and will pass with time, I used comillosan cream to ease the tenderness until I adapted to feeding.
You could try a dummy but I'm sure they normally advise to wait for feeding to be established first then baby not confused the different teat but try it and see if baby settles. Sometimes they aren't feeding and it's just for comfort. All babies are different and it's just a case of seeing what works best for you both.
Try and rest when baby sleeps and keep your strength up, try not to feel pressured by bf. You may find that even with bottle feeding baby may want more night feeds until pattern is more settled.
The more rest you get and relaxed you become the more relaxed your baby will be
Yes, it's normal for a newborn to feed frequently, particularly overnight - your baby is telling your breasts what they need to do. It is also normal for your breasts to feel a bit painful, as your nipples are not used to all the attention. Use lansinoh nipple cream like it's going out of fashion, it will help! Also paracetamol and ibuprofen if you're really sore. If it's excruciating, then the latch is probably poor - take baby off and relatch, and/or find a lactation consultant or similar for advice. Have you seen the kellymom website? It's full of useful information.
"Best" position depends on you and your baby - try them out and see what works for you. I wouldn't use a dummy this early, but have you looked at safe cosleeping advice? That was the best way that we got some sleep with DD1, and is proving useful again with DD2.
I really, really would avoid giving a formula bottle at this stage if you want to breastfeed. Every moment your baby suckles, he's telling your body what he needs. If he's getting what he needs from formula, then your breasts won't provide enough milk, because he's not asking for it.
My DD2 has been a bit less frantic for hundreds of feeds overnight for the last few days, though there is plenty of cluster feeding at other times. She's twelve days old now, so a bit older than yours.
Congratulations on your newborn! Get some lansinoh, and go to a breastfeeding meeting or similar, and you'll be sorted Breastfeeding is bloody hard work in the early days, absolutely relentless and can be quite painful, but it pays off later on - so much less faff (and expense) than formula feeding. Good luck!
Yes to lansinoh purple cream was amazing for painful nipples!
It is normal, do you have a dh/dp who can do shifts in night? My dh and I would take turns as ds wouldn't sleep in moses basket first few nights only on us. He would bring him to me to feed and then I would sleep every other feed. Make sure you sleep in the day if possible- is your oldest in childcare/school? See if friends/family can help so you can rest. Once your milk cones in baby will be able to feed for longer stretches in the night. Your doing a great job (but a bottle of formula or dummy won't be the end of the world or end of breastfeeding!)
Thanks. I have been burping him lots but he is definitely windy. He also still has lots of fluid left in him as my waters broke late so think he's trying to get rid of that too.
I think it's is hard to sleep when baby sleeps when you have a toddler too. My dh is off thus week so will try and sleep after the next feed.
My boobs are all swollen now so guess my milk is coming in. Making the latch a bit more tricky but maybe once we figure that out then he will be less hungry
Squishing your boob into a burger shape gets more in his mouth and better latch when engorged with milk. If baby is healthy size full term, I would read up on safe co sleeping and try it asap. sitting up in the night is awful. Lasinoh is great and will clear up even the most cracked painful nipples. If you co sleep I bet the night waking reduces though.If you follow the guidance the risk is no higher for cot death than in a cot. If you ate serious about breastfeeding I would honestly avoid formula as it is a vicious circle. O always gave myself mini target dates. eg if the pain is no better in two weeks I would stop.
Much sympathy, I had the same with dc2 (stopped after 10 days with dc1). She fed constantly and it was so painful (and I did get latch checks etc i must just have really sensitive nipples).
I am not an expert and there are some very well informed people on mumsnet, however these things kept me going;
1) Using a dummy. She would latch and feed for up to an hour, except she wasn't really feeding all that time, for most of it she was apparently asleep and taking tiny little sucks every 20 seconds or so. I thought this was probably a comfort thing so once she seemed to have stopped actively drinking I swapped with a dummy. Helped give my boobs a rest.
2) Jump by Jilly Cooper. Not her finest work but every time I fed I got to sit down and had a read so despite the pain it kept me going. Could also work for other books/mumsnet/trash tv etc.
3) DH giving her a bottle every night.
4) treating it 1 feed at a time. As in 'I'm probably going to switch to formula but she is hungry and I don't have a bottle sorted so might as well just give her a bf now', rather than 'OMG this is agony and I have to do this for at least 6 months!''.
Of course if you do decide to mix or bottle feed there is nothing wrong with this. My only regret with not continuing to bf dc1 was that I let it really, really upset me for quite a long time, when he was a happy, thriving baby.
Firstly congrats on your baby!
Secondly wanted to share what I did in the beginning with my now 7 month old DD. She wanted to feed all night and I found being in the dark in bed very difficult as my whole body and brain was just aching to sleep. So I slept on the sofa for a week or so, with a lamp on and tv on low. And baby on the floor in a carry for. Made me feel less like I was fighting the tiredness to have some light and quiet noise. I also would phone my DP who would come downstairs, make me a cup of tea and just sit with me for half an hour. That really helped at 3am when things can start to feel a bit crazy.
Also it will pass before you know it, he'll get into a better routine and you'll get into the swing of things!
Maybe say if you are not sleeping better in two weeks add formula. This week is the worst possible time to add formula as your body is just figuring out how much to produce which is directly related to how much baby sucks. If baby Jason a bottle, your body will stop producing that amount of milk which means less milk for the next feed so baby still hungry, you 'top up' with formula and the downward spiral begins. Sorry I know no one wants to hear that.
He is 9 lb 10 and very alert. Thanks for all your tips.
How do you feel about co-sleeping or using a sidecar type cot? I found that this arrangement gave me the most sleep when breastfeeding a newborn. It's also easy for winding as you can roll them (tummy to tummy) onto your tummy with you lying on your back and just stroke/pat their back then while half asleep, that brings their wind up. Probably not a great idea if you have a sicky baby but it worked well for DS.
I agree with all of the points about taking it one step at a time, one feed at a time.
If you would like some milestone ideas, day 3 is normally when milk comes in and lots of mums have a hormone crash which leads to weepiness and sad feelings - don't panic, this is not the depression itself, it's a normal feature and should disappear within 24h.
10 days is often when feeding becomes a little easier as you're both a bit more practised.
4-6 weeks is a growth spurt, after which feeding is "established". Best practice is to wait until after this spurt before offering a bottle, but do what you need to do.
6-8 weeks is the end of "boot camp" if you like, where if it's going well, BF becomes easier than or equivalent to FF.
10-12 weeks is when most people find that BF is now definitely easier than FF.
I have some breastfeeding clinic details so might go there tomorrow. Today I decided sleep is more important. Definitely in the baby blues phase as very weepy and a bit overwhelmed.
Bertiebotts I am a bit nervous of Co sleeping as am so tired I would be afraid of hurting the baby plus I have a toddler who quite often sneaks in to the bed at night. Might need to look at that more if things stay this tough.
Think I am going to try and do one feed at a time. I bought a hand pump so have that option but won't do bottles unless I have too.
You have had some good advice here but I wanted to add that the things you describe scream tongue tie to me! Please read up on it - try mommypotamus's post on her website - and check for yourself, and get an experienced lactation consultant to check too.
It can cause, among other things, painful latch, damage to your nipples, constant feeding, wind and colic, night feeding etc. At two days it is very early and would be an easy fix before bad feeding habits like shallow latch are established.
Good luck and congratulations on your lovely new baby
How to look for tongue tie
This is the page I mean.
Just to update you I didn't manage a single sleep during the day as midwife showed up, had to eat etc and when I did try, the baby opted for a feed every hour do hadn't managed to fall asleep. Also until this evening there were no wet nappies and I really struggled to get a good latch as it just feels different now my milk is coming in.
This evening we moved the crib in to the lounge. I went to bed at 8 and have just gotten up properly again at 1 am. I fed baby twice in that gap but my husband brought him in and took him away to wind etc so actually managed a few hours sleep which has helped.
Think I am getting milk now so going to visit s latch clinic tomorrow. I have resorted to a dummy. I am feeding on demand but max three hours apart and aiming for between 3 and 30 mins on breastfeeding 1 and then switching. If he falls asleep I am trying to stimulate him to eat more but then not letting him just comfort sickle me to try and limit the nipple pain. My dh tried to fed him some formula top up as we were worried about the lack of wet nappies but he was not having anything to do with bottles so we did a bit from a cup. He has weed now.
Still not happy going in his crib so currently sleeping on me. That needs some more work.
Thank you all for your help. I had forgotten how relentless and overwhelming looking after a newborn is when you just have to get through one day at a time and six weeks sounds like six years
Just feeding my April fools baby here. Isn't newborn life relentless. not so much one day at a time as one hour at a time at this point (and time in the morning).
Lansinoh does not clear up all cracks, as I found with DS1, and despite DS2's tongue the being caught early, and latch checked repeatedly, I'm finding now too. Which is why I'm about to express from the left hand side and my poor right hand side is taking all the hard work on.
How old is your oldest? I'm trying to physically separate DS1 (who has climbed into bed with me) from DS2, by being very clear that he needs to stay on that side of the bed, and I will be dealing with DA1.
Hope you get on OK with the bf clinic tomorrow.
Thank you. My oldest is 3 in a couple of months. I already feel like I am neglecting him as barely seen him following three days in hospital and us thinking keeping his old routine stable would help him adjust so he is at nursery a few days a week.
Are you getting any sleep in the day?
Just had another shit day. Went to a be easy feeding clinic who told me my latch is fine and it shouldn't hurt. Guess it means nipples need to heal. My milk is definitely on now and my boobs are so swollen and sore. My 3 day old has been really fussy feeding all day. He takes longer to latch and does it more shallowly, he is arching away from the boob when i first connect him, is pretty much refusing one boob entirely and seems to have really really bad wind all day even though we burn him before after and during feeding. Is wanting feeding loads despite this. Has been crying loads today which isn't how he has been so far and he won't settle on me as just starts rooting for a comfort feed but it just winds him up more.
Seriously tempted to jack this in but it's so frustrating as wanted to do it. Also spent half the day crying as a result.
Sorry for moaning. Am so lucky to have him but I just feel overwhelmed, tired and in constant pain. Is there a better section for me to moan on?
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