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Advice and Support - Breastfeeding my 8 day old DD

(11 Posts)
Starlight85 Sat 07-Jan-17 21:30:12

Hi,

I'm feeling pretty delicate and emotional so please be gentle with me. I'm a first time mum so breastfeeding and looking after a newborn is all new to me. I'm sure I'm as exhausted as everyone feels at this stage and am also feeling totally overwhelmed with everything and very anxious that she is ok and we are doing things right. To add to it I've not been well for a few days.

I had my DD on 30th December and have been EBF. Since around day 2 I've had really sore nipples that are cracked and bleeding and have been using lansinoh after every feed. A couple of days ago it was so bad I started using nipple shields and they have defiantly helped with the pain and hopefully my nipples are healing a bit. My DD seems to feed ok with them although some feeds doesn't seem as content afterwards, although I'm not sure if that's the shields or not.

She has a slight tongue tie that we have an appointment for but not until 19th, although I am going to ring the hospital Monday to ask if it can be any sooner.

When she was born she was 6lb4 so I was waking her if she didn't wake for a feed after 4 hours to make sure she was getting enough. At her 5 day midwife appointment she had only lost 4oz and was 6lb so I was advised to let her lead and not wake her for feeds unless she frequently went more than 4/5 hours. She does tend to sleep for maybe 5 hours from around 7/8 in the morning but I guess as she has been awake a lot in the night that's still ok. But I also find now I worry if she does have any sleeps that are 4/5 hours that I need to wake her.

For the first few days she wouldn't sleep unless she was on me or my OH and we spent the nights taking it in turns to stay awake and hold her. Then I ordered a BABYMOOV Cosydream and she seemed to like sleeping in her Moses basket more.

She had been feeding around 11-12 at night and then sleeping for maybe 3 hours, then feeding on and off for a few hours and then sleeping again for 4/5 hours.

Last night she started feeding around 11 and fed on and off until 7.30am, which meant no sleep for any of us, apart from the odd 15 mins or so for her when she settled after a feed. I don't even know how she can fit that much milk in her tummy or not be tired after all that time. Or could she just of been wanting comfort from me?

With feeling exhausted and poorly already last night was harder than I ever imagined. I was left feeling really upset, like I couldn't satisfy her or settle her and that if this is what breastfeeding is like I just can't do it. I felt completely overwhelmed and have been left feeling more like this today.

Today she has actually been asleep after her last feed for a few hours and I managed to doze a bit while she was cuddled up with my OH.

I don't really know what advise I need. I now have some pre made bottles of formula in case I want to try them and some newborn dummies we can try if she has had a big feed and still seems unsettled after in case she just wants comfort.

Before she was born I always said I would try BF and if it worked for both of us I would do it and if not then I would be happy to switch to combination feeding or formula. Now though I can't decide what to do for the best.

I currently have her skin to skin on me under a warm blanket because I feel like we were just having cuddles when she was wanting food and getting upset and I needed us to have some cuddles when she seemed happy and she is currently sleeping soundly on me.

FraterculaArctica Sat 07-Jan-17 21:36:19

The feeding all night thing is awful but in my limited experience (2DC) only lasts a couple of nights at most and then they go back to a relatively sane newborn pattern. Can you persevere for another 48 hours or so, getting as much sleep as you can during the day? See if things improve.

Sure there will be experts along shortly to tell you about the biology of BFing and the pros and cons of giving formula at this stage, but thought I'd post quickly to say really don't worry that BFing will always be like this - it may well be a very short lived phase!

Congratulations on your little one.

AlwaysYes Sat 07-Jan-17 21:41:49

Congratulations! Sounds like a normal feeding pattern to me, she will be having a growth spurt around now too. If you are sore and bleeding you might want to reduce feeds until the tongue tie is sorted. Saying that, babies generally find bottle feeding easier so she might not go back.... Good luck.

GTS Sat 07-Jan-17 21:42:06

It can be so, SO overwhelming initially. First of all, congrats on the birth of your DD! And well done for BF a baby with tongue tie, it can be brutal on your nipples. The 19th is too long to wait IMO, are you able to go private if they can't bring forward your appointment? You can find someone local to you here www.tongue-tie.org.uk/. It typically costs £150-180.
Do you have a HV visit arranged yet? Please try to go to your nearest breastfeeding support group, they will give you the support and reassurance that you need. In the meantime, look after yourself and keep up the skin to skin, it really does help with milk production and responsive feeding xxxxx

Morry1 Sat 07-Jan-17 21:54:34

I agree you should try to persevere another wee while, lots of skin to skin and sleeping when you can- I know that's hard!
My first week or so of Breastfeeding was exceptionally hard- my little boy had bad tongue tie plus my big boobs and inverted nipples didn't make for an easy combination!! It was so hard trying to make sure I got enough milk in to my wee boy, remember squeezing what little milk I could out like a mad person and feeding him with a tiny, tiny beaker like a baby bird! Calling Breastfeeding support really helped (my health visitor gave me the number). They came out and showed me how to express properly, gave me nipple Shields and arranged tongue tie to be sorted ASAP.
The Shields and getting tongue tie snipped meant I was able to continue to bf my baby.
Like you I remember being overwhelmed by the cluster feeding- there was a day early on where I wasn't off the couch for whole day as baby was constantly feeding. This doesn't usually last more than a few days and actually helps to increase your milk supply. It's so hard when it's your first to know what is normal but I'm so glad that I persevered as it really did get easier and became second nature after a few weeks. I think it's definitely something that takes a bit of getting used to - you and your baby are learning together.
Bit of a ramble but hope it's some kind of help!

YokoUhOh Sat 07-Jan-17 21:59:35

Totally normal OP tiny babies feed all the time. Feeding at night helps to boost supply.

This is a great website for BF advice:

Www.kellymom.com

By the way, neither of mine slept in a Moses basket, they just wanted to cuddle/feed at night so we co-slept.

Good luck and enjoy your baby

milpool Sat 07-Jan-17 22:04:11

Cluster feeding for hours is tough but it's so normal at this age. Hang in there, it WILL get easier. She's working hard to establish your supply - breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis. The more she feeds the more your supply will build.

Do you have any real life support? Any local groups you can get out to? Talking things through in person can make it all feel more normal.

bettybigpotato Mon 09-Jan-17 18:20:11

Hello, can't offer advice but I'm in exactly the same situation with my DS who was born on the 27th. We ended up going private for the tongue tie and feeding is much better. Yet the cluster feeding is overwhelming and worrying. My DS fed hourly from 7pm to 2am, and can only sleep on me or my DP.

Sorry can't offer support, but you're not alone.

captainproton Mon 09-Jan-17 18:27:53

This is all normal. Sleep deprivation is a killer but I promise it wot last forever. Hopefully wen TT is rectified your little one will feed quicker and better, you won't feel sore. Babies have such tiny tummies to start with they have to feed little and often. They are also growing a lot and they need more milk from you to do this. In order to build up your supply baby needs to feed. It feels like they feed constantly but once the first week or two have passed it calms down a bit. Feed on baby's demand, don't try to compare formula fed babies and schedules it won't work. Embrace the opportunity to lie back on the sofa with baby on boob and get Hubbie to run around after you.

teaandbiscuitsforme Mon 09-Jan-17 18:37:18

What PP have said.

It's really tough but bare in mind that if you give formula, your boobs won't know that she's fed elsewhere and therefore will think that they've made enough milk to meet her needs. So either BF whenever she asks, all night if she needs (it won't be for too long!) or you need to express every time you give formula to keep up your supply.

If you are keen to BF, just go with it. It's worth it after a couple of weeks and it's all settled down!

teaandbiscuitsforme Mon 09-Jan-17 18:40:36

Also if she wants to cuddle, have you tried BF lying down and co-sleeping? You might get a lot more sleep!

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