My baby is 5w5d and has fed 21 times so far today. Primarily breastfed but three of those feeds have been formula due to exhaustion. Is this normal? Does it mean I don't have enough milk for him? I'm really struggling.
Normally he feeds between 12 and 16 times and I can struggle with that.
It can be normal - specially if you are totting up each 'visit' to the breast, and it is happening just very occasionally i.e. Not every day over weeks.
If your baby gets some sleep inc naps at the breast, if he's gaining weight as expected, if he is behaving normally ( engaging with you, maybe beginning to smile), and his health checks out, then he's prob ok (ask your Hv)...... and you have sufficient milk 😀
But you are struggling and not surprising - there are ways to make life easier with a baby going through a stage like this. Using a sling, getting out to a group with other mothers, co- sleeping (safely), getting help with other stuff like household tasks....is it possible for you to do any of this?
Just to say I'm not a expert, just a recent mum to a EBF 6 month old!
Sounds like cluster feeding to me, my baby fed for hours and hours at the same age (7 or 8 hour sessions not unusual). All the feeding is to build your supply up, so you almost certainly do have enough milk, even if it doesn't feel like it. The good news is cluster feeding tends to peak around week 6, and I personally found BF got much, much easier almost overnight by week 7.
Tiktok is the expert here. However, I just throw my experience in which is that, despite it being 7yrs ago now, I still remember DD feeding every hour, on the hour and for at least 30 mins each time for 27 consecutive hours just before she turned 6 weeks. It was hideous. Drink lots of water & fennel tea & eat loads of porridge & flapjack (oats) and hopefully it will settle down over a couple of days.
My dd7 is now 29 weeks old and she still feeds a lot. Only started her on food the last couple of weeks and she has a cold meaning she feeds more. I use an app to track it, so I know which side to feed from. Today she has fed 16 times, yesterday was 13, day before 17. You get the picture from that. She's sleeping well, wakes a couple times in the night. She's breastfed and not had formula. I see it as just normal to feed a lot but it can be so hard too.
I do think it's normal and I also believe you do have the milk, the more you feed the more you make. Make sure you take care of yourself though, eat and drink enough. It's hard work! I'm sure you're doing a great job, enjoy those new baby snuggles. I've done it lots before but still it passes so quickly.