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I think I'm doing it all wrong, please help me keep breastfeeding!

(13 Posts)
spiderpig Wed 09-Jul-08 10:49:08

Hmmm ok, I'm not entirely sure where to start (I'm blaming sleep deprivation!)

Well my ds is nearly 5 weeks old now and breastfed. I posted another thread about the possibilty of introducing formula and got some great advice, and in the end I didn't (so far) but now I could really do with some more help.

When people talk about breastfeeding they say that as long as the baby is contented, gaining weight, weeing and pooing enough then they are getting enough milk. Well the thing is my ds is gaining weight really well (over half a pound a week) and definatly has lots of wet/dirty nappies,but, he is absolutely not contented sad

He feeds non-stop all of the time, at first I thought it was just in the early days and while my milk supply was being established (and I know it is still getting established) but nearly five weeks in and I still can't even leave him for half an hour sadand to be honest I'm starting to struggle.

I breastfed my other children, and they would all have breaks between feeds, sometimes not very long ones wink but still! This little one doesn't at all, if anyone asks when his last feed was I can't answer because he's just on and off the breast all day. I don't expect him to go three or four hours between feeds, I'd just like him to take a feed then have a break, even a clear hour between would be great. He just never seems settled and I feel it must be something I'm doing wrong, would he be more settled and happy with formula? Am I being selfish wanting to exclusivly breastfeed him? I always thought I was doing the best for him but now I'm not so sure sad

Has anyone got any words of wisdom, please?

bethoo Wed 09-Jul-08 10:54:19

he may be doing it for comfort
are you keeping him on one breast for each feed then swapping it at the next feed?
all babies are different and it may be that this one is a hungry baby.
if you do want a break then try a formula feed to give yourself a little break.
there is a thing called cluster feeding which my son did in hospital, as soon as he was off the boob he watned back on, turned out his latch was odd due to tongue tie.

tiktok Wed 09-Jul-08 10:54:52

spider - sounds exhausting

Here are 2 ideas:

* is he happy as long as he is on or near the breast? Or is he miserable and fidgety and fussy even then? If the former, then the problem is not a breastfeeding one - you just have a sensitive little soul who loves being near his mum. Coping with this is easier if you can work out ways to hold him/keep him close and have your hands free eg using a sling and if someone else can help by being another pair of arms to hold him to give you a break
* if he is miserable and figety etc, even when held all the time, then it may be your issue is an over-generous milk supply which you can fix by having him feed on one side only for a block of four hours or so ie every time he comes to the breast in that block, it's on the same side. For more details on this, check 'oversupply' and similar terms in the mumsnet archives

What do you think?

tiktok Wed 09-Jul-08 10:55:41

bethoo - she wants to bf exclusively. She doesn't want to use formula.

HolidaysQueen Wed 09-Jul-08 11:00:21

spiderpig - could it possibly be wind? In the early weeks my DS had terrible problems getting rid of wind and he used to give me pretty much the same signs as he did when hungry. Sometime we had to work really hard to get all the wind out and then he would be much more chilled out. Now he's 14 weeks and gets a burp up much more easily.

Rosylily Wed 09-Jul-08 11:04:05

5 weeks is still so young. This time won't go on for ever. I say persevere you are doing brilliantly.

spiderpig Wed 09-Jul-08 11:10:04

Oh thank you so much for answering! It's just so nice to be able to 'talk' about it without feeling like I'm failing terribly.

bethoo I think you are right and he is a very hungry baby, his placenta was failing when I was pregnant and he was 'starved' whilst in the womb so he came out hungry and seems to have stayed that way lol.

tiktok, yes I really do want to bf excusively, but if formula would make him happier then it is something I would do, I don't like to think of my poor little baby being unhappy because I'm doing something wrong.

Well he is happy when he is on the breast but very figety and unhappy if just being cuddled or in a sling etc. I do tend to feed him from both sides at a feed, is that wrong? I had never considered an oversupply, I will definately try the four hour blocks if you think it may help.

I really do appreciate your advice so much, all I seem to get from people irl is telling me to switch to formula and whilst I have no problem giving him some if he really needs it, I so desperately want to keep breastfeeding.

mellyonion Wed 09-Jul-08 11:21:48

hi spiderpig....

you sound like you're doing great. smile

it is hard work bf, but so worth it.....my first ds was like this...i found that by just accepting how he was and taking my job as chief daisy cow as my main task for the day, i felt easier about it rather than getting het up because i felt he should rest for some time too, not just feed...

at about 6 weeks, all of my babies have gone through a big growth spurt and fed constantly...again, just go with it...

i learned to feed my dc3 in a wrap...he was tied and held close to my body all the time, leaving me hands free to potter around the house whilst still feeding...it worked for us...it may be worth a try.

if you are really adament about not wanting to ff, then when the going gets tough give yourself a limit...i'll wait until lunchtime, and think about it again, or i'll wait until tomorrow, and re think it....and so on...it gives you a little bit of relief, and most times, you'll stick with the bf.

like a pp said...make sure your baby gets plenty of the hind milk...the high calorie stuff......not just the drink bit at the beginning....i used to use the 2 hour rule...if he fed again within 2 hours of his last feed, i put him back on the same boob iykwim?

i found learning to feed lying down a god send....i didn't really sleep, but i would deeply rest and also when the baby had finished his feed, he'd sort of fall off and stay sleeping...(i mean fall of my nipple, not me or the bed obviously!!!)

stick at it. wink

tiktok Wed 09-Jul-08 11:27:30

spider - using both breasts each time is fine for most people, and it is a good way to ensure plenty of milk. If there is a hint of oversupply - large weight gain, fussiness and fidgetyness, very freq. feeding - then damping down the supply with one sided feeding is worth a try.

You would do best to try it for a couple of days to see if it helps.

berolina Wed 09-Jul-08 11:33:43

Oh love. You're doing fine. My ds2 was like this. Fed like a dream from the beginning, piled on the weight (at least for the first couple of months. He actually gained a kilo from birthweight in his first 3 1/2 weeks), wonderful yellow poos etc. but popping on and off for constant short feeds all the time. It went on for three or four months tbh; it is exhausting but tbh I was grateful it was so easy, after monumental struggles with ds2. I'm not sure I had oversupply (I was and am tandem feeding, so ds2 did not have to work very hard to establish supply iyswim), but I did put him back on the same breast several times in a row because his feeds were so short and frequent. It is IME a natural physiological feeding pattern for some babies.

berolina Wed 09-Jul-08 11:34:21

struggles with ds1, I meant.

une Wed 09-Jul-08 20:30:00

Have you tried making someone else carry him? Sometimes, if they feel sick or need comfort without food, they get figety around you beacause you smell of milk.
My little 3 month old have a bizzare habbit of overeating because it tastes so darn good, and then overeating some more beacuase overeating makes her feel sick. If I "klose the shop" before she has finnsihed over-overeating she gets really pissed, but as soon I hand her over to her dad everything is forgotten and she is happy and content.

spiderpig Thu 17-Jul-08 10:38:58

Hello again, I'm just bumping this up to say a huge thank you to you all smile

Just reading the replies and getting the encouragment helped so so much, so thank you all for taking the time to do that smile

and tiktok, I really cannot thank you enough! I had never even thought of/heard of oversupply blush, I assumed the more milk the better! But since I followed your advice to feed in 'blocks' it's like I have a different baby grin, he will mostly go two hours between feeds now which is just fantastic, it has made all the difference smile

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