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Advice needed - DH reckons 6-week old not getting enough milk ...

(32 Posts)
queribus Wed 13-Aug-08 09:35:33

Sorry, this might be a bit rambling! DS is 6 weeks old and is breastfed. I though we were doing really well - no problems, seems content, putting on weight, plenty of dirty/wet nappies. However, he does get really upset in the evenings, crying for upto a couple of hours at a time, until he finally sleeps around 11pm.

Last night DH announced that he believes that DS is crying every night because he's starving and is not getting enough milk from me throughout the day. He belives that we should add bottles of ebm (and possibly formula) to make sure that he's getting enough.

Admittedly, DS only feeds for very short periods - 15 minutes at most and only one breast - but is fed every 2 - 2 1/2 hours during the day. HV reckons that he's just a very efficient feeder!? His weight has increased from 9lbs 9 1/2oz at birth to 11lbs 12oz last week, so I think he's doing OK!

I guess my questions are:
- is it possible that DS isn't getting enough milk from me?
- could this be responsible for the crying at night?
- is the HV correct about efficient feeder?

TBH DH's comment has upset me because of the implication that DS is going hungry and that I'm somehow 'failing' to feed him properly.

Sorry for the long post - bit upset and sleep deprived!

RubySlippers Wed 13-Aug-08 09:37:12

does he only cry in the evenings?

could be colic

FWIW, i spent most evenings cluster feeding DS when he was tiny ... think it is quite usual

e14mum Wed 13-Aug-08 09:39:07

I think your LO sounds pretty normal! Babies have fussy times, especially in the evenings. They also like to cluster feed then.
If he's putting on weight, then I think he's probably getting enough.
I would keep going with what you're doing, and if anything, just breastfeed the baby more in the evenings if you can. You're doing really well!

Oblomov Wed 13-Aug-08 09:40:04

Sounds like Colic to me too. Colic is AWFUL.
All the other signs SUGGEST that he is infact satisfied. No need for formula. At all. Unless you want to.

DwayneDibbley Wed 13-Aug-08 09:42:04

Message withdrawn

alkar Wed 13-Aug-08 09:42:41

You are doing really well, he's putting on weight and your health visitor is happy. My DS suddenly went from 1 hour feeds to 10 min feeds, I think he became an efficient feeder too.

Dont worry and just keep doing what you are doing.

onwardandupward Wed 13-Aug-08 09:42:57

sounds exactly like colic to me. Formula won't help with that, just time will (on my experience, you've got another month or so to go, although it varies from baby to baby)

SoupDragon Wed 13-Aug-08 09:43:11

Neither of my DSs fed for more than 15 minutes at a time and they were absolutely fine - in fact they used to pile on weight at an enormous rate (1lb a week sometimes!). Efficient feeders as your HV says.

"seems content, putting on weight, plenty of dirty/wet nappies" says to me that he is absolutely fine.

queribus Wed 13-Aug-08 09:46:09

Wow - thanks for the speedy replies!

I've been giving him Infacol (although I do forget quite often). I'll try upping the feeding in the evening and see how that goes.

I'd prefer to keep breastfeeding for as long as I can, not least because I'm very lazy and hate all the sterilising etc.

Thanks for your help!

IAmNotHere Wed 13-Aug-08 09:46:28

Babies cry, especially in the evenings.
In answer to your questions:
1. ds's weight gain indicates he is getting enough milk
2. Babies cry, especially in the evenings, not matter how they're fed.
3. Yes, I agree with your HV (a sentence I never thought I'd type on mn!)

Agree with Oblomov, it could be colic.

But you sound like you're doing really well smile
I'm sure your dh is just concerned - maybe he wasn't expecting his baby to cry this much wink I don't think he's trying to criticise you at all - men just like to find solutions to problems. Often with children the only solution is 'sit it out, it's a phase, it'll pass' and this is very alien to the male mind.

PortAndLemon Wed 13-Aug-08 09:47:00

Sounds fairly normal. A lot of babies fuss in the evenings at this age -- often colic or wind. As onward says, another four to six weeks should fix it.

oops Wed 13-Aug-08 09:51:31

Message withdrawn

BigBadMousey Wed 13-Aug-08 09:57:47

Sorry - absolute rubbish!

You are doing a fantastic job if he is generally content, putting on weight and has lots of wet nappies (the dirty ones can disappear for days in a BF baby so don't go on them as a guide).

My DH (and several other people) said this about my DD1, I believed them, started to add formula in the evenings and stopped bf at 11 weeks . I really regretted it later. For me all the messing about with bottle and BF too was too much hassle and eventually the bottles won .

With DD2 I ignored them all even though she wasn't putting on more than 1oz per week max - she was fine and because she was my second, I had the experience and confidence to carry on and trust my own instincts (I never did with DD1). DDs1 and 2 stopped their evening crying at around 12 weeks = CLASSIC COLIC.

DS is 11wo and the same - he only feeds for 10 mins max - he's not hungry but he still cries a lot, he has colic too.

Your HV is right - and she probably knows more about babies than your DH. I'm sure your DH meant well but, having had that said to me with my first DC and remembering how it made me feel, I feel rather sad for you - especially since you sound like you're doing a really good job smile

boobyguru Wed 13-Aug-08 10:00:54

All newborns have a crying period during 24hrs the reason a breastfed babe tends to cry more in the eve is because your milk is richer and more full of fat in the morning. By mid afternoon your body will take the calories to keep you going through the evening and night,The solution is to express your morning milk after his AM feeds And give him this at 5ish.Also this is typical behavior for a six week old due to a growth spertIt should last around 48 hrs, He is asking to feed so much to increase your milk supply Once your body catches up with his demands he should settle down. Let him have as much free access to the breast as poss and lots of skin to skin. Good luck

fishie Wed 13-Aug-08 10:16:49

evenings is typical cluster feed time, i just used to settle down on sofa for the evening. also dvds with sub-titles very useful. it is all to do with establising bf, building supply etc and it settles down pretty soon.

boobyguru i don't think what you ahve said about milk being richer at certain times of day is right. also do not believe that expressing will alleviate any of queribus's worries, merely add to the hassle.

Notanexcitingname Wed 13-Aug-08 10:29:11

Nope, I'm sure he's wrong wink

Many babies will have a crying time in the evening. Come indicate a need to cluster feed, could indicate colic, could mean he wants comfort. 6 weeks is also a classic growth spurt time, so you should be allowing unlimited access to the breast.

If babe is growing, pooing and weeing well, and generally content, he's almost certainly get enough milk.

15 minutes would have been a very long feed for my DS. Not sure I'd be rushing into expressing and topping up at this stage, as it doesn't sound like you have a problem, and bottles can create one. Not to mention the faff of expressing

TheProvincialLady Wed 13-Aug-08 10:39:57

I'm afraid that isn't true boobyguru. Often mothers seem to have more milk in the mornings than in the evenings (though in fact they may not, it could just be the usual baby fussiness in the evenings making people think that) - if they do have more milk in the morning then that milk will have a higher water content because that is how BF works.

Queribus you don't need to do anything different by the sound of it. Certainly don't give yourself extra work by expressing for the sake of it, or risk your BF relationship by giving formula if you don't want to. It sounds like all you need to do is educate your DH and continue to trust your instincts. This crying in the evening sorts itself out after a while and you soon forget what it was like (I am just starting to remember again with trepidation as I am 22w pregnant!). You can get support with educating your DH from the LLL and they have a leaflet they can send you.

twoboots Wed 13-Aug-08 10:42:16

You are doing fine! Guess what DH: babies cry!
If you want more info on feeding techiniques/latch check out this canadian website. http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html
I found the videos on compression helpful. With time your interval between feeds wil increase. There is also a uselful article on colic on the breastfed baby.
keep going!

twoboots Wed 13-Aug-08 10:48:08

the most useful piece of advice that i have been given is to ignore the clock.

Pidge Wed 13-Aug-08 11:25:32

queribus - listen to the chorus of voices here, they are absolutely right. Both my two babies have been fussy and cried a lot in the evenings. It doesn't mean they're necessarily hungry. Though I did end up pretty much cluster feeding dd1 - i.e. feeding her every 20-30 minutes from about 7pm, but at least some of that was because it was the only thing that kept her quiet. I'm not sure if she was feeding as such or just sucking. But who am I to complain if it stopped her crying! I ate supper whilst feeding her every night for 12 weeks, till she got into a pattern of sleeping in the evenings.

Hang in there, and point your DH at this thread! One of the biggest hurdles to overcome if you're going to successfully breastfeed is making that leap of faith that the baby IS getting enough milk. And it's very easy to lose confidence. Come back for another pep talk, because it sounds to me like you're doing brilliantly.

BigBadMousey Wed 13-Aug-08 11:55:49

Yes, sometimes my DS cluster feeds at night (hence my many MN posts at that time of dayblush) and I'm sure sometimes he is just sucking and not feeding. It's very common queribus so if your DS starts doing that it isn't anything to worry about either. I mention this because well-meaning people told me my first DC was doing this because she was hungry and my milk was apparently not enough - it's just not true.

This stage doesn't last long at all - you honestly will have forgotton all about it by autumn.

I also don't think you need to follow boobygurus suggestion - IMO it's not neccessary and far too much faffing about for no good reason when you should be resting.

StealthPolarBear Wed 13-Aug-08 12:00:13

Does he want feeding at night when he cries? Will he feed whenever offered? If so I would squeeze in a couple of extra feeds during the day (if you can, don't stress about it) and then just feed at night, sit on the sofa, book, drink, and willing husband to bring you anything else you want! It is tying but hopefully won't last much longer.

ilovemydog Wed 13-Aug-08 12:04:35

My DS also feeds seemingly continuously in the evening, usually right about the time me and DP are sitting down for dinner! He will feed sometimes for hours.

What's 'queribus' Big bad?

BigBadMousey Wed 13-Aug-08 12:12:17

Ilovemydog grin - The OP! One of us must be sleep deprived (although I suspect it is me <enter random waffle here blush>

StealthPolarBear Wed 13-Aug-08 12:21:02

Oh that's bringing it all back to me - my dinner going cold while I fed DS and then me shovelling mine down while DH took him for a walk round the garden
It seems to go on forever but then one day I realised he just didn't do that anymore!

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