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Breastfeeding. Whats going on? [hmm]

(34 Posts)
NewDad08 Sun 17-Aug-08 19:27:31

Hi all,

I was hoping you could help with some problems my wife and I are having with our DS. Basically my wife has been trying to breastfeed since DS was born. For the first week we were told that the milk was in several times by MW's when it wasn't because my wife was anemic after the delivery. Due to this we had to combine with bottle feeding and using a dummy as DS was unhappy.

After the first week we made a real effort to get him back on the breast full time and with the help and support of breastfeeding experts and MW's we knew that DS was latching on really well. We stopped using the dummy and bottles completely and he seems to be enjoying the breast milk. At the end of week 2 he put on 1 pound and is looking healthy.

The problem really is this. We are now approaching the end of week 3 and DS is constantly wanting fed. When he is on the breast he feeds well and falls asleep after a while but will wake after 10mins and want fed again. My wife barely gets any sleep because of this behaviour and is exhausted. If DS does sleep its for 2 to 3 hrs max a couple of times a day and then he is awake again. We are both getting really stressed because there seems to be nothing we can do. MW's have suggested that this is normal but are very vague so we are wondering if this is normal? Do breast fed babys feed this way for the time period?

Thanks
NewDad08

PortAndLemon Sun 17-Aug-08 19:31:28

It is normal, really. IME with two DCs for the first four weeks they feed almost constantly, then for the next four weeks they feed very slightly less frequently, then it gets a lot easier.

ruddynorah Sun 17-Aug-08 19:36:37

yes sounds normal. who are the breastfeeding experts you've seen? the idea is to go with the flow and slowly but surely a rythmn and routine develops. you're still just getting to know your new baby.

are you back at work? does your wife have help at home? i mean she needs to be just concentrating on feeding her baby. in some countries the new mum stays in bed for the first month for recovery and so that breastfeeding can be well established. obviously not everyone can enable this but that's kind of how you need to be thinking.

ilovemydog Sun 17-Aug-08 19:36:54

every baby is different, but sounds normal to me. try and sleep when the baby sleeps, forget housework and get your shopping online.

constancereader Sun 17-Aug-08 19:40:32

It does sound normal, but I want to sympathise with how hard it is. It will settle down, honestly.

Niecie Sun 17-Aug-08 19:40:35

My DS1 did this - horribly tiring, isn't it!

It lasted for quite some time as I recall - probably a couple of months before he settled down. There is nothing you can do. HV tried to get me to space out his feeds but he just wasn't having it. They tried to tell me he was a sucky baby and just wanted a cuddle and something to suck but he often drank me dry in the first few weeks and he was not happy just to suck.

The only thing you can do is look after your wife, make sure she is comfortable and resting as much as she can and just wait for things to improve.

Try to help your DS do his longer naps at night by keeping things as quiet and dark as possible when feeding him and try and develop the knack of feeding lying down. I never mastered it but I am sure somebody else will be able to help with that one.

It won't last forever but by golly it is hard.

And repeat the mantra "It is all a phase...it is all a phase"

JiminyCricket Sun 17-Aug-08 19:40:40

Good luck with it, it is tough at the beginning - it is their only food, drink, comfort I guess, so every waking minute they want to feed because its a scary new world, but it does settle down. But it is lovely too.

moondog Sun 17-Aug-08 19:43:00

It's normal and it's tiring but remember that this is a supply and demand situation. The more the baby sucks, the more milk there will be. It will settle and soon b/feeding will be a doddle!

moondog Sun 17-Aug-08 19:43:43

You sound like a good bloke. Best way to support her is to let her get on with this and yuo get onto everyone else.

dizzydixies Sun 17-Aug-08 19:44:09

newdad08 I am right where you and your dw are at the moment with dc3 feeding every couple of hours, she is only 2wks old and as my third I thought I would know what I was doing hmm

am sorry she is tired, please make sure she is sleeping when he sleeps and getting plenty of fluids and food - I stayed in bed for the first 2 weeks solely to get feeding established - we're not in a routine but at least I now have the latch right etc and she's started putting on weight again

it will settle soon and you've done a fantastic job, both of you, getting him back on the breast exclusively - sod the housework/visitors/garden etc and live in squalor eating easy food for while until you and baby get to know each other

smile

moondog Sun 17-Aug-08 19:44:40

(You also seem to have had crap b/feeding advice in first days sowell done for overcoming it.)

JFly Sun 17-Aug-08 19:45:16

Sounds pretty normal. Brutal, but normal.
Can your wife feed whilst sleeping/laying in bed? She may get a little more rest that way if he's constantly feeding through the night.

If you're getting 2-3 hour naps in the day, that's pretty good going. Sleep when baby sleeps...everyone says it b/c it's true!

You've done a great job to get back on to breast feeding. Hang in there, it will get easier....

NewDad08 Sun 17-Aug-08 19:46:42

Thanks,

We are in Scotland and the NHS in our area are majorly pushing breastfeeding so the breastfeeding experts are a group of midwives who form a local breastfeeding support network. They have been really good to be honest just a little vague at times (like they are holding back the scary information so that we don't pack it in).

Yeah i'm back at work now and feel really detached from everything and my wife is home alone with DS.

Generally though the exhaustion is making us both a little paranoid about DS and as first time parents we are a little clueless (even after NCT classes etc).

Thanks for all your feedback and if you have any other advice I would be grateful.

NewDad08

ChairmumMiaow Sun 17-Aug-08 19:48:10

It is hard, but it is normal. My DS did this too, and I was exhausted, particularly initially when he would feed for hours and I didn't get to sleep until 1am!

But it does pass, and while it feels like forever at the time, when it starts to get better you realise its really been no time at all. And try to remember your wife has done really well to get your DS off of bottles and back on the breast - it can be really tough from what I've heard!

If it helps, DS is 7 months next week, and although I don't miss the feeding till 1am thing, I do miss the long snuggly feeds we had in later weeks. They grow up so fast and these first weeks are so precious, even though they're just a blur in my memory now

EffiePerine Sun 17-Aug-08 19:48:15

I remember DS feeding constantly at three weeks. After a week or so it settled down a bit, then went mad again at 6 weeks. I think these are pretty common times for feeds to up in frequency (though not everyone experiences this)

moondog Sun 17-Aug-08 19:48:37

Have faith in your wife's body.
She made the baby and she can feed it.
It's bloody hard work at first though.
Best of luck. smile

Newdad - some area's in Scotland have 'Breastfeeding Buddies' programmes. where you are paired up with a volunteer mum who has breastfed. ask you MW if that is available. it might help giev your DW someone ot talk to about this. or a breastfeeding support group might be good. where are you in scotland?

EffiePerine Sun 17-Aug-08 19:50:13

have a look here, lots of v v useful info

one of the ways you can support your wife is doing some valuable research

www.kellymom,com

there are also helplines which are manned by trained breastfeeding counsellors - numbers here

www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/breastfeeding/directory/

EffiePerine Sun 17-Aug-08 19:51:03

bugger try again

www.kellymom.com/

ChairmumMiaow Sun 17-Aug-08 19:52:45

What helped me cope was accepting that he was just going to be feeding for a long time.

If you can make snacks for your wife and leave them in the fridge, along with plenty of easy to get at drinks - maybe a bottle of water or squash by the sofa - that would really help. Cook her dinner when you get home, or get takeaway. If all she has to do is take care of DS, she'll feel a lot less stressed. Also, rent her DVDs or buy her trashy books (once she's got the hand of the one handed feeding thing, which can work well with cushions etc) - whatever she likes, just to keep her entertained!

I go to our local breastfeeding group (waiting for peer supporter training) and I met a lovely woman once who came in in tears because her DC was feeding for hours, and her MIL and DH kept telling her to "just give him/her a bottle". MIL also had a go at her because her house wasn't tidy, and she wasn't making her DH's packed lunch for work! I was amazed anyone would expect a mum with a 4 week old baby to do this!

Good Luck!

BF support groups in scotland

dizzydixies Sun 17-Aug-08 19:56:36

newDad we are scotland too and there are local threads for certain areas too if you think that would help?

LackaDAISYcal Sun 17-Aug-08 20:00:47

It sounds like your wife is doing a really great job feeding him on demand and has done really well to reestablish him on the breast smile

The feeding pattern sounds perfectly normal to me. They have a growth spurt around three weeks and seem to be feeding constantly. He is trying to up your wife's supply to meet his growing demands and although it might not seem it at the moment, it will pass and will get easier.

Add to this the hormonal stuff going on (for me always worse at around the three weeks mark) and it can seem soul destroying and never ending.

A BF support group would be great for your wife as she will be able to meet other mums and comapre notes as well as get further help if/when required.

Congratulations on your baby smile

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 17-Aug-08 20:05:06

Message withdrawn

FrannyandZooey Sun 17-Aug-08 20:07:07

can I recommend using a sling to encourage baby to sleep for longer periods?

types to try are soft material ones like a ring sling (I like huggababy) or wrap sling (eg hug a bub) NOT something like the baby bjorn which is more like a harness with clips and so on, and doesn't cocoon a baby in the same way

babies who are carried, sleep for longer periods and spend longer being awake but content
can give your wife a break from constant feeding perhaps
otherwise yes just stick with it, it will pass, but she needs all the help she can get at the moment - someone to give her a break each day if you can afford this, or call in favours from friends and family, plus help around the house and an easy way to get nutritious food during the day? My dp made up a big bowl of fruit salad each night for me in the first couple of weeks, so i could just go and grab a bowl of it with some yogurt

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