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Baby Very Hungry in Evening

(24 Posts)
Clairemac2004 Sun 14-Sep-08 20:16:01

I am breastfeeding and every evening my daughter seems to always want more milk than I produce. I have been trying to express milk so that I can give her some milk at night but am struggling to produce enough for this. I am exhausted from struggling to feed her every evening. She is 16 weeks (born 8 weeks premature so really 8). Any advice?

RubySlippers Sun 14-Sep-08 20:17:48

cluster feeding in the evenings is really usual especially in an 8 week old

am not an expressing expert so can't really help on that bit smile

Ewe Sun 14-Sep-08 20:18:59

Totally normal to cluster feed of an evening, the best thing to do in my non professional opinion is settle down on the sofa with some light TV and snacks. If you let her feed as much as she wants your supply will catch on very quickly.

It will get better and she may be having a growth spurt in which case it may pass in a few days/a week. Keep up the fab job you're doing!

lulumama Sun 14-Sep-08 20:19:27

why do you think you are not producing enuogh milk> cluster feeding in the evenings is normal. if exhausting ! putting her to the breast as much as possible and for as long as she wants to will stimulate and keep supply and demand in synch.. nothing is as efficient at extracting milk from teh breast as the baby.. sounds like you are doing a sterling job anyway, in getting breastfeeding established and continued with a preemie ! howbreastfeedingworks.com/tag/breastfeeding/ is a great site as is www.kellymom.com

Ewe Sun 14-Sep-08 20:20:05

Oh and try expressing whilst you're feeding from the other breast or at least make sure you're looking at your baby thinking happy loving thoughts - it enables let down.

Jojay Sun 14-Sep-08 20:21:35

It's very normal and you may just have to ride it out - I know it's exhausting though!

However, it mnay be worth encouraging her to feed at least every 3 hours during the day - if she's going longer than that she may not be getting all the calories she needs during the day, hence the epic feeds in the evening.

If it's been going on longer than a week or so, speak to a breast feeding counsellor to check her latch smile

Onlyaphase Sun 14-Sep-08 20:22:35

Yep, totally normal. I think it is really common to be attached to the sofa for a few months, every evening, thinking your supply isn't good enough. Certainly happened to me, and others, though the books don't seem to mention it!
I agree with Ewe, and suggest sitting on the sofa with remote control, pint of water, and snacks,

Is your DD gaining weight OK? Does she then sleep OK at night?

Think you are doing a fantastic job BFeeding a little one born so early.

Onlyaphase Sun 14-Sep-08 20:24:28

Oh, and I never managed to express anything much to feed her with either, though I did try. I do think now, looking back on it, that DD wanted the comfort of feeding/napping on me rather than a bottle of milk (formula and expressed milk were all rejected out of hand)

Clairemac2004 Sun 14-Sep-08 20:26:36

She feeds fine during the day and settles fine, when she does get a good feed in the evening (once she's finally full) she sleeps for a good 5/6 hours.

My let down reflex is fine, always kicks in very quickly when feeding, after about half an hour I am no longer producing milk and she's still wide awake. I've been trying to feed her by breast for as long as I can but it is taking about 3 hours or so and she's still not full.

She starts to get worked up and grabs at my breast going on and off all the time when the supply runs low.

Habbibu Sun 14-Sep-08 20:27:25

Oh, Lord, yes - dd was attached to me from 5-10 pm every night for ages. Agree with others - find a place to plant yourself, get DVDs, snacks, drink, get someone to bring dinner you can eat one-handed. Take a break for a warm bath. I thought cluster feeding meant every half hour or so, but discovered that dd was happiest if I put her on the other side as soon as she'd stopped on one, and repeated, and repeated, and repeated for 5 hours until she completely conked out. I did learn to love it!

Habbibu Sun 14-Sep-08 20:28:52

x-posts - you probably are producing milk, but it's slowed down. Do you swap sides then? I had to swap sides more frequently as the evening wore one.

Clairemac2004 Sun 14-Sep-08 20:31:25

I will just have to keep perservering. I just had to give her 150ml by bottle and she's asleep now. That was from feeding her starting at 3pm and its now 8.30pm. If she doesn't settle is it ok to leave her until my supply kicks in, she cries if I leave her normally.

Also, she keeps choking when feeding lately and ends up vomiting a big amount of her feed up.

Spoken to health visitor about her evening feeds and they weren't helpful ("you can't run out of milk") which is not very helpful.

At what age does the cluster feeding stop?

Clairemac2004 Sun 14-Sep-08 20:33:18

Yes, I swap sides when she starts to come on and off. One side always producing more than the other.

Habbibu Sun 14-Sep-08 20:35:41

dd did the puking thing - fast let down and she'd gulp - you can maybe express a little at the beginning of the feed, so that it's a bit slower for her. I know it feels like you don't have any milk, but you do, and her suckling is the best thing to get supply going. I found a 20 min warm bath helped me, at least psychologically, to feel like I'd "refilled". With luck tiktok will come along to explain better. I do sympathise - it's only with hindsight that I realised I did always have supply - it didn't feel like that at the time!

Clairemac2004 Sun 14-Sep-08 20:48:43

At what age does the mega feeds stop? Its so hard going and I'm exhausted from it all the time but want to perservere after all the hard work I put in expressing milk when she was in hospital for 6 weeks.

Habbibu Sun 14-Sep-08 20:51:20

I really can't remember - so sorry! DD was huge, mind, so had different feeding issues from your little one. Tinkerbellesmummy is a mner who breastfed a very little preemie - think Tink was 31 weeks - I'll see if I can find her and point her in this direction.

Clairemac2004 Sun 14-Sep-08 20:52:31

My baby is not premature now, she's 8 weeks past her due date and 12 pounds so just normal now.

Habbibu Sun 14-Sep-08 20:54:40

Sorry, yes, I know, I just meant that she was in a similar situation to you, and is pretty knowledgeable on bfing. Anyway, looks like she's not around today. It's TinkerbellesMum if you do want to find her.

Clairemac2004 Sun 14-Sep-08 20:56:43

Thanks, I'll come back on and find her sometime.

mumblecrumble Sun 14-Sep-08 21:07:17

Don't worry Claremac! Doesn't l;ast forever! I was same when dd around 10 weeks. My nipples felt fine - it was my erse that ached from constant evening feeding. However gradually I found the more I fed, the more sleep we all got at night so a worthwhile pay out.

I was advised by several lactivists, la lech legue, mentors etc and what helped me was that they said it was excellent that dd had learnt to 'stock up' for the night and that this is good for sleep and growth.

Learn to read with one hand, watch TV, tinternet with one hand, eat with one hand, talk on phone with one hand etc and try to enjoy cos sooner than you know you dd will be only popping to you for a quick snack!

[I love toddler boob snacks]

squatchette Sun 14-Sep-08 21:15:10

No advice here but thankyou for the thread as i'm having similar problems and my dd is only 10 days old!

I can't imagine going on like this for months as i simply don't have the time with this being dd3.
I feel so guilty always having to stop her feeds to say pick up the other 2 girls from school and that kind of thing.

I bought some formula today to try and top her up once she's been feeding for an hour or more if she still seems hungry i have given her the formula.Her poo has gone green now and i feel terrible.

Am seeing the midwives on Tuesday so hoping they will have some advice (and that she has gained some weight).

bluejellybean Sun 14-Sep-08 21:27:15

I had similar problems and the constant feeding was SO HARD! In the end I expressed a large feed during the day, expressing after each feed and then at 10pm went to bed leaving a bottle for my husband! I felt that after a large feed any crying was then down to something else other than hunger, after all remember how small their tummies are. I did use a dummy to settle bubs if needed.
Getting to bed is important as you need to rest to be able to feed well.

bluejellybean Sun 14-Sep-08 21:31:50

Squatchette dont feel guilty!!! I bet your doing a great job and I take my hat of to you with 3!

Green poo when introducing formula is fine - don't worry. After a hour of feeding, are you sure she is hungry? Assuming she is reaching the hind mink she may be needing the comfort of sucking?

Reading your message took me back 6 months - the early days are so hard! Just try to relax and enjoy them too, they go so fast!

Good luck on Tuesday x

Elasticwoman Sun 14-Sep-08 21:38:49

Squatchette - sorry to hear you're having to collect older children from school when you're only 10 days post partum! Didn't your dh get paternity leave? What about friends, neighbours, family giving you a hand? A few decades ago you would have been still in bed at 10 days. You should not be expected to run your household this soon after birth, as though nothing had happened!

OP - I remember that cluster feeding in the evening. My dd wouldn't let me go to bed till 1 am, but at least I then got 4 hours' uninterrupted sleep. It really doesn't last for ever, it just seems like it.

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