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i don't know where to go from here...

(17 Posts)
beforesunrise Sun 05-Oct-08 14:47:57

dd2, 20 weeks, ebf. up until about 4 weeks ago she was sweet and a good sleeper (had trouble falling asleep during the day, but was v good at night), fed well, and generally settled.

for the past 4 weeks she has been getting progressively more restless- hardly sleeps at all during the day and really suffers with it (not for lack of trying, i spend about 80% of my day and night rocking her), and at night she doesnt really sleep either... keeps waking up and wants to chew on my boob. i swear that's what she does, i don't think she is actually taking any milk, she just uses me as a dummy. btw she won't take a real dummy.

anyway- i feel my supply is seriously compromised, my nipples hurt a million times more than in the early days, she is never happy and never sleeps- and neither do i. i am at the end of my tether. gave her a 6oz bottle of ebm which she gulped down in seconds. so perhaps my mum and mil are right- i should give her formula... or perhaps she's ready for solids? or maybe i am just the crappiest mother ever, who can't get her baby (second one, ffs...) into any kind of routine, cant get her to sleep, cant get her to feed properly...

what should i do you think? formula, solids, or just hang myself?

VeryHungryKatypillar Sun 05-Oct-08 15:02:04

You are not alone! Our lovely daughter has gone from being an okay sleeper (during the night at least) to being almost exactly as you describe. It started at around 4 months... I am hoping it is a phase!

I don't really know what to suggest, just wanted to let you know you aren't the crappiest mother ever.

I personally don't think that formula is the answer to help your DD sleep and be happier... but if it makes you happier perhaps it is worth a shot. Or perhaps just introduce one formula feed and see how that goes. But if you'd be happier in the long run knowing you'd EBF DD until 6 months, try giving it a bit longer and see how you go.

I am sure things will change, how soon is impossible to say, but they will. Hang in there and don't beat yourself up, you've already given DD the best start possible and the fact that you have been prepared to spend so much time trying to get her to sleep shows that you are a great mum.

Hope things get better.

moondog Sun 05-Oct-08 15:03:10

You're not a crap mother. You've done brilliantly. smile
There's no point in weaning. Milk has way more calories than the food you would give at this stage, so it's a waste of time.
Prob. a growth spurt. let her suck and ride with it. The more she sucks, the more milk your breasts are primed to make. It all works on supply and demand.

EBM and formula can be got down her quicker, yes, but as you know your own milk is best for her and the more she sucks the more she will have.

Go with it,it won't last foever. smile

beforesunrise Sun 05-Oct-08 15:05:16

the problem is i don't think she is sucking- i think she is chewing, faffing around with my nipples because she wants something in her mouth- but NOT getting the milk! thats why i am so paranoid about supply going down...

RedOnHerHead Sun 05-Oct-08 15:08:34

You are not a crap mother!

This sounds completely normal for a 20wk old - and you are probably in need of some sleep which is making you feel worse. It is very common for a baby to start waking between 4 and 6 mths and it is easily mistaken as a sign to start weaning. Keep up with the boob - your supply will catch up soon as long as you keep offerning the breast.

It does sound as though she may have stopped latching on properly if your nipples are hurting - take a good look at her latch again and see if you can see any problems and address them.

You sound as though you are doing a fab job though, and she doesn't need formula - she just needs you. Stick with it if you can, it will get better soon, she more than likely to just be having a growth spurt, and if you swith to formula or start weaning it may not make any difference at all.

Dont hang yourself either - I hope you were joking about that part! Just know that it will get easier - your milk supply will catch up, its just very tiring waiting for that to happen.

<<hugs>>

moondog Sun 05-Oct-08 15:08:57

TYhey go through distracted phases.
Have you tired going to feed where it's v quiet?
Or lying down?
Or changing hold?

RedOnHerHead Sun 05-Oct-08 15:12:09

Is she teething?
Maybe a teething ring or a bit of clove oil on her gums will stop this. But again, if she is chewing on the breast it sounds more likely to be a problem with her latch - i would start from scratch and work on her getting it right before you get really sore and start resenting her feeding.

RedOnHerHead Sun 05-Oct-08 15:13:44

maybe skin to skin will help her settle a bit easier?

StrangeTown Sun 05-Oct-08 15:14:47

I went through exactly this, faffing and not eating. Went to see HV, phoned support lines etc etc. Had a weekend just resting and feeding to try and increase supply. Nothing worked, I ended up giving formula.

I REALLY wish I had actually gone to see someone in RL about it. I asked at baby clinics 3 times, but was told nobody could help and to phone one of the BF lines. I think I needed help with my latch and position as baby had changed so much and I had not adapted. Do think about seeing someone somehow if you can.

twoboots Sun 05-Oct-08 15:15:19

do you think she might be teething. dd (17 weeks) has been more unsettled, chewing on her thumb and dribbling for 4 weeks, noticed today she has somed redness on the gum so expecting afirst tooth soon!

moondog Sun 05-Oct-08 15:16:21

ST, isn't that a terrble state of affairs and an indictment of shit RL b/feeding support that nonoe could help you and you had to be directed to services run by overstretched volunteers? sad

AnnasBananas Sun 05-Oct-08 15:27:10

Try changing postions and see if that helps to encourage a nice, deep latch.

VeryHungryKatypillar Sun 05-Oct-08 15:34:11

I reckon you should def see someone to check her latch to sort out nipple pain thing.

When my DD is looking for comfort rather than food, her sucking does tend to hurt a bit too, as she isn't latched on for food, it's a sort of lazy latch. The only thing I can suggest is to keep taking her off the latch and make her latch back on to try to get it right.

Have you tried some different dummys? Will she suck a dummy if you're holding her?

Do you have a partner/mum/friend who can help you out a bit with the rocking/comforting thing when LO doesn't need a feed?

madmouse Sun 05-Oct-08 15:40:14

try a visit to a baby cafe they really helped me change the way I fed ds as he grew and they are down to earth and have loooooots of time

beforesunrise Sun 05-Oct-08 19:33:36

hi all- thanks for words of wisdom and support. all good advice i think, but the problem is implementing it... with a 2.5yo running around, it is just really really hard to make time for feeds, to feed in a quiet room etc. let alone skin to skin- i have barely had time to go to the loo all day. i had thought about going to baby cafe, there is one really nearby, but it's on thursday morning and i have no one to look after dd1, and it is at exactly her lunch/nap/drop off to nursery time.

tbh i am feeling really shit today- i am so tired and so depressed with dd2's unsettledness, dh and i have been arguing all day, i am desperately in need of sleep and i am feeling all this is just a bit too much for me. dd1 was a nightmare too, and am starting to feel it is my parenting skills (or rather- lack of parenting skills) which are to blame.

dh went to boots without telling me and bought some formula- but the wrong kind (bless him), so any decision will have to wait at least until tomorrow...

moondog Sun 05-Oct-08 22:26:35

Can't you just put the baby in a sling to feed atr will?

HolidaysQueen Sun 05-Oct-08 23:21:45

beforesunrise - I just wanted to sympathise as we recently went through this (although without the additional complication of a toddler - you really do have my sympathies!) My DS went through a hideous phase from about 18 weeks to 24 weeks of faffing at feeds, being really distracted, chomping down on my nipple occasionally (ouch!) etc., and wanting an increased number of daytime feeds and also going from having a 6 hour stretch of sleep from 11-5ish to waking twice in that time hmm

Suddenly at about 24 weeks it got so much better and at 27 weeks he has now slept through from 11-7 pretty much every night for a fortnight now

Part of it may have been the introduction of solids at 22-23 weeks but I think the main cause of his unsettledness was developmental things. He started sitting unaided at 21 weeks and had mastered his balance really well by 23 weeks. He also became much better at rolling at the same time. So I think that had been upsetting him and then once he mastered those skills he became much more chilled out all round.

Given that, I'm not sure it is your supply that is a particular problem - I was really worried about this too as I had problems at the start - so I'm not sure that formula will make it better. Even the ff babies in my NCT group have been going through a really funny phase like this.

I don't know if I've really helped, but I just wanted to offer you some comfort that it may change quite soon for you. Fingers crossed.

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