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Six/seven week growth spurt - hellllppppppppp!!!

(13 Posts)
Verso Tue 13-Jan-09 16:42:10

I BF my DD1 for a year in total, so I know about growth spurts etc. As some background though, she was a very chaotic baby ALL THE TIME, not just in growth spurts, and we never really settled into anything like a pattern. After eight months of craziness I ended up with severe PND - mainly due to complete exhaustion from her 'snack and snooze' approach to feeding and never getting more than an hours' sleep at a time.

Fast forward to DD2 (seven weeks old today). She has been completely different from day one - feeding and sleeping in 2 or 3-hour cycles, with a little bit longer at night on occasion (yay!). Until last Friday. She had a cold so couldn't settle very well after feeds due to breathing difficulty. So...

She has fed off and on hourly round the clock for the past FOUR days. I am completely exhausted. I have had about 90 minutes' sleep in that time and am starting to lose perspective. I feel very very anxious and stressed and weepy. I DO NOT have PND - but I am VERY close to the edge with exhaustion.

Can anyone tell me how to get through this growth spurt? Is it in fact a growth spurt? I tried La Leche League earlier but after calling them four times and getting four separate answerphones I gave up. I called my health visitor but she was hopeless, although she has referred me to a breastfeeding person at the GP clinic tomorrow.

(Please don't tell me to express milk and give it to my husband to give. (a) I don't have a moment in the day at present to express milk (DD2 is permanently attached to me it seems) and (b) my husband has MS so finds doing night shifts nigh on impossible.) Prior to this all going pear-shaped I was managing to express - so it's not that I can't do it, just that I can't do it at the moment.

HELP!!!!

wenceslasmyeducation Tue 13-Jan-09 16:58:02

Have you got someone who could take her out for a walk for a couple hours? Even just once would triple the amount of sleep you've had.
Best of luck.

Leanne5 Tue 13-Jan-09 17:47:34

Around 6-8 weeks after delivery the pregnancy hormones in your body start to leave, this effects breastfeeding. A lot of women give up at this point as they think they have not got enough milk to feed baby. This is a common thing that comes up all the time. To keep your breastmilk coming your baby needs to keep feeding to say to your body 'Hey I'm still here and i still want to feed.' This is an important time and your baby knows what she needs to do to be able to keep your milk coming.
I can imagine this must be such an exhusting time for you especially after her being poorly too. You have got to think what a good job you are doing and this won't last forever it will settle down.
Is there someone that could come in to take care of her for a little while so you can put your feet up and have your arms back for a bit? What about a Doula?

CharCharGabor Tue 13-Jan-09 17:52:48

hIs DD1 in school/nursery? If not, is there anyone to look after her so you can take to your bed with dd2 and feed and doze for a while? Other than that, go to bed when dd1 does and feed in bed so you can sleep more. It will ease soon, DD's growth spurt around that time lasted 5 days, so you're probably through the worst of it.

CharCharGabor Tue 13-Jan-09 17:53:14

Ignore that h hmmgrin

hanaflower Tue 13-Jan-09 17:55:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

baby209 Tue 13-Jan-09 18:12:54

My experience with DD1 is that I BF her for 10.5 months until her teeth made it impossible to go any longer - it was agony.

Anyway in the early days she used to want to BF every hour, then after about a month, this stretched to 1.5-2 hours, and then by about 3-6 months we finally got in a few 3-4 hourly feeds. My nipples were as sore as sore could be for about 6 weeks and then the m-in-law came to stay and I couldn't fanny about with creams and somehow it all went rock hard! She also fed 3-4 hourly through the night until she was 9 months old, then I realised I was preg again and this all had to change.

One of the things I tried with my DD was cranial chiropractic treatment http://www.cliftonchiropractic.co.uk/htm/treatingc.htm
This really, really worked as it relieved pressure in DD head which she had got as a result of ventose.

DS is due in a few weeks so will let you know how that goes, as if he wants to feed like DD then I am going to be going stir crazy like you I think.

Verso Tue 13-Jan-09 18:55:20

hana problem with sling is that the proximity to the MILK drives her mental - my DD1 was the same. Not sure how to sort that out until she's old enough to face outwards hmm.

charchar yes DD1 goes to nursery so maybe I should do as you say... would that get my supply up quickly so things settle again? Thanks for saying I may be through the worst - I really need some glimmers of hope at the moment. Not sure I can feed in bed at night though - I tried it with DD1 and tried it with DD2 the other day as well, but she just wants to feedandfeedandfeedandfeedandfeed so it's not any more restful than what I'm doing at the moment.

Sigh. Thing is, I know it will pass, but at the moment I am going berserk from lack of sleep .

Verso Tue 13-Jan-09 18:58:28

LeanneS interesting point re the hormones. I didn't know that. I have been trying to just go with it and let my baby tell my body what to do etc, but now I'm dropping with exhaustion it's very hard.

Your doula suggestion was really good - but somewhat ironic as I had a trainee doula here for a few hours a day last week and also for one week after the birth. She was fabulous - but I couldn't justify having her here longer term . I think I just have to find a way to muddle through this one...

hanaflower Tue 13-Jan-09 19:07:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

turtle23 Tue 13-Jan-09 19:32:10

It will finish soon...think back 4 weeks!! I wish I could be more helpful, but if I were you I would take the "to bed" advice. (and maybe get those earplugs... ) Hope everything settles down soon. Take care!

Leanne5 Tue 13-Jan-09 20:57:30

It will settle I know its hard because you can't put a time on it. Maybe just try and tweek the latch and position a bit maybe she is not on full where she will not be taking big mouth fulls, causing her to feed and feed and feed. If things don't settle down in a couple of days do you have a breastfeeding clinic near you that you could pop along too. They are a great support and you get to meet mums who may be experiencing the same things. Also a crainial osteopath worked wonders for my last child.

Verso Wed 14-Jan-09 20:49:55

Much better day today, thank God! Am now thinking it was the cold more than the growth spurt... preventing her breathing and feeding properly and setting up a vicious cycle of poor feeds and not settling...

Anyway - am trying not to over-analyse and just enjoy the fact that after four days of near-disaster my settled baby was back today .

turtle >waves< saw a HV today who actually had the leaflet about fluconazole shock (we got talking, as one does - because she noticed from the computer that I'd cancelled my six/seven week check this morning and wondered why. I told her I'd discovered it was booked with the GP who didn't believe thrush of the boob existed and she nodded sagely and produced the leaflet.)

I have earplugs...

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