caved again last night(18 Posts)
Looks like I failed again last night and gave another bottle of formula. My daughter is just 2 weeks old and this is the second time I've had to do this. Last evening she fed for 6 hours solid and I just couldn't take it anymore - my nipples were really sore and I desperately needed to get some sleep (can't sleep in the day as I have a toddler to look after - husband now back at work).
Would I be better trying to express some somehow - not sure when I'd pump though as she feeds at least every 2 hours all day and night.
I keep reading about this 'virgin gut' theory but can someone please reassure me that it's still worth continuing with the breastfeeding even though that's obviously stuffed now.
Is 6 hours+ normal for cluster feeding? My first baby used to do it or about 3 hours but never that long. Could it be my latch still isn't right and she's not getting enough so having to feed longer/more? It's been checked by midwife and Midwife assistant who runs the local bf support group and have spoken to breastfeeding councillor. She's putting on weight really well and is very healthy.
I feel really guilty that I can't handle this as other people obviously cope fine. Sorry to be on here moaning again .. think I'm being a bit needy at the moment as there's noone really in real life who has breastfed and had similar issues.
Don't worry about the virgin gut theory - if you return to exclusive bf the gut will be back in its original state in 3-4 weeks. PLUS there are sooooooooo many other benefits that make it worth continuing! DS did used to cluster feed for several hours (can't remember how many) but it is normal. Try expressing a few drops of milk after a feed and leaving them to dry on your nipple - this will help with the soreness. The constant feeding will increase your supply and once it has adjusted the crazy feeding WILL stop It sounds like you are doing a great job if she's putting on weight - so obviously she's getting what she needs from you. Get yourself some good dvds and lots of snacks (chocolate! ) and a glass of wine in the evening and just try to relax - it will pass! xo
You have to keep repeating the mantra "this phase will pass, this phase will pass". Try to relax as well as if you get very tense and upset, your DD will just sense this and probably feed even more (DD1 did this).
I am not looking forward to this stage again (due in 2 weeks) but the only way I view it so I don't fall to pieces is that it is NOT forever. You are doing the best you can do, don't knock yourself and certainly do not punish yourself for giving your DD a bottle of formula.
Have you tried a dummy? Invaluable to me whilst breast feeding. It meant I could determine whether they were just wanting a comfort suck or were genuinely starving.
Kazbeth - you haven't failed, you haven't caved in, you are doing what you find necessary in very tiring circumstances.
Breastfeeding is not stuffed, and you havne't ruined her gut. As you say, she's putting on weight and she's healthy, so you are doing a great job.
Don't feel guilty, many people find it very hard to cope, because it is hard.
My cousin had to top her DS up with a bottle of formula every night for 2 weeks, she then stopped this and continued to EBF him for 7 months. Just do what you have to do to stay sane and don't try and be SuperMum.
pg - I know dummies can be useful but at this early stage it may be a bit risky to introduce one as it could impact on supply if feeding cues are missed. The baby is feeding lots for a reason and supply will adjust faster if the baby's demands are met so even though it is hard - it's best just to go with it for a few days - as you say - This phase will pass!
Why do you feel guilty? You're doing a great job!
A wise lactation consultant once told me that if a few ounces of formula a day keeps you breastfeeding the rest of the time, then it's worth it.
I tried her with a dummy but she was having none of it. In desperation I even tried nipple shields but she wouldn't take those either. I do keep trying to think it won't last forever .. with my first I remember being stuck on the sofa for hours but not quite this long!
I find it really odd that breastfeeding should be so damn hard though - surely we should have evolved to make this easier by now??
bubbley - I have BF 2 babies successfully for 9 months with the aid of dummies so as much as I understand the supply and demand argument, if a baby is truly hungry, a dummy will not suffice! No mother can tolerate being used as a human dummy in the case of babies who have a strong sucking reflex and use the nipple as a comfort. A dummy will not harm if used properly.
pg - It's good that you found something that worked for you and it's obviously a personal decision about whether or not to use one - I would just be careful about recommending something that COULD potentially harm an early feeding relationship - dummies are not recommended in the early weeks for that reason. Don't want to start a debate btw! just pointing out that what may work for some can be damaging to others.
- no worries bubbley - personally I would rather give a dummy first and see if that helped before I offered a bottle of formula (nothing wrong with that either kazbeth, not getting at you!) as potentially the formula will do more to interfere with the OP's supply than a dummy would. Each to our own though. If someone comes on MN and is asking for a mother's advice, you give your advice. My advice would be to try a dummy, they can be a saviour.
Kaz, I know it's not generally considered right to say this but I had a baby who would have been clamped to me 18 hours solids at this stage.
Sometimes I had to pull her off when i knew in my heart she'd had enough.I'd give her to her father and take a break.
You're doing a great job. Hang in there.
Is 6 hours normal? Well I distinctly remember DS having a BF marathon throughout the Nadal-Federer Wimbledon final last summer. He was about 3 wkd old then I think. It was a v long final from about 2pm till about 9pm.
I know how hard it is. Sounds like you are doing a great job. Don't beat yourself up about the formula, you'll be just fine.
Prob sounds fine if she's putting on weight - would keep an eye on it though, I don't want to worry you but my DC1 was feeding for 6 hours overnight and 2 hours a go in the day. Thought this was great as I'd struggled to get her to the breast and she'd lost a fair bit of weight, however she wasn't feeding properly when she was on and continued to lose weight. Do you know how to tell if your DC is swallowing? I didn't but was shown how to tell at a BF clinic, great for peace of mind. Good luck x
my little one is 9 weeks now, but was like this for the first 6 or so, its agonising isnt it.
if you are really determined throw the bottles and formula away.
if she is gaining, wet nappies blah blah blah, try rocking her, going for a little walk (round the garden?) even sucking a clean knuckle.
kazbeth - have read several of your posts since your DD was born. congrats on still BFing.
I second a dummy tbh. DS2 will only take one when he is really tired but it does save me from being used for the same purpose. the feeding does get easier. I was in the same boat as you 18weeks ago and now DS2 is a dream. I am still finding it easier to BF DS2 whilst playing with DS1 that if i was FF as i dont have to faff around making up bottles during the day.
FF doesnt make you a failure btw.
Kazbeth, just wanted to say that you are doing a great job. Try not to worry about the virgin gut thing, your baby is getting a great start in life thanks to you. I am no expert but I don't think the benefits to you and your daughter are cancelled out by a few formula feeds.
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