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Breastfeeding constantly - is this normal?

(11 Posts)
iloveavocado Wed 03-Jun-09 11:13:21

My DS is 17 days old and breastfeeding all the time. Yesterday he bf approx (I'm not recording it, this is a guess) 7.45-8.45, 9.30-10.30, 11.00-12.20, 1.10-2.40, 3.30 on and off (more on than off) the rest of the day until 10.30pm. He wakes every 2-2 1/2 hours in the night, which isn't so bad. But in the day I can't do anything.

Today he fed from 7.30-8.30ish, then 9.30 until now - 11.15 - and he's showing no sign of letting up. I've tried to put him down a couple of times but he cries and then roots.

Is this normal? I'm knackered and, hate to say it , bored. I want to get out but it's so hard at this rate.

If this is what's meant to happen I'm happy to carry on, but when people are encouraging you to bf before baby is born, they don't tell you its constant. I wasn't expecting this. Does it get easier?

LupusinaLlamasuit Wed 03-Jun-09 11:15:52

Yes, this is what is supposed to happen. Has it been like this since birth? Or just last couple of days?

Either way, he is building up your milk supply, either in a long slow way or a 'growth spurt' burst over 1-3 days.

It should settle down IF you let him do it, so you have a newly increased milk supply. Look on the kellymom or Jack Newman website if you need more info but it is completely normal.

Only thing to do is retreat to bed or sofa until it settles down: and it will... smile

madwomanintheattic Wed 03-Jun-09 11:16:08

it was normal for ds1... dd1 tried it, but we discovered a dummy was as effective as a boob, as it wasn't so much the milk she was after, she was just a sucky baby...

madwomanintheattic Wed 03-Jun-09 11:16:56

that was a bit later though lol - ds1 was like it for 10 months... i think we gave dd1 a dummy at 8 weeks...

LupusinaLlamasuit Wed 03-Jun-09 11:17:06

PS It often happens just after birth for 1-3ish days, then again a few weeks after birth and then again periodically throughout BF time... Don't be surprised if he does this again from time to time.

LupusinaLlamasuit Wed 03-Jun-09 11:19:48

i wouldn't recommend a dummy at this stage: if you appreciate that breastmilk supply responds to the amount the baby sucks - if he feeds a lot, your breasts make MORE milk to accommodate his needs, then you can see that giving something else to suck instead can actually reduce the amount of milk he needs.

These 'frequency days' are often when women get disheartened as they are wiped out by it, and other people who think they're being helpful suggest that the baby is not getting enough milk and they start supplementing with a bottle or that a 'sucky baby' needs a dummy and then women start to feel they don't have enough milk...

tiktok Wed 03-Jun-09 11:25:09

Normal, and good - you have a baby who is great at communicating his need to be close to you, who is feeding often to ensure he 'orders up' the milk he needs, and who is already, at less than 3 weeks, making a distinction between day and night

Great stuff.

Babies are not like this forever, and it is easier to cope with if you get a sling or carrier you are comfortable with, and use this for going out.

digitalgirl Wed 03-Jun-09 11:32:39

iloveavocado - my DS took a while to learn to breastfeed, but once he got the hang of it he went through a 4 week phase of constant breastfeeding, at first I didn't really respond to him I thought 'hes just eaten he can't possibly still be hungry' - but I found the only thing to stop him crying was to feed him. Once I 'gave in' to it, he fed on and off throughout the day napping on the boob but waking when I put him down.

I spent a lot of time on MN and watched a lot of TV (should have read more books really) - and got my DH and mum to help out with food and housework (so I did nothing). I would try and time walks/trips so that I would always arrive somewhere I could sit and feed again within the hour.

I got so used to it that when DS finally decided there was more to life than feeding I really started to miss all the soaps I'd been watching every day! Took me a while to get used to actually interacting with him too, i was so used to plonking him on boob and leaving him to it.

He went through a tremendous growth spurt during this phase (went from 9th centile to 50th) and I never ever had any supply issues afterwards. I put this down to me just letting him do his thing.

mrsgboring Wed 03-Jun-09 11:39:38

digitalgirl SNAP - I could have written your post virtually word for word, apart from I never had a huge tangible weight gain to show for it and I was addicted to sitcoms not soaps. Am just in the phase again with DS2 and it has its compensations.

Make yourself a little den to camp out in during feeding - in this nice weather you could try setting yourself up in the garden even, so long as you had plenty of shade. Line up the books, telly, radio, laptop, phone, food and drink and dig yourself a pleasant little hole. grin

Feeding underarm (rugby ball style) is a quite handy in these situations too, as it means you can have something on your lap (e.g. tray of dinner) and still feed.

iloveavocado Wed 03-Jun-09 11:42:47

Thanks everyone,

It is great and I love doing it. It's just so much. He's fed well from birth but its just the last day or two he never seems to be off. Reading your replies is very reassuring so I'll solider on, thinking of all the calories I must be burning!. I need to get some good reading material though...

Cheers...

weasle Wed 03-Jun-09 12:36:15

yes, totally normal for my boys. with ds1 i thought it couldn't be normal (before i discovered MN) and didn't feed him much, so weight gain was poor and ended up ff.

with ds2 i read lots of books and watched tv. that doesn't last long, i would love to have chance to sit down now!

a sling i could bf in helped me get out. and going to a bf support group where i could feed without the usual unhelpful comments.

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