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Breastfeeding constantly - thinking of giving up...

(8 Posts)
iloveavocado Sun 14-Jun-09 10:35:51

My four week old ds breast feeds constantly. It's rare that he goes longer than an hour between feeds during the day, often much less, and rarely more than 2 hours at night. Usually after a feed he will sleep for a bit and I have a mad rush around getting stuff done, before he starts crying for food again.

I love him so much and I'm really enjoying having him and being a mum, but I'm finding it so restricting. He's fed this much pretty much since birth and it's not getting any less. During the evening he is on almost constantly. When he is a bit more alert and active I sometimes find it hard to play with him and stuff because I've spent all my time with him on my breast and I want a break.

Sometimes I think he is not feeding, just suckling, but if I take him off and put him down he cries and roots.

Part of me is thinking about going onto formula, just so my dp can help a bit more and I can get a bit more of a break. I'd be gutted to go on to formula, especially as I've not had any problems with bf apart from the sheer volume of feeds. I thought it would get less but it is totally not.

Am I doing something wrong? I'm pretty confused and need some advise and support from people who have some understanding. Please help...

HuffwardlyRudge Sun 14-Jun-09 10:44:49

Hi Iloveavocado (I love avocado too).

Sounds pretty normal for 4 weeks. It's horribly full on, isn't it.

It WILL get better. It really will. Then it might get worse again and then better and so on. They go through growth spurts and clingy stages. Normal.

At 4 weeks don't worry about playing with your baby. If he's not feeding and he's happy then dump him with the first pair of willing arms or in the baby bouncer and RUN to get yourself a nice long shower or a sleep or read a mag or have a walk.

Ignore the housework and everything else. Your dh an help you by sorting out everything else so all you have to do is feed your baby and look after yourself.

Don't forget to drink and eat.

He probably is suckling, not just feeding. This is partly to continue to establish your milk supply and partly for comfort which is fine, but can be exhausting for you.

I'm not a breastfeeding expert, just a breastfeeding mum and both of mine were constant feeders in the early weeks. I wasn't prepared for it first time around either. It's knackering but it does get better.

TheProvincialLady Sun 14-Jun-09 10:45:02

Is he thriving, putting on weight, plenty of wet/pooey nappies etc, and do you think he has a good latch?

Four weeks is still very, very tiny. I know it feels like a loooooooooong time at the moment thoughgrin A lot of babies start to stretch out their feeds a little after 6-8 weeks, which might be hard to hear at the moment but really isn't very far away honest.

Have you tried putting him in a sling (like a wrap sling or something similar)? If he just wants comfort and isn't particularly hungry then you might find he settles if you put him in the sling and go for a walk. Once he is used to it you could wear him in the sling and do other things. I did this all the time with both my babies and it worked very well. I still wear DS2 a lot now at 5 months.

TheProvincialLady Sun 14-Jun-09 10:46:42

Oh and I completely agree with Huff, no need to play with him for quite a long time yet unless you want to. He is basically an eating, sleeping and pooing machine at the moment. Take your rests when you can.

JammyJake Sun 14-Jun-09 10:52:59

Hey Iloveadvocado (I've never tried it).

I totally agree with Huff. Things will get better soon. It is soooooo hard at first as noone tells you that they just feed all the time. You sound like you are doing an amazing job. My DD is 10mon and I would give anything to turn the clock back and have all those precious times together again.

Just ignore the housework - it will still be there in a few weeks when you will have more time to yourself. When you do get a break do something nice for yourself.

Hope all goes well

TheBreastmilksOnMe Sun 14-Jun-09 10:57:54

Absoloutly normal. My DS who is 9mths old now was exactly the same- constant feeding every 2 hours throuout the night and it is exhausting so well done you for getting this far and beleive me, it does get better. Your baby is only very very tiny with a tummy the size of the nail of your thumb so he needs small, frequent feeds.

As he gets bigger he will be able to go for longer between feeds and this will happen soon enough even though it feels like it's going to be like this forever to you at the moment. It is only a stage.

Forget the housework, set up a nursing station at the comfiest sofa in the house, get your DH to bring you food, snacks and drinks (remember to drink plenty) and put some good DVD's on. Just sit and nurse and enjoy your tiny baby. Don't worry about anything else.

If you're able to you could try nursing lying down on your bed. Your HV should have some info on the correct positioning etc then you could catch some sleep whilst you baby suckles. It saved my sanity!

I hope that helsp and good luck with everything! Keep repeating the mantra 'this too will pass...'

poshsinglemum Wed 17-Jun-09 13:33:17

I can totally relate to you op. DD was the same.
It is a dreadful bind at first BUT it does get easier as they get older and it is worth it in the end.

BelleWatling Wed 17-Jun-09 13:46:07

Just to add that mine was exactly the same until about 8 weeks but nobody told me ahead of time that this was normal. At 6 week growth spurt he did a 36 hour session shock - people think I am lying about this - I am not. Please don't try to do anything other than look after yourself and get some crap good telly/dvds, favourite food and drink, comfy cushions and settle in for the long run...when you are running around after him you will miss it - I do. Also can you feed lying down?

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