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Help- not sure I can cope

(20 Posts)
Gilby Fri 03-Jul-09 18:28:31

My DD is now 3 weeks old and hasn't slept at all at night since she was 10 days old- we think wind/colic/something else as she's uncomfortable and grumbles every 5 mnutes and cries frequently. She's been waking twice per night for feeds. She's always been a sleepy feeder and I'm not sure she gets enough- always falls asleep on the breast. Today she's been unable to settle for any naps so is overtired and constantly crying and wanting to feed. I'm not sure I'm producing enough milk and I'm exhausted. I've been really tearful all day and can't see a way out of this. How do I make sure I produce enough milk? How do I stop her from wanting to feed every half an hour?

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 03-Jul-09 18:34:33

Message withdrawn

tiktok Fri 03-Jul-09 18:35:28

Hi, Gilby - glad you opened another thread

Have you called any of the bf helplines to talk to someone?

What does the midwife or HV say?

Is your baby thriving in terms of weight?

Sleeping at the breast is normal, waking twice in the night is prob less often than usual (depends on what you call 'night'), wanting to feed often is normal....what could be concerning is her apparent miserableness and crying. If she is happy as long as she is next to you, feeding off and on, and simply unwilling to sleep or rest away from you, then all is well from the feeding angle and all (!) that needs to happen is to make life a bit easier for you while this phase lasts. If though she is miserable and crying even snuggled in next to you, then maybe something can help make the feeding a little easier for her.

Hope you can respond with some more info.

MildredRoper Fri 03-Jul-09 18:41:33

Poor you. I remember that feeling well.

They have a big growth spurt at 3 weeks so can seem to be feeding constantly. I can remember feeling desperate at that point myself but it does get easier.

Have you tried infacol for the colic - worked for my dd.

Also, stripping off clothes, tickling feet, sitting them as upright as possible to keep them awake.

this is a great website for info.

Gilby Fri 03-Jul-09 18:56:40

Hello- have spoken to mw and hv, also GP but no help as she's latching on well. Also telephoned breastfeeding helplines and went to breastfeeding cafe, so trying it all. she's latching on well and feeds just for 4-5 minutes before falling asleep, then hard to wake. by night i mean from 12 to 6- she has a feed at 11, then wakes at about 1 and 4, then 6.30ish. however the constant grumbling and crying due to discomfort means i can't get any sleep as often have to hold her to comfort her- she does appear to be in genuine discomfort and we're trying infacol but no joy. I'm just so tired as last few days she's not slept in the daytime so i've not slept either. Today she's cried all day and I've just hated it. Feel like I'm failing her and can't help her, also really hated her for doing it and then felt guilty for that too.

MildredRoper Fri 03-Jul-09 21:00:21

It doesn't sound as if feeding is the problem. Not if latch good, putting on weight etc.

It sounds as if it's more to do with colic and the fact that she is so little and doesn't want to be away from you. This all sounds perfectly normal (although damned hard to deal with when you are in the middle of it).

Do you burp her after feed? How long have you been using infacol - it takes a few days to work and you have to do it every feed. Also, online you can find ways to massage baby's tummy to help the wind.

I often co-slept at this point. Not for everybody, but you can find guidance from unicef (I think) on making it safe. The Kellymom site I linked to before might have that.

I also carried dd round in a wraparound sling during the day and she had her day time naps there. It calms them and they sleep better (although obv you can't sleep when wearing it). Then we had a rocking crib at night (when not co-sleeping).

Although it's a nightmare at the moment, it will get easier I promise you. You are not doing anything wrong, in fact it sounds like you have it right with the feeding.

I hope tik tok will come back to advise you because she is very knowledgeable about the bfing.

Rsmum Fri 03-Jul-09 21:11:52

Hi. I agree with MildredRoper, sounds like wind/colic. She may be wanting to feed as sucking helps wind. Have you tried a pacifier? I know they say that this can cause nipple confusion but may be worth a try. My DS was similar and I eventually gave in at 4wks and I think it did help. Also make sure you give infacol at every feed if you can remember.
Hope things get better soon.

tiktok Fri 03-Jul-09 23:50:08

Hi, Gilby...I am off to bed now so will answer more tomorrow. But can you give more info again? Is your baby happy when held close? What is her weight gain? Does she have both breasts? Ta.

smallchange Fri 03-Jul-09 23:58:00

Will she sleep if you're holding her? Because ds was like this until he was aoubt 8 weeks old.

My solution was to go with the flow and I didn't do very much except sit on the sofa watching crappy tv and mumsnetting. If there's a next time I'll definitely investigate slings to get the odd thing done.

I also went for co-sleeping in the early weeks. Ds would not sleep in his moses basket and I found the lack of sleep completely soul destroying so I gave in and slept propped up with him on my chest when he was really tiny and with him beside me (making sure no duvet/pillows near). I went through a stage of feeding, going back to bed with ds, feeding going back to bed etc until about 1pm. Got me through the first 6 weeks!

When he got a little older he moved into a cot by himself with no problems.

Some babies just want to be close to you and are miserable when they're not. It's hard. It does get better.

Gilby Sun 05-Jul-09 16:33:31

Sorry- exhaustion on Friday prevented further Mumsnetting. Am generally feeling better about it all. Okay, answers to questions:
DD was 3.07kg at birth, went down to 2.84kg then up to 3.16kg at day 11 so no problem with initial weight gain- will go and have her weighed again this week.
She is fine (and even smiling a lot- though of course at this age that doesn't mean anything- nice, though) when being held in the daytime but at night wriggles and grumbles even when held, and does seem to be in discomfort.
She has just the one breast as falls asleep after a few minutes- then we try stripping her off, tickling her, moving her arms and legs, etc etc. with often very little response- everyone is astounded at how soundly she sleeps. Anyway, several attempts at one breast and then I let her be. Should I be offering the other breast at every feed?
Feeling better as am just letting her dictate what she wants and not expecting her to go longer than an hour or two between feeds- it was that expectation that led to sheer frustration on Friday. Also the fact that it still hurts every time she latches on- not the nipple but where she has her lower gums clamped onto my areola- everyone so far has confirmed perfect latch so not sure if I can do anything about it.

tiktok Sun 05-Jul-09 17:07:08

Gilby, all this sounds on the normal spectrum though would be useful to know even more.

Wriggling and grumbling and 'seeming' to be in discomfort does not sound like a baby who is in pain or distress. Babies who are suffering cry, scream or 'switch off' so they can' be roused. Wriggling and squirming sessions happen to most newborns on occasions

It is fine to let her sleep when she wants without the persuasion to wake and feed again - there's no concern about health, growth or intake so no need to persist with the ticking and so on. This is not nice for a small baby and the sound sleep she goes into may be her way of resisting this excess stimulation - would be different if she was not feeding well or often enough, of course.

You're right to drop any expction of long gaps between feeds. An hour or two is fine - sometimes she may 'cluster feed' with gaps of much less.

'Perfect' latch does not normally hurt - you might want to get that checked again.

Hope this helps.

Gilby Sun 05-Jul-09 23:27:26

Thanks tiktok. The wriggling and grumbling lasts literally all night- and eventually leads to crying. It's usually much worse if she hasn't opened her bowels that day- she sometimes goes for 2 days without having a poo but they are normal colour and consistency so not worried about that. She also pulls her legs up and makes fists of her hands. Also frequently brings up pockets of air despite having been thoroughly burped after feeds. But yes, odd that she doesn't scream.
Will get latch checked again- to be fair, I have told all the BF counsellors that it really hurts when she first latches on, then eases after a minute- they say this can be very normal. It feels like she's clamping her chops round a bruised area but really, I don't mind so much as long as she's healthy and well.

tiktok Mon 06-Jul-09 09:06:15

I can see this is puzzling, Gilby. Is she wriggling and grumbling in her sleep? She must be, surely, at least some of the time, because in your first post you say she wakes twice for she must be asleep first The crying would be normal as babies may cry when they wake wanting a feed.

It's unusual for a baby of 3 weeks to go two days without a poo but not significant if she is healthy in all other respects...but she is only 3 weeks so that makes me think there is not a reliable pattern yet. The increase in wriggling could be illusory, really - you are keen to see a pattern, understandably.

Babies pull their legs up and bunch their hands as part of normal movement range - I know there is an idea that it is an inevitable accompaniment to wind, but I am sceptical that it is always so.

It is also normal to burp even after being burped. Babies normally don't need to be burped anyway, though we do it a lot - it's probably just cultural.

The short period of pain you have at the start of the feed is not normal, though it is very common. It should not be a problem at 3 weeks in, but if you can bear it, then trying to seek out someone who can fix it is probably a difficult task as you have been there, done that!

So I suppose I am saying that it's hard to tell whether your concerns are things that will ease off anyway as your baby gets a little older, or if they are to do with some underlying issue with the feeding. It seems too soon to start messing about with your diet, on the very, very small chance your baby is reacting to (for example) cows milk proteins in your milk - this is hard to do and to keep up.

It could well be that the wriggling and grumbling you see at night is just the way she is at the moment - some babies are like this and if she is sleeping at the same time, then she is not in discomfort at all.

What do you think?

Jojay Mon 06-Jul-09 09:16:03

Have you tried swaddling her at night? My ds2 was similar to this, very unsettled at night. To begin with I was convinced it was wind as he thrashed about,knees up to tummy etc, nad I spent hours trying to burp him etc.

Then one day someone lent me one of these and he was transformed.

In hindsight, his twitching and thrashing around was overstimulation and overtiredness, not wind at all.

May be worth a try.

memct Mon 06-Jul-09 13:56:01

I second the swaddling, we swaddled our son from 2 weeks and he stopped waking himself up with flailing arms! He was like a little houdini so needed wrapping up tight but he loved it and did the cutest big long stretch when we unswaddled him in the morning.
It's so hard at this stage esp. when you're beside yourself with tiredness but I'msure your LO will settle down

Gilby Wed 08-Jul-09 14:03:56

hello- we've been trying to swaddle her but she absolutely hates having her arms pinned and struggles against the swaddling- arms are out within a few minutes despite tight swaddling. are the commercial swaddling blankets just flat blankets as mum's made swaddling sheets out of soft cloth- in other words do i need to buy a swaddle sheet?
tiktok, yes, she grumbles and whinges in her sleep but only at night. when she is asleep in the daytime- no noise. in fact, often completely unrousable. the whinging then slowly escalates to crying and she will wake even if just fed- and this is different to her urgent 'give me food now' cry which is very normal during the night. also after feeds in the evening she will wriggle and cry as if in pain, sometimes eased when a burp comes up.

Jojay Wed 08-Jul-09 19:25:31

The commercial swaddle blanket I linked to is more than just a sheet - it has special flaps that hold their arms down and stop them escaping. I could keep ds's arms in with just a blanket.

Jojay Wed 08-Jul-09 19:26:18

That should be

'I could NEVER keep ds's arms in with just a blanket. '

hairymelons Wed 08-Jul-09 20:20:26

Me either, until we got a commercial one and did it up REALLY tight he always wriggled free. Was very happy once wrapped up though.
Think ours were from mothercare

Gilby Fri 10-Jul-09 17:54:22

aha- will try mum's shhets for a couple more days as seems to be slightly better with them but if not then feel trip to mothercare coming on...
thanks all. will keep you posted.

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