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11day old cluster feeding for 6 and 7 hours at a time...please advise!

(20 Posts)
mrsbabookaloo Tue 07-Jul-09 00:46:33

Baby is 11 days old, slightly jaundiced, gaining weight OK.

It's not every day: she's done this 3 times so far, just fed and cried and fed and cried and not slept for marathon sessions of 6 or 7 hours.

I know this might be normal, and just something I have to endure, and am glad there are normal days in between (where I'm feeding every 1.5 - 2 hours, with a few longer stretches)

Some background: this is my second baby and i ended up having to mixed feed my first as she didn't gain weight and I had to give in and give formula top ups from 7 weeks.

Am very keen to get it right this time, so whereas last time, we would have thought "she can't possibly need feeding again" and tried to distract her, this time i'm working more on the principle of "if in doubt, feed"

But the problem maybe more to do with wind or poo:she does seem uncomfortable and distressed before she does a poo, and sometimes you finally get a burp out of her and she settles down a bit.

A baby shouldn't be going 6-7 hours without sleeping for more than 10 mins at a time,

Do you think she may just be trying to improve my supply: certainly after these marathon cluster feeds,once she and I have finally slept, my boobs are very full.

I'm wondering if this means my supply is erratic: how can she feed for so long and stay awake and not be sick unless there isn't much milk there on these days? I had poor supply with DD1, so this may be the case.

I guess my questions are:
1. Is this normal or should I be concerned?
2. Is the problem more likely to be with the amount of milk, or with wind/digestion?
3. What should I do, just keep feeding feeding feeding, or take breaks and ty to settle her to sleep in other ways?

Sorry for long incoherent disjointed post and typos,am feeding now and have been since 5pm, and it's now nearly 1am!

Any advice really appreciated.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 07-Jul-09 01:00:24

Additional info: she was a forceps delivery: could this be a factor?

She's just done 2 poos, but still crying and rooting.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 07-Jul-09 01:54:23

After a valiant effort by dh of singing and rocking, she dropped off... for 10 mins and now I'm feeding again.

Will bump again in morning.

idunnop Tue 07-Jul-09 02:42:29

Gosh, you poor thing. No real advice to offer I'm afraid, but I do remember going through exactly the same thing with DD at that age and worrying about my supply. If it's any consolation, it all settled down, her weight gain was good and she never had any formula top-ups - I ended up bfing for over a year.

I'm sure someone will be along in the morning to offer some advice!

mrsbabookaloo Tue 07-Jul-09 03:31:39

Thank you. Despite these probs, I do know that things are going better this time than with dd1: her latch is better and shse is gaining weight.

And with your second, you do have the perspective to know that it won't last forever and will settle down in a few weeks.

It's just what to do in the immediate that I don't know.

Another theory is that she's just overtired and over stimulated and maybe there's sthg we can do at some earlier point to stop it coming to this.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 07-Jul-09 08:18:38

Bumping this for the morning.

She finally gave in at 3:30: 10 hours after it began.

What to do next time?

As I say, I can just endure it and keep feeding her as long as its only every few days, if that's the right thing to do.

Am breaking the rules right now as she has been asleep for nearly 5 hours and I should have woken her to feed her again, but that's OK, surely? Will wake her in the next half hour.

Any advice gratefully received.

idunnop Tue 07-Jul-09 08:29:44

Why are you supposed to wake her - is that because of the jaundice? If there's no good reason I would leave her to sleep personally. Hope you managed to get some sleep yourself - could you grab a bit more now before she wakes up, or do you have to look after your other DD?

notyummy Tue 07-Jul-09 08:37:36

Let her sleep!

Have you had the latch double checked a couple of times (perhaps by La Leche or NCT Bf specialist?)

Make sure you are eating well and drinking loads of water.

It is probably unlikely, but I have seen threads on her from ladies who have gone to a cranial 'manipulator' (sorry, can't think of the right term) after they have had difficult deliveries and babies have been unsettled. Most of them seem to speak highly of the results - I believe it 'realigns' the plates in the skull.

You sound very sane and sensible given the strain you are under. I am by no means an expert - this may come under the 'normal' continuum....but it sounds fairly tough to me. I certainly would have thought that she need more sleep, so anything you could try to encourage that would be good.

Last thought - are you swaddling? Perhaps a good firm swaddle and then a feed may help her drift off.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 07-Jul-09 08:48:24

Hi, morning.

Idunnop - yes, not to let her sleep for more than 3 hours in day or 4 at night, because of jaundice and also because I'm still establishing my supply at this early stage.

I slept and yes, I should sleep some more now, but just wanted to get up and eat and drink sthg before waking her. DH is still around to help with dd.

By the way, are you on a different time zone?

notyummy: I think the latch is OK; as i say she IS gaining weight, and my nips are not too sore, but I will prob go to bfing cafe to have them look at it if this goes on.

I have heard about the cranial osteopathy and might look into it.

As for sane and sensible; the first couple of times she did this, I lost it a bit and got into a panic, and dh and I were shouting at each other and it was all a bit nightmarish; last night was more prepared for it, and more accepting, and kept telling myself it would end eventually, and knowing there would be quiet days in between.

Swaddling - yes, most definitely. DH is in charge of swaddling!

notyummy Tue 07-Jul-09 08:53:49

DH was also in charge of swaddling at our house. He took it very seriously! Not an inch of fabric (or baby!) moved by the time he had finished... wink

idunnop Tue 07-Jul-09 09:03:36

mrsbakaloo - ha ha, yes I feel like I'm on a different time zone at the moment! 2nd baby due very soon and just can't sleep...

DD didn't have a difficult birth (well, difficult for me but not for her!) but she was the same. It improved when I learned to let her cry a bit longer before drifting off to sleep <<bad mummy>>

idunnop Tue 07-Jul-09 09:04:21

sorry mrsbaBOOkalo

tiktok Tue 07-Jul-09 09:08:42

Morning, mrsB

All this sounds on the normal spectrum for a 11 day old baby, though do check with the midwife.

Babies are perfectly capable of getting the sleep they need at this time in weird 'packages' of time - 10 mins here and there in the middle of a feed-a-ton, followed by hours at another time. This is what you have experienced.

She's gaining weight ok, and she is pooing and weeing normally, sounds as if whatever jaundice she had is on its way out....she is fine.

It is easier not to fight this.

Not everyone thinks that tiny babies should be swaddled as closely as you are describing - check with the midwife. It's a question of safety and also of the normality of movement of the hands and arms, particularly. So do ask more about this.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 07-Jul-09 09:09:40

Yes, I'm not afraid to leave a baby to cry, but not when she's so tiny, and also it's harder to do that when you've got a toddler. We live in a small flat, dd's room doesn't have a door, and dd2's cries seem to really echo round the flat. I'm desperately trying to keep her quiet at night!

idunnop Tue 07-Jul-09 09:13:01

totally understand, and DD was older when I tried that. Before 12 weeks I didn't allow so much as a whimper before picking her up and feeding her again blush

tiktok Tue 07-Jul-09 09:17:15

I'm puzzled - why would it be a good thing to leave a baby, any baby, to cry?? Sometimes, it's not possible to attend to a baby straight away, but why would you make a point of not responding?

mrsbabookaloo Tue 07-Jul-09 09:25:37

Hi tiktok, glad you are here!

I think the slight tangent about leaving a baby to cry is a red herring and not relevant now: I'm not leaving her to cry now and wouldn't do at this stage - only meant that later you learn that they sometimes wake and cry for a moment or two and then re-settle themselves.

Anyway thanks for the advice on the feedathon - not to fight it. Regarding sleep: as she had not slept for so long through yesterday afternoon and night, was it OK that I left her longer than 4 hours when she did sleep? I've just woken her at 9am, so she had about 5.5 hours.

tiktok Tue 07-Jul-09 09:36:49

MrsB: a one-off sleep-a-thon after a feed-a-thon is not going to do any harm, but obv is not a good thing to happen routinely with a small baby....sounds like she (and you!) needed that sleep at that time.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 07-Jul-09 10:21:22

Yes, don't want to get into bad habits. So far we have had "normal" days in between.

She only fed for about 20 mins when i woke her at 9am, and has gone into a deep sleep again. I will wake her again in an hour or so.

idunnop Tue 07-Jul-09 10:25:53

sorry - you're right, the crying thing was a bit of a tangent and not relevant in this case. didn't mean to divert the thread.

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