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growth spurt or genuinely not getting enough milk?

(7 Posts)
bethdivine Sun 09-Aug-09 10:10:34

DD is 17wks and for the last 10 days has been feeding a lot more frequently. I know this is classic growth spurt time, also that babies become more distracted and may feed more frequently to make up for it. She's also started waking 5-6 times a night, having settled into a lovely pattern of just waking for one feed anytime between 2-4am - or sometimes even going till 6-7am.

I know sleep can go wrong at 4months - having experienced it with DS and suffered it for 2yrs with DS and can't face going through the same again. Does it get to a stage where your body genuinely can't produce enough milk as they grow or is this a prolonged growth spurt? She's a big baby, 9lb 9oz at birth and still up on the 91st centile, I don't know if this makes a difference? I've never seemed to have a problem with milk supply, always seems to be plenty and her growth has been steady.

I've known people give up on BF at this stage and introduce a bottle as they said they weren't producing enough milk and always thought in hind sight that they probably just didn't know about growth spurts, so introduced the bottle when the feeding pattern changed, so that the body wasn't given those few days to start making the extra milk, so there then genuinely wasn't enough milk, but now I'm starting to wonder...? anybody offer some advice before I start sterilising? - BF hasn't been as easy this time around, so I can't face the thought of spending even more time on the sofa whilst DS watches even more cbeebies as well as more night wakings. I just want to enjoy my babies without this constant worry about BF, whether she's going to feed well or struggle at the breast before/during a feed and having done 17 wks, wonder if it's time to start mixed feeding? any advice/experience of similar most welcome, thanks

OmniDroid Sun 09-Aug-09 10:30:53

I'll bump for you in hope of some advice too!

I'm experiencing the same with my DD, though she's 22 weeks, so a bit bigger. Gone from just one night waking (4am) to 5-6 wakings, and wanting to feed every time.

We've had 3 years of hell with DS's sleep, and I was so overjoyed to get a 'sleeper' this time round. I can't face the idea it may all go to pot.

FWIW, I don't think it's anything to do with milk supply - I have enough milk to feed the world (massive oversupply), but she still wants to feed and feed and feed at the moment.

PinkTulips Sun 09-Aug-09 10:47:26

Hate to say it but in my experience it lasts until they start getting enough solids to fill them up... 7/8 months depending on baby. Then bf decreases drastically and suddenly you're only feeding 3 times a day.

I've fed 3 babies, they all hit this point at 4 months, both the good sleeper and regular feeder and the 2 who were disasters at sleeping and mammoth feeders anyway.


I won't preach as if you feel you'd be a better mother to both your kids by mixed or ff then obviously that's the right choice for you but i will say that although it's exhausting at the time it does pass and when normality resumes (as much as it ever can with kids) i have always been glad i ploughed through and did it. I really enjoy feeding them from about 8 months on, it becomes a pleasure and i don't think my older 2 have suffered that badly for a bit of benign neglect, they have a wonderful ability to play pretend games and amuse themselves and their speech is fantastic... and judging by the accents they speak with that might be more to do with tv than with me blush

DitaVonCheese Sun 09-Aug-09 10:47:35

I think what sets the 16 wk growth spurt apart is that most last 48 hrs while this one goes on and on and on - it was easily a month, maybe longer, for us, and I really missed the 2 hrly wakings when she started waking every 45 minutes! We did get through it though, and ebf to 26 wks and still feeding now (NAK in fact) at 10 mos.

So imo a bottle is unlikely to help with sleep etc though could mean someone else could do some of the feeds (or could give ebm) I suppose, if that helps. Do you have a sling? May give you a bit more freedom.

Congrats on getting this far and good luck - it does pass!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 09-Aug-09 11:01:42

This is what happened for me too. DS was sleeping through and then suddenly started waking every 1.5/2 hours.
I think you just have to go with it and not restrict feeds as that only creates potential supply problems. I found that things gradually improved over a period of about 6 weeks but that DS' sleeping didn't really settle down again until he was 9 months or so and getting a decent amount of solids (carbs, protein). For me it was worth persevering. Once we got to 8 months he started to drop feeds during the day, and suddenly life was incredibly easy. I have really enjoyed feeding since 6/7 months and am still going at just over a year.

bethdivine Sun 09-Aug-09 14:14:22

thanks for the replies. i suppose I just have to decide then if i can cope with much more of this. DS really isn't getting a look in at the moment and as important as it is to me to BF DD, I don't want to be bloody minded about it to the exclusion of everything else that's important to me. I suppose I feel a guilt thing that I managed to BF DS until he was 12mo and feel I should do the same with DD. - It wasn't always easy with DS either, but I kept on going, as i felt I'd be failing if I gave up. This time I just need to make the decision as to when to stop for the right reasons.
thank you smile

DitaVonCheese Sun 09-Aug-09 23:03:12

It may be worth starting a new thread asking other mums who have bfed two (or more!) babies for advice maybe? It can be so all-consuming at times, and someone might have some good advice

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