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Do I continue to Breast feed????? (sorry it's long)

(26 Posts)
burstingbug Fri 03-Jun-05 22:16:38

Hi All,
I currently breastfeed my 14 and a half week DS every 2 hours, some times he only feeds for an few seconds at a time before pulling away from the breast arching his back and looking around then forcefully going back on to the nipple. This can continue for 10 minutes or so until I get frustrated and give up and try the other breast, sometimes this will work and he'll feed for about 5 minutes or so without a problem.
He always appears hungry and eagar to feed, he's always sucking his fists, thumb and my arm and doing the tounge thing.
Am I producing enough milk for him?? This is the question I have been asking myself since he was a few weeks old. He was given a night time formula feed when he was about a month old, but I gave up on that as he always came back to the breast for more and to settle down to sleep.
I'm not sure what to do now, especially since he was gaining 4-6ozs a week and now his weight gain has been going up and down for the past 4 weeks. He lost an oz this week but had put on 6.5ozs the week before.
Sorry this is so long but I don't know what to do.

burstingbug Fri 03-Jun-05 22:31:31

bump

pesme Fri 03-Jun-05 22:35:39

hi

not an expert. but you could have an 'overactive letdown' (i think that is what it is called. i had this when dd was younger. basically the milk comes out too fast and dd couldn't cope with it. there are various ways and methods to cope. but basically i just perservered until dd got used to my fire hydrant boobies. does your boob squirt when ds comes off?

hopefully someone more experience will come on soon. in the mean time have confidence in the boob and try not to get too upset.

Fran1 Fri 03-Jun-05 22:38:34

This sounds quite usual to me. They have growth spurts which would explain difference in weight gain each week.

He's getting to a "nosy" stage, i'd imagine thats why hes having a look around after a short feed.

burstingbug Fri 03-Jun-05 22:39:38

No, Milk does not squirt out, at least it hasn't for a while. My breasts never feel full at anytime either, but I know the is milk lurking in there as I can pinch the nipple and milk appears.

LeahE Fri 03-Jun-05 22:40:41

DS does that if he's more or less emptied the breast, but also if he's got trapped wind or something else bothering him, or if he's not feeling particuarly hungry right then.

At 14 weeks they are starting to suck fist, thumbs and anything they can get near their mouths whether they are hungry or not, so it's no longer a reliable sign like it was when they were smaller.

You could try burping him more just in case. And maybe try spacing out the feeds a bit more to 3 hours or so between them so that he's hungrier when you offer him the breast.

You could also try calling the NCT breastfeeding helpline and see what advice they give you (you don't have to be a member).

morocco Fri 03-Jun-05 22:43:57

oh hello
I wanted to post but thought some of our more expert bf people might be around. When I think about my children, I was breastfeeding less often at 14 weeks, around every 3-4 hours. Perhaps he is just not hungry all the time, thinks it's a nice idea but just wants a snack sometimes? You could try spacing out the feeds a little more. At his age, they often like to put their hands in their mouths and suck but it isn't necessarily a sign of hunger.
The other things I thought of when I read your post were that you have done fantastically well to have breastfed for 14 weeks already - you are an expert yourself you know even if it might not feel that way.
Is there any reason why his weight gain is particularly important _ I mean was he low birthweight or anything? If not, if it were me I would try to relax (I know, easier said than done) about the weight issue unless it was showing a definite pattern of decreasing weight that meant he was dropping on the percentile chart. So long as he seemed happy, weeing normally etc. Perhaps he's just had a growth spurt?
The only other thing I wondered is if he could be teething as sometimes when they pull away, it's because something in their mouth is hurting. But is he unhappy when he pulls off or just having a good look round?
Sorry - this is a bit 'stream of consciousness' - last thing at night and I'm knackered - hope it waas a little bit helpful

morningpaper Fri 03-Jun-05 22:44:24

Is he complaining, or is he just interested in what's going on around him? Does he do this at night (in the dark) as well as in the day, where there is stuff to see?

hunkermunker Fri 03-Jun-05 22:45:52

Hi hun

At about this age, babies get more aware of the world - I found that just as bfeeding was established and going beautifully (placid baby sucking well and then falling asleep in my arms) DS was suddenly very interested in the world beyond the boob - and he wanted to see it at all times. Even a bit of wall or my arm would distract him from feeding - but I reckoned that since he'd not really seen many walls or arms, no wonder he was interested!

With the weight gain, DS did this too - he lost some weeks and gained others - eventually I stopped taking him to be weighed as the social aspect of going to the clinic (I used to have a proper social life - lol!) was being outweighed by my HV clucking unhelpfully at me about offering vegetable purees (because obviously there are so many calories in a carrot...!).

Is he a happy baby? Does he produce a lot of wet nappies (and some dirty ones - but it's normal for a breastfed baby to go up to ten days when they get past the first (I think) six weeks or so, you just might not want to be the one changing THAT nappy!)?

A lot of women worry they're not producing enough milk, especially after the first "OMG my boobs are going to pop" supply establishing weeks are over - if you are feeding him solely breastmilk, he's happy and contented and developing, I would say he's fine.

HTH - remember, your body nourished him for the time you were pregnant with him - trust it to do it now xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

burstingbug Fri 03-Jun-05 22:48:29

I always check for wind, change the nappy, give him a boring wall to look at while i try to feed.etc etc
I try to leave more than 2 hrs between feeds but he just gets really grouchy and cries.
I go to a breastfeeding support group every week and there is also a HV there, I'm told he's a little and often feeder. But he really is a "little" feeder, its hardly worth getting my breast out for.

morocco Fri 03-Jun-05 22:49:08

oh - there you go - lots more people already
don't worry at all about your breasts not feeling full etc btw - I never had any leaking, no feeling of swelling etc - and still had lots of milk. It really really isn't related.

hunkermunker Fri 03-Jun-05 22:54:23

burstingbug, I would say don't worry too much about weekly weight gain - look at fortnightly or monthly now he's a bit older.

And if he feeds little and often, that's good for his tummy (is harder work for you!) - it sounds like he is a very efficient feeder and can take a lot of milk in a very short time, which is why he's gaining weight. Don't worry about an ounce here and there - if they've just done a really big wee, or had a massive poo that morning, that makes a huge difference (DS used to do this to me - he'd wee copiously on the changing mat before he went in the scales - a good couple of ounces!).

Remember, even a boring wall can be interesting to look at for a baby who hasn't seen many walls!

morocco Fri 03-Jun-05 22:57:23

I'd really recommend trying to space out the feeds a bit - when he starts to grizzle, get out the toys, change the scenery, get someone else to do a bit of entertaining etc. It might be enough to distract him for a bit and then he might forget about his snack. how does he feed at night btw?

burstingbug Fri 03-Jun-05 22:59:07

He was 8lb 3ozs at birth and is now 13lb 6ozs, he went from being on the 75th centile for ages and is now a bit below the 50th centile (I know this chart is based on bottlefed infants)
He is having plenty of wet nappies, he can go up to a week without a poo.
He's like this pretty much all times of day.
He is also a clingy baby and will whinge at being put down under his play gym or in his bouncy chair altough not evey time.
He is very mummy dependent.

mears Fri 03-Jun-05 23:04:49

burstingbug - some babies are incredibly efficient feeders and get all they need in 5 minutes. Congratulations at still feeding at 14 weeks - your milk supply is well and truly established. Your wee one is just getting to that annoying stage of being too interested in other things around him. You are doing the right thing by stopping the feed when he get s like that. Also the fist sucking thing is a normal stage of development. Babies 'feel' with their mouths. It is called the 'oral' phase and is not a sign of hunger.

I would also advise you to stop getting him weighed weekly - monthly is more than enough. His weight will fluctuate and as he gets more active his weight gain will slow down.

Have confidence in yourself and him - you are doing the right thing by continuing to breastfeed him.

burstingbug Fri 03-Jun-05 23:06:05

He's not too bad at night waking wise.
He'll get ready for bed at 7 with a bath and kick time on his play mat, then between 7.30 and 8 I take him to his room and feed him, he'll be ok for a few minutes then might fuss so I'll swop sides and he'll feed a bit longer a fall asleep on me. I put him into his cot where he'll stay sleeping for almost an hr, then he'll start crying and won't settle til I feed him again. By about 10.30 he'll stay asleep until either half 2, or between 4 and 5. On a good night he'll sleep through til almost 8. It'll take several attempts at feeding him and up to 2 hours to get him back to sleep at night.

mears Fri 03-Jun-05 23:06:56

Mummy dependant is also normal and will actually get worse! He would be like that if he was bottle fed too. Eight month old babies are extremely attached to mum. Believe me, you will feel pretty sad when the day comes that they hardly look the road you are on

burstingbug Fri 03-Jun-05 23:31:02

Thank you all for your help and advise. I shall see how things go for a while longer. I will definately try to increase the time between feeds and see if that improves things a bit.
I'm off to let the dog out then I'm off to bed.
Thanks again everyone.
Night night. xxxx

soapyprincess Sat 04-Jun-05 21:51:45

Just wanted to add that milk comes from your brain (ie thinking of feeding will make the letdown happen).

And also breastfed babies shouldn't just be measured on the weight charts alone as you say they are for bottlefed babies. You should take more notice of the length and head measurements. and also the wet and dirty nappies.

I am training to be an NCT BFC so I don't know everything just yet but if you think that you don't produce enough milk then you probably won't. My advice would be to ask someone to check the position you feed in is correct and don't think of anything but feeding so relax and think of the great thing you are doing for your baby.

Take care

roosmum Sun 05-Jun-05 21:09:45

hiya BB
just wondering how things are going for you??
my ds (17 1/2 wks) is also being a pain to bf at the mo, looks hungry often but then refuses the breast & gets v. upset - i remember him doing this a few wks back (bobbing on & off breast, crying @ breast when put to feed, arching away etc) when he was maybe bout same age as your LO - was just a phase it seems...it passed, tho he seems to be doing it again!! think the hand-chewing/sucking thing is realle misleading, as i keep thinking it's hunger when it's prob not...
xxx

Tipex Sun 05-Jun-05 21:46:10

Hi burstingbug, hows it going? I know this has already been mentioned but think trying to space out feeds a bit may really help. I've had loads of trouble lately with my 16 week old DS mainly around sleep(or lack of it!) but also him being whibgey and clingy and just generally unsettled. he was the same in that he fed every 2 hours, often seemed to want more 30mins after i thought hed finished and really distractable. used to hate feeding him in public as it was such a spectacle! I then decided that enough was enough and got him on feeding 3 hourly. It was easier than i thought as could distract him or let him cry a bit 9he never got as upset as I thought he would once he twiged the food wasnt there!!) then once hed gone 3 hours hed feed better and would automatically go longer the next time. he now feeds no more than 3 hourly and will often go longer if I'm not readily available. He seems so much more settled as well, I think he must have had a half full tummy most of the time. I had been told oh its fine hes a regular feeder but to be honset him and me are happier with him like this., He however still manages to get his fill in 5-10mins. My boobs always feel empty these days compared to the early weeks when they are always bursting, especially at night and I cinstantly worry about my supply but it must be fine. Oh, also, I have only had DS weighed once since week 4 (BAD MOTHER!!) but he looks chunky enough, is growing out of his clothes and wees and poos so I'm not going to. The HV says this is fine, shes happy that he looks so well. He had slipped from 25th to 9th centile on the weights hes had but again, BF babies often do so dont worry. Its such a minefield of emotion isnt it? never know if we're getting it right or not. I guess whatever we are anxious about this month will have changed to a whole new anxiety next month!! Hope things settle for you. xx

morocco Sun 05-Jun-05 21:53:40

how's it going?

burstingbug Sun 05-Jun-05 22:24:40

Hello,
I am still breast feeding although I have given him a formula bottle at bed time for the past 3 nights, 1st night he wasn't having a bar or it, last night he had 5ozs and tonight he had 3 ozs then threw it up and pooed a hell of a lot. Grrrrrr!
He has been unbeliveably clingy and cried most of today - its been hellish!
I wanted to do the 3 hr gap between feeds but its not worked. He's still being fussy at the breast
I don't know if he's over tired or hungry half the time .

burstingbug Mon 06-Jun-05 21:43:01

Just thought I'd give you another update.
DS had an evening and a bedtime bottle feed and fed really well with them with no fuss or bother and was content afterwards. He was sleeping by the time he'd finished his bedtime bottle
I'm going to give him a morning bottle tomorrow and see how that one goes. If he doesn't fuss and is happy after that, then I think it is time to say good bye to breast feeding.
I think we'll both be happier in the long run. I can't keep putting both of us through the stress of bresat feeding because its not fair.

roosmum Tue 07-Jun-05 11:04:26

hello bb,
glad to hear that things are happier for you
& if bottle feeding works for you two, then i guess it's the way forward! & your LO has had the benefits of your milk untili now, so you can feel proud of your boobs! clever things aren't they?
hope all works out!
xxx

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