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Endless breastfeeding!

(49 Posts)
mhorne Wed 22-Jun-05 18:52:45

Hi,I am in need of help. Have a 3 week old DS. Today he started to have a feed at about 3pm, and I have hardly been able to get him off again until now. Is this normal? He lost 8oz of his birth weight in the first couple of weeks and I have had to start giving him a couple of formula bottles to bulk him up (advised by HV.) Can I take this as a good sign that he is trying to feed himself up, or am I doing something wrong?

starlover Wed 22-Jun-05 18:54:37

very normal!
tb i would stop the formula feeds. ALL babies lose weight to start with. and do remember that the centile charts are based on bottle fed babies.

you will produce more than enough milk for your little one... and as you have found out he will feed as much as he can if he needs it!

the hot weather is probably making him feel thirsty so he is drinking more! and if he's been feeding this long then you must be producing enough milk!

aloha Wed 22-Jun-05 19:06:05

It's totally normal mhorne. He is building up your supply by all this sucking. If I were you adn wanted to breastfeed long term I would also stop the bottles now. It's normal for babies to lose weight. How much does he weigh now?
I am assuming here that you don't have painful cracked nipples which might indicate that the latch is wrong.

Tipex Wed 22-Jun-05 19:06:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SenoraPostrophe Wed 22-Jun-05 19:06:40

yup - ds did that. I have no idea how much weight he lost after birth though.

It probably isn't a problem, but on the other hand, endless feeding can be a sign that baby is not latched on correctly. Can you get someone to check? If latched correctly then i agree you should drop the formula if you can.

hunkermunker Wed 22-Jun-05 19:10:02

Three weeks is classic growth spurt time - drop the bottles, have confidence in your body and let him feed when he wants - you're doing a fab job!

starlover Wed 22-Jun-05 19:10:33

sorry to hijack.. but did you see my update thread hunker?

mhorne Wed 22-Jun-05 19:22:53

God, thanks for all the advice. It has made me feel a 100% better. He wasn't exactly a small baby at birth (8pd 5oz) but last week he was 7pd 13oz. He had to spend the first week of life in special care cos he kept on stopping breathing and was having small fits for the first 2 days. This has made me more paranoid I suppose.
Tipex- how do I go about finding a counsellor who would come to my home. I spoke to one on the phone but I didn't realise they would visit. I am presuming my latch isn't right, although I don't have sore nipples.

aloha Wed 22-Jun-05 19:30:12

I wouldn't presume that at all. It is really, really common for small babies to want to feed all day. It's not just the milk - they love the comfort of being in your arms, pressing against your body, smelling you, sucking, enjoying the milk - the whole lovely package. Sorry about the scary start, it sounds as if he is doing well now though. Have you had him weighed again? I normally hate weighing but it might help you feel more confident if you can see his weight going up.

kama Wed 22-Jun-05 19:31:16

Message withdrawn

Rai Wed 22-Jun-05 19:36:58

mhorne, you are doing a great, stick with it, v.normal, babies can't say "breasts I'll have an extra pint please" they just do marathon sucking which induces breasts to produce more milk, could last a few days expecially if as I agree with others you start to cut back on the bottle.

concurr latest research indicates centile charts wrong for bf babies, if ds healthy and responsive don't worry, a friend who works in A+E hosp says only gets concerned by babies that aren't feeding.

Re:latching, is ds poo generally mustard colour with flecks-if so you are probably ok, if mostly green then talk to bf counsellor, your hv may not be up on her breast feeding

It can be exhausting if ds spends the night doing this like mine! There will be more growth spurts to come!

Tinker Wed 22-Jun-05 19:44:02

mhorne - contact NCT or ask your clinic for details of BF counsellors. I visited one at her home last week - instant improvement for me.

katzguk Wed 22-Jun-05 19:48:25

hi i have a 2 week and 3 day old baby and she is feeding lots at the mo too. On sunday she fed bsically all day (with the odd 30mins nap,break) today, its hot again and she has just fed for ages (~2h). She lost weight at first.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 22-Jun-05 19:51:03

mhorne, it sounds perfectly normal. But going to see a BFC might not be a bad idea, or finding a local baby cafe? If you tell us where you are, more or less, we can probably find something for you online? (A group or baby cafe can be a good place to meet other local mums, which is always nice.)

The tricky thing with bfcs is, there are four organisations in the UK with BFCs, and different areas are better for different organisations. The four are: NCT (info on groups, 0870 444 8707, bf hotline 0870 444 8708), LLL (0845 120 2918), BFN (0870 900 8787), and ABM (0870 401 7711).

there are four organisations with counsellors, and generally your

NotQuiteCockney Wed 22-Jun-05 19:51:47

Oh, yes, and an easy way to be sure your DS is getting enough is, is he weeing lots? Is he pooing at least once a day? If so, he's probably fine.

He's probably just really thirsty in this horrible heat.

loobywoof Wed 22-Jun-05 19:59:21

Do you have a local breastfeeding group you can attend? Mine was really useful in the early days and I also made a lot of new friends there. Ours is attended by Peer Supporters who are local mums who have breastfed and have been trained to help other breastfeeding mums. Ours do home visits too.
Just to add to the other posts, what you are going through is totally normal - especially because he is 3 weeks old ( growth spurt) and it is very hot. However if the latch is OK I would be careful to make sure he does not fall asleep at the breast. Tickle his feet etc to encourage him to feed and not drop off to sleep. I also agree that it would be best to drop the formula

Rai Wed 22-Jun-05 20:39:32

p.s. sorry to disagree on one point notquitecockney, as everything you have said I totally agree with, however it is not unusual for bf babies to only poo once in 7 days, hv, and LLL also say this, I know because dd went 6 days without at 3mths she was in no discomfort though, and hv said not to worry, but how can you not worry? anyway dd produced alot the day she poo'ed!

ghost Wed 22-Jun-05 20:51:08

My dd1 was a ' grazer' it was at time like she could feed 20 hours out of 24. she and is still a slim baby / child who only pooed every couple of days, sometimes a lot and sometimes a little. I used to wonder whether she was starting a blackmarket in breastmilk. Interesting (well for me anyway!!) she still eats very slowly and prefers a few small meals rather that
3 regular sized meals. It seems to be more that a coincidence that she grazed as a baby and still grazes a 3 year old. Alot of my paranoia came from other parents who meant well but continually implied that she somehow deviated from the norm. Hope this helps

NotQuiteCockney Wed 22-Jun-05 21:59:53

Rai, only pooing once a week or whatever is normal for breastfed babies - but not in the first weeks. They only start doing this after a month or two. If they're not pooing at least once a day in the early weeks, it can be a sign they're not getting enough. (Obviously if their rate of gain is good, then it's fine, anyway.)

My DS2 went through a phase of only pooing every few days, too.

Rai Wed 22-Jun-05 23:14:02

Thanks Notquitecockney, didn't know that.

clary Thu 23-Jun-05 00:10:42

mhorne my ds1 was born at this time of yr (6 yrs ago!) and it was very hot. Basically he would spend the whole late afternoon/early evening feeding (or so it felt).

Remember this is his only drink as well as food and it is very hot. He's just thirsty.

Kepp going, you're doing great (and agree with others, drop the bottles, he'll keep putting on weight on bf.)

homemama Thu 23-Jun-05 08:19:19

up until he was 7wks old, my DS was on the breast for about 17hours a day! He would be off to sleep for about 20mins then on again for hours.

The NCT BFC was fantastic and assured me that he was latched on properly. She did, however say he was an extremely sucky baby and said that in these circumstances she would recommend a dummy.

We hadn't planned to use one but in all honesty it saved my sanity. I was instructed only to give it to him after I was sure he'd had a full feed. He'd suck it fanatically for a few minutes then spit it out when he fell asleep.

She also said to wean him from it at 3 months when he was in more of a routine but not dependent on it.
This caused us no problems and by that time he had begun to find scrunchy toys more interesting.

My HV had advised formula too but the BFC called it the road of no return. She said to trust my body and my baby and it would be fine - and it was. Just finished BF last mth when he was 6mths and in the end he was having a full feed in 10mins every 4 hrs!
You're doing everything right. Enjoy this time!

MizZan Thu 23-Jun-05 12:47:27

Hi - sorry to be the one dissenting voice here, but when I was breastfeeding my DS (who was born a little small and early and was hungry ALL the time), we did give him a bottle of formula a day, late in the evening. This was really so I could have a break, recover some energy and sleep, also it was nice for my husband to do the feeding once a day. DS was colicky so we were exhausted and I know that without that bottle I would have been even more wrecked.

There was no issue with milk production just from giving him one bottle a day, I really would not get hung up on that. I know this is not the "PC" mumsnetter standard line but you have to think of your own energy levels and sanity as well sometimes. it is really not that much fun to be bfeeding 20 out of 24 hours no matter how much you love your baby!

bighug Thu 23-Jun-05 12:57:42

Re: baby being thirsty and needing to feed more - amazing fact about breastmilk that was told to me by a bfc, in hot weather the milk adjusts and becomes more watery to help quench the baby's thirst.

misdee Thu 23-Jun-05 12:58:44

bighug, i am inclined to believe that. the milk i have been expressing the last few days has been mroe watery, and 'blue' in colour.

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