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should he be this relentless?

(21 Posts)
moschops Fri 12-Aug-05 14:28:50

my baby is a week old today.......and was born 4 weeks early weighing 6lb 6 and half oz.

was in hospital for 4 days where several members of staff all used their own methods of getting me to breast feed. i expressed for the first two days as he had no sucking reflex and they cup fed him 22 mils Aptamil every 3 hours. (never offered to let me do it and i was too tired/bewildered to ask)

he was having blood glucose tests before every feed (which distressed him), eventually i took matters into my own hands and managed to get my baby to feed from the breast. i was desperate to get out of the hospital as they were offering me no practical (useful) help with his feeding.

i'm finding it hard to cope as my baby has now skipped to wanting a feed every hour, then he messes around when i do put him to the breast. its easier to cope with during the day but at night i'm in tears of frustration, and during the day i can't leave the house with baby as finding suitable places to feed is hard.

this is all a bit of a ramble really but i'm just getting to my wits end. i have no idea if this a normal feeding pattern or if there are problems that need addressing...........i'm getting so close to putting him on bottles because i just can't cope with it. i can't even express milk so my partner can help with the feeds because i just don't have time to before baby wants me again.

if you've got this far and can make any sense of what i just posted then any advice would be welcome.

Frizbe Fri 12-Aug-05 14:39:04

Oh {{{Hugs}}} Moschops, I'm sure someone will have better advice than me, but here's mine anyway.

He shouldn't really need to feed every hour and as he's fussing it sounds like he doesn't want to anyway, but is fussing for another reason, but what eh?

I'd offer a feed every 3 hours if I were you and see how it goes, for personal experience, dd fed more in the evening, so she'd feed say 7.30-8.30pm, yikes a whole hour girls I know! and then again say 9.30-10:30pm before going until 2am, then 4.30am, then 8amish, 10.30amish,12:30ish so you get the drift, but each baby is an individual......dd used to feed for about 15mins to half hour during the day, but like I say the evening feeds were often 1hr....

Maybe he just likes a cuddle when he's griping for attention? or maybe he has a spot of wind? it took 8 weeks and one of my (more experienced) mates to finally locate dd's burping spot?

Have you tried NCT or La Leche League as they're all very supportive of breast feeding and may have some other advice.

Good luck

aloha Fri 12-Aug-05 14:48:09

Oh, you sound so stressed! First, congratulations on your lovely little boy - happy first week's birthday to him. Secondly, more congratulations on getting him to breastfeed - no mean feat with baby that early and with no support. You did so incredibly well.
Thirdly, one week in is a really hard and hormonal time as I recall. Everything seems very difficult and upsetting, even more so if you've had a bit of a traumatic start.
Why do you think he needs a feed every hour? Is it because he fusses and likes to suck? Both my babies did this when they were tired as well as when they were hungry and it really really helped to bundle them up into their buggy/pram and get out of the house. If the baby is fed, pop it into the pram (or a sling) and make a run for it. The likelihood is that he will go to sleep in his buggy or on you and you can get some fresh air and - gulp - maybe even get a coffee and a read of the paper! I agree that if he 'messes around' he's probably not very hungry, but is either tired or wants a snuggle. I know how you feel at night. It's horrible isn't it? My ds was an awful sleeper and I felt like death. I didn't personally find that bottle feeding him formula made him sleep any better though. I do think though that it might help to get someone to take your baby out for a bit. If he's just been fed and is warm and being walked about he should go to sleep (and won't come to any harm even if he doesn't) and you can have a bit of time to yourself to rest, regroup, maybe even express a bit of milk and generally get some perspective back. Your dp or your mum could do this for you this weekend. At night you can also then hand over the baby. Don't assume every cry is a sign of hunger though. Even sucking isn't necessarily hunger!

NotQuiteCockney Fri 12-Aug-05 14:49:52

First of all, congratulations on doing well with breastfeeding, and congratulations on your new baby! You're doing well to be feeding successfully so far, particularly with a small/early baby.

How is his weight gain? How is his wee/poos?

The thing is, no matter how you feed a baby, the early days are hard. They're confused, they don't know day from night. They're not used to eating anything, or pooing or weeing, and it's all a bit of a surprise to them.

If you can just take it as it comes, and feed as often as possible (particularly as it's early days and your DS is small), things will settle down. He will get bigger, he will feed faster, and less often.

There are a few things you can do to get a break. I wouldn't count expressing and using a bottle as one, though - it's a bit early to be mucking about with all that, and from what I know, bottles of anything before 4 weeks can cause nipple confusion. (Not for everyone, but sometimes.)

But yes, what you can do for a break. Are you sleeping with your baby? Or at least sleeping with him as near as possible? Does he sleep in a pram or car? Can your partner take him out for a walk/drive for an hour or two, in the day, so you can sleep? (If DS1 wasn't getting to sleep, when he was tiny, DH used to put him in a sling and take him out for a few hours. Worked wonders.)

moondog Fri 12-Aug-05 14:57:37

Moschops,it's a lovely but very frightening and confusing time.

Firstly,he will need to feed often. That's what gets the supply going so that soon you will be producing exactly what he need much more easily,so sorry Frizbe,but the three hourly advice is wrong at this very early stage.

You need to rest and forget about structure and your previous concepts of normal days. It doesn't matter if you spend all day in bad,all nigt watching tv,whatever. It is for a very short time and you will look back on your little new baby lifestyle with such joy and affetction in the months to come,and like all of us,on some level wish it back.

You need to speak to or see a b/feeding counsellor. Have you rung the ABM? They are lovely people.

0870 401 7711

All babies fuss,whatever and however they're fed. They are demanding little blighters.

Early babies really need the protection that your b/milk can offer them against sickness.

You've had a tough time. Your family need to be looking after you,and we will do the best we can,virtually speaking.


moschops Fri 12-Aug-05 17:42:07

thankyou for your words of support.

he fed at 2.45pm today for 10 mins........slept for 20 mins then fussed and fed for another 10 mins at 3.30pm........dp packed me off to bed and i woke up about 5 mins ago, DS is stirring now so will probably want feeding soon. when i write it down like that i feel much better.

because we are self employed Dp is here with me 24 hrs at the moment and is doing A LOT for me. i've used the kettle twice and the washing machine once since i came home on Monday. my major concern is getting this feeding under 'control' so to speak before he has to go back to work. its the only reason i wanted to leave the hospital as i just couldn't cope without his support. two nights on the ward i cried myself to sleep at 3am through sheer frustration.

i discussed with the midwife about cup feeding ds and she said maybe dp would like to try it to see if ds is happy with it then at least he could do one of the late/early feeds to help me get a longer stretch of sleep.

we do have a b/feeding support group in the next town so if i'm alive enough then maybe i'll go to their drop in on Monday and get some support.

Lolasmum Fri 12-Aug-05 17:51:59

Hi moschops. The early days are hard. My dd1 was 6lb 6ozs when she was born and what you describe sounds similar to how she was. They've got tiny litte tummies at the moment so they don't stay full for long. Still, it does seem as you are having a hard time of it. I got mine to have an expressed bottle earlier than advised (found cup too fiddly). I would get dh to give it to her in the evening when I really was at my witts end. Also, I would take her out in the pram immediatly after a feed and that would make her sleep for longer.

And, are you getting him to burp after every feed? Maybe he has wind which stops him feeding properly and hence he's messing about. If you got him to burp and tried feeding him again he may get fuller and sleep for longer.

Good luck to you.

moschops Fri 12-Aug-05 18:03:12

he's still asleep! and it's now 6pm!

winding has proved to be problematic actually and it seems daddy has the magic touch but he won't always be here to do it for me!

i guess it's just frustrating because its too early to distinguish between when he really wants a feed, when it's a comfort thing and when he needs winding. mind you he tends to bring his milk back up if it's wind.

will keep checking in on your words of wisdom but i feel reassured already......i just need to remember all this at 3 in the morning when it feels like i'm a milk dispenser!

pooka Fri 12-Aug-05 18:08:25

Hi Moschops. I remember calling the NCT breastfeeding support line when dd was about 10 days old because she seemed to be feeding every 20 minutes for about 5 mins a time. Was shattered and desperate for reassurance. Found them to be very sympathetic - and had a good old cry down the phone line as my hormones were all over the place. 0870 444 8708 is their number or go to for info. They may be able to help.
In my experience, it does all settle down and come good in the end. You sound like you're doing brilliantly after a shaky start in hospital - poor you

moondog Fri 12-Aug-05 18:18:06

moschops,glad we've cheered you up a bit. You have to get sleep as and when you can. Forget about the idea of 8 hour stretches for now. Think of youself as a sort of Ellen MacArthur navigating stormy waters,napping in snatches,in search of a safe and calmer place!


harpsichordcarrier Fri 12-Aug-05 18:20:49

just to add my congratulations on your new baby and on breastfeeding this far against the odds. It seems to me like you're doing wonderfully.
Do you know anyone in your local NCT branch? They should be able to find you a bf counsellor who would be able to help you (trained). Also, If you could possibly go somewhere where they will watch you bf over a longer period, say a day or an afternoon - there might be a faclity for that at a local hosp. Again, your NCT branch should be able to help.
it might be just normal (and tbh lots of things are normal in the early days, and it's still ealry days) but if they were able to watch you over a period of time they would be able to tell.

pooka Fri 12-Aug-05 19:15:07

Love the Ellen McArthur analogy Moondog. That's exactly how it was!

milward Sat 13-Aug-05 01:02:52

Hello moschops - I'm on the sept thread as well. Congrats on your baby I'd call an nct bf counsellor - see their www page. Talk through what's happening - it will really help.
Well done for getting bf going. Your little one will bf 8-12 tims in 24 hrs - sometimes for short periods other times for an hour or more. Let him find is rhythm. He is sorting out the supply & demand of milk - the more he bf the more he will get. He might be preparing for a growth spurt.
Could you try a babymoon - stay in bed 24 hrs just to be with your babe & bf. Let your dp do everything else.
dd3 is crying will post more tomorrow. Best wishes xxx

Miaou Sat 13-Aug-05 03:15:20

hi there mosschops, congratulations on your ds and on persevering with the b/feeding so far!

my ds, born at term, is 12 days old just now and is only just developing some sort of routine with spaced feeds. Yesterday was the first time he went more than 2 hours between feeds! Up until then he would frequently feed for 2-3 hours in a 10 min on, 20 mins off way. And yes, everything seems worse at 3am - particularly if bf is still uncomfortable!

But atm I am despite the time, because ds will now sleep for about three/four hours between feeds. Persevere for a bit longer, Mosschops, you've nearly got to the end of the hardest bit. There's some great advice on here.

welshmum Sat 13-Aug-05 08:07:15

Moschops - can't add much to the great advice you've got here but just wanted to say that my ds is almost 12 weeks now and though it's hard to imagine in the early days it really does get easier - hang on in there. All the best x

mumtosomeone Sat 13-Aug-05 08:19:10

first of all congratulations! Now baby is only a week. He has alot to get used to and so do you. What is your midwife like? Mine was wonderful, talk to her! Next yes this is normal. Try to relax when its feeding time. if he is restless take him off ( PUT YOUR LITTLE FINGER IN TO STOP THE SUCK!) then try again! turn him so his tummy is towards yours and his nose is to your boob. Tease him a little if ness. to get him interested!
When he is latched on (old wifes tale alert!!!) rub his feet...encourages sucking!...good luck

hermykne Sat 13-Aug-05 08:26:20

well done so far
its hard these first weeks but it will settle as the others say
my hv advised me not to express for at least 4 wks til your supply is well established and baby is feeding more consistently
have you spoken to any of the breastfeeding groups on the phone - its so handy , i know you hope to go to a group meeting on monday
please ring ABM? They are lovely people.
0870 401 7711
or LLL or the NCT

you can cry to them and they'll understand exactly where its coming from.

my ds was a fussy feeder too and i was wrecked as well as dd bouncing around but it will settle

KiwiKate Sat 13-Aug-05 09:13:07

Well done Moschops. You are doing a great job. Remember you DS was 4 weeks early. Early babies tend to feed more often anyway. My ds (now2.3yo) fed every two hours day and night for 6 weeks. I don't think it would have been any different if we had given formula.

They are so little, and their tummies are tiny. Also, as you've seen from the other bf thread, many others have found their babies fed with similar frequency in the early days.

I know you feel like a milk cow (I did anyway), but this stage does pass. (Remind me of this on the September thread when my second one arrives )

Bottle feeding can be a lot of work too (washing bottles, sterilising, measuring, taking formula with you wherever you go etc).

You've already used the washing machine! you are doing well. With my first I didn't go near it for three months!

moschops Sat 13-Aug-05 12:33:50

last night was another hard night he fed almost constantly from 2 till 4.30 stopping for two nappy changes and one toilet stop for me. i did end up crying, but stuck with it and finally woke dp up to see if he could settle ds. he did and i got 3 hours sleep.

this morning ds fed again at 8 for 20 mins and has just had his lunchtime feed and settled for a nap.

even though last night was hard it was made MUCH easier by having the knowledge that this is perfectly normal.

milward Sat 13-Aug-05 13:12:43

Hello Moschops - sorry to say it is usual and also to acho what others have said - you're doing a great job
My dd1 bf almost constantly & didn't need sleep!! I was beyond exhaustion. The only way I could cope with it was to say that it was just how it was & I had to go with it not fight it. After 3 months I was a wreck & dh had a car accident (he was ok) as he was so tired. We went to stay with pil & dd co-slept. The best night we'd had - she co-slept everynight until 10 months; same for my others. Just to add all my friends had babys that slept through the night & had to be woken to feed. I had the tough time at the start but they had a tough time later.
Take care of yourself - treat yourself nice. Best wishes xxx

pooka Sat 13-Aug-05 13:26:14

Ditto Milward re: friends having sleeping babies early on that turned into nonsleeping babies later. dd didn't sleep through until 10 months but now, by and large, is brill.
I'm sure loads of people have said this, but... sleep when Lemmy sleeps. Maybe try having him next to you in bed so at least you can have a lie down. Get lots of videos to watch and just curl up on the sofa whenever you can. Be good to yourself. And above all, remember that his sleeping/feeding patterns wouldn't necessarily be any better if he was on bottles.
The first 6 - 8 weeks are honestly the hardest, and it will feel like forever at the time, but IT WILL PASS and IT WILL GET BETTER. Good luck xxxx

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