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First time new mum - feel like I am getting it wrong!

(22 Posts)
hayesgirl Thu 08-Sep-11 17:56:57

my baby boy is almost 3 weeks old and I am obviously over the moon to have him but feel like I don't know what I am doing half the time! I have lost quite a bit of confidence since his birth (which was quite traumatic).

I am breastfeeding and he just seems to want to feed all the time the last few days. Luckily at night it's about every 2-3 hours - thank goodness!

Anyway he cries sometimes and I don't have a clue what's wrongwith him! He's just fed and had his nappy changed but still crying for more food I assume because if I put him back on the breast he feeds again! Sometimes I think it's wind but he winds fine and he doesn't bring his knees up like he has tummy ache! I just wish he could tell me!

My hubby and midwife said they think I am doing well and am a "natural" but I just feel completely out of my depth! Baby is doing well tho. Didn't lose any weight first week and at 11 days had put on another 5oz.

Just venting really because people I talk to don't really understand and just say I'm doing a great job!

ginmakesitallok Thu 08-Sep-11 18:04:27

Babies cry because apart from eating, sleeping and pooing, it's all they can do. Trust me - once he hits about 4 and is able to whinge at you for what he wants you will look back at these days with a smile.

I remember with DD1 just thinking "if I manage to keep her alive til health visitors next visit I'll be doing ok" - she's nearly 8 now and still alive grin. Be kind to yourself - the reason they don't come with a manual is because NO-ONE knows all the answers

Notquitegrownup Thu 08-Sep-11 18:06:03

Vent away. Being a first time mum was, IME, hugely stressful. I remember telling a friend that I felt as if I was at the helm of a jumbo jet (full of passengers). We had taken off OK, but I have just remembered that they didn't tell me how to land!!

However, feeding all the day and every 2-3 hours at that age does sound v normal. And if after a feed, and a nappy change your ds is still hungry, then you are doing the right thing offering him more. Start feeding from the breast you last fed from, as he will be down to the more creamy milk, rather than the watery foremilk, which is thirst quenching but not so satisfying in terms of filling up little tummies.

It's a bit early to worry about colic, but you will know if that crying becomes a piercing scream, straight after every feed. Then you can experiment with colief etc.

I had two dss - two milk monsters - who both fed like this for months. It's exhausting, but sooo worth it.

And keep on posting. You will find lots of support here, for all of the adventures which lie ahead.

cricketfan Thu 08-Sep-11 18:13:17

Hurrah! Someone who is brave enough to admit that they don't know what they are doing.

I had my twins last July and felt exactly like this.

Everyone around me kept saying what a natural I was and how well I was coping. My husband even played cricket the first Sunday after I came out of hospital.

On the outside I was Little Miss Competent, on the inside I was a mess.

You probably are doing really well, just try to relax (not that I ever do). Your DS seems to be thriving so don't worry (again, not something I can do).

Have you seen your Health Visitor yet? Are they going to invite you to a Postnatal Group? This was a godsend for me. The actual information they give you is not always that helpful/relevant but meeting other mums in the same situation was brilliant.

It does get easier. Even though my two can't talk in sentences I now know what they (don't) want most of the time (although today has been the exception).

Harecare Thu 08-Sep-11 18:18:46

It sounds as if you really are doing a great job! He cries, you feed him and he stops. Job done! If he's cluster feeding it's good as hopefully he'll stock up and give you a good nights rest.

hayesgirl Thu 08-Sep-11 18:21:49

Well it's a massive relief to know that the feeding habits seem normal!

I saw the health visitor at day 9 and she seemed happy. She did give me details of a local breastfeeding group which the midwife also recommended. I usually don't like these types of things but have been considering going - that is when I can manage to get out of the house before lunchtime!

I thought I was going a bit mad and there have been times when I have just sat and cried. Was just looking at some of the threads on here and it's clear that plenty of people are in my shoes!

Thanks x

InmaculadaConcepcion Thu 08-Sep-11 18:57:58

You sound like a lovely mum who's doing fine but needs a confidence boost!

Do try Dr Karp's 5S technique for comforting your LO - it really does work.

And congratulations - it's a mad emotional roller-coaster being a new mum, but don't worry, things will settle down in time.

lostlady Thu 08-Sep-11 19:37:27

This is really normal. V scary being in charge of new human! Think loads of us felt like this- but sounds like you are lovely mummy, so try just to enjoy the tiny baby stage; you will be amazed how quickly it goes by

mololoko Thu 08-Sep-11 19:39:55

It's really hard work. As Harecare said, if feeding (or just suckling) keeps him happy then do that. he's building up your supply. It doesn't go on forever. Learn to feed lying down if you possibly can - keep trying, it gets easier as they get bigger - and you can get much more rest/doze.

DS fed for about 16 hours a day for the first month. Luckily, thanks to advice from here I knew that was perfecty normal. Wish I'd known that when I had DD.

Harecare Thu 08-Sep-11 19:45:59

By the way, if your BF group coincides with when he is asleep, all the better as you can then go along, drink tea and chat to the other new Mums who will all be experiencing the same problems. It is tempting to think of these sorts of groups as only time for your baby to interact with other babies, but at 3 weeks that isn't important, you meeting other new Mums in the same boat is.

Junebugjr Thu 08-Sep-11 21:51:33

The first Few weeks of breastfeeding are gruelling. There is no such thing as separate 'feeds', just one long daily feed, sometimes spaced out in the night. I wish I was told what to expect, as you just assume it's every 2-3 hrs. With dd1 it came as a surprise, but with dd2 I expected my arse to be glued to the sofa for at least 4-5 weeks, and made the most of it with loads of cake and tea, with DVDs. Don't try rushing to get back to normal either, which is another massive bugbear, just rest up and get to know your baby. Sometimes I think women are expected to get back to 'normal' life asap, with no recognition given to the trauma their bodies have suffered, and the lifechanging role that has landed on them.
For me, both for dd's 1&2, it took a couple of months before I was fully confident with them, and even then I didn't know what they wanted half the time. It's not you that's the problem, it's the nature of babies! Someone on mumsnet described it as 'having a very small demanding foreign person to stay'

Junebugjr Thu 08-Sep-11 21:55:34

Btw, in my experience, feeding starting spacing itself out around 4-5 weeks. And now at 16 weeks, it's 10 mins on one side with a few sucks on the other every 4 hours, and just once in the night. At 3 weeks she was ALWAYS on them!

Casmama Thu 08-Sep-11 22:03:54

When the are this little it is really a process of elimination and once you have tried everything you can think of just start at the beginning again. I know you feel like you don't know what you are doing but honestly every one feels the same and it does get easier. People are telling you you are doing a good job because you are trying hard and learning things everyday about your baby. You will get to know your baby better than anyone else.
I have to say postnatal groups were a life saver for me as they really gave me a social life on mat leave and even if they are not people you would naturally have been drawn to, you have such an important thing in common that you will be talking about baby poo in no time. My ds just turned 2 and I am still in touch with 5 women I met when he was born so give it a try - if you don't like it, don't go back.

beckieperk Fri 09-Sep-11 07:49:15

I feel exactly the same - honestly. I could have written the post myself - it is literally word for word what I am thinking - except my husband went fishing first weekend out of hospital!!! I am so glad you have been so honest....it's refreshing and a real help to me just to know I'm not alone. My dd is now 6 weeks old, still alive, 12lbs - and still putting on weight. I have now discovered however that my lo has colic so have started treating for this. It doesn't sound like your lo has this though.
I feel exactly the same as all my friends/family etc keep saying how great I am how I look like an expert already and how it is completely natural to feel the way I do, but I just want to scream at them to help me - not praise me!!!
I also keep the mantra my dad told me in my head "Don't try and beat the storm, just learn to dance in the rain!"
And lets face it, it really won't be forever will it?!?!
Big hugs coming your way. Try and keep smiling!!! :-)

hayesgirl Fri 09-Sep-11 13:52:32

Thanks again for the lovely reassuring comments. Having a much better day today,, managed to tidy up briefly and get out of the house for an hour! Think it made a difference expressing so that hubby could do a night feed - don't feel quite so sleep deprived today! Thanks again! Xx

GetOffOfMyCloud Fri 09-Sep-11 13:58:21

I can't speak from experience as DC1 isn't due for another few weeks yet, but I read somewhere a little while ago that sometimes babies cry just because it's all a little confusing, scary and they are overwhelmed after spending the last 9 months all snuggly and warm in the womb (it was something along those lines). I am hoping that I can just remember that when my turn comes.

SenoritaViva Fri 09-Sep-11 14:04:00

Dd is 4. Sometimes it still surprises me that I am a Mum (I think 'who let that happen') and think back of my mum when I was younger and think she was so much more 'with it'. Talking to her she felt the same. I also think many of my friends and brilliant and really together but many of them feel the same. Don't worry, it sounds like you're DH and midwife are right! Right now trust them not yourself!

vineyard Sat 10-Sep-11 16:31:17

you're not doing anything wrong being a first time mum myself with a 2 month old. regarding the breastfeeding the milk has only now started to be plentiful. And with the newborn just coming from the womb it is an adjustment period for food and familarization of environment

piprabbit Sat 10-Sep-11 16:37:08

I found it really useful to join a group (not usually a joiner really), the BFing one up thread sounds good or you could see if the NCT is running a post-natal course in your area.

It isn't always the content that's important - but the chance to meet people in a similar position. And one day a week in diary where your have to get out of the house (well not exactly have to, would like to) is a really useful goal to have and can help set a pattern which makes life feel a little more structured and normal.

You sound very normal and loving and caring - just a little overwhelmed (and there isn't a single new mum who isn't).

scampbeast Sat 10-Sep-11 16:45:07

I remember wishing that someone had told me at the time that that was just the way it was with BF. Everyone seemed to go on about 3-4 hours for feeds so I thought I was messing up. The groups are great as there will be other mums going through the same thing and you all get to have a moan then the relief of hearing that others are going through the same thing or have survived it. You can also get some good tricks which people just assume everyone knows but don't tell you.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 10-Sep-11 16:46:50

You are doing nothing wrong, like others have said he cries, you feed him, he stops. Whats wrong with that?

The weight gain is also fantastic so well done for that.

Do try to get along to the Bfing Group, hopefully you'll meet some local Mums and Mums-to-Be and see that what you are feeling is perfectly normal and so is what your LO is doing. There is nothing stopping you going to more than one group either if you are lucky enough to have a choice where you live. Have a look here for local Bfing Groups.

Dr Karps shushing techique has already been posted, do try that, its fab.

Have a read of What to expect in the early weeks too as everything you have described is normal.

If you want a break in the evening try feeding him then getting DH to bathe and change him, swaddle him and try the shushing technique. Obviously feed him again though if he wants it. It would be a good time for them to bond and will give you time to do what you want for a while.

You might also find this useful for dealing with nightimes.

jspark123 Sat 10-Sep-11 18:22:21

This is a mirror image of me too! My son is 3 weeks old, feeding all day pretty much with hourly feeds most of time, then 2-3 hourly in night, feel tearful at times when he just won't settle to sleep and one feed rolls into the next, he only naps briefly it seems and it is very wearing! Good to hear this is normal, and they are supposed to have a growth spurt at 3 weeks. Managed to meet up with post natal group this week which I agree is invaluable! Going to try and get to breast feeding group next week.

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