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2 weeks in and struggling, help!

(21 Posts)
firsttimemummatobella Sat 02-Nov-19 20:45:01

This is the first post I’ve ever written but I’ve read lots of supportive threads...
My beautiful DD was born 2 weeks ago and was 4 weeks early. Of course I know that newborns wake a lot in the night but I’m really struggling with the lack of sleep.
She wakes every 1-2 hours for a feed in the night (I’m bf-ing) and sometimes the feeds last an hour! One of my nipples is so sore that I dread feeding her, especially when I’ve just woken up. I do manage to sleep when she does but I’m so worried about falling asleep with her in my arms that I often wake up panicking. I don’t want to co-sleep - at the moment she sleeps in a Moses basket next to me.
My DP is amazing and changes nappies etc in the night if she needs it which is a massive help.
Basically I just want some reassurance that this doesn’t last forever and any advice on what I can do!

moreismore Sat 02-Nov-19 20:49:02

It won’t last forever but could last a good while longer. It’s obvs your decision to co sleep but I’d recommend reading the safe co sleeping guidelines from lullaby trust in case that changes your mind.
Constant night feeding is normal but lots of nipple pain is not. If it’s just one side it may be that your baby has tight neck and is less comfortable feeding one side. You may want to see a Chiro or osteo with a special interest in children. I’d recommend finding a local bf support service to check latch also. Hang in there! You’re doing a great job. flowers

Greedytiger Sat 02-Nov-19 20:52:11

My DS was like this. Feeds shouldn’t really last an hour, it’s likely she has finished feed and is just comfort sucking. There are mixed opinions on this but I always unlatched both of my DC once I could tell they had stopped swallowing, otherwise I found it became too painful.

My DS fed every 90 minutes day and night until he was 6 months when he swapped to every 3 hours. A feed would last about ten minutes. I felt zombie like most of the time but I survived it. DD on the other hand sleeps 8-10 hours at night from 8 weeks old!

Moonshine160 Sat 02-Nov-19 22:10:52

Hang on in there, OP. I don’t have a lot of advice but I personally found the first four weeks the hardest with the marathon feeding sessions. It will get easier flowers

firsttimemummatobella Sat 02-Nov-19 22:26:05

@moreismore I’ve had a look at the trust website but I’m just so worried about SIDS that I think I would sleep worst if she was in with us.
I definitely need to find a bf support group, I was in tears earlier when trying to feed her from my ‘bad’ side.
@Greedytiger 8 hours at 8 weeks is what I’ve got my fingers crossed for! I am just trying to survive now and sleep when I can but it’s just so hard. I feel like I’m failing already
Just feeding her now and then going to get ready for bed but just dreading the night already

meow1989 Sat 02-Nov-19 22:30:48

It totally gets better. When I was bf ds he would feed from.8pm to 4am more or less continuously. Dh would take over at 4am and walk him up and down so I could sleep. Hes 16 months now and sleeps approximately 6 30-7 30 pretty much nightly. Breastfeeding didnt work out for me beyond 11 days for various reasons (well done you by the way) but whilst I was feeding I found nipple shields a great help for those painful latches.

meow1989 Sat 02-Nov-19 22:31:49

Just to add - I dont mean it took till 16 months for him to sleep so well! Give it a few weeks and you'll be looking back at this time wondering how you did it!

SwampOfDeath Sat 02-Nov-19 22:33:39

Oh, I hear you, OP .
It is quite grim. I found it helpful to completely let go of any expectations of sleep in the night, and just re-frame sleep as something I would prioritise over all other activities, and try to sleep whenever the DDs slept (luckily they napped well in the first few months). The real game changer was getting a bedside cot which meant that we could enjoy all the benefits of co-sleeping, with DDs sleeping safely in their own space, but on the same level as my mattress, making breastfeeding while lying down so easy and comfortable. Dear Lord, how I slept, such a relief. I also had a couple of very repetitive games on my phone which I could just get absentmindedly lost in during long night time feeds, which would stop me from clock watching and obsessing about trying to spot sleep patterns etc. I really just decided not to think about the lack of sleep while it was ongoing, as I knew it was not in my power to change, as long as I refused to visit the terrors of CIO on them. And the time ticked by, and eventually it got easier.

turquoise88 Sat 02-Nov-19 22:38:09

You've brought back memories of the newborn days for me! It's so tough and nothing can prepare you for it.

Please don't listen to other new mums who tell you all about their amazing sleepers, which inevitably will happen and will make you feel shit.

I didn't sleep for the first 3 nights when I had my second daughter. She simply wouldn't be put down. Awake hourly during many nights for the first few months. She's now almost two and tonight has gone down in her big girl bed and has slept through the night for ages, like her big sister. Friends' babies who were amazing sleepers at the beginning are now awful.

Hang in there. It does get better, but it's beyond hard to start with. If breastfeeding doesn't work out for you, formula will be fine and fed is best.

Jellybean100 Sat 02-Nov-19 22:38:49

I’m 6 months in and my little one wakes up every 45 mins to an hour. Sometimes if I’m lucky it’s 1.5 hours. It’s shit. I think most babies get over the newborn breastfeeding bit but my little one hasn’t. He was also 4 weeks early and even though safe sleeping guidelines say not to co sleep if prem I’ve made the decision to co sleep for my own sanity. I can’t string a sentence together now so if I was physically getting up to get the baby etc I dread to think how I’d get through the day.
I did find frequency of feeds in general calmed down around 10 weeks in (as in no more cluster feeding) but the night feeds continued 😭

maimeo Sat 02-Nov-19 22:53:36

Hi OP, Congrats on you're beautiful baby and it sounds as if you're doing a great job. It will all get easier but you DO need support with breastfeeding and any problems that might arise. A sore nipple is excruciatingly painful and will make you quit at this early stage unless you get help quickly. Contact one of the support groups near you, they'll have someone friendly and helpful at the end of the phone, and you CAN get over this blip. Good luck from an experienced Gran xx

pinkdot Sat 02-Nov-19 22:59:59

My little one is 6 months old and I'm still BF her. I was adamant I would not co-sleep but as she fed a lot in the night I found it so much easier and she has always been so settled and sleeps really well during the night. I am now struggling to get her to sleep in her cot without waking 6 times a night!
Personally I wish I tried to get her in the Moses basket more but you do just what is right for you and baby!!

And lanolin is a life saver for the nipples!!!! You can still feed baby with it on so you don't need to remove it.

Hope this helps x

Nat6999 Sat 02-Nov-19 23:17:54

The first 6 months with ds were awful, I felt like I would never get a nights sleep again. I FF but he was terrible at night, I tried everything, keeping him awake as much as possible during the day, putting him down early, letting him stay up until later, dream feeding, he just wasnt a sleeper. The only advice I can give you is sleep when you can, have you tried a dummy or expressing for your other half to do some feeds so you can try to get some sleep.

firsttimemummatobella Sun 03-Nov-19 11:15:16

Thank you everyone. I survived another night! Everything seems a bit better in the morning somehow. Think I managed to get about 3 hours which is better than nothing.
@pinkdot I’ve heavily invested in lanolin - using it after every feed on the sore one! Does seem to relieve it a bit in between feeds.
@Nat6999 I’m definitely going to start expressing soon, my health visitor said not to until bf-ing is established but I will be doing after that.

ChrisPrattsFace Sun 03-Nov-19 11:24:04

We’re ten weeks in and it does get easier, from what people have told me I have at good sleeper’ so maybe my opinion is different.
You will look back at those weeks and be proud you got through!
My mantra when I was being woke every 90 minutes was ‘he’s not doing it in purpose, he’s doing it because he’s hungry’ and it helped. Also, so what if he wakes up, if I need to sleep I’ll just try through the day! 😂

CkFa Sun 03-Nov-19 20:02:22

It gets better! Keep going, you sound like you're doing brilliantly. Those early months are a shocker. Remember, the nights are long but the weeks fly by. Mothers are incredible humans for what we go through. It sounds like everything is normal to me. Hang in there. All I can offer are words of encouragement. X

Motherhippo Tue 05-Nov-19 13:57:03

My DD is 10 weeks old and still feeds every 2 hours. You do learn to cope honestly!! If she is comfort sucking and is done feeding then try de-latching with your little finger. If she still wants to suck then give her your little finger to suckle on. Check with health visitor about the latch as that can lead to cracked nipples. She’s doing brilliantly by sleeping in a Moses basket (my little one will only sleep on me confused). Your doing a great job and your body will get used to the interrupted sleep. Just make sure you try and sleep when she sleeps during the day

April45 Thu 07-Nov-19 06:06:58

It's so hard those early days.. I remember feeling just the same. It does get easier I promise. It lessens around the 6 week stage as bf establishes. That probably sounds like forever at the moment but like you say take one day at a time.

I felt the same about co sleeping and never did it, I may have been more up and down than other mum's but in the long term it's worked out well with DS being a good sleeper.

As others have said, shorten your feeds as baby will just be sucking not feeding. If you put your little finger between baby's mouth and your nipple it will break the seal and baby will unlatch, probably asleep

When my DS was tiny I remember thinking he never napped or napped for a short amount but I think that was because he was napping during his feed.. I only realised this in hindsight. This is fine to do but I used to stress he never napped, but he did just not in his crib!

I also recently saw a post of someone using milk collection cups instead of breast pads, you pop it in, it's quite flat and you collect the milk that you leak.. this happens a lot when you feed from one side. This then meant the baby could have a little bottle of milk once a day without pumping. Got baby used to a bottle but not too much. She gave it at the 11pm ish feed, well her husband did and she slept meaning she and her boobs got a break for a couple of hours. One feed when you feed so much won't make a difference.

Last thing.. try and get out a little too if you're not already. Going for a little walk with your baby in the pram or sling is lovely and refreshing, sit in the park, it really does help xx

Bronnie2018 Fri 08-Nov-19 04:08:05

@firsttimemummatobella Hi - I went through the same thing with my DD. I decided to pump so my Hubby could take over a few night feeds. I would also go to bed when the baby went to bed ...even when it was 6pm! That way I could get a few hours sleep before the next feed.

It changes all the time. You're still in the early days - I remember thinking exactly the same - when does this get better? When will I get some proper sleep?
You will!

My DD is now 15 months. I'm still breastfeeding to sleep for night and naps.. she sleeps around 11 hours at night and has a 2.5 hour nap in the day. We got there. You're doing a great job.

Have you joined or got any information the the Breastfeeding association? Local groups in your area?
Lactation consultant at local hospital to check your latch?


GrassWasGreener Fri 08-Nov-19 04:50:52

Hi OP, my nipples got like that, it was toe curlingly painfull. I had an episiotomy too and just felt like I had had 2 weeks of sharp pain. I was in bits literally. Baby was starting to reject nipples too as they were so scabby and bleedy. So all my effort and baby was still screaming hungry. For my own mentality and my poor hungry child I got some formula and expressed instead. It saved Us. After her first formula feed she was finally satisfied and so tired from the constant crying due to the hunger she slept for 6 hours. (I thought she was dead confused)

Public health nurse was very supportive. Baby is now 8 weeks and we haven't looked back. I felt very guilty at first but it was so awful for us I could not keep up breast feeding. I did not want to look back on those first few weeks and only remember the pain and struggle. So I got over my guilt and baby is thriving. It took over a week for my poor boobs to heal. I have been expressing up until a few days ago and giving the breast milk via a bottle instead, but I had a few busy days and didn't eat well or sleep well so milk has all but dried up, so now am very glad she was already on the bottle.

Breast feeding doesn't workout for everyone. I have read a couple really good books since the birth and notice what I was and wasn't doing correctly but I can't go back now and tbh I don't want too. Husband can do a night feed if I need a night off and it just takes a bit of presurre off.

If your poor nipples are destroyed, then in my experience they need time to heal. Each time you feed you will be tense and baby will know that too. Combination feeding really worked for us and I dread to think what mental state I would be in if I had struggled on. Hope it gets better for you soon. Maybe combination might work for you and allow you to heal

GrassWasGreener Fri 08-Nov-19 04:55:44

And importantly time to sleepwink

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