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Thread: Constant feeding - Im knackered and feeling like giving up :(

  1. #1

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    Default Constant feeding - Im knackered and feeling like giving up :(

    Bub is almost 4wks old and is a champ at breastfeeding BUT he feeds almost constantly Im lucky if I get 2hrs between feeds if not less than that and its starting to take its toll on me. I tried expressing but I couldnt get more than 50ml over a 24hr period and he had that & fed off both breasts before he was satisfied.

    I hate that I keep thinking of giving up breastfeeding or even topping him up with formula because Im just so tired, esp given I have a toddler to deal with as well.

    Is this normal for a baby to feed so often? When he isnt feeding he is crying and *sometimes* sleeping. My first was never like this and didnt breastfeed well so we formula fed full time from 4wks old.

    Hoping someone can give me some insight or advice.


  2. #2

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    This does sound a bit familiar! It's for comfort as much as feeding ATM - what have you tried to ease the crying, or do you feed at every cry? Have you tried having him Ripley in a sling around the house when he's not feeding and awake? Um, just trying to remember what worked with DS... sucking on my fingers also soothed him quite a bit, or going out for a walk.

    HTH, don't worry, it does get easier/better!

  3. #3

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    HUGE hugs Anna, I remember. I discovered Riv liked to suck on my little finger for comfort, and he wouldn't have a bar of it if he was actually hungry, so there wasn't any confusion there. I think it was pretty early on (though Riv had got the hang of b/fing by then, so no confusion) that we introduced a dummy too - me, who was never going to use a dummy, discovered that it saved my sanity with a comfort sucker.

    Take care of yourself too, make sure you're eating and drinking enough, a huge part of my exhaustion in the early days was giving giving giving food to a baby, and not getting enough myself. If you have to go out and blow money on frozen meals, tinned soup, easy food, do it. Whatever it takes to get through these first few weeks!

    How long is each feed for? Hang in there mate!!

  4. #4

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    oohhh i feel your pain, boys and their feeding!! i was beside myself at your stage and kept posting on bb about it (thank you barb!). please perservere because it does get easier. ds feeds for only about 5-10 mins now and it is so easy and i am so glad i persisted with bfing!

  5. #5

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    Hi Anna. You are almost at the turning point where it gets easier - he will get bigger and more efficient at getting his milk and you'll find that your time is becoming yours again soon. Its more noticable too I think when it's our second as you have other demands from the elder child that you didn't have when it was just you and bub together all day kwim? And its hard when they no sooner finish one growth spurt of extra feeding and then they are into the next one - its no wonder you feel tired.

    And its normal for a fully BF newborn bub to feed up to 12 times a day, soon though it will settle. And just think of what all of this will eventually do for your supply too

  6. #6

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    sherie is so right! i have no idea what it's like to have more than one child, but i know for a while there i felt like ds was bleeding me dry. i just stuck to it and stuck to it and now it feels sooo easy...

  7. #7

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    My daughter did this as well, it really is just a phase! She used to fall asleep at the breast, with my nipple still in her mouth. As soon as i'd take it out and try to sneak away, she'd wake up. She wouldn't take a dummy, even if i squirted breastmilk all over it first. I have no advice, but it will get better!

  8. #8

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    AnnT - I know just how you feel hon...I was/am in the same position. I found weeks 4 to 6 really hard. Loren feed constantly (twice per hour and then an hour break and then feed agin)and by the arvo/evenings she would suck ansd uck and scream constantly. I do comp feed when I am exhausted. For me I don't feel that I produce milk when I am exhausted, so I comp feed and then make sure I sleep!!!! Now Loren is feeding more efficently and I only comp feed every few days.

    I don't bother to express because it is just another thing to clean. I tried expressing 2 full breasts when DD was 4wks and I got 40ml total!!!

    The best piece of advice is to get yourself a sling. Loren is a bub that does not settle and has a lot of wind and reflux so I find the sling useful for the times that I can't settle her. I also put her in the sling when I play with Sara or I just have to get some thing done.

    I have spent many a night in our recliner with Loren strapped to me. At this stage you have to get sleep any way you can get it.

    It also helped when the ladies at BB told me I was doing a great job!!! I know you are doing a great job too hon...hugs
    Last edited by BekZ; January 27th, 2008 at 11:06 AM.

  9. #9

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    Hi,

    It's tough going, the first 6 or so weeks with a new baby.
    Tell me, what have his weightgains been like? What about wet and dirty nappies? What have they been like? Does he tend to have both breasts, or just one? How long would you say he is on the boob for?
    If you can give me a bit more information, I'm sure there are some suggestions and some information we could give you to help ease the situation. It's normal for babies to feed 8 - 12 times in 24 hrs - what you usually notice is that they have one long sleep in 24hrs, and there is another time of the day where they want to have a cluster of feeds.
    Talk soon
    Barb

  10. #10

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    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. Im still tired but Dh let me sleep in this morning so I got an extra hour on top of what I usually do. Bub has been sleeping like a champ today though funnily enough, Ive fed him twice since midday and he's been sleeping the rest of the time. Ive decided to perservere with breastfeeding, atleast try and get past the 6wk mark before I introduce formula if I feel its neccesary. I managed to pump 50ml this morning while in the shower so will try and make that an even 100ml tonight and then freeze it for a rainy day.

    Barb -
    what have his weightgains been like? I last had him weighed at 2wks old and he was 3380g, his birthweight was 2940 and he lost about 200g of that before we left hospital. He's been gaining about 200g a week so I guess thats good? He certainly looks chubbier so Im assuming he's still gaining fair amounts of weight.
    What about wet and dirty nappies? What have they been like? He wets regularly and poo's just about every nappy I change, although its not alot amount-wise. Its a mustard colour, with chunky bits in it (kind of like seeded mustard). I figure its all good in that department.
    Does he tend to have both breasts, or just one? How long would you say he is on the boob for? A majority of feeds I offer him one boob, then when he seems done and has pulled off I offer the second one. Id say 1 out of 3 feeds he'll have both breasts. He feeds for about 15-20min still.

  11. #11

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    I'll let Barb do the profesh answering Annat, but it sounds like you're going great guns! You're completely right about 6 weeks, just keep setting yourself milestones and getting to those - 6 weeks was my first milestone, and then I'd just set new ones - and when you look back and realise it's getting easier, you'll feel very proud of yourself.

    (Oh, and slight jealousy, River used to be such a lazy feeder, and some feeds could take 40 mins! Though I got some good advice about that and sorted it out.)

    That's great you got a sleep-in. Have you had any blood tests after birth? I was really low on iron after haemorrhaging and that made me rather tired too, til I got my levels back up. Keep it up, you're doing such a great job! Make sure you're eating well, and napping whenever you can! Is the J man still doing day-care, make sure you make the most of those days!!

  12. #12

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    Anna, you are doing great!! I know exactly how you feel! Chrissie does the same most afternoons!! sometimes i'm so tired and feel like she is bleeding me dry!! i HAVE noticed though that things are starting to change... she is sleeping slightly longer hrs now at night and a little less during the day! She mostly feeds from one boob..ad really fast 10min max!!

    when she is unsettled between feeds, she also enjoys sucking on my little finger, she's not too interested in the dummy either..and if she is legitimately hungry, the finger doesn't work!!

    she also poos and wets EVERY nappy!! i think this has a lot to do with how much/often they feed!

    It IS getting better for me though! and it will for you!! she's now starting to create a bit of a routine for herself...

    hang in there hun

    xxx

  13. #13

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    Hi,

    He sounds like a completely normal little boy. the first 6 weeks are about survival, so try to get as much sleep as you can, whenever you can. The weightgains and nappy count tell me you have plenty of milk - so that's not the problem/ If you have plenty of milk, then how would formula help? Does your baby sleep with you? Sleeping with your baby (but you must follow safe sleeping guidelines - not be drugged or have consumed alcohol and not be smokers) lets you get more sleep. Does he have one longer sleep every day.
    Do you have a baby sling? No mother should attempt mothering without one! The ABA simplicity sling is fabulous - and cheap. Baby will sleep in the sling and you can do a few things with your toddler.
    Have you got the info on *tired signs*? it can be common enough to feed them when they are tired, play with them when they are hungry - all ends in grumpy and overtired tears.....
    Talk soon
    Barb

  14. #14

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    Anna, it sounds like you are both going great guns sweets! Keep on keeping on hun, one day you'll realise that it's not that bad anymore, and you'll be so glad you perservered.

    I'm sure it's hard with Jett buzzing around, but try to relax and enjoy your BFing time. Think of it as your downtime

  15. #15

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    I was thinking the formula would give me a chance to get 5 or 6 hrs of solid sleep as then my Dh could feed him, it wouldnt be a regular thing just a one off here and there to give me a break/let me get out on my own for a few hours. I havent had alot of luck with expressing, takes me forever to get a tiny amount. I think if I got 5-6hrs of straight sleep Id feel 100x better but atm he's lucky to sleep 3hrs at a time and thats pot luck. He does sleep with us though, at first I kept putting him in his bassinette because Im not a fan of cosleeping, but now Im just interested in getting the best rest I can in this situation. Its made a huge difference but he's still not sleeping for longer than 2-3hrs at a time. He doesnt really have a long sleep, like 3+ hours. What can I do about that?
    I have a material ring sling but atm he hates it because its so hot. He does like being in the baby bjorn carrier so I might have to use that a bit more.
    I have no idea about tired signs.

  16. #16

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    Hi,
    Expressing is one of those "learned skills". The amount of milk you get tells you how good you have become with expressing, and nothing to do with how much milk you have. My hotest tip is to feed baby on one breast, and when he is finished, express the other breast. The baby suckling will always get your milk to let down - and it happens on both sides. Triggering the letdown is the key to success in expressing. What kind of pump are you using, or are you hand expressing?
    Babies are telling us what they need - but unfortunately we are not speaking their language. With patience and a few tips you can work it out. It's another thing you get better at with practice. Warning: Don't try any of this at night - start on it in the morning.
    If your baby has been awake for one and a half hours, he probably needs to go to sleep. So when he wakes, take a quick note of what time it will be in an hour and a half.
    When it gets near one and a half hours - watch him. He may be staring vacantly at a spot on the ceiling, or might be rubbing at his eyes. He may be whingeing and will probably be sucking his fists, trying to comfort himself and "wind down" ready to go to sleep. a quick feed will probably get him to sleep. Other people like to wrap them tightly (giving them that sense of security they had in the womb) and cuddle them til they are deeply asleep. Then they can put them down. If you catch them just when they are tired, they will go to sleep relatively easily - they will still need mummy or daddy to help them at the start. Think about a time when you were all snuggly in bed - you'd cleaned your teeth, gone to the toilet - followed your normal bedtime routine. Then the phone rings. whether or not you answer it, your routine is spoiled, and you can't go to sleep. That can easily happen with a baby. If they are trying to "wind down" and are played with or "wound up" and then they can't go to sleep. The more over-tired they get, the harder it is....
    Make the sleep-in you got this morning a regular thing - you need to catch up as much as you can.
    Try it and see how you go
    Warm Regards
    Barb

  17. #17

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    You are doing so well Anna! It must be so hard with J running around wanting attention aswell.. xoxo

  18. #18

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    OMG.... Where have i been.... Congrats Anna, I am so sorry that I missed the announcement...

    Good luck with all this... I can't give any advice as I didn't feed DD I gave up.... so don't listen to me!

    Just wanted to say Congrats and welcome Ripley!

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