My baby never seems satisfied! Help!
Hello! This is my first post, and hoping someone can help.
I am currently having some issues with breastfeeding my 4 week old. From the information I received by reading other posts on this forum, I have all the symptoms (and so does my lo) of having an overactive let down. Over full breasts, spraying out, fussy, gassy baby etc etc. The main problem i am having is that although he seems to be eating my baby NEVER seems satisfied after feeding during the day. It seems my milk supply is MUCH less during the day, as the let down seems way less. During the middle of the night, he feeds (gulps down more like it) on one breast for about 15-25 minutes and then right back to bed. BUT during the day he can be on the breast (I am doing one breast at each feeding) for 40 minutes to an hour - fall asleep at the breast and barely suck, seem extremely irritated and fussing - and then seem be hungry for more within 30 minutes after he stops, burps, squirms, poops etc. I still don't know if he's really hungry still or just gassy.
I've been trying to feed him approximately every three hours, but I can't get on any type of feeding schedule, as it is so erratic that I am having difficulty keeping track of when and what he has eaten.
Another thing is that I have done a yield and found I can pump out about 3.5- 4 oz per breast at one pumping session. If I feed him that 4-5 oz in a bottle, he seems happy and is much more calm and content. I now am finding myself wanting to pump every feeding and give it to him in a bottle just so I know what he is getting and so he won't be fussy and upset.
Others are also telling me to start supplementing with formula. I don't want to stop breastfeeding, but am starting to get so frustrated. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Re: My baby never seems satisfied! Help!
Your baby sounds like a pretty normal 4 week old. They often eat every hour for an hour!!
I had OALD and some oversupply, too. But feeding like you're doing (one breast at a time) did the trick for me. My LO was having green poops, or I would have skipped the block feeding (Block feeding=one breast at a time).
The take home message here is: scheduling feeds does not work for babies that young (or some older babies either). Let him be at breast when he wants right now. Your body is still learning how much milk it needs to make, and that supply will be how much milk you make through most of his nursing time. I know it means you're constantly feeding him. That's what nature intended. Set up a comfortable spot in the house to nurse in, be it the bed, the couch, a good chair. Put a table next to your spot (I admit I used a box on the floor!) with a water bottle, a mug of something yummy and hot, snacks, the remote, whatever you need to feel like you can stay put. Grab pillows and blankets to make the two of you comfortable. Let the housework go. Make somebody bring you food and refills on your drinks. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse.
It sounds like you'll be there forever, but trust me, it seems like it went by so fast now that it's over. I have to work hard some days to slow my 5 month old down enough to nurse. He's getting so busy that he would rather do other things.
You can do this. It really doesn't last forever. And it's the right thing to do. Trust your baby.
When he's gassy from the OALD, I found that daddy carrying him face down on his arm helped. That and lots of burp breaks while nursing.
Hope that helps a little.
Editing to say: Don't pump to bottle feed right now if you can avoid it. Your body will make plenty for your baby, and feeding him at breast helps him regulate your supply. You're making plenty of milk. If you bottle feed him, you can easily overfeed, leading to more troubles. And pumps are quite inefficient at getting out milk compared to babies. It can also add to OALD/oversupply problems. You'll be able to tell he's getting enough milk by watching how many wet and poopy diapers he has each day. 6-8 wets is evidence of good supply. Most 4 week old babies poop quite frequently through the day. Use that as your measure instead of the pump.
And PLEASE don't supplement with formula. It sounds tempting, but it will most likely increase the tummy troubles. Your baby's gut needs breastmilk, and formula can destroy the development of natural gut flora. He will get plenty to eat if you just let him nurse on demand.
Keep us posted on how it's going, even if you just need to rant about how often he eats! And try reading up on these issues on www.kellymom.com.
Re: My baby never seems satisfied! Help!
I'm back with a specific link for you. I really hope this helps. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/frequent-nursing.html