Re: New Mom Struggling to keep baby full
Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! I can totally understand why you are exhausted and frustrated, and why you're feeling tempted to switch to pumping and bottle-feeding. But believe me, you do NOT want to do that! It might be easier right now, in the newborn period when things are so challenging, but in the long run pumping and bottle-feeding is much, much more difficult than nursing the baby at the breast. We have a lot of mamas here who have exclusively pumped (EP) for one reason or another, and I think most of them would agree that if you can nurse, do, simply because it is so much easier in the long term. I'd be more than happy to explain the specifics of why bottle-feeding is harder if you're interested- the list is long!
It is absolutely normal for a newborn to want to be at the breast all the time, to feed for very long periods, and to be hungry soon after a feeding, no matter how long the last feeding lasted. It's also normal for a newborn to seem very satisfied and sleepy after a bottle, for the same reason we feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner: when a baby eats from a bottle, he rapidly gets burstingly full and pretty much passes out!
That being said, sometimes when a baby feeds for long periods and seems hungry soon after feedings, there is something going on that can be tweaked, improving the breastfeeding experience for mom and baby. Here are some questions for you that might help us sort out what is going on:
- How does nursing feel? Are you in any pain when baby feeds? Are you experiencing any soreness, cracking, or blistering?
- Is your baby sleepy at the breast, perhaps dozing off shortly after the beginning of a feeding?
- Is your baby jaundiced at all?
- Is your baby at all premature?
- How is your baby's diaper output (number of wets and poops in a 24 hour period)?
- Has anyone checked your baby for tongue tie?
Whatever your answers to the above questions are, the best thing you can probably do at this point is to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. Your issue is almost certainly fixable, and may be a simple matter of improving your positioning or using some simple tricks to keep him alert at the breast. We'll do our absolute best to help, and you should know that you are not alone in having a tough time with a brand-new baby. Breastfeeding is natural but that doesn't mean it's easy!
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