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Thread: Born at 37wks, now 5wks, eating every hr

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Farmers Branch, TX
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    Default Born at 37wks, now 5wks, eating every hr

    My little man turns 5 weeks old tomorrow and the past 3 days he has been feeding every hour to hour and a half with one 3hr nap during the day and one 4hr stretch overnight. After 15-20 minutes per breast he still acts hungry and after offering a 2 ounce bottle of formula tonight he STILL acted hungry and took another 2 ounces of formula! My breasts visually deflate after his feedings so I know he's getting milk but how on earth can he be hungry an hour and a half after 4 ounces of formula AND 40 minutes of breast?!

    Could he be having a growth spurt? I don't see how a 9lb 14oz baby can eat 4+ ounces of formula plus breastfeeding and still be hungry in an hour and a half.

    I'm taking Fenugreek per my doctor's orders to help up milk production in case that's the problem, but has anyone else had this experience? I feel like I'm failing to meet his hunger needs but not sure what else I can do…
    First time Mom • Theron James born 11-1-11 @ 37wks via C-Section • Livin' lovin' life and looking for support and advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Born at 37wks, now 5wks, eating ever

    How's his diaper count? That's how I gauged if my LO was getting enough. Beyond that, I nursed when he wanted (we EBF, no bottles)... and I know that a good deal of it was comfort nursing. Babies have tiny tummies and they can't hold all that much, so maybe he wants to nurse because he is uncomfortable? Tummy too full, gas, wet diaper, urge to poop,...there are a lot of things that can caue discomfort and for many babies, comfort nursing makes it easier to get through the discomfort.

    I always left my LO on the breast until he started playing (i.e. was finished) or fell asleep. If he was obviously not hungry... but needing comfort, then I would put him in the baby carrier and walk with him.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Born at 37wks, now 5wks, eating ever

    Here's a link about frequent nursing:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/frequent-nursing.html

    The thing I might keep in mind is that you LO is 3weeks "behind" developmentally,...it's possible he may be nursing a lot to catch up. Also, if you are dealing with low supply, the longer you leave him at the breast (and the more you offer it), the more it will help your supply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Born at 37wks, now 5wks, eating ever

    Why do you think you have a low supply or can't produce for him? Because of the bottle? The best indicator of if baby is getting enough is if they are gaining weight and if their diaper output is sufficient. The behavior you describe is completely normal and I personally would drop the formula.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Born at 37wks, now 5wks, eating ever

    Growth spurt. There is one at 3 weeks and 6 weeks, but for two of my kids, they just ran together! My fourth, the one I have to pump for, had a bottle in his face for about 2 months straight.

    I'd drop the bottles of formula and just take baby and go lay down and nurse on demand. That will boost your supply better than any herb. And watch diaper output.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,997

    Default Re: Born at 37wks, now 5wks, eating ever

    Shelve the bottles and the formula and nurse, nurse, nurse. This phase will pass. But if it doesn't- frequent feedings are normal. My kids ate every 1-1.5 hours day and night for the first few months. It wasn't a supply issue- it was just that they preferred an eating pattern of frequent smaller meals to a pattern of infrequent larger meals.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,471

    Default Re: Born at 37wks, now 5wks, eating ever

    The new Womanly Art of Breastfeeing (8th edition, 2010) has a wonderfully clear and scientific explanation for why a baby needs to nurse very frequently-and also why a baby will sometimes take lots from a bottle even after nursing -even when he does not 'need' it. It's not about being hungry, its about wanting more comfort, which for a baby often invloves sucking-on something. You don't have to buy the book, just go into the store & read the section on the hormone CCK & cluster feeding (it's on page 107), or call a Leader and ask her to read it to you. (If the Leader does not have the new edition she should lol!) The book is less than 15 bucks at online retailers and your local library should have it as well.

    This is one reason why even a little formula (or even pumped milk in bottles) can send breastfeeding off the rails. It undermines moms confidence that her milk is enough. Remember that breastfeeding is the biologically normal way to feed an infant. Both you and your baby were designed to do this-with only in very rare cases a physiological need for anything else. Nursing at the breast is the ONLY way mothers fed babies for the whole of human history, until VERY recently. The idea of keeping track of feeding times and worring about babies 'wanting to nurse too much' is a very recent idea, and it comes from formula feeding, where feeding a baby too much or too often could be health threatening becasue formula is so difficult to digest. In areas where breastfeeding has always been the norm, mothers may nurse infants every few minutes, while doing any number of other tasks. Babies fuss, that is part of being a baby. And if your baby will nurse again, that is likely a good way to stop the fussing, even if he ate just a few minutes ago. If he won't nurse again, try other comfort measures. Unless weight gain is in question, there is no need to worry at all that baby is nursing too often or not getting enough. Basically a baby cannot nurse to often.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Farmers Branch, TX
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    15

    Default Re: Born at 37wks, now 5wks, eating ever

    Thank you everyone for the links, books and advice. I have a habit of over thinking/over analyzing and the more I read the more stressed I get about what is "normal." Thank you for reminding me that nature knows best )
    First time Mom • Theron James born 11-1-11 @ 37wks via C-Section • Livin' lovin' life and looking for support and advice!

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