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Thread: Feeding constantly

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    70

    Default Feeding constantly

    Hello,
    I have a 3 weeks old sweet girl, and I'm breast feeding her since her birth without any major problem. But because she was not gaining enough weight the doctor told me to give her formula too, 50 ml after each meal. I had read so many things about formula and how it negatively affects breast feeding, I checked with another doctor and this one told me there was no need to give her anything but my milk, also because he could see her sucking technique was really good.
    So that's what I did, I kept on breast feeding but instead of looking at the clock and trying to keep standard intervals between meals, I just gave her food whenever she asked for it. And I became a total slave: She wants my breast almost constantly! Luckily she gives me breaks during the night, she would sleep for some 3 hours in a row, but that's it. During the day I'm to it non-stop.
    My nipples hurt some times, specially in the evenings, when she starts pulling my breasts, jerking her head off without releasing the nipple. It's so painful that some evenings I end up giving her a bit of formula anyway - with a cup, which she hates, so she becomes nervous and needs breast again in order to calm down.
    I am very discouraged by the whole thing. I want to breast feed her, but this is killing me, my breasts are exhausted and so am I, I can't do anything, not even eat or go to the toilet, she cries for me!
    What can be wrong here? Why is she always hungry? Am I not producing enough milk?
    Thanks in advance, ladies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,638

    Default Re: Feeding constantly

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby, and on making it through the first three weeks! Most moms who give up on breastfeeding give up in the early days or weeks, because that's when breastfeeding is hardest. The ones who keep on nursing will all tell you that eventually it gets easier and more rewarding, and I promise that if you just hang in there and keep on nursing, you will be one of those moms who nod and smile and say "Yes, it gets better!"

    As long as baby is gaining weight and producing adequate diaper output (here's a reference: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html), you do have enough milk. There are many reasons why babies fuss, and most of them are not related to milk supply. However, most babies discover that nothing soothes them better than the breast, so even babies who are getting plenty of milk will want to nurse when they are fussy. 2 things that could be affecting your baby right now are the three week growth spurt, when most babies want to nurse constantly, and something called "evenings-only colic" or "the witching hour(s)". Many babies have periods of severe fussiness in the evening, and this is when many exhausted, frustrated moms start giving bottles. But bottles are not the only way to deal with colicky evenings. Here are some things which may help:
    - Nurse, nurse, nurse, and then nurse some more!
    - Motion- rock in a rocker, swing in a swing, ride in a stroller, ride in a car, bounce on an exercise ball, etc.
    - Keep the house calm- turn down the lights, stereo, and television
    - White noise
    - Warm bath
    - Fresh air- a trip outside can really work miracles!

    Most babies will take a bottle and eat a large amount from it, regardless of whether or not they are hungry. The mechanics of eatng from a bottle mean that when a baby has a bottle in her mouth, she must swallow or she will choke. Babies who eat from bottles often become overfull, and then calm down because their tummies are so stuffed. Babies often come to enjoy the ease of bottle-feeding and overfull sensation, so most people recommend that the bottles not be introduced into the mix until the baby is a proficient nurser, usually around 4-6 weeks of age. If you decide that you want to give bottles, the best thing you can do is to pump and fill those bottles with your own milk. Supplementing with formula is not something you want to do right now, because if you're worried about supply supplementing with formula is a sure way to make those concerns real. Milk supply = demand, and every time you give formula and the baby skips a nursing session, supply goes down.

    The thing that concerns me most in your post is the pain you're feeling. Can you describe it a bit more? When do you have the most pain- at the beginning of a feeding, when baby first latches on, during the feeding, towards the end of a feeding, or after the feeding is over? Are you cracked or blistered at all? When baby unlatches, what shape are your nipples? Are they shaped like pencil erasers (symmetrical), or new lipsticks (asymmetrical/creased/wedged)?
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    70

    Default Re: Feeding constantly

    Hello, waw, thanks for your prompt and helpful reply!
    After reading what you wrote, as well as some of the articles on kellymom.com, I have to say I feel much relief. Now I see that my baby is actually normal, and not a little Tasmanian devil, ah!
    I've discussed the matter with my boyfriend, and we have firmly decided not to give our daughter any more formula milk. We kind of made this decision many times in the past days, but always got back to it thinking it would help our hungry baby. Now it's final, no more formula. I'm happy about it: I never really liked the idea.
    But then this means I need to cope with my poor breasts. Ok, I'm ready to do so, or am I not? My breasts ache basically all the time, but in different ways. When they are at rest, sometimes they hurt deep inside, as if there were small needles there. When I get dressed or I take a shower, the nipples hurt. When my baby starts eating and she doesn't grab the breast right, it hurts A LOT all over (specially one of my breasts; the other one seems to be doing better), but when is nursing correctly they don't hurt at all (sometimes I fall asleep while breast feeding...). Oh, and when she unlatches they are almost always symmetrical, maybe a bit squeezed. Is this the way it should be?
    And I have a new concern...With all the reading I've been doing now, I'm beginning to think there might be an issue of slow flow. What do you think?
    Thank you so much for your advice and support. I wish I'd found this site before! I'm so glad for it. And all the useful info, and reading other mother's questions is very helpful too, there's always something I can use. It's very professional, serious and super good, thanks, thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Feeding constantly

    hi there, I just wanted to say your baby sounds just like my DD at that age. I was so exhausted with all constant feeding and head twisting too :-) I learned how to feed her while lying down and that helped me a lot. Also I would switch sides again and again. She eventually grew out of it at around 2 months I think. Nursing is really enjoyable now and not so exhausting either :-) I am sure the experienced moms here can guide you with the pain issues. Its all a passing phase and you'll get thru it all Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    70

    Default Re: Feeding constantly

    Thanks for your supportive words!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,638

    Default Re: Feeding constantly

    Breast pain can have a variety of causes. Tingling or shooting pain inside the breast when the baby is NOT feeding can be related to infection (yeast, a.k.a. thrush, or bacteria), or it can be the sensation of the milk ducts refilling after a feeding, or it can be a vasospasm (http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...blanching.html). I suggest seeing your midwife or doctor and discussing the possibility of infection.

    Pain when baby latches on is generally an issue with a shallow latch. When the nipple is ideally positioned in the baby's mouth, it sits on the back of the tongue under the soft palate. When baby is latched on too shallow, the nipple sits on the front of the tongue, underneath the hard palate, where it gets compressed and hurt. Often the baby starts with a shallow latch and then pulls the nipple back into the sweet spot as she feeds, at which point the pain stops. For this sort of difficulty, I suggest seeing a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for help with positioning. It's typical for this sort of pain to be worse on one side than the other, often owing to anatomical differences between breasts.

    Can you tell us what is making you think you may have a slow flow issue?
    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
    Jan 2012
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    Default Re: Feeding constantly

    Thanks again, mommal.
    The slow flow idea comes specially from this:
    http://www.pamf.org/children/newborn...w%20Too%20Slow
    My baby does all those things they say... Maybe I'm overanalyzing it? :-S

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Feeding constantly

    As long as she's gaining weight and wetting enough diapers, I wouldn't stress too much about those signs of slow flow. Honestly, I don't think much of that link- sorry! It's just that the are reasons WHY milk flow can be too slow, and the link doesn't cover any of them, or how to identify and fix them! Slow milk transfer can result from a poor latch, from low supply, from a sleepy or jaundiced baby, from poor suck-swallow coordination, etc. And a lot of what is mentioned in the link is actually normal for a newborn. Newborns fall asleep at the breast. They go from feeding actively, and swallowing a lot, to sucking lightly and passively. They want to nurse again soon after finishing a nursing session.

    What separates a problem with milk transfer from normal infant feeding is the extent to which you see behaviors like falling asleep at the breast, and growth and diaper output. A baby who is growing normally and producing plenty of wet and poopy diapers, yet happens to nod off at the breast a lot, or wants to nurse all the time, or whatever, is a normal baby nursing in a normal way.

    If you feel like your baby is too sleepy at the breast, you might want to try breast compressions (http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17) to speed milk flow, and if she really is falling asleep too quickly at the breast, you can also try switch nursing (As soon as she seems sleepy, and transitions from active feeding, with lots of sucking and swallowing, to shallow, fluttery comfort sucking, you take her off the breast, and switch her to the other breast. Doing so should wake her up and encourage her to suck actively again, resulting in her getting full faster).
    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!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Feeding constantly

    Again, thank you so much :-) Every thing seems easier now, ah!
    Have a nice evening!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Feeding constantly

    mommal has given you lots of great info here. I have no idea if this will help but many times moms are nursing in positions that are not really comfortable and that can make the (normal) near constant feeding of these early weeks very hard. It can also sometimes lead to latch pain. So I suggest keep trying new positions that are comfortable for YOU. There is no right or wrong way to position a baby to breastfeed, as long as they are getting milk and it does not hurt mom to nurse, it is good.

    For some positioning ideas: www.biologicalnurturing.com and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

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