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Thread: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    Hi Everyone,
    This is my first post though I've been reading for several days. I was originally very excited about breastfeeding and loved the bonding it provided. However, I am really feeling concerned that my 11 week old is still eating hourly, if timed from the beginning of a sesion.

    Not only does she eat hourly, but she eats for about 20-30 min. IT's been this way consistenly since she was born. A f.ew other concerns are that right now I am just getting over mastitis. For the past week and a half my baby hasn't gained. Is this okay to go that long without gaining an ounce,even though she is at the breast every hour? She's still I think above the average weight since she was in the 90th percentile at her 2 month appointment, but this sudden stop in gaining worries me.

    Also, I would love to continue breastfeeding but the frequency is just getting too difficult for me. I don't even have time to prepare my own food or do some of the most basic household chores. I tried to pump and give her some of my milk in a bottle but she won't drink it that way - I've been slowly trying to encourage her and also having my husband try for 2 weeks but the most she's taken is an ounce in 20 minutes. I'm worried there is a problem since she's eating every hour for 20 minutes. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks so much!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it through 2 incredibly challenging months!

    Can you tell us a bit more about your situation? It would help to have a complete weight history for the baby- birth weight, lowest weight, weight at each subsequent checkup. Let us know how baby has been weighed- always on the same scale and in the nude, or on different scales? Tell us how nursing feels- are you in any pain? When baby unlatches, are your nipples symmetrical or asymmetrical/wedged/creased (like new lipsticks)? What color are baby's poops don't be afraid to be graphic) and how often does she poop? Has anyone ever suggested the possibility of reflux to you?

    Basically, everything you describe sounds normal, and for a baby in the 90th percentile for weight you don't need to worry much about a pause in weight gain. And the frequent feedings are normal, too. But I don't want to simply reassure you without making some effort to find out if there's anything going on that needs to be improved.
    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
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    Default Re: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    Welcome to the forum! I know it's tough, but that sounds totally normal and I don't know that if you stopped breastfeeding it would stop. Your baby is still so young and wants to be held all the time. She probably wants to suckle for comfort as well. At 11 weeks you are still in the sit around and nurse stage. So embrace it. Forget the housework. Prepare a bunch of meals at one time so you can easily grab a quick bite in the very short break you get. I promise, it doesn't last forever. Well, not the nursing part. Children will always need something from their mom
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  4. #4
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    Hi and thank you both for your responses.

    My little girl was born February 19th (2 1/2 weeks before due date) at 6 lbs 14 oz. She never lost the typical weight. At her 2 month appointment she was 12 lbs 6 oz at the doctors. For the last 10 days (beginning roughly around when I got mastitis) she has been hovering around 13 lbs 4 oz.

    I have had a great deal of nipple pain on and off and especially the last few weeks. A week ago, my nipple was completely white when it came out of her mouth....it was a white layer of skin, that remained there like a blister until a few days ago. My other nipple is sore and a little bloody It's hard to get them to heal because she's on there so much. My nipples often look mishapen and sometimes creased. They are just totally different looking then before starting.

    She normally does not spit up very much. She frequently has a lot of pushing/grunting and then large amounts of yellow poo several times a day 4 times a day but she's also had two green poos the last two days.

    She's very fussy, and doesn't fall asleep after nursing or look content. I've been trying to get her to take my expressed milk in a bottle once in a while (so my nipples can heal) but even if she's happy she's having a hard time learning it, and the most she's gotten is 1 oz in 10 min of trying.

    Thanks so much for your help!!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    Thanks for answering those questions! Based on your replies, I think that you might really benefit from some hands-on help from a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. Creased, wedged, asymmetrical, or "lipstick" nipples accompanied by significant pain usually indicate a problem with the baby's latch. Sometimes this can be fixed simply with better positioning, but sometimes there are underlying issues like tongue-tie which are preventing the baby from getting a deep latch. Because latch issues can lead to issues with milk transfer, feeding speed, nursing frequency, supply, and weight gain, I think hands-on help from a professional is a really good idea.

    Did you ever have a pain-free period of nursing? The reason I ask is that whitened nipples and a very fussy baby can indicate thrush (a yeast infection that is not in the "usual" place), and thrush is a common cause of pain when it develops after a trouble-free period. Symptoms of thrush:
    - white patches in the baby's mouth or on the nipple
    - itching or burning sensations in the breast
    - pain intensifies after feedings
    - cracking of the skin- cracks are generally slit-like rather than wound-like
    - nipples appear more pink or red than normal
    - flaking, dry, or shiny skin

    Whitened nipples can also be a sign of vasospasm, something which can be caused by compression from a poor latch and which has symptoms which overlap with thrush. http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/moth...ple-blanching/
    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!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    I looked at the link and I do have some of the signs of blanching - I have the white stripe sometimes when she comes off. I'm wondering about thrush since I'm on antibiotics, but don't have the symptoms except the burning.

    I live in a rural area but there is one lactation consultant. I called and am waiting for a call back. How do I get one who is an IBCLC?

    Another thing I've been wondering about with the frequent feedings is whether it's possible that because she eats so frequently, does that make the feedings progressively less satisfying as the day goes on? Not sure if that makes sense, but I'm wondering about that. I'm also wondering if I'm misunderstanding her cues, but she never refuses the breast when I offer it, and she will root and try to get to it so that's what I give her.

    Last night unless she was on the breast she was crying.

    Thank you again,
    Wendy

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    Burning + antibiotics = better than average possibility of thrush. Of course, vasospasm pain can also be described as "burning", so either way there's no rule-out.

    Getting an IBCLC- depends on where you live. They aren't everywhere, and as you no doubt know, sometimes you take what you can get when you live in the boonies! When the LC calls back, simply ask if she is an IBCLC. It's like asking a doctor if they are an MD or a DO- you have a right to know what someone's credentials are before you fork over your cash.

    Regarding feedings seeming to get less satisfying as the day goes on- no, frequent feedings have nothing to do with that. However, many, many, many babies become increasingly fussy as the day wears on. This is often referred to as "evenings-only colic", and it is a developmental stage, not a nursing problem. If your LO is an evening fusser, here are some things that may help:
    - Nurse. Nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse. It is tough but it's preferable to screaming!
    - Closeness- wear baby in a sling
    - Calm house- turn lights, tv, and stereo down or off
    - White noise (static, vacuum cleaner, dryer sounds, sound machine)
    - Motion (rock, stroll, swing, drive)
    - Warm bath
    - Fresh air- take baby outside
    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!"

  8. #8

    Default Re: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    If she is not an IBCLC, you can ask her what her training and experience is. There are wonderful LCs who are not IBCLCs. In fact, this is not a bad question even if she is an IBCLC! A person who is a professional will have no issues answering these questions. You can also look her up here, although not all IBCLC are listed here, they have to pay to be listed I believe: www.ilca.org

    Is there a local breastfeeding support group anywhere near you, like LLL?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*healer View Post
    If I were you, I would try to feed her baby food(something very smooth and a tiny bit sweet), mixed with your breast milk.

    It sounds to me that your baby is very hungry and she is not getting enough nourishment.

    Many young and newly babies are that way

    See if this will help
    11 weeks is generally considered too young to start solids. Solid foods have neither the calories nor the complete set of nutrients that are necessary for infant growth.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My baby eats hourly still - please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*healer View Post
    If I were you, I would try to feed her baby food(something very smooth and a tiny bit sweet), mixed with your breast milk.
    The one perfect baby food that's very smooth and a bit sweet would be breastmilk.

    Mommal has some great suggestions, especially re the witching hour. I found that nursing while walking/swaying/rocking was the easiest way to keep the fussiness to a dull roar. I noticed that diaper changes have also always helped my baby's mood. It was my second go-to, right after trying to nurse yet again. And I also at around that time was dazedly thinking "maybe I'm not understanding my baby's cues, and I'm forcing the boob on him...." but you cannot overfeed a baby at the breast, so don't worry on that score.

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