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Thread: Milk Supply / PURPLE crying period / Night time sleeping

  1. #1

    Default Milk Supply / PURPLE crying period / Night time sleeping

    HI,
    sorry this might be long.....I am new here and have a few questions. I am trying to EBF my 3 wk old with the help of nipple shields due to a poor latch. While at the hosp after my LO was born I had extreme blood loss and exhaustion so I couldn't even hold her or try to start breastfeeding until she was about 1 1/2 days old. So she recieved formula and I pumped when I got home and then she latched with the shields and has been ever since. I try to take them off and sometimes she will latch without it and sometimes she won't. Depends on the day and her mood I guess. So anyways back to my quesiton now that you have some background information.......at night time my lo has a period (i think its called the Purple period) where she cries and cries and spits out my nipple if I'm trying to feed her, but roots around like she's hungry, and so I try again and she spits it out and screams like she is in pain......last night I gave up after about 2 hours and my husband fed her some formula, which she took and drank about 2 oz of. She then calmed down and went to sleep. Most nights we don't supplement with formula but I was losing my mind last night so I caved. When I put her down on most nights when she does that, I still try to BF her and then sometimes she stops and falls asleep and sometimes she will give in and actually nurse. Again it just depends on her mood. She also sleeps very well, at least 5-6 hours most nights and then last night she slept about 8 hours without waking up for a feed. Most mornings she wakes up and nurses really well for about 15mins or so (she is a fast eater). But this morning she didn't want it again and spit it out and cried and then also spit up some of what I tried to nurse her with. I'm not sure what to do. She acts like she is rejecting my milk and I don't want that. I feel like a failure and also that my milk supply is going to be lost. I try to pump whenever she gets fussy and won't nurse if my breasts are engorged but I know that EP isn't good either for your supply to stay up either. I have had no supply issues so far, and the LC actually told me I may need to reduce my supply in the beginning because I had so much. I also have a fast let down and sometimes she chokes on the breastmilk. So my question is, is this normal? I don't see spots on her or me that would indicate Thrush. And I also want to know if having her sleep through the night and mostly nurse during the day, will that make my milk supply decrease since I go so long during some nights? I'm just so worried that I'm doing something wrong and I really really want this breastfeeding thing to work out. So far it has, but these past 2 days feel like she is rejecting it. Thanks for any help anybody can offer, and sorry this was so long of a post.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Milk Supply / PURPLE crying period / Night time sleeping

    First off your baby is not rejecting your milk your baby is not rejecting your breast your baby is not rejecting you. Please please do not think that it is impossible for a baby to do these things on purpose. If every mother who ever had a baby who fussed and acted like they didn't want to nurse when baby was actually hungry stopped breast-feeding no one would ever breast-feed this is this something that happens with all babies at various times.
    I suggest: keep trying to get baby off the shields life will be easier for both of you when the baby no longer needs to nurse with the shield however if Bishields are still working some or all of the time keep using them.
    -Can you pump some milk to keep in your freezer for emergencies so you don't have to give formula not that it's terrible to get formula if it's needed but since you don't want to give formula this would be another option for supplementing.
    -are you nursing at the earliest signs of hunger? Or even not waiting for any cues and simply offering the breast as frequently as you can? Once baby is crying and fussing it makes it much more difficult for baby to latch effectively.
    -As long as baby is gaining well from nursing alone you do not ever have to give formula or expressed breastmilk to the baby. even if baby gets fussy even a baby cries that is no need as long as baby is gaining appropriately. a colicky Time In the evening is very common.
    it latch is painful to you or if you cannot get baby to latch effectively it may be appropriate to hire a lactation consultant and it always can be helpful to meet with some breast-feeding support person.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Milk Supply / PURPLE crying period / Night time sleeping

    Oh and an eight hour long sleep. Is very long for three weeks old I would suggest not letting baby go quite that long overnight five hours would be the most I would suggest-and that only if baby is gaining well at the breast. A newborn needs to nurse a minimum of 10 times in a 24 hour day that is the minimum! It is very difficult for a baby to nurse that frequently if they are taking very long sleep stretches. Ps Please forgive broken English I am dictating this on my dumb phone.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Milk Supply / PURPLE crying period / Night time sleeping

    Thanks for the support and answers. I know 8 hours was too long and this was the first time she has done it. I will be setting my alarm from now on to wake her up just so that doesn't happen again at least until she is older anyways. I also know deep down that she is not rejecting me or the breast milk, but it just feels that way sometimes when I am frustrated and she is frustrated and nothing is going well. I also have some milk frozen already but at the time last night I wasn't sure how long it would have taken to thaw it out while she was screaming so thats why the formula was the go-to option. I will just have to plan more carefully for tonight and these next few months when she goes through these fussy phases I guess. I also am afraid to give her bottles of even my milk because I feel that won't help the nipple shield situation and give her more nipple confusion. It is just super hard to not beat yourself up about these things. Especially with post partum hormones still hanging around. I have been crying all day and I know that won't fix anything, but I just feel so terrible sometimes, like I'm not giving her what she needs or wants. I just want to do the right thing. My husband has been home with me still off work and that helps a lot because he calms me down when I'm upset and then helps take the baby for a few mins so she calms down as well. When he goes back to work I don't know what I'm going to do.......I hope she is passed all of this by then, but we'll see. Thanks again for responding to my post and helping in making me feel better about what all is going on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Milk Supply / PURPLE crying period / Night time sleeping

    "The Purple Period"- that's a good one! I am but only in sympathy. Other names for the nighttime fussy period include "The Witching Hour(s)" and "Evenings-Only Colic". The fact that the evening fussy period has some widely recognized names points to how common it is. Most people think it has nothing to do with milk or milk supply or anything mom is doing or not doing- it's just developmental. It tends to start around 3 weeks, peak between 3 weeks and 3 months, and is usually gone by 3-6 months. This seems to be true even for premature babies who undergo this problem- for them, the fussies tend to strike at around 3 weeks from their due date, not their birth date. This suggests that the underlying cause really is developmental.

    The easiest way to get through a fussy evening is to nurse, nurse, nurse. But if baby won't nurse- and neither of mine would-here are some useful suggestions for getting through a colicky evening:
    - Calm house. Turn lights, tv, and stereo down or, preferably, off.
    - White noise. Static on the radio, the sound of a vacuum cleaner going, etc.
    - Motion. Rock in a rocking chair, swing, bounce on an exercise ball, stroller ride, etc.
    - Closeness. Snuggle baby close in a sling.
    - Trip outside.
    - Warm bath.
    Basically, you're trying to change baby's sensory input and distract her from her crankiness. My favorite techniques were the bath and the trip outside- they tended to stop the crying like magic. With my firstborn, we also did a nightly bottle of breastmilk. If you want to do a bottle, just make sure you pump while the bottle is being given so that your supply stays up.
    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: Milk Supply / PURPLE crying period / Night time sleeping

    I have forceful letdown and my baby often fusses cries at the breast my least favorite is when she gags that always makes me upset. She also spits up and burps very much. I sometimes think if she was my first I would really think I was doing her harm!

    Is there a LLL group near you or any other breast-feeding friendly mommy and me group? Many moms find it very helpful to go out and be with other moms with babies of a similar age so you can see how babies act in the real world and of course get support and support other moms. It is great your husband is home now and can help you and support you but it's always smart to build a good network of support I think

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Milk Supply / PURPLE crying period / Night time sleeping

    I'll add one thing - the post partum blues do go away (typically). I remember crying in those early weeks and telling my husband how weird and awful it was to have zero control over a cry, but to please not worry, that in some cases I was not upset about anything at all! If I get upset now when I'm having a challenging baby day I can feel a huge difference from the post partum period. Hang in there!
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  8. #8

    Default Re: Milk Supply / PURPLE crying period / Night time sleeping

    Our LO was an absolute dream baby right up until 3 weeks, and then the suddenly had the most awful evenings -- ear-splitting cries we couldn't seem to help. She was well-fed, good temperature, pottied, & had a clean diaper, but it would take 2-3 hours to get her to sleep. The only thing that worked was strapping her into a wrap or a sling, climbing on the elliptical and moving at a good clip for at least ten minutes -- the bigger the rocking motion, the better. As much as she would protest being wrapped at first, the motion and sound of the elliptical would quiet her down right away, and she'd usually be asleep by the time my thighs were burning (I'm not fit at all, so this wasn't very long). The times when she would outlast me, she was calm enough that I could usually nurse her to sleep, instead of her rejecting my boobs.

    Once we realized this was a pattern, we started the bedtime routine earlier, before she was actually tired. It seemed to help, but evenings were a constant struggle for the next month. She's 3mo now, and reading your post made me realise how much better things have gotten in the last month; I haven't been on the elliptical in weeks. We've gotten into an easy routine of nursing to sleep. The few times that she's overtired and won't latch on, I just walk barechested with her in my arms, head close to my nipple, swaying her closer and closer, until she thinks latching on was her idea. The vexing thing is that when she most vociferously refuses the breast is also the time when she most vigorously sucks when she does finally latch on.

    Motion and white noise were definitely the key for us. I hope you find a method that works for you!
    Last edited by @llli*orgle; September 22nd, 2012 at 08:24 AM.

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