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Thread: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at breast

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Unhappy Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at breast

    So many times since bringing my daughter home I have cried my eyes out with fear of not taking care of her properlu and nursing simply not being enough. I want the best for her, hence the breastfeeding and determination to keep it up, but I won't lie, I had fantasized the pediatrician would suggest supplementation to ease these feedings. Fortunately for her (to my selfish disappointment) Dr said she is gaining weight right on time. Here's the deal...
    Firstly, like I said before she's gaining weight perfectly. She had lost quite a bit in the hospital but after being given nipple sheilds on our discharge day she's been gaining appropriately. She also has plenty of wet/dirty diapers a day. Over 6 of each, sometimes over 8. These are the only things that reassure me that my milk supply is not low and I am at least feeding her sufficiently.
    OK so the problem is that I let her eat until she says when. This can be anywhere from 8 minutes on 1 side to 40 (and then the only reason I switch is to give that breast a break and put her on the other). I let her "pop - off" the breast normally, which happens after she's fallen asleep for some time and pulls herself off. Then I try to redress her or swaddle her and lay her in her co-sleeper and the minute movement happens she starts crying inconsolably again until I let her nurse. We do try burping to rouse her before immediately thinking she's actually sleeping well and if that doesn't get her to fuss like she wants the breast is when I try to set her down to get some sleep myself.

    What does this mean?? Is she just comfort nursing? And if so how can she distinguish the difference between my breast and the pacifier? I've realized some of it was comfort nursing and give her the pacifier but sometimes that doesn't seem to be enough, even after I just watched her fall asleep at the breast the 2nd time I've had to work to rouse her and pull herself off.
    I just want my baby to be happy and I get so frustrated after a long feeding when she still doesn't seem satisfied... I just want to make sense of this (and to hear it gets better!) So if you have any advice PLEASE lay it on me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at br

    Sounds like you're doing everything right (except for the worry part). Tiny babies like to nurse. It is their food, comfort, connection to mom, and way to get your body making the milk that they need. Maybe with an older baby there is such a thing as "just" comfort nursing, but with a 2 week old it is all wrapped up together. "2 week old only happy at the breast" is something like "rain falls down" it's just a true statement about the world. It is right and good and the way things should be. Yes it will get better (or at least different--each age has its own challenges). For now park yourself on the couch. Drink lots of water, eat healthy snacks, rest as you can, and let her do her thing.
    You mentioned that she sometimes doesn't seem satisfied after a long feed. That is totally normal. And may not have anything to do with milk at all. She is adjusting to this whole big world, and everything is new for her. Eating is new. Digesting is new. Feeling hunger is new. It has to be discombobulating. And thus the baby wants the comfort, closeness, and connection of nursing. If she seems unsatisfied or still hungry, it's not that your body can't make the milk, just that it hasn't yet. And the way to get your body to make milk is for her to remove milk from you. (breasts never stop making milk for the whole time you BF, but the emptier they are the faster they produce, and the fuller they are the slower they produce. Removing milk triggers more milk.)

    Hang in there, you're doing great!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at br

    with PP. Get comfy on the couch! As for the baby waking up, maybe try changing her diaper and dressing her before you nurse her, as long as she's able to stay awake to eat that way. Also, maybe try taking the baby in bed with you - put her in the crook of your arm, that's how my DD slept best (that, and on my chest). Have you tried side-lying nursing? I found it tricky at first, but totally worth learning in terms of being able to rest and feed the baby at the same time! Hang in there, and good luck!

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at br

    So many times since bringing my daughter home I have cried my eyes out with fear of not taking care of her properlu and nursing simply not being enough. I want the best for her, hence the breastfeeding and determination to keep it up, but I won't lie, I had fantasized the pediatrician would suggest supplementation to ease these feedings.
    so, as pps say, this all sounds normal as far as baby behavior. but you sound really at the end of your rope! New motherhood is intensely exhausting no matter how baby is fed. And believe it or not, in a few weeks, breastfeeding will most likely become much easier than formula feeding would be. But right now it sounds like you may benefit from some more help at home. is that possible?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at br

    Oh my goodness your words are so encouraging!! It's so helpful to hear that everything is really normal and that her behavior is totally normal. SUCH a relief. Yes we do side-laying nursing (pretty much all the time... it does help greatly with being able to rest and with back pains) and we have a co-sleeper for her to sleep in, because I worry so much about her sleeping in bed with us and SIDS but she seems to hate it. I could DEFINITELY benefit from more help at home... maybe since a total stranger has suggested it the husband will realize I'm not joking and this is the most taxing thing I've ever done in my life and that I do really need his help whenever he is home. I do struggle with asking for help because he has been supporting us since I was put on bedrest at week 32 of pregnancy... but I'll put my foot down and be more firm about it. I have certainly felt at the end of my rope... so determined to make this work though!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at br

    You are doing everything right! You are learning your baby and feeding on cue. Mine nursed alll the time as a newborn ... like every. single. hour. And by doing that for several weeks, he established an abundant supply! One thing that helped me to reframe it, when it started to seem like too much, was to remind myself that as newborns, their stomachs will never be this small again; their mouths and muscles will never be so weak and uncoordinated again; and they will never grow this fast again! When you think of it that way, it makes sense that they are eating so frequently and probably not all that efficient at it just yet.

    As for getting sleepy during the feed, mine did that too -- lactation consultant suggested several things. One was actually UNwrapping the baby for feeding (too warm and cozy makes it easier to drift off). I would have him just in the diaper, put a receiving blanket over him, but pull it down so that his upper body was a bit exposed to the air (as a bonus, all the skin-to-skin contact is good for boosting your supply too). Also, LC suggested a few pokes and prods at baby when he gets sleepy at the breast and getting milk drunk before eating enough ... one was a little shoulder massage, another was lightly pressing the soft spot under his chin (put your index finger in there and just softly tap repeatedly) or stroking right in front of the ear/back of the jaw area. It kind of reminds the baby of what they are supposed to be doing at the breast.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at br

    we have a co-sleeper for her to sleep in, because I worry so much about her sleeping in bed with us and SIDS but she seems to hate it.
    SIDS is not the danger you should worry about when it comes to bed-sharing. Babies who share a sleep surface with their parents tend to have a LOWER risk of SIDS than babies who sleep by themselves, which is why the old name for SIDS was "cot death" or "crib death". When a baby shares a bed with mom and dad, the big danger is suffocation from bedding, from entrapment in a void (like the space between the bed and headboard), or from being overlain by an adult. If you decide to bring baby into bed with you, here are some tips on safe co-sleeping:
    - all adults must be drug, tobacco, and alcohol-free (all those things make for heavier sleep and less responsiveness to the infant in the bed)
    - no heaps of fluffy bedding
    - no waterbeds
    - mom should be nursing on demand (moms who don't nurse aren't as responsive to their babies)
    - sleep surface should not have voids (gap between mattress and headboard or wall, no couches or upholstered furniture)
    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
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at br

    Oh I really thought it had to do with the mattress not being as firm as crib mattresses. Other than that we fit the all the other aspects regarding safety and her sleeping with us. Thank you so much for enlightening me!! It helps so much because it's so easy for her to sleep next to me!!! Completely removes the need to swaddle or move her to her co-sleeper. So here's another question... I worry about dozing off while she's at the breast when doing the side-laying nursing during nighttime feeds when I'm so exhausted.... any tips for keeping myself awake? I've started setting an alarm 10 minutes from when I started feeding to try to wake myself if I do but its still really scary!! (If you can't tell I worry...A LOT)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at br

    maybe your husband would like suggestions on how he can help. this is a nice list for that. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf

    so bedsharing is a big topic with a few different recommendation lists out there on how to do so more safely. But to add to mommals list since you mention it- it is generally recommended that baby not bed share if mom is overly exhausted. And yes I know most new moms feel over exhausted! I am just passing on the typical recommendation. Also it is recommended baby not be swaddled while sharing a sleep surface with mom or dad. As you note, no need to swaddle in that case anyway.

    If sidelying is causing so much concern, what about having baby on top of you while you 'rest your eyes' in a reclining position-for example, propped up on pillows? You would be on your back so overlying risk would be greatly reduced. Basically this position : http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf which is also a nice comfy nursing position. You can adjust so you are less reclined if that is more comfortable. But don’t lie completely flat.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?? 2 week old only happy at br

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    If sidelying is causing so much concern, what about having baby on top of you while you 'rest your eyes' in a reclining position-for example, propped up on pillows?
    I just want to add- and this is probably obvious but it's one of my anxiety areas so I can't stop myself from saying it again- that if you take LLLMeg's excellent suggestion you want to be doing it in bed. Not on a couch or puffy chair.

    Here's a good safety guide: http://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/
    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!"

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