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Thread: A little support please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    40

    Default A little support please

    Hello!
    New mommy of a 9 week old baby boy here.
    I basically need just some encouragement and reassurance that I am not screwing things up.

    He was born at 37 weeks because I got ill during last weeks of pregnancy with cholestasis and high blood pressure. I was induced because it was no longer safe for either of us to continue pregnancy. He weighed 2520g at birth (lowest weight 2310g, back to birth weight on day 10). A week ago his weight was 4210g. (We are living in the Netherlands, hence weight in grams.) As far as weight gain goes I cannot complain.
    What I would like to know is, how often should he feed? I feed on demand. From the beginning we had to wake him up every 3h unless he wanted to eat earlier, now he usually eats every 2.5h, sometimes he lasts for 3h. During the night he can sleep up to 5h in one go but that happens maybe twice a week. We usually feed 9 to 10 times a day.
    What I am having issues with is adjusting my expectations because for some reason I was led to believe that he will starting to feed less frequently after 6 weeks....that for some reason he will get more efficient which is not really the case. I am slowly dealing with it but it's still pretty hard on me. Mostly cause I have a feeling that I am only staying at home and barely do any housework... :/
    We do take walks but I do miss just going out and not being worried when he might get hungry.


    He also spits up a ton. It's after every feeding but we were told not to worry as long as he's gaining weight and meeting milestones. He also doesn't seem in pain and it doesn't seem to phase him at all... But it drives me bonkers that I need to change his clothes five times a day and do laundry very often. Again, do I just need to simply adjust my expectations and wait it out? I don't mind breast feeding in public but he just makes too big of a mess and often I need to change my clothes too.. :/

    Oversupply/forceful letdown.
    I feel like I have graduated on the matter in the last few weeks. Last week was very hard on both of us though. On Monday he went through a growth spurt, he wanted to feed every hour. As a consequence my boobs got super hard and I got a bit scared that I will get plugged ducts. He also had issues latching and his poop got extremely watery and was greenish at times. That got me even more worried so I tried nursing him on one side for several feelings and then I did that again for the other side. Today, a week later, things are slowly going back to normal again. His poop improved but my letdown is still very strong. He hates nursing 'uphill' or sitting up so I take him off whenever i see him fussing which he also hates so I spend a lot of time calming him and re-latching. His latch is very good but when he's angry he just gulps for the nipple which means he takes a lot of air in... And that means he's gassy/burpy and uncomfortable later.

    Any suggestions what more can I do?

    One last thing (and then I promise I am done for now!). My baby's hunger cues are veeeery subtle so he can go from 'eh eh' and 'searching' to crying within 30seconds. Am I missing something here or are some babies just like that?
    Makes me feel guilty for letting him cry in hunger when I know that's one of the last signs that he's hungry.

    Please, I just need to know I am not screwing things up and that things do get better... :/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,886

    Default Re: A little support please

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! It sounds like you are doing a great job.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katniss View Post
    Hello!
    New mommy of a 9 week old baby boy here.
    I basically need just some encouragement and reassurance that I am not screwing things up.

    What I would like to know is, how often should he feed? I feed on demand. From the beginning we had to wake him up every 3h unless he wanted to eat earlier, now he usually eats every 2.5h, sometimes he lasts for 3h. During the night he can sleep up to 5h in one go but that happens maybe twice a week. We usually feed 9 to 10 times a day.
    What I am having issues with is adjusting my expectations because for some reason I was led to believe that he will starting to feed less frequently after 6 weeks....that for some reason he will get more efficient which is not really the case. I am slowly dealing with it but it's still pretty hard on me. Mostly cause I have a feeling that I am only staying at home and barely do any housework... :/
    We do take walks but I do miss just going out and not being worried when he might get hungry.
    You keep feeding on demand. Sometimes baby will nurse every half-hour or every hour for several hours (cluster feeding), once in the day baby might give you a 4 hour stretch, but feeding every 2-3 hours is perfectly fine, natural, normal and to be expected. A breastfed baby will nurse AT LEAST 8 times in 24 hours, usually 10-12 times or even more. So keep doing what you're doing. And this does not really change over the first year. Baby gets more efficient in that nursing sessions may be shorter as baby gets older, but a breastfed baby will never go on the classic "every 4 hours" schedule that our mothers' generation learned with formula-feeding. And baby's feeding should not be scheduled. Keep nursing on demand.

    In terms of going out - best thing is to learn how to be comfortable nursing in public.

    And housework - well, your baby is only this little for a few months. Let the house be a little dirtier than usual. You will also start to get out of the house more. Your baby is still really tiny! Take it slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katniss View Post
    He also spits up a ton. It's after every feeding but we were told not to worry as long as he's gaining weight and meeting milestones. He also doesn't seem in pain and it doesn't seem to phase him at all... But it drives me bonkers that I need to change his clothes five times a day and do laundry very often. Again, do I just need to simply adjust my expectations and wait it out? I don't mind breast feeding in public but he just makes too big of a mess and often I need to change my clothes too.. :/
    Two of my babies were big spitters. Yes, you need to change your expectations. It does often get better with time. I never went anywhere without several cloth diapers that I used as burp cloths. And I don't wear clothes around baby that I don't want to get spit-up on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katniss View Post
    Oversupply/forceful letdown.
    I feel like I have graduated on the matter in the last few weeks. Last week was very hard on both of us though. On Monday he went through a growth spurt, he wanted to feed every hour. As a consequence my boobs got super hard and I got a bit scared that I will get plugged ducts. He also had issues latching and his poop got extremely watery and was greenish at times. That got me even more worried so I tried nursing him on one side for several feelings and then I did that again for the other side. Today, a week later, things are slowly going back to normal again. His poop improved but my letdown is still very strong. He hates nursing 'uphill' or sitting up so I take him off whenever i see him fussing which he also hates so I spend a lot of time calming him and re-latching. His latch is very good but when he's angry he just gulps for the nipple which means he takes a lot of air in... And that means he's gassy/burpy and uncomfortable later.

    Any suggestions what more can I do?
    Have you tried laid-back nursing? Meg has some good links about that, hopefully she'll post those for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katniss View Post
    One last thing (and then I promise I am done for now!). My baby's hunger cues are veeeery subtle so he can go from 'eh eh' and 'searching' to crying within 30seconds. Am I missing something here or are some babies just like that?
    Makes me feel guilty for letting him cry in hunger when I know that's one of the last signs that he's hungry.

    Keep baby close to you, perhaps by wearing baby, and as soon as he starts with "eh eh," put him on the breast! Or even, offer the breast before he starts with the "eh eh." You can't offer too often! If baby doesn't want the breast, he won't nurse. You can't overfeed a baby by nursing.

    Please, I just need to know I am not screwing things up and that things do get better... :/
    You're doing great mama. And things do get better. Those early weeks are hard! It really is non-stop nursing. But so worth it. Having a baby is a huge adjustment. You and your baby will get to know each other and your routines and you'll figure out the rhythm of your days. It takes time and life won't be like it was pre-baby (it will be better!) but it also won't stay like this, either.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    581

    Default Re: A little support please

    I with the PP - it sounds like you're doing a great job! I, too, was anxious to get to that magical 6 week point, when everything is supposed to get easier...and disappointed when it was still really hard! Do you have a baby carrier? I found that really helped when my baby was tiny (and still does, at 9 months) to allow me to get some stuff done around the house when I really needed to.

    As for spit up, I started putting bibs on my LO around 2 or 3 months - it would often times catch a lot of the spit up, and then I was just changing bibs, rather than whole outfits. I also found that burping her really well helped to decrease the amount of spit up. I remember thinking that stage would never pass, but it did gradually get better. She still brings up some spit up now, but it's much less frequent than it used to be.

    Going out is definitely challenging. If you're uncomfortable nursing in public, try practicing in front of a mirror -it can help you to realize how little others actually see. Also, a LLL meeting is a great, safe place to practice.

    Baby going from nothing to crying in hunger...there's nothing wrong with offering to nurse more frequently, rather than waiting for baby to cue. I've always offered to nurse very frequently, and it's definitely made for a happier baby!

    Don't doubt yourself, mama...you're doing so well for your baby! Hang in there, it only gets better!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: A little support please

    Thank you, it means a lot!

    We had a rough night again, mostly because my left breast was acting up and spraying milk like I've never seen it before! I even sprayed myself in the eye...
    Of course he wasn't having it and started screaming before I detected the problem. I can't really feel the letdown so this really is the biggest issue. :/ And also the reason why I am kinda vary about breastfeeding in public.
    Modesty isn't the issue, I know I can cover up a lot.
    With spitting I noticed that we have good and bad days.. Yesterday was a 'waterfall' day when we both changed our outfits three times.

    Gotta run, he's waking up from a 10min nap haha

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,886

    Default Re: A little support please

    One way of helping with the overactive letdown is to hand express, get the flow going and let it spray into a towel or rag, and then latch him on.

  6. #6

    Default Re: A little support please

    Hi Katniss! I apologize in advance for typos I am on my dumb phone. I'm a fellow cholestasis mom. I bet you think you deserve a break after living through itching to your eyeballs, huh?
    Anyway if you're like me you are probably even more sleep deprived than the typical postpartum mom because you couldn't sleep well (or at all) at the end of your pregnancy with all the itching and worry.
    Good news is your baby sounds healthy, it sounds like you have a great milk production, and there's no reason you won't be able to nurse your baby happily for as long as you wish.
    I am also a mom who has dealt with overproduction and forceful letdown with my three children. Here's the possibly bad news. When a mom has over production and forceful letdown it is actually very very helpful and in fact important, to nurse very frequently. Yes, Probably More frequently than you are doing. I bet if you offered you could nurse your baby every hour. Not all day, but part of the day. I am not saying you have to nurse every hour! I am just giving a for instance. You could nurse every hour. There is no rule you're breaking if you do. You and your baby will figure out how often to nurse to help calm things down.
    Also remember that your milk production would typically be at its peak right now so you may not have to deal with this too much longer, it all depends on how severe the over production is.
    As far as adjusting your expectations -well as mothers we do that every day of our lives. It just keeps going and going that way. at least that has been my experience. I never expected my almost 9-year-old to cry as easily as he does. But I also never expected that a nine-year-old could be such a sweet and considerate person that it makes me cry sometimes. In other words I think you will find that motherhood will be both far more difficult and far more rewarding than you ever expected.
    I think it's helpful to look at nursing not as only feeding your baby. A baby nurses for many reasons. And a mother will nurse her baby for many reasons. in time many mothers find that nursing is an excellent mothering tool for many situations.
    Right now you and your baby are working in tandem to create this miraculous thing -that you can feed your baby from your body the very very best food that is made especially only for him.
    If nursing is uncomfortable for you for any reason-physically or mentally-or it makes you feel uncomfortable to nurse in public or whatever, then I would suggest the problem to be solved is not how to nurse less frequently, (this will just happen on its own at the right time) but instead to figure out how to make nursing more comfortable and pleasant and satisfying for you and baby. For forceful letdown that will probably include nursing more frequently for a a while. You can also consider if block feeding to reduce your milk production, would be appropriate, and any of the other ideas above.
    For nursing in public It takes time and practice to get comfortable. Spraying and leaking and baby fussy and pulling off are all just part of breast-feeding and it's going to happen in public and that's just the way it is.
    I do have links on laid-back nursing and Block nursing and when I get to my computer I will post them. please let me know if you have other questions and welcome to the forum!

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