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Thread: FTM EBW questioning myself

  1. #1
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    Default FTM EBW questioning myself

    Hello everybody I'll try to make it quick before my LO wakes up. My daughter is 6 weeks old and EBF. It's been going quite well however recently she seems to not be getting enough,or at least that's how she's been behaving. I pretty much always fed on demand ( apart from one day here and there when tried to spread the time between feeds a little with paci or by distracting her). Which means if she's awake feeding anything between every hour to few minutes apart. Night times and when we're out and she's sleeping on me in a carrier she'll always wake up after 2 h (with some few exceptions). For the past few days she's been extra fussy and also during every feed after about 10 minutes she would behave crazily. She would start stretching a little bit and wants to suck frantically. She would also at some point start losing latch, getting crazy trying to relatch again. The sucking is very fast. It really looks like she wants to drink more/ faster and she's getting wind up. I think maybe the growth spurt, but at the same time I'm getting worried that as she's getting bigger she requires more milk and I'm not producing enough at this point and my mum told me that I wasn't getting full on her breastmilk and she had to top me up with formula. I thought the latch was ok, doesn't hurt or anything but now I'm doubting it and thinking maybe that's the problem?
    She's been gaining well, born 8.5lb, now 12.3lb.
    I'm also worrying that maybe she has silent reflux hence the fussiness and constant 'hunger'. Noticed several times that she'll feed, be content, then she'll burp with little milk and starts crying. Like if that acid is bothering her and she wants to drink to relieve that feeling. However she doesn't really have many other signs of reflux. I'm thinking maybe some food intolerance as her poop's been green recently. It was yellowish at the beginning and every now and then, but now (for about a week) is always green, sometimes with tiny streaks of blood. Asked GP on our 6 weeks check and she suggested to give my LO bottle once a day, whether formula or expressed milk. Don't really like that advice and I'm not planning on doing that. However seems like wherever you turn everybody suggesting adding some water and formula for baby to drink and extend times before feedings. I'm not going to do that but just wonder there must be a reason why so many people suggesting that. It's just messing with my head.
    I feel like constant feeding my DD is just quick fix. Instead of trying to find the reason why she cries, or maybe try harder to sooth her I give her the breast. I know many women her did that so please reasure me that I won't end up with 2 year old wanting to cluster feed for hours in the evening. That it won't become habit of hers and will eventually change. Maybe she's just tired and fussy and I should try to put her to sleep more? But she just doesn't want and fights it. And even if she falls asleep on me/breast she'll mostly sleep just few minutes.
    I read most of the resources here and on Kellymom as well and it seems like the way to go, so why do I still have doubts?
    Will be grateful if somebody can tell me their opinion.

  2. #2

    Default Re: FTM EBW questioning myself

    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    So it sounds as if you know that your baby's weight gain is normal, actually above average? And that is a pretty good indicator baby is getting enough. What you may not know is that babies do not require more milk as they get bigger! A mother's milk production typically increases from birth until 4-6 weeks, and then 'levels off.' In some cases production even goes down at around that point, especially if mom had lots of milk and baby was gaining very rapidly. This is normal and fine, So a 4-6 week old baby requires no more milk daily than does a 6 month old baby. This is because as baby gets bigger, weight gain rate slows. Your milk content changes over time to meet the changing needs of your growing baby, but the daily volume/intake stays pretty constant.
    Intake will vary day to day. And you may have heard of growth spurts, where baby nurses much more often for a few days, causing a temporary increase in milk production.

    So, based on gain, you are clearly making enough milk. Since nursing is comfortable for you and baby is gaining so well, I am going to assume baby is effective at milk transfer. However, if you doubt this, you may want to see an IBCLC so she can observe a feeding and do a before and after nursing weight check.

    IF your baby has painful reflux, (as opposed to just normal painless spitup, which is also called reflux) nursing frequently helps with that.
    Some moms with overproduction and/or forceful letdown find baby is overly fussy. Again, frequent nursing is going to be part of the remedy, should that be the case.

    If a food intolerance is causing a problem, that can be figured out by systematically eliminating one food at a time, starting with dairy. If taking dairy out of your diet changes nothing, after a week or two, start eating dairy again and take something else out-soy, or gluten maybe. There is a suggested list in the academy of breastfeeding medicine protocal linked below. But with that weight gain, I would suspect forceful letdown first, personally.
    As long as breastfeeding is going well and baby is gaining, there is no reason to not try other comfort measures if you like. But being able to calm a baby by nursing is not only normal and entirely healthy, it is usually an easy fix. Just because something is easy does not make it wrong. This is no accident, it is how things are made to work, biologically.

    I cannot assure you that you won't end up with a two year old who wants to cluster feed. Personality and many other factors come into play by then. I CAN assure you that meeting your infants normal and healthy and age appropriate needs now will not create a two year old who wants to cluster feed.

    Does this help at all?

    Also, a baby who is gaining normally certainly does not need formula, and to my knowledge, no baby should ever get straight water.

  3. #3

    Default Re: FTM EBW questioning myself

    Allergy protocol: http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro...ish_120211.pdf

    Forceful letdown http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/ (I would not suggest block nursing at this point- if you want some more info on that, please let me know.)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: FTM EBW questioning myself

    recently she seems to not be getting enough,or at least that's how she's been behaving. I pretty much always fed on demand ( apart from one day here and there when tried to spread the time between feeds a little with paci or by distracting her). Which means if she's awake feeding anything between every hour to few minutes apart.
    Frequent feedings are textbook normal at 6 weeks. My kids both fed every 1-2 hours round the clock at that age, with periods of cluster feeding in the evenings. What were you thinking to achieve by spreading out the baby's feedings?

    I'm getting worried that as she's getting bigger she requires more milk and I'm not producing enough at this point
    As LLLMeg said, milk need peaks in the first month or so, and then levels off.

    and my mum told me that I wasn't getting full on her breastmilk and she had to top me up with formula.
    If you could go back in time to when you were a baby, I bet you'd catch someone doing to your mom just what she is now doing to you: sowing the seeds of self-doubt. It's really, really easy to sabotage a breastfeeding mom's confidence. Just tell her that if her milk supply were normal, the baby wouldn't need to nurse so often. Or tell her that the reason her baby is fussy or doesn't sleep long stretches must be because her milk isn't filling enough. Or remind her how well she turned out, even though she was formula-fed. Or tell her that her own mother was also unable to nurse.

    You can love and respect your mom, but this is one area in which you should not be guided by her experience.

    I thought the latch was ok, doesn't hurt or anything but now I'm doubting it and thinking maybe that's the problem?
    She's been gaining well, born 8.5lb, now 12.3lb.
    Pain-free latch + baby gaining well = breastfeeding is going just fine. Don't look for problems where there aren't any!

    I'm also worrying that maybe she has silent reflux hence the fussiness and constant 'hunger'. Noticed several times that she'll feed, be content, then she'll burp with little milk and starts crying. Like if that acid is bothering her and she wants to drink to relieve that feeling. However she doesn't really have many other signs of reflux. I'm thinking maybe some food intolerance as her poop's been green recently. It was yellowish at the beginning and every now and then, but now (for about a week) is always green, sometimes with tiny streaks of blood.
    Considering that your baby has such good weight gain, I wouldn't consider reflux a strong possibility. But the green and blood-streaked poops are suggestive of a food intolerance. Ordinarily I am not a fan of moms doing dietary eliminations for healthy babies, but if you want you could try taking dairy out of your diet for a couple of days and seeing if things change. Sensitivities to cow's milk proteins are common, and that would be the first thing to try if you do decide to eliminate potential offenders in your diet. (Please note that a sensitivity to cow's milk proteins is not the same as lactose intolerance.)

    Asked GP on our 6 weeks check and she suggested to give my LO bottle once a day, whether formula or expressed milk
    What a ridiculous suggestion! What on earth was the GP thinking. Did he/she say?

    However seems like wherever you turn everybody suggesting adding some water and formula for baby to drink and extend times before feedings. I'm not going to do that but just wonder there must be a reason why so many people suggesting that.
    The problem is that we live in a society that has forgotten what normal breastfeeding looks like. People expect that breastfeeding babies should behave and feed like formula-fed ones; that is, they should eat large amounts rather infrequently. We also live in a society which places a very high value on independence. Many people think that when a woman is at the beck and call of a young baby, she clearly can't be enjoying her independence, and the solution is to force the baby to be more convenient and less demanding (i.e. less like a baby!). Sadly, using bottles and schedules are a great way to derail breastfeeding, and often do not result in greater freedom for mom. For example, my bottle-feeding friends are up with their babies just as much as I ever was. But when their babies are hungry at 2 am, they have to go down to the kitchen and make and warm a bottle, and then feed the baby that bottle, and then rock the baby back to sleep- whereas I only ever had to roll over, latch baby on, and drift back to sleep!

    It's just messing with my head.
    Don't let it.

    I feel like constant feeding my DD is just quick fix.
    . Nope, nope, nope, nope. Frequent nursing is the ultimate in responsive parenting, and it WORKS. There is nothing you can do- not rocking or lullabies or baby massage or whatever- that will soothe a baby the way the breast will. The breast is always the best, easiest, and most natural solution to the problems of a young baby.

    I know many women her did that so please reasure me that I won't end up with 2 year old wanting to cluster feed for hours in the evening.
    I know it feels like you'll be stuck in this demanding newborn phase forever, but it will end! I promise. My second baby was an evening cluster feeder extraordinaire. She nursed every 5 minutes for about 1-2 hours every evening when she was small. And she grew out of it. In fact, she's easier to get to bed than her 7 year old sister!
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: FTM EBW questioning myself

    Thank you both for your quick and thorough answers. I really appreciate that there are people who can dedicate their time to help others
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    What you may not know is that babies do not require more milk as they get bigger! A mother's milk production typically increases from birth until 4-6 weeks, and then 'levels off.' In some cases production even goes down at around that point, especially if mom had lots of milk and baby was gaining very rapidly. This is normal and fine, So a 4-6 week old baby requires no more milk daily than does a 6 month old baby. This is because as baby gets bigger, weight gain rate slows. Your milk content changes over time to meet the changing needs of your growing baby, but the daily volume/intake stays pretty constant.
    Intake will vary day to day. And you may have heard of growth spurts, where baby nurses much more often for a few days, causing a temporary increase in milk production.
    Didn't know that in fact. I'm suspecting that she was going through growth spurt recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    If a food intolerance is causing a problem, that can be figured out by systematically eliminating one food at a time, starting with dairy. If taking dairy out of your diet changes nothing, after a week or two, start eating dairy again and take something else out-soy, or gluten maybe. There is a suggested list in the academy of breastfeeding medicine protocal linked below. But with that weight gain, I would suspect forceful letdown first, personally.
    TBH I though about forceful letdown, but as I never sprayed and I don't feel the let down, so it's hard for me to know whether that's the case. She does get fussy on the breast sometimes ( recently most of the time) but it was usually toward the end of feeding and I'd guess that let down happens at the beginning doesn't it? She's just being so fussy and unsettled for the past few days


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Does this help at all?

    Also, a baby who is gaining normally certainly does not need formula, and to my knowledge, no baby should ever get straight water.
    Yeah you helped me a lot and made me feel reassured I know not to listen to that, but if the same advices repeat over and over again sometimes makes you want to do it just to shut those people.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Frequent feedings are textbook normal at 6 weeks. My kids both fed every 1-2 hours round the clock at that age, with periods of cluster feeding in the evenings. What were you thinking to achieve by spreading out the baby's feedings?
    I know how it sounds but I just wanted to spread it into 2 hours intervals. At that time though what my baby does is not normal. And even believed that she makes herself sick by eating that often.



    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    If you could go back in time to when you were a baby, I bet you'd catch someone doing to your mom just what she is now doing to you: sowing the seeds of self-doubt. It's really, really easy to sabotage a breastfeeding mom's confidence. Just tell her that if her milk supply were normal, the baby wouldn't need to nurse so often. Or tell her that the reason her baby is fussy or doesn't sleep long stretches must be because her milk isn't filling enough. Or remind her how well she turned out, even though she was formula-fed. Or tell her that her own mother was also unable to nurse.
    That's how I just feel. That even though they don't have bad intention, they can shatter your confidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Considering that your baby has such good weight gain, I wouldn't consider reflux a strong possibility. But the green and blood-streaked poops are suggestive of a food intolerance. Ordinarily I am not a fan of moms doing dietary eliminations for healthy babies, but if you want you could try taking dairy out of your diet for a couple of days and seeing if things change. Sensitivities to cow's milk proteins are common, and that would be the first thing to try if you do decide to eliminate potential offenders in your diet. (Please note that a sensitivity to cow's milk proteins is not the same as lactose intolerance.)
    Will have to do that, at least give it a try. Otherwise will keep blaming myself that my baby's suffering because of me. Just need to plan what to eat once I cut dairy.


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    What a ridiculous suggestion! What on earth was the GP thinking. Did he/she say?
    I know, thought the same. Don't see any reason why would it help. Will my milk magically change once I express it? No it will be still the same milk just with much more hassle.



    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    I know it feels like you'll be stuck in this demanding newborn phase forever, but it will end! I promise. My second baby was an evening cluster feeder extraordinaire. She nursed every 5 minutes for about 1-2 hours every evening when she was small. And she grew out of it. In fact, she's easier to get to bed than her 7 year old sister!
    My LO has those days as well. When for 2h straight she'll be nursing. And other evenings she would nurse every 15 - 30min for 8h. And then there's evenings (those are rare and somehow precious) that she'll sleep waking up just to eat.

    Just wonder what that fussiness is. She'll cry straight after feed. Then once we manage to distract her she'll be happy and smiley, cooing and gooing on us. Or she'd be lying all content and star crying and fussing once I pick her. Like she doesn't like me ( I know in fact she does)

    Can there be any meaning in pulling the nipple away? She'll be sucking and then at some point arch her back and pull the head away with nipple in her mouth. Or it's just random movement babies make?

    Also forgot to ask about bedtime routine/ teaching baby day and night difference. When did you start doing that with that constant feeding? Should I bother or not yet?

  6. #6

    Default Re: FTM EBW questioning myself

    Can there be any meaning in pulling the nipple away? She'll be sucking and then at some point arch her back and pull the head away with nipple in her mouth. Or it's just random movement babies make?
    if this is regular, I would suspect baby not liking the position, forceful letdown, or reflux.

    You don't have to know what the exact problem is, as above (and just general fussiness) are all typically helped and certainly not harmed by nursing in a reclined position, nursing frequently, holding baby 'upright' after feedings ( don't lay baby down until baby actually is deeply asleep, and even then, no need to lay baby down if there is someone willing/able to hold baby.)

    Also forgot to ask about bedtime routine/ teaching baby day and night difference. When did you start doing that with that constant feeding? Should I bother or not yet?
    not yet, imo. Baby will and certainly should be nursing regularly day and night for many months. However, there is no reason for you to be up and lights/tv/computer on etc. at night. Whether or not you are bedsharing, baby can come to bed when you do, and the bedroom can be dark and nursing can be a very quiet time. Of course, if YOU prefer camping out in front of tv or whatever instead, due to baby being awake so much at night, that is fine.

    Later, how much you want to bother with bedtimes will depend a bit on your baby and your household. -many babies just sort this out on their own as they are developmentally ready and they get the gist of the household routine. With no (concious) effort on my part, My 15 month old daughter nurses to sleep pretty quickly every night right after I get her older brothers into bed, (they need a story, songs, prayers, all very ritualized) and takes her longest daily sleep stretch at that point. Other times, it really helps to have rituals around bedtime to set up a routine. But that is not needed until much later. Months or even years down the line depending on your family’s needs and desires.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: FTM EBW questioning myself

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    if this is regular, I would suspect baby not liking the position, forceful letdown, or reflux.
    It happens towards the end of the nursing when she's kind of falling asleep.
    But that's another one for the forceful letdown. Will have to look into it. Can FL happen several times during nursing? Can it not happen straight away, but little later?
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    holding baby 'upright' after feedings
    That's when she starts fussing recently (not always though). I lift her to burp or to 'sit' little on my lap and she doesn't seem to like it. Just like right now. She nursed while ago I burped her and she fell asleep on my arm. Then woke up and started crying. I put her down just to pick up my nursing pillow and she's ok, smilling and everything. Don't understand it :/
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    not yet, imo. Baby will and certainly should be nursing regularly day and night for many months. However, there is no reason for you to be up and lights/tv/computer on etc. at night. Whether or not you are bedsharing, baby can come to bed when you do, and the bedroom can be dark and nursing can be a very quiet time. Of course, if YOU prefer camping out in front of tv or whatever instead, due to baby being awake so much at night, that is fine.
    Don't mind feeding often at night, but my LO doesn't seem to aknowledge the night until about 2-3 am. That's the time she'll fall asleep waking up for feeds and then going back to sleep with no problem. Before that it's hit or miss. And most of the times it's either fussiness all evening , feeds mixed with naps or constant nursing. We don't co sleep and I'm not really planning to do that at least for now. So I spend those hours watching movies or other stuff. And I'm just wondering whether she will ever start going to sleep earlier if I don't show her the difference between day and night. Don't know how long I can manage to live like that.

  8. #8

    Default Re: FTM EBW questioning myself

    If fussyness happens more toward the middle or end of the feeding, rather than more at beginning, that sounds less like forceful letdown- BUT, I am wondering-maybe baby is trying to nurse to sleep, and cannot due to the flow being too fast even at the end of the feeding? My oldest would often not nurse to sleep in the early weeks. He preferred to "fuss' to sleep as we called it. I would nurse, and then I or my husband would put him up on our shoulder and walk him around & pat his back as he fussed and cried until he fell asleep.

    What if you put baby more up against your shoulder, (facing over your shoulder a bit) or snuggled upright against your chest (facing you) Still does not like being upright? Babies often like to be supported with slight pressure on their fronts-some like more pressure, which is when you use the 'magic baby hold' where baby lies front down along your forearm. However, if you baby prefers being down and on her back, no worries, that is your baby. If your baby is happiest more flat on her back, that would tend to go against reflux being an issue.

    If you are not bedsharing, that is fine, but are you room sharing? (AAP recommends room sharing for at least the first year as a SIDS preventative.)

    Anyway, if room sharing, you could bring baby to the bedroom when you want to go to sleep and lay her in the crib or bassinet or whatever. I am not sure how happy she will be with this but every baby is different. Of course, if she is fussy and not happy put in the crib, she is presumably needing to be held- or is that not your experience?
    I am not sure how else to show a baby the difference between day and night?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: FTM EBW questioning myself

    but if the same advices repeat over and over again sometimes makes you want to do it just to shut those people.
    Sometimes it can help to say things like "My doctor told me not to give water (or formula)". This is often useful with the older generations, who tend to be more respectful of medical authority. If that doesn't work, it can help to confront the issue head-on and say something like "Yes, I have heard you say that before. It's not advice I am going to take, so please let's agree not to talk about it any more." Or you can just continue to ignore...

    I know how it sounds but I just wanted to spread it into 2 hours intervals. At that time though what my baby does is not normal. And even believed that she makes herself sick by eating that often.
    Believe me, I understand how frustrating super-frequent feeding can be, and how easy it can be to fall into the mindset that it can't possibly normal. For me, it was kind of like "How can anything this tough be normal?"

    Anyway, as long as you're not worried that you really need your baby on a schedule, and you're willing to feed on demand, everything is great!

    Will have to do that, at least give it a try. Otherwise will keep blaming myself that my baby's suffering because of me. Just need to plan what to eat once I cut dairy.
    This forum is a great source of information for moms who are trying to eliminate foods from their diets. We have a lot of moms here who have gone dairy-free, or soy-free, or whatever, and they're an excellent resource.

    I know, thought the same. Don't see any reason why would it help. Will my milk magically change once I express it? No it will be still the same milk just with much more hassle.
    Exactly!!!

    Just wonder what that fussiness is. She'll cry straight after feed.
    There are so many possibilities! Maybe she's full but still wants to suck, and can't do that without getting more milk than she needs. Maybe she doesn't want to be put down. Maybe she has to poop or pass gas- young babies often find that process distressing!

    I am with LLLMeg that the more you can cut down on artificial light during the evening, that will be a big step towards teaching your baby the difference between day and night.

  10. #10

    Default Re: FTM EBW questioning myself

    So I was thinking about this more, and while I do not want to keep telling you it's normal, it's normal when in fact, it is possible there is some issue like allergy or forceful letdown or something else...you are the best judge of that, as you know your baby best.

    I do think is is important to remember that your baby's frequent nursing, fussyness and sleep patterns indeed COULD just be normal and, thus, not really 'fixable' (because you cannot fix normal) and also, temporary. Very generally, babies tend to be pretty sleepy the first couple of weeks, then get more wakeful and fussy for a while, and then get less fussy over time. What I am trying to say is, please do not look at your day (or night) with a 6 week old and think that is going to be your life with your baby a month from now. It is almoust surely not, even if you do 'nothing' but keep going with the flow. And a month after that it will be different again, and so on.

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