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Thread: Frustrated and seeking clarity

  1. #1

    Default Frustrated and seeking clarity

    Hi Everyone,

    I've been browsing the forums for a while reading all the helpful information, but maybe its the late hour, I've been getting frustrated with myself and was hoping to get some clarity on a few things as I take care of our new 9 day old son.

    First some background. I've been eBF since birth and he had no problem latching from the very first moment. Unfortunately the first few times I had some severe cracking and bruising so I introduced the nipple shield which I've been using ever since. He seems to latch quite quickly and it seems to be getting him the milk he needs - lots of diapers throughout the day and night (wet and BM) and my breasts feel like they're filling up regularly and draining properly. His weight is also steadily going up from the few weighings we've had.

    Right now his schedule is at the start of a cycle he wakes up, I feed him for 20 min, change him and feed him for 20 min more. After about 10 minutes of feeding on any breast he is super dopey and sleepy. I poke and prod at him with DH to keep him going and try to aim for about 40 min total or the best he'll do. I know its normal to fall asleep at the breast but he seems so out of it. When we do poke at him he does actively suckle and swallow so I assume its ok?

    After he feeds he's usually pretty ready for bed. He is easily out for a 2 hour stretch when we wake him and feed him again.

    Last few days we've noticed that about 2-3 times a day, he'll feed, be sleepy and when we're just about to put him to bed, he's wide awake. We try to play with him and stimulate him, but before we know it he gets very fussy, crying lots. We do the usual stuff (diapers, burping, skin-to-skin) but none of it seems to work. At this point after about an hour of play/fuss I feed him again and hope he falls asleep - doesn't always work out although he always feeds (5-15 min). I'm not sure what to do when he gets like this or if its because he's not getting enough from me. Before I know it, its been 3 hours since his last big feeding and I'm trying to get a long feeding out of him. Is this normal? Is there anything I should be watching for?

    Another question I had was I'm not sure what a "feeding" is. If I feed him for 30-40 min and he feeds again in an hour for 15 minutes, is that 2 feedings? I ask because on his current schedule of feed for about an hour, and sleep for about 2 hours, he only gets in 7-8 feedings a day. DH and I been waking him at night every few hours to feed him. To be honest I can't remember a time when he's woken up hungry, nor can I remember a time when he's turned down a feeding.

    Any help or tips appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Frustrated and seeking clarity

    The best advice I got in these early weeks was watch your baby, not the clock. I am much less stressed out since I quit counting feedings and timing them. If he is peeing and pooping and gaining weight he is getting enough milk. My 16 day old will sometimes nurse every 2 hours, sometimes every 3, sometimes she wants to marathon nurse on and off for 4 hours straight. Sometimes she falls asleep after less than 10 minutes, sometimes she nurses for 20 or more. Sometimes she only wants one breast. If she comes off the first side and then seems hungry again I give her the other side. It is exhausting, I know, and I really wish she were more predictable, but I just keep reminding myself that this is just the first phase in our nursing relationship and it won't be forever. I hope you get some advice from more experienced moms too - I just thought it might help to hear that you are not alone.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Frustrated and seeking clarity

    One other thing - if he has regained his birth weight from what I have learned you don't need to wake him up to nurse unless it has been more than 4 hours.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Frustrated and seeking clarity

    I agree with the pp. No week old baby is going to be predictable with any sort of reliable schedule (I prefer routine, much less rigid than schedule). He's likely to wake up a bit more this week and want to nurse more frequently for the three week growth spurt. If it's been an hour since the start of the first feed then yes call it another feeding.

    Fussy behavior is normal. Weight gain and diaper output are indicators of adequate intake, not baby's attitude. So I'm reading it as you don't offer to nurse when he's fussy like that until an hour has usually passed. What happens when you offer right away?
    If you really want to add in more nursing sessions, why not hold him for a nap? Most babies will latch on for a short feeding in the middle of naps if they are near mama.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Frustrated and seeking clarity

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*zaynethepain View Post
    I agree with the pp. No week old baby is going to be predictable with any sort of reliable schedule (I prefer routine, much less rigid than schedule). He's likely to wake up a bit more this week and want to nurse more frequently for the three week growth spurt. If it's been an hour since the start of the first feed then yes call it another feeding.

    Fussy behavior is normal. Weight gain and diaper output are indicators of adequate intake, not baby's attitude. So I'm reading it as you don't offer to nurse when he's fussy like that until an hour has usually passed. What happens when you offer right away?
    If you really want to add in more nursing sessions, why not hold him for a nap? Most babies will latch on for a short feeding in the middle of naps if they are near mama.
    I offer to feed him whenever he fusses for more than a minute as a go-to move. If he starts to get fussy I offer him a feeding right away which he takes for about 5 minutes and then falls asleep during the feeding (which he regularly does). After a bit of poking till he's so dopey he's not swallowing, I hold him to see if he has to burp and cradle him for a bit. Soon as I put him down the cycle repeats so I try a burp, diaper etc.

    Is it safe to say at this age, there's not much other than feeding that will satisfy him? I've never had him turn down a feeding. He's pulled away but if I take a moment he'll take a few more sips every time and I can see the milk pooling in the nipple shield when I take him off so I think he's consuming. He rarely spits up and is going through diapers like a machine. I'm concerned that my breasts are feeling more depleted (softer, not engorged) without the 2 hour gap between feedings that he may not get what he needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*zaynethepain View Post
    I prefer routine, much less rigid than schedule
    Couldn't agree more! Last week we had a good routine going but these new frenzy sessions are exhausting and confusing! For example, last week he fell asleep on my chest/in my arms following feedings, now he fusses pretty quickly.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Frustrated and seeking clarity

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*avesnovuelan View Post
    I just thought it might help to hear that you are not alone.
    Thanks so much avesnouvelan, its comforting to know I'm not the only one.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Frustrated and seeking clarity

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*zippy219 View Post
    I offer to feed him whenever he fusses for more than a minute as a go-to move. If he starts to get fussy I offer him a feeding right away which he takes for about 5 minutes and then falls asleep during the feeding (which he regularly does). After a bit of poking till he's so dopey he's not swallowing, I hold him to see if he has to burp and cradle him for a bit. Soon as I put him down the cycle repeats.
    Do you feel like a human pacifier? I know the feeling. When I was still counting feedings I nursed 20 times in 24 hours one day. My mom kind of scolded me and made me feel like I was misreading my baby's cues (and she breastfed my brother and I successfully so I trusted her opinion). The next day at well baby check I mentioned this lightheartedly to baby's doc who totally validated me. She said baby "using" me as a pacifier is totally normal and fine, she was helping my milk to come in. Now when she cluster feeds for hours on end I remind myself she knows what she is doing...right now probably trying to boost my supply for the 3 week growth spurt. I get frustrated because I am still dealing with a lot of nipple discomfort, but she is getting what she needs from me and that is the most important thing.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Frustrated and seeking clarity

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*zippy219 View Post
    Is it safe to say at this age, there's not much other than feeding that will satisfy him?
    Yes, exactly!!! New babies just don't have any interests outside the breast and being held and cuddled. They can't focus their eyes, they can't coordinate their hands, the sounds they hear are just weird, garbled noise. They have all these new discomforts- like being too hot or too cold or having to poop. The only way they know to deal with this totally weird new environment is to attach to mom and stay attached to mom!

    Have you ever heard of the "4th trimester" concept? Basically, it holds that during the first 3 months or so of a baby's life, the baby is essentially a fetus that would still be gestating if it were physically possible for a human woman to still be pregnant. But it's not- the energy demands are too high, and babies can't get much larger and still fit through the pelvis. So here's this little fetus who is stuck on the outside- all he wants is to plug his umbilical cord back in. The closest he can get to that is to nurse as much as possible, and seek mom's warm cuddles and attention as much as possible.
    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!"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Frustrated and seeking clarity

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*avesnovuelan View Post
    Do you feel like a human pacifier? I know the feeling. When I was still counting feedings I nursed 20 times in 24 hours one day. My mom kind of scolded me and made me feel like I was misreading my baby's cues (and she breastfed my brother and I successfully so I trusted her opinion). The next day at well baby check I mentioned this lightheartedly to baby's doc who totally validated me. She said baby "using" me as a pacifier is totally normal and fine, she was helping my milk to come in. Now when she cluster feeds for hours on end I remind myself she knows what she is doing...right now probably trying to boost my supply for the 3 week growth spurt. I get frustrated because I am still dealing with a lot of nipple discomfort, but she is getting what she needs from me and that is the most important thing.
    Human pacifier is right! I feel bad when he falls asleep while feeding. He seems to feed great but about 5-10 minutes in it's like he's on cloud nine, completely out of it. I think he's done but after a short cuddle session he wakes right back up so we repeat the process. I admit I too am worried I'm misreading his cues and possibly just running to the same answer, but maybe BF does solve all his problems (at least for now). I've been trying to soothe him with cuddling on my chest, cradling, swings etc. but nothing seems to work twice in a row other than BF which knocks him out for a few minutes.

    I found the nipple shield was very helpful for me and the nipple discomfort. The LC at the hospital helped size me for it and I know people have mixed feelings, but I find he latches on very quickly and its give me a chance to rest my nipples.

    I am curious, when BFing that often, would it ever be possible to leave the house? Between the polar vortex and the constance feeding I'm starting to wonder if he's ever going to get some fresh air.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Frustrated and seeking clarity

    I use a nipple shield on the left because I have a crack that won't heal, but not on the right because I want to make sure she is still practicing latching correctly. We have left the house for an hour here and there on warmer days (we live in MN so those are few and far between), so far I have only had to nurse her in a bathroom once. I plan to start practicing nursing with a cover in the next couple days, although I am not opposed to nursing uncovered in public there are times I know I will want to be covered, for example around certain awkward acquaintances at church or certain annoying male relatives .

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