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Thread: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    I think that your baby is possibly being overfed. I can only think in English measurements, sorry, and what I am getting in converting your mils is baby is fed about 3 and a third to 5 ounces (or slightly more) each feeding. Yes, that is a lot. 2-4 ounces per feeding would be more the range to aim for IMO.

    Here is why. Lets say the estimate total baby needs is 30 ounces per day (some need more, and some less, and it will vary day to day even with the same baby) but that is accepted average.

    A 6 week old can be expected to nurse AT LEAST 8-12 times a day, and will often nurse more often.

    So lets call 10 the average feeding frequency in 24 hours. That means a baby would want to AVERAGE 3 ounces a feed to get 30 ounces in a day. (Remember not every feeding will be the same size)

    Even if baby is only being fed 8 times a day, average feeding for a total of 30 ounces would be 3 and 3/4th ounce per feeding.

    So, if baby is instead averaging 4 and a half ounces a feed, eating 8 times a day, that is 36 ounces. This may well be more than your baby needs. And even if 36 is good number for this particular baby, it is probably better if this comes in more frequent, smaller amounts.

    Because to move baby to the breast, baby has to want more. This does not mean starving baby into nursing, of course, actually that usually makes things worse. but if baby is possibly being overfed with bottles, that is going to cause baby to not have much interest in nursing.

    Also to encourage comfort nursing, try eliminating or cutting down on pacifiers if those are being used.

    EVERYONE has to be feeding baby EVERY bottle with paced feeding!!! It is no harder than regular bottles, you just have to know how to do it. Maybe this video will help them? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs

    I agree nipple shields can be a good temporary tool so if they are helping baby nurse when otherwise baby won't, definitely use them. But be aware they can cause low milk transfer and consequently mess with milk production. You are pumping lots now anyway, but if you get to the point baby is exclusively nursing but only with shields, some pumping may continue be necessary possibly.

    It is entirely normal for babies to fall asleep while nursing and also while getting a bottle. (Particularly if it is a large bottle as baby has been getting.) Nature designed sucking to release a hormone that relaxes and calm babies. So the sleeping is ONLY an issue of baby is not getting enough milk overall or not nurse with normal frequency. As pp says, short feedings are also normal

  2. #12

    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    I haven't personally gone through this issue before but I just wanted to tell you that I admire you for your hard work at sticking to attempting to breastfeed your little one for 6 plus weeks. You are a devoted mom and it is obvious that you are working hard and trying to give your son what is best. Keep trying but if worst comes to worst and you can't get him to latch don't be hard on yourself! You are no less of a mom if you become exhausted with your efforts, you are a fantastic mom for putting the effort in.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    11

    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    I managed to breastfeed him twice without top up last night! After each feed he slept for almost 3 hour, about the same duration if we bottle feed him. Not sure if it's night time and he's too tired to reject the breasts cos I tried to breastfeed him again this morning but he needed a top up.

    He doesn't use pacifier and I do try to comfort nurse him but so far he's not that interested.

    I do think he's slightly overfed but he always cries for more.

    Does anyone know what's the maximum ounces that a baby takes when they're older? If I do continue to pump exclusively, I'm not sure if I can produce enough for him.

    Hopefully he can have breast milk for as long as possible. Hubby's been suggesting formula so that I can sleep and enjoy motherhood. But I feel that I should try harder before giving up.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    688

    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    2 feeds is great! Well done Night times are often the first feeds a baby takes when they return to the breast because they are too sleepy to pay attention/more relaxed/ whatever it is that goes on in a baby's mind!

    Hopefully just continuing to do what you are doing and offering breast lots will help him come around more and more.

    As for needing more milk as baby grows they actually take the same amount (roughly) anyhow so if you can keep up now you should be able to continue to do so.

    If a baby is full or you think they are full, try holding them, bouncing them, putting them in a carrier etc to see if they will settle another way. You can always re - offer the breast or top up if that doesn't work. Sometimes mums will say baby seems to still be hungry but by the time formula is made and cooled baby has actually settled.

    As for DH I think watching your partner struggle with feeding and exhaustion makes them want to help, which to them at least logically means formula. Try to gently explain why this is important to you and/or things he CAN do to help to try and alleviate it. (E.g. Make dinner, hold the baby while you take a shower...)

  5. #15
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    Mar 2014
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    Central FL
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    I agree with previous poster on all counts.

    The amount of breastmilk baby needs really doesn't keep increasing after about 4-6 weeks or so. Baby's rate of gain will eventually start to slow down too after 3 months or so.

    That last bit about hubby and suggesting formula to make things easier I also contended with. It is really hard to communicate with daddy just how important nursing is for a mom. Not just the whole thing about breastmilk being best and all the health benefits for both baby and mother but the emotional aspect for mom is huge and giving up before you feel that you have tried all you can and gotten all the support you can is not going to help you "enjoy motherhood". I don't think I was ever really able to get DH to understand and men so often feel they need to "fix" things if you are struggling so the recommendation to offer hubby some ways that he CAN help will hopefully give you some relief from the unhelpful suggestions. (Also let him know that skipping out nursing or pumping too much will have negative health consequences to you if you get engorged so giving formula isn't an instant fix anyway.)

  6. #16
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    Nov 2014
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    I know I should try to offer the breast before each feeding but so far during the day we haven't been successful and it just makes feeding time longer and affect my pumping time.

    I was thinking if I can bottle feed him during the day and breastfeed at midnight (he's more accepting of breasts at night), and slowly work towards day time? Or will bottle feeding during day time affect breastfeeding at night?

  7. #17
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    Nov 2014
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    Is it possible that baby gets upset and unhappy throughout the day if I keep offering the breasts when he doesn't like it? He's 7weeks old now. I find that some days he doesn't smile.

  8. #18
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*poppy123 View Post
    I know I should try to offer the breast before each feeding but so far during the day we haven't been successful and it just makes feeding time longer and affect my pumping time.

    I was thinking if I can bottle feed him during the day and breastfeed at midnight (he's more accepting of breasts at night), and slowly work towards day time? Or will bottle feeding during day time affect breastfeeding at night?
    I think this is a good plan. Nursing when both mom and baby are more relaxed and sleepy is often a helpful path toward more nursing. I would also suggest, try to take 'should' out of your vocabulary. Every baby and every situation is different and there is no reason you 'should' try to nurse before bottle, at least not every time. Supplements can be given after nursing, before, or a feeding can be nurse-supplement-nurse, or supplement-nurse-supplement, or whatever works in your case to move baby toward more nursing or at least to ensure continued nursing. Pumping can also happen when it works best for you! It need not always be after feedings. That can certainly get exhausting.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; December 3rd, 2014 at 11:16 PM.

  9. #19
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*poppy123 View Post
    Is it possible that baby gets upset and unhappy throughout the day if I keep offering the breasts when he doesn't like it? He's 7weeks old now. I find that some days he doesn't smile.
    I am not an expert in development but I am pretty sure not smiling (or not smiling much) at 7 weeks is entirely normal. I remember being at a mommy and me meeting and crying because my oldest was about that age and had not smiled even once, worrying me to death, but he was fine. I guess anything is possible but I honestly can not imagine why being offered the breast would cause an infant to be unhappy. I think it is possible that when mom is overly worried and stressed, she may not smile much, and so the frequency of social smiling in baby might be affected due to that- but again I think it may be way to young to be getting concerned about that.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    11

    Default Re: 6weeks old - too late to BF?

    Since last night I've noticed that I have plugged duct on my breast and have only breastfeed a few times. They were more like nibbling instead of a real feed. Since I need to pump every 3 hour to massage and get rid of the duct I don't think baby will want to go on breast as he prefers them when they're fuller.

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