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Thread: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Unhappy Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    I'm new here and must say that finding this forum has been a godsend! I thought I was all alone in my doubts and worries regarding bf.

    My son is 4weeks old today, and there still seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when he eats. Sometimes he will go 2-3 hours between feedings and then other times it seems to be non-stop....like today....he eats for a hour, then 20-45 min later he's ready to eat again! He has only slept about a hour today since he woke this a.m. Fortunately, the night time is pretty smooth sailing. We can usually get him to go down in his bassinet around 10:30 or 11:00pm and he will sleep 3-4 hours then he wakes and eats then goes back to sleep. That usually takes 45min to an hour, then he's up again around 6 or 7am. That is when the inconsistentcy begins. I've tried to bf him every 2 hours to get on a schedule, but he's not having any part of it. It's just all helter skelter...and I know not bf when he's signaling he's hungry just to get on a schedule is NOT the thing to do and I haven't. I'm always ready to bf when he's ready to eat.

    What hasn't helped is my DH. Every single time Zach cries, he says "he's hungry again" and is convinced that I'm not producing enough milk. He has even gone so far as to say, "this BF thing in not working." UGH!
    He's seems to be forgetting all the dirty diapers we have both changed! I was fairly confident in my supply, but now I have my doubts. I did succomb to using a pump and giving some emb in a bottle. As of 2 days ago, I literally looked at Zach and said this is a team effort buddy, and we are going to succeed. I haven't pumped since. So, I guess my questions are as follows:

    1. Does it sound to you all like I have a supply issue?
    (note: I have experienced engorgement and leaking. Have been able to
    pump as much at 4oz at one time)
    2. How can you tell if they are truly swallowing or just using you for comfort?
    3. How on earth to you begin to try to get your little one on a schedule?
    4. Is it too early to start establishing a nite-time routine? 10:30-11:00pm is pretty late for "bed time"

    I feel completely inadequate....

    Any and all feedback is welcomed>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    Hi there! Let me see if I can help

    1. Does it sound to you all like I have a supply issue?
    (note: I have experienced engorgement and leaking. Have been able to
    pump as much at 4oz at one time)
    The only indication of low milk suppy in mom is if baby stop gaining weight or starts losing weight. A good way to know whether baby is getting enough is to simply watch the wet and poopy diaper output -- what goes in, must come out. At 4 weeks old your baby should be having 6-8 sopping wet diapers + 3-4 quarter-sized bowel movements every 24 hours. After about the 6 week mark the bowel movements may slow down. What you yield with a pump is not indicative of what baby gets when he is nursing directly.

    Based on what you've said, it does not sound like you have a supply issue. I think that many of us read a lot of things during our pregnancy about how often babies will eat and how they will sleep. Breastfed babies nursing patterns vary greatly -- some will need to nurse non-stop and others will only need to nurse every 2-4 hours. Keep in mind that babies nurse for more than just food -- they often need to nurse for comfort. So the very best thing you can do is to simply allow baby to nurse when he needs to

    2. How can you tell if they are truly swallowing or just using you for comfort?
    As I mentioned above, babies will often nurse for comfort and that is okay. But you actually can tell the difference between active nursing and comfort nursing. When baby is actively nursing, the sucks will be short (suck-suck-suck) for a few seconds until your milk lets down and then the sucks will be more long and drawn out with many swallows (you'll probably hear baby gulping a bit). Once the let down is complete, baby's sucks will return to the shorter, shallower sucks and eventually, your milk will let down again which will prompt the longer more drawn out sucks. As long as your baby is at the breast your milk will continue to let down over and over and over again. This is okay! The more milk your baby takes in, the better

    3. How on earth to you begin to try to get your little one on a schedule?
    Schedules are not recommended for breastfed babies. Over time your baby will probably develop his own little schedule. Personally, I've always found it much easier to adapt to baby's schedule than for baby to adapt to mine The very best thing you can do is to nurse baby on demand -- "watch the baby, not the clock".

    4. Is it too early to start establishing a nite-time routine? 10:30-11:00pm is pretty late for "bed time"
    No, in fact many babies thrive on routine. You may have to experiment around but many babies like to have a nice warm bath followed by a nursing session (or cluster nursing session!) before bed. Also, "Late" is a relative term If 10:30-11:00 works for all of you, then it works! No need to change something that is working, right?

    I'm sorry that you are feeling inadequate but it really sounds like you are doing all the right things and trusting your body and baby to work together in perfect harmony. Try to stick to your guns -- your instincts will be a great guide for you. Keep up the good work!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    [QUOTE=Wahini]4. Is it too early to start establishing a nite-time routine? 10:30-11:00pm is pretty late for "bed time"

    QUOTE]

    I'm so sorry for how you are feeling--I can't answer your first 3 questions because I unfortunately caved when my whole family told me I wasn't producing enough and my baby was starving and gave him a bottle at 3 weeks old--I have regretted it ever since and am here getting all the info I can before I have my second baby in July so that I have the help and support I need to be successful at BF this time.

    As far as routine goes--it is a WONDERFUL THING!! Not only for the baby, but for you too. We had a night-time routine for DS from the time we brought him home. to put it simply--bath, bottle, bed. (for the first 3 weeks it was bath, BF, bed.) he is 21 months old now and after his bath and a bed time story, he grabs his dad and i by the finger and shows us to his bedroom so that he can go to bed. I had always heard schedules or routines were the best thing you could do, and now I truly believe it!

    Also--when I was BF, I let Daddy give him his baths for the most part. That was something they could do to bond since Daddy couldn't feed him. Daddy was also happy to change diapers because it was something that he could do to spend more quality time w/the baby. I found getting him involved in other ways made him resent the BF even less!

    Hope that helps!!

    Krista
    DH Barney
    Mommy to Justin, 21 months
    Mommy to Ada Grace who will arrive on July 7th! (I can't wait)

  4. #4
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    Mar 2006
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    Smile Re: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    Hi Wahini,

    I was in a similar situation to you. My firstborn didn't get to nurse after a month because I didn't have the confidence or support I needed to get past all the initial frustration. I had my 2nd child 6 weeks ago. Unfortunately, we have our own set of issues completely different than his sister. He will cry/wail sometimes while nursing since he was 2.5 weeks. I'm still dealing with it. It shot any scheduling to pieces b/c he wouldn't always get a full feeding when he's upset, so soon after, he needs to "finish up" and nurse again. Anyway, both my mother and dh would question my milk supply and stress that I should give him a bottle. I did sometimes, but didn't want to. At about 4 weeks, I took "More Milk Plus" for a couple of days and it seemed to make me feel more confident about my milk supply, but I don't think I really needed it. I haven't taken it since, nor have I given my db any bottles. The best thing I found was to just go with the flow and let my baby signal when he's hungry. This was hard to do because I was so used to schedules w/ my firstborn on bottles. Admittedly, with nursing and attachment parenting, I am confused sometimes as to whether he is crying out of hunger, sleepiness or wet diapers or other, but I just offer up my breast, if he doesn't want it, I check for something else. Also, it's difficult to go out and do things because he doesn't nurse as well in public so I end up nursing more often when I'm out and about. It can be inconvenient, but it's working out. As long as you have the confidence and just trust your baby and body, you'll do just fine. We've made it for 3 weeks this way now and I'm actually liking the fact that I don't have to carry bottles with me! You may want to pump once or twice a day though if you feel you have a supply issue. Even if you can only pump a couple of oz. after nursings. It gives me a little more reassurance that the milk will be there. our baby may be going through a growth spurt as well, which will make them want to nurse mor Hope this helps and hang in there. You can do it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    On the topic of a routine:

    I tried to put my daughter on a routine at about 4 weeks (she's almost 11 mo now). She resisted it... I think I was kidding myself about her being on a routine at that stage; that really took several months.

    BUT... in the early weeks and months, I think creating even a little bit of structure to what can be long and trying days is a good idea. For you, even if it has little impact on your baby. I found that telling myself I had X hours until bedtime or Y minutes until her next feeding helped me feel some increase in control... Mind you, I often had to deviate from this routine, but still, I began to feel like a functioning human being again.

    Good luck, it's totally normal to feel inadequate, overwhelmed, confused. Also, you are probably close to another turning point soon - I think 5-6 weeks was when things started to get a lot easier for us.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    I forgot to mention, I do have a little bit of a schedule if feedings go well. Baby has set wake time at 7:30. If he wakes up before, I give him a little to nibble on and then put him back to sleep until 7:30 when I give him a full feeding and then keep him awake to play. About 1.5 hrs later, he goes down for a nap and will sleep for about 1.5 hrs. When he wakes up again, the cycle begins again. He gets his last set feeding at 10:00 pm (he'll usually cluster feed before then) and he'll last a good 5-7 hours at night now! So, morning and night feedings are pretty "set" w/in a half hour difference, but during the day, I TRY keep to some semblance of a schedule, but it will vary...just go w/ the flow. He'll get into his own routine soon. As 9monthsofbfandgoingstrong said, it's starts to get easier around 6 weeks.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    Wow! I can't thank you ladies enough for the replies and the positive reinforcement. I feel sooo much better!

    I do have one other question...in the hospital, they told me never to let my DS nurse on one side for more than 30 minutes. I was then later told that was incorrect. So, what I have been doing is nursing DS on one side for 30 minutes, burping , then offering the other side for as long as he will take it. Is this okay? Or should I let him stay on the first side as long as he wants and not worry about offering the other side? The way I have been doing it seems to be working for us, but not sure if that can impact my supply of milk. I find that switching also helps keep him awake/interested.....

    Thanks again for taking the time to read and answer my posts.....you all don't know how much you are helping me maintain my sanity.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    In regards to your above question I would say let him nurse as long as he wants on one side. If/When he doesn't want that side anymore, then you can offer him the other side. This way you make sure he gets lots and lots of that yummy rich hindmilk.

    I have actually only nursed one side per feeding since my son was born (almost 12 weeks) and it hasn't affected my supply in the least.

    I went through the same doubts from my husband as well. He figured that because I could only pump 1 oz that that meant that was all DS was getting and that I must be starving the poor kid. I would send your husband to the FAQ section of LaLecheLeague and get him to read all about milk supply and such. It's good information and he might be more inclined to believe it. Good luck!

    Also, in your first post regarding frequent feedings...it could be a growth spurt. My son went through his 6 week growth spurt at 4 weeks and he ate every hour on the hour from 8 am until 11 pm, then every two hours through the night for THREE DAYS!! I was exhausted! So, just feed him when he's hungry and enjoy the closeness, it'll pass and he'll get back to a more normal schedule. Until his next growth spurt, or teething, or milestone that is.
    Last edited by amberlori; April 6th, 2006 at 02:06 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    Don't worry too much! I know that is easier said then done, but it sounds as if you and your baby are doing just fine. It doesn't sound like a supply issue to me at all. Don't let people talk you out of your confidence - you can provide for your baby!

    Schedules are much the fashion at the moment, but remember that humankind survived for millennia before the invention of clocks. Babies do not need to be scheduled. Your baby will develop his own rhythm in his own time - all the sooner, the more you can "tune in" and learn about his needs and his ways. He might just be an unpredictable little personality!

    I would say this about your bedtime though: It sounds very similar to the situation we had with our first child at this age and it seemed fine at the time, but a few weeks later, we had to deal with a baby crying and fuzzing for hours every night who wouldn't go down until midnight. That only changed when we put her to bed much earlier (between seven and eight). So as long as your late bedtime works, fine, but if any problems occur, I would consider an earlier bedtime.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Worried (partial vent and long....sorry)

    Oh honey - *huggsss*

    I have been there, except i have a supportive DH.

    Maybe have him read this forum - and maybe he will see how crutial his role is.

    You sound, to me, like you are fine. You are changing diapers wet or poopy right? Dr is ok with baby's progress right? You think you are fine, right? Then all is well.

    dd did that to me - and i went with her uces. One thing, my dh didn;t know, off the bat, how to handle her fussing - and so he would assume she was hungry. I showed him how to use his finger in her mouth to see if she latched on - and then if she lost interest or continued to madly suck. He learned how to soothe her. I found his anxiety to get her eating was he felt unsure how to soothe her and was frustrated.

    Stay with it - you are doing great!!

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