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Thread: Help With Frequency Problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    146

    Default Help With Frequency Problem

    My son is 11 days old today and I need help! My best friend's mother is a lactation consultant that lives about 4 hours away. I called her on day three for help and she told me to feed him every time he acted hungry which at times was almost hourly. Then at the pediatrician's office on day 5 she said to feed not more than every 2 hours, preferably every 3. I could usually distract him for this long until last night when I broke down and fed him almost every hour which was exhausting as it takes at least 30 minutes to feed him.

    Now today he is acting almost constantly hungry despite plenty of wet/dirty diapers. I'm exhausted and confused. Can anyone offeradvice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Help With Frequency Problem

    Congratulations on the new little one!

    At 11 days old, you really want to establish your milk supply. I would nurse him as much as he wants as often as he wants. Limiting feedings at this point could affect your milk supply long term. During the first 6 weeks, you really want to tell your body "yes, I'm nursing. Make more milk." and nursing on demand does that.

    This too will pass. The first six weeks are really tough. After that, things seem to settle down a bit. The baby gets more skilled at nursing, you get more comfortable and things just seem to go better. Until then, keep some books, the remote, water and munchies by your favorite chair, let everything else go and nurse. When the baby naps, catch some shut eye yourself.

    I'm sorry about your doctor's advice. Sometimes they aren't the best breastfeeding experts. But, there are lots of experienced LLL leaders on these forums with great ideas so ask away! The rest of us are moms who have some life experience to go on. I've found both to be very valuable.

    Hang in there!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: Help With Frequency Problem

    Now a days doctors usually tell you to feed on demand. So I would say feed him when he is hungry! You eat when you are hungry don't you? Well your LO is hungry and wants to eat, she has a small tummy. They usually say that it takes an hour and a half for breastmilk to be digested.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help With Frequency Problem

    The baby needs to be fed on demand, period. This helps bring your milk in and helps your body adjust to baby's changing needs.
    http://www.lalecheleague.com/FAQ/frequency.html

    Sometimes mothers are advised to "space out" feedings in order to "let your breasts fill up" or make sure baby gets a "full meal" or because "if baby is nursing more often than 2-3 hours they're just nursing for comfort". The problem with this advice is that every mother and every baby is different. Some mothers aren't able to store (store, not make) as much milk as others and need to remove milk frequently from the breast. Some babies are just hungrier than others or have more of a need to be with mom (it's absolutely okay to use nursing as a comfort measure for your baby).
    http://www.lalecheleague.com/FAQ/schedule.html

    Newborns are good little self-regulators. They know when they need to eat and sleep and they're good at letting you know. Just let your baby nurse on demand and watch for signs that he's getting enough. http://www.lalecheleague.com/FAQ/enough.html

    These early days CAN be exhausting. Babies have many growth spurts during these early days. http://www.lalecheleague.com/FAQ/spurt.html

    Did you know that if an adult needed as much food per pound as a baby does they would be eating *7000* calories a day? Babies grow at a tremendous rate and they need a lot of food in those early days.

    Just hang in there! I know it's exhausting to nurse so frequently, but do know that it gets easier. Baby gets faster and will probably start to space out feedings on his own, and you'll figure out how to do some things one handed You may also find it helpful to learn to nurse lying down or to sleep with your baby.

    Hugs!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Help With Frequency Problem

    let me start by saying YOU ARE NOT ALONE. My son is 4 wks old and up until today, he is constantly nursing during his waking hours. My toddler does a good job on waking him up when DS is napping. I ended up letting him sleep on my arms (chest-to-chest) because he tends to sleep longer (2 hrs) and longer sleep means rest for my breast. I would get about 10 -20 min break from him - i play with him,try to keep his attentionoff at nursing - but after that he's nursing again.

    but it does get better because today he was on schedule (feeding every 2 hrs with 2x nursing after 1 hr.) - i guess he's getting better at tuning out my toddler's noise! Plus it did increase my milk supply because now he takes 2.5 oz (just saw an LC today) and is gaining weight beautifully. The downside of constantly nursing is i can't find time to pump because he is always nursing.

    Just hang in there mama!

    hmm... I realized I am not alone in this. goodluck to us!

    Gabe and Jacob's Nanay

    Gabe born on September 07, 2004

    Jacob born on May 29, 2007

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Help With Frequency Problem

    Thanks to all who responded - last night was much more restful for everyone involved as I nursed on demand. No more trying to keep him from screaming while I waited "just 20 more minutes!" I feel much better giving him what he is telling me he needs when he needs it. Thanks again - until my next question comes up!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,770

    Default Re: Help With Frequency Problem

    Glad you're following your instincts and nursing on demand now. It can be really exhausting, especially in the first 6 weeks. We're now almost at 9 weeks, and Haley has definitely started spacing out her feedings more (although some days she still wants to nurse all the time). I have gotten plenty of "advice" to space out feedings to "make sure she's really hungry before you feed her." Ha. Trust me. Even if it's every hour, she's really hungry. I choose to take Dr. Sears' advice and think of nursing as something I do WITH my baby and not just FOR her. Keep up the great work, mama!
    I love my kids. I care for them accordingly. What more can I say?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Help With Frequency Problem

    Hi,

    I just wanted to say that at week 7 it is the same for my little one. I'm learning that it is okay to just respond to his needs...exhausting as it may be. It would be nice to have a schedule. I guess that comes with time. Sounds like you're figuring things out pretty well. I think it is comforting to know that others are facing the same issues.

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