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Thread: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    15

    Default Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    I feel so horrible. My daughter is 3 weeks old now, and today she has wanted to eat every half hour. Then she just nursed for an hour and a half. She finally stopped and with in 10 min she was knawing and fussing again. I just can't handle this. I know they have spurts, but this is ridiculous.
    My husband just gave her 2 ounces of the formula they give you at the hospital. She took it well and is now sleeping.
    I am not giving her what she needs? Why is she doing this.
    The Dr said she was gainig well. (Birth was 7# even and today she was 8# 11 oz) What am I not doing right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    13

    Default Re: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    (((hugs))) You are right, this will be short time in the grand scheme of things. I have a 7 week old, and sometimes he still acts like this.

    One thing I learned from some new reasearch from Dr. Peter Hartmann is every mother has a different storage capacity of milk. Some babies can go longer because mom stores more; other babies need to eat sooner because mom stores less (but they still both make adequate milk for their babies). Not that this is the situation you are in exactly, but it could explain part of the situation.

    Other possible reasons for eating so much:
    1)Growth spurt
    2)Reflux
    3)Strong need to suck
    4)Tummy ache (it is hard for babies to differentiate between an "i'm hungry" feeling or an "I'm gassy," etc. feeling)
    Really, the list could go on and on, there are a hundren reasons she might want to eat so much.

    One thing you need to know about this relationship is, what is your goal? Is your goal to exclusively breastfeed? To mix feed (formula and breastmilk)? And for how long? If you want to stay on the exclusivey breastfeed side, you should consider the introduction of formula as counterproductive to the breastfeeding relationship. Often moms feel like, I am going to rest my body/breasts, and feed her some formula, and let my body "catch up." In reality your body thinks, Hey, we must not need as much milk as we used to, and it decreases supply. It is like an automatic ice maker -- when you pull ice out, the arm comes down and that signals the machine to make more ice. When you pull the milk out, it signals the body to make more milk; if you substitute (leave the ice in the ice maker), you body doesn't make more, just like the freezer won't make more ice, no matter how long it sits in the ice box.

    If mixed feeding is part of your plan then you needn't worry about the way things are going. But it is possible to nurse a baby exclusively and get through these demanding times -- eventually you will sail on to better waters.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    26

    Default Re: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    oh, I am sorry you are having some tough times! Just remember that you CAN do this!!! If your baby is gaining adequate weight, maybe she's just fussy about something else. Try some techniques to soothe her without nursing. Do you swaddle her? What about putting her in a carrier and walking a bit?
    I know that this hard, but if breastfeeding is something you are sure you want to do, keep trying! Perhaps you could even pump and have DH give her a bottle every now and then if you a need a rest and are ok with bottle feeding. Good luck, stay motivated and keep us updated!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    26

    Default Re: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    This is to be expected. Babies have high frequency days to boost your supply as they grow or because they just need you. Remember such a young baby's wants are his needs. I know it's frustrating when nursing seems to fill your day but it will get easier and you'll reap the rewards. Put your feet up and forget about the mess!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    133

    Default Re: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    I think all babies go through this. But, if you offer formula in a bottle, your supply will decrease. Also, if a bottle is introduced before 6-8 weeks, your child can develop nipple confusion (preference) and not want to nurse.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    ive just learned too that the formula in the bottle will strech their little tummie so that they want to nurse even more the next time.
    I can remember just sitting and nursing my newborns.. try not to watch the clock, has the baby started to sleep longer at night?
    that can cause them to want to nurse longer and tank up before going to bed for the night.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    108

    Default Re: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    It's a growth spurt mama! You're not doing anything wrong..baby is gaining fine..i know it's tough..i have 4 kids and just recently went through a 6wk growth spurt..but it does get better, i promise! You're doing a great job

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    15

    Default Re: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    Thank you ladies. I think last night I was so exhausted and simply at my witts end. First thing I did this morning was throw the formula in the trash. I am heading out to get some gas relief for her. I really think this may be part of it. I am still not sure why last night was so bad. I have 3 other daughters all of which I have nursed, But Ashlyn is just so different. Everything about nursing her has been so different from before.
    I do realize that the bottle is very counterproductive to the nursing relationship, and I thank you all for your ideas. Sometimes it really just helps to "talk" or type out the way you feel. I appreciate your ears.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    56

    Default Re: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    My little one nursed constantly for about eight weeks and then started to ease up. He's three months now and he likes to nurse every two hours or so, and during the night time "fussy time" about 5-9, he prefers to be on the breast constantly. This just is his temperment, he likes to comfort nurse.

    Before long, it will all be over and you will miss it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Eating constantly- I can't do this :(

    Diane, you sound a bit more refreshed this morning. One thing that can disappointing as an experienced nursing mom is our new babies come with no prior experience, and personalities all their own! So our experience sometimes doesn't count for a lot! LOL. It does get better as we get to know our babies and continue to develop that relationship.

    Keep us updated, and you can always come here to share these feelings with us -- we will try to lift your spirits in tough times.

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