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Thread: When does it get easier?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    118

    Default When does it get easier?

    It's been rough the past few days. I'm usually pretty hard on myself on a regular basis, but with breastfeeding, I feel like I'm not doing anything right! I am enjoying it, for the most part...but I formula-fed my first child over 10 years ago, and I don't remember it being as difficult as this breastfeeding is going. My daughter is almost 5 weeks old, and I've been dealing with OALD and oversupply. I've tried a few different things to make things easier for her to eat, and the block feeding seemed to be doing the trick. Then, I don't know what happened but yesterday and today, I felt like I was at the other end of the spectrum. My breasts don't feel like they have enough in them to keep up with her! And she's still eating every 2-3 hours, which is killing through the night. Every 2 hours, like clockwork. I can't get any naps in during the day because I can't wind down. Too much going on in my head! My husband works out of town all week, only home on weekends. My 10 year old is on my last nerve and I've been yelling at him for days!

    I'm not normally this negative. I've always been such a positive person, and people have always looked up to me for that. Now, I'm a "downer". When does this breastfeeding thing get easier?!?! I thought it was supposed to be so much easier than bottlefeeeding. I know it's so much better nutrition for the baby, but I'm not so sure about "easier"!

    Wife to the wonderful Joe Tran
    Stay-At-Home-Mom since 12/07
    First born son Noah, born 3/23/97, 8 lbs 1 oz, 20 1/4"
    New baby girl, born 9/13/07, 8 lbs 7 oz, 20"

    Blissfully breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, and cloth-diapering mama.
    "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: When does it get easier?

    Hello Shannon,
    i can understand you. If you have reached the 5 weeks BFing congratulations. I think form now on things will be much more better. If the baby eats every2 -3 hours that's very good news. What you have to do is to REST and take care of yourself. While your LO is sleeping take a nap. 20' are really enough. Even if you decide to bottle feed, remember it takes time cleaning, sterilising. You'll see that you'll have the same free time. Eat well. Have in mind that you hormones the last 40 days were like crazy, so that's why you feel that way. I had the same reactions as you and a lot of women as well.
    Ta ke care

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    1,048

    Default Re: When does it get easier?

    My husband has told people that it was easier after "the first couple weeks." I have no idea where he got that, but maybe it was when I was showering more regularly and actually preparing a meal once in a while.
    Yes there are easier things about formula. A big one... formula takes longer to digest. But breastfeeding is totally worth it. I'd say the first couple MONTHS are tricky and confusing on and off. It got easier for me when I finally cursed the crib and started sleeping with her. Which I refused to to for about three months until I found myself almost dropping her while sitting in the rocking chair with her.

    By five months, it's truly awesome. But if you'll remember, five month olds, in general, smile all the time. Wouldn't a thankful smile be nice now and then? When they are tiny all they do is COMPLAIN! And if you're physically connected to this sleepy, grunting, scowling, crying, hungry person then yes you start to feel that way too.

    Do you have a sling? I couldn't take naps when my lo was tiny either.. I DID try to rest when she slept.. I'd let her sleep on my lap or chest and read a magazine or surf the internet. But I couldn't sleep. However, putting her in the sling (she didn't like strollers in the first couple months) and going for a walk helped to refresh me and lift my spirits. And the exercise helped me sleep better at night. Soon you and your little one's schedules will mesh.. the baby will sleep a little better at night and you'll start waking as she does and thus be more ready to put her back down quickly. You may want to slow your response time to her a LITTLE just to make sure she's really awake and hungry and not just crying out in her sleep. New babies come into light sleep every 2 hours, and breastfed babies are lighter sleepers. And they need LESS sleep than a ff baby. With formula fed babies, I would keep checking to see if they are still breathing at night. With my breastfed baby... no I never had to make sure she was alive - she would check in all the time to make sure I was!

    Your life is changed and you must change with it. Don't worry about your positive identity right now. Just be the mama bear. Be mammal. Ignore the clock and mind your baby. Breastfeeding is a very primal thing, especially while they are surviving off of you. Go easy on yourself. If the baby is nursing every 2-3 hours even at night, you will not have a supply problem. You have simply gotten past the oversupply issue. Feeling full will be an infrequent event now. You're getting there.
    Last edited by awnja; October 17th, 2007 at 07:22 AM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    2,770

    Default Re: When does it get easier?

    You know, it sounds like you're right in the prime growth spurt time, which may explain the frequency of nursing the past couple of days. Your LO will have times where she's nursing ALL the time, and other times when she slows down a bit. The growing times can be exhausting, I know! Hang in there, because it's likely that if this is a growth spurt it will be over in another day or two.

    Also know that it often takes 4-6 weeks before breastfeeding is really well-established. It took us probably until 8 weeks or so before we were really "in the groove." We've still had some challenges, but they haven't been nearly as exhausting or frustrating as the early weeks were. At that point, I really wasn't sure I believed the people who told me it would get better and easier, but now I AM one of those people! You're doing great. I know you're probably wiped out, but it will get easier. One day you'll realize, "Hey, when did this get so comfortable and simple?"
    I love my kids. I care for them accordingly. What more can I say?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    1,307

    Default Re: When does it get easier?

    Things do get easier, but it is gradual. I thought the first 6-8 weeks were the hardest. The longer I do it, the easier it has gotten for me. When you make it to 3 months you will look back and realize that it is much easier at 3 months than it was at 5 weeks. When you look back at 6 months you will realize that it is easier than it was at 3 months and so on. Throughout your whole bf exeperience you will look back and think how awesome it is and be glad you stuck with it!

    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    118

    Default Re: When does it get easier?

    I know you're all right. It's just hard to see the light through all the fog! I still have the OALD problem, but I've been unlatching her and letting it spray into a towel before letting her go for more. She gets soooo angry when this happens. I swear she screams like I'm hurting her!

    You are so right, awnja! A thankful smile WOULD be nice! I never thought about that aspect, with being connected to a sleepy, crying, grunting, scowling baby.

    It isn't the issues I've been having necessarily that are bothering me. It's the lack of schedule. I'm sort of a schedule person, and even though she eats every 2-3 hours, it's not the same everyday. I know I shouldn't watch the clock, but I guess I'm trying to figure out how I can go about my other responsibilities and activities while taking care of her. The past couple of days, she has been fussier and more demanding, just wanting me to hold her...I bought a soft baby carrier (the chest-facing or front-facing variety). I've had it for 2 weeks and a latch on it broke. It wasn't cheap, and I didn't keep the receipt.

    I'll have to use the stroller for a walk everyday...I think that might help. Not today, though. Thunderstorms all day.

    Wife to the wonderful Joe Tran
    Stay-At-Home-Mom since 12/07
    First born son Noah, born 3/23/97, 8 lbs 1 oz, 20 1/4"
    New baby girl, born 9/13/07, 8 lbs 7 oz, 20"

    Blissfully breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, and cloth-diapering mama.
    "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: When does it get easier?

    I also have a 5 week old and I also bottle fed my 9 and 6 year olds. Even though I believe Bf to be much more difficult, I feel it is way more rewarding. The one thing I hate is that no one else can get up with him in the middle of the night. My Lo also eats every 2-3 hours but fortunately is a very efficent nurser and eats in like 5 min. Even so, I don't know about you but I feel like I walk around in a fog all day. I also remember when I thought my boobs were sexy-- not so sexy when I can't even touch them, let alone they leak milk all day. Hope things get better for you. I am not much of a baby wearer but I love that I am forced to hold my LO every 2-3 hours. With my first 2 it was so easy to hand him off but now we get the chance to catch all the 5 min we missed the first time. Good Luck and hang in there!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: When does it get easier?

    With my baby at 6.5 weeks, I really know what you mean! He just hit a growth spurt and I was so worried about my breasts feeling soft and "empty" all the time. Then today, he slept for a long stretch (I know, thank heavens!) and there they were full and leaking even after his second meal...

    There are so many days when I think, "When will this get easier?! How much longer can I keep going?" (One of many reasons I am so grateful to this forum.) But then there are also days when I think, "Wow, I can't believe how much easier this is than those first two weeks." We had issues with tongue-tie and other stuff with the baby's mouth that left me really injured, and for a while I was pumping and bottlefeeding. Well, the moment I healed and put him back on the breast, I truly was shocked at how much easier it was. For the first time I got the "too lazy to do formula" thing! My baby is a really good nurser and just loves breastfeeding so much, he is so much calmer and eats faster when nursing. Well, except for some fussy moments, especially during growth spurt times, which REALLY doesn't make those difficult days any easier. I also highly recommend the side-lying position - I promise, it will make you love breastfeeding all over again when you can doze off while your baby eats. Okay, I can't promise, but it really helped me!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: When does it get easier?

    HI...

    I`ve been nursing for 8 months now and I can tell you it`s much easier now....it`s actualy fun because my baby smiles at me while nursing..

    When he was born I felt very depressed and tired too....he was premature, with a heart problem, has trouble with supply.....I can´t tell you how I suffered....my cardiologist insisted on giving him formula cause he was going to have heart surgery and needed to gain weight rapidly, unfortunatly I caved in and started giving him some after every feed....he would also feed every 2-3 hours......

    To make the story short....his heart condition improved on it`s own, he did not need surgery and my milk supply was very low.....I was mad at myself for giving him formula....I decided to relactate.

    Relactation is one of the hardest things I ahve ever done but it was totally worth it...now I have a healthy happy baby and BF is so easy and fun.

    About schedules.....There is no way you can go on one with such a small baby.....they cant even tell if its day or night yet....around 4 months is a good time to have a shedule.....what you can do is do the same things in the same order before bedtime and help him start to learn the diference between day and night...

    Cheer up, I promise you things will get better.

    About resting, until this day my baby takes his naps in a sling....when he is asleep I sit in a very confortable couch with tons of pillows and doze off myself....this quiet time makes me unwind....
    Karina, Neonatal Nurse, mother to Martin, born at 33 weeks 02/11/2007...
    I love ...... .....my baby loves it

    I relactated....IT CAN BE DONE!!!

    I also love
    Tried to


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    987

    Default Re: When does it get easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haley's Mama View Post
    You know, it sounds like you're right in the prime growth spurt time, which may explain the frequency of nursing the past couple of days.
    It sounds like a growth spurt to me too. The normal times for those are 3 weeks, 6weeks, 3 mos, 6mos. (For us the 3 month growth spurt was very difficult.)

    I also have OALD and had OS and DD gets sick for weeks if I have a speck of dairy... I think for us it got much, much easier around 4 months. I think it would have been easier ealier if we had figured out the dairy allergy thing sooner. I used block feeding until about 4 months.

    As PP said, now it is really fun! DD is 7 months. When my milk sprays everywhere DD is smart enough to pop off. Sometimes she uses her tongue to point the stream my way (thanks for sharing the milk baby!). It is so hard in the beginning because you are so tired and they need so much. It helped me a lot to learn how to nurse her lying down. Then if I was so tired I was almost dead, I could just lay down with her and latch her on every few hours while getting rest myself. Even if you can do that for a few hours during the day, it really helps.

    And I hate to say it but I still spend many nights up every 2 hours. I think lately this is because she is getting teeth. There is nothing sweeter than her falling asleep nursing, especially when for so long she was screaming when nursing because of the OALD/OS and dairy allergy. I treasure it. Before I know it she will be too busy to be my little baby. No one has ever needed me as much as she needs me right now. Even when she is up all night, I treasure it.

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