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Thread: Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

    Hello. I am new to this discussion site and would appreciate some advice. For the past 1.5 week my 6-week old son is wanting to nurse all the time and I am at my wits end! He was born a healthy 8lbs-13oz, and at his 3-week check up had gained 2lbs. From the beginning he has had a good latch and I hear him swallowing when he nurses. Over this past week and a half, he does not sleep for more than and hour at at time during the day and wants to nurse every hour or so, and nurses for a length of 15 min to 1 hr. At night he will sleep for 3-4 hrs at first and then wake to nurse every 1-2 hrs. I cannot go on feeding him every hour or two during the day - I get no rest and barely have time to prepare something to eat myself before he wants to eat again! He also seems to have lots of gas. He has several dirty diapers per day, but often they are foamy with little seeds or curds. Sometimes they are even green. Yesterday evening my husband and I gave him his first bottle of formula because I was so physically exhausted. This was the first time in awhile he seemed satisfied after he ate and did not want to nurse for 3 hrs (other than at night). I would prefer to breastfeed exclusively, but wonder if my milk is okay since he doesn't seem to get full. Any advice??

  2. #2
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

    Probably your baby is going through a growth spurt, although that sounds like a pretty long spurt! When they do that, they eat more often in order to increase your supply to meet their needs as they grow. But some babies simply eat more than others.

    I hate to tell you, but it sounds like your baby sounds like he's on a very normal sleeping and eating schedule. My 4month old still goes through 2hour spurts in the morning and evening and occasionally all day long. My friend's baby has been eating 3-4 hours for a long time. It's very hard in those early weeks to get anything else done. Gradually, he'll probably start sleeping 5-6 hours at night and then longer and you'll start to feel better.

    Please remember that if you give him formula and don't pump, your body will start making less milk. I encourage you to seek help from an LC or your pediatritican before you start supplimenting. Have you tried nursing lying down in bed? I do that when I'm tired and it feels like a little bit of relief. The added bonus is that both baby and I often drop off for a nap. I found it tricky to learn, but there is info on the LLL website and on kellymom.com.

    It is really hard for the first two months! Try to hang in there and I'm sure it will get better soon!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    929

    Default Re: Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

    Sounds just like my DS! He was 9lbs 12oz at birth and has put on 5 1/2 lbs in 9 wks. (Do bigger babies tend to stray away from the textbook nursing schedule of every 2-3hrs?) He nursed every 1-1 1/2 hrs the first 5 wks of his life (even through the night). Then I had a week break and he went into another bout of insatiable eating at 6 wks for a few days. He's now 9 wks and I finally feel like I'm getting a decent break between feeds.

    I would not suggest supplementing because that will tell your body it doesn't need to supply the amount of milk that your baby is demanding. You also describe the same stools that my DS had. They did finally change to a nice mustard color with seeds again once his nursing schedule slowed down (I don't know why).

    There wasn't a day in the first several weeks that I didn't want to quit BF and just give him a bottle but so many of you on the forum said not to give up and it would get much easier by about 2 mos. IT DID!!!!
    Last edited by luke's mom; June 7th, 2006 at 02:07 PM.

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    153

    Default Re: Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

    Yep sounds just like my son at his 6 week growth spurt. Continue to meet his needs, and hang in there- this will pass! I would not supplement with formula. The only reason your son seemed more "satisfied" after you gave him some formula is because it forms huge curds in the stomach that are hard to break down. Human milk breaks down much faster and has tiny curds, so babies need to eat more often.
    I would suggest you get a breast pump and use the milk you express to supplement when you absolutely need a break. If you are staying at home, an effective manual pump might be all you need. I used a Medela manual pump for a long time, and found it to be more effective than the single electric pump I had! You will want to pump when you have the highest amount of milk. This is generally early in the morning after baby has had breakfast. However if you will be working outside the home and spending large chunks of time away from baby in the future, you will need to invest in a good double electric pump.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    189

    Smile Re: Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

    Definitely sounds like a growth spurt. Like someone else said though, if you aren't nursing or pumping and give a bottle instead, your milk supply will eventually drop if you keep giving bottles of formula

    Every baby is different but my almost 8 mos old DS still nurses about every 2 hours days and night. He drank non-stop for the first 2 mos atleast. I felt like I was going nuts too. I stopped worrying about house work and just focused on my little one as I knew it wouldn't always be that way.

    Like someone else said formula is much harder for their little belly's to break down, that is why he seemed full.

    Sometimes green poop means that there is an imbalance in the foremilk/hindmilk. The foremilk is the first milk they get before letdown, it's thinner, not as fatty. The hindmilk is after letdown, it is thicker and fatty and what your baby needs. I had this problem. Try block feeding, which is when you only feed from one side for a period of time. I started with 2 hours. Everytime he wanted to drink within a 2 hour period I fed from one side. In fact I still do this today.

    I know it is tough right now, but I promise you it will get better. Just keep up the good work. Forget the formula and just nurse, nurse, nurse.

    Take care.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2006
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    Lightbulb Re: Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

    Hey!
    It sounds like your doing just fine! Acouple of suggestions that worked for me during those very exhausting 1st couple of months;!st Set yourself up on an Island in the room you want to stay in. FOr me it was the living room. I would eat something before my husband left and then we would set up on the couch with a tv tray with a large glass of whatever liquid would be sustaining me,the boppy, both phones and the remote! Then I would only need to move to go to the bathroom or get more food(while baby was sleeping) until someone gets home to help. At this early stage you shouldn't worry about ANYTHING except you and your child getting enough rest and food.
    2nd I know it isn't for everyone but pumping was a huge help to me. I call those bottles my "freedom" At five weeks I started pumping one 4oz. bottle a day. That gives my husband an opportunity to feed/bond as well as giving me room to breathe or do whatever I want/need to everyday for a couple of hours. Whether it's laundry or take a shower or nap. Those pumped bottles also come in handy for when your trying to actually leave the house.
    3rd I know when everyone said this to me at 1st I thought it was crazy but you will probably learn to sleep when your baby sleeps. I thought that was a joke when my Mom said it to me. But at around three months I started napping at least once a day with my son sometimes twice. It came with really getting the hang of sidelye nursing. Which if you haven't mastered (It can be hard) you can usually get help from a lactation specialist. I know at my support group after the meetings the specialist would observe us nursing and we would "practice" different positions including the sidelying ones.
    Lastly, just know it does get easier. And not because they nurse less as they get older. They usually don't. My boy is 51/2 months and has gained on average 14oz a week since he got here. He still wants to nurse every two hours during the day. But with the napping and knowing that if I don't get to it today, I can try again tomorrow, it just ends up working. Keep up the good work!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    5

    Smile Re: Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

    Thank you so much for all of the suggestions and support! I thought maybe I was doing something wrong or that my milk was not adequate. Today was a better day - my son slept more and ate a little less frequently so I didn't feel like I was constantly nursing! After reading many of the discussions and articles on over-supply, I think this may be part of the problem: an imbalance of foremilk / hindmilk. I have started to block-feed and to let the milk that sprays (which frusterates him), spray into a washcloth. I have a breast pump that I have used a couple of times for relief bottles when grandma babysat for a couple of hours. I will act on the suggestion to pump a bottle a day which can be used instead of formula when I need a break. Wish me luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

    sounds like you're doing great! as we've all said, it is very demanding in the beginning, but hopefully the two month mark will be a turning point for you too. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    138

    Default Re: Very frequent feedings!! Should I supplement?

    I have had to supplement a bottle a night because of frequent feeding and thrush ( too painful for me to continually nurse at night). I have used formula because I cannot pump enough to satisfy her.

    Maybe I am pumping at the wrong time of day? I read somewhere to pump in the morning. But, should I pump between feedings? I don't want to rob her of her morning supply.

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