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Thread: Looking for support

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,313

    Default Looking for support

    I'm in the middle of a rough patch. My LO is nearly 16 weeks and the technical aspects of breastfeeding have been fine. I'm just so emotionally and physically exhausted. My baby was 9lbs 9oz at birth - now about 16lbs at just over 3 months and she eats ALOT. Well she's on the boob alot. She's a comfort sucker. But she refuses to take a pacifier, and experiemented with her thumb for about two weeks before giving up. I was able to sometimes give her my pinky finger to suck on rather than my breast for a while but that doesn't actually free me from her and she's refusing it now anyway. I'm lucky if I get 2 hrs between 'feedings' during the day. She was doing pretty well at night 4-5 hrs then 2-3hrs. But I caught a cold then she caught a cold and now we're up 3-4 times a night. She's also not a napper. I cannot get more than power naps out of her during the day. No joke. A really good day is when she has 4 30min naps between 9am (when she wakes) and 10pm (ave time she'll go down for her first stretch of the night). I just feel like she's glued to me non stop. I've tried a sling - she HATES it. Does not like being squished. My partner tries to help a bit but he doesn't spend all day with her so he doesn't know her cues. As soon as she starts to fuss he assumes she's hungry and hands her back to me. Granted sometimes she is, but not always. (and he cannot try the finger trick because he's a smoker. He doesn't smoke in the house but it's still all over his hands so we don't want his fingers in her mouth). In total I maybe get a couple of 10-15 min breaks a day where he has her instead of me. I don't want to stop breastfeeding but I'm starting to desparately wish I could say 'so feed her!' when he hands her to me with 'she's hungry'. I have a pump but I generally only use it when I'm going out. She eats so often that I don't have the energy (or the milk at this point!) to pump during the short breaks between feedings. I'd like to go out more often, but it's difficult. No kidding in the past few months nearly all my close girlfriends have moved to the other side of the country. A few live an hour or two away and I try to see them when I can but it's hard. Ideally I'd like to get out of the house for 'me' time at least once a week! But it requires so much prep it's exhausting. I'm envious that my husband can still get a call up from his friends last minute and go out for the evening. I have to plan days in advance in order to pump. I know my issue is more of a lack of me time than a issue with breastfeeding, but I'm just so exhausted at trying to find me time when I have a baby attached to my boob 8-10 hours a day.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    sleepless in ohio
    Posts
    2,389

    Default Re: Looking for support

    You sound very upset and discouraged. Babies take a lot of our energy and time, but dag on it, they're worth it!

    What you are experiencing sounds quite normal although, understandably, frustrating. I wish I had been told before DD1 was born the first several weeks, months even, would be spent with her pretty much glued to me. And you're right, it's annoying in some ways when no one else can satisfy our LO's hunger except for you.

    BF'd babies eat almost around the clock, especially during growth spurts, which it sounds like your LO is in the midst of. 16 weeks is prime time for growing.

    DD2 is 7.5 months. I work full-time so she's not nursing during the week, during the day, but she does on the weekends and at nights. Even now, she's glued to me. Nights have been getting more and more tiresome b/c she doesn't eat much EBM during the day and nurses every 1.5-2 hours all night long. She also really enjoys to be held and paid attention to. So much so that she *yells*, or screams, at me when I'm not looking at her. When she nurses, she's constantly touching me. She rubs my arm or my belly or squeezes my boob the whole time. While I used to think it was sweet I don't anymore. I'm soooo "touched out" right now. She has also never taken a pacifier.

    The good news about all this is- 1) It will get easier as your LO gets older. 2) In the whole scheme of things, this period is very short. 3) You will get to be yourself again. 4) Everything you describe is "normal." 5) You are doing the absolute best thing for both you and your baby by breastfeeding. 6) Coming to this forum is one of the best, I think, resources you have for support and getting you through these tough patches.


    We're here for you!!
    Sarah- Mommy to Ally (4/16/06) , Katlyn (11/13/07) & Rebekah (10/21/09)
    All three, all natural!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Looking for support

    BF is the hardest thing I've Ever done, but it is so rewarding. I came home from the hospital very sick. My c-section incision opened and I had to have a nurse come out everyday for five weeks to re-pack the incision. I was BF and taking antibiotics, so I developed thrush, which lasted for six weeks. I was DEPRESSED and overwhelmed. Not to mention a family that thought I was crazy to BF. My doctor suggested that I stop b/c the baby was loosing weight/ my supply went way down. I had to supplement formula, so I felt like a big, fat zero! I was crying all over the nurse one day, and she was the shoulder I needed. She explained that the most important thing now was the health of the baby and myself, and I needed to do whatever it takes for the health of the baby, Even if it meant formula. She also suggested this forum, which I know, helped me get through those difficult weeks. I did supplement, and I must say, it was a relief to have a little "me" time, even if it was for just a feeding. That gave me two more hours of my day to feel like a human being. In the end, my health improved, my milk supply increased, the baby's weight shot up, I continue to BF with a supplemented bottle feeding. You are not alone. Sometimes I give my hubby the evil eye b/c he's got it pretty easy, but there is a reason why women have the babies No offense to the fellas, but we are just stronger beings... I wish you all the best!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: Looking for support

    I could have written your post before returning to work 12 weeks pp! It gets better, I promise!
    • First time mommy to Alyssa Nicole 7 lbs. 19 3/4 in. born 10/17/07 via c-section.

      finally off the since 10/24/08

      We made it, 12 months!!!!!!!!

    Donated 500 oz. so far, and counting...

    2 weeks - 7 lbs 6 oz.
    2 months - 10 lbs.
    4 months - 12 lbs. 3 oz.
    6 months - 14 lbs. 1 oz.
    9 months - 16 lbs. 7 oz.
    12 months - 18 lbs. 10 oz.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Looking for support



    I had some moments where I would swear DH was almost gleeful when he could hand the baby over saying, "She's hungry." (Not his department.)

    Gradually, even though I love my LO to pieces, I did learn to live for those moments when I could say, "It's your turn to change the diaper." It might help you to talk to your DH a bit about your feelings. I know at one low point, I did. I told him that I just wasn't getting enough me time, and I had realized that while my mom was visiting it was great to have someone right there to take the baby after I was done feeding her. If your DH is a stand-up guy, he should offer to do that for you at least once a day. Even if it's just 20 minutes, it makes a world of difference.

    I hope you feel better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pullman, WA
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Looking for support

    First, it sounds like you're pretty tired. And it sounds like you're pretty normal. And so is your baby. I've heard this so many times on this forum, but it's worth repeating: this too shall pass. In a month or so, you may look back at this and at least smile.

    I agree with pp, there are other things your partner can do for you, even though what sounds easiest right now is for him to feed your LO. Diaper changing, laundry, dishes, errands, etc. It very well may be a growth spurt, in which case, it will end soon. Or your baby may be a higher needs baby, in which case, it will still end soon (in the grand scheme of things).

    Hang in there. It does get better. Soon, you'll be posting because you can't get your LO to sit still long enough to eat!!

    Hope it helps you to hear that you're not alone.
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09


    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Looking for support

    Sounded like my life up til about five days ago and I'm not far from it yet. DS2 actually had a real nap, in his crib (not on me) 3 times this week. Hang in there...it really will get better in the near future. You're at 4 months...things tend to get a lot more settled around 6 months.

    Is your LO sleeping while sucking? I ask this because you mention she is a comfort nurser. My DS1 used to continue to suck on me long after he'd fallen asleep after a nutritive nurse or a comfort feed.

    Have you tried the old standbys for inducing sleep in you LO: stroller ride, swing, car ride etc?

    Sending you hugs & support.
    2005 2008

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,313

    Default Re: Looking for support

    Thank you all for the encouraging words. I am tired, and the fact that I have had a bad cough/cold for the past few days has only aggravated the situation.

    To answer a few of your questions: Yes she sometimes sleeps while she sucks. Not always though. I find that even if she’s asleep, if I unlatch her to put her down she’ll wake up. If I let her continue to suck until she pulls off (which can take a good hour or so after she’s asleep – so not including the active sucking) in her sleep I can put her down and get maybe a half hour of sleep from her. Makes me think she’s only half sleeping really... Another reason I say she comfort sucks is because sometimes (not all the time) she wants to eat but ‘fights’. She pulls off complaining and back on... I investigated this for a while, thinking she was gassy and/or that I had OALD but it’s only sometimes and only if she’s eaten not too long before so if at that point I let her suck on my finger she falls right asleep.

    I’ve spoken to my partner, he knows I’m in a low spot right now and he’s been doing a lot more to help me out. He’s made it a point now a couple of times to come and sit next to me for a bit while I’m nursing her.

    The stroller and the swing will sometimes put her to sleep but it’s not guaranteed. The car nearly always works but she’ll wake as soon as you take her out (even if I leave her in her seat!) This kid really just does not like to nap!

    Again thanks for the encouragement.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,313

    Default Re: Looking for support

    UPDATE:
    Just to let you all know, the LO napped for an hour today! Completely out of the blue. I didn't do anything different/special. She just fell asleep and stayed asleep twice as long as she normally does!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pullman, WA
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Looking for support

    Hooray! I remember the first time my LO did that. I think I checked on him 50 times during that nap. It gets better and better. I actually forgot how frustrating those early months were. . . .
    Keep up the good work, mama!
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09


    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

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