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Thread: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    I know there are several other similar threads on this topic but I'm at my wit's end.

    My three and a half week old son has been nursing every waking minute for the past two weeks. Yesterday he didn't even take his afternoon nap and fed constantly from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. with only three or four fifteen to twenty minute naps scattered throughout the day. Because of his medically managed birth (pitocin, epidural, c-section) there have been some problems with my milk supply and we had to give him formula at five days old because my milk hadn't come in but we've been exclusively breastfeeding since he was a week old and he definitely prefers the breast. I've been working with a Lactation consultant which has helped a lot but it's still extremely rough going. Right now I'm on about every supplement known to increase milk supply as well as domperidone, oatmeal, and tons of Omega 3 fats.

    If this continues I don't think we can keep breastfeeding. I'm starting to resent my son for needing to be attached to my boob 12 to 16 hours a day. Not taking his afternoon nap yesterday was the last straw because that has been his only predictable nap and my only chance to regain my sanity. It makes me so angry that by the end of the evening he's screaming, pushing me away, hitting, scratching, and kicking me, snapping my nipple, and getting lazy about his normally good latch so my nipples start to hurt yet he screams even more if I stop feeding him. And yes, I've tried a sling and it only works about a third of the time. I've tried burping him when he starts actibg so horrendously but that doesn't seem to work either. I also want to smack people who keep telling me how much I should be enjoying this time or telling me to stick my pinky in his mouth or any other standard suggestions that don't work. I know this won't last forever but I'm not going to make it if it lasts more than another week or two. I don't think I'll even make it that long. I'm so tired of every waking minute of my life being consumed by breastfeeding.

  2. #2
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    HI.
    Welcome to motherhood. It is rough in the beginning. Couple of things- at 3 and 1/2 weeks you should not be looking for anything that's predictable. You're only setting yourself up for dissapointment. Really you should be willing to just let go of that idea because there's nothing predictable about new borns EXCEPT that they need to be on you/with you suckling you for AT LEAST 12 hours a day. ANd even that for them is a HUGE decrease in the amount of time they spend w/you. They are USED to being with you 24/7. So to them it's ONLY 12-16hrs a day.
    The best thing to do is set up an "island" on the couch/bed with the remote,phones, a big glass of liquid, and some nutritious snacks and just be resolved to the fact that you are going to spend all day there. The only time I got up off the couch during the day the 1st 6 weeks was to pee, change diapers and get food. Then My husband would Hold the baby while I ate, did laundry whatever in the evenings. The house had to wait until the weekends! I also wouldn't let anyone come over during that time frame unless they brought a meal! Don't be afraid to ask for help! I have never been so happy to have prepared food around me as I was during this time frame! I started pumping one 4-5oz bottle a day at 5weeks and then we set up a firm 2 hr anight period around DH taking DS and me having "free time". Sometimes I would sleep, sometimes I would shower but knowing it's coming every day sometimes is all that gets me through!
    I know it's overwhelming but you also need to RELAX. Your baby can totally sense your tension and resentment and it more than probably is affecting your relationship later in the day. You are right on schedule with a 3 week growth spurt. So it's exactly right that he's on you non-stop. he needs to be to get your milk production to keep up with his needs.
    Take comfort in the fact that this is absolutely hands down the best thing for your child. It is rough but eventually you'll be so thankful that you are able to quell most things that ail or upset him with your breast. That you don't have to pack/measure bottles to leave the house. That you don't have to spend any money on a product that will always be inferior to what you are producing for free. That you will spend that much less time comforting a baby with health problems. BF babies are less likely to suffer from ear infections, excema and asthma just to name a few. Which is just a nice way of saying formula fed babies are MORE likely to suffer from these things. You can do this. Stay focused. Don't resent your little one for needing you so much. You are all he knows and all that feels safe in this huge new big open world. And truthfully the amount of time they need you like this in comparison to your lifetime as a whole or even your lifetime as a parent, is really just the blink of an eye. Stick with this. Have patience. With yourself and with your baby. Your doing GREAT! HTH. Good luck!
    Last edited by DJ's Mom; August 12th, 2006 at 02:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    I understand what you're going through. I too had a difficult induced labor that ended in C-section under general anesthesia. We got off to a bad start with BF b/c of that. Despite going to BF classes and reading several books on the subject NOTHING prepared me for those first 2 months! I sat on the couch ALL DAY feeding DS and in the evening we migrated to the bedroom for a change of scenery. Like DJ's mom, I only got a break to pee or take an occassional shower - DH brought me food and water.

    IT IS HARD!!!!! If it was easier there would be so many more women that would choose to BF. And it doesn't help that you're homones are shifting, recovering from pregnancy, and major surgery yourself. But the time goes so fast. I had Luke only 4 mos ago and it seems so much longer since I was THAT exhausted. If you want to BF you have to committ yourself and know that you are giving your LO the very best start.

    I know you don't want to hear this but it DOES get better. and in a few months you will be telling a new mom here the same thing! Hang in there. What helped me was setting up my island of need around me: snack, water, computer, phone, TV remote. And ask for help from your SO or friends/family around you.

    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
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    i agree w/ luke's mom- it DOES get better and you should hang in there. i wasn't recovering from a c-section, but i think labor and birth regardless of the method are physically and emotionally draining and then adjusting to a new baby whom you are BF'ing on top of that. You are rightfully feeling the way you are. you need a good support system. Like Luke's mom said- have a table set up near the couch w/ the phone, remote, a small cooler w/ plenty of cold water, have someone bring you food. i remember feeling like i was never going to see the light of day or breathe fresh air again. all i did was nurse. nobody prepared me for that and i really second guessed my decision. at about 2.5 or 3 wks i decided i was DONE. i tried to give her bottles of formula for an entire day and she refused. by the end of the day we were both exhausted and i gave in and went back to nursing. but, now at 3 mo i am so happy i have a smart little girl who just liked her mommy better than a bottle of formula. BF is not for everyone, that is why many moms choose not to (including my own), but just remember what a wonderful gift you are giving your baby and remember he will not be this little forever. Hang in there!!!

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    can you take the baby to bed and just nurse?
    your still recovering from major surgury and you need your rest too.
    I had a c-section with my 4th baby and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. You might want to check out your local lll meeting, you could get some mom to mom support. Sometimes that helps! Just to know that other moms have faced some of the same things. it might help to talk about your birth and how things are going!
    its a big adjustment bringing home any baby, and your still in that getting to know baby stage. It does get beter as the baby gets older.
    Keeping a baby alive is hard work. When I have a newborn I focus on me and the baby and just sort of let everything else go. Bare minums on house keeping and such. I worried about getting something to eat on time, and a shower and that was about it.
    do you have any help? Can you get any help with things around the house?

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    I just want to say that your situation sounds extremely tough and I totally understand why you would feel the way you do. I'm just glad you have this forum to vent to because not everyone would understand what you are going through.

    It would be very, very hard to have your baby attached to you nearly 24/7 without hardly any break at all, especially when he gets fussy, pushes you away, etc... That would make anyone about ready to lose it, I don't care how great of a mother you are!

    I have a few suggestions that you may have already tried but I don't know. Do you offer your baby a paci? You mentioned the pinky but didn't mention a paci. It may be something you'll have to continue to gently try several times until he gets the hang of it, but that might help with his sucking needs. Maybe that's why he gets mad and pushes you away, because he wants to suck and is frustrated that milk keeps coming out.

    Also, have you tried pumping a few bottles and letting someone else feed him occasionally so you can have a break?

    I also recommend that you have some good reading material nearby while you nurse. Something encouraging like LLL's book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Read it whiel you are nursing to encourage you and keep you going. I did this and everytime I felt bored of sitting all the time or frustrated I would read it and remind myself again of how I'm doing the right thing for my baby.

    Try to stay relaxed and thinking happy thoughts because your baby does feel your stress. We can't help it sometimes though, mom's have bad days too.

    I'm proud of you for wanting to do the best thing for your baby. The early months can be difficult at times because of the constant breastfeeding, but especially in your case when it's even more so and you have little time for a reprieve. We ALL need a little break from time to time and if you don't get that, it wreaks havoc on your emotions. And like someone said, you're dealing with hormal things on top of it.

    Hang in there and please don't give up! Do not feel like you have to measure up to a certain standard to be considered a "good mom". Please continue bf and seek all the help you can. Do you attend LLL meetings or are there meetings in your area you can attend?? This might be just what you need. Check into it.
    Keep us posted on how you are doing.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2006
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    33

    Default Re: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    WOW this is a great support forum!! I too know what that is like. It is like ALL you do is nurse a little leech! But that is your main focus for right now. He is going through a growth spurt and will want everything you have. Then if you aren't caught up with his needs at the moment he will get very upset. I know the feeling of resenting but I also know that when you are tired everything seems worse that it really is. Just go into your bed and take naps or just rest while he is nursing. Something else that is making the situation worse is STRESS! Babies sense it!! Mine will throw a fit if she senses any tension. When you are about to nurse you need to try and relax (I know easier said than done). It sounds dumb but breathing in and out while closing my eyes really helps me. I just discovered yoga and wow. Already I feel better. I know you have no time for that but you can sit there with your baby nursing and just breathe in and out feeling the air in go through your nose, down the back of your throat and into your lungs. I have major stress issues and right now my daughter is teething. I hope it helps you too. Sometimes side feedings in the bed work better for some babies. It is just a phase he is going through and it will pass! It is hard but we all go through it you are not alone. For generations women have been coping with motherhood. Knowing you aren't alone is a big help. And when he is out of this phase and you can get a moment to yourself --take it!! Do something for you even if it is just taking a shower or doing your hair and make up.
    Last edited by breastfeedingmomof2; August 12th, 2006 at 10:23 AM.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    Thanks for the support, guys.

    One major question I have is why is the constant feeding thing no where in most baby/nursing literature? I took a BF class, own the Sears BF Book and The Baby Book as well as several other parenting literature, magazines, etc. and only briefly do any of these sources mention cluster feeding or constant nursing. I was stressing because I was convinced there was something seriously wrong with either him or me. One would think this would warrent major attention in the parenting literature since it's apparently so common.

    Anywho...someone mentioned having my husband bottle feed him once a day. We did this a few times this week because I had a hair appointment one evening and needed to leave the house for a few hours another day. Here's the problem: hind milk.

    Last week I had the LC come over because I was convinced something was wrong and because I suspected Matthew wasn't getting enough hindmilk hence the constant feeding. His weight gain was on the low side (only 5 oz in a week and a half after leaving the hospital) and his poo was green. The LC agreed with my assessment which is why I'm on the Omega 3 fish oil supplements and putting olive oil on every appropriate food I eat. This added yet another level of stress related to BF as I've spent the last two weeks worried he's not getting the proper nutrients. The supplements worked and his poo has been yellow all week. Except when we bottle fed.

    The only time I pump is for five minutes before the night feedings and I got in this habit to help him latch. I get about two ounces during that time and my entire EBM stash comes from these pumpings. Since it was obvious they didn't have enough hind milk I tried pumping after I fed him. Then he went back to having green poo. I haven't called the LC yet but I'm not sure what to do about pumping. When he's feeding constantly I don't have time during the day to pump and when I do there's not much there. One more thing to worry about.....

    Sorry this is so long!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    some moms have found that block feeding can get rid of green poops.
    thats when you feed on one side for a given ammount of time like say 2 hours and then after the 2 hours is up you would nurse on the other side.
    If the baby wants to nurse during the 2 hours you use the same breast.
    did that make any sence? oh my....anyways don't be afraid to call your local leader she can help.
    I think that most writers don't write about the constant feeds because most mothers give formula when it happens. Somebabies just are more high needs and need to suck more than others. You just might have a high needs baby on your hands and thats fine. It just takes longer to figure them out then easy going babies. My 9 year old was very high needs and he is the best older kid around. He feals for other people and other kids and is a good peace maker at school. His teachers always say that he is able to help the other kids feal beter about what is going on.
    dr sears has some good things about fussy babies at his web site.
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T051200.asp

    have you seen anybody with a sling? it saved me with my dd she wasn't as high need as my 9 year old but since she was number 4 I needed any extra time I could get. You can do lots of things with the baby in a sling, and my dd normaly would take a nice long nap after being carried for a while outside in the fresh air.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    5

    Default Re: Three and half week old won't stop nursing

    Funny thing; I'm so used to him feeding constantly I get paranoid something is wrong when he's NOT doing it! Both yesterday and Saturday he took two naps and feed only four times (two hour sessions) during the day. We even left the house on Saturday! Hopefully this will keep up for a few more days.

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