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Thread: Letdown / frequent nursing - getting desperate

  1. #1
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    Jan 2006
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    Unhappy Letdown / frequent nursing - getting desperate

    My son, now 5 weeks old, nurses about every hour, round the clock. Considering it takes a good 30-45 minutes to feed, and then burp, I seem to be doing nothing but nursing. He wets frequently and has 5 - 6 poopy diapers a day, so I think he is getting enough to eat! However, I have noticed that when my milk lets down, he gulps for about two minutes, and then he falls asleep. If I keep him on the breast, I will feel the letdown again, and will gulp again for a few minutes, and then he sleeps again. This goes on for about 30-45 minutes, until he pulls off. Needless to say, he does not sleep longer than 45-60 minutes at a stretch, all day, all night. Im about to give in and give him some formula, because he always seems hungry. I nursed two earlier babies (some 13 years ago!), and they both nursed about every 2 - 3 hours. Any advice, words of wisdom, thoughts? Im getting desperate for some rest...

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Letdown / frequent nursing - getting desperate

    i have the exact same problem.what helped a little to improve situation was to wake him up.put him on flat surface and wait for couple of minutes.wet wash cloth on cheek or rubbing feets hands or back.to wake him up.or chnage diaper or let air in it.also i let him play (he is 6 weeks old) or he has bowel movemnet (or tries to do one by bearing down) after 6-7 minutes of feeding
    once i realised his apttern, i wait as i know hw will feed back again for another 4-5 minutes(wait gain is fine).meanwhile i burp him or hold him in his favorite posityion-cheeck to cheek.
    any other tips for oteh rmoms appareciated.
    tahnks!

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Letdown / frequent nursing - getting desperate

    Congratulations on the birth of your son! You sound as though you are getting a little "desperate" with his frequent need to nurse. I can see how this might become a little daunting for you.

    It sounds as though he is having plenty of wet and dirty diapers. This is great! He may be at the stage where he is experiencing a growth spurt. Typically babies go through a growth spurt around 6 weeks, but he could be a tad early! Growth spurts are the baby's call to your breasts to make more milk and are very normal and healthy. They usually last a few days, and then the baby goes back to nursing with a little less frequency. I would not suggest offering formula at this time. He actually needs you to make the milk and if you give formula, you will cut back on your production, and ultimately your supply as well.

    Many moms who experience babies getting a little slow at the breast will use breast compressions to stimulate their suck and keep them actively nursing. Once he slows and is not actively sucking, hold your breast (far enough away from your areola as to not affect his latch) with your thumb on one side and four fingers on the other. Gently squeeze the breast and see if he begins actively sucking again. Rotate your hand around the breast as you go to reach all areas. Continue doing this until suck slows. Do not release when he is actively sucking. Once he slows, release and see if he picks up again on his own. If not, begin compressions again. You may see him be able to nurse a little more efficiently using this technique.

    Also, could you consider wearing him in a sling or wrap during the day? This makes nursing so much easier. Many mothers find they can nurse and still do other things with the baby in a sling. If you don't have one, you might consider checking out LLL's online catalogue, where we have some for sale.

    I hope this helps! Let us know how things are going for you.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Letdown / frequent nursing - getting desperate

    I second Kate's suggestion to try breast compression, which will encourage your baby to get more of the fatty hindmilk, which may help him to go longer periods between feedings.

    This is not a LLL site, but here's a link to Dr. Newman's handout on how to do breast compression:

    http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/15.html
    Last edited by LLLKerry; February 3rd, 2006 at 10:07 AM.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Letdown / frequent nursing - getting desperate

    Could he be going through a growth sprut. Usually babies have a growth spurt around 3 and 6 weeks. If it's just a growth spurt the constant nursings will slow down once your supply catches up.
    I remember I son did this and it seemed endless, but around 6 weeks he went to nursing every 3 hours or so... and I got my sanity back.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Unhappy Re: Letdown / frequent nursing - getting desperate

    My son is 3 weeks old today, and I was coming here to "complain" about the same thing. Only, now after reading this post, I feel a bit humbled. I know I'd be going crazy if my son fed every hour. Right now it's about every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. On top of that, we have thrush....let's just say I'd rather go through labor again than endure the pain that comes with thrush and breastfeeding. We are both currently on meds, and I think the oral med he's on is causing him to spit up, as he pukes almost everything he eats it seems. Oh, and we are also a very gassy baby, to boot. Mylicon is helping somewhat, but not completely. He is not colic, thank God, but he doesn't seem to be a very happy baby, unless he is at the breast. I have to return to work in 3 weeks, and I don't know how I am going to do it, as I spend most of my day in bed, napping when he does, which isn't very long. I've tried pumping and bottle feeding, but that takes longer than putting him to the breast, and it seems to cause him more gas as he takes in more air this way. I compress and leave him at one breast as long as he wants so as to try to get the hind milk. He has wet and poopy diapers 8-10 a day, and he appears to be gaining weight. I am just frustrated and tired and feeling very inadequate. My hubby wants me to switch to formula, but that will make me feel even more inadequate as a mother. This is not what I expected life with a newborn to be like. My house is a mess, I have no energy, and I am grouchy to my step children and my husband. I just don't know what else to do. I, too, need my sanity back! Help!!!

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Letdown / frequent nursing - getting desperate

    jrsmommy,
    It is very difficult when we are feeling inadequate as a mom, wife and housekeeper . I can tell that you are tired and definitely did not expect parenting a newborn to be this time-consuming. But let me assure you, it will be time consuming no matter how he is fed! Newborns are a lot of work, period! And some are more work than others. Your ds might continue to be gassy and might continue to need you a lot, even if you switch to formula.

    You mentioned that he seems unhappy unless he is at the breast. Have you considered keeping him close by, either with a sling, wrap or front carrier? When I had my first daughter, I remember thinking I would nurse her and then she would go and lay somewhere (crib, bassinet, bouncy set, pac 'n play) until the next feeding. I was shocked! I had no idea how much babies need to be held! I will never forget the first time I wore her in the sling. My world changed instantly. She was ALWAYS happy! I was actually able to do housework, walk around the mall (without pushing an empty stroller and carrying a baby who hated the stroller), sit through an entire church service, etc. People were always commenting on how content she was. (I used to think, "Yeah, if only you had seen her for the first two months!)

    I would really suggest looking into getting a sling. We have them for sale in our catalog on this website. And then I would suggest looking up an LLL Leader and getting some support. First, she will tell you how well you are doing. (Sounds like you need to hear that!) Then, she will give you helpful information about breastfeeding, and be able to show you, or put you in touch with someone who can show you how to use the sling. Having a support system is crucial to your sanity and success.

    It sounds like your dh is just worried about you and wants you to be happy. That is probably why he has made the suggestion of switching to formula. Maybe you could talk to him about how important this is to you, and then discuss some ways that the whole family could help. I remember my dh coming home after work and carry dd in a "colic carry" while he hummed "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (Hey, it worked!). He just came up with this on his own, and it settled dd for a while so I got a little break. It also helped him feel like he was helping. (And trust me, after a day with my dd, that was help!)

    It sounds like you are also very tired. I really know how that feels, and it is awful. Does ds nurse a lot at night? Have you considered sharing sleep for a little while, at least to get you through this rough spot? Some mothers find they are really able to get a lot of sleep when they bring baby to bed. Here is a link on safe sleep.

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/cosleep.html

    You have my complete understanding on the thrush as well. You mentioned you are on medication. Your symptoms should be subsiding pretty quickly. You do want to make sure you are treating both you and the baby. Here is a link to a great article on thrush. It is very important to look at all areas of your life so that you can completely get rid of it.

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...tNov98p91.html

    Please let us know how you are doing!
    <<<<Hugs>>>>

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