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Thread: Marathon feedings ... help

  1. #1

    Default Marathon feedings ... help

    My son is 2 weeks old and we're suddenly doing marathon feedings of 3 and a half hours. I don't know how much longer we can keep it up. Because I'm starting to go crazy, especially in the middle of the night.

    A little background: he had a lot of latch problems the first week, and we've been through a few different feeding routines. Our latest routine from the nurse is: feed on demand, making sure to burp/wake him up every ten minutes or so. He never ever pulls off the breast, so I'm never sure if he is done or not. I've tried switching from breast to breast every ten minutes, and I've tried staying on one breast for an entire feeding. I can't tell a difference either way. There is always milk in his mouth when we stop to burp, and he's having plenty of wet and dirty diapers. At his two week check up on Monday, the midwife said he had a good latch and he gained 6 ozs in the last week ... so, it seems like he is feeding well. But.

    He acts hungry all the time, whenever he is awake. We had a few clusterfeeding days last week -- he'd eat for 20 minutes, sleep for 20 minutes, and then repeat. This week, the patten is just eating for hours on end. I am having a hard time believing that he is really eating for hours at a time, but whenever we take a break, he acts milk drunk for about five minutes and then he acts hungry again. He sucks on his hands, on my shoulder, and then cries if I don't let him eat again.

    I think maybe I could deal with this, but last night when I got worn out after a 3.5 hour nursing session and handed him off to my husband, the baby just instantly fell asleep. I repeat: when I take him off the breast to see if he's tired enough to go to sleep, he gives hunger cues and then has a huge meltdown of screaming. When my husband does it, on the other hand, he goes to sleep.

    How can i tell when he's really actually hungry and when he's just tired? How long should he eat before I hand him off to my husband? What should I do? Is this normal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Marathon feedings ... help

    sorry your having a hard time.. it's normal for some babies to need to nurse up to 12 times in 24 hours.
    Alot of the times they will go to sleep for daddy. thats normal too, when they can smell you and milk they want it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Springfield, Oregon
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    Default Re: Marathon feedings ... help

    Is this normal?
    Very normal. If you do ever get a minute try to relax,take a shower, eat a cupcake, something for yourself so when your next marathon starts you'll be happy. In the meantime rent some good movies or books for the marathons.


    How can i tell when he's really actually hungry and when he's just tired?
    In all honesty baby's suck for a ton of different reasons. It's good to let them regardless. You can pay attention to baby's sucking though. It is different when eating vs. not eating. Not eating is very shallow sucks.
    How long should he eat before I hand him off to my husband?
    There is no time limit. Just watch the sucking pattern.

    What should I do?
    Keep doing what you are doing momma! You are doing great! It gets easier
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Brussels, Belgium
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    Default Re: Marathon feedings ... help

    2 weeks and 3 weeks are the growth spurt times it's almost over. LO is instinctively upping your milk supply to suit her growing needs. The good news is it's natures own liposuction for you
    Katharine
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    mid-August DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Marathon feedings ... help

    i talked to the nurse yesterday and she fears he's just hungry and not getting enough to eat. this is my fear, too. my other problem is extremely sore nipples. they are like they are on fire after one of his giant feeds, and i never get more than 20 minutes rest ever. he doesn't sleep, either, he just always nurses. plus, no matter how long i nurse him, he screams as soon as i try to stop. sometimes there's not even any feeding cues, just immediate screaming. the nurse said to supplement, but he won't take a bottle or formula, even if i try to feed it to him some other way. i've tried pumping to supplement, but nothing comes out. the most i ever got was a week ago when i got half an ounce and since then it steadily diminished until now i get nothing. is this because i'm not making enough? or is it because i'm bone dry after he's been nursing for hours at a time? i really need some practical suggestions, because just doing the same thing every time is just making us all unhappy. i would really like to have a nursing session that a.) ends and b.) doesn't end in screaming.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Marathon feedings ... help

    Unless your nurse was an IBCLC and has a very specific reason to fear your LO isn't getting enough I would question what she said.

    Go see an IBCLC if you really think baby isn't getting enough. But I can assure you that these type of feedings are normal.

    The best way to know your supply is fine is baby is having enough wets/poos.

    The amount you pump is NOT an indicator of your supply. Some women just don't do well on the pump. You may also want to check your flange size.

    If you do supplement with formula you can cause your supply to dip.

    The increased fussiness is also an indicator of a growth spurt.

    I suggest you stick it out. I know you are looking for something to solve your problem but really it seems like a normal growth spurt to me and there is nothing better you can do besides nurse your LO. Just relax and nurse on demand.

    In the meantime why not try and call a local LLL leader??
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Marathon feedings ... help

    Thanks for all the advice. I am feeling a little more sane this afternoon. I've tried nursing all day and just giving up any idea that he might fall asleep or be full. It has nicely solved all the screaming issues. As for everything else, I guess I'm just going to see what happens if I do this for the next few days. my local LLL doesn't meet until next week, so if i'm going crazy from this by then, i think i will go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    NE PA
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    Default Re: Marathon feedings ... help

    Hang in there momma. This could be a growth spurt too.
    Jessica

    Moma to DS1-the monkinroanie (3/09) and DS2-the sweet pumpkin (5/12)
    Strong Women- May we have the delight of knowing them, the courage to be them and the privilege of raising them.
    And yes I know my spelling terrible (is that spelled right? )

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Springfield, Oregon
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    Default Re: Marathon feedings ... help

    Thanks for all the advice. I am feeling a little more sane this afternoon. I've tried nursing all day and just giving up any idea that he might fall asleep or be full. It has nicely solved all the screaming issues.
    Woohoo! It did the same for me

    As for everything else, I guess I'm just going to see what happens if I do this for the next few days. my local LLL doesn't meet until next week, so if i'm going crazy from this by then, i think i will go.
    Many times an LLL leader will come out to your house so if you need help before then call and ask.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    19

    Default Re: Marathon feedings ... help

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*redpowerlady View Post
    Unless your nurse was an IBCLC and has a very specific reason to fear your LO isn't getting enough I would question what she said.
    I'll second that.

    I so feel for you! My little one did that his second 48 hours. My baby who hadn't cried a bit suddenly had a shrill frantic shriek whenever I took him off, and being his pacifier interfered with my recovery from labor. It's so tough to try to balance your needs with the baby's needs!

    I and his dad were both worried he wasn't getting enough to eat but his weight and diaper output were both good and the midwife reminded me that babies also simply need to suck.

    I've studied child development extensively, as have my mother and grandmothers, and I knew this -- but I was still surprised how much my healthy, happy baby needed to suck to keep himself happy.

    We found he likes Dad's finger a lot, and tried out a billion other ways to soothe. Often it turned out he was overstimulated.

    ANd yeah he won't let me set him down if he can see, hear, or smell me. It's tough!

    Have you tried combining another soothing method with sucking, to help him associate the two and maybe accept the one without sucking? Several days of rocking, bouncing on an exercise ball, etc., while he feeds ... not every time but as you can stand it. Choose just one, and be careful that you're not frantically trying so many things at once that you overstimulate him again.

    I fed mine while soaking in the bath a lot, and he kind of accidentally transferred a little bit of the soothing association to the bath instead of the sucking.

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