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Thread: FTM BF Challenges

  1. #1

    Default FTM BF Challenges

    I am a first time mom and my son is now 11 days old, and I feel like I'm being stretched to my limit. During the day he is a realitively easy feeder, latches on pretty well (sometimes after a few attempts) and eats on average every 1.5-2 hours. However at night he's much more challenging. It's almost like he forgets how to latch on and gets so frustrated and hungry once he does latch, he only nurses for like 5 minutes. It's gotten so frustrating that I now pump enough for 1 or 2 feedings at night, and my husband gives him the bottle for the midnight or 3 am feeding (last night both) and he calms down pretty much immediately and either will be silent and alert or go to sleep.

    Is it possible that my milk supply dwindles off at night? It just doesn't seem like he gets satisfied. Also I'm seriously considering trying to express milk and do more of a combo breast feeding/ bottle feeding for my sanity and his satiation. Has anyone had success with that this early on? I feel like a failure for even considering that but what use am I to my beautiful son if he's hungry and I'm frustrated, sleep deprived and in tears?

    Also another question. It seems like during the day he is feeding on average 15-20 minutes on just one breast.. is that normal? I've read from several sources that he should be eating 15 minutes on each side (30 min total) but he just falls asleep and I cant get him to switch sides.

    Any advice or encouragement for a first time mom is greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,889

    Default Re: FTM BF Challenges

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby!

    When does the worst of the frustration occur- is it mostly in the evenings, or does it last all night long? And does it occur when you are nursing in a particular position? Is anything else going on when your baby is refusing to nurse- is he perhaps gagging or spluttering while nursing?

    Is it possible that my milk supply dwindles off at night?
    Possible, but unlikely: Prolactin ( the milk-producing hormone) levels are typically highest at night, and many moms who struggle with supply during the day have no trouble at night.

    Also I'm seriously considering trying to express milk and do more of a combo breast feeding/ bottle feeding for my sanity and his satiation. Has anyone had success with that this early on?
    Plenty of people have success going back and fort between breast and bottle, even at such a young age. However, many others struggle. Babies who get bottles early on often develop a preference for them because it is so easy to get milk from a bottle. That's why most guidelines say to introduce a bottle only after breastfeeding is well established. So if you choose to bottle-feed now, stay alert for indications that your baby is starting to prefer the bottle.

    I feel like a failure for even considering that but what use am I to my beautiful son if he's hungry and I'm frustrated, sleep deprived and in tears?
    Don't feel like a failure. Breastfeeding is natural but that doesn't mean it's easy. Nursing my first baby was the hardest thing I've ever done, bar none.

    It seems like during the day he is feeding on average 15-20 minutes on just one breast.. is that normal? I've read from several sources that he should be eating 15 minutes on each side (30 min total) but he just falls asleep and I cant get him to switch sides.
    What you describe sounds very normal for an 11 day-old baby. Feeding times vary widely from newborn to newborn- I don't know where people come up with the idea that all babies "should" eat for 15 minutes/side, or 10, or 30 or whatever (and yes, I have seen all those suggested as the "right" amount of time), but it just isn't true that there's an one-size-fits-all answer to the question "How long should my baby feed?"

    As long as your baby is having the right amount of wet and poopy diapers, just follow his lead, even if that means 15-20 minutes on just one breast. Just be ready to offer the second breast if some day he decides that he needs it.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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