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Thread: At my wits end!

  1. #1

    Default At my wits end!

    My son is 3 weeks old and I feel as if I'm at my breaking point. I thought that we had the latching on thing solved and then my milk production on point. I'm eating oatmeal, taking fenugreek and goats rue, and drinking mothers milk. I only get about 2oz ea from ea breast on a good day, but i do hear and see him swallowing. The problem is that he never seems satisfied. It takes him FOREVER to nurse and even after that he will cry bloody murder and start rooting after only sleeping 20 min. He doesn't like the pacifier so trying to give him that makes him scream more. i try EVERYTHING to keep him awake while he's nursing but sometimes it just doesn't work and he even gets annoyed and stops nursing altogether. The moment I put him on the breast, he starts to drift and when I take him off he wakes acting hungry. It's truly as if nursing is his sleeping aid except that when my mother was here, she was able to get him to fall asleep.Whether a newborn can be spoiled at this age is now a moot point to me because I think mine is. He doesn't seem to be able to be away from me for more than an hour.

    I've listened to the advice of doing the on demand feeding and aside from the fact that after 3 weeks I don't have the stamina for it, I simply don't have that luxury. I have a 20 month old at home and he gets no active play time with me because Evan is ALWAYS nursing. Additionally I don't have family or anything here so it's basically all on me until my husband comes home from work. I'm ready to move him out of my bed so my husband can return and I think it's making the problem worse because he snacks on the breast all night long because it's there. Right now he's been nursing for an hour an he still cries when I try to put him down. I just don't know that I can make it like this for too much longer and that makes me sad because I failed the last time and I truly want to do this. I know I'll regret it if I give up, but I simply cannot go on like this. My family can't take it!
    Last edited by @llli*2under2sahm; January 4th, 2011 at 01:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: At my wits end!

    awe 3 weeks is prime time for a growth spurt where they need to be at the breast contantly.
    Hang in there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: At my wits end!

    You can do it. Mine was the same way, just nurse, nurse, nurse. Try wearing him too. That was the only way I could do anything.
    DS1 Chase John Born 6/30/04
    DS2 Van Gunner 6/22/10
    DD1 Adelynn Grace 1/20/14

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,959

    Default Re: At my wits end!

    Mama, you sound so frustrated!!! And I can totally understand. This is the hardest part of breastfeeding, and it is when many mamas throw up their hands and say "I just can't do it anymore!" What separates the moms who succeed at breastfeeding from those who fail is that the successful ones don't run out and buy formula and just quit. Instead, they take it one feeding at a time, and they reach out at get the help they need.

    I'm that your baby is probably going through a growth spurt. 3 weeks and constant nursing... It's hard to get more textbook than that. And combining a growth spurt and a toddler has got to be a really hard situation. But it should just be a short time in your life and in your kids' lives- someday you will look back and say "Wow, that experience sucked, but it took less time than I thought."

    Okay, on to some of the specifics:

    I only get about 2oz ea from ea breast on a good day, but i do hear and see him swallowing.
    I assume you mean you get 2 oz when pumping? (Because otherwise how would you know?) And is that 2 oz from each breast every time you pump, or is that 2 oz combined from several pumping sessions per day?

    As long as you hear swallowing and your baby is producing adequate diapers (reference), there's no need to worry that your supply is inadequate.

    The problem is that he never seems satisfied. It takes him FOREVER to nurse and even after that he will cry bloody murder and start rooting after only sleeping 20 min. He doesn't like the pacifier so trying to give him that makes him scream more. i try EVERYTHING to keep him awake while he's nursing but sometimes it just doesn't work and he even gets annoyed and stops nursing altogether. The moment I put him on the breast, he starts to drift and when I take him off he wakes acting hungry.
    This all sounds pretty normal for a 3 week-old baby. Frustrating, but normal! Here's a link on sleepy babies:
    http://www.mother-2-mother.com/cc-ba...m#SleepyBabies

    While I think this all sounds pretty normal, I would definitely seek some hands-on help from a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. Sometimes a baby who seems insatiable is that way because he's having an issue getting enough milk in a timely manner, causing one feeding to merge into the next. In that case, it's best to get some assistance from a professional.

    It's truly as if nursing is his sleeping aid except that when my mother was here, she was able to get him to fall asleep.Whether a newborn can be spoiled at this age is now a moot point to me because I think mine is. He doesn't seem to be able to be away from me for more than an hour.
    This is also normal for a newborn. My Mom has always been great at getting my kids to sleep, in part because she's a great mom and patient and will rock and sing and pat them for. ever., and partly because she doesn't smell like milk!

    I understand that you feel like your baby is spoiled- but he really isn't. He spent 9 months being part of you. It's going to take a little while before he can be apart from you. I totally second the suggestion to use the sling! Sometimes a baby just wants to be close. He'll nurse if that's the only way to get cuddled up to you, but if you offer him another way he might accept that, instead. (I like the Moby wrap for a newborn- it holds them upright and snuggled in a really nice way.)

    I have a 20 month old at home and he gets no active play time with me because Evan is ALWAYS nursing.
    BTDT!!! In this weather it's hard to get out of the house and active with one kid, let alone a toddler and a newborn. But again, keep in mind that this is a short stage in your kids' lives. If your toddler is a bit of a couch potato for a while, and watches more TV than you feel is good for him... So what? In a few weeks you're going to hit your stride and you'll be nursing on the go- at the store, in a playgroup, etc.. Meanwhile, can you hire a mother's helper? Maybe a young teen who is starting out her babysitting career, and will work for cheap?

    I'm ready to move him out of my bed so my husband can return and I think it's making the problem worse because he snacks on the breast all night long because it's there. Right now he's been nursing for an hour an he still cries when I try to put him down.
    Again, normal behavior. Frustrating but normal. Have you considered trying a co-sleeping crib? That way your husband can come back to your bed, and the baby has a safe sleeping place that is right next to you, facilitating night-nursing.

    If you are truly at the point of desperation and ready to quit, remember that breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can nurse part-time (see this link)- it has risks in terms of the baby coming to prefer the bottle and reject the breast- but it's better than simply quitting. However, before you choose weaning, or partial weaning, I strongly suggest getting professional help!
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: At my wits end!

    Sounds like a growth spurt.

    And mama, from someone who has BTDT and has a bunch of kids at home, and homeschools on top of it all....park yourself on the sofa and let the 20 month old play around you. You can still be involved in the games. My older kids like for me to narrate. We read books. We did stuff together...while I was still nursing the baby. My DH is gone for 14 hours a day. It's all me too. Yes, the house will be a mess. The laundry will build up. But the baby will be fed, you're resting, the older child feels loved, and it goes by FAST. Before you know it, the growth spurt will be over and you can do this any time, any place, anywhere.

    I'm afraid I don't see why your DH can't sleep in the same bed? I have moved out sometimes, mostly so DH can get more rest so he can go to work, but it can work to have baby nearer the edge (put a receiving blanket under your hip, catch baby in the fold and then tuck the blanket back under your hip if you're worried about baby rolling off), then I lay down, then DH lays on the other side of me (and there's usually at least one other kid in the bed too). Or try a cosleeper, but my babies have all wanted to sleep right next to me...and it maximizes everyone's sleep in the long run.

    During the day, having a sling helps me too. Sometimes, if I just nursed baby and I know there's no way he really can be starving, I tuck him in there and get moving around tidying up or whatever, and he actually sleeps. I can run and play with my other kids at the same time too.

    This is a short, short period of time. I promise. I've BTDT several times now. It won't be like this forever. And in the long run, I promise that nursing will be much, much easier than being tied to a pump to EP or formula.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: At my wits end!

    It sound's like you're going through a really rough patch and trying to do the best for your whole family.
    On only getting 2 oz of milk, is this from one pumping session, one breast or both? I pumped for 1 yr w/ my 1st and am back at it again (I work full time, pumping as we 'speak'). At 3 wks, I'd say getting very little milk when pumping is common. Especially if you're stressed. Don't worry, you'll get more eventually. Try pumping while your little one is nursing on the other side. But overal, no worries, doesn't really reflect what the LO's getting.
    I agree, he's probably going through a growth spurt, plus he probably just needs to suck. My 1st was like that. She would take a pacifier, so we were lucky. Maybe try a few different shaped binki's?
    On co-sleeping, we co-slept w/ the 1st for 3 yrs and are doing it again with the 3 mo old. DH sleeps with us, I just curl around the baby. We talked about it a bunch, but it came down to this (for us): we had cats and a small dog that used to sleep on the bed. He was aware enough not to roll on or crush them. So we figured he was probably safe with the baby. I keep her against me just in case. You may want to consider having DH and the baby both in the bed.
    Hang in there!!

  7. #7

    Default Re: At my wits end!

    I am in the same boat you are! My son will be 4 wks tomorrow and I am also struggling with him falling asleep, crying constantly and I am only pumping 1-2 oz in between feedings. DH and I decided to give him 1 bottle a night so I can get some sleep but he will eat the 2 oz breastmilk and occasionally eat 2 oz of formula on top of that. The past 2 nights he has been extremely fussy and fighting with my breasts. He screams each time I attempt to feed him and he shakes his head back and forth and cries as if there is nothing coming out, but I see the milk coming out. I also eat oatmeal, drink the mothers milk tea and have a beer 1-2x/week and I feel the burning sensation so I know there is milk. I am very frustrated and when I feed him I refuse to give him a bottle or formula but I have given in a few times already since he has been home. DS. occasionally takes a pacifier but also screams and makes a face as if I am trying to poison him (as with the bottle. I do not want to give up, but it is very difficult. I am hoping it is a phase and will pass shortly. Hang in there

  8. #8

    Default Re: At my wits end!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*drewjakesmom View Post
    I am in the same boat you are! My son will be 4 wks tomorrow and I am also struggling with him falling asleep, crying constantly and I am only pumping 1-2 oz in between feedings. DH and I decided to give him 1 bottle a night so I can get some sleep but he will eat the 2 oz breastmilk and occasionally eat 2 oz of formula on top of that. The past 2 nights he has been extremely fussy and fighting with my breasts. He screams each time I attempt to feed him and he shakes his head back and forth and cries as if there is nothing coming out, but I see the milk coming out. I also eat oatmeal, drink the mothers milk tea and have a beer 1-2x/week and I feel the burning sensation so I know there is milk. I am very frustrated and when I feed him I refuse to give him a bottle or formula but I have given in a few times already since he has been home. DS. occasionally takes a pacifier but also screams and makes a face as if I am trying to poison him (as with the bottle. I do not want to give up, but it is very difficult. I am hoping it is a phase and will pass shortly. Hang in there
    I had this issue with the fussing. Try burping him, calm him down until he stops crying. Sometimes, once he's calm..I'll just hold him casually near my breast and act like I'm not giving it to him...let it brush his cheek and I often find that he'll take it on his own. Like all men, you have to make him think it's HIS idea! LOL! (Just kidding about that last part.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: At my wits end!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*2under2sahm View Post
    My son is 3 weeks old and I feel as if I'm at my breaking point. I thought that we had the latching on thing solved and then my milk production on point. I'm eating oatmeal, taking fenugreek and goats rue, and drinking mothers milk. I only get about 2oz ea from ea breast on a good day, but i do hear and see him swallowing. The problem is that he never seems satisfied. It takes him FOREVER to nurse and even after that he will cry bloody murder and start rooting after only sleeping 20 min. He doesn't like the pacifier so trying to give him that makes him scream more. i try EVERYTHING to keep him awake while he's nursing but sometimes it just doesn't work and he even gets annoyed and stops nursing altogether. The moment I put him on the breast, he starts to drift and when I take him off he wakes acting hungry. It's truly as if nursing is his sleeping aid except that when my mother was here, she was able to get him to fall asleep.Whether a newborn can be spoiled at this age is now a moot point to me because I think mine is. He doesn't seem to be able to be away from me for more than an hour.

    I've listened to the advice of doing the on demand feeding and aside from the fact that after 3 weeks I don't have the stamina for it, I simply don't have that luxury. I have a 20 month old at home and he gets no active play time with me because Evan is ALWAYS nursing. Additionally I don't have family or anything here so it's basically all on me until my husband comes home from work. I'm ready to move him out of my bed so my husband can return and I think it's making the problem worse because he snacks on the breast all night long because it's there. Right now he's been nursing for an hour an he still cries when I try to put him down. I just don't know that I can make it like this for too much longer and that makes me sad because I failed the last time and I truly want to do this. I know I'll regret it if I give up, but I simply cannot go on like this. My family can't take it!
    you sound like me! my little one was crazy the first month or so. never EVER seemed satisfied, never wanted to do anything but nurse. ALWAYS. there was even a point where i was sitting on the couch in my living room crying because i was on the SEVENTH hour of nursing with only 10-15 minute breaks in between. i had a c section and i was so tired and miserable.
    but what everyone says is true. it DOES get better. we still have some problems but for the most part, she is now starting to sleep for 4-6 hour stretches and it is soooooooooooooooooooo wonderful.

    hang in there!! i thought it would never come but it does!!

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