advice needed with newborn and BFing issues

(7 posts)(6 voices)
  1. need advice...

    DS#2 is 11 days old. I thought BFing was going well. He is back up to his birth weight and has LOTS of wet and poopy diayoungihms. So in some rerpsects this is working....but...

    My problem is he eats all the time. Honestly he has about 12-16 feedings in a 24 hour youngihmiod. DS#1 was on a 3 hour cycle (like clockwork) almost from day 1. I would like to get DS #2 on a similiar schedule but was demand feeding in the beginning to see if I could improve a supply issue I had with DS#1. To be honest if I had to I could handle the frequest feedings during the day but when it is day and night I am not coping well with that at all. Add in to that that DS#1 needs attention and it is hard to feed a baby this often and have anything left for DS#1.

    Then there is the night time issue - almost every night he will feed every hour for 3-4 hours then sleep for maybe 90-120 minutes then we will do what I can only call a marathon torture session - 3-4 hours where he will nurse for about 10 min then take himself off the breast but not fall asleep. I will try to put him down for sleep but he just starts fussing worse and worse till I put him back on breast. As I said this will go on for 2-4 hours and is killing me. I have not had more than 2 hours sleep in the last week. If I swaddle him it seems to make the fussing worse as he gets very agitated that he can not have access to his fingers but as soon as I take the swaddle off the fingers go straight to the mouth and he gives all the clasic hungry cues. I have tried to introduce a pacifier or even let him suck on my finger but he has zero interest in that so it does not seem to be a need for sucking. If he is this hungry but is taking himself off the breast is that a sign that he is not getting any milk?

    Finally there is pumping. I had to get a hospital grade pump for DS#1 since as I mentioned I had supply issues. I went and picked up the same one (Medela Symphony) yesterday. I pumped this morning on one side after DS fed on other and after 20 minutes I had about 1 teaspoon (it is just so demoralizing to pump for so little). This may be my breaking point...I am so tired and emotional and just not sure if I can cope with feeding issues right now (but have to say that failing at BFing, especially so early in the game, will also be upsetting).
    Anyway, I needed to find a way to spend some one on one time with DS #1 and pumping was supposed to help with that (but it is just not worth it for a teaspoon!). Even though I did not get nearly enough for a feeding I ended up taking DS to his playgroup and left DS #2 with formula if he needed it. I was gone 110 minutes so thought maybe he would wait for me…nope he needed the bottle and drank about 3.25 oz from it. The fact that he is constantly feeding and the pump produced so little just has me very worried that I am not making enough and there is no way to resolve this. I should also mention I am drinking tons of water and eating plenty so that is not the issue. I also tried herbs (blessed thistle, mother’s milk etc) when I had supply issues last time and found out I have an allergic reaction to them so they are not an option.

    I exclusively BF DS #1 for 9 months. I wanted to do the same this time but with the lack of sleep and the thought that I will have to supplement anyway I am just so depressed right now I am tempted to throw in the towel.

    If anyone has any thoughts or advice I would be very grateful.

  2. For me it was day 13. You're exhausted and a bit overwhelmed. I cannot imagine doing it and having a toddler to care for too.

    The time he spends on your breast sounds normal to me. My baby did that too at that age but that does go away. The time he needs to get his milk will get shorter. Having said that, I am wondering about you getting so little milk. The Medula Symphony is a good pump (I assume you mean the electric one.) Are you getting that little all the time or just sometimes? I did too sometimes but usually got more.

    I was going to suggest the mothers' milk tea but I see you can't take that.

    Really, I think the thing you really need is some sleep. Is there anyone who can come over and let you sleep between feedings? I know it's hard right now. But it does sound normal. And it does get better. (( ))

  3. My kids were on an every 2-3 hour schedule, but I don't think that is typical for that young. It sounds like everything is going great with nursing, but pumping is not going well. He is gaining weight and has lots of wet and poopy diayoungihms - focus on that!

    Sometimes we are just not good pumyoungihms. Stressed out about it, or not able to relax enough. There could be reasons for that. Try pumping again at another time and see if you do better.

    I've heard of babies that are confused about night and day and it sounds like DS is one of them. It may take a few weeks to get to a normal schedule. Try to stimulate him a little more during the day. Have you tried nursing laying down - that way you can get some sleep while he is nursing.

    I don't think the herb blessed thistle does anything (at least not for me), but fenugreek is very helpful. Did you try that one?

    Hang in there. I had one really bad day and I told DH to remind me next time how hard nursing is in the beginning. It gets easier (within 2-3 months which really is not that much time).


  4. Cricket - that sounds awful. One thing really jumps out at me - you shouldn't let him only eat for 10 minutes. I had a baby nurse (and twins), and she was militant about not letting them snack. If he falls asleep after 10 minutes, wake him up - tickle the feet, blow on his face, rub his cheek, burp him, and if all that fails, change his diayoungihm, the wipe will wake him. Get him to feed for as long as you can, I usually fed for 30 minutes.

    Another natural thing that is supposed to up your production is oatmeal. I've been eating instant oatmeal every day and oatmeal cookies (I found this recipe on another thread - Yum) and I hope it's helping.

    Good luck. You're not a failure if you use formula. Better to be sane!

  5. Cricket,
    Don't have much to add but just want to add my encouragement. I also had diffiuculties with my ds but worked through it and nursed for 15 mos. Then, I had twins born at 36.5 weeks and there were tough times. But, we are doing well now. And, I thought I all I did the first 3 mos. was nurse. I remember someone telling me to give it 21 days and see if things became easier and they did. Good Luck and it sounds like you are doing everything right.

  6. aww, Cricket, sorry you're in such a bad place. wish i had seen this earlier. here's my thinking:

    your supply is plenty- to be back to his b/w and have lots of wet/poopy diayoungihms is excellent. don't let his guzzling formula make you draw ANY conclusions about supply- at this age, they are just little sucking reflex machines- and they'll suck on anything anytime.

    you have to train the boobs to have enough at a pumping session- i've never had supply issues, but i would only get a little the first week or so i pumped at a particular time- till the boob got used to the extra demand. my advice is to quit pumping and just nurse for at least another couple of weeks, and then, when your schedule is a little more settled, pick one time youngihm day and train your boobs that you're going to nurse and then pump at that time. and give them some time to get used to it.

    in the meantime, if you really need someone to give him a relief bottle, go ahead wtih the formula, but make sure you pump if you miss a feed.

    i agree with tuesday's advice to try and keep him focused for a longer nursing session each time. and i youngihmsonally would hold a young baby like this to 90 minute intervals btw feeds- trying the happiest baby techniques- pacifier, swaddling, rocking, shushing- in between. sometimes they act like they don't like swaddling but they actually do calm down better swaddled- it just takes some time. my ped once said that most newborns spend pretty much all their awake time fussing - till about 3 months. it's pretty true....

    at night, can you sleep with him at least for a few weeks? J was like this and i kept him in bed on auto-nurse, just lying on my side and letting him nurse while i dozed in and out. best baby advice i ever got was that they can't develop any bad habits in the first 6 weeks- you just do whatever you need to survive and worry about habits later.

    finally, regarding wanting to suck and taking himself off the breast- the possibility exists that you actually have an oversupply- he wants to suck but isn't hungry- so he tries to suck and gets frustrated b/c milk is coming out. J was like this- and we had him suck our upside down pinkies- while holding him tummy to tummy in a semi upright position, jiggling him up and down. tiring but at least he wasn't unhappy.

    okay, really finally, if he is busy nursing all that time, he might also be overtired b/c he hasn't gotten a good stretch of sleep (although i'm a bit confused b/c i know you posted about him sleeping all the time?!?) anyway, you could see if he sleeps better if you put him in a sling and walk around like that. mine always did.

  7. thanks for all the responses and thoughts - this nursing thing is tuff and confusing so having a place with feedback is so helpful.

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