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Old Apr 24th, 2010, 14:13 PM   1
PB&J
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Please help me - feeling sad/worried/useless and considering giving up


I'm not really sure what my question is. I think I'll just write what's on my mind and hope that someone can give me some encouragement or advice.

Jennifer is six weeks old now. She lost 1oz of bith weight and is gaining about 10 oz every week. Plenty (and I mean PLENTY!!!) of wet/soiled nappies. I am worried that I am doing something wrong, as she feeds frequently (usually hourly) during the day. It's been like this since day one, so don't think it's a growth spurt. She does go longer at night (once it was 5 hours, but usually 2/3).

What's concerning me is this;
Could she not be latched on properly, not getting enough and therefore needing to feed more often?
Am I not feeding her for long enough? (I do wake her if she drops off early, and always wait until she finishes, wind her and then put her back on. I offer other side if she's still interested. She usually feeds for 20/30 min)
Am I misreading cues, and feeding when she's not really hungry, and crying for another reason? I do check nappy/ try to soothe/ cuddle/ sing etc if I think it's too soon for a feed (she does seem to be rooting/ hands in mouth etc).

I'm getting really down. I am scared to leave the house, as it feels like we arrive somewhere and she's screaming for a feed immediately. I really wanted to BF but I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I'm so tempted to FF, so I know how much she's getting and hopefully have a hapy, settled baby for longer than 30 minutes after a feed. PLEASE HELP.



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Old Apr 24th, 2010, 14:53 PM   2
cutie4evr01
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Sounds to me like she's getting plenty if she's gaining 10oz/week and having plenty of wet and dirty diapers - well done! And her latch is probably fine if you don't have any pain. Unfortunately, I think the frequent feeding is very common, as their little tummies are so small and breastmilk is so easy to digest that most newborns end up eating little and often. I think feeding for 20/30 mins, and then content and settled for another 30 minutes sounds spot on for a 6-week old. The only thing I would suggest is after that 30 minutes of awake time, have you tried putting her down for a nap? I think babies that age can only handle 1-1.5 hours of awake time (including feeding time!) before they will need to sleep again. For a long time I was always feeding my baby until I figured out that sometimes she just needed to sleep instead. It is difficult to leave the house if you are conscious about feeding in public, as they do eat often, and your LO will soon be in a big 6-week growth spurt, so it may not improve for a while yet. But I promise as she gets a little older and her tummy gets a little bigger, she will be able to go longer between feeds. I think by 12 weeks or so my LO was going 3 hours between feeds, with a 6+ hour stretch at night. However, during growth spurts, she's feeding every hour/two day and night again. Please don't give up - this won't last forever, and you've already made it through the most difficult part - you're doing terrific!



 
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Old Apr 24th, 2010, 15:16 PM   3
greenlady
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I hope I'm not saying anything too controversial, but have you considered using a dummy occasionally? It sounds like she might be comfort sucking at least some of the time. It might help her drop off to sleep for a bit longer between feeds. Apparently at 6 weeks your breastfeeding is well established so there shouldn't be a problem with nipple confusion or your supply or anything. I'm not an expert obviously it's just a thought!



 
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Old Apr 24th, 2010, 16:18 PM   4
GersPrincess
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I second what cutie says, your LO sounds exactly like all 3 of mine where at that age. It really is down to the fact that breastmilk is so easily absorbed, and that coupled with their tiny tummies makes for more frequent feeding.
It can be hard when you feel like you cant go out because you're always feeding, I went through a period like that this time around, as I dont have the breastfeeding support of my family around me this time (hubby's family hate it).It honestly does get better.
In a few weeks you'll be getting much longer between feeds and you will feel better.



 
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Old Apr 24th, 2010, 17:26 PM   5
Seity
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I could have written this post my LO is 7 weeks and he's doing the same for the past week. Its enough to make me crazy at times.



 
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 05:34 AM   6
Snugglepup
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You are doing a fantastic job! 10oz is great, she might start spacing out feeds a bit more soon, until then try keeping a feed diary to keep track so you can better see what is going on. I set mine out like this when I do it..

LB 08:32-08:38
LB 09:01-09:17

RB 10:29-10:38.

You might begin to see patterns emerge through the day or over a couple of days. Perhaps you could show your feed diary to the health visitor at baby clinic next week, do a sleep diary in with the feeds if you feel like it, you may find she feeds longer after a big sleep and slips into more frequent sessions after sicking up, or having hiccups cured by the breast.

Sleep is the best way to space out feeds, about an hour after my daughter wakes I start settling her for sleep now, this has helped her go up to an hour and a half to two hours between feeds at times. She sleeps between 6-8 hours a night at the moment (10 weeks!) but only because she is swaddled at night. She rarely goes to sleep without her dummy, and I often have to stand by the cot popping it back in for anywhere up to an hour, but it is better than being used as a human dummy constantly.

I have trouble getting LO to sleep in cot for long during day (if at all) so I sometimes use a pouch halfway through the day, she will go up to three hours in there if I feed her first.

It will get better, just remember, you are doing fantastic!



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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 06:22 AM   7
AimeeM
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My little one was seen by a pediatrician the other day. Nathan was exactly the same.

Problem was no one had told me when to stop feeding on demand.
He told me at the hospital that by 6 weeks he should be feeding ever 3 hours round and abouts.

They call hourly feeders 'snackers'. He told me to give him a feed for 15 mins and then make him last for 3 hours by letting him suck on a dummy or a finger or just taking his mind off feeding. They do it for comfort.

He said that 15-20 mins every three hours is plenty and that i need to put my foot down now and stop being soft and make him do.

So we started trying that out on Wednesday and he is now on 3 hourly feeds! Give or take 10 mins. I felt bad at first but he just cried himself to sleep.

They really get into a habit with snack feeding and comfort feeding and i was in tears too wanting to give up this time last week.

Oh yeah- a dummy helps a lot too! We can tell he is not hungry now and just wants to suck.



 
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 06:32 AM   8
PB&J
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Thanks for the great advice! I especially like the idea of the diary. I am really going to focus on daytime sleep now, as night sleeps are pretty good. Last night she went 5 hours, fed for 20 min, 3 hours and fed and then another 3. I think you're right about using sleep to space out the feeds. She's asleep now and has been for an hour, so will keep it up (hopefully). I'm prob sometimes feeding her when she's tired, not hungry. Now need her to sleep in basket during the day, which will be a challenge, but can pop her in the sling if needed!



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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 07:58 AM   9
FemmeEnceinte
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AimeeM View Post
My little one was seen by a pediatrician the other day. Nathan was exactly the same.

Problem was no one had told me when to stop feeding on demand.
He told me at the hospital that by 6 weeks he should be feeding ever 3 hours round and abouts.

They call hourly feeders 'snackers'. He told me to give him a feed for 15 mins and then make him last for 3 hours by letting him suck on a dummy or a finger or just taking his mind off feeding. They do it for comfort.

He said that 15-20 mins every three hours is plenty and that i need to put my foot down now and stop being soft and make him do.

So we started trying that out on Wednesday and he is now on 3 hourly feeds! Give or take 10 mins. I felt bad at first but he just cried himself to sleep.

They really get into a habit with snack feeding and comfort feeding and i was in tears too wanting to give up this time last week.

Oh yeah- a dummy helps a lot too! We can tell he is not hungry now and just wants to suck.

Sorry, but you have been given appalling and outdated advice!!! BF babies (well, all babies IMO) should never be fed to a schedule. Molly still feeds every hours/2 hours at 4 1/2 months old and she's a happy, healthy little thing. If you stop feeding on demand, your supply won't match your baby's demand and it will slowly drop off... this advice harks back to the 60's when women were told to feed to a schedule and force babies to wait it out and that was the cause of formula taking off and becoming what it is today, because women lost their supplies and had no choice.

Your baby's stomach is tiny! They need to feed frequently, it's not just snacking or comfort sucking.

Please, do not follow that advice and certainly don't offer it to others! x



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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 13:01 PM   10
JessiHD
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I feel exactly the same although my LO is only 4 weeks old. I feel that if I was FF then I'd have my life back more but I refuse to do it. It's been hubby's first week back at work so I feel really isolated, especially coupled with the fact that baby is being really clingy the last week so will only settle if snuggled up against me. Hubby seems to have given up trying to soothe him as it's easier just to stick him on my breast. I feel like I'm failing somehow.



 
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