Jump to content

Help - constant feeding


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Kristen1981

Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:41 AM

This might be a bit of a long post, but I'm near the end of my rope! I'm after any tips, hints, tricks, advice or just kind words of support I can get right now.
I'm a first time mum and my beautiful daughter is 3.5 weeks old. From the time she was born she has been a constant feeder. I am exclusively breastfeeding and in hospital the midwives said that she was just suckling to bring my milk in, which at the time made perfect sense to me. Unfortunately this hasn't stopped.
To explain constant feeding, what I mean is virtually not stopping for hours and hours, often up to 6-8 hours with a maximum of perhaps one 20 minute break in there somewhere, just enough time for me to have a bathroom break and some food, before we start again. At times she feeds well, I can hear her swallowing and she sucks properly. More often than not however, there are minimal swallowing sounds and she falls asleep on my breast within 5-10 minutes. If I move her, adjust my position, put her down etc, she is awake again and is almost immediately screaming to be fed. This happens even if she has been feeding for the past several hours. The only way I can put her to sleep is to feed lying down, and when she falls asleep leave her on my bed until she is in a deep sleep before moving her to her own.
Yes, I feel that she is using me like a sunny. She won't take a dummy either, though I feel she might be a bit young for one.
We have been to a chiropractor/doctor 4 times to see if there is anything wrong with her, but it appears she is in perfect health and not comfort feeding for any pain issues etc. The 4 midwives/maternal health and Childcare nurses we have seen agree. We have also been to the lactation consultant twice, who believes we have a good latch and we have good technique. She has put on plenty of weight, more than required, and her nappies and always full and as they should be. No one seems to be able to help us.
I have had some people suggest expressing so that someone else can feed her. Firstly, it's virtually impossible to do with a baby attached to me constantly, secondly, I have attempted in the one nap she has per day (if I'm lucky!) and the most I can express at any one time is about 10ml from both breasts combined. I am reluctant to give her formula as nutritionally she is obviously doing well, and if she wants to continue to suck anyway, I don't really see the point.
As I mentioned, she's also not really sleeping. Apart from the quick snatches of sleep she gets while she is on the breast, she has a maximum of one proper nap per day for about 2 hours. At night I usually get her down by about 11pm, she's up again around 2am for 1-2 hours, then again at about 5am. The poor thing must be absolutely exhausted.
That's pretty much my story. Writing this while feeding her, which I have been doing since just before 6am... going on nearly 7 hours now.
Any comments would be nice!

#2 BubbleBird

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

Oh my gosh I really feel for you. I know new babies are supposed to be hard work but as far as I'm concerned this is beyond average.

I'm no expert but I think it sounds like she has just gotten used to using you for constant comfort.

I'm all for lots of cuddles and feeding on demand but for your own sake I would try to limit the time she is feeding.

Here are a few tips I can think of:

- carry her in a sling / carrier
- go for a walk with the pram
- express and get someone else to bottle feed (I know you said that this is hard because she is constantly feeding, maybe get someone to take her in the pram for a walk / put her in a sling)
- all my breastfeeding help has always said that you shouldn't feed for more than 30 mins each side per feed. Any more than this leaves you and baby exhausted. If you limit her feed time you will find that she feeds better at the next feed

Do you think it could be possible that she has reflux / silent reflux? I don't really think that anything in your post sounds like that could be the case, though I know my baby with silent reflux had times of wanting to feed constantly. It is my understanding that babies with reflux find that feeding help ease their pain. Maybe something to keep in the back of your mind.

Good luck, I know it must be really hard for you. Please know that all this will be over in a few short weeks and you will move on to the next difficult / wonderful / cute / stage.

#3 FeRaL n ScReWeD

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

My dd was the same, not sure if it was her reflux or the fact she has an allergy to cows milk and soy.
Dd would projectile vomit so that wouldn't have helped either.
I'm lucky that a dummy helpt but it wasn't until she went on to neocate that it all setteled.
I know how exhausting it is to constantly feed, in the end I just fell asleep with her on the boob as I couldn't stay awake!
Ahh the added bonus of a E cup! original.gif
I hope it all settles soon for you.


#4 ms flib

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:14 PM

I'm also very pro demand feeding but it's not good for either of you to be feeding continuously.

I actually looked at one of those dreadful super strict baby routines to get a guide, that I could adapt, of how much feeding/sleeping/awake time baby should have. I also followed the feed/play/sleep idea and used the pram or sling to help with the sleeping.

Also your baby will probably be more satisfied if your milk is allowed to build up in between feeds. It will be richer and she should be able to fill up without continuous feeding.

Congratulations on such successful breast feeding and actually your night times sound OK. Maybe they'll get better too.

And, as a mother, you have to nuture yourself too and rest and eat well and drink plenty of fluids. Your baby may protest at first but with some gentle changes, you'll both be happier.

All the very best!

#5 CharliMarley

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:17 PM

I would try carrying her around in a sling and the fact that she is skin to skin with you and can listen to your heartbeat, should put her to sleep until the next feed. Babies of this age need to feed constantly as their tummies are so small. She will get better as she grows and is able to take more milk at feeds. I certainly wouldn't be giving her a bottle (even if it is expressed milk) because bottles are a different way of sucking to the breast and babies get to like bottles, because it is easier to get, whereas the breast has to be worked at.

#6 Betty_D

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:30 PM

You poor thing - you must be exhausted.

Whilst not for everyone, we found the dummy a real lifesaver to help extend feeds to every few hours. It may be that she simply needs the sucking reflex to go to sleep, especially since other medical reasons have been ruled out.

I know you mentioned your bub didn't take to it, but it may be worth trying a few different types. The happy baby, cherry-style dummies were the ones that my bub liked after trying a few different brands.

#7 whale-woman

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:42 PM

DD1 was a bit like this. She was only happy on the boob. It is very hard. Reassure yourself that she's getting enough as the weight gain is good. I'd be going the dummy as she obviously needs something to suck. (this never fooled my Dd who just spat them out). Is their someone else you can hand her to so you can get a break? If she cries so be it, you need to look after yourself to look after bub. You might be surprised and she'll settle if held by someone who is not her human dummy/meal dispenser.

Good luck with it. It will get better.
I also see no issue with trying an occasional bottle (not because she's needing extra, but to let you get some time away.). She's almost a month old and you'd probably feel a new woman if you could get an hour out away from bub.  I was actually advised by my ob to give an occasional bottle so bub would accept them (rather than becoming a bottle refuser when older and thus issues with getting fed at Cc etc.) We at least, never had any issues with bottle vs breast.

I agree with the sling idea. DD lived in one till my back gave out, but it saved my sanity.

Edited by whale-woman, 15 February 2013 - 12:46 PM.


#8 Lalalacey

Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

I know exactly how you feel my now 8 week old DD was exactly like this, and first of all let me say you are doing an amazing job! Secondly it will get better my DD now only feeds every 3 hours!

During the first 4 weeks there were many days I felt as if I didn't put her down, a few things that helped me were to make sure I wasn't misreading hers cues sometimes I would be feeding her when really she was tired, I eventually would feed for an hour then make her wait one hour which seemed like it would be impossible but we got there... even if it meant I spent that whole time trying to rock her to sleep once it had been an hour if she wasn't asleep I would feed her again

My DD also didn't like a dummy we tried 6 different types and kept trying she eventually took a cherry happy baby one I rub her cheek and she will suck it now she cries when it falls out if she isn't deeply sleeping yet.

On the really bad days we would co-sleep she would feed fall asleep and un latch if I woke and this had happened I would put her in her own bed so I would get time without her!

Also make sure you burp her this crying could be wind... infants friend was my friend.
If you can Google 4th trimester it will give you a bit of an idea..

Stick at it, it will get easier I felt like giving up many times and giving formula but each week it got better and I felt proud of myself for trusting my instincts.

#9 j+s

Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

Hi Kristen, you poor thing! You really are doing a fantastic job, but I too know how hard it is!
My little darling (now 8wks) was doing marathon feeding sessions & I thought I was doing the right thing by constantly having her on the breast. My DH would sometimes wake in the morning to find me crying with exhaustion from feeding all night. Not great for anyone!
Our LC was brilliant. She suggested the dummy (as others have said, keep trying with this, it really turned things around for us).She also said to feed 15mins (approx) on one side. Have a little break then offer the same side. A little break then the other side. This worked for us, hopefully you find a way that works for you!

Good luck

#10 lucky 2

Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

Hi there, I'd try and do something other than feed if baby is doing well, ie get some help in, someone else to give her a cuddle back to sleep, use a sling, go for a walk/pram etc but it is pretty common for 3 week olds to have a cot allergy, this sort of behaviour can peak at 6-8 weeks.
If baby is feeding well, ie your have healthy nipples, you've seen a LC and baby is feeding well then this is not a feeding problem, it is a soothng issue, it is the "4th trimester" issue, it is newborn unsettled behaviour which they do so well.
So I'd not try to fiddle with the breast feeding itself, ie limit feeds or give alternative suck feeds but ensure a good latch at each feed and then see how you go with alternative methods of soothing just to stretch it out a little if you need to, ie not bfing every 30mins.
Of course there is no law against what she is doing, she is grazing, she's in a fantastic paddock, she is healthy and loved. This is how babies are cared for in some cultures.
But you can tweak it a bit as needed.
QUOTE
all my breastfeeding help has always said that you shouldn't feed for more than 30 mins each side per feed. Any more than this leaves you and baby exhausted. If you limit her feed time you will find that she feeds better at the next feed

I hope a LC didn't give your that information, newborns take up to an hour to feed, this is normal and some babies only want one breast or 2 or more, so that one size fits all approach doesn't play out well in real life.
But I agree with the concept of a good feed fills the tank for longer and will maximise the distance btn feeds, but this is a general concept.
Get baby feeding well and you don't have to control them (aka limit the feeds).
During the unsettled periods babies cluster feed and this is normal but I think what the OP is describing is for more hours of the day than usual cluster feeding.
The links below are all about crying babies and are research based, I hope they help.
http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets...Parent_handout/
http://www.purplecrying.info/
Try not to medicalise the behaviour or turn it into a breast feeding problem if you don't have any evidence to do so, ie if you are seeing health professionals, baby is thriving, not miserable around the clock and if you don't have damaged nipples.
All the best.

#11 CharliMarley

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:05 PM

Dietitians tell us that that the healthiest eating plan is small meals over the course of the day. Breastfeeding teaches this healthy habit from birth. Bottlefeeding (whether it be formula or breastmilk) teaches the baby to overfeed, (Kramer et al. 2004).
Babies who are fed with a bottle tend to feed to the pattern of formula fed babies with bottles. They take more per feed and feed fewer times per day. Breastfed babies tend to average 8 to 12 feeds per day. It is the mechanism of the feeding. Bottles tend to flow and the baby just drinks it, but breastfed babies are able to regulate the flow of the milk and take what they need at each feed, which at around this age is no more than 25 - 35 ounces per day, or around 750ml - 1,050mls per day. So that is why when mothers give their babies top-ups and the baby drinks it, they immediately think that they do not have enough milk to satisfy their babies - which is not the fact.
Whether a baby wants to breastfeed for thirst, taking only the thin watery foremilk, hunger, taking the breast for much longer and getting to the fattier milk, comfort - to ease feelings of loneliness, or comfort, because she loves you is immaterial. Any and all of these needs are legitimately met at the breast and have been for as long as humans have breastfed.

#12 BubbleBird

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

QUOTE (lucky 2 @ 15/02/2013, 02:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I hope a LC didn't give your that information, newborns take up to an hour to feed, this is normal and some babies only want one breast or 2 or more, so that one size fits all approach doesn't play out well in real life.


Yep, information given to me from a LC. Though as I said in my post, "no more than 30 mins each side", so that does equal an hour of feeding. Obviously not every mum and baby are the same but that was advice that was given to me which suited my set of circumstances and worked well for me.

#13 CharliMarley

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:17 PM

QUOTE (ms flib @ 15/02/2013, 01:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
.

Also your baby will probably be more satisfied if your milk is allowed to build up in between feeds. It will be richer and she should be able to fill up without continuous feeding.


Not correct, I am afraid. The breastmilk is the same in texture at every feed - the thirst quencher, the hindmilk which helps babies to put on weight is in every breast at every feed. You would probably have more milk, if you hadn't fed for a few hours, but the texture is the same. Big full breasts make milk more slowly and small breasts fill up much quicker. It is all to do with the milk-making tissue in the breasts, not the size of the breasts.

#14 treefalls

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

Has she been checked for tongue tie?

This happened to me for the first 3 weeks with my son, he fed around the clock and seemed to be attached and 'feeding' but not well enough to stimulate a big let down and get anything more than the fore milk. I'm not sure if this is anything like what you're going through, but I wanted to mention it because it's so important to rule it out as a factor.

#15 lucky 2

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:46 PM

QUOTE (BubbleBird @ 15/02/2013, 04:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yep, information given to me from a LC. Though as I said in my post, "no more than 30 mins each side", so that does equal an hour of feeding. Obviously not every mum and baby are the same but that was advice that was given to me which suited my set of circumstances and worked well for me.

That makes sense and yes it would have been advice to suit you and your baby.
The bottom line will always be how baby is feeding and if baby is thriving rather than what a clock says original.gif .


#16 Kristen1981

Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

Thanks for all your responses. Much of the above we have tried, but kind words are definitely helpful. We have been having a better day here and there, so I have my fingers crossed that they become more often than not.

#17 DragonsGrace

Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:02 PM

Haven't read other posts so sorry if repeating.
No advice re the baby side of it but I too have a comfort/constant sucker and I have found a solution to my tiredness. When I feed dd in bed I lie down and sleep, she sits up and feeds from the top boob though as she has silent reflux and when she's done she rolls back onto my tummy and sleeps. Also no hassle to pop her back on when she wakes. When I feed her on the sofa I lean to one side and pop the opposite leg up behind my arm. She feeds/sleeps and I can nap too. She is 10 weeks and I would have gone crazy from lack of sleep if I didn't do this

#18 MaeGlyn

Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:19 PM

I know a lot about this OP, so I might be helpful.

I fully breastfed my son for his first 4 months.

At the start my son fed longer than what you mentioned, sometimes 12 hours on demand total a day. H gained weight though on his weight ratio chart to average his age while I fed that long for 7 weeks. Then when I was told by my mother in law who never breastfed, he was feeding too much, I tried to do the 30 minutes per side timing method. He lost weight that week.

The midwife told me to feed him like I was feeding before and do a lot of skin to skin to regain my milk supply. So I did. And my milk supply returned and he became average again for the next 2 months. I stopped feeding due to a kidney infection.

Please don't listen to those who say limit the time. It doesn't work for everyone. In the first few months, your son will need to establish your milk supply and it is quite normal to feed this much for some women. Your baby has the stomach the size of a marble at this age, which is why he needs to feed so much.

At the 2nd month I did see a lactation consultant at my medical centre and she showed me the difference between comfort feeding and productive feeding. The difference is that comfort feeding is like picture this, the baby on the simpsons sucking her dummy. It is fast and she doesn't take in any milk. Productive feeding is slower. When I learned this, at 3 months, my son's feeding dropped in half, but his weight stayed average on the graph.

If I were you, see a lactation consultant and enjoy a good book in the rocking chair while you establish your milk supply. I know ohmy.gif It is a long time during the day. But it is only a few months, and then you can try to tell the difference between the two types of feeding. I suspect comfort feeding is important in the early months for establishing supply.

Edited by MaeGlyn, 18 February 2013 - 03:22 PM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Five-year-old shoots nine-month-old brother dead

A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.

'Is that baby yours?'

She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.

Episiotomy in childbirth: not just 'a little snip'

Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.

Toddler aggression not caused by language delays after all: study

The logic was that children who don’t have the language to fully express themselves will lash out when they’re misunderstood. Not anymore.

Why we chose to adopt a child with Down sydrome

Everyone in foster care (and really in life) has something that makes them more vulnerable. We just know what our son's is.

Object of desire

Curvy mums make clever babies

Scientists appear to have discovered why women have evolved to have more curves than men – shapely thighs and bottoms lead to healthier babies.

'We'll make sure they know how much she loved them'

A first-time mum will never get to hold her four newborns, dying shortly after giving birth to the quadruplets.

The baby names NZ knocked back in 2014

A New Zealander has tried to name their baby Senior Constable but didn't get away with it - and numbering children is also a no-no.

How can you go into labour without knowing you're pregnant?

For most of us, the idea that a woman could carry a child to full-term without knowing she is pregnant is mind-boggling.

Will you get to the hospital in time?

Worrying your baby will be delivered by the roadside is a common concern for many mothers-to-be. So how likely are you to be caught short?

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.