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 Copper and May

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 Copper and May

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 Copper and May

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

 

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler ticket!

Get your free tickets to the Sydney The Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27! Register online for your free ticket now!

A solo birth, a wasp swarm and a forest fire: mum and baby's amazing story of survival

Desperate, out of petrol and low on food, a new mother lit a fire in the hope of attracting attention.

Boy found on swing died of hypothermia and dehydration, autopsy finds

The story was chilling and heartbreaking: a three-year-old boy was found dead in a Southern Maryland park, his mother pushing him on the swing.

Child's play and laughter help battle fatigue

Feeling fatigued? Uh-huh, thought as much. Join the queue.

Dad shares entertaining 'how to hold a baby' clip

For many new dads, their own child is the first baby they have ever held. So one dad has posted an instructive YouTube video titled "How to Hold a Baby".

The Australian baby with 100,000 Facebook fans

She may be only eight months old, but Egypt has already amassed more than 100,000 fans and received a letter from royalty - Hollywood royalty that is.

Public welcome outside church for Princess Charlotte's christening

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have invited well-wishers to see Princess Charlotte outside church in Sandringham on day of her baptism.

Tongue tie: what you need to know

Tongue and lip tie can lead to many problems for babies - and their parents. Here are the signs of tongue tie and how it's treated.

My daughter is small but that doesn't matter

My daughter may be small, but it's my job as her parent to refocus back where it belongs - on who she is as a person

Wet wipes linked to rise in allergic reactions

The government has issued a health warning after a rise in allergic skin reactions has been linked to a preservative found in some wet wipes.

Gay couple in their 80s first to wed in Dallas after Supreme Court ruling

Love may have won, but it came with quite the wait.

William Tyrrell's family marks birthday with cake and renewed appeal

The family of missing boy William Tyrrell will mark his fourth birthday on Friday making a cake to share with friends and family as NSW police renewed their public appeal for information on his disappearance.

What all parents should know about safe babywearing

A picture of Ryan Reynolds always gets the girls talking, and a recently shared photo has done exactly that - but this time, it's for all the wrong reasons.

Baby's head shape reveals potentially fatal condition

Thinking her baby just had an unusually shaped head, a mother was shocked to discover it was instead linked to a dangerous condition.

'Help - my toddler hits me!'

My toddler has started hitting when he gets frustrated, is feeling ignored, or just thinks it might be fun.

Why IVF success rates may not be what you think

Transparency, accountability and responsibilityare essential measures to protect IVF vulnerable patients.

On the 10th anniversary of my son's death

This day marks a significant day. Today marks 10 years since I lost my son Kai.

Mother-in-law 'from hell' inspires survival guide

The happily ever after Nicola Milan had imagined wasn't to be – and she blames her mother-in-law.

Name your baby Quinoa, win a $10K gift card

Choosing a name for your little bundle of joy is always a major decision. It can be something traditional, trendy, creative … or inspired by the menu of your favourite chain restaurant.

Owning a pair of nail scissors does not make me a hairdresser

It's been a whole year since sleeping in until 10am. A whole year since having a peaceful shower.

The 83 children who were tragically let down in the last decade

Over a 10-year period, 83 children died from domestic violence abuse in NSW, with three quarters of the victims aged five years or under, the NSW Ombudsman has revealed.

Expert Q&A: Gross motor skill development in toddlers and preschoolers

Dr Katie Heathershaw answers questions about jumping, toe walking, riding a bike and being pigeon toed.

WIN A $500 VISA DEBIT CARD

Are you a parent, or are you planning to be? Tell us what you think and you'll go in the draw to win a $500 gift card!

Is it reasonable to expect your partner to give up drinking in pregnancy?

From the moment that I fell pregnant with my son, I realised just how much my life had already started to change.

Stroke victim joins class action against makers of popular contraceptive pill

"I was terrified I would always be this way. The pill needs to come with a much higher warning."

Sexy time

Why you should get excited about scheduling sex

Unfortunately, the belief that sex should always be spontaneous is a myth. It just isn't.

When newborn photoshoots get messy

When it comes to newborn photoshoots, it is all about the timing.

Orphaned baby daughter Ayla wakes from coma

Former All Black Jerry Collins' critically injured orphaned daughter has awoken from her coma and is able to bottle-feed.

Dad takes miraculous catch while feeding baby

One American father has taken multitasking to a new level at a Cubs-Dodgers baseball game at Wrigley Field.

'Samuel is our firstborn, and he will never be forgotten'

Having lost their firstborn at one day old, the Carrolls were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Isobel into the world a year later.

Channel 10's Sarah Harris expecting first child

The Studio host Sarah Harris doesn't mind if her first baby is a boy or girl, but she does hope it is born with one thing in particular.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

27 funny ultrasound pictures

Ultrasounds give you a look at your growing baby ... and sometimes what appears to their womb-buddy, or your bub in an amusing position.

The top 6 misleading parenting terms

From 'morning sickness' to 'the terrible twos', there are many parenting terms that are misleading.

When 'good' nannies go bad

While most nannies take pride in their work, there can be some who have a hidden side.

Woman hospitalised for skinny jeans injury

Beware: skinny jeans might be bad for your health.

Gauze seeding: the bacteria-breeding birth trend

A number of women having caesarean deliveries are now taking steps to give their baby a better 'microbiome' start in life.

Jimmy Fallon writes new children's book for dads

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's The Tonight Show, recently wrote a children's book about every father's secret wish for their baby's first word to be "dada" - not "mama".

28 names for babies born in winter

Looking for some baby name inspiration for a bub born during the colder months? Here are 28 options from around the world to consider.

The horrible act that sparked a brawl at child's birthday party

The uncle of the seven-year-old girl at the centre of the brawl at child's birthday party in Sydney's west has described the events leading up to the alarming show of violence.

Babies 'benefit from iPads at a young age': study

More often than not, you'll read that screen time for children should be kept to a minimum - but some scientists are now challenging this way of thinking.

Do mums really just obsessively talk about their children?

Natalie Reilly describes three main types of conversations mothers have. And, surprise, they're not all about kids.

Why some dogs might attack babies or young kids

A baby's smell, the noises it makes and even its gaze can contribute to the potential for a dog attack.

Mum demands refund for 'beargina' christening cake

It was meant to be a tasteful cake to help celebrate a three-year-old's christening.

5 things no one warns you about after giving birth

How many times have you been warned about all the sleepless nights you have to 'look forward to' when you become a parent?

Police officer sang nursery rhyme as heartbreaking photo was taken

A police officer arrived at a devastating scene on Thursday: a car crash resulting in all passengers being thrown from the vehicle.

Don't worry, working mums: Just leave Dad in charge at home

Want to open the boardroom doors for women? Encourage - heck, praise - dads who stay home with their children.

Hilaria Baldwin shares post-baby selfie

Just two days after giving birth, actor Alec Balwin's wife posted a post-baby picture on social media.

'Help - my child won't ever do what I ask!'

Compliance is part of the parent-child relationship, but so is resistance. It's all natural.

Postnatal depression support gets $23 million boost in NSW

The Baird government will include $22.8 million in Tuesday's NSW budget to expand a program designed to help parents at risk of postnatal depression (PND).

'I'm just as tired, scared and stressed as you': stay-at-home dad's plea

I'm really lucky to have two great kids, but I found it really tough with so much being aimed at the mothers and not the fathers.

 

Win $500

WIN A $500 VISA DEBIT CARD

Are you are parent or planning to be? We want to know what you think - let us know and you'll be in the draw to win a $500 gift card.

 
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.