Maybe need to supplement, feeling down

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings
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maggie1
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Maybe need to supplement, feeling down

Post by maggie1 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:02 pm

Hi I am new to motherhood and finding breastfeeding a bit difficult at the moment. My baby is just over a week old and we had an extended stay in hospital due to jaundice. I breastfed with a nippleshield in hospital as my nipples were extremely sore and he was getting topped up with formula. I was also expressing.
Since we have come home I have been feeling a bit up and down especially in the evenings. My baby constantly wants to feed and then he falls asleep but when I put him down he just wakes up again wanting to feed. I bought some formula just in case as my nipples are still a bit sore and the left one bled the other night. I haven't used the formula yet. I am still using the nippleshield and I am also expressing. Yesterday I was able to express 70mls but today not even 20mls. He has literally been feeding all day and fussing a lot. I am feeling really down and worrying that maybe he's not getting enough. (although I think he is as he has 5-6 wet nappies a day and a few dirty nappies also) Does anyone have any advice? Cheers

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Andypandy
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Post by Andypandy » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:29 pm

Hi there. I am sorry you are having some trouble. It sounds like your baby is getting enough based on the wet and dirty nappies. It is also normal for babies to feed a lot in those early days. I promise it will settle down. As for the expressing: babies are far better at getting milk than we are at expressing. The amount you can express may differ from what your baby is getting.

Can I suggest calling a breastfeeding counsellor on 1800 686 268? It is a free call and there will be a fantastic counsellor who can put your mind at ease or give you some tips.

It sounds like you are doing a great job so far.
DS1: May 09 Breastfed 2y7m
DS2: Oct 2012 Breastfed 2y1m I am pretending he is weaned
DD: Feb 2015

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Esther
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Post by Esther » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:17 am

Hello and welcome,

If you haven't already done so, I second AndyPandy's suggestion of calling the helpline. There's counsellors rostered on all weekend, so you will get to talk to someone and go through what is happening :D .

A lot of what you are describing with your DS' feeding sounds very normal for a newborn. We know that the average number of feeds for a young baby is 10-12 in 24 hours. Some feed much more, a few might be happy with less. Your baby's tummy is only going to grow to the size of his clenched fist - it fills quickly and empties quickly - in about 90 minutes in fact! So if your DS seems hungry after about an hour, that's probably because he is.

The behaviour you're describing in the evenings is also very, very normal. Our milk supply changes over the day. In the evenings, there's lots of high-fat, full cream milk in your breasts, but not as much water as there was earlier in the day to wash it out when your LO is feeding. So it's much harder work for him to feed, so he's quite tired when he's done and has a short nap. But, his tummy's not quite full yet, so he wakes up shortly after to feed again. Lots of new mums find themselves stuck on the couch (usually around dinner time :roll: ) feeding a little baby a lot. If you have a sling you can carry your DS aroound in, that may help. It's not going to last forever. We're not sure why, but this "cluster feeding" really helps set your milk supply for the next day.

Good luck, hope things are healing for you.
Esther
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Monicat
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Post by Monicat » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:12 pm

Hi there, my two are now 12 weeks old and had exactly the same behaviour as you describe for the first few weeks. At around 5 or so I would just sit on the lounge with my feeding pillow, grab my ipad and tv remote and get comfortable for a few hours. They would have a small feed, pop off, go to sleep, then wake a little while later wanting more. It is really tiring, and easy to feel "over" breastfeeding at that stage. Slowly day by day and week by week it got better, the length of time they were feeding in the evenings got less and less, and now they are happy with a half an hour feed (usually!) before they go to bed for a few hours, and will sleep for a few hours between feeds now which is great.

Do you have a partner? If I had enough while I was cluster feeding at night time, I would pass (one of) the babies to DH to hold. Even if the baby was crying while DH held him, it was ok because they are still getting cuddled and held. I needed a break from feeding and they can't smell the milk on DH, so weren't constantly rooting for a boob.

Don't stress about expressing, I can't express hardly anything but am BF two chubby twins and two older kids a couple of feeds a day too, so I have plenty of milk there. Are you expressing for any particular reason? If your bub is having 5-6 wet nappies, it sounds like he is getting plenty of milk :) Maybe just concentrate on BF for the first few weeks and once that is going smoothly add in an expressing session if you want to get a freezer stash going.

Another thing I found useful was to swaddle the baby and feed bub while laying down on the bed, that way when they fall asleep I can get up and they don't have to be moved or disturbed so were more likely to stay asleep.

The first few weeks are hard, whether it is your first or fourth baby. But I promise you it will get better :)
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maggie1
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Post by maggie1 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:50 am

Hi thanks for all of your replies and advice. I was expressing initially so my husband could do a feed overnight but now I am expressing as my left nipple is cracked and its excrutiating so I am giving that side a break for maybe 24hours. (I'm still using a nippleshield, I'm going to a breastfeeding clinic on Wednesday so maybe can get rid of nippleshield altogether)
Last night he fed from 8 - 2330hrs, with me trying to put him down numerous times unsuccessfully. I ended up giving him 60ml EBM and he I put him in his cot straight away and he slept for nearly 5 hours! I'm wondering if its taking him too long to feel satisfied/full while breastfeeding and am I better off doing a combination of expressing and breastfeeding overnight! My milk supply seems to have increased as I leak from both breasts.

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Esther
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Post by Esther » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:01 am

Owch for the left side! Hope you notice an improvement soon. There's some suggestions for nipple first aid here

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... ed-nipples

Sorry to say, but that cluster feeding, along with not being able to put your DS down to sleep sounds really normal. Exhausting, but normal :? . Usually most mums find that their bubs have a big sleep after the cluster feeding anyway. Has this been happening?

It's also easier to overfeed a baby with a bottle. When they breastfeed, if they stop sucking, the milk stops flowing. Doesn't work that way with a bottle :(

Have you had a chance to call a counsellor yet? You can also email a counsellor and go through what is happening.

Good luck. We always love updates here :wink:
Esther
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Otty
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Post by Otty » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:18 am

Hi Maggie1, sounds like your doing a great job and your supply is fine. Have you had bub weighed? If so and he's gaining fairly well don't worry about expressing/topping up etc.

It's such guess work with a newborn baby but like the others have said your situation sounds pretty normal especially feeding lots in the evening. It does wear you out. Have you got some friends or family around who could help you with some cooking or cleaning for the next few weeks whilst you and bub get feeding established?

Definitely give the ABA helpline a call. The women are so helpful and supportive. I called the helpline heaps in the early days with my DS! I can remember nights just like you have described where he would feed constantly for about 5 hours before finally going to sleep. Exhausting! It's very typical newborn behaviour. It does pass, so hang in there!

Must be hard with such sore nipples, but that passes too and feeding becomes much easier and even enjoyable. :D Hope you find the clinic helpful.

Oh and check out some of the posts in the early days section of the forum. You'll find women dealing with very similar situations to you! :D
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maggie1
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Post by maggie1 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:27 pm

Hi I am feeling a bit better this evening! My husband is a great help, he is literally doing all of the cleaning and cooking and he changes our little fellas nappies too. I am reassured to hear that its all normal behaviour, I think I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be 'perfect' and wasn't expecting to be feeling so low at a time that I felt I should have been enjoying. I have rung the helpline initially and that helped, I might email or ring again though as I hadn't thought about overfeeding if feeding via a bottle. Thanks once again everyone.

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Andypandy
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Post by Andypandy » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:40 pm

I am glad things are looking up.
DS1: May 09 Breastfed 2y7m
DS2: Oct 2012 Breastfed 2y1m I am pretending he is weaned
DD: Feb 2015

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Esther
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Post by Esther » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:42 pm

Also glad to hear you're feeling better. No need to be"the" perfect mum, you'll be just perfect for your DS :D
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