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UPDATE***feeling overwhelmed with breastfeeding...can you help me?

Posted by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:47 PM
  • 18 Replies

My baby is just over two weeks old...I'm a first time breastfeeding mom. He latches on wonderfully and his suction is really strong. It seems that so far I have an okay milk supply, although I could be wrong. He never seems satisfied and literally needs to nurse ALL day long. If he's not nursing, he's crying or sleeping. I know cluster feeding is normal...but I just feel like he's not satisfied! He has plenty of wet and soiled diapers throughout the day, and is starting to gain weight slowly..but I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. There's the guilt that I feel when I complain about it, as well as the guilt I feel when I start to contemplate feeding him formula at least at night time. Can anyone give me tips, peace of mind, experiences, etc.? Thanks.


So, last night...I trusted my instincts and ended up giving him some formula before bed...and he sucked it down like he was so hungry, and slept for SIX hours straight. I've been pumping in between when I've felt engorged and have literally gotten one ounce or less out of each breast. So, it definitely was my milk supply not increasing as he needed it. I could sense his hunger and his impatience..and now since I've supplemented he's like a whole new baby. I gave him another bottle this morning, and he stayed awake for about an hour, as content as can be. I've never seen him like this before and I feel really great about it! I am still nursing in between for his comfort and I will continue to pump in between so I can either mix it with the formula or whatever. Just thought I'd let you all know. Thanks for all your opinions :) 

by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:47 PM
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by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:50 PM

This is sooooo normal.  I dont know a breastfed baby that doesnt do this.  I can assure you that it does get better.  You just have to take it one day at a time.  I remember feeling so overwhelmed and like i was stuck at home because the baby always wanted to nurse but it did get better.  Its also very normal for the baby to get fussy in the evenings and cluster feed in the evenings.  

by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Don't feel bad about complaining, you have the right to!  Breastfeeding is exhausting!  Unfortunatly all I can tell you is hang in there.  You baby is so little right now and they just eat all the time.  I remember days (and nights) when my dd needed to nurse every 50 minutes!  I felt exhausted.  But it will pass and get better and the feedings should even out some.

by Member on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:52 PM

What you are descrbing sounds 100% normal newborn baby behavior! Also, two weeks is a prime for a growth spurt. Have you tried a sling, like a ring sling (ie. Moby) or a pouch (ie. Hotsling)?

Hang in there. It will get a lot better. The first few weeks are so tough!

by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:52 PM

The first month is the worst.  Just keep reminding yourself that.  This will get easier, and you will be more comfortable later.  Some babies eat more slowly than others and will nurse often and for long periods.

Consider joining a breastfeeding group for some support. 

Don't feel guilty - being a new mom is overwhelming.  Stick with it, and I promise that it will get easier!

by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Sweetie hang in there. The first 6 weeks of breastfeeding is the hardest. They constantly want to nurse. They want to feel close to mama. They went 9 months right beside you and now all the sudden you pay him in a cold bed alone. They nurse to comfort. A breastfed baby is normal fed every 1 1/2 hours on average. To help with the night time feedings so I could sleep I did give a bottle of formula after I nursed the last time and I would lay down and let daddy get up on his days off to feed the baby. That is fine as long as you nurse all day long he should adapt to that pretty well. Just be careful going from breastmilk to formula can upset bellies. But hang in there mam don't feel guilty breastfeeding is a  sacrifice. You have to learn to adapt as well as he does. You are doing great.

by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Hang in there! What you are describing is normal, all breastfed babies do it!  The first 4-6 weeks are hard but after that its a breeze!!

I think that most breastfeeding moms understand how you feel, it can be overwhelming! Are you in the breastfeeding moms group? Its a great group with lots of great advice and support!

 Throughout the world, there exists a group of women who feel mightily drawn to giving care to women in childbirth. At the same time maternal and independent, responsive to a mother's needs, yet accepting full responsibility as her attendant; such women are natural midwives. Without the presence and acceptance of the midwife, obstetrics becomes aggressive, technical, and inhuman.

Professor G.J. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam


by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:55 PM

It sounds like everything is totally normal. You are doing a great job! I know how hard it is at night. You just want them to be full for a few hours and sleep. My daughter is 5 days old, so I am in the thick of it myself.

Is co-sleeping an option for you? It seems to be the only way I have been getting any sleep. When my daughter is sleeping next to me, she sleeps MUCH more soundly and wakes every 3-4 hours rather than every 1-2.

Please don't start the formula at night! It will mess up your milk supply and it will all be downhill from there. I know that it's hard, especially in the first few weeks, but I promise if you just stick with it, you will be SO GLAD you did.

Best of luck to you. PM me if you have any questions or you need support. As you can tell from my ticker, I've been doing this awhile...

Lilypie Breastfeeding tickers

Non-vaxing, home-birthing, coffee-drinking, public extended breastfeeding, lactivist, intactivist, ERFing, anti-CIO, anti-spanking, pro-choice, agnostic WAHM to Aiden (10/30/07) and Piper (11/05/09), and wife to Jason.
by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 2:58 PM

It is totally normal to feel how you are feeling and for the baby to be eating that much. DS is 2 weeks old today will eat for 20mins, then 1 1/2 hrs later he eats for another 20mins. I remember with my first that I felt like he was eating all the time and now I know why I felt like that. 

CM has a wonderful breastfeeding support group you might want to join.

by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 3:01 PM

i think what your feeling is normal.

i felt the same way. my son was on me ALL THE TIME for the first month or so... like id nurse for an hour, get an hour break and back on the boob for an hour

breastmilk is utilized by the body better than formula, so that may be why he isnt "satisfied" ... his body has already absorbed it all and he needs more ;)

you could get a sling so that you can still get stuff done even while he is nursing, so you dont feel tied down and all that. thats my plan if im blessed with another child...

i also started cosleeping around 3 months because night time was wearing me out. it was so much easier to just roll over and plop a boob in his mouth, lol

GOOD LUCK mama!!

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by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 3:01 PM

At 2 wks it will feel like he nurses all the time. Breastmilk isn't as filling as Formula and that is why they eat so much, so often.

Guilt is a normal part of parenting. You have to do what is good for you as well is what is good for your baby and the only person that can decide that for you, is you.

Hopefully, you get some good advice. I didn't make it past 6 weeks because I got mastitis and then my supply dried up with DS and didn't attempt to BF DD.  

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I am a Non-Baby Wearing, Formula Feeding, CIO, Circumcising, Organic Eating for Food Allergies, Atheist who is a Caring, Loving and Nurturing SAHM, Wife and College Student.

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