New baby, exhaustion, breast feeding and diet and help!

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  • Hi guys
    My son is 4 weeks, he was nearly 11lbs when born and im a tiny 5ft 2 size 8 normally! He is constantly hungry and doesnt sleep much, wants to feed all the time, in the first 2 days he lost 12 percent of body weight due to not getting enough milk from me and id also had a csection due to problems. The midwife told me he would have to be readmitted to hospital or try formula to top him up as hed lost so much, id wanted a home birth but couldn't so came out of hospital as soon as i could as they were ignoring me over his wieght loss issues, anyway i have been topping up about 2 small bottles a day after he put his weight back on, but he still seems hungry to me, ive been hoping that id be able to just breast feed and have tried it on certain days but he is so angry and hungry and doesnt sleep. Im thinking that i might have to up it as i just dont seem to produce enough milk for him.. im getting v tired as awake all night trying to feed too.. im trying to rest and eat enough but struggling in day to eat anything other than snacks and am constantly craving sugar which isnt like me, and chocolate! Its hard to make any lunches etc as he wants to be on me the whole time, doesnt cope well with a sling and i cant put him down as he gets distressed!
    Please help! any tips on anything i have written and diet advice would be greatfylly recieved, xxx

  • The thing with breast feeding is (usually) your body will adjust to the amount of milk needed....if baby feeds more, your body will make more, feed less, makes less.....so when you are swapping between bottles and breast and have a hungry baby, your body can get confused.


    Also is your son latching on properly? when he feeds does he just guzzle the fore milk and not work for the richer hind milk?


    He is also very young, my son would feed every 2 hours at that age, my daughter wanted to constantly feed sometimes,for cuddles and comfort and reassurance as much as anything.


    How often are you feeding him and how long does he stay latched on?


    Whilst breast feeding its normal to be constantly hungry, nothing wrong with grazing and when he sleeps,you sleep, you can always eat at the same time he's feeding.

  • How long are you feeding him for? I used to do a full hour on one breast as that was what he needed, and he would sleep for an hour then feed again for an hour on the other boob. The more he takes from the boob, the more your body will produce, by 12 weeks I was like the walking dead, but he had doubled his birth weight and was starting to calm down. I used the odd bottle of aptamil if needed, and expressed as much as I could as well. By 14 weeks he was on mashed banana or potato with breast milk on an evening so fill him up some, I am not sure if you can do that nowadays though. It does get better honest. Put him in the sling and if you calm down he will as well. He will be picking up on your stress. Make toast and slather it in anything you can that is healthy, but a banana will give you loads of energy. Make up a large tub of salad with lentils and lots of spinach and tomatoes then you can just grab some and eat it while you are feeding him, make sure you have a large glass of juice or water while feeding him as well as you need to keep your fluids up. Leave him to cry for 5 minutes while you make yourself what you need to eat and drink, then sit down, and put him in the sling if need be to feed, then relax and eat your food while feeding him and just enjoy the experience and the bonding, sleep when he sleeps and stuff the house work etc xxx

  • have you got anyone around who can help you? even if you live on tinned soup/ready meals for a bit that's ok it's not forever, can you cook a big batch of lasagne/stew/casserole and freeze it in portions, then it's quick.
    try and take time out if you can (i.e. if u have no other children) let the house deteriorate it doesn't matter atm... I spent the first 2 months mostly just holding my baby, on a big V-shaped cushion, suckling most of the time, all day and night:P. I was unwell after my c-section and didn't feel up to doing much for a while (I was also quite unhappy). Erin hated not being held by me and wasn't fussed on the sling either. Lots of snacking is fine, I just had lots of mini meals I couldn't stomach proper ones, make sure some if it is healthy! Big bags of mixed dried fruit like cranberries/sultanas etc. are very sweet.Granola bars. Cheese and crackers.Cereal. Toast with marmite.Fruit. And you can loose weight later that doesn't matter now. What matters now is getting to know your baby and holding him close to you and being in love with him.
    Also if you do end up having to formula feed a bit don't beat yourself up. Getting the breastmilk for the other feeds will still provide immune benefits. If you don't want to up the formula feeds then don't just keep letting him suckle all the time, particularly at night - co-sleeping is very helpful for breastfeeding. Very quickly his feeds will become less constant as he drinks more efficiently.
    Also try milk thistle, fennel, fenugreek, raspberry tea. This website looked ok I didn't read it fully http://www.breastfeedingbasics…creasing-your-milk-supply

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • My baby wasn't putting enough weight on either. In fact at the age of nearly 1 1/2 she is having her last specialist appointment today to make sure she's ok. She's fine, happy , healthy buuut breastfeeding was an issue for me. In the end i had the choice of either giving up breastfeeding or taking medication to boost my milk supply. I'm sure a lot of people are anti medication but I trust my doctor and really really wanted to breastfeed my daughter so I did it. We ended up breastfeeding for over a year! She eventually had formula top ups after 6 months of just breastfeeding. It might not be something you want to do but some people just don't produce enough milk for their babies. I do think it's worth trying without resorting to that but if you want to keep breastfeeding and bub isn't getting enough it's an option which you would obviously have to discuss with your doctor. As for eating - the more you eat the more milk you'll produce - I know that first hand too. Like others have suggested, you should try and make yourself freezer food that you can just defrost in the microwave without having to go to much effort. In the early days my friends popped round with food they made me to put in the freezer - it helped so much. Ask for help if you need it. Good luck :)

  • Thanks everyone, that helped a lot, I decided to exclusively breast feed this week to see how it went especially as he was so sick last weekend after having formula and colicky, he has been much happier ie not colicky and not as sick, it has been tiring as he demands feeds a lot! Possible twice every hour in day and less at night , I'm still not sure he is getting enough from me though, we had docs yesterday and he had gained 5 oz in 8 days.. It looks fairly normal well low end of average. It's so hard and find it so stressful worrying if he is getting enough :( . As he crys a lot it's hard to establish if he is more content and not hungry xx

  • He is having cranial, had first session yesterday, and going again next friday, not been checked for tongue tie at all? Had a hard day, he was up most of the night and all day today until we both had a sleep at 4 til 5:30, awake again but his dad has got him for an hour whilst i have a break, he is crying alot and i know its hard to tell if your making enough milk but there just doesnt seem to be much going on there. He is 5 and a half weeks old, was 10lb 9 when he was born and is 12lb 3 not, im not sure that is much of a weight gain, ultimately I just want a healthy baby and im worried Im starving him :(.. i have had so much conflicting advice from professionals, Im tired and hate not knowing what to do :( but maybe this is parenthood. x

  • Is he pooing and peeing enough?


    If so he is likely getting enough milk. Just keep going. Nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse. You body will regulate how much milk you need to make and as he gets a bit older he will cut back on how often he nurses.


    If you are concerned about your supply there are things you could try to up it, such as pumping after feeds, making lactation cookies, fenugreek. I recommend a book called Mother food by Hillary Jacobson which encouraged me at first and has lots of useful advice.


    I know it is hard. I have not long been in the same boat as you and now after having weeks of my 17 week old sleeping through he is waking up every 3 hours. At times like this I just try and remain mindful and remember that this wont last forever.

  • Thanks Kaiya
    What are lactation cookies? The book sounds good, this is what i need, some dietry advice , Im struggling as I spent the whole day and night feeding , he probably feeds twice every hour all day, or tries too, Im co sleeping and cant get him to settle any other way so going to the loo, making a drink and food are becoming almost impossible, he hates the sling although i persevered this week and managed to get him to be a bit calmer in it but it really pulled on my csection scar which isnt healed properly :(

  • I do keep telling myself it wont last forever but I hate to see him so grizzly all the time and feeling so exhausted myself, I expected to be tired but having been an m.e & fibro sufferer, sleep and diet are important, I thought Id be able to do the thing of sleep when the baby sleeps but he doesnt sleep much and i am struggling to keep my energy up because of diet, thankyou for help x

  • massive hugs hunny, theres been lots of great advice on here already, but just wanted to add that having fibro, you will feel exhausted at this stage! if you cant get regualr sleep in, make sure you rest with your feet up for say, ten minutes every hour, supported by cushions so your body can just let go, put the little one down during this time if you can, even laid next to you on a bed or however you feel happy, you can rest a hand on his belly to reassure him you are still there, might also be worth trying baby massage. my boy was a bit like this, i ended up giving bottle feeds, which interupted my milk priduction and made things harder all round, is here any local support available for you? I'd say make sure you are getting enough iron, vitamin c and b vitamins to help with energy. heres a link to a breatfeeding support network...http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/ and the la leche leauge... http://www.laleche.org.uk/ maybe they can offer some good advice. again, massive hugs hunny.xxxxx

    Turned on, tuned in, loved up, trippin out, freaky on the outside, shiny in the middle.

  • At the risk of making inappropriate remarks can I just mention that I am in awe! Thank you, mums, for what you endure for our babies. Ksx, best wishes to you for the strength and courage you need to get through this exhausting time. Amazing advice from the other contributors too.

  • i would suggest that you contact your health visitor and ask her to arrange for the infant feeding specialist to either meet you at home or at a local breastfeeding support group. It is normal to breastfeed for a lot of the time in the early days and it is also perfectly natural for babies to cry regardless of whether they have needs or not...some babies are naturally high criers and will cry for long spells of time and there is not anything that can be done other than to keep them close ... Hold them in your arms so lying on their tummies and keep them moving...exhausting...but it will pass. Defo ask about tongue tie because it could be that he's not stripping the breast because of the latch and may require a tongue tie division....it is incredibly common for babies to be born with tongue ties and its a really quick and simple procedure to correct. You did really well for him gaining weight when you stopped the formula topups so that would indicate to me that you are definatley producing enough milk...if you weren't he wouldn't of gained :hug: the health visitor and Infant feeding specialist will be able to contact your doctor and get a script for domperidone if they think it's necessary. Do as much skin on skin between feeds as possible. Hope Cranial goes well...the therapist will hopefully suggest things...if bubs has tension in their jaw etc. Big big loves xxxxx

  • just checked the weights on my little boy's redbook and would really recommend that you get his tongue checked and get the HV to call the infant feeding specialist lovely :hug: you can check for posterior tongue tie yourself...run your finger under his tongue...if you meet resistance from stringy thingies then he's got a tongue tie... Everything you have said here is screaming tongue tie at me. Xxxxx

  • He's feeding frequently to increase your milk supply. it also helps to have skin to skin and lots of holding him.


    What is his latch like - it should not be painful while he is feeding and at the end of a feed your nipple should be pink/red and not be misshaped/ wedge shaped or like a lipstick. If it is then he is not well latched on and will be feeding inefficiently for a long time but not getting as much. Poor latch can be just down to positioning and attachment or tongue tie. ( its not easy to diagnose tongue tie over the internet!)
    Are there any breast feeding groups locally? they are really helpful. They are often at Childrens Centres or contact the local NCT You should have been given info by your midwife or health visitor as to where they are. Also your health visitor could be able to help some of them are brilliant at supporting breast feeding and could check for tongue tie.


    If you are thinking to top up do it with expressed milk pump after a feed you may only get a little at first but it will increase It lasts up to 5 days in the fridge. If you replace a feed with expressed milk dont forget to express as well keeps your supply up


    I'm a midwife known as the breast feeding queen:rolleyes:

  • Yes it sounds like a latch issue or tongue tie. Although some babies are naturally high needs. What sling do you have?i found when Lilah was that age that she would be grumpy and try to feed but didn't want to feed and would need some firm persuasion to sleep. She was overtired. I introduced a dummy at about 6 weeks which although isn't recommended really helped for me as she was a sling refuser at first too. I used to put her in the sling and give her the dummy and bounce around a bit. She would go to sleep for a good hour or so.


    She gave up the dummy at 3 months.


    I wouldn't worry about supply. If latch and tongue tie is all fine then just trust your body. Baby was big born but it doesn't always mean he will stay like that. My little on is only about 17lb at 8 months but she is happy and healthy and meeting milestones.


    If you do have to supplement you could us donated breast milk. Xxx

  • Hi everyone, thanks for all of your replies! Sorry its been a while.. ive been on planet boob/baby! I got everything checked out, no tongue tie, not feeding issues. I ordered the mothers food or something book that was recommended, and that seemed to help, the week after the original post he gained 21 oz in a week , the health visitors went crazy about this, i was still topping up with one bottle a day as sadly i didnt trust my own body, but wow.. what alot of weight to gain, so things are great, occasionally my milk seems to run out and he is still hungry, so when completely exhausted and dry i will top up as i cant bear to see him so distraught, he still feeds ALOT- 12- 18 a day but it is less some days and some nights he will want to feed every hour and some he will go a few hours. Tends to want feeding every 2 hours, my partner has been off work so i have been able to catch up on some sleep so that seems to help. Im much happier and so is he. have come to a better place with it all. He is 8 weeks now and huge so I must be doing something right ! thanks again all. you all helped so much x

  • I think everyone who has breastfed goes through times when they think they are not producing enough milk but they are. Squeeze your nipple after and I bet milk still comes out. 10% loss is normal so 12% isn't huge but still, I'm glad he's thriving. I'm at 13 months bf'ing now and it's been the most difficult but rewarding thing I have ever done! He will start going longer & longer between feeds & once you get to about 4 months it is soooo much easier when you're out and about and they need feeding, my friends who just ff all find it harder having to worry about bottles etc and not being able to soothe like I can. You can always pick up to exclusively bf'ing later, maybe once he's on solids and doesn't need as much. Just cut down the formula gradually and your milk will increase, no pressure to do it now. I hit rock bottom at times during the first year but looking back I miss it all now. Take care xo


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  • That's great to hear ksx! So glad to hear it wasn't tongue tie and that you've settled into a comfier rythym with it all now - lots of love xxxx

  • At the risk of making inappropriate remarks can I just mention that I am in awe! Thank you, mums, for what you endure for our babies. Ksx, best wishes to you for the strength and courage you need to get through this exhausting time. Amazing advice from the other contributors too.


    brave man! - :D - i'd decided NOT to comment then i saw yours - if youre gonna get it then i'll get it with ya - hahahha - though 'humbled' i reckon, rather than in awe - hope the little guy is doin well cxx