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Breastfeeding issues

Hi ladies

Bit of a pointless post really but just wanted to see if I'm alone! I'm exclusively breastfeeding Freddy and we have had a few issues with latching on, cluster feeding etc but on the whole I feel its going well but he just bobs on sooo much and its getting a bit annoying not to mention making me sore! He doesn't seem too bad in the afternoon from about 11-4ish he'll feed and sleep well and settle easily but in the mornings from about 7-11am he just feeds almost constantly. I'll latch him on, he'll feed for 10 minutes before falling asleep and letting go and then will sleep for about 15/20 minutes before he starts squriming around, grunting and snorting and sucking everything and anything that happens to brush past his face! He'll be grumpy until I feed him again and then we'll repeat the process until around 11ish when he falls into a deep sleep. He also does the same around 4pmish but I don't mind that too much, I expect him to cluster feed in the evenings and actually think its quite a good thing because it means he's starting to recognise night from day and he sleeps well at night, he feeds and settles quickly and goes between 3 and 4 hours. I don't really expect a solution to the on off feeding, it would just be comforting to know I'm not the only one!

On the plus side Freddy is gaining loads of weight, he'll be 3 weeks old on saturday and has gone from 6lb 11oz to 7lb 14oz!



  • Harry is the same; I'm trying to re-introduce him to the boob and he's on and off, falling asleep etc whilst there. I'm not sure my supply is working though - either that or he's not latching properly but I can't see what I'm doing wrong. He feeds constantly all morning, normally has a good sleep around now (but today wants more food!). We do formula feeds for through the night as he started cluster feeding after about 7 but never seemed satisfied and wakes up after a couple of hours instead of going 11-5 like he was on the formula.

    Think I might have to give up on the bf idea, he lost loads of weight in the first few days because he wasn't getting milk from me; I've been expressing since then but supply was dwindling hence why trying to get him back on the boob and not seeming to have much success!! Daniel isn't at all patient and I can't keep it up when hubby works away all week. Sorry for hijacking your post... having a moan now!! lol. He's 3 weeks today and we're waiting for the hv to come - hoping she will weigh him so I know he's actually been gaining ok. xxx
  • Hi pickles. You are not alone! I am sat yet again feeding Owen. He has been on the boob for about 5 minutes and is already drifting off! I can't say however that he has a real pattern, some days he'll feed frequently and snooze lightly, others he'll go longer and sleep well - but that's usually because somebody holds him the whole time he's asleep.

    Today, after the night feeds which were approx every 2.5 hours, he fed at 6.40, 9, 10, 11.40, 1.30. Like you I'm getting a bit fed up of being pinned to the sofa, especially when ive got Theo to think of, plus trying to get the house fit for a viewing this afternoon. And also I'm getting sore too. But I think that's partly my fault for allowing a few feeds with a poor latch image

    Have no idea what the solution is but since he's skinny and jaundiced I guess I'm going to keep feeding on demand. If we nail the latching I might give him a dummy in a few weeks.
  • We're the same! Obviously you've seen my posts with the issues we've been having & the constant feeding doesn't help.

    Thomas feeds constantly from waking around 5am till about 11am, will then sleep a good 4 or 5 hours then begin cluster feeding from 7pm (I'm sat now feeding him & hubby also gave him 3ozs of a bottle) to about 11pm.
  • Thanks for posting about this... I've been exclusively bf'ing since Griff was born on Monday and finding it a bit difficult at times... My milk came in yesterday and I'm feeling very sore. I seem to struggle latching on one boob in particular which I now dread having to feed from! But getting back to the original post, Griff seems to feed pretty much all the time! Of an evening his feeds are about 10 \ 15 minutes and practically every hour. No idea if this is normal or not but from what other ladies have posted it seems to be the norm?
  • Hi ladies have u tried feeding los in just their nappies so that they r cool but not cold? This will stop them falling 2 sleep 2 early on in a feed then once they hav either fallen asleep or had a good 20+ mins on 1 boob take them off by carefully breaking the seal with ur little finger. Change their nappy and dress them then put them bk on the boob (doesn't matter which 1) this technique saved my sanity with ds1!! If lo still won't sleep then giv them 2 some1 else. U smell of milk and this may keep them slightly alert and stop them sleeping properly. Swaddling is also good at this stage.

    FYI if u r topping lo up with formula this WILL affect ur milk supply. If u feed ur lo on demand there is no need 2 top them up with formula. Ur body is amazing and will do what it needs 2 do but without the right triggers ie lo sucking at the boob once most of the milk has gone it doesn't know that more milk needs 2b made. Milk is made on a supply/demand basis if lo is given formula they're not "demanding" those ounces from the boob and so less milk is produced. If u hav time and lo is happy 2 stay latched on leave them there, this will help increase supply along with watching lo feed and putting their hand on the boob whilst feeding. Xxx
  • Hiya everyone, thank god I'm not the only one who's still having some difficulties! image No, seriously, I'm sorry you're all having a few issues but knowing you're not alone does bring some comfort!

    I haven't actually really had problems with cluster feeding thank goodness. Peter's done that on a couple of occasions but normally he's every 3-4 hours consistent. Our's is an odd latching issue. He's a really fussy baby when it comes to feeding and will often take 10 mins to latch on and will kick, thrash around, force his head back and push me away (he's already ridiculously strong!) for ages first. Once he decides to latch he does it perfectly and is piling on the weight so I know I'm lucky in that regard. I'm just worried about feeding in public because it is impossible to be discreet at the moment. I want to start being out of the house for longer but the idea of sitting in a cafe with my nipple out for 10 mins before the baby decides he's ready is a bit off-putting! Has anyone else had this? The BF counsellor I saw didn't really have any suggestions.

    Sorry to hijack your thread Pickles!
  • Harry was like that to start with Koala but I couldn't find a solution to it either! One thing I used to do was hold him ready, with my boob still in my bra but the nursing flap unhooked ready, let him thrash around a bit until he started properly looking for the nipple, then whip my boob out and offer it - he would still thrash for a bit but meant I spent less time with my boob exposed - not for privacy but just because my 2.5 year old would come over and start poking my boob and telling me 'boob, milk, boob, milk' over and over!!

    Jojo I've been topping up with formula because I was exclusively expressing and my supply started failing, but have struggled to get him to latch, had no choice as there was no milk there and he was starving and loosing weight. Now he's eating off me better I'm starting to cut out the formula feeds and hoping to express a bottle for nighttime use. No idea why really other than its quicker - and saves my nipples - and I do the night feeds anyway! lol. xx
  • Garfield it's great that ur persevering with bfing. Exclusively expressing can also affect ur milk supply, this is because an expressing machine cannot empty ur breast as good as a baby can and so if the milk isn't used up then ur body won't make more. I hope u don't feel like I'm attcking u for topping up with formula? Just wanted 2 explain as alot of women don't realise how milk is made and I see so many mummies that get upset that they "don't hav enough milk" when they hav started using formula, but instead of working 2 increase their milk supply they just substitute with more formula. Didn't want u 2 fall into a slippery slope.....does that make sense?? image
  • Thanks Garfield. LOL at your older LO poking your boob - that's all you need when you're trying to latch a fractious newborn! I'm going to visit the whole of my hubby's family this weekend so I'll give your technique a go as I'd rather not flash all of his relatives!
  • Well its just got worse and worse here. Last night I gave him a bottle of forumla as he had drained both boobs but was still sucking frantically. He gulped down 4oz like a baby who hadn't been fed in days and then slept for 6 hours! I've given him all breastfeeds today but Rob is now giving him another 4oz bottle which he's nearly finished. I just feel like a total failure...why can't I do this?? Its meant to be the most natural thing in the world. I expressed earlier and only got 3oz so I think I'm not making enough for him as he's draining 4oz bottles. I'm think I'm going to start combine feeding from now and just express when I give him a forumla feed to try to keep my supply up.

    But really feeling rubbish about it in all honest.

  • Pickles firstly you are NOT a failure & bf is natural but bloody hard. I've literally just had a midwife leave & asked much the same questions as you've put & this is what he said

    1) I give a bottle usually once a day so I can sleep & be better prepared for night feeds, am I wrong - nope if it gives you a break & he wants more milk then go for it. No one but you will shoot you for it.

    2) he gulps at me like a mad thing at night, is he not getting milk? Have I run out? - in the night/evening your milk is much fattier due to hormones. They have to suck harder & flutter feed to break it up. Your boob will still produce milk just not the same flow.

    3) I've bf all day but he's just gulped 5ozs of formula, he must have been starving. - doubtful more likely he's recognising it's nighttime & filling himself up. This isn't a bad thing, means the bodyclock is switching on correctly.

    4) I've tried expressing but can only get 1-2ozs, is this a sign that my supply is low? - no, pumps can't empty the breast like a baby sucking and anywhere from 1oz to 4oz per pumping session is the norm.

    5) am I failing if I bottle feed at night - no, although if you can give breastmilk it's better. Exhaustion is the big cause of sore nipples as at night you're so desperate to feed & get back to bed. If need be give 20 mins on each boob & a formula top up you are then better prepared to face the day & get him on the breast better to keep your supply going.

    6) I don't understand why I can't get this - bf is HARD!! all through history women have struggled hence the wet nurses. Even Egyptian mummies have been found with cracked sore nipples & there is plenty of historical documents depicting mums struggling.

    The midwife was so nice, he really put me at ease & made me feel better for not shooting me for giving a bottle. If you're struggling call for support, the mw said I've seen just about every mw they have for my town & the town next to me but they're happy to still come out daily till I'm happy to let them go (might carry on till I've got every mw in buckinghamshire's signature in my notes :lol: ) he reckons lack of confidence, exhaustion & sore nipples is the usual cause for bf being given up & that's fine if that's what I decide.

    I know that's a lot of waffle, just wanted you to know you're not alone & the irony that I'd just sat & asked him most of the questions you have! Dunno if that helps?
  • Oh Pickles hun! So sorry to hear you're feeling rubbish. I'm completely clueless but Lampchop has given you some fab advice so hope that helps. Remember, don't beat yourself up - you're amazing. Big hugs.
  • I'm still struggling too :cry: Yesterday both nipples started bleeding because I'm not getting the latch right. In desperation & because I was so sore I gave a bottle at lunchtime then we bf the rest of the day. But last night at 1am I just couldn't get him to latch... Kept trying both breasts... I was in tears & he was hungry so again I gave him a bottle. He has slept til 5.30 and yet again we have struggled to latch. I know it's because my nipples are small & flat and he's now looking for a teat! I usually squeeze my nipples to plump them up & get some milk on them but couldn't get anything from them? So I have given in to my husband who wanted to give a bottle...

    I feel a complete failure... My breasts are unbelievably sore & I know the next feed will be even harder to do on the breast now he's had 2 bottles. I got measured for a nursing bra yesterday & I need a J cup! I seem to stupidly have massive breasts & tiny nipples... Don't know whether to swap to expressing or what I can do to make this work?
  • Mowani, my nipples are small & flat too so I can relate to you there. Don't feel bad about giving a bottle, I have done on a few occasion now for both my own sanity & to give my nipples a break (in fact he had 5ozs this morning as I was so exhausted & in pain I couldn't face feeding).

    Have you still got your mw visiting, can you talk to them & try to get help with the latch? I was told that if you're upset, anxious or tense when trying to feed it can actually stop your milk flowing. The mw yesterday said if I can't get the latch within the first 10 mins then put him down & walk away for a breather, make a cuppa or something. He said no newborn has ever died from crying & once you've calmed you can calm baby & try again.

    Still all this advice & I was still in tears this morning. Nipples are sore & now I think I have blocked milk ducts on my most sore side which are agony!! From the advice I've read I need to feed more off this side to unblock them but easier said than done!
  • Thanks Lambchop image

    Well I persisted this morning and we have managed the feeds since 9am on the breast! Hubby has been really helpful with improving my latch too... So I will just keep persisting. Midwife was meant to come yesterday to check me over including stitches and she didn't show up so don't know if I misunderstood or what happened there. Think I will go to a bf support group next week if I make it til then!! xx
  • Yay well done you!! It really helps to have hubby's support doesn't it. Glad you're feeling better.
  • im still plodding on with exclusively breastfeeding. sophie is almost 5 weeks old now and still feeding like shes starved! its every 2-3hours now, although last night she gave me a nice 4 1/2 hours sleep in one go (the most sleep ive had in one go since shes been born!)

    my nipples still get sore from time to time, she is lazy with latching and sometimes i hear her "clicking" (any advice jojo?)

    for those with unbearable soreness.. NIPPLE SHIELDS! i was dreading sophie waking and having to feed her in the early days, these absolutely saved my life (and my nipples!) boots own ive found to be the best ones!!

    keep at it girls, and well done to you all!!!! image
  • Lambchop, sounds like your mw was fab and gave you brilliant advice plus some interesting info like the fattier milk being slower and more likely at night. That gives me some confidence as sometimes Owen feeds and feeds at night and it feels like there's nothing there but he doesn't complain so I just keep him on the boob for seemingly hours! Other times during the day he'll go on and be gasping / gulping it's coming out so fast! Then he'll pull off, with a face covered in milk and my boob will be literally spraying him in the face! So it does name sense.

    Also so true that At night you're so tired you just don't care about the poor latch, as long as they're on and getting some milk and you can get back to sleep! It's a false economy though. I need to be less lazy at night because I'm sure that's why my nipples are damaged because during the day were getting a good latch most of the time I think.

    Hope you're all doing ok though. I second LCs advice to keep calling out the mw / hv for help until you feel confident. They tend to have some quotient they're supposed to meet of breastfeeding mums so they don't mind spending the time! Plus most of them genuinely care. Struggling on when it's not going well without support and physical assistance is really hard and means you're more likely to give up. Xxx
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