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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I knew this moment was coming, but not sure I was fully prepared for dealing with it. 

As you know I've been breast feeding Ben through the day and expressing milk in the evening for him to have in a bottle for his middle of the night feed, and I've done this from the day my milk came in (except for during my short stay in hospital when I bf 24 hrs for 3 days, and before my milk came in when I suplemented colostrum with formula).

It's something that's worked extremely well for us and as of the past 4 nights Ben has slept from 9.45 pm - 4.45 am, and then from 5.15 am - 9.00 am, which has been fantastic. 

Today he woke at 9.00 and has only just gotten off my boobs.  He normally would've had both sides by now, but he's had both sides twice, and the other side once again!  He's nodded off now, but I know will be awake within the hour for more as he's no doubt just fallen asleep from exhaustion as opposed to being fed and satisfied. 

He is 5 weeks and 1 day today and is no doubt going through a growth spurt.  I have spent the past 2 hours in tears, and am just not sure how to deal with it from here (I'm feeling VERY hormonal and a bit low today also).  Jack is obviously (as a 3 year old) very demanding, and I'm struggling to just sit and feed Ben constantly, and try and pacify him whilst he's upset with hunger whilst Jack is running riot.  Jack is a very 'spirited' child!!!  Dh is home and helping, but as I'm sure you realise, having 2 parents taking care of a newborn is hard work, so I'm sure you can understand the additional amount of work a 3 year old adds. 

So my dilemma is this, do I just sit and feed for the next 24-48 hours until my supply catches up and cry my way through it along with Ben as I'll feel so bad for him as well because he's not being satisfied.  Or, do  I give in and give a supplemental formula feed and allow my supply to not meet the demand and therefore diminish gradually from this point on.  I don't really want to let my supply go, as I'm really, really enjoying breast feeding, but am just not sure I can get through the next day or so, especially with tomorrow being Christmas Day. 

I suppose I do want to try and get my supply to meet demand through the day, and maybe Ben can have a formula feed for his 4.45 am feed if I don't have enough left to express this evening for the night.  I supose I don't mind that each night as hopefully he'll drop that feed anyway in the next month or two. 

Anybody got any coping strategies in getting through the growth spurt.  I know some of you have done it, so how did you do it??  I didn't make it with Jack, and that's pretty much when formula feeding started, and it tailed off over the months after that until at about 4 months (when he also got a couple of teeth), I dropped bf all together.  I wasn't really ready to, but my supply was only meeting 1 or 2 feeds a day (which were also topped up with formula) and then Jack started biting, so that was it for me.  I so hoped bf this time would be a happier experience, and so far it has been, but I now feel this is the begining of the end. 

I'd love to make it through the tough bit this time, but don't know if I can. 

Any advice appreciated. 

J xxx 
 

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Dear J,

Sorry I haven't got any constructive advice for you,as I haven't had to deal with this.

Sending you a hug & hope it doesn't go on for much longer.
Love
Kathryn
 

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Dear J,

I was advised that when they are going through a growth spurt to feed on demand, to rest as much as possible so that all energy could go into producing the extra milk demanded - all very easy to say and not easy to do particularly for you with a three year old as well as a newborn to contend with!

Hopefully this spell will be over quickly and you will be able to get back to normal and continue to give breast milk exclusively as this seems to be what you would prefer to do.

However, if you aren't able to continue to breast feed full time and have to supplement try not to be too disappinted or hard on yourself. My milk supply was not all that good (probably due to severe anaemia) so I supplemented with formula from the start and ended up only doing am and pm feeds before giving up completely at 5 months. I felt guilty for ages about not bf full time which was a shame after all I had tried my best and although breast milk is definitely best, formula is a much closer 2nd than it used to be. All you (or any of us can do) is what is best for you, your baby and the rest of the family whether that be breast, bottle or mixed feeding. I think you are doing a fantastic job, I know some of my friends with older kids only managed a very short time bf'ing the younger kids.

Sorry I can't offer any advice - hopefully one of the bf'ing mum's will post to you later with some.

Big hugs to you, hope things settle down and you have a great christmas.
Love

Allie
 

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J

I wish I had read this Xmas eve and replied. So you're probably through it now, but Freddy had a HUGE spurt at just over 5 wks and fed constantly for about 30 hours. I just rested as much as I could (spirited 4 yr old allowing), drank and eat loads nad tried to keep as calm as poss (worry I am sure can make you more tired and therefore inhibit milk supply).

If you have supplemented, you can still build your supply back up gradually.

Please don't worry this is nature's way, baby feeds more to tell your boobs to produce more and they take 24 hrs to respond. And always bear in mind, he will go back to 4 hrly feeds in less than 24/48 hrs.

Jane
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kathryn, Allie, Deborah, Jane - Thank you so much for your replies. I did read on Xmas Eve, but didn't have chance to reply.

I took your advice and drank loads more water, enlisted the help of dh with Jack and just concentrated solely on feeding Ben and did no house work, etc. Mum cooked Xmas dinner. It was just as well that was planned really, as I don't think we'd have had one otherwise. Ben spent pretty much around 2 out of every 3 hours attached to me!!! I was determined not to let things go though because, overall I'm really enjoying bf this time and Ben is a fantastic feeder, and my supply so far has been good so I've been confident in it meeting Ben's needs. I'd love to do this long term and am going to give it my best shot.

On Xmas Eve Ben went down at his usual time, but woke loads through the night, and I was in floods of tears by 3.00 am on Xmas morning, but he slept through again last night for 7.5 hrs and has settled back to 3-4 hourly feeds today and I've just expressed 9 oz!! So I think I can well and truly say my supply has caught up as that's the 5-6 oz for his night feed and a few spare ;D

I'm prepared for the next growth spurt, but it's not much fun is it!! So rewarding though to get through it and I feel so proud of myself right now.

Deborah - I was hoping you'd be on line on Xmas Eve as I knew you'd fed Max solely on breast milk since birth and therefore, bearing in mind his age, you'd be able to advise. I did read your post on Xmas Eve and it did help enormously. I hope you are able to do what you plan with regards to Max's feeding. It's hard though if he's not keen on formula. He obviously knows what he likes, and that's mummy's milk ;D Maybe you could mix a little formula with some breast milk to see if he gets used to the taste this way, and then gradually increase the formula and reduce the breast milk, until it's all formula. Might work ???

Jane - I was also hoping you'd be around as I knew you'd fed Felix long term.

Allie - I know you're right and that to supplement/mix feed is not all bad. After all, I did it with Jack and was planning it this time. It's just I got such a surprise when my milk came in so well this time and Ben fed so easily from day 1. It's just not how it was with Jack. He was such a snacky, difficult feeder and I was determined this time to not put myself through the trauma again and that I'd bf as much as I could, but not worry about mix feeding or letting my supply go. But because things have gone so unexpectedly well so far, I'd be so sad to let it fall apart now, so am going to give it my absolute best to take this bf into the long term, ie. 6 months and then maybe am or pm only feeds. Thanks for your post, it helped me put things into perspective, but also helped give me determination to carry on trying to bf.

Kathryn - The hug was very much needed. Thank you.

Thanks girls. Your replies gave me the determination to get through this growth spurt and carry on. I appreciate your help very much.

Love

J xxxx
 

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Hi J,

Glad to hear you're through the worst of it at the mo and ready for the next....

I have been through a couple of growth spurts with Iestyn and must admit to giving into a bottle of formula last thing at night - I did this when he was only about 2 weeks old - it was amazing, considering he'd been feeding off me constantly for the previous 24 hours and not settling, I gave him formula, he got as far as having about an oz and was 'drunk'.

I think you'll find if you do have to top up with formula, he would take so little that is would have very little effect on your breast milk supply! Not that I'm an 'old hand' at this, but this has just been my experience!

Hope everyone else is having a fab xmas.

Love,

Sue xxxxxxx
 

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J and all

I've just had another nightmare night with Jessica. After being the complete picture of an angelic baby on chrissie day when everyone was around, she was really hard work yesterday.

She has hardly slept again - maybe the odd 5 minutes here and there and has been crying for boob nearly all day. There has been the odd occasion of cooing but on the whole, she's been really clingy again.

She seems to be over the worst of her cold and her nappies are fine. The Infacol seem to be helping with the wind now so I'm not sure what is going on. If it is a grwoth spurt - it seems to be happeninig every couple of days.

Last night, I gave her her bedtime feed at about 12 and she fed for a good hour and a half on both boobs, then, like you J, she decided she wanted more. Every time I thought she'd dropped off and got up to take her back into the bedroom, she woke up and started skriking again and rooting frantically. Eventually, I thought enough is enough and took her through at 2.30am. She cried in her basket but I told Jay to try and ignore her so she could cry through it and drop off but after 10 minutes, maybe longer, she was still going strong.

Jay got up with her then and tried walking her a round, rocking her in the glider chair, singing to her, changing her - everything really and she still bawled the place down. He eventually brought her back into the bedroom saying she wanted to suckle again.

I offered her boob again and she shut up straight away. She was drinking and not just sucking but I don't know how much was actually left in there. She dropped off pretty quickly, I put her down, she woke up again, I put her on the other one, she dropped off again so I left her for 5 minutes or so in my arms after her suction had gone off then tried to put her down. She started again. By this time it was 4am so I gave in in the end and offered her a dummy which we have for emergancies but have only used twice in 6 and a half weeks. At first she kept spitting it out. It was my intention to watch her until she was truely away and then take it from her but unfortunately, I was so knackered, I fell asleep.

Jay has taken her out in the pram to the park with the pooch just now. I've only given her one boob this morning which was surprisingly full to the point of bursting just 5 hours after she'd finished feeding. I'm going to go and express off the other one so I have some in reserve as I only have 5oz in the freezer.

J - I had the tears a couple of weeks ago - it really can be hard can't it? I hope that you manage to get through it hun. Take care.

Here's hoping for an easier day for us both.

Love Ange Wxxxxxxx

sorry to jump in on this one but I really struggled last night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yipee, we definitely made it through ;D Ben's sleeping well day and night and my milk seems to be satisfying him as he settles easily after a feed.

Deborah - I've completely taken on board your advice with regards to fluid intake, and it's made the world off difference. I thought I was drinking enough, but obviously not. I'm also watching how much I eat more carefully as, like Ange, I often don't manage anything until gone lunch time, and that's just not good. I knew these things about eating well and drinking plenty, but having it in black and white and spelled out to me during a difficult period helped a lot. Thanks ;D

Ange - I hope last night was easier for you. I read your post on the other board too, and I'm sure your milk is meeting Jessica's needs, it just seems that sometimes it isn't. I know that feeling well, and worry all the time, but I find that when I express plenty of an evening for the night feed, then I know there's milk there, and put those worries to the back of my mind. Not eating, drinking and resting well definitely doesn't help your supply, so make sure you do the first 2 and hopefully the third is going to happen for you very, very soon. I hope so anyway, as sleep is the best thing possible for boosting your milk supply. Mine died badly wth Jack due to severe sleep deprivation, but my little 'routines' have thankfully helped prevent that this time as I'm just tired as opposed to totally exhausted.

Sue - I'm sure you're right that the odd ounce here and there wouldn't make much difference, but that's the road I went down with Jack and by 4 months my supply didn't meet demand and he was totally formula fed. I'm just really happy I got through this growth spurt without formula as I'd be worrying now about the slippery slope!

Thanks again everyone for your support. I appreciate all of the advice very much.

J xxx

 

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Well done J for getting through it!!! Our boobs are designed for b/feeding, even though it seems he milk supply isn't always there, like most things it needs tlc, rest, fluids etc.

jane and fidgety freddy xx
 
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