Need Encouragement, really want to stop Breast Feeding

Shakira - posted on 10/18/2009 ( 44 moms have responded )

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I know that BF is great for the baby and I have done it for 3 weeks now but it seems that I not producing enough milk for him and he is always hungry. I try to pump but get nothing out of both breasts. He is latched to me it seems 24/7 and when I try to put him down after he has feed he starts crying and wants to eat again. It is taking a toll on me feeding him all the time, I am about ready to give up and go to formula. I have done everything the LC has told me, take Fenugreek, drink water, eat right, relax and nothing has changed. My fiance has told me we can't afford to go to formula so I feel like I have no choice in the matter which just adds to my stress.

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Rachel - posted on 10/20/2009

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Relax, mama, you are doing a GREAT job! Your babe is at an age where the first of the major growth spurts is common. Think of it as a conversation between your baby and your body :) His little body is compelling him to nurse nurse nurse and it doesn't have much to do with hunger as it does with him sending you a signal--all of the extra suckling is telling your body to gear up for the next stage of nursing :) If he's having enough diapers (6-8 wet), he's getting plenty :) But until the spurt is over he'll nurse and nurse and the best thing you can do is camp out in bed and let him and rest whenever you can :) If you have someone in RL who can cook for you and change diapers/burp baby so you can get a little nap until the next feed, it'll make things go a little easier. Prime time for growth spurts is the 3s and 6s (give or take depending on the baby). I'm nursing my second and with both of them those early growth spurts were exhausting but once you get through them its a lot easier :)

And pumping isn't a good indicator of supply--baby is so much more efficient than the pump! If you are worried about how much baby is getting, the best thing to do is use a baby scale to weigh, nurse, weigh again and see how much he's taking in. I have a ton of milk when I nurse a babe directly but hook me up to the pump and you'd think I had nothing in there :p

{{hugs}} I'm sorry your LC didn't tell you about growth spurts and that pumping isn't a good indicator of supply--it probably would have taken a lot of the stress off to hear your baby's behaviour is normal for his age!

Alicia - posted on 10/19/2009

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it is a fact that babies have growth spurts were they nurse around the clock to increase moms supply this is normal so just hang in there thing will get better, but just be aware that growth spurts happen every couple of months give or take every baby is different mine had theirs at 4wks, 8wks, 12wks, 16wks, 6m, 9m, 12m, 14m and so on until they self weaned

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Misty - posted on 04/17/2011

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Those first 4 weeks are the hardest...after that, it's much easier! your milk comes in, and your LO won't need to nurse! but do what is right for you! my son was born on 11/7 and by 12/1 i was feeling much better and my LO wasn't latched on as much! and it gets easier each week!! hang in there, really, it does get easier...i honestly thought i would never get off the couch because all i did the first month was BF, but here i am 17 months later and we are still nursing!

Shelly - posted on 10/23/2009

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I also felt the same way when my daughter was about the same age, I started giving her formula once a day, this gave me a little break and also allowed more milk to come in for the next feeding. I was SOOO ready to give it up, but now Makayla is 6 months and I'm still BF even with being back to work! Hang in there I promise it does get better.

Gwen - posted on 10/23/2009

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It is perfectly natural for your baby to want to feed non-stop right now... that's how you establish your supply! Don't worry about the pumping thing, when I started to pump I could barely get an ounce, but now I get over 4 ounces easily. Your body will make what your baby needs and pumping isn't a good reflection of how much milk your baby is getting as he/she is much better at extracting it! May I suggest that you look at your time spent feeding differently? Instead of looking at it as time-consuming, welcome the break! Also, you are doing something for your baby that no one else in this world can do. You make the perfect food for him/her, and that is a gift.

Birgit - posted on 10/23/2009

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Don't panic. My son was born prematurely and so the hospital started supplementing him with formula from day one. I agree with Dan. It was a relief that I had formula. My lactation consultant had me start every feeding nursing for about 5 minutes and then switch to formula to finish him off. I would then pump while his dad gave him a bottle. After about two weeks, my milk supply increased, so I would nurse for 5 minutes, and then be able to give him a bottle of expressed milk to finish him (or his dad would do this while I pumped). Gradually my supply increased and I didn't need to pump and by about 1 month, he was on only breastmilk until I went back to work. Until we were through that, I felt like I was a human milking machine. I either had the baby or the pump attached at all times because by the time he was done eating and I was done pumping, I had maybe an hour before it all started again. It's normal. Just drink lots of water. (And I don't know if this one really works but my sister said her lactation consulatant told her when her supply was really down, drink a beer. I guess the hops are supposed to increase supply) As for the pacifier. The nurses popped that in my son's mouth from the getgo so he always had one. He weaned himself at about 5 months so I wouldn't worry if you have to give him one. In terms of affording formula, check out the enfamil website. Even though we were using similac, I always get coupons for enfamil and they have even sent free cans. I just had $17 worth of coupons for the last month alone that I used to get milk. We recently switched my son to milkbased formula and now he will start whole milk, so we used the enfamil to get through the transition. Also, talk to your pediatrician. Mine offered free sample cans when we switched to formula. And, WIC is a program that can help with milk, not just formula, but whole milk when you switch. Don't beat yourself up about this though. What's important is that your son eats.

Ashley - posted on 10/23/2009

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First things first: take a deep breath. Stressing over your milk production will reduce it even more. Your baby is only three weeks old. Chances are the fequent feedings are your baby's way of increasing your supply. Is the baby gaining weight? Are there at least 6 wet diapers a day? How about poop: is it yellow and seedy? If the answers to these questions are yes then chances are everything is fine. If you answer no then it may be appropriate to supplement with formula. Your pediatrician is the best person to talk to about your concerns. Hang in there!

[deleted account]

Like many others I can relate to the frustration. I had to supplement in the beginning because my milk did not come in alot. What helped is that I was advised to give my son the breast first and then give him some formula. I would stop sometimes while feeding him the formula because if you let them they will drink the whole thing even if they are full. Then we started to ween him off the formula by breast feeding him every 2 hours while we were together and only give him formula if I have to.
All you can do is your best. A little breast milk for now is better than no breast milk. After a while it gets really easy and feels very convenient to be able to breast feed. Plus a wrap helps since the LO wants to be with mama alot of the time. That way you can still get things done.
I hope this helps and makes you feel better.

Kirsty - posted on 10/23/2009

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in my opinion one thing you could look at is your attachment and positioning. if baby is not correctly attached then they will not be draining the breast efficiently. this means baby will not be getting the filling, satisfying hind milk that comes later on in the feed. so if baby is not satisfied and full, they will want to go to the breast more often. incorrect attchment does not always have pain as an indicator. always remember, keep babies body and head in one staight line, when attaching, focus on the area under the nipple ( the area where babies bottom lip will be in contact with). when attched properly babies chin should be indenting the breast, there should be more areola showing above the top lip than the bottom, cheeks should look full, not sucked in, baby should change from rapid sucking to deep slow rythmic movements. and bottom lip should be turned out. hope i helped. xx

[deleted account]

With my first boy, I struggled the same as you are from about a month old. I gave up breastfeeding at 10 weeks as it just didn't seem worth it. With my second, though, I pushed through the same, getting through one day at a time. He is now 6 months old and although he feeds often (every couple of hours) as well as having 3 solid meals a day, breastfeeding is completely manageable. It will get easier if you perservere with it (I believe). Having said that, for me, swithching to formula first time round was the with best option as I became so stressed about it then the quality of every other area of my life and motherhood was jepardised. Don't feel guilty of you make that choice.



The biggest thing that helped me second time round was the realisation that I was not failing or doing everything wrong. That if both my baby's wanted to feed constantly then is must be something normal and NOT a sign that they weren't getting enough. A dummy also helped as I didn't feel guilty about giving one this time.



Hope it helps!

Ashley - posted on 10/23/2009

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3 weeks is about the point where I wanted to stop breastfeeding - it takes a lot to keep going. Stressing out about it makes it even harder for your let down. My baby is now 14 weeks old and we're doing awesome, thanks to my bf friends who kept me going. I found my baby really fussy when I stopped feeding and it seemed like the only way to get her to stop crying was to allow her to latch on. I would recommend laying down to feed, it helps you relax and it's a lot easier. I believe they have a growth spurt around this time too so they will want to feed constantly, it will help to increase your milk supply if you allow them to latch on. Also, I pumped anytime my baby went over an hour and a half without feeding (even if it's hardly anything, it will help boost your supply). She is now sleeping 12 hours a night, so, once I put her to bed, I pump, and first thing in the morning I also pump, just to keep my supply going. If money is an issue and you really can't bf anymore, go to your county health department and get WIC, or foodstamps, or whatever your county offers, it will cover the cost of formula.

Stacey - posted on 10/23/2009

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Hang in there! I was in the same boat with my first son, I was in tears at the LC's office with bloody nipples and a screaming hungry baby. It took about 4-5 weeks to finally get a system/pattern that worked. I never felt that pumping helped, I gave up on it until I went back to work and had to do it for my own comfort. I ended up being able to sccessfully breastfeed him until he started solids at 6 months and then supplemental breastfeed until he was one.



It was incredibly frustrating!! Something so "natural" that women have been doing since the dawn of man should no be so hard!! Good Luck...you can do it!

April - posted on 10/23/2009

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If money is the problem with the formula you should consider WIC it helps. Also you don't have to just go for formula it helps when you breast feed too they give you things like cheese, milk, juice, bread, veggies and things to help with your diet for breast feeding also I just found out (after I bought my pump) they give you breast pumps for free

Michelle - posted on 10/22/2009

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It's hard in the beginning. It's true that what you perceive as your milk supply is not necessarily your actual milk supply too. Give it some time. Your little one is growing like crazy right now. If it's not too painful you should keep pumping too. It will help to slowly and eventually increase your milk supply. Don't worry if you get anything or not. What it actually is going to do is stimulate your breasts to produce milk. At first and for a little while you may not get anything (but it does not mean it's not working). This phase will pass as does the endless sleepless nights. You can try a supplement called more milk plus made by motherlove or just have a beer a day. Both can help. Eventually your baby will eat more on a schedule and not need you so very much. If you're worried that he's not getting enough talk to your pediatrician. As long as he's not losing weight he's probably okay. Keep going it's hard. I know. It's worth it though,

[deleted account]

Both of my older babies were like this..just eat and eat...my now 2 year old basically lived at the breast at the expense of everything I wanted to get done..but I just gave in and nursed constantly..and he's healthy..and fine now although still a pain in the neck..I wouldn't take back that time I spent just nursing because now he does'nt want to be held all the time..they really do grow so quickly..and 6 months of GETTING to hold your baby is not a bad thing..it will seem like that's all you do..but for me it has been worth while.

[deleted account]

Keep Trying. I wanted to give up a few times but I just keep trying. I had to pump for the first 2 weeks while my son was in the hospital. It will seem like they are always latched on to you but once you get used to BF, you won't even remember how you feel now.

Sarah - posted on 10/21/2009

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The #1 reason women give up breastfeeding is not lack of milk supply, but "perceived" lack of milk supply. Babies naturally go through a growth spurt at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age. This is punctuated by more frequent feeding, a way for the baby to increase your supply to meet their growing demands as they need more milk the bigger they get. As long as your baby continues to gain weight, you are producing enough milk. Also, after the first few weeks, the initial engorgement that women experience goes away, this is because you supply has regulated and you don't need to make excess milk. I know that these inital few weeks are so tiring and exhausting, but try and stick with it, I think you'll be glad you did. Although it seems during these times that breastfeeding may be harder than formula feeding, as the baby regulates your supply and the feeds space out, you'll see how much more easier breastfeeding is. There are no trips to the store to buy formula, no midnight bottle warmings and feedings, no special bottles or nipples needed, no cleaning, no sterilizing, no mixing, no heating required. Good luck!

Caitelyn - posted on 10/21/2009

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I had difficulty with this too - my LC advised me to start drinking a vitamin supplement called Sustagen (Hospital Grade) as it increases your vitamin absorption, which also puts more nutrients into the BM and helps bubby too - Not only that, because you are getting more vitamins, it helps your energy levels, and especially helps with sleep deprivation!!

[deleted account]

I went throught the same thing. You have to leave baby on the breast all the time to inhance your milk supply. I pumped 20 mins every 3 hours and breast fed every 1-2 hours to get my supply up. Some times it's not easy but it's woth it.

Marina - posted on 10/21/2009

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Try these: U must take plenty hot soups, warm milk or Horlicks n eat fish to produce more breast milk. The best is to boil young papaya(cubed) with some meat or fish until tender. This soup work wonders for abundant milk supply! ;) Hot rice porridge n hot noodle soup can help too.

Shaulah - posted on 10/21/2009

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at the start is super hard to BF try to get some support from friends and family and even try a support outside that!
dont give it up if u can!
i also posted a while ago to give up bf and now i am happy to have kept doing it!
good luck

[deleted account]

I would say not to pump.. If you're going through a 'spurt' (24/7 attatchment more like it) give your sore nipples a bit of a rest and time for your milk to build up. The stress of looking at that empty bottle doesn't help and you're better off napping because your body will be rested and you might be less likely to break out into tears when it's that time again.
We're on 5 months only breastmilk (and a small chunk of banana once.. but I figured BFing was going too well to get into solids just yet). I was exactly the same and constantly in tears over the pain and constant attatchment but ask for help and focus on nothing but rest and hydration. Be sure it's hunger though and never underestimate some lovely singing with a cuddle, a good walk or the joys of someone else changing that wet nappy! Good luck, though you'll do fine :)

Andrea - posted on 10/20/2009

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i hear you. i just posted my problem. i'm having issues as well ): pls don't feel guilty. talk to the pedi and see what you can do. i had to supp my son and it's really good to go to the gentle ease formula right off breast milk. i'm going to try to pump at least 4 oz a day for the bedtime bottle. i know how tought it is hon. if you've done all you can, do what you think is best now. ok? (: my thoughts are with you! and remember- your baby got the best stuff right out of the gate, so you protected him! i have a great LC and we just revised my plan. Ask them for the gentle ease formula to supplement your milk and work out a reasonable pumping/feeding schedule. i feed my son his formula first, then would let him top off with breast milk. it was a happy medium until i dried up.... good luck!!!!

Destinee - posted on 10/20/2009

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i have a 5 week old son who has been attached to me 24/7 too. he always needs fed. he eats every hr to hr 1/2, and i thought too that he was not getting enough, but he is gaining a good amount of weight and the doctor says it is fine that he is eating that much. i know how hard it is to deal with a baby that wants to eat that much. if you have not done so, and feel ok with doing so, introduce a pacifier that resembles your nipple. i swore up and down with this baby that i would not give him one, but after he was 4 days and he was continually wanting to eat, i had to give myself, and my nipples a break. it worked out great, and now he is a even happier baby. i hope this helps.

Christa - posted on 10/20/2009

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Quoting Alicia:

it is a fact that babies have growth spurts were they nurse around the clock to increase moms supply this is normal so just hang in there thing will get better, but just be aware that growth spurts happen every couple of months give or take every baby is different mine had theirs at 4wks, 8wks, 12wks, 16wks, 6m, 9m, 12m, 14m and so on until they self weaned



I think Alicia hit it head on........When your baby goes through a growth spurt it seems like 24/7 nursing.  Your milk supply will catch up to his demands.  Hang in there and don't stress....we have all gone through it.  Make sure you are taking a good multi-vitamin and drinking LOTS of water.  Learn when those growth spurts are so you can be prepared.  Five kids and 7 years of breastfeeding later and I survived.....You can to!!

Tammy - posted on 10/20/2009

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Since your baby has come this far and now started wanting to nurse all the time your doing fantastic your completely normal. Your baby is working to increase your supply for his growth spurt and your body will meet the need. I totally know what your going through I have every kind of snuggly and I am a co sleeper I can dress kids (I run a daycare as well as have 4 kids of my own) mop floors wash and fold cloths put on my own coat and hat all while BFing and using 1 hand. But back in the day I sat and cried that my breasts hurt because she never lets them go and I can't do anything and I'm hungry and have to pee. Your going to be great. Your doing so well all ready !!!!

[deleted account]

Everyone is saying much of what I am thinking too! I remember thinking that if it took 45-60 minutes each time I feed my daughter that I would not be doing it for very long. That along with the fact that she was needing to eat every 2 hours was not my cup of tea. She's now 5 months old and can eat a full meal in about 10 minutes. It just takes the baby time to adjust and learn what they are doing. It's tiring for mom but well worth it! Keep it up! Don't worry so much about your supply because the more you stress the worse it will get. Just trust that he is getting enough.

Shakira - posted on 10/20/2009

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I use both breasts like they told me and I sit up using a Boppy Pillow, I had a c-section so at the start it was hard to sit up. He is getting better and I am guessing his growth spurt has waned some but its still frustrating at times.

Stephanie - posted on 10/20/2009

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Stress can make it harder to breast feed and pump, so try to relax.....I know it's hard. Try warm wash cloths or a bath /shower before you feed. I used a heating pad it seemed to help my milk let down. Breast massage and nipple stimulation might also help before a feed. Are you feeding both sides at each feed? This is reccomended to help increase milk supply. Also sitting upright ( don't use the lying down positions) could let gravity help with your milk flow. Don't give up yet, it does get easier!

Billie - posted on 10/20/2009

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honey i am going thur the same thing but mine is 1 month and 3weeks u will make it if it was easy it aint worth trying is my motto

Jelena - posted on 10/20/2009

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Don't give up yet! As few of the moms said: it's most likely growth spurt. It usually lasts for few days before everything goes back to normal.
Breastfeeding is very challenging, especially at the beginning, but it becomes easier and easier with every new day!

Best wishes!

Arlene - posted on 10/20/2009

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KEEP IT UP!! we all know how hard it is for the first month, we have all been there...it is discouraging and frustrating...but dont give up!! things will change as the baby and you gain more experiance...I was ready to give up so many times, i was exhausted...but i am SOOOO glad that i didnt!! by 3 months, you guys will be pros!!

you are doing a great job!!

Hannah - posted on 10/20/2009

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Don't panic, 3 weeks is so early on it will take a while for your baby to settle into routine feeds.

My baby wanted to feed all day long at this age, it is normal for them to be that hungry, so don't worry. Also your breasts WILL have milk, not being able to express it probably means you haven't got your let down reflex going, not that the milk isn't there. The let down also takes time so don't worry about that either, it will all come. Just keep him on the breast if you can, if there was no milk there your baby wouldn't be feeding, trust me he is getting milk even when they feel empty.

I know how you feel, I had exactly the same thing, I couldn't get up off the sofa for days, but stick with it, as your baby puts on weight it stops needing to feed so much, but 3 weeks is still early day. It's really worth sticking with if you can, so give it a bit longer, it will settle down, I promise! Good Luck x

April - posted on 10/19/2009

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Shakira- it sounds like you are exhausted but determined! Are there any breastfeeding support groups where you are? It can help to meet other moms who have been there and they can give you tips and reassurance. La Leche League? Remember, the more you feed, the more milk you will make, so unless there are other factors, your supply should be ok. Pumping is not nearly as effective at removing milk from the breast as your baby so don't judge what's in the bottle as how much baby is getting. Sending you best wishes...xxx

Coralyn - posted on 10/19/2009

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you're doing an awesome job! people who BF are hardcore and you're one of them :)

Elizabeth - posted on 10/19/2009

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I've been quite lucky in that my 3.5 mth old was born in the middle of winter. i.e. so far all her growth spurts have been when the weather is horrible and there is *nothing* better than being snuggled up on the couch all day nursing a snuggly, warm little baby when it's hailing outside!

As everyone has said - definitely sounds like a growth spurt. They usually only last a few days. I've found taking an afternoon nap helps a bit with replenishing my milk for the evening. I crawl into bed with my bubba and feed her to sleep and then we both nap for a couple of hours; rest/sleep really helps with your milk.

Also, those first 6 weeks after childbirth, it helps to do as little physical activity as possible so that your body can put all its resources into establishing your milk supply. If your partner is keen for you to keep breast feeding, then let him know the best thing he can do to help is to help out round the house as much as possible (if he doesn't already).

Good luck! One day, your little bubba will look up at you part way through a feed and give you the *biggest* grin, and I can't even begin to describe how especially heart-melting that is! :)

Jessica - posted on 10/19/2009

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As Alicia said, it's likely a growth spurt. My son had one around that age. When my son is in a growth spurt I almost feel like I'd be better off running around topless so he can get to it when he wants it, lol! Don't worry you're doing great!! Stick with it!!!
Good Luck!

Kerry - posted on 10/19/2009

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You are doing a great job!! Breastfeeding IS difficicult at first but soon you will be a pro, it just takes some time for you and your baby to figure it out. It was pretty smooth sailing for me from about 5-6 weeks. Also your baby is probably having a growth spurt so he is feeding more to increase your supply. This usually lasts for a couple of days. I have both breastfed and bottle fed and I am so glad that I perservered with breastfeeding....keep plugging along and soon you'll look back and wonder what you were thinking!!

Shakira - posted on 10/18/2009

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Thanks everyone, this is my first child so I am learning on the fly and didnt realze that breastfeeding could be so demanding and tiring. He wasn't as needy the first couple of weeks and then bam he was needing to be nursed it seemed all the time. I have tried a pacifier and it works sometimes but he doesnt always want to take it.

Minnie - posted on 10/18/2009

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Everything seems normal to me. Really!

Pumping- no indication of your supply. The biological norm of breastfeeding is actually several times an hour for a baby to nurse. See this article: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detfreq.ht...

You also need to understand that breastfeeding is a great source of comfort for your little one: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsuck.ht...

If your baby is not losing weight and his urine isn't dark or smelly your supply is fine and you're giving him what he needs nutritionally. Put your baby to your breast whenever he wants it and make sure his latch is correct and you WILL produce enough milk.

I suggest you get a soft baby carrier, like a sling, mei tai, wrap, ergo, etc. and learn to breastfeed him in that while carrying him. Bring him into bed with you to sleep as well, latch him on, and go to sleep.

Really, all of what you are experiencing is very very normal. It IS tiring- you just have to work around it a bit, with the carrier and bedsharing to make your life easier.

Kathy - posted on 10/18/2009

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Just hang in there. It honestly doesn't get easier until the 6th or so week into it. Soon enough you'll be able to do things and breastfeed at the same time. Have you tried a sling? That way he can be swaddled next to you and you still move around...some even have holes where the baby can discreetly get on while you're moving around. You can do it! You're providing your baby with the best head start possible and you're doing a great job :)

[deleted account]

P.S. I know how hard it is to persevere, but it will get better. Try and take it one day at a time. You're doing a great job.

[deleted account]

I can relate to how you feel. My son was about the same age when I was ready to give up breastfeeding to the point where I bought formula and bottles (which now sit in the cupboard unused, and my son is 4.5 months old). But just having the formula in the house helped me relax to the point where I could continue.

Have you tried giving him a pacifier in between feeds? It is possible that your baby is just trying to satisfy the urge to suck. My LC told me that especially boys are very "sucky" and that a pacifier can help. However, I was warned to only ever give it to him after a full feed, that is after one hour of feeding.

Also, if feeding him is tiring you out, try nursing him lying down. It is very restful for you and baby still gets what he needs.

For supply, I have also heard that eating oats can help, so some porridge for breakfast can't hurt.

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