8 weeks and still feeding every two hours... Suggestions for sanity!?

Malorie - posted on 11/25/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My little girl is 8 weeks old (though born 3.5 weeks early, so she is probably still just a tad behind in development, but growing and hitting milestones within a week or so of what is expect - or sooner!). She's been exclusively breastfed. In the last few days dad has been giving her expressed milk from a syringe so i can sleep a bit longer since she is still feeding about every two hours and I have not gotten more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep since she's been born! She goes for a little longer at night - up to 3.5 hours from the beginning of one feed to the beginning of the next, but during the day she is eating every two hours (from beginning of one feed to beginning of the next), except in the evening before bed when she cluster feeds every hour for about 4 hours.

Is it possible she's not really hungry and just wants to comfort nurse/suck? How do I know/deal with that? We have not introduced a pacifier and would like to keep it that way unless there is a really compelling reason to give it to her...

I have a plentiful milk supply, but it's possible that it is a slow flow - how do I know for sure? It takes me 30+ minutes to pump 1.5 oz, so it seems really slow! but I don't know for sure.

I want to EBF for as long as possible! but it's just getting so exhausting and taking a toll on me emotionally and physically to have usually only about 1 hour of time max not attached to her by he time she finishes one feed and wants to start another.

ThoughtS? Suggestions? Thank you!!

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Celeste - posted on 11/25/2013

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This is all normal! 8 weeks is prime time for a growth spurt. Don't judge anything about supply by pump output. Babies are much more efficient than a pump. Is there a reason why you're pumping? I'd stop pumping if you can because that's adding more work.

Honestly, it's about survival right now. Do what you gotta do to get through the day. Get a sling. Sleep when baby sleeps. You 're doing great!

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Lori - posted on 12/01/2013

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Malorie - congratulations on your new LO! Being a mom of a newborn is exhausting. But what you are describing, is completely normal.
With my first baby I noticed a bit of a difference around 6 weeks old, but a huge difference at the 3 month mark. Just push through for a few more weeks and maybe you'll notice a change too.
Like the other ladies said: try not to do too much other than just take care of the baby. When you are nursing constantly these first weeks that's really all you ought to be worrying about. Let your husband or any family or friends nearby help you out with things like meal preparations and dishes and other household chores.
As far as hunger versus comfort nursing: Both types of nursing are equally important to your LO. I don't think it matters why she wants to nurse… just let her nurse. Breasts are designed to feed AND comfort our babies. Don't bother with a pacifier.

Ambur - posted on 12/01/2013

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My son is just over a year and he still doesn't go more than 3 hours between feeds most of the time. You need to sleep when your baby sleeps. Learn to nap while nursing laying on your side. Once I learned that I got all the sleep I needed. If fact, I side nursed him for his first feed and fell asleep!

6 weeks is actually prime time for growth spurt/constant feeds. For me it got a lot easier at 10 weeks. I felt like I was figuring out the breastfeeding thing. It gets easier. Then it gets awesome.

If I were you, I would put away the pump, and just figure out how to nurse and nap with baby. You can even have the hubby keep an eye on you while you do this to help you feel safe.

I didn't plan on sharing my bed with my baby. and we are now getting him in his own bed some. But bed sharing made breastfeeding super easy. You just have to be safe about it. You can use google for more info.

Missing the night feed may be causing a hormone flux which makes sleeping different. When you breastfeed around the clock, your body causes your sleep patterns to change to handle the scedule. If you miss this feed, your rem cycles may not be what they could have been, if that makes any sense.

You should be eating, sleeping, resting and nursing. Are you trying to do too much? People don't seem to realise how much having a baby takes a toll on a person. It takes at least 6 weeks to recover from an uncomplicated vaginal birth. And by recover, I mean running at 85% energy level with all the demands of a newborn and no down time after the biggest workout of your life. Accept help, ask for help, and take it as easy as you can. The housework can wait. a nap is more important. You just grew and expelled a human from your lady bits or had major abdominal surgery.

Celeste - posted on 11/25/2013

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Are you pumping to replace that feed at night? It's important to pump for missed feeds. Breastfeeding works on supply and demand. To me, it wasn't worth it for my husband to take over a feed because I'd have to pump anyway.

It really depends on the baby. My first daughter, it was around 3 months. With my twins, they nursed every 2 to 3 hours for their entire first year.

Malorie - posted on 11/25/2013

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thanks celeste! im pumping to have milk for my husband to take one feed at night so i can sleep...when do babies usually start going longer stretches between feeds? i thought it wad around 6 weeks... but then again this little one is making me question everything i thought i knew about babies! :)

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