You think everything is going well, she’s finally latched on with the help of the nipple shields and she’s eating almost very hour (it seems). Then you look at the time log you’ve been keeping and realize that she has been eating almost constantly and you really aren’t getting any sleep – when her sleep periods drop from 4-6 hours to 1.5 hours.

The worst part comes when you go to her two week check and…she’s only gained one ounce.  One ounce. That’s what babies are suppose to gain in a day! Well anywhere from half an ounce to one ounce.  You know your breast are producing milk – so what’s the problem?

It’s likely that she’s a bit lazy or sleeping during her feeds.  So the doctor recommends trying to get her to eat every 2-3 hours – and this way she’ll be hungry & very awake when she eats…which is what the lactation ladies told you in the hospital…which you switched from when a friend comments – well intentioned – “why don’t  you just feed her when she’s hungry?”…

And there is so much conflicting information – are cluster feeds real – it seems likely.  So how do we reconcile these cluster feeds and the “feed every 2-3 hours” mantra?  What are we suppose to do?

Nothing makes you feel worse as a mother than knowing your baby is not gaining weight like she’s suppose to.  Nothing. Except maybe the inconsolable screaming that sometimes occurs during that fussy period that never ends.  The fussy period the last two days and nights that seem to last all day and be endless…until she and you finally got 4 hours of sleep again this morning.  Which was SO needed…

So after the doctor visit today we began trying to space the feedings out a bit more and also stimulate her during the feeds – by doing the “milk pump” with her arm, tickling her feet and under her chin…

It seemed to work for two feeds (and we even got a couple of short naps in!)…until the third feed…when afterward, she fussed for almost two hours.  Jon thankfully let me get a nap in (lack of sleep and all), but he had to deal with her fussiness, until she feel asleep for 15 minutes before time to eat again.

Again, I feel like a terrible mom.  We’re doing another feed right now – Jon is bottle feeding her some breast milk so I can shower & rest a  bit…but what am I to do during the night?  Do I let her do her cluster feed (if one comes on – it’s likely) or…stick with what the doctor recommends?  The only way to get her to sleep at night for an extended period is to let her nurse herself to sleep…

I don’t know what to do…but I guess we’ll see what the night brings.


3 thoughts on “Breastfeeding…

  1. Ms. Core

    Oof, so sorry you are having a hard time. I hope I am not the well-intentioned friend that made you switch. I believe in allowing cluster feeding but only when it happens once or twice a day when the baby is possibly more hungry like before bed or first thing in the morning. You can’t cluster feed all day and night or you will go NUTS.

    Lukas used to want to feed quite a bit in the evening so I would let him do that in the hope that he would eat more and sleep more but honestly that didn’t really matter, more than anything he wanted comfort and to suck. Once I sorta knew what I was doing I made him wait (with the exception of early evening when he was most fussy and it was the easiest way to deal with it). 2 hours or so at first then 2.5 hours. I think we stayed at 2.5-3 hours until he was 3 mos old. Now he eats between 3-4 hours. Give her a pacifier if she wants to suck instead between feedings.

    Don’t worry about the nursing herself to sleep part for now just do what you can to get some sleep and get her fed. She will gain weight don’t worry, some babies grow in spurts without much weight gain for a week and then a bit jump. I am around today to chat if you want to talk (and if my advice is still has any currency 🙂 ).

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