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  • Breastfeeding on demand

    Hi all,
    I'm new to the forum and AP. I am mother of 3 week old baby boy and am confused by breastfeeding on demand. I am cosleeping but finding that he's feeding continuosly side-lying through the night. In the day when I try and 'sleep when baby sleeps' if baby is too near my breast he seems to want to feed continuosly. Same when he's in the sling! So am trying to practise AP but am struggling at the moment as I don't know whether he is actually properly hungry or not. I am aware that babies just know their needs this early on but am confused as to why he wants to feed continuosly as it seems like comfort feeding! I don't want to have to put him down to sleep on his own in a moses basket but am going out of my mind with trying to fit sleep in for mama!
    Any advice gratefully received.

  • #2
    So you are really saying...your needs are not getting met! You would like some nursing free closeness with your baby? You would like to lay down with your baby and sleep, not nurse! Does that sound right?

    Hmmm.... so right now if she is next you she thinks buffet is on! You are weary of putting her away from you, that maybe she is really hungry and you are missing out on a meal?

    What does she do if you don't open up your shirt? Does she wail in protest? What does she do if you put her down? Does she cry?

    It is really OK to put her down and/ or have her sleep a couple feet away...is it just that you don't want to? This young, I don't think trying to figure out if she is really hungry or just nursy will really help you much. She does not know the difference either.

    Congrats on that new baby! 3 weeks is still so young, she is getting used to the world. I'm happy to hear that breastfeeding is going so well...even TOO good! Your daughter seems like a pro! Give me more info!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply. Sorry should have said hes a he!

      Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
      What does she do if you don't open up your shirt? Does she wail in protest? What does she do if you put her down? Does she cry?
      Yes he cries, wails and roots. But then he roots so erratically it's hard to tell if he's hungry or not sometimes!

      Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
      It is really OK to put her down and/ or have her sleep a couple feet away...is it just that you don't want to?
      I love having him close to me in the bed. I am worried about him being in the moses basket next to me in case it intereferes with our closeness!

      Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
      This young, I don't think trying to figure out if she is really hungry or just nursy will really help you much. She does not know the difference either.
      That's good to hear! I'm so scared of getting it wrong, misinterpreting his cues and leaving his needs unmet and causing him stress!.

      Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
      Congrats on that new baby! 3 weeks is still so young, she is getting used to the world. I'm happy to hear that breastfeeding is going so well...even TOO good! Your daughter seems like a pro! Give me more info!
      Yeah too good is right, had a bad start with it when he became dehydrated at 6 days old losing 20% body weight and admitted to ICU, was a nightmare esp since I hate hospitals and didn't know what to believe/do... basically he'd been faking breastfeeding, we all thought he was latched on right but he hadn't been taking anything in at all, nappies completely dried up, ketone breath... Anyway, managed to just tube feed in hosp and express/ + some forumla which I hadn't wanted but they said he needed it to be rehyrdated and as it was via tube not as bad. Hes doing brilliantly now though and breastfeeding still a challenge but at least I know the difference between being latched on or not!

      I think my problem is expecting to know right away what he needs/wants and getting really worried when I can't figure it out! I just want him to get everything he needs without any distress, hes already been through too much with 'failed homebirth' as a result of bulldozer midwife.

      Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #4
        I bet he is making sure you are extra close after that tough start. I feel the same way about hospitals so i totally understand.
        Have you had any luck finding some local AP-ish mommies you can hang out with...that would do wonders for you...try to look around!

        Can you fall asleep nursing? I could with my first and only occasionally with my second because he is a rougher nurseling.

        Maybe you could introduce other calming baby behavior such as patting, shushing, rocking etc

        Here are is a API baby sleep link
        http://www.attachmentparenting.org/p...strategies.php

        Dr sears links
        http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t051200.asp#T051203
        I don't know if your son is 'high needs' but all 3 week old are a little I think!
        http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070900.asp

        Your baby will change so quickly in the next month or two. As soon as one thing is a problem that will go away and another will return.

        Other things to think about......baby gut being restored after hosptial medicine and other treatment. Possibly sensitivity to foods, feels good to nurse all the time etc.....
        Don't worry about it too much, just keep your notebook in your head about anything you notice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi and welcome. My little one nursed non stop at that age, I think it's really normal and good for them. Can you try not to sleep while he feeds?

          I think those early days can be so lazy, I wish I could sit in a chair now and nurse all day! (my daughter is 1 now, so no sitting for more than a few mins)

          Many babies can nurse all on their own laying in bed while mama sleeps. Would that work for you?

          Does him nursing all the time bother you? Are you just unsure as to why?

          I love the one famous LLL line, if in doubt, nurse!

          Do you have an API group near by?

          Comment


          • #6
            Howdy... I understand this difficulty, and all the raw emotions esp with your little Guy having been in the NICU etc and not ending up with a home birth (had the same thing, ended up in hosp after 29 hrs labor/4hrs pshing, they were concerned for hemorrhaging risk..anyway) and tiredness, hormones, giving 24hrs a day/night. I feel your little one is keeping you close as Naomi said, he had a bit of a tricky beginning and wants to be with his Mamma and sounds like you are doing a beautiful job to be there for him. I know its hard, but this time will pass. In the meantime, get yourself warm cups of tea - if you like tea- or warm cups of soya/almond milk with honey, good nutrition and maybe the occasional indulgence to, get omegas - invest in a really, good quality one at this time for maximum benefit, make sure you are getting enough fresh air, iron rich food, talk, talk to good friends/family - those that understand, get help from them and other half with your wee man, have warms baths, rub oil in to your body - all this is advice that I took from my lovely midwife and it helped tremendously with the first 6-8 weeks. Also, another thing that helped me, when I was tired, but could not find sleep and my daughter was nursing, was to watch a good, comedy, or a cartoon film - sounds weird, but loved watching "Nemo", "Happy Feet" or "Bee Story" or if that is not your thing, watch a really ridiculous film or romantic comedy - gets you out of yourself and laughter can be relaxing and refreshing. Remind yourself, you are doing a wonderful job and its early days
            Last edited by Reggie22; 09-23-2009, 10:34 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              I 2nd the idea that he's still so young and has only been nursing well for 2 weeks now, it sounds! I'd favor giving it a bit more time - things will probably settle.

              Another thing to remember is that nursing at night is protective against SIDS. So much so that the AAP recommends giving pacifiers at night if the baby isn't breastfed.

              I hope you find a way to rest while he's nursing! I got the advice to learn how to nurse and sleep side-lying early on, and it was a life-saver for us and our breastfeeding relationship (still going strong at 2.75 with another one on the way).

              (((Hugs)))

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
                I bet he is making sure you are extra close after that tough start. I feel the same way about hospitals so i totally understand.
                Have you had any luck finding some local AP-ish mommies you can hang out with...that would do wonders for you...try to look around!

                Can you fall asleep nursing? I could with my first and only occasionally with my second because he is a rougher nurseling..
                I can fall asleep next to him which is good, albeit with a crook neck position with my arm around him! Yeah I feel like I want him extra close too with the start we had, I just get worried about misinterpreting his cues, but it is getting easier.

                I'm still on the hunt for AP mamas, I've only moved back to the area for a year - I have managed to meet some like minded people through my work that I wouldn't have imagined lived around here...do you know of any AP groups in Lanarkshire, Scotland? It might be an idea for me to put up a new post up to see if anyone responds.

                Feels like 2 steps forward 3 steps back some days with the breastfeeding, but generally on the up! I read in the Aware Baby book that rocking/comforting thing encouraged babies to need more comfort and not express their feelings as much....I do think that doing it every now and again is probably needed - and that I need to stop refering to books so much and go on instinct!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Reggie22 View Post
                  [I]Howdy... I understand this difficulty, and all the raw emotions esp with your little Guy having been in the NICU etc and not ending up with a home birth
                  Thanks Reggie, yeah lots of raw emotions, esp re homebirth not happening, not being able to give my baby the best most peaceful start in life. Kinda been feeling like hiding from the world beacuse of it, but starting to get out a bit now which is refreshing. Doesn't help that my sister says things like, why didn't I stay at home instead of going into hosp!! And that my baby didn't need admitting to hosp (although he wasn't slow weight gain was 'failure to thrive' ref LLL and I hate hosp but had to back down my principles on this one) Talk about rubbing salt into the wound! Shes had 3 homebirths, one of them UC and I think she thinks her little sis has let her down. Would be nice for her support, but hey ho, avoid those who make me feel crap and surround myself with wise, supportive women, just wish she was one of them as she's AP and I could do with advice but feeling like avoiding her right now. Yeah I think I'll get some nice films, love Finding Nemo! Thx x

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It sounds like your sister is having her own issues with your birth. Maybe she needs some guidance in how to be helpful to you. I know that is not fun with naysaying relations, it can go either way (I have more mainstream realtions urgeing us into the hospital).

                    This could be a whole other thread!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by koru25 View Post
                      I read in the Aware Baby book that rocking/comforting thing encouraged babies to need more comfort and not express their feelings as much
                      This is interesting. How would someone know that this was occurring? Signs of it sound like contentment in mom's arms, which I think is very normal and healthy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It was referring to just holding baby when baby needs to cry and letting them express their feelings rather than trying to supress them all the time by distracting them through rocking/cooing etc.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by koru25 View Post
                          It was referring to just holding baby when baby needs to cry and letting them express their feelings rather than trying to supress them all the time by distracting them through rocking/cooing etc.
                          Hmmm... I guess I don't interpret seeing if a baby wants to held or cooed or nursed as "suppressing" but more as meeting. I guess I think those things are natural, the sort of things humans were designed for. Just from things I've heard about natural communities and read in The Continuum Concept. Babywearing seems like a natural "rocking" to me, but not a suppression.

                          It would be hard to know whether baby was crying because they "needed to get it out" or because they actually needed something and had no other way to communicate it. I think that, because I know crying is rare in most traditional cultures, I would favor interpreting crying as a communication and not a need for emotional release.

                          Now, in toddlerhood, that's a different issue I do my best to meet my toddler's needs, but, if I can't, I am more than comfortable letting her express her sadness by crying. Especially when it's over some big disappointment like that she didn't want milk in her cereal today... Offer her cereal without milk and let her cry til she's ready to eat it (in a loving and supportive environment, of course).

                          Adrienne

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I read "The Aware Baby" when my son was a very young infant. At the time I thought it made a lot of sense but as my son got older and I grew into motherhood I realized that the book had actually prevented me from meeting many of his needs. (To be clear, I'm not trying to saying that this is the case for you, koru25.)

                            And why is this? Because nursing is what little babies need most of the time when they are upset. Because nursing is not just about food. Nursing regulates a baby's blood pressure, heartbeat, temperature, stress level, and of course keeps baby close to mom. It just generally helps baby feel "right". When a baby is upset and WILLING to nurse, nursing will probably help cure the problem or help the baby deal with the problem.

                            Does the situation arise sometimes when it is wrong to nurse an upset baby as described in the book? I'm not sure. BUT, I do know that as a mom I am much more likely to identify this unique situation when I have freely and frequently nursed my baby. Because, for me, nursing my baby is the best way to get to know him, identify his needs and practice meeting them. Nursing my baby frequently allows me to amass a lot of knowledge about him. And sometimes I will nurse him when he really he needed a diaper change, but that is a good thing because I learn not only from doing things right but also from seeing what happens when I do things wrong.

                            I also think there is a bit of a myth out there that we can become PERFECTLY in tune with our babies and know what every single cry, gurgle and movement means. (A myth that can be particularily embraced by us AP folk ) I have never met a real mom who could do this, only authors of parenting books.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Agreed!
                              When a baby is upset and WILLING to nurse, nursing will probably help cure the problem or help the baby deal with the problem.
                              See http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/feed.php
                              Feed with Love and Respect- one of
                              API's Eight Principles of Parenting

                              "Nursing is a valuable mothering tool to naturally comfort a baby -
                              "Comfort Nursing" meets a baby's sucking needs"

                              Comment

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