Monday, February 21, 2011

Breastfeeding Advice...Anyone?

I promise I will write soon about details of Addison's arrival! And Jackson turned 6 months this past week and is such an awesome little boy. I am amazed at how far he has come in such a short time. More to come on my sweet pea and my little princess.

This post is a solicitation of any and all advice, support and "Yes, my child did that, too, and here is what I learned." I need it all. First of all, I feel very blessed that Addy latches well and loves to eat. I know there are more serious issues with breastfeeding, so I want to treasure our successes. However, this child will not stop eating. She wants to eat all night and most of the day. She eats until she falls into a deep sleep and falls off the breast, usually 15-25 minutes on each breast, then I put her down to sleep and she wakes up within 5 minutes and won't settle until she eats again. After sometimes literally 8 hours of this, she may sleep for 2-3 hours, then she's back up and starts it all over again. So, I did start a pacifier (I know, I know, bad mommy, but I was desperate). That worked for exactly one day. She would take it after she ate, go to sleep and I actually had to wake her to feed her every 3 hours! It was amazing! And then last night we went back to being up until 4am, feeding every hour. I swaddle her tight and put her pacifier in, but she still won't settle. I have tried the vibrating bassinet and the swing. No luck, she just wants to nurse again. I know she is getting milk because when she falls off the breast, she sometimes has milk leaking out of her mouth. And she doesn't scream when she's eating like she isn't getting anything. Could she really need to eat non-stop like this?

I know she is only 5 days old, but any advice? Is this normal? If you tell me this is normal and it will get better, I will believe you:). I'm just so new to this and need to have hope that it won't be like this forever. I have a 6 month old precious boy who needs his momma too, and right now he's not getting her. At all. I tell you what, having a breastfed baby is worlds away from my experience with bottle feeding Jax. At least I could get help with feedings and share the burden. And he would always settle after eating into a wonderful sleep. He always knew when it was nighttime, and slept very well at night, with the exception of a few nights here and there. I know I can't compare babies. Addison will be who she is. But, I already can see why so many mommies move to bottle feeding. It is very draining to be attached to a baby all day every day. And if you have other children, how are you supposed to do it? I am very blessed to have my husband here for another few days, and my mom in town for 2 weeks...ya! So, for now, we have enough arms, so I am able to stay attached to Addy. But what if she continues this past when the help goes away? There is absolutely no way I can take care of 2 babies by myself if one is attached to my breast all day and all night.

Anyway, I'd love to hear from all you mommy veterans. I am the type of person who will take any and all advice and use what works for me. But if I don't sleep soon, you may have to write me in the looney bin:). Thanks in advance!


  1. "this is normal and it will get better" ; )

    Have you invested in a good babywearing wrap? In my opinion, it is a must-have for any mom of multiple babies...

  2. Faith, in the case of my little Elijah, we found that he was eating 1 hour on and 1 hour off and while he appeared to be "going to town" he actually wasn't. He was eating very little during this time. Five days however is very early-on to know for sure but you could try to pump and give a bottle (they say you can do this at 1-2 weeks without nipple confusion?) and see if she sleeps longer after that. In our case, when he took a bottle, he ate a TON and then was out for awhile. You can also talk to your doctor. They can check weight (as that starts to normalize) and find out if the weight is rising appropriately.

    That being said, five days is early. I really think it takes 2-3 weeks before you can attempt to really formulate a schedule. During the first 1-2 weeks, I always just tried to have baby eat, then have a short "play" time (this would just be awake time) and then have sleep time. I tried not to let him fall asleep while eating.

    Feel free to email me if you have any others questions. I'm not a pro but definitely experienced something similar.

    Oh and pacifiers are NOT NOT NOT bad!!! :)

  3. I know I already posted a comment, but you've been on my mind and I hope you don't mind if I share a couple things I've learned about being a mom to multiple babies.

    The first is the big one. You and I are not mothering babies under "normal" circumstances, since it is physically impossible to have two babies less than 9 months apart and have them not be twins. A lot of people say, "It's like you have twins!" But I would argue that it is harder. At this stage in the game, your babies are at very different developmental levels and yet depend on you for everything. So, recognizing that you are in a position that most families do not find themselves in, you CANNOT place the same expectations on yourself that you would if your children were neatly spaced apart. You can't beat yourself up for using a pacifier. You have to do what works for you and your family. It took me way too long to allow myself this sort of grace, and I still have to constantly remind myself of it! Please be gracious to yourself!

    Closely related, I also want to comment on your statement that the help will go away and you can't do it alone. You're right that the help will go away, but I respectful disagree that you can't do it alone. I'm not saying it's not hard. But here's something else I've learned: it's amazing what a mom can do when you have to! You have been entrusted with the role of mommy to two beautiful babies and you are equipped to do the job. Even if it means cereal for supper and a disaster-zone of a house.

  4. First of all, CONGRATS!!! We've been out of town so I was super excited to hear the news. She's gorgeous!

    Next, breastfeeding is challenging to say the least. I also have a very excited nurser and she would often want to eat for LONG periods of time and always more frequently than every 3 hours. It was at about 4 months that we were going good stretches. I can't imagine how I would do it with another one, but hang in there. You'll work this all out!

  5. Ok, so I know I don't know you, but I found you through my friend Jules' blog. I think your story is amazing and I hope you don't mind me blog stalking you guys;) Anyway, breastfeeding is a difficult thing, especially with trying to balance equal time with your other child. I had very difficult times breastfeeding both my kids but what really helped me was a book called The Baby Whisperer. She gives so much advice about breastfeeding. There is also a great website called that offers a lot of help and even videos about feeding and proper latch, etc. I also had a lactation nurse that came to help me. I had WIC, which offers free help from lactation nurses, mine even came to my house 2-3 times a week for months to help me. It takes a lot of time and practice, but you guys will all get the hang of it...just in time for something else to change:) Good luck, I hope that helped. And remember, asking for help is always a great way to start, there are so many women out there willing to help. Good luck!!

  6. You are not a bad mother for giving her a pacifier. My son did the same thing, and it was exhausting! You can either get a sling and wear her attached to you all day, or force the issue on the pacifier. Hold the paci in her mouth until she takes it and keeps it in. Congratulations!

    Lynn (TTC Adoption)

  7. Yes this happened with Luke! And I don't even know what I did, he just grew out of it I guess. She will too! I know after a few weeks we made a point of me leaving the room (so he couldn't smell me and my milk!) and my husband trying to rock him or soothe in some way. But that didn't work when he wasn't home. For the most part I just nursed A LOT. But, like I said, it will get better. I'm late with this, so maybe it already has!