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time between feeds

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by ladymarm, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. My baby is 12 weeks old -born at 37 weeks and has been low down the weight chart but has climbed to just below 25th centile. at the moment she feeds every 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the day and roughly 3 hourly at night.
    The hv is happy for me to try to extend time between feeds in the day now her weight is not a worry. by the time I've fed her 30 mins approx there is only 1 hour before she is mouthing at me and I just think she can't be hungry ALL the time. My nipples are suffering big time.
    When we are busy and out of the house she goes 3 hours between feeds and in fact I offer her my boob before she asks for it in that instance as i worry about going too long between feeds.
    She is putting on weight so I guess my latch must be ok although it does still hurt me to feed (am starting course of tablets for ductal thrush as i have bad stabbing pains and cant bear clothes to even touch my nipples, taking painkillers all the time).
    Have you tried to stretch time between feeds in the day, am i being mean??? How did you do it, I try to distract her but it doesn't last long and too tired to be out and about all the time which is the only thing that has worked so far!
  2. Forgot to say think the pain is because of such short periods of time between feeds.
  3. Brestfeeding works by 'supply and demand', the more you feed the more milk you'll produce. I fed on demand and it worked for me, there were times when I seemed to be feeding all day, especially when my babies were young or when going through a growth spurt. You can try to stretch feeds if your baby is happy, only if she's not screaming whilst waiting though!! [​IMG]
    Good luck.
  4. 12 weeks is growth spurt territory (though I'm sadly unsurprised the HV declined to mention this!) so as times to extend feeds go, it's probably not the best one. She'll be trying to boost your supply to keep up with her increased appetite. Whilst breastmilk is her sole source of nutrition, I don't think I'd feel comfortable spacing feeds out more than she demanded, but that's just me. Hopefully if it is thrush and the treatment starts working (your LO should probably be treated as well I think?) your nips will feel a bit better. Keep using the lansinoh whilst they're painful and unlatch and relatch her if you think her latch has got sloppy to avoid doing any further damage. Can you get to a breastfeeding group near you? You'll find some kindred spirits which is sometimes all you need to get you through these patches!
    We're not at 8 months and I still try to feed every 2-3 hours, although she can and has gone 5 or so hours without milk in the day. We tend to get a marginally better night's sleep if I've kept the feeds up during the day.
  5. thanks ladies. i think you are right. i feel guilty. my nipple pain has really coloured how i feel ABout feeding ie each feed equals pain. leess frequent feeds equal less pain. i have lost count of groups ive atteneded, phonelines ive rung, gps, mws and hvs who ive asked for help, nct, la leche etc. still cant find the issue although there is one im sure. on the verge of paying for lactation consultant privately . a couple of hundred quid doesnt matter if it helps me over next few months.
  6. Hi ladymarm,

    Just to share my experience to see if its of any help to you although the circumstances are different.

    My lo will be 9 weeks tomorrow and I was bf-ing on demand with him from the start- however, with his vomiting (later diagnosed as reflux), I was literally feeding him every hour and a half to 2 hours, sometimes even shorter periods. I was advised to put him on a 3 hour feeding schedule to stop him from overfeeding and exacerbating the reflux. Like you, I was very concerned about the crying and if he could handle that amount of time between feeds.

    The way I went about it was to make sure he spent long enough on the breast so he would get enough of the hindmilk and then gradually increasing the time between feeds by 10 minutes each time - if he was crying a lot and it was about half an hour or so to the next scheduled feed, I would just feed him. However, he now goes about 3- 3.5 hours between feeds and about 5-6 hours at night. I think what worked was keeping him asleep as close to the next feed as possible. He goes down about 1 hour and 15 minutes after waking up, and I try to keep him asleep for about 1 and half hours, sometimes 2 if I'm lucky.

    Hope that's of some help!
  7. Has anyone suggested that your baby might be tongue tied? It's quite common and can be the reason why babies do not latch on properly. It's also easy to check and easy to get it 'snipped'. A friend had her fourth baby, a new partner and many years after her third. She'd breast fed the other three, big hungry babies with no problem. When her new baby arrived she assumed she'd have no problems but she just wouldn't latch on and consequently never had a good feed, failed to gain weight and her mum's boobs were agony. Once the tongue tie was diagnosed and snipped she was able to latch on and feed with no pain to her mum.
    Just a thought? [​IMG]
  8. thanks ladies.
    Giggirl- she was tongue tied! it was snipped at 4 weeks. Thanks for posting.
  9. Oooh, not the toal cure then! Hope the thrush gets sorted and that will make the breast feeding more of a pleasure than a dread. [​IMG]
  10. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    I would pay the money and see a LC privately. The space of time between feeds should not be causing pain. Equally, you have not mentioned any symptoms which your baby would likely be showing - some are behavioural as well as visual. Also, less than perfect latch can mimic deep breast pain like ductal thush. If you HV is advocating lengthening times between feeds based on sufficient weight gain, then I will bet £20 that she doesn't know enough about breastfeeding to make that statement. Fixing a less than perfect latch will be more efficient at milk removal which will shorten length of feeds and probably increase the gap between feeds. (10 mins rather than 30 mins is more the norm for this age. My two were feeding for about 5 mins if they weren't poorly or tired and having a cuddle as well as a feed at this age)

    Good luck. I think you are aware of Lactational Consultants of Great Britian (LCGB) who will have a searchable database of LCs in your area.

  11. Hi Ladymarm. Our LO has always been small (only on 9th centile) and she used to feed ALOT through the day. About the same frequency as your baby. This might not be helpful but the frequency between feeds just got longer as she got older and a little bigger. She is 6 months now but in the last month or so she was going maybe 3 or 4 hours between feeds. Like you, to begin with she was mostly going longer when we were busier and a lot of the feeding was perhaps for comfort.
  12. I would be paying for the private lactation consultant. If you plan to continue breastfeeding for a while it could actually be cheaper than swapping to formula. They seem to be better at spotting problems and helping to solve them than the free support you can get in many areas.
  13. My baby is 3 months now and turning 4 months on September 4, 2011, she is really a heavy drinker. She really love drinking milk and she always drink milk at least an interval of 1 to 3 hours, she will drink her milk again.
    Mary Jane @ daycare nap mat
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  14. That is a good point about the cost of a lactation cons vs. cost of formula jodidi. i have been umming and ahhing about the cost- I think &pound;100-150 for two visits (unsure of exact cost as part of it is mileage) but for my sanity I have contacted someone and waiting for reply.
    Cant remember if i wrote in original post that i have been taking fluconazole for ductal thrush and it has made a difference in that my nipples dont permanently feel like an electrical current is being passed through them. it really was a horrible pain and such a relief but i think as undiwear said the latch is crucial too and we just haven't got it right yet.
    I had NO idea that bf would totally take over my life for a few months like this. It is a complete surprise and not in a good way. I have not enjoyed bf at all and long for a day when i might!!! Will keep you posted x
  15. You're doing amazingly well to stick it out ladymarm- I hope you can solve the latch problem and begin enjoying breastfeeding your baby- if for whatever reason it doesn't work out, you can feel absolutely confident that you tried your best. Good luck! x
  16. Thanks clematis! Hope youre ok! Why don't they tell you in antenatal classes how hard bf is ???

  17. Because they want more people to give it a go and think people would be frightened off if they knew how hard it is. Personally I think more people would stick it out for longer if they were prepared for the difficulties, as so many people get a shock that it isn't the easy thing they think it should be.
    I hope you feel better soon. Thrush can be awful! If the lactation consultant can sort out your problems then you should find it getting easier soon. I found it very tough going at the start with my eldest but once we got past about 3-4 months it became much easier and we carried on for 13 months. Baby number 2 is now 18 months and we're still feeding, but I was very lucky with her in that I didn't have any major problems. Good luck with it all.

  18. I guess they;re not allowed to say anything that might remotely put you off- after my NCT course we had a feedback session with the teacher and I said the same as you- if we'd been slightly prepared it wouldn't have stopped us breastfeeding but might have made us feel less crappy about finding it difficult... she just sighed sympathetically and said every new mum has fed back the same thing to her and that she is just not allowed to say anything! The ladies-only session we had on bf made it sound like an absolute breeze. The NHS run ones have the same agenda.
  19. Great minds!
  20. personally i chose to demand feed because that worked best for me. he could go hours without if i was out and about, while at home he'd want half an hour feeding of every 90 minutes. it was exhausting but not painful. have you seen a lactation specialist? my HV was very supportive but the lactation specialist was much better. ask your HV to refer you to the NHS person or try la leche league as well (google them) for more support or to find someone in your area.

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