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Considering Giving up Breast Feeding?

I have been breast feeding my beautiful son for a month since he was born. It has been going well in terms of him latching on, etc. However, I am frazzled. He seems to need to eat constantly, sometimes every hour and definitely every 2 to 2 1/2, even at night. I have no time to do anything, most importantly sleep. My husband will bottle feed him breast milk for one night time feeding on the weekend nights but even then I really don't get much sleep since it goes through him so quickly. I am considering giving him formula maybe once at night and when I have to go out for longer than an hour. Luckily, I am off work for the summer. I am having a hard time with this, feeling very guilty about it and don't know what to do. It seems like his hunger is endless. I want to know if anyone has done this or about your experiences with bottle feeding.

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What can I do next?

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Hi M.,

Please do not feel guilty. Formula is not a terrible thing. I worked full-time when my daughter was an infant and chose to give her only formula. With my son, I was at home, but he was endlessly hungry and I was able to successfully combination-feed him; I would give him a formula bottle at night which held him much longer thus giving me more rest. I would also use formula if I wanted to go somewhere and have my husband or mom take care of him. I am expecting my 3rd soon and I will combination feed again if need be. While I loved breastfeeding, it was also challenging so the combination of breastmilk and formula kind of gives you the best of both, and you'll be a better mom if you can get more rest and not feel "trapped" in the rocking chair all day. Good luck!!

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I am so sorry to hear you are frazzled. Breast feeding, even when the babe is doing well, can be tough on the mom. Do NOT feel guilty about starting bottle feeding along with the b-milk, or when it comes time to stop all together.

Happy mama=happy baby!!!!!!

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Just remember it gets easier! If you want really good support for breastfeeding www.kellymom.com is the place to go. One thing I didn't know was that water/juice/formula (anything but breastmilk) destroys some the the immune protection in the babies. I posted in kellymom because I was thinking about using juice a couple time to help my baby learn to take a bottle. I had no idea that just a little juice could have this effect. You may want to post there so you can make a decision based on all the info you would want.

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M.,

I wish I could give you a great big hug!!! Bless your heart!

First of all, no matter what you decide, your son will grow up and be a wonderful, beautiful person. Breastmilk doesn't "guarantee" perfect children. LOL! Don't let anyone tell you what you do is wrong, because it isn't...it's right for you and your family.

If you have been dedicated to the idea (the idea is different than the practice) of breastfeeding, then it is a very hard thing to give up. If you haven't done so, see a lactation consultant so that she can weigh your baby with her special scale before and after he eats. It could be that you are simply not producing enough milk quickly enough. This happened to me. My firstborn didn't gain weight like he should have (he was eating every 2 hours or so) and we found that I just didn't make enough milk. As a first time mom I had NO idea what it felt like when my breasts were empty vs. "half full" if you know what I mean. (I knew "full" of course.) So at 2 weeks old, we had to change my Perfect Mother Breastfeeding Plan.

Our solution, which broke my heart because I was sure I was putting poison into my baby, was for him to nurse 15 min on each side like they say, and then give him a 2 oz bottle. Daddy actually loved the bottle part because he could feed the baby. I also took an herb called fenugreek that stimulates the production of breastmilk. (I think there's a prescription, Reglan, which also does that...but it wasn't FDA-approved when I did it) The fenugreek did help. By the time my son was 6 weeks old and I was returning to work, my milk supply was better. (Irony!!!)

However, I could not, for the life of me, pump enough milk to supply him while he was at the sitters. So I would pump what I could and then supplement with formula. We did that for 4 months till summer came and I was at home with him. Everyone survived...I think I was the worse for wear because I felt so guily. Even then, though, I could see the blessing in it all because he took a bottle so nicely. (He did NOT take a bottle nicely again when I returned to work in the fall, after exclusively BF during the summer, LOL)

The other thing I did, which I might get bashed for, is that I took that baby with me to bed. I am a fairly light sleeper, but I needed to sleep! I'd sleep turned or half-turned on my side so that he could nurse, and nurse he did...ALL NIGHT off and on. I'd switch sides when he got restless and that side was empty...and go right back to sleep. I protected him in the crook of my arm (my shoulder was the "corner" not the elbow) and Life Was Good. The doctors and lactation consultants knew and condoned this...they said it is a phenomenon in working moms called "reverse nursing"... It worked for us and I have no guilt at all. :)

He contined to nurse on demand until he was 14 months, when I got pregnant again,) although the reverse nursing stopped when it was summer and I was home with him, and he did sleep in his own bed from 5 months on. :)

I was in my early 30's when my son was born...so like you he was a long awaited gift. You won't hurt him, or you, with formula. It sounds to me as though you are not seeking to stop nursing, just supplement...and I will tell you, it's the perfect solutuion (as long as his tummy tolerates the formula...what we did do, I am vaguely remembering, is that I pumped - mostly to increase production - and we did 1/2 breastmilk and 1/2 formula - for the first few bottles, then decreased the breastmilk and increased the formula till he was at 100% formula.)
(FWIW, I nursed my second child for 2 years and never ever had a production issue...I had to throw away tons of frozen milk after she stopped nursing!)

And don't let ANYONE tell you that you are wrong!!! Breastfeeding is a huge deal and it is HARD HARD HARD! (It's also SUPER easy, once you get it going...I loved not having bottles to drag around, etc...) And don't let anyone tell you you're "not committed" or "want some time for yourself" because I will tell you this...you cannot lose YOU in the midst of parenting...that's how you become unhappy. Go out to dinner with your husband, with your girls, go to the mall without the baby, be a Woman too, not just a Mom...because when you go back home, that baby will be fine, and YOU will be better, because you took care of yourself just a little bit. It's not selfish, it's smart!!!

Hugs to you! Good luck with breastfeeding!

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I do not think you should feel guilty for wanting to get some sleep. The fact is you breast feed you son during the most important time the first 4 to 6 weeks. Giving him the much need nutrition he needed. Let me share my story with you to show you your not alone in switching to the bottle.

I was almost 30 when our son was born. We hard tried to have a baby for 6 years and we were just thrilled to have this perfect little boy.
Every thing went fine at first until our son became very colicky. No matter what I did or ate he was colicky. Finally I visited his doctor and he told me that it may not be my diet at all it could be me. He said that it could my nerves causing such colic. At first I said no way because I was not a nervous mom. I did a little research and found out that nerves can cause colic as well as a slow down in milk production or the quality of milk. When nothing else worked I decided to discontinue breast feeding our son. He was 4 months old them. It has been many years since then and our son has grown up very healthy and strong. Years after I quite breast feeding I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and now take medication. My story is not the same as your but it still comes out the same way. There are some mothers that have to give up breast feeding before others and it doesn't make them bad mothers in any way. I look at my situation as the the only answer I had without hurt my son or driving my self crazy.

Best of Luck

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Hi There. You've got tons of responses and I don't want to repeat anything. I can simply share with you that the day I finally gave-up trying the breastfeed turned out to be one of the best days of my life. At the time, I thought I was a complete failure and even thought I didn't deserve my incredible newborn. In hindsight, those were the worst 6 weeks of my life. I am so sad I wasted those first precious weeks with my baby struggling to breastfeed and feeling guilty. I started formula...and finally started enjoying my baby! I wish you the very best.

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Hi M.,
I am so happy that so many mothers are giving you great advice and supporting you to keep at it. I wanted to offer my support in a more tangible way, of you feel that it would be helpful. I am a labor and postpartum Doula, as well as massage therapist. I work with a TON with new moms, supporting and troubleshooting breastfeeding, baby's sleep, even more practical things like preparing meals, throwing in laundry, etc. Basically, helping the transition into motherhood (parenthood) go as smoothly as possible. I would be more than happy to speak with you over the phone, by email, or even set up a visit or two if you think talking through the details of what is happening with your little one could be helpful. Sometimes the tiniest shift can create huge results! Take care and please don't hesitate to reach out. L. Koop - ____@____.com ###-###-####

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I just wanted to offer you some encouragement to keep on keepin' on! Newborns do eat a lot, often every two hours all day and all night:( My daughter ate every two hours for an hour each time. I only had an hour inbetween to myself. Now, that being said, I must tell you that it gets better, and it will get better fast! You've already got the first month down, and that is by far the most difficult month. Within this second month, the baby will nurse quicker, and will swallow more milk at a time. And, the baby will start to sleep longer at night. It's just those first few weeks that are the most tough. But, you're getting finished with them. Don't give up after you've already done the hardest part. The rewards of all your work will soon be seen.
Also, introducing "just one" bottle of formula a day is a slippery slope. It will make your milk production drop, and you'll be supplementing more and more, and soon you won't be nursing anymore. I strongly discourage you from introducing formula.
I know that life with an infant is hard, and sometimes you want to throw the baby out the window, but you're doing such a good job.
You can do it!

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I know how hard it can be. My first son couldn't latch properly so I was trying to feed him him every two hours (if not more) when he was that age, and he couldn't latch so all he would do was scream. And then I would get frustrated and cry and then I would listen to him bawl while I was pumping to give him a bottle. He didn't latch really until 4-5 weeks. And then...he was nursing what seemed around the clock. He would spend at least 45 min per feeding and sometimes there would be a MAX of 30 min between feedings. It is one of the hardest things I ever did. But because we worked so hard for it, we kept at it and I was able to nurse him all the way to 29 months.

Nursing an older baby/toddler is the most satisfying thing.....such tender moments. Although an occasional bottle of formula isn't going to scar them for life, it is best to try to wait until after they start solid foods. That being said, you have to do what is best for your baby and you. And only you can make that decision. I about drove myself to the nuthouse with my first son trying to get things to work. So many people told me....calm down it's ok, he's healthy (he almost came premature). But that wasn't what I wanted or needed to hear. What I wanted was support for my breastfeeding and no one gave it. It was what I wanted and needed to do. After all was said and done though, I was so happy I stuck with it. There were so many times I almost gave up. And the second child was easier.

Only you can make the decision. You have to go with your gut. Your child will be fine either way, but you have to gage all the pros and cons to each decision and decide what is best for both of you. Personally *I* am so happy with the choice I made to keep at the nursing, but for someone else, the decision might be different. Just keep it in perspective.....this time is such a short time in the scheme of things. Is it going to drive you crazy? Or can you stick it out for a couple months and just try to focus on your baby and not worry too much about what you are missing "out in the world"?

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M.,

I just went through a very similar situation with my now 4 month old. At the end of her 4th week I was so stressed out that just the sound of my daughter made me anxious and angry. After a few days of feeling the most intense guilt and feeling of failure, I decided that the best thing I could do for the whole family was to stop breastfeeding and formula feed only. Once I did, I was able to enjoy feeding her, enjoy spending time with her again because I wasn't so stressed out. My husband could take the night time and evening feedings. She started sleeping longer and she started gaining weight better. Most importantly, I stopped questioning my decision to have a child and started to appreciate and enjoy her.
Formula fed babies are not any less intelligent than breast fed babies. And despite what many may tell you, YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM if you choose to formula feed.
As for the bonding excuse that some moms give as being why breastfeeding is so much better, you're still holding your baby, looking into his little eyes just the same as if you were breastfeeding. And as an added bonus, his dad and grandparents and whoever else get to experience this too.

Please do not feel guilty if you choose not to breastfeed anymore!! For me, switching to formula was the absolute best decision I could have made. If you think it's the way to go for you, do it and don't look back. And don't let the breastfeeding nazi's make you feel guilty. Breastfeeding is great, if it works for you, if it doesn't IT'S OK!!

Good luck with your decision!!

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M.,

IT IS YOUR CHOICE AND YOURS ALONE! While breastmilk has elements that can not be replicated in formula there is nothing wrong with formula or making the choice to keep some sanity. It is important as a mother that you get as much, sleep and support as you can. I made the choice to execlusively BOTTLE FEED...YEP that's right. While some breastfeeding maniacs may try to strong arm you into feeling guilty everyone is different and you should be encourage to make the best decision for your child and family. Becoming a Mom is stressful enough. You should be enjoying your baby and it is hard when you are sleep deprived. Yep lack of sleep is part of the process but you still need to get some to function. Good luck and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

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I too am 1st time parent and have been breastfeeding. My daughter is 7weeks. I was feeling the same way, feeding so often. Then we introduced a pacifier. She is now eating every 3 hrs and overnight I can usually get her to go 4 hours by using the pacifier. Anytime she fussed I thought she was hungry but came to find out she just need to suckle. I called my doctor to make sure the feed time was OK and they said yes. Also, think of the time involved for making bottles instead of breastfeeding. For me, much easier to give the breast. You could pump and store milk so you husband can do some of the later night feeding. Like the last one before he sleeps so you can pump and get a couple of zzz's in yourself. Hang in there! I know what you are going through.

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I went through the same exact thing the first few months when my daughter was born 2 yrs ago. When my husband would leave for work, I was breastfeeding on the couch, and he'd come home finding me in the same place...we both chuckled at it. I can see why so many moms give up b-feeding, it is not easy and very time consuming. (we struggled with latching, mastitis, you name it we went through it), for me personally I stuck it out as my lactation consultant assured me that this is very common for newborns the first few months because they are so very needy and like our comfort. The world is unfamiliar to them and feel cozy by us. I kept telling myself, ok, the first three months at least..then 3m went by, then I said, the next three months, each month got better, longer. It is hard, I know it is summertime (mine born in July) you want to get out and enjoy yourself, like most have said, you have to do what you feel is best. I encourage moms that if you can get throught the first 3m, you are golden and they really do go by soooo fast! The benefits outweigh the time, it is such a short phase in our lives. We heard someone tell us, the days are long, but the years are short...so enjoy the time he needs you or as my 5 yr old godson told his mom yesterday at her re-marriage...icky mom, kisses are icky.

Good luck! :)
J.

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i will write more later but wanted to tell you that the first 6 weeks are the hardest. KEEP GOING! I thought of giving up so many times in that first month and a half. I'm SO glad I didn't. I will write you later about all the reasons why, but I just want to tell you to HANG IN THERE! I will be your support if you need it. It is just something that you be so happy you kept up and I know it's SO hard right now. If you can just get through the next 2 weeks, you will be doing so much better. Keep it up! You can do this!!! :)))

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I had a similar experience with my son (who also had a voracious appetite) and I supplemented with formula once in the evening and it really helped. I didn't do it every day because I didn't want my milk supply to be impacted (and I didn't want him to become dependent on it). He went from the bottle to breast with no problem and it really helped because he would sleep a little bit longer when he had the formula. I felt guilty about it at the time but, looking back now, it was the best thing I could have done for him because he had such a strong appetite (and, it gave me a much needed break now and then - you have to take care of yourself, too). Hope this helps - hang in there!

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Hi M. -- I just want to second all the moms who say you need to do what's best for you and your family. There is NO reason to feel guilty if you decide to stop breastfeeding! That being said, it will get a whole lot easier. I had a horrible introduction to breastfeeding -- never had any trouble with latching on etc, but my nipples were cracked and bleeding for the first three months. I also thought it was really stressful to be my daughter's only source of nutrition in those early months. But as she grew she stopped needing to nurse so often and once she started also eating solid food -- which you can start at 4 to 6 months -- it got a lot easier. Good luck -- your baby will be fine whatever you choose.

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try using the Baby Whisperer's EASY method for a schedule, and the Happiest Baby on the Block 5 s's method. Those two combined will make cio not be a needed thing (at that age)
EASY - when the baby wakes up it Eats. After you feed it, then it has Activity - bouncy seat, tummy time, sitting up and playing with toys, swing, exersaucer, etc. When the baby gets fussy check the B's - boredom, butt or burp. If it's none of those then off to Sleep. Don't wait for the baby to do more than get the tiniest bit fussy, then see what is causing the fusses - if it's just that they needed their diaper change do that, but if it's not the activity is boring, the butt is dirty or they have to burp, then put them down. This may happen after as short as 45 minutes, don't freak, it really means they are tired.
Now, to get them to sleep use the 5 s's. Swaddle the baby, hold the baby on their side and sway as they suck on something (paci, your knuckle or their finger/thumb) and make a shush noise. This will calm your baby. When the baby is calm, but not asleep yet, keeping them swaddled lay them in the bed. I like to pat them instead of sway after a minute or two cause you can still pat after they are put down but you can't sway, so pat the baby and continue patting gradually decreasing it as you put them in the bed. Also continue the shushing as you put them down, again gradually getting quieter.
If you do these two you will find a well rested, easily managed baby in no time.

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Well, I'm also a 1st time working mom of a 23 wk old beautiful baby boy. I really wanted to bf and was really only successful for 3 wks for the same reasons you described. I wasn't having any complications other than my own energy or lack thereof! They do go around the clock so quickly and tirelessly that it makes you dizzy! Don't feel guilty, if you don't absolutley love nursing, give it up. Baby needs mommy to feel rested (as much as possible) and whole more than they need breast milk! Be proud for how much breast milk you did give baby in 1st month of life! Bottle feeding formula is so much more convenient in my experience! Good luck!

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M.,

All mom's have been there before. All babies are different...some never sleep...some sleep the nights right after birth! No two babies are alike, and no one's experience at motherhood is quite what they would expect!

Is it the breast feeding or the fact that your child requires to eat very often? Even if you don't breastfeed it sounds like , other than having your husband do a feeding at night on weekends for you, you still will be the main source of his feedings. Until he can hold a bottle starting around 6 months or so, you will still have to sit with him and feed him.(formula OR breastfeed) With a baby...you DON'T have time to do anything, until they get more regular on a schedule. He is only a month old, and ALL babies eat every 2 hours...maybe 3 when they are small. If you start to do formula, now- you will have to prepare, warm, and wash/sanitize the bottles, which in my opinion is harder and more time consuming than just letting them latch to a boob. It also costs a fortune for constant feeding.

Personaly it sounds like you are not willing to give up your "time" to deal with a newborn. Babies take LOTS of time...especially new ones. Start looking into way of having your baby more on a schedule and sleeping longer at night...than giving up breastfeeding. I don't think it is going to free up any more of your time. Especially if you are one of the luckier moms who seems to not have to much of a problem with your son latching on and eating well.

I would soul search a little and think about it before you give up on the breastfeeding. Once you stop, you can't go back. Like I said before, your still going to have to be his source of feeding. It is a bonding experience between mother(or whoever) and child, not just a nusaince that happens every 2 hours. He's a baby...and he will start going longer between feedings before you know it.

Seems like you are stuck in new mommy limbo. Enjoy him for the summer...his 2 hour inbetween feedings and all...and when you go back to work, you will have your "time" back and someone else will be feeding him a bottle.

Just my opinion from a mom of three. Breastfed all of them...AND did formula at some points. Breastfeeding was by far the EASIEST!

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I started out breast feeding both my girls and would give them formula at night to hold them a little longer. Especially with my second, she seemed to need to eat every 1 to 1 1/2 hours and feed for 20 to 30 minutes at a time! Do not feel guilty about giving them formula during the night, you need to sleep too, he is still getting breast milk. I stopped breast feeding both of mine after 2 months just because I couldn't keep up, it is hard work!

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They slow down soon enough and infants do not continue breastfeeding every hour or two past the first few months unless you choose to nurse on demand. You can get them into a schedule and if anything most moms will tell you the beginning is the least satisfying time of breastfeeding. Its the later months that it actually is nice and you wish you didn't have to wean so soon. Hang in there and do not give up. You may need to talk to a good support person like lactation consultant or just a leleche leader to cheer you on. I can not imagine having given up when it was really tough with my 4 yr old. Trust me, I cannot imagine a beginning as bad as mine. I can share if it will help you and provide you some feeling of encouragement. I would also be happy to help out in whatever way possible. Please reach out to those who can help you get through this cause you will feel so happy later knowing you stuck it out till the more pleasant part. Congrats on the baby!!!

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I am so sorry to hear you are frazzled. Breast feeding, even when the babe is doing well, can be tough on the mom. Do NOT feel guilty about starting bottle feeding along with the b-milk, or when it comes time to stop all together.

Happy mama=happy baby!!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Just remember it gets easier! If you want really good support for breastfeeding www.kellymom.com is the place to go. One thing I didn't know was that water/juice/formula (anything but breastmilk) destroys some the the immune protection in the babies. I posted in kellymom because I was thinking about using juice a couple time to help my baby learn to take a bottle. I had no idea that just a little juice could have this effect. You may want to post there so you can make a decision based on all the info you would want.

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Hi M..

I understand how you're feeling. Breastfeeding is HARD. I wish that someone would have told me so that I wouldn't have been so shocked by how much I disliked it in the beginning. But it does get better. 110% better, in fact.

I have been breastfeeding my daughter exclusively, and she will be one year old this Wednesday. But those first few weeks/months, I didn't know what I was going to do. She sucked so hard it hurt, and I dreaded the nursing sessions. My nipples were cracked and bleeding. My breasts were so full of milk, they leaked everywhere and I had to wear cloth diapers in my bras. And she nursed for 15 to 30 minutes on EACH breast every other hour. It was awful!

But as the weeks went by, it got less painful and eventually didn't hurt at all. And as she got older, she started to nurse for shorter periods of time and less frequently as well. My daughter nurses only for about 5-15 minutes total 4x/day now. So, trust me, it will get better. Of course, the decision is ultimately up to you.

Do what is best and what works out for you, your family, and your baby. But if you choose to continue breastfeeding, do know that it gets so much better. If you choose to supplement with formula, that is okay too. You are still an awesome Mommy, and your baby will love you the same. :0)

Hang in there! Good luck,

J.

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I think you need to try and get your husband to do more than one night feeding, and not only on the weekends. Nobody tells you that breastfeeding is the hardest job in the world. I went through this with my son 3 years ago. After four weeks of feeding at least every 2 hours round the clock, I was ready to have a nervous breakdown. The worst thing you can do is let yourself get to the point where you're resenting it. The good news is, sleep deprivation erases all memory, so by the time you're ready for another baby, you'll have forgotten all about this! ;)

Once I hit the point where I thought I was literally losing my mind, my husband and I worked out a deal. He falls asleep much quicker than I do, so I got every feeding from bedtime until 1am, and then he took the feedings from 1am until he left for work at 5. We did supplement with formula when I didn't have enough time in between to pump. This guaranteed me at least 4 solid hours of sleep a night, and it worked wonders! Once my son started sleeping for longer stretches, we went back to exclusively breastfeeding, and I took the night feedings back without a problem.

Bottom line - don't feel guilty for trying to keep your sanity. It's just as important as breastmilk!

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Please consider connecting with a breastfeeding support group like LeLeche League in your area.

Remember that babies go through growth spurts and even if you fed him formula, he'd still go through growth spurts and instead of having milk ready for him, filled with antibodies, prepared by your body for his particular physical needs at that time in his life and balanced with the perfect nutrients for his growth and internal care for both him and you....instead, you'd have to get up, prepare a bottle, measure, mix, feed ...after finding the right formula....and then you'd notice a major difference in his diaper out put....if you know what I'm getting at.

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Don't feel guilty! You do what you have to do sometimes to get a little peace of mind. Getting some sleep will make you feel better and in turn effect the way you parent. One nighttime feeding of formula won't hurt! I breastfed both my boths but they were both preemies and had before I could get milk to the hospital they had to use formula - its fine! My mom was unable to breastfeed (health reasons). She had four children and we are all healthy, normal, happy adults. Your baby will be fine.

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I nursed all three of mine and supplemented with formula for one bottle. I would head to bed at the last nursing and then my hubby would stay up with the little one and feed them a bottle at the next feeding, then off to bed....thus I got the sleep through to the bottle feeding and then through to the first night time feeding which might give me about four to five hours of solid sleep. This worked great for me and I felt human again after a few weeks.

I went to bed early mind you around 7pm and then at 9pm or so my husband would do a bottle of formula and put the little one down. I then got to sleep for a good three or four more hours because formula stays with them just a little longer.

Didn't hurt mine and it gave me a chance to sleep a little.

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my little one now a yar was the same way it seemed never ending i was always feeding her. for the first 2 weeks then i found out my milk wasnt comen in so i had to go to fomula. i didnt really want to but didnt have a choice my doc told me it was okay bestmilk is good for them but fomula is good to. and the first 2 weeks breastmilk is the best you did that much so at least the baby got some brest milk. my little one started to sleep 3-4hr a time once she had fomula. good luck hope this helps

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M.,
I went through the same things with each of my three children. Please do what is best for you and your family. That is the most important thing I learned. It was a much more peaceful family (and mommy) when we did both. My husband then took more of the feedings as well, which allowed me to do the things I needed to do for myself. Good luck!

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Hi M.,

I so understand where you are at. I became a mom at the age of 35 myself.

My first thought is to perhaps look at going to a lactation consultant if you are determined to help breastfeeding be successful. A good one is Carol Chamblin in St. Charles. She is fabulous! You can google her name. She helped me out a lot with helping get a better latch so that my son took in a lot more.

However, here are my thoughts. I supplemented as well too.

My final thought is to do whatever you need to do that helps you out. You don't want to drive yourself insane. It is important that what you choose is practical and is what works for you. This is the first lesson of parenting in some ways.

Hope this helps!

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Hi M.,

I nursed my son exclusively until he was 13 months old, and I have to tell you that for the first 4 months it did feel like I did nothing but hold him and nurse him. I bought a Moby wrap so I could carry him around, and that helped a lot because then I could still get things done while he was right next to me. But feeding - there were days that it seemed every 1/2 hour, and others when he went 2 hours. It was a big committment, but my son is VERY healthy, has had very little illness (one minor cold at 12 months) and is generally in great shape, so I don't regret it at all. He eats regular foods now, but still nurses once or twice during the day and several times at night. Whenever it seems a little too hard I remind myself that it won't be like this forever, and I'll always be glad I did it.

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First of all, do not feel guilty at all. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work! As long as you are happy and your baby is happy and healthy, who cares!
However, if you want to keep trying, I recommend feeding your baby every 3 hours. This is what most books say along with my own pediatrician. Because you won't be feeding as often, you'll have to feed the baby more at that feeding. It make take the baby a day or two to adjust, but you are basically training the baby's stomach and appetite.
Also, if you have to give formula here and there, that is fine!
Good luck! You'll be just fine!

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I have 3 kids, 10, 4, 20 months. I have gone through the same rough first few months w/ breastfeeding w/ each of them. The 1st few months they are growing SO fast. Yes, it does seem like all you are doing is nursing. I miss those days of guilt-free tv watching! Resign yourself that your baby is going through a growth spurt, it won't always be like this, even next week or month. Rent some good movies/tv show cds at the library to get you through this time. But leave off the tv sometimes and do nothing but cuddle your new baby, I so fondly remember those times. Nursing is a huge gift to give your baby, I was proud of myself that I stuck it out through the rough times! DON'T FORGET - it will really help you drop the pregnancy weight! Good luck!
PS I do recall my pediatrician suggesting you introduce some formula around 1 month so that mom can get away so don't feel bad doing this, my kids went back and forth between the 2 w/ no probs

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Hi M.,

Please do not feel guilty. Formula is not a terrible thing. I worked full-time when my daughter was an infant and chose to give her only formula. With my son, I was at home, but he was endlessly hungry and I was able to successfully combination-feed him; I would give him a formula bottle at night which held him much longer thus giving me more rest. I would also use formula if I wanted to go somewhere and have my husband or mom take care of him. I am expecting my 3rd soon and I will combination feed again if need be. While I loved breastfeeding, it was also challenging so the combination of breastmilk and formula kind of gives you the best of both, and you'll be a better mom if you can get more rest and not feel "trapped" in the rocking chair all day. Good luck!!

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Don't feel quilty. I went through the guilt with my first child after I stopped breast feeding at 3 months and in the end all it did was take away from enjoying my healthy wonderful baby. My second daughter I made it only 1 1/2 months. She was born at 10lbs and I could not keep up with her. I would nurse her and she would still drink 4-6ozs of formula. I did that until she was 3 months and then decide I needed to make sure she was getting what she needed. The second time around I did not have the guilt I did with the first. I myself never found nursing to be a bonding experience though. Both my children are healthy, intelligent wonderful young ladies. They both scored high on the ACT and have always been in honors and AP classes. They were a little more sick then normal when they were younger, but I have always had a family daycare which did not help with the illness. Formula babies are very healthy and you have to do what is best for you and your family. This is just one of many decisions you will make for you and your family.Best of luck and please don't feel guilty no matter what you decide.

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First of all, happy mommy equals happy baby. That being said, it has only been 1 month. Your baby's job right now is to eat and sleep. Just the same, your job is to nourish your child. It is a full time job from now on. Your child may want to eat constantly. Know that it is probably a phase. Your baby's tummy in tiny. There is no set rule how often newborns eat. Of my two children, both of them were VERY different eaters. My younger one would go many hours between feeding, while my older daughter seemed to eat every hour on the hour... My advice is to stick with it for a few more weeks. Nothing wrong with giving formula every so often or giving a bottle of pumped breast milk. Hopefully your little one will figure out night time soon! Hang in there and don't feel guilty. This is a big change for you. Do what you can, if breastfeeding is too overwhelming move on to formula. Your baby will be just as wonderful and you will be just as good of a mama!

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I see you have some great responses, but more support never hurts :) It IS hard to have someone so dependent on you. It does get better though...he will be able to longer and longer. He's still very young. I found things to be difficult through the 6 week mark, but improved greatly after the 6 week growth spurt. If you keep going, expect another rough couple of weeks, but things should really ease up after that as he matures. It's normal and it's normal to feel frazzled by it. Just remember to focus on what's best for your son and your family. Whether you give him formula or pumped milk, whatever helps you all cope and stay close is the right answer.

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Hi M.:

You are not alone... my son had a ferocious appetite too. I thought I was going to lose my mind around week five. A good day was when I got out of the shower and I didn't hear my son crying to eat. That meant that I could actually dry myself off... LOL. :-) My pediatrican gave me GREAT advice that really prevented me from quitting breastfeeding(I am sure someone might disagree with this). She said that 90 % of the milk is drained after 10 minutes. This allowed me a precious few minutes to myself when I was feeding every 60-90 minutes. (I will let you know that my son is now 11 months old and the perfect size and weight and has been EBF since 2 months)
Also, two things that helped me a)at 6-8 weeks something happens and everything got easier (I promise) b) in hindsight, my son was a horrible napper, I think that he was actually tired and not hungry. Just a thought.

Take care of yourself. While this is all consuming now, in a month everything will be completely different. Trust me.

A.

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Congratulations on your son! How wonderful. I too am a first time mom to a 7 week old boy. I am exclusively breastfeeding and went through what you are going through the first month but it does get better! At 7 weeks I am feeding every 3 hours and he can go longer if we are out and about as he stays asleep in his carrier. He will sleep anywhere for 3-5 hours at night. Sometimes he does want to eat sooner than three hours but that is not too often.
Breastfeeding really is best for your baby and you are off for the summer, so just enjoy the time and bonding with your son. Take a nap when he does and let your husband watch him when he gets home from work so you can have "you" time.
Having a baby is life changing as you know and you do have to do what is best for you. I would suggest you just put it all in perspective and know that you are doing what is an amazing gift that you are able to give for your baby and it will get easier.. very soon!

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Same thing happened to us. I was at my wit's end and the guilt was horrible! My pediatrician recommended giving 1-2 oz of formula after breastfeeding. After we started doing that, he would stay satisfied for about 3-3.5 hours and I didn't feel guilty anymore. I did that until he was 6 months, when he started eating solid food, then he didn't need the extra formula anymore. He also started sleeping through the night at 10 weeks, when I gave him an extra 4-6 ozs of formula after nursing at bedtime. You might not be making enough breastmilk, which was my problem. Or, your baby just might be really hungry and you might not be able to satisfy him on your own, which is what happened to my mom with my brother who was 10 pounds at birth. I was able to nurse until my son was 12 months, but there is no reason to feel guilty about giving your son formula. I was happy to give him both. Good luck on whatever you decide!

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M., don't feel guilty. You need to do what is best for you. Both of my children were formula fed from day one. Neither one had any problems, and to tell you the truth, they are sick LESS OFTEN then children of friends of ours who were breast fed. I was formula fed, I turned out fine, as was my husband. If it's not working out for you and you are not able to fully enjoy this time with your baby because you are probably exhausted, switch to formula. Some people can breast feed forever, others can not. I am not saying either one is right or wrong, it's completely up to you which is the best solution for you and your baby.

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Hi M..
My son is 8 weeks, and I am breastfeeding. I hear you! It is so hard, especially in the beginning. the books are full of your know what when they say the babies only need to eat 10-12 times. My son ate almost every 30 minutes for the first month!
While it is completely your choice and your decision, I can tell you that it gets easier. I have a friend who is only formula feeding, so her husband does teh midnight feeding and she sleeps, but the baby's stomach gets upset and is still up all night.
I try and pump at least once every few days and we give him bottles about 3 times a week. It's nice having the break.
Here I am 2 months later, and my son is laying on a blanket and staring out the window as I am on the computer. he pretty much eats every 2-3 hours now, and if we are out for the day, he usually falls asleep in the carseat, so he goes even longer. He is sleeping in 4-5 hour stretches at night. It does and will get easier:)
And while I agree with MR that noone should make you feel guilty, it is fact that bf is far better for a baby than formula. Whatever you choose to do, hang in there and know that you will blink and another month will have gone by. Good luck and congrats on your son!

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Please don't give up! You are almost through the hardest part. They do eat constantly when they are so tiny, needing to eat every few minutes it seems like. I remember when my daughter was tiny I felt like she never came off of me. But it does get better, and you do get your time back. Everytime you feel like I can't do this anymore it seems to enter a new stage that seems very doable. At night I would encourage you to look into co-sleeping, the baby can just roll over and eat when needed and eventually you don't even really wake up when baby eats. It makes for a much happier mommy and a fuller baby. Call you local Leleche League Leader and talk to her about your experiences to she will definitely have great advice. Please don't give up it really is the best thing you can do for you baby, and each stage goes so fast. My daughter is now 8 mo. old still breastfeeding but she could care less about me most of the time. She is crawling and trying to walk and never wants to cuddle anymore. Enjoy this cuddle time and time where baby just wants to lay on you it disappears so very very quickly!

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O I totally understand where you are coming from! My daughter was a nightmare at that age! We started our breastfeeding journey with her not latching and losing a ton of weight and being jaundiced. I felt totally useless...finally I got her to latch but being a new mom is so hard. I have been in childcare for 10 tears and still wasnt prepared for the challenges being a mother presents. I cant tell you how many times i fantasized about running away all by myself and never coming back!

I can tell you now how happy i am that my daughter and I have breastfed! SHe is extremely healthy! Just with the worry that the swine flu could hit hard this winter (not to mention any flu)...children WILL nurse when they are sick they WILL refuse bottles though! It gets SOOOOOO much easier! and right now you are going through a growth spurt period where they nurse frequently to increase your milk supply. I would highly recomment that you find a La Leche League group or the breast feeding support group at your hospital or nearby hospital. It is so important for you to be around other moms going through what you are going through! I can tell you it will improve for you!!! I on the other hand have a challenging child that still doesnt sleep. It has nothing to do with what you feed them its just the way some are (yours is still too oyung to tell right now) My daughter is 18 months and stilll wakes at night. I can tell you from experience you get used to it. I remember someone telling me that when she was 6 weeks and I though they were insane, but yes they were right...I feel fabulous if I get 3 hour of uninterrupted sleep! I have talked to many bottle feeding mothers whose kids wake frequently at night.

Also giving your child a dose of formula at night is going to reduce your milk supply and at this crucial stage of development is not good for your child. In the end they wont be getting enough and youll end up stopping the breast feeding. Also it is NATURAL for an infant to wake frequently! In face that is safe! SIDS occurs when kids fall asleep too deeply and stop breathing! THere is a reason nursing children dont fall victims to SIDS as often as formula fed kids. Honestly I could go on and on about the benefits of breastfeeding for you, your child, and for your bond, but I am not going to do that. The fact is you are tired and you need some support! You are doing the best thing you can for your very demanding little infant. In a few weeks things will be better and you will be so happy you stuck with it. Please be patient and look at this as one of many sacrifices you will make for your child, this being one of the biggest! Good luck and keep up the good work!!! Find a group of women to support you! You wont regret this in the end I promise!!!

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M.,
I know you will get a ton of responses because breastfeeding is a hot button issue. I can't tell you what to do but I just wanted to offer some encouragement that you have to make the best decisions for YOUR family and your self and don't worry what everyone else thinks. I know a little something about how hard breastfeeding is. My older daughter never latched on correctly and I hated nursing her. I gave it up at 4 months but felt very guilty about it. By the time I had my second daughter, I decided to give it a try but also decided not to beat myself up over it if it didn't work out. Turns out that she was a champion breastfeeder and I ended up LOVING the experience. She is 17 months old and I just finished the long, slow weaning process. Thursday was the last time I nursed her and I feel so sad that that part of my life is over. It was the best bonding experience (not that I didn't feel bonded with my first!) and I'm really going to miss it.

All of this being said, I think you should do what feels right for you and don't think you're a "bad" mom if you decide to give your baby formula. Good luck and hang in there!!

Hang

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Hi M.,

I haven't read the other replies, pardon me if this is repetitive. My experience was I spent 8 hours a day nursing my son for the first 2 months. It got MUCH better after that. I know you are tired and you have no time for yourself, but this is such a small period of time versus a lifetime of good health for your child. I know formula babies can be and are very healthy too, but I can honestly say from my experience it is worth the sacrifice to give your child the best chances at living without constant ear infections and other health issues. Not to mention that he will be far less likely to become overweight and have related issues as an adult. Oh, and the bonding/closeness of breastfeeding. And the higher IQ scores. I know it sounds like a lot of propaganda, but women are born with mammary glands for a reason. Good luck and I swear to you IT GETS BETTER - SOON!

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Breastfeeding is such a hot button issue. It can really bring out the worst in people. I have read quite a few comments on here from women who seem guilty about formula feeding, and use it to attack breastfeeding mothers instead. And of course there are bf'ers who are manic (but most are NOT).

That being said, do what's right for you. I would encourage you to stick it out, because breastfeeding is best, (formula is a fine substitute but if you can give the best then I would) and when given the time will work out in the long run. You are still a new mom, your baby is only 1 month out of the womb! Babies grow rapidly in the first couple of months- and we as parents are getting used to our babies. I had a horrible time with breastfeeding for the first 6 or so weeks, but with support I stuck with it and then it all fell into place.

It sounds like you have a supportive husband, so keep him involved, have him use stored breastmilk for a couple of the night feedings for a few days. Also, where does your baby sleep? Is it in a nursery, or in your room? I found it MUCH easier to have my son in the room with us so that I didn't have to get up, walk all the way across the hall, and sit in the glider to nurse. I slept horribly trying to do that because I always ended up fully waking, thus having a harder time going back to sleep. If you aren't comfy cosleeping they have this awesome thing that attaches to the bed (I think it's called the arms reach cosleeper) that's like baby's own space right next to you without worrying about the things that having a baby in the bed might.

Also, take the opportunity to nap with your baby. When he sleeps, you sleep. The first few months are tiring for you both! Hang in there. If breastfeeding is something that you really want to do, then there are lots of supports and advice to help you get through the bumpy spot. Just remember that babies eat so much at this age because they are growing so fast. He will slow down, and there are lots of ways to make the nursing experience beneficial to you as well. I used to look at each session as a mini break, where I didn't have to do anything besides sit on the couch and hold my son, and possibly catch up with what was on my DVR LOL!
Also, giving formula won't necessarily mean he won't still want to eat as much. Typically formula fed babies go maybe an hour longer between feeding because formula is harder for their systems to digest and there are things in formula their bodies don't need, so they have more to "waste." Breastmilk is complete and therefore goes through the system smoothly. However, you might just have a hungry child who will want a bottle just as often as he wanted to breastfeed. In that case you will still be up, except now you have to prepare bottles and be conscious if it's been out too long, which formula, etc. (breastfed babies often go through several formulas before the right one is found).

If you need a "vent buddy" or anything, feel free to message me. I do hope it works out for you!

Thats how it is...BUT remember it gets easier as they get older. It will spread out! Stick with it! My friend told me when ya can't stand it anymore...give it another week or 2 and it will get better, she was right!

He's going through a growth spurt. Just enjoy him. He probably also just wants to be close to you. My daughter nursed almost non-stop during the day from 1-4 months of age and then backed off again. They are going through massive growth and just need to be close to you. Have you tried wearing him and nursing while moving or just keeping him close to your heartbeat. That may be all that he wants/needs. This is a precious time and don't give up on him yet.

I'd like to recommend the book On Becoming Babywise. This book helped me stretch to a 3 hour schedule and I had my twins sleeping through the night when they were 2 months old. My experience is that the first two months are hardest. Once you get past that, it eases up, a lot.

As it has been said, do what works for you. I find nursing so much easier (no bottles, no formula), especially when going out.

Once you make sure your son is getting full feedings each time he nurses (from the book), and get on a predictable schedule, hopefully things will calm down (they did for me).

Good luck.

You've gotten so much support but I just wanted to give a little more. Keep at it with what you are doing! It's priceless and it gets easier! Set short goals for yourself. A day, a week, a month. Before you know it months have gone by and you don't even blink as you unsnap the bra! While yes, FF babies are just fine, it is a fact that breastmilk is superior. It's not really up for debate. FF babies *sometimes* sleep longer stretches but that is because their little tummies can't digest the formula they are given. I don't know any women who regret nursing but plenty who regret not nursing. Once you stop, you can't go back. I have no experience with bottle feeding but I do know that it gets SO SO SO SO much easier. I incredulously have managed to tandem nurse my now 39 month old and my 17 month old and they share such an awesome sibling bond that in my eyes could not have happened without both being on my breast together. That's another whole can of worms though.....
Enjoy your baby and get out as much as possible. Even a pedicure with a baby on your breast is still a pedicure! Lunch is still lunch, even with a baby. Enjoy things especially now that the weather is warm. Take walks, go to the park, go to the pool, the beach etc. Just know you are giving him the greatest food source he can possibly get. Bed sharing is a god sent too if you haven't tried it. Sleeping right through a feeding makes it a million times less exhausting. Slings and carriers are amazing too. Sometimes I found when my LO's were in slings, they actually woke less to nurse because they were so cozy and comforted by being skin to skin. Keep up the good work! Email me if you need any more encouragement. I guess I'm one of those "nazis" that some of the more judgemental moms on this board were talking about. :) I feel that after nursing for 39 months straight, I can answer or help with just about any breastfeeding problem or issue.

Keep up the awesome mothering!!! :)

DON'T GIVE UP! GET SOME SUPPORT WITH BREASTFEEDING!! Try www.breastbabyproducts.com Carol is wonderful and has helped myself and so many of my friends with similar problems. Breastfeeding was not as easy as I thought it would be, but our routine definitely smooted out after 6-8 weeks, and I couldn't have done it without the support of an amazing lactation consultant. Sometimes you just need that extra expert push to get you through what seems impossilbe. YOU CAN DO IT!! It's worth the struggle!

Have you considered using a sling or other baby carrier, like a Mei Tai? They make it much easier for nursing moms to get things done. You just carry the baby and let him nurse hands-free while you're doing other things.
message me if you'd like more info. I loved my carriers when my kids were little. I'd be glad to talk with you about it.

I would call your local La Leche League. They're going to ask all kinds of questions about how much milk your expressing, how much your husband gives him, etc etc...The good news is, it'll get better. I don't know all the details, but it sounds like he might not be getting enough milk at one sitting, and you're DEFINITELY not getting enough time to produce any more. Its possible if you think he is getting enough that he is using you to comfort himself instead of actually needing you for food all that time. I think for the first month or so, eating that often isn't too out of the ordinary. But the La Leche people will have good advice. Breast feeding is so hard because no one ever talks about it.

Of course the League would never tell you this, but if you want to try the bottle/formula, go for it. Even if it's just to give you a break so you can stock up and won't have to feed him so often. Don't worry about all the nipple confusion mumbo jumbo, if he's that hungry he's not going to care where he's getting food from as long as he gets it.

Good luck! I didn't really have many problems with mine and I know that first month I would cry and cry with frustration. We understand, and we're here for you.

I was in your exact shoes with my first daughter who is now 2 and 1/2. I was struggling with the idea of giving up and a friend convinced me that if I am not happy the baby is not happy either. Many babies are raised on formula and there is not reason not to give up if you feel you are a bit overwhelmed. Once I stopped I felt so much better. I actually felt I was a better mother to the baby as I was much more relaxed and was able to get out of the house a bit too. My husband told me I was a completely different person. Don't be hard on yourself - do what feels best for you. Breastfeeding isn't for everyone.

You can start by intoducing formula at night - I did this for a bit and then slowly pulled her off the breast all together. It is important for you to be happy!

You are a great mom and we all need to do what works best for our given situation. You should not feel guilty at all. Hang in there and enjoy the little bundle of joy!!

Dear M.,
Congratulations on your new baby boy. The first month can be a difficult time of transition. Your baby is stimulating your body to produce enough milk right now. The first 4 - 6 weeks is really about establishing your milk supply. He is doing exactly what he should be doing. Breastmilk does digest quickly and at just the right speed for baby's brain development while formula just sits in their little tummy for hours. You might try sharing sleep with your baby so he can nurse and you can sleep. You should still be sleeping when he sleeps even in the day. At the very least learn how to nurse while lying down so you can doze off while he nurses. And remember this is just a short time in his life. He will not always nurse this frequently. This too shall pass.
A. R. (mother to three wonderful children who are all now so big and active they hardly have time to snuggle)

Stick with it! The first few weeks, regardless of whether you breast or bottle feed, are a huge adjustment, and take some time to get used to. No matter what, you will be exhausted, so why not do what's best for baby in the meantime?! It is really difficult, but the baby will slow down in it's eating in the next month or so, and you will feel like you are getting some time back. I remember, especially with my 2nd, (who just turned 1 and still breastfeeds) feeling like I never had ANY time to myself. But it gets easier, I promise. You are so lucky that he is latching on and growing and eating well! In the end, though you are a mom now, and you have instincts that will tell you what is best for you and your baby, so try to follow those.

breastfeeding really is such hard work in the beginning. there's nothing wrong with having your husband help out and supplement with formula. but hang in there with it! it's so healthy for your baby and it will get a lot easier as time goes by. after a few months, it's actually easier to breastfeed bc you don't have to worry about all the work sterilizing bottles and such.
my son was pretty much the same in the beginning, wanting to eat all the time. but, he did start sleeping for 7-8 hours after 8 weeks, so you should get some respite soon. best of luck to you.

Only you know what's best for you. My son wents through spurts in the begining where he would feed every 45 minutes. So I completely understand. It's totally normal for them especially if they are going through growth spurts, but it's defintely rough on you. I ended up giving my son I bottle of formula in the evening because I seemed to have less milk by the end of the day. For some reason it helped him sleep longer. So that helped. They only downfall is if you don't keep breastfeeding on his demand it's harder for you to keep up your milk supply. That's when I started taking nursing supplements that contained fenugreek. The best one was weleda's nursing tea that I was able to get at babies r us. They don't sell that brand anymore. I tried the new brand and it did not work as well for me, but it may for you. So if it's in you don't give up, but if you feel like it's just becoming too hard you know what's best for you and baby. Good luck!
-L.

Hi M.

You and I have a bit in common. I too am a first time Mom to a beautiful son, and I am in my late 30's, so is my husband. I also breastfeed, and have done so for my little guy's whole life (almost 7 months) I know how difficult the beginning can be, I remember all of those nights where I was almost nodding off as I fed Charlie every 2 hours (or even 1.5 at times) it was relentless. BUT-I stuck with it, and I guarantee it gets better. Your milk will get richer and begin to fill him a little longer, he will learn how to nurse quicker so when you do have to get up, it will be brief and you both can get back to sleep. My suggestion is for you to see a lactation specialist, I did. I too felt like maybe he wasn't getting enough or something wasn't quite right. The hosptial where I delivered (as most would) has a special department of women that are there for you. I went in, and the lady sat with me and actually told me what I was doing good, and what I could do better. DON"T feel guilty if it doesn't work out, but do give it a shot to make sure you are doing everything you can. I wouldn't trade breastfeeding my little guy, the bond he and I have developed is something that lasts a lifetime. Again, if you try and it doesn't work, at least you tried. Best of luck and please email me if you need any further advice, support, a friend who knows what you are going through.
M.

I think it's pretty normal to feel exhausted at this stage of the game. I remember feeling that as soon as my son was finished he slept a while and was ready for more. It is very tiring. I guess it depends on your commitment to breastfeeding. Of course you also have to take care of yourself but I don't think we should give things up necessarily because they are tough. My advice is to stick with it a bit longer and the feedings will soon space themselves out more. Good luck!

I went through this with my son. I started pumping earlier than I had planned so I could get some sleep. See if you can pump enough to take a full night off from feedings. All it took was one full night of sleep to feel completely refreshed. My husband took ALL of the feedings on a weekend night. I felt so much better the next day! In fact, I felt so good that I made my husband breakfast in bed. My breasts were incredibly painful that morning but it was worth it to get a full night of sleep. If you do this, I suggest having your pump all set up next to your bed so if you wake up, you can pump quickly and go right back to sleep. The milk can go in the fridge in the morning.

Only you know what it is right for you, but just know that breastfeeding is HARD, one of the hardest things to do in life kind of things, that has the worlds best payoffs. It took me a good 2.5 months before breastfeeding became easy. I am so glad I did hang in there. And now that she is weaned, I miss the closeness, the skin on skin contact, that we will never have again.

His hunger will slow down in the next few weeks, and he should start sleeping a longer block at night and one during the day. You will be amazed at what a 4-5 hour block of sleep will feel like then!

I didn't get any sleep till my daughter was about 11 months old. I hate to say it, but welcome to mommy hood --and as an older mom, trust me, I know just how hard not getting sleep is.

You may have found a solution by now, but in case you are interested in more information here is a resource that I hope might be helpful...

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/t070800.asp

http://www.llli.org/NB/NBMayJune04p106.html

http://www.llli.org/NB/NBMarApr04p67.html

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/weaning-night.html

My first son nursed every hour around the clock. The way that I made it through was to sleep with him. When he'd micker for more, I'd wake up just enough to flip to the other side and fall asleep nursing him. An hour later, he'd micker again and I'd wake up just enough to flip to the other side and help him to attach to that side, and I'd fall asleep again...until it was time to flip to the other side and attach him there and fall asleep again...

Best wishes,
J.

Hi M.,
Ditto all of the not feeling guilty posts. My son was 5 weeks early and couldn't breast feed until right around his due date. It was an exhausting experience of trying him at the breast for 15 minutes, then pumping, then feeding him the pumped milk or formula. In the end, he has been supplemented since birth and is doing absolutely fine (He is now 5 months old). I know that it is optimum to breast feed exclusively, but for those of us who have difficulty with it, it is totally worth a little bit of formula to buy you some sanity. Also, I see people claiming that breast fed babies are smarter, leaner and have fewer ear infections than formula fed babies (which may be true). However, I can tell you that I came from a family of 4 girls, 2 were breast fed, two were bottle fed. Two of us have master's degrees (one breast fed, one bottle fed), we all have struggles with weight issues and I had constant ear infections as a small child and I was breast fed. So there you go, no guilt necessary. Good luck!!

Hi! I know you have lots of great advice, that I haven't read so some of this may be repetitive.

There are several different places that I would look at as your child should not need to eat that frequently. Although I understand all children are different, that frequency of eating seems excessive. I have a 10-day old who breast feeds every 2 - 3 hrs and doesn't really need more than that. That being said, this being my second, I've learned a thing or two about what really constitutes infant hunger!

1. I wonder if you may be mistaking some of his hunger cries for tiredness or gas. Is he actually trying to root when you pick him up? You may want your husband to pick him up first to check his diaper or see if he is gassy or just needs to be rocked. The tiredness especially can easily be confused with hunger as if you continue offering your breast, he can begin to associate that with sleep.

2. Is his latch good where he is getting a good nutritive suckle off your breast, or is he sucking mommy as pacifier. You could see a lactation consultant to check the latch. Also, once again, ask husband to help out and try to console with a pacifier. Infants this age to have a strong need to suck, and is not necessarily a need to eat, but rather be soothed. If he is truly hungry, he will quickly ditch the paci, and try to find where the breast is on your husband, but the paci may enough to satisfy that need.

3. Does he have another physical ailment such as reflux? I don't have experience with this, but I understand that if he has reflux, sometimes drinking a bit at a time will soothe the throat and calm. You may want to research what reflux looks like to diagnose, or call your pediatrician. ALthough, I've heard from some moms that many pedi's will pooh pooh an analysis of reflux. But if it is truly reflux, then a medication could help ease that pain. Also be aware there is silent reflux which has a slight different set of possibilities as well.

I know how hard it is when the little ones are latched on for so long. My first one seemed to always be latched as well and mommy needs time for mommy!

Good luck!!

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