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Hello,

My wife and I just had a beautiful baby girl on July 15th. This is our 1st child. My wife is BF'ing. I t seems as though our daughter wants to BF nonstop. My wife will BF her for 45 minutes straight. Then our daughter will fall asleep, wake up, poop and pee, and then cry and cry until my wife BFs her again. It seems like she wants to be BF almost every hour. She wont take the pacifier.. she pushes it out with her tongue. Some times she will cry until my wife BFs her, then she will Bf for 5-10 minutes and fall asleep at her breast. If we try to put her in the bassinet to sleep, she will start crying again until she is BF'd.. then she will suck for like 5 minutes and fall asleep again...

Basically, we are not going by any kind of schedule. My wife is BF'ing her whenever our daughter wants.. My wife has been crying and everytime she BF's she is in such pain... She feels like she is doing something wrong. I am worried for my wife and hate to see her like this.. I feel so helpless. There is nothing that I can do to help her..

Is this normal? Is there anything that we can do?
 

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i may not be much help as i stopped bf when my son was a week or two old (due to an illness) but in my experience the first month or so the baby should be eating every hour or two. as far as her screaming every time you put her to bed. i would take a paci and hold it in her mouth. my son spits his out if i just try to put it in his mouth but if i hold it there (sometimes i have to move it around a little so he knows its there) then he will start sucking and fall back asleep for a few hours (keep in mind he is almost two months now so he is sleeping longer than your daughter will) this will give your wife a break every now and then. and a little side note, you are a wonderful man to be so concerned about your wife. its nice to hear this coming from a man. my sons father has almost nothing to do with us so its great to hear that there are still some decent men in the world. thanks for restoring my faith in men
 

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Totally normal. My dd used me as a pacifier for the first few weeks. At this point, the baby needs to eat every 1-2 hours. Most of the time the pain from bfing gets better by about 6 weeks. I hope your wife feels better soon.
 

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Its very normal. You can help her by making sure she has nothing else to do. Its nature's way of making sure mom stays rested in bed.

Over time it will get better. Every few weeks the baby is likely to have a growth spurt and the nursing and sleeping all the time behavior will come back though.
 

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Well, bfing so often is perfectly normal, but the pain is obvously an issue, as is the crying baby.

For starters, do you have a sling? If the baby isn't happy sleeping in the bassinet, you could try letting the baby sleep on you. Even if you don't have a sling proper, you can improvise with a length of fabric. This is particularly good because you can take the babe and walk and let her rest. Also, if your wife can get the hang of nursing in a sling (or mei tai) then it might be easier on her.

My daughter never would take a paci, so don't sweat that.

As far as the pain goes, have you seen a LC? Also, you might look at kellymom.com, or find La Leche League's Mother-to-Mother boards (do a google with that). LLL leaders respond on those boards and they might be able to offer help. The pain might be something normal or it might be a sign of a poor latch. You should find out which.

If it's sore nipples, try using lanolin on them in between feeds, in the meantime. Hope that helps.

Julia
 

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To both you and your wife and CONGRATS on your first baby!!! Your wife is doing EVERYTHING right by listening to her baby!!!

The first couple of weeks BF any baby can be a challenge but I assure you (as I'm sure most other mamas here will) that in a couple of weeks/months you will be so glad that you stuck through and went with your instincts and your baby's needs.

-A lot of little ones nurse every 1-2 hrs for the first couple of weeks, it really helps to establish a mothers milk supply. Don't worry about any schedules at this age, you will probably notice patterns that she will develop over the next couple of weeks.
-Don't worry about the pacifier, if she dosen't want anything to do with it, don't push it (neither of mine used them).
- Have you tried tightly swaddling her when she is sleeping? A lot of newborns will wake up very suddenly when put down because they are not used to their limbs and the open space of being out of the womb.
- Maybe also try a sling for her during the day? It may help to allow the baby to comfortable (close to you or your wife) and relax/sleep more easily. Babies this little want to be close ALL the time and it's completely natural. This may allow your wife a little break if you can sling the baby for a while while she sleeps, etc.
- As long as your wife and baby are getting a good latch the pain of breastfeeding should subside within the next few weeks (mine went away by 3 weeks pp).

Good luck and hang in there. See if you can find a local La Leche League group where you and your wife can get breastfeeding support in person. They are GREAT! http://www.lalecheleague.org/

Again, CONGRATS!

Edit: Glad to see the pp was thinking the same thing as me when we were writing, she was just quicker!
 

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Your wife is doing a fabulous job and you should give her hugs and cuddles and tell her that
The pain may be due to an improper latch, or it might be "just" due to overuse. But the baby does need to eat that frequently, I'm afraid. The pain will subside as her nipples get accustomed to the usage and as the baby gets older she will need to eat less frequently. The newborn stage is HARD.
to your wife (and to you - sounds like you are doing a good job as a supportive partner!)

BTW, you might not be into it, but some men do suckle their babes (and sometimes even make milk too!) If you aren't totally icked out by the thought of it, you could give it a try to give your wife a bit of a break now and then. Just a thought
 

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Very normal for the most part
Those first few weeks are really hard. The pain might be fixable though- find a IBCLC (lactation consultant) or talk to LLL for someone to take a look at the baby nursing and see if they see a problem.

You're a super husband to be helping! Ask what you can do to help. Hold the babe so she can take a nice bath by herself. Bring her food and water and movies.

Another tip- it may just be that baby isn't ready to lay down alone right now. Try bringing her into bed with you. Do you have any slings or baby carriers? Most newborns really need constant contact with mom or dad.

-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all so much for the quick responses! You all are a great help! I do have a New Native Sling. I have really only used it when we go out. That should work well for our daughter in the house. Whenever she is in it, she crosses her arms and balls up and goes to sleep...
We have been trying to find a Lactation Consultant in the area.. I found a few numbers online, but they were disconnected. I called someone else from La Leche League yesterday and left a message. I am going to try a few more numbers that I saw on the site that are located in PA.. Thank you all!
 

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Let us know how it goes!

FWIW, my dd's latch was by the book. She just had a small mouth and high palate. It took 6 weeks for nursing to be pain-free. Hang in there!

-Angela
 

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lots of great advice already but I want to echo the suggestion to swaddle. My first didn't want any part of a bassinet. Holding the baby often is great, but for times when you really have to put her down asleep, try swaddling and placing her in a bucket-seat/carseat with a nice thick blanket laid in first. Something that will really HUG her body. Also, for daytime naps, I personally think belly sleeping is OK, and she may stay asleep better that way.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by salsero96
Hello,

My wife and I just had a beautiful baby girl on July 15th. This is our 1st child. My wife is BF'ing. I t seems as though our daughter wants to BF nonstop. My wife will BF her for 45 minutes straight. Then our daughter will fall asleep, wake up, poop and pee, and then cry and cry until my wife BFs her again.
Well, yeah. She's hungry. This is totally normal. Please don't give her the pacifier -- in fact, I think the best thing to do is to throw it down the garbage because it causes what's known as "nipple confusion" in young babies -- they suck differently on a pacifier than on a boobie, so it's hard for them to make that change. Really, toss it out.

She also might not be getting enough hind milk at every feeding. The milk isn't all the same - the milk they extract in the first few minutes is watery and thirst-quenching foremilk, but the milk they extract after 20 or so minutes of feeding is the rich, fatty, filling hindmilk. If she's not getting any "dessert," as it were, that might explain why she's waking up so often. If your wife is switching off the baby from one breast to another in mid-feed, that might be the issue. Instead, here's a decent rule: one feed = one boob. Don't switch off until the NEXT feeding.

A third issue is the bassinet. Have you considered cosleeping? It's very hard for infants to self-regulate their autonomic nervous system, especially their own temperature. This could be the reason she's waking in the first place. We coslept safely on a futon, which I liked because there are no springs in it -- and no chance that the baby will roll toward you from your weight depressing the surface, like there is with a mattress. It was very comforting to her and it was helpful to me just to be able to turn over, give her the boob, and have her nurse until she peacefully fell asleep. I confess: I am LAZY. I like sleep. Sleep is good. I don't want to get vertical at all, and cosleeping helped me keep my sanity.

If your wife is in pain, the first thing to do is CHECK THE LATCH-ON! Your baby's lips should encircle the whole areola, or a big part of it. The milk doesn't just come out of the end of the nipple: it's more like a shower head thing. Her lips should look like little fish lips pressed up against your wife's breast.

Second, it might be a case of thrush. If she had antibiotics administered at the hospital, this is very likely. Get some lactobacillus liquid at the natural foods store (ask the clerk) or ask your pediatrician for a prescription for Nystatin cream. No matter what, I'd get the lactobacillus because it's healthy and it tastes yummy and won't hurt you. Not all cases of thrush present those characteristic "milky" patches in the mouth, which is why I'd go ahead and get the lactobacillus as a safe preventative measure. Plus, it's a lot cheaper than Nystatin and a lot easier to get ahold of.

Hope this helps. You can do it!!!!
 

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Everyone has already given lots of good advice. I just want to pass on a few other tips...as my son is 4 mo. old and I remember all to well those first weeks!!! At least the first 2-3 weeks the shower was my only break and made my breasts feel much better...so make sure to help find a time to let your wife take a shower or bath everyday. Other than that I also second the previous recommendation to make sure breastfeeding is your wife's only job!!! At least the first weeks. IT DOES GET EASIER!!!!

Also, from day one I knew my ds did a lot of nuture suckling. We would let him suck on our pinkie sometimes and that helped a lot and gave me a short break between feedings. My ds wouldn't take a pacifier (I know most people on this site are anti-pacifier)...but at 7 weeks someone told me about the Soothie pacifier (most shaped like a nipple) and we used that occasionally for a month or two...he isn't even interested in it now.

I also highly suggest the swaddle and the side lying (football hold) for calming. My husband uses this A LOT for our son. Dr. Karp's book outlines the 5 s's for calming http://www.thehappiestbaby.com/

Our ds slept on my husband's chest for the first weeks. He was 3 weeks early and just curled up in a little ball and it was a great bonding experience. Do what works for babe....they love the warmth and security of being by mom and dad! After the first 2 months of our son sleeping on us all the time I started swaddling him and putting him down for naps because I was getting so exhausted not having a second during the day home with him. It didn't always work, but sometimes did and now I almost always can put him down for naps. I always have to remind myself not to push him too fast..and then I don't get frustrated if it doesn't work one day.

Good luck...keep posting here for support and suggestions! I've gotten a lot of help from those more experienced than myself on this forum.
 

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I think swaddling is a great idea - you might also look into the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block" for some good soothing tips.

However I would not put her to sleep in a bucket carseat - there is a real risk of SIDS/suffocation with babies this young who are put in carseats to sleep, because the angle of the seat and the design of the seat do not let them breathe as well as they should.

As far as the breastfeeding, I second what everyone has said - the frequency is normal. The pain is something that you can work on, because breastfeeding should not be painful - but it is, sometimes, at the beginning. An IBCLC-certified lactation consultant can look at the baby's latch and see if that might be causing pain.

My DD nursed constantly for the first few weeks and super-frequently for the first few months. I spent a lot of time sitting in a comfy chair with her on the Boppy pillow on my lap, in front of the computer surfing the net. After the first few weeks (we had some BF problems which took about 3 weeks to be resolved), it was really nice, actually, to spend all day BF.
The nights were hard, however. My DH helped out a lot by doing all diaper changes during the night, so all I had to do was BF.
 

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CONGRATULATIONS!!

It's a really hard time, but you and your wife will get through it. She's doing her job and sounds like you are doing yours, taking care of mama. Lots of great advice already. One thing I have to add

I used to fall asleep propped up in bed with my son snuggled on my chest, where he could hear my heartbeat I found he would sleep as long as an hour at a stretch like this and it helped me get a little bit of a longer spurt of sleep.
 

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IT sounds like she's not getting enough milk because her latch is not correct; therefore, she's constantly nursing and upset. Bad latches are painful for mum, too. Find a good lactation consultant! The one in my area is $40.00/hour, but she has a scale that measures exactly how much milk the baby ingests while nursing. It's nice to know instead of guess.

Jess
 

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I just wanted to add more encouragement. The first three weeks was hard with my ds2. His mouth was so small. He could open up enough to get a good but not great latch. Just after he was two weeks it started to get better. Make sure she is using something like Lansinoh or Motherlove Nipple Cream on her nipples and areola. The first few weeks are a really hard transition for the baby who is a completely new enviornment from all (s)he has ever known. It WILL get better!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by salsero96
Thank you all so much for the quick responses! You all are a great help! I do have a New Native Sling. I have really only used it when we go out. That should work well for our daughter in the house. Whenever she is in it, she crosses her arms and balls up and goes to sleep...
We have been trying to find a Lactation Consultant in the area.. I found a few numbers online, but they were disconnected. I called someone else from La Leche League yesterday and left a message. I am going to try a few more numbers that I saw on the site that are located in PA.. Thank you all!
if you don't get any responses, let me know and i can pm you the midwives' office number - i'm sure they can direct you to someone!

let your wife know that for such a tiny baby your daughter's behavior is VERY normal and it DOES get much much better and easier!
 

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Nora'sMama said:
However I would not put her to sleep in a bucket carseat - there is a real risk of SIDS/suffocation with babies this young who are put in carseats to sleep, because the angle of the seat and the design of the seat do not let them breathe as well as they should. /QUOTE]

Interesting... I've never read anything about this. Can you point me to an references?
 

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Set your wife up so that she can *safely* doze when the baby does, without having to disturb the baby. E.g. in a nice, soft recliner or easy chair, with her feet up, the baby supported by a nursing pillow, and some kind of pillow to support your wife's neck/head. When my child was a newborn I slept a lot this way - the nursing pillow (Boppy) held her secure against my body, so there was no chance of her falling while I slept. Once you talk to a lactation consultant or La Leche League and find a resolution to the pain, she may even find herself falling asleep while the baby actually nurses. The sleep you get this way isn't the deepest, most refreshing sleep ever, but it's sleep. The process of putting the baby down can really cut into the already limited opportunities for sleep.

The sling is nice, but it's not exactly what your wife needs right now. Because she shouldn't feel like she needs to be going around doing a bunch of stuff. (Of course she should be *free* to do so if she wishes, lest she become depressed; but it shouldn't be an expectation.) Nursing in the sling is an advanced skill (I still can't do it at 4 months) and she should not be tying herself up in knots trying to do so when she is already uncomfortable. The sling should be more for yourself, for when you take the baby off your wife's hands for a little while. The baby may sleep better being rocked by the motion of your body in a sling, than lying down somewhere.

Cosleeping is also a good option for getting the baby to sleep, but only do it if you're really comfortable (it's safe, but if you have trouble believing that it's safe, you will not relax enough to fall asleep). Nursing the baby lying down in bed may not be a great idea at this point. The has limited neck control, it's hard to see what you're doing from that angle, and the bedroom may not be very well lit, which makes it hard to coordinate, and when I had nipple pain I found the struggle made it all a lot worse. One possible option is to have an armrest pillow where she can sit up right there in bed to nurse the baby if she wakes up. When I wasn't getting much chance to sleep, I found that it really helped not to waste a lot of time and energy getting up and switching from one location to another all the time.
 
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