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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've been relactating for 10 weeks. The actual milk-making is going well. But I don't know how much longer I can do this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
As a newborn ds was diagnosed with FTT (actual lose of weight 6 oz. in one week) and I weaned him shortly after. Before he was weaned life was hell and I hated having a baby. He cried a lot and never slept. Once he was put on formula and a strict routine (not by the clock) he began to thrive - he began sleeping like a normal infant and no longer cried. We think much of this was due to sensory issues. I liked being his mom. But I couldn't make peace with no longer breastfeeding, so I decided to try again.<br><br>
I'm now wondering if that was a mistake. Before I began relactating, ds was happy and slept very well - 1 hr. in the morning, 2-3 in the afternoon, and another 1 hr. nap in the evening. Now if he sleeps for 30 minutes I'm lucky. This week he hasn't been taking in nearly enough food - only 18 3/4 ounces the other day (by the book he needs more like at least 32 oz. daily). An LC told me to nurse him every 2 hours instead of 3 (we use a lact-aid) so I tried that yesterday and it was terrible. He'd only drink an ounce or two at a time and ended up only getting 21 oz. for the day. So I offered him 6 oz earlier since he obviously doesn't like being force-fed, and he would only take 5. It took an hour to feed him.<br><br>
We keep cycling through him being hungry, me nursing, but since he's tired he doesn't eat but dozes instead. As soon as I put him down (and often even in my lap) he wakes again because he's hungry. He's horribly crabby by the end of the night because he's so exhausted. Daily showers are a memory, and I'm barely holding my head above water. My 2 older kids need me but I'm always busy trying to feed the baby or get him to sleep. Now that he's easily distracted while nursing, they can't even *talk* to me when we're nursing otherwise he won't eat.<br><br>
I don't read to him anymore and rarely play with him anymore. Most of our interactions now come from nursing or nursing to sleep, since that's what most of the day is spent doing. The few minutes I'm not nursing or trying to get him to sleep I'm washing his diapers or trying to eat. He will nap in the sling, but sometimes I (my back and shoulders) need a break. I'm not enjoying motherhood like I was 10 weeks ago. I'm exhausted and it's taking a toll on my marriage as well as mothering my older two children.<br><br>
Hasn't he had enough time to adjust to the new "routine?" It's been 10 weeks. I promised myself last month that we'd keep trying at least until we had been relactating as long as we hadn't nursed - which is next week. I really hoped by then things would be better. But they're not. He's dropped 2 ounces since Wednesday because he just isn't eating enough or sleeping. As I said, he gets into that cycle and we can't break it.<br><br>
Do I have the only baby on earth who would rather be formula fed? Should I just give up?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
You have a baby who's particularly resistant to change in routine- it's going to take him longer to adjust than it would for some other babies. You might make things WORSE if you change the routine again and go back to bottlefeeding formula.<br><br>
How old is your baby? Some of what he's going through might be related to his development- meaning he might be acting this way no matter how he was being fed.<br><br>
I think you're an incredible mama to have put so much time and energy into relactating. You've given him an incredible gift for the last 10 weeks. Whatever choices you make in the future won't change that fact.
 

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I'm trying to figure out how old your baby is. Around 3 months, maybe four?<br>
Are you taking any galactologues?<br><br>
I understand where you are coming from. I nearly gave up at 3 weeks because of similar issues with my dd3. And with 2 other toddlers to take care of, it was creating a hardship to continue breastfeeding. I did little else but feed the baby because she'd nurse and nap. I had low supply issues and weight gain issues in the baby.<br><br>
I did supplement with formula, but as minimally as possible. Never more than 2 - 4 oz bottles a day though. It helped her keep gaining, as well as kept our nursing relationship going because I just couldn't keep her attached all day long if she wasn't going to nurse, but couldn't put her down because she'd cry otherwise. I would feed her a bottle just before my older two girls lunchtime, so that she wouldn't be screaming while I took care of them. And at nighttime too, so that I could get my other two babies to bed when dh worked the night shift.<br><br>
In case you need permission, you don't have to exclusively breastfeed. You could compromise and give some formula, while still giving your baby the benefits of mama's milk. By the time the baby is old enough to start solids, you could go with calorie dense foods like avocado, Yobaby yogurt, and sweet potato. You may find that the combination of nursing and solids will be enough to satisfy your baby so that you can stop the formula and still have that breastfeeding relationship and have that baby who is content like s/he was when he was on formula exclusively.<br><br>
If you can just hold out until you get to the solids, you will find the relationship better, even if you have to supplement with a little formula to make it that long.<br><br>
Or if the baby is old enough for solids go for that and forgo the formula.<br><br>
HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, ladies. We just got back from a long car ride, and he's napping now in his bucket...oh the relief! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Hopefully a nice nap will be just the thing to make him wake up good and hungry.<br><br>
Ruthla, I think you are probably correct in that switching him back to bottlefeeding could be worse. I hadn't thought of it that way, so thanks for the new perspective!<br><br>
And yes, some of it *has* to be age-related. He's almost 5 months old and I know that's a typical time to have a distracted nurser. I feel a tiny bit better because before we left I finally had had it and just tried to give him a bottle. He sucked on it for a few minutes (like he does me) and then pulled right off and would have nothing more to do with it (like he's been doing with me). So now at least I don't feel like it's all totally my fault, you know?<br><br>
kmc, I'm currently on dom and Mother's More Milk capsules. And reminding me that I don't have to exclusively bf really helped - I might have dh give a bottle tonight just to give me a tiny vacation. I just worry so over bottles because I'm working so hard to rebuild my supply. I simply cannot imagine having a baby like this with 2 toddlers...you must be a candidate for sainthood!<br><br>
While we were out I stopped at the natural care store and got some Bach's olive for exhaustion and a big lavendar candle, which will benefit all of us in the house. I also got some loose lavendar to sew up some sachets to place under pillows. I figure anything I can do to cut the stress at this point has to be good.<br><br>
Thanks for your replies. Sometimes I wonder if I even would have made it this far in the relactation process without the wonderful encouragement here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I think that a lot of what you're describing sounds like every other baby I've met. Many mamas come here with 4-5 mo old babies who are behaving exactly like yours. They all think that they don't have enough milk or there's something wrong, but it's really just a very normal phase.<br><br>
And when you say 'normal' baby in reference to how much he was sleeping, that doesn't sound normal to me. My baby slept in 45 minute increments until he was about 6 months old, then it was 2 hours increments, then up to 3 and 4 hours by a year. As for naps...HAH!! It wasn't until 12 mos that he started napping more than 15-30 minutes at a time.<br><br>
Formula takes a lot of time and work to digest, so they tend to go into a sleep 'stupor' to digest it. It makes formula feeding seem a lot more appealing in that respect, but it's not healthy.<br><br>
Please keep up the hard work, you're doing a great job, you must be very proud of yourself!
 
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