Tag Archives: breastfeeding

Breastfed babies cry more

Awesome words of encouragement there.

I firmly believe that it is far more important that a baby is fed than how it is fed. However, because I am human and a walking contradiction, I also believe that breast is indeed best and that even the first feed can make a whole world of difference.  I feel saddened if I see the words “couldn’t be bothered” with regards to breastfeeding.

There have been quite a few articles thrown around the internet lately about the frequency and duration of crying in babies relating to the method of feeding, the most recent one being on the BBC website and beginning with the headline “Breastfed babies cry more”

I know, I know, that article is supposed to be encouragement to make breastfeeding mothers aware that breastfeeding babies nurse for various reasons, so therefore will cry more in order to gain attention from mum.  I know.

But, from a personal point of view, if I were a new mum and I was having the breast vs battle debate with myself, I would be completely put off by being told they cry more.

I think this is because we see crying as a negative thing.  If your baby cries, it means you’re doing something wrong. In fact, if your baby cries, it just means they need you.   They need Mum.  Not a dummy.  Not a bottle. Mum.

We have had two vastly different experiences with babies.  My first screamed.  Constantly.  Or at let it felt that way.  She was about 9 months old when it stopped.  She wold scream all day and night regardless of who held her or what was going on.  It was a nightmare.

My second cries if he wants me. That’s it.  If he cries, I know he wants me.  I have had compliments on how quiet he is.

Both babies were breast fed.  In fact, my daughter was combine fed and she cried more. 

Sweeping generalisations do more harm than good….generally.

Maybe I’m becoming a hippy.  Maybe doing it second time round with a calmer baby has made me believe that we should all have unmedicated births and breastfeed our babies well into toddlerhood (oh if only everything were that perfect.) But I don’t believe saying that babies cry more is a sympathetic view. 

“Oh, it’s OK he’s up all night howling, he’s breastfed.” 

(Most likely followed in the next breath by “Just give him a bottle.”)

Sleeping Through

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All new parents crave that elusive 8 straight hours of sleep.

Well, last night I got 11pm to 7am.

Wow.

Sounds awesome right?  And it would have been amazing had I not made some rookie errors.

I didn’t pump when I got in.  Just fed off right boob, then to bed.

Left boob was FULL! When he woke up this morning it was 15 hours FULL. And lumpy.  And super sore.

He fed. A lot.

He then puked it back up all over me and the bed.  See I forgot that he can’t handle large volumes of milk on an empty tummy.  I thought we had got past that. Obviously not.

I bought him downstairs amd decided to pump off what was in right booby as that is the fast flow hardcore boob.

I pumped off almost 5oz from one letdown on one boob.

The vitamins appear to have given me super boobs.

Normally I get 4 oz from both boobs after 2 letdowns.

And it is a pump and dump.

The sleep weaning thing

Before I launch into this rant, I have to add a disclaimer.  All babies are different, not all methods will work for every baby and this is all personal opinion and not an attack on people who suggest things or chose to use certain methods with their children.

Right, I’m a little saddened I’ve had to write a disclaimer like that to be honest as health visitors wouldn’t write a disclaimer before suggesting water or a bottle before bed but there we go.

It is totally 100% normal for babies not to go through the night until…well, I’ve heard of some kids not going through until 18 months or beyond.  Mind you, think about it, do you sleep all the way through with no moments of waking?

My son does not go through the night.  We sometimes get 6 hours, but mostly it’s around 4 hours and it’s consistent. He is a breastfed baby.  He has had 3 or 4 puree meals (no excuses, we tried it) and he is 21 weeks old.

I moan about not sleeping.  I’m allowed to.  I’m exhausted. But this does not mean I don’t accept the above.  As much as I bitch about living on 5 or 6 hours of broken sleep a night I accept that O is waking and he needs feeding or comfort.

I know he needs feeding or comfort because he can self settle.

So, if he wakes me I know it’s because he needs me.  And he needs me 2 or 3 times a night.  Not too bad considering life is still pretty new to him.

I’m sure everyone has heard “he’s feeding too often, time to wean.” Or “if you feed him solids he will start going through the night.” Or “when he wakes up, give him some cooled boiled water.” Or, my personal favourite “try giving him a bottle before bed.”

As above, if these methods have worked for you then hurrah! But my instinct just…well, I’ll run through them. (I only know about breastfed babies.  The formula thing is alien to me.)

“He’s feeding too often, time to wean him.”

The boy loves food.  He loves booby and he adores cuddles and kisses and fuss.  My girl likes to cuddle too.  O watches us eat with fascination.  He loves it.  If he’s offered a spoon, he launches himself at it with gusto.

He also has an immature gut. 

When we weaned The Toddler, we started at 16 weeks with puree. I was desperate to stop feeding her every couple of hours.  Weaning went ok until we had a tummy bug and then she had awful constipation.  I don’t just mean not going for a few days, I mean straining and screaming.  When she finally did go, it was like a yellow paste. I would have to sit on the floor with a towel and nappy under her, rubbing her tum, pedalling her legs and wiping her sore bum while she tried to push out the solids her body wasn’t ready for.  It was pretty horrific.

So after we gave O some puree which caused him not to go, I’m reluctant to carry on.

He doesn’t feed too often.  He nurses. He does it for comfort, because it calms him, because it soothes a sore belly, because he wants cuddles, because he needs a drink.  It’s not just about filling his tum up…

Which actually brings me nicely onto point 2.

“Weaning will make him sleep through.”

I’m sorry, but will it?! I’m fully weaned and even when I’m not in demand and not pregnant I still wake up in the night!  I still get up for a drink at 4am.  Sleep is not a hunger/weaning problem.  Babies wake up at night.  If you feel your baby is waking more than they should, then address this with your GP.  People wake for a multitude of reasons from hunger and thirst to sleep illnesses such as sleep paralysis (which I get) and sleep apnoea.

“Just give him a bottle of water when he wakes.”

Again, breastmilk is for thirst as well as hunger.  Water may quench his thirst but it’s not going to help if he wants to nurse because he has had a bad dream. I just don’t understand what good bloating him with water will do.

“Give him a bottle of milk before bed.”

I love this piece of advice. I’ve heard two mums discussing this at playgroup.

Mum 1: she started giving him a bottle before bed and he slept through.

Mum 2: aww, that’s good.

Mum 1: yeah, she was starving him feeding him breastmilk through the night.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!

I almost said something.

Formula is harder to digest. This is a fact.  So, what happens is yes, baby sleeps better but it makes their bellies work harder.  Personally, I don’t like going to bed after a huge meal. So this piece of advice makes me cross. I’m not going to fill up his little tum with formula just to make my life easier.  He cluster feeds to prepare for a night.  My milk is bloody good stuff.  There’s no reason he should give this up.

We also have experience of the bottle before bed thing. We were absolutely desperate to get the Toddler to sleep and stop screaming (she had pretty terrible colic) so we gave her a bottle before bed.

Not only was I uncomfortable so didn’t get to enjoy her sleeping, she went down well, then woke up a couple of hours later screaming and covered in milky vomit.  Needless to say, we won’t be trying it with O.

So yeah.  Rant over.  And breathe.

Thursday nights

Feeding O hasn’t really progressed.

Actually, that’s a big fat lie.  He has taken a bottle and will eat baby food.  He prefers the baby food to the 5oz of breastmilk I pump between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  The breastmilk ends up in the sink. I could cry, I really could.  But I don’t because if I cry about anything, the crazy might come out and I won’t stop.  So I just look sad.  Like cute puppy dog needing a home sad.  Or cute kitten.  Ok, I make the same face as the animals in the RSPCA adverts, ok? Can we move on?

So, breastmilk flushed down the drain…

He feeds when I get home (normally, not always) then the night begins.

Now, he can go 6 hours over night.  He usually manages 4.  I can cope with 4.  Eight to midnight, one to half four, five to nine.  Yep, we can work with that, especially if I go to bed about 10 and get a couple of hours kip in before he wants feeding.  Or I pull off a dream feed.  Either way, if he must wake in the night, this is the pattern I like.

Except on Thursdays.

I get home at 10, feed.  Go to bed a bout 11, get woken up at midnight to feed. Get back to sleep at 1 ish, wake up at 2 to feed.  Bed at 3, back up at four.  He might then go until she comes in at 7.30.  Maybe.

Then I spend all friday comfort feeding him.

All this because I left him for five hours.

Sigh.

It’s never simple

How how how did everything end up so complicated?

Is it any wonder I have “the mentals”?

Every day something seems to compromise my extremely delicate mental state.

Yesterday it was the lack of salonwear.

Then the rhyme time failure where some newbie, fresh faced teen mums thought that I was evidentally deaf and couldn’t hear them criticising me after the Toddler threw a library book.

Today it was not being able to park at the park…compounded by shitting it about tomorrow.  I’m not scared about class. I’m scared of not getting everything done.

And then topped off by both children refusing to eat.

You see, I need to get my kit tomorrow, after I haved fed O and tried to express off some fresh milk to go in the fridge.

Then lunch and more expression after his feed (if he sleeps) then cooking tea and getting him to nap until 6ish. 

I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if he’ll take it.  This is a very complex arrangement.  So complex that I’m getting a complex about it.

And there will be no one here to bring my shoes in so I’ll have to find time to go and get them.

Sigh.

Even the most simple things in my life become tangled little knots of crap that I have to unpick while getting kicked in the face. 

Fuckit

Breastmilkaccino

O refused the bottle.

He refused my lovingly pumped breastmilk.

OH managed to spoonfeed him 2oz.

When I got back I latched him on in his sleep and he fully emptied my poor booby. But only one.  Then he woke every couple of hours in the night. Not ideal, but for now we can work with it.

I had 6oz of milk in the fridge which needed drinking. O isn’t going to do it, so I decided I was going to make a coffee with it. Waste not want not right?

Before pouring it in my drink I checked it as it had been in the fridge for about 27 hours.

Sweet…then OMFG disgusting.  The bitter soapy after taste was foul. Like when you get earwax on your tongue.  I do not blame O for his refusal and I feel bad that he ended up having 2oz.

OH said he tasted it last night and it was just sweet, so it’s possible it was past its best. 

So now I’m considering ditching the other 14 + oz and just pumping Wednesday night, Thursday morning and Thursday lunchtime to get about 6oz of fresh milk to keep him going.

And there was I hoping pumping would make this simple.

So I haven’t blogged in a couple of days..

But I have been writing.

I haven’t been able to find time to get to the computer so blogging has been limited. Most of my writing has been done old school.

Anyway, today I am having a complete confidence failure.

What if I’m late?

What if I’m early?

What if they’re pissed off because until I purchase my salon stuff all I have are maternity jeans, old t-shirts and trainers to wear?

What if they decide the outbreak on my chin is a hygiene fail?

What if one of my kids gets sick today?

What if I get sick today?

What if my period comes back and I don’t have pads?

What if my boobs become so painful I can’t take part?

What if my boobs spray milk everywhere DURING taking part?

What if O doesn’t eat before I go?

What if he needs feeding but refuses the bottle and spoon?

What if the milk I’ve expressed and lovingly cared for is sour?

What if they don’t like me?

What if I don’t like them?

What if I don’t like doing it?

What if I think positively for just a second?

What if it’s fabulous?

What if it changes my life?

What if I meet some wonderful people?

What if O takes the milk no problems?