Don't think we'll survive the 6-week growth spurt — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Don't think we'll survive the 6-week growth spurt

I feel as though I'm starving DS, he was 6 weeks last Friday and is starving all the time lately. He is no longer happy at the breast - he flails his arms, comes on and off, screams, and still seems hungry (sucking on his fists, bobbing his head around for my breast) after an hour long feeding.

I feel awful, but I just gave him 4 oz. of formula after a feeding because my breasts were so sore from all his ripping and pulling of the nipple, and he still wanted more food. I never give him formula, but today I felt like I am starving him! And after he had the formula, he seemed so happy and content.

Is my supply going down, or is this the infamous 6-week growth spurt? He's been like this since last Wednesday. I only worry about my supply because the past 2 mornings I have only pumped 2 oz. after a feeding, when I usually can pump 4-5 oz. in the a.m. after a feeding.

Any insight would be much appreciated! I don't want to have to continue to give him formula, but I also don't want to starve him!!

Re: Don't think we'll survive the 6-week growth spurt

  • To me it sounds like the infamous 6 week growth spurt.  The cluster feeding helps boost your supply but it does take some time.  Do you have a freezer stash that you could give instead of formula? He's probably not starving if he's having enough wet/dirty diapers.  You might also wanna try seeing a lactation consultant to see how much he's taking in, they can weigh before and after nursing.

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  • Mine does similar actions at the breast. Typically I'll massage my breasts a bit to help - then I'll take her off and burp her. As long as there is something in her tummy shes not gonna be in discomfort. I then try my best to get her settled and asleep to buy some time until the next feeding.

    Even if you feed every hour or hour and a half, I'd try that route instead of sitting there trying to feed him for an hour straight.  He'll just get too frustrated. My LO has found her thumbs and likes a pasi too so those help. 

    Formula is only going to hurt your supply since he wont be as hungry next time. Your body needs about 24 hours to be able to ramp up its supply to meet the increased demands. I'd deal with a few hard days w/o formula and putting a lot of demand on my breasts than not get the message to my body and make us both suffer longer.

     

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  • This is an excellent link I found on Kellymom talking about the effects of supplementing on supply.  It explains that your baby is getting enough from you. 

    http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppbreastfeed/?msg=198.2 

    I found this very stressful as well and personally found the solution was to take to bed with the baby and feed on demand.  I read magazines, dimmed the lights and tried to make it as relaxing as possible for both of us and it seemed to work. 

  • For me the 10 day and 3 week growth spurt were the worst.  I let him feed for 45 min straight and then made my DH take him for 15 min min while I had a break.  Then I started in again.  It lasted 2 days and I nearly lost it.  The 15 min break was the only thing that kept me sane.
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