Breast feeding emotions

So baby James is 6 days old, he's perfect in every way and is quite quiet as far as other babies I've been around.

The trouble is, I'm getting loads of emotional hormones which are making me feel inadequate. He's a breast fed baby and all the midwives at hospital commented how well he feeds, but today the community midwife came round to weigh him, and although I've read it's common, he's lost a little weight. Which makes me worry about him. I'm normally a rational person, so half my brain says 'its normal, don't worry, he's eating plenty and the midwife wasn't too concerned, (although he is getting re weighted on Wednesday to check on him) so don't worry about it'

But then another baby fuzzed part of my brain is saying 'what if he's not eating well enough? (He's a bit of a piggy and spits what appears to be loads of milk back up sometimes) what if I'm misreading feeding signs and making him sick? What if he's poorly?'

It's an internal struggle between my rational mind and my mammy mind which I guess is just programmed to worry about him from day one.

Just needed to vent a little, my partner can't understand why I don't think I'm doing a good job, which I understand because he doesn't have all these extra hormones flying about in him!

11 Replies

  • . Well done on your first week as a new mummy breast feeding little James. Your right most babies loose a little weight. In fact both mine did, they have never been on the 50th centile line always under. They both eat and eat and eat do well throughout and they are 6 and almost 5. What I'm saying is dont be hard on yourself your doing a wonderful job. We each go through the same emotions and its something that I look back on and I'm proud I managed to breast feed for 6 weeks. :-)

    my baby in uterine is under the line again this one will be small like the other two, but I'm not worried I take the health visitor on the chin. Soo many times I was in tears because of the way they would speak to me about not feeding baby correctly he/she isn't heavy enough. Really if they where heavier they'd be telling you there too fat and need to watch what they eat, no child is perfect just remember your instincts. Xxx

  • Thanks for the reply, the midwife really concerned me when she was weighing him. she told me up to 10% is fine and that he hadn't lost that much, then she said he had and then she said her maths wasn't very good so his notes are full of scribbles and corrections and i cant tell what he actually weights! But he's being re weighed Wednesday all the same.

    I know what you mean about them rubbing you the wrong way though. She came both Saturday and Sunday as I only left hospital Friday tea time due to severe PPH, and she just gave off such a grumpy vibe both times. I'm full of the joys of a new baby and she acts like she got out of bed on the wrong side! Lets hope she cheers up next time I see her, I think her mood made me feel like something was wrong. Xx

  • You are quite correct it is all your hormones! A quiet settled baby is a happy well fed one! When it comes to weight they are expected to regain birth weight by 7-10 days so plenty of time. The self doubt will ease but I think as a Mum you will always get those feelings but they get much farther apart! Support on here is great but I would try and get out eg to a breast feeding support group to, it will raise your morale! There is no indication that there are any issues with weight gain yet but if there are make aure the chart is a breat fed babu one, they will grow more slowly!! Try and enjoy it, its a magical time! Xx

  • Thanks for the reply. I went to a breast feeding workshop last month and they mentioned a mum and baby group on Tuesdays so I plan to head down there this week or possibly next just to chat to and meet new mums. Who'd have thought the crazy hormones could affect you so much!? I guess I'll probably never stop worrying about him now, stuck in crazy mam mode for life! :) xx

  • Hi my daughter is now 9 days old and she's breastfed. She was 9lb 10oz at birth (bit of a shock!) and has lost a bit but this really is totally normal. In my area the midwives weigh baby on the 5th, 9th and 14th days just to chart it all so don't worry about James getting weighed all of the time it really is standard practice.

    3 years ago when I had my son we had the opposite to the previous post-my son was in the 95th centile and gradually went off the charts! Our health visitor told us he was too big and "would be so fat he won't be able to learn to sit up". He was only 6 weeks old and I went mental. Both my brother and my partner are 6'2" and my other half is the short one in his family! The problem is they work by averages and obviously not all children fit into those results! My son is incredibly tall (He's now 3 years old and 3'5") as we would expect because of genetics and his weight is in his height-his clothes are always too big at the waist but too short in the leg/body! He was sitting very comfortably earlier than averages predict and so the health visitor was completely wrong.

    So, as the previous post said if James was heavier they'd be whinging too trust me!

    My son also brought back a lot of milk after feeding-it didn't stop him gaining weight so try not to worry about that-I know if I rush food/ drink I end up feeling sick so I guess when they guzzle it down they can overdo it too!

    Hormones are a funny thing and it really does settle down. I remember crying my eyes out as i'd convinced myself my son didn't like me! It isn't quite so bad this time but I have good days and bad days at the moment and it will pass. Just take each day as it comes.

    Good luck! (I'm sure you'll be fine :-) )

  • Thanks for the vote of confidence! I was super happy with him and how he's coming along until she mentioned getting him re weighed, it's good to know it might be just standard practice. He's such a little piggy sometimes, I would never deny him his meal because I thought he was being greedy, but I think he just likes to fall asleep on the breast at the minute which is probably leading him to eat when he's not that hungry, so I'll feed him, he'll sick some of it up and then want more! It's good to hear I'm not the only one feeling emotional over what seems like nothing! Xx

  • my little boy isnt breastfed but at 6 days old he had lost 8oz. He got weighed again at 10th days old.and he had put on 10oz. My baby was drinking pretty well but he can be the dirty nappies. My baby was filling a lot.of nappies the first few.days, but it is just to clean their insides.out. My baby is now 8 weeks and 11lb2oz birth weight 7lb14oz. I know a first instinct is too worry but it is normal.

  • Hi. Congrats on your baby boy! and for breastfeeding!

    the first week every child loses weight, its normal. its because they have to dry. yes, as simple as that, they dehydrate because they have to adapt from the water inside the womb to the air outside. have a read, there are plenty of books explaining this process better than me!

    a 10% loss of weight is considered normal, that means that baby will lose weight and then recover, so be time your baby is 2 weeks old he would be the same weight as when he was born. don't worry about it, just feed him. how much to feed? as much or little as he wants, trust your baby, he would know!!

    all the best

  • Your hormones are still all over the place, if little James is sleeping between feeds then you have got to think that he is getting plenty of milk to fill his little tummy or he would just be besides himself crying ALL the time cause he is hungry. If you have had the midwifes check you and they say you are doing a great job then trust what they say.

    My 1st son was born 7lbs 14oz and I breast feed him in the first week, my midwife didn't even check me. He was crying ALL the time. I rang me midwife and asked her if it was normal that he was crying ALL the time and she said "newborn babies do cry my dear", so I was like an emotional wreck by this point. I couldn't take anymore of the crying so just bought a dummy (which my husband was really against) They finally came after 6 days to my house to weigh him and he had gone to 6lbs 2oz in the first week. I was furious, we got admitted back into hospital where he was put on a drip. They really pressured me into carrying on with the feeding and realised he was tongue tied so wanted to snip his tongue but I said no I want to bottle feed him. I really felt like running away from the hospital as I had had enough and felt like I had failed big time.

    They do say they loss about 4ozs so anything round about that I really wouldn't worry and you are doing a great job.

  • As others have pointed out and as you know yourself it is absolutely normal for babies to loose weight in first couple of days, so nothing unusual that yours did too. I also think that a lot of it is dependant on just how accurate was their weight at birth - if you think about it it can be dependant on many things, such as did baby open his bowels before/after weight was checked, then also there are variation between weightin scales in the hospital and the ones midwifes use, your baby's weight will also be different if his tummy is full etc. etc. So those checks they do and calculations are all really approximate and if you ask me they do more harm then good. Number of times posts similar to yours are made about health visitor/midwife making incredibly inconsiderate remarks and statements (and that's being polite) that have gotten new mums into a near histerical state surely speaks volumes, just how usefull they really are. Don't get me wrong there are some great midwives and health visitors but there are also those that should be struck off the list and never advise anyone else as the advice they give/remarks they make are actually harming both mums and babies. It turns out that lack of knowledge my midwife showed caused both my baby and me a lot of pain and it was only my persistance that got us back on the right track with breastfeeding. I expressed milk for 4 months while waiting for my baby to start liking breast again after my midwife insisted I had to top up his feeds as she was sure I wasn't producing enough milk. I had plenty, and am still breastfeeding him at 10 month. He was just gaining weight at his own pace, rather than following their rules. Anyhow I digress...

    My advice would be to listen to yourself, trust your instincts as hard as it might be to recognise them in that emotional storm your hormones are causing. You are doing a great job breastfeeding, and you will do even better if you relax and not stress about it.

    Just feed as often as you possibly can in those early days, especially if you baby is partial to falling asleep on the breast (again nothing unusual, most babies do), or if he is happy sleeping for long stretches in between feeds, just pop him onto your breast while he's still asleep and he'll learn to feed even when asleep!! This will ensure that your milk supply is adequate and follows your baby's needs and also will ensure that he is getting plenty.

    If you're still worried about the amount of milk he's drinking and weather he is having enough I would also strongly advise you to get a breast pump and pump away. This will ensure your breast are emptied on regular basis and this will help with good milk supply for days to come, it will also give you an idea of just how much milk there is and you'll also get some expressed milk which you can freeze to use in his cereal once you start him with weaning. But please do not worry if you can't pump much at the beggining, it is a skill to be learned, both by your breasts and you :-) Also remember that quantity you get by pumping will be less than what baby will be able to get as no pump is as efficient as baby.

    Anyhow, please, just relax, don't get sucked into health visitors/midwife one dimensional way of thinking - all babies are different and they follow their own rules, not those written in midwife's manuals :-)

    Enjoy your motherhood and breastfeeding - babies grow up so fast, so cherish every moment and don't let doubts cause you worry.

    You are doing great, remember that always!!

    PS. Sorry for such a long post, it's been one of those days when words get a bit muddled and expressing oneself takes a bit longer.


  • You're doing an amazing job and he's only 6days old! All those hormones flying around are completely normal!! My baby is 6wks today and I remember feeling exactly the same as you and still get days like that now! Breastfeeding is hard work and it does get easier....I found it hard to believe when people told me that but it does! They say the first 3 are the hardest and the next 3 too but gets easier after 6. I'm becoming more confident each day now and there's more of a pattern to her feeding. You'll still be getting to know and learning about each other so try not to is learning too :) as for weight, my baby lost 8oz by day 5 and that was fine as 7% of her birth weight. She was back up to birthweight at about 2 and a half weeks and now at 6wks she's nearly 2lb heavier than at birth! :) xx

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