Very long feedings
I have a 9 week old. In the beginning we had lots of breastfeeding issues. She had a tt (which we had clipped), I had an infection, she had a large decrease in weight and then very slow weight gain. After lots of work I am finally really happy with breastfeeding. At her last appointment she had moved up to the 56th percentile for weight- I'm so happy I didn't give up.
There is one part though that I'm still confused about. It takes her 45-60 minutes to feed each time. I'm wondering if I'm missing the cues that she is actually done. I read that they are done when they pull off the breast - but she doesn't ever do that. Typically I end it and break the latch when she is full on sleeping. There are sometimes throughout the feeding where it seems like she is getting drowsy and her tongue is just fluttering so I try to stop and she gets mad and then picks up the pace and starts sucking more again. Sometimes she does multiple sucks before actually swallowing - is this a sign that she is done?
Thank you in advance for any help you can give! :)
Re: Very long feedings
Hi mama, that's wonderful that you stuck with breastfeeding and have gotten to a good place with it! Long nursing sessions are very common especially in such a young baby. It sounds like your baby is doing a mix of nutritive sucking and comfort sucking, which is natural and normal and helps maintain supply and bolsters your breastfeeding relationship. When my babies were that young I would just assume they would be on for a long time, so I'd settle myself on the couch with whatever I needed to keep myself occupied - magazines, books, my computer, my phone etc and I'd plan on being there for a good long while! Or I'd settle myself in for a nap. Keep up the good work!
Re: Very long feedings
My first NEVER came off the breast on her own. Not until around 5.5 months. Before that time, she would be on the breast for 45-60 minutes, on average. I read a lot of novels while nursing her!
One thing you might try for long feedings- and also for improving weight gain, though it doesn't sounds like that's a problem any more- is switch nursing. When baby appears to be drowsing off, and transitioning to that shallow, fluttery comfort sucking, you take her off the breast, burp her or change her diaper, and put her onto the other breast. You repeat this process as many times as necessary, until baby will no longer wake. Switch nursing keeps a baby alert and active at the breast, and that can speed up feedings and also increase milk intake. It's not something you must do, just another tool for your kit. :)