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Thread: Frequent long eating, blanched lips, noises...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Frequent long eating, blanched lips, noises...

    I have a ton of questions/concerns, but background first: my son is 3.5 weeks old. Wet/dirty diapers are fine, and weight gain is fine.

    LO is still nursing every 1 to 1.5 hours (up to 2 or 3 hours at night), and he tends to nurse for 30 to 45 minutes each time - this seems like a long time to me... Normal?

    Also, when he finishes nursing, his lips look blanched from so much sucking. And when he finishes, my nipples are still lipstick-shaped. We've worked with 2LCs, the pediatrician, and 2 LLL leaders, and his latch is improving. I know it's improving because my cracked nipples have healed, and it doesn't hurt as badly when he latches on. But I'm still concerned about blanched lips and nipple shape.

    Finally, he's started pulling around a lot and making grunting noises after he's nursed for a few minutes. Sometimes, he also makes little noises that sound like suction is breaking. He doesn't let go, but he moves a lot! It seems like I've read that this could mean low supply, so I'm concerned.

    Thanks for reading and responding. These forums have gotten me through more than a few sleepless nights and long days!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Frequent long eating, blanched lips, noises...

    Hi mama!

    I don't see anything you've described here that sounds abnormal to me. If wets/dirties are good, AND weight gain is good, then I don't see any reason at all to believe you have low supply based on behavioral cues from the LO such as grunting, long feeds, etc.

    You are probably starting, ending, or right in the middle of the 3-week growth spurt. Expect to see some looooooooog feeding sessions, fussiness, and days where the nursing seesm to never end. This is totally normal and does NOT mean you have low supply. It means your LO is telling your body to make more which is exactly how it should go!

    I also think it is very encouraging that your nipples are feeling better, even though the latch is still not perfect. But apparently it is improving! You can help LO get more nipple in his mouth by squeezing your breast just like you would squeeze a big hamburger sideways to get it all in your mouth. My baby just couldn't get a deep enough latch to prevent lipstick shape completely until she was about 2-3 months old. But her latch improved enough that my nipples healed from their initial trauma in the early weeks and then remained in pretty good shape. Hopefully the same will be true for you! If not, go back to an LC or to a LLL meeting to get some more hand's-on help with your latch!

    Finally, my daughter had very long feeding sessions for quite a while. Then around 4-5 months they got a lot shorter. But even now (11 months) she'll still occassionally have a marathon feed, especially at night. It is really good for boosting my supply even now! And she nursed every 1.5 hours very regularly until at least 5-6 months, sometimes doing so even now (although I get a lot of "drive-by" 1-minute sessions these days.
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Frequent long eating, blanched lips, noises...

    One of the indicators of tongue-tie is having lipstick nipples and long feed times. My baby had weight gain because I have a pretty good supply but no one identified him having tongue tie until he was 3 and a half weeks. You should get it checked out by a dentist skilled in this area.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Frequent long eating, blanched lips, noises...

    with ooky. The long feeding sessions are completely normal! My LO did the same thing...nurse for 40 minutes, sleep and nurse again an hour later. It can be exhausting but sooo worth it! Soon the length of those sessions will decrease and you'll miss those days sitting on the couch watching tv while the baby nursed :-)

    I had similar issues with my LOs latch early on. You're not in pain...that's good!! As the baby gets older and his mouth gets bigger, his latch should improve. The "breastburger" that ooky described should help your LO get more of the nipple in his mouth. Remember that latch will change as he grows, as well. My LO is 7 months old and we've had to work on her latch (on left side only ) several times over the course of our breastfeeding relationship.

    Sounds like you're doing great!!
    I'm Melanie

    First time mom to my sweet baby girl born October 2010
    We full-time and love it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Frequent long eating, blanched lips, noises...

    this sounds exactly like my LO! this post and responses are very encouraging. i thought i was the only one. just last night i was getting frustrated because LO had a 45 min nursing fest. my nipples were so sore. he also pulls away and grunts.

    he was dx with tongue tied which we did get fixed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Frequent long eating, blanched lips, noises...

    These symptoms are classic for tongue tie. My son was diagnosed with tongue tie at 5 days but we didn't fix it until this last week. He is now 7.5 weeks. He had normal wet/poopie diapers, normal weight gain, but never filled out and they kept telling me he was failing to thrive because he 'looks skinny'. He has to work really hard to bf and my pediatrician kept telling me the tongue tie wasn't the issue. We even tried switching to the bottle (i was pumping like mad) and he struggled with that as well. My dr said it was my milk. We fixed the tongue tie on friday without my pediatrician's blessing and he has already started looking better, he is getting chipmunk cheeks. We went to an Ear Nose Throat dr he fixed it in his office in about 5 minutes.
    My son also has club feet and has heavy casts so I don't know if he would have struggled as much had this not been the case, but I would definately look into it. We spent tons of time and money going back and forth to the pediatrician who refused to consider it was the problem. We are finally doing better and looking for a new pediatrician.
    My nipple would do the lipstick thing and develop blisters. He couldn't maintain a latch so we ended up with a nipple shield. And feedings took a long time, at 7 weeks it still took an hour to finish both sides. And he ate every hour and a half so I basically had 15-30 min to go potty and eat between feedings. We were both exhausted and frustrated. My sons was really bad, there are different degrees, but after the experience I had, if I had it to do over, I would have had it fixed much sooner and not let the pediatrician talk me out of it.
    Good luck, i hope things get better.

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