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Thread: What is "normal" for breastfed babies?

  1. #1

    Default What is "normal" for breastfed babies?

    Hi - I'm a breastfeeding new mom of 8 week (2 week adjusted) old twin boys, and just having a hard time figuring out what "normal" is for breastfeeding babies. I'm so worried about my boys getting enough milk. I have been tandem breastfeeding, and offering a supplemental bottle of EBM after the evening feeds as my supply seems to drop quite a bit - as I'm tandem feeding, I can't just switch back and forth to the unused boob unfortunately. My questions are:

    -- How many times a day should a baby nurse? My boys nurse between 7-9 times a day, but usually closer to 7... initially they were nursing every 2-3 hours, but now are stretching that out to 3-4 hours. Is that ok? I really want them to start sleeping more at night, but don't want to rush it.

    -- Supplemental bottles -- I want to do away with them, but I'm terrified about the boys getting enough milk. They were preemies and it took awhile to get them back to the breast after bottles in the NICU and I worry that their stamina still isn't up there with full term babies. They are gaining btw 8-11 oz a week, which seems good - how can I feel confident in eliminating them?

    -- How long should a baby nurse? One of my boys seems to finish in about 10 -12 minutes but the other is more leisurly nurser. Is that normal?

    -- How many times a day should a full time nursing mom pump? Initially I was pumping after every feeding, but that was exhausting, so I cut out the nighttime pumping. Now I'm only pumping 3-4 times a day. I worry about my supply -is that enough to maintain my supply? Is there a time that it's better to pump?

    Sorry for so many questions - I am having some confidence issues, and hoping to hear more about what's normal, or what's working for other moms, especially twin moms.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: What is "normal" for breastfed babie

    I don't have twins, but I will do my best to help you. Congrats on nursing your babies! That's amazing!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*soliker View Post
    Hi - I'm a breastfeeding new mom of 8 week (2 week adjusted) old twin boys, and just having a hard time figuring out what "normal" is for breastfeeding babies. I'm so worried about my boys getting enough milk. I have been tandem breastfeeding, and offering a supplemental bottle of EBM after the evening feeds as my supply seems to drop quite a bit - as I'm tandem feeding, I can't just switch back and forth to the unused boob unfortunately. My questions are:
    It's normal for your supply to lessen in the evening - even with a singleton. The best thing to do right now is to just park in on the couch and feed, feed, feed. Even if you're using both breasts to nurse, the breast is never actually ever "empty." It's always making milk, so long as milk is being removed from the breast. So the more you feed, the more milk you will make.
    -- How many times a day should a baby nurse? My boys nurse between 7-9 times a day, but usually closer to 7... initially they were nursing every 2-3 hours, but now are stretching that
    out to 3-4 hours. Is that ok? I really want them to start sleeping more at night, but don't want to rush it.
    Kellymom always has great input! http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enoughmilk-older.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/bas...multiples.html
    -- Supplemental bottles -- I want to do away with them, but I'm terrified about the boys getting enough milk. They were preemies and it took awhile to get them back to the breast after bottles in the NICU and I worry that their stamina still isn't up there with full term babies. They are gaining btw 8-11 oz a week, which seems good - how can I feel confident in eliminating them?
    I'm no expert on preemies or twins, but my guess is that you'd want to watch diaper output. See link above. If those stay on track - I'd cut the bottles and the pumping.

    -- How long should a baby nurse? One of my boys seems to finish in about 10 -12 minutes but the other is more leisurly nurser. Is that normal?
    Watch the baby, not the clock! Both are being perfectly normal. Some babies get efficient quickly and will eat fast and then move on. Others like to linger over the meal. I wouldn't worry about either one as long as diaper output remains within the normal range.
    -- How many times a day should a full time nursing mom pump? Initially I was pumping after every feeding, but that was exhausting, so I cut out the nighttime pumping. Now I'm only pumping 3-4 times a day. I worry about my supply -is that enough to maintain my supply? Is there a time that it's better to pump?
    Well, mornings are typically a time when milk production is highest - so that's when moms pump to get milk to save for later. Are you pumping to return to work? Or are you just pumping because that's what you did when they were in the hospital and you're worried about supply? Personally, I'd watch diaper output and ease away from pumping if you don't need to do it. It's a lot of work. As long as the diaper output and weight gain are going well - I would imagine you could stop pumping on such a regular basis.

    It sounds like you are doing amazing! Good work, mama!
    Sorry for so many questions - I am having some confidence issues, and hoping to hear more about what's normal, or what's working for other moms, especially twin moms.[/QUOTE]

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: What is "normal" for breastfed babie

    Normal is anything the babies need and are thriving on

    I don't have a link for it, but Kellymom has a section on weaning away from supplements.

    And step away from the pump. If the babies are nursing well and you feel empty..why are you pumping? You won't need it. Instead, pumping is just making you have more milk.

    It's all confidence, and you'll get there. Your babies will tell you if something is up.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,893

    Default Re: What is "normal" for breastfed babie

    I hate the word normal. That suggests that anything outside that is abnormal and that's just not the case. People are so very different, why wouldn't babies be? Take a step back and trust your body. Look at your babies and see if they are happy, gaining well and growing. Other than that, let them lead the way.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

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