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Thread: Sucking but not swallowing

  1. #1

    Default Sucking but not swallowing

    Hi, Ladies,

    I'm new to the forum. I never imagined I'd be having nursing trouble since DS1 nursed like a champ from the start. I'm trying to figure out the crux of the problem with DS2, so I'll start with this question.

    DS2 is 10 days old and is having lots of problems with weight gain. As a result, I've been advised to nurse and then offer expressed milk in a bottle. He seems to prefer the bottle much more. When I offer the breast, he seems to turn his nose at the nipple, but eventually latches on for a time. My main question this time, though, is what I should do when he sucks but does not actually swallow. He will do rhythmic sucking and swallowing for a time, but then it seems as though he goes to only sucking and not drinking. I have lots and lots of milk, so lack of flow isn't the issue. I need to make sure he's drinking as much from me as possible so that he'll not even want the bottle and we can stop that part of the regimen completely.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,005

    Default Re: Sucking but not swallowing

    Welcome! Can you go into some more detail about your new baby's situation? It would help us to know the following:
    - Birth weight, lowest weight, and current weight
    - Mode of birth- was your birth unusually difficult?
    - Fluids- did you have IV fluids during birth, and if so, how long did you have the IV in for?
    - Jaundice- is this a problem for your baby?
    - Sleepiness- is baby sleepy, does he fall asleep easily at the breast?
    - Scales- has baby always been weighed in the nude, on the same scale?
    - Diaper output- before you began to supplement, about how many wet and poopy diapers was the baby having per day?
    - How is nursing going aside from what you've mentioned? Is it painful at all?
    - Has anyone checked baby for a tongue tie?

    This link is a good one on increasing weight gain in a breastfed baby: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns..._increase.html. In particular, the breast compression technique can help speed milk flow to the baby.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Sucking but not swallowing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    welcome! Can you go into some more detail about your new baby's situation? It would help us to know the following:
    - birth weight, lowest weight, and current weight birth: 7'8"; lowest: 6'12"; current: 6'14"
    - mode of birth- was your birth unusually difficult? Repeat c section
    - fluids- did you have iv fluids during birth, and if so, how long did you have the iv in for? Yes - he was born at 9am and i had the iv until 4am the next day
    - jaundice- is this a problem for your baby? Yes. Highest level was 17.9 4 days ago; today it was 15.9
    - sleepiness- is baby sleepy, does he fall asleep easily at the breast? Yes! I have to wake him for almost every feeding and he often falls asleep feeding
    - scales- has baby always been weighed in the nude, on the same scale? Always in nude; on same scale 4 of 5 times at doc office this week.
    - diaper output- before you began to supplement, about how many wet and poopy diapers was the baby having per day? 7-8 wet & 4 poops
    - how is nursing going aside from what you've mentioned? Is it painful at all? Left side is painful. Feel as though he doesn't latch as well on that side. Right side is fine.
    - has anyone checked baby for a tongue tie? No.

    This link is a good one on increasing weight gain in a breastfed baby: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns..._increase.html. In particular, the breast compression technique can help speed milk flow to the baby.
    thanks for your support!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sucking but not swallowing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*srarox View Post
    He will do rhythmic sucking and swallowing for a time, but then it seems as though he goes to only sucking and not drinking. I have lots and lots of milk, so lack of flow isn't the issue. I need to make sure he's drinking as much from me as possible so that he'll not even want the bottle and we can stop that part of the regimen completely.
    The pattern you're describing is normal... You'll see the rhythmic sucking and swallowing as letdown occurs, and then as the flow slows down baby will go back to the shorter, choppy sucking pattern. Usually after a while the stimulation from that type of suckling will trigger another letdown and you'll be able to tell he's swallowing again.

    There are a couple of things you could try to make sure he's getting as much milk as possible --

    - Switch nursing. If you're not seeing another period of swallowing after the first letdown, you could watch to see when he goes back to the non-nutritive sucking, then take him off and switch to the other breast. Often that will rouse baby enough to nurse a little more vigorously and trigger another letdown. You can switch back and forth several times during a nursing session.

    - Breast compressions can help keep him nursing more actively for longer. There's a good handout about breast compression here.
    Karen
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,475

    Default Re: Sucking but not swallowing

    How frequently does baby nurse? How many times in a day (24 hours)?

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