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Thread: Intermittent Sucking - Low Milk Supply?

  1. #1

    Default Intermittent Sucking - Low Milk Supply?

    Hi all,

    I am new to this forum and new to motherhood! My DS is just 9 days old. We have had a few issues establishing breast feeding. He was 8lb4 when born and lost 10% of his birthweight in the first six days, before my milk came in. He was only pooing every 2.5 days and had very few wet nappies.

    After talking to a lactation consultant I started taking fenugreek and trying to hand express after feeds. We also spend two days on the sofa doing almost constant feeding to get my supply going.

    It must have worked a bit because today he was weighed again and is only 7% below birth weight. And I seem to be producing a bit more milk. Nappy wise we are also doing a bit better although only 3ish wet nappies per day rather than the average 6.

    My remaining worry is he isn't very consistent at sucking. He tends to give 5 or 6 sucks and then has a ten second pause before going again. So although he is spending 15/20 minutes at each breast he is only really sucking for a small amount of this time. The midwife didn't seem worried about this but every other baby I know sucks hungrily and consistently at the breast.

    Is this just the way my baby likes to eat? Or is it that the milk flow is too slow to keep him going? I have tried breast compressions while he sucks which help to a certain extent but don't stop his long pauses.
    He will eventually get bored/fall asleep at the breast but when I squeeze there is always still milk left.

    Any advice gratefully appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Intermittent Sucking - Low Milk Supp

    Nursing is hard work! At only 9 days old it is likely that he exerts a lot of energy and needs a little break The first six weeks are full of growth spurts and baby is just figuring out how everything works - you'll find that his patterns will change almost constantly. It sounds like he's doing great! I would continue to follow his lead, nursing on demand and offering the breast if he goes longer than 3 hours.

    The other thing to mention is that there is always milk in your breast so being able to express some after a nursing session is normal. The term "empty" when it comes to breastfeeding doesn't really mean "empty". It just means that the milk your body made for that nursing session has gone through the milk ducts - there is still milk being produced constantly, and there is always milk there if baby is hungry (the flow changes from fast to slow, but you are never out of milk).

    The best way to make sure that you little one is getting enough is to count wet diapers. If there are 5-6 sopping wet diapers (equivalent to 4-6 tablespoons if you wanted to fill a dry diaper with water to see what it should feel like) in a 24 hour period.

    You're doing great mama! You are giving your baby the perfect food Keep up the great work!

    mother of 2 boys!

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Intermittent Sucking - Low Milk Supp

    Good advice from the PP. You might want to check out this link on sleepy babies: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/cc-ba...m#SleepyBabies

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Intermittent Sucking - Low Milk Supp

    Congrats on dear baby! Agree with everything in all pps. Hopefully nursing is comfortable for you because the remedy at this point is nurse nurse nurse. Early days are tough, I promise it gets easier. Let others take care of you so you can take care of baby. If nursing is not comfortable, let us know, lots of suggestions will be here for you. BTW it is generally normal for baby to fall asleep at the breast, he is comforted, not bored. Breast compressions are a good idea, and baby may well be nursing in his sleep too. If baby is nursing very frequently, it matters less how long each session lasts. You are right to keep looking at output. That and weight gain will give you the most accurate picture of how it is going.

    Also once baby starts pooping more (which he will I feel sure) you can stop worrying about wets and just count the poops. you want to see at least 3 (usually yellow and very soft/runny/wet) poops a day at least the size of the 'O' in the 'OK' sign you make with your pointer finger and thumb. Here is our diaper log fyi: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...diaper_log.pdf

    waking sleepy newborn: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...py_newborn.pdf

    feeding cues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

    one comfortable type of nursing position to try if you like: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

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