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Thread: Taking a long time to nurse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Taking a long time to nurse

    To help my 4 1/2 week old's nursing issues we rented a babyweigh scale. We have been exclusively pumping. He had tongue tie which was resolved about 2 1/2 weeks ago, but still wasn't getting much at the breast. We'd hoped his suck and latch had improved so we got the scale to test it.

    We feed him 2 oz of expressed breastmilk every 2 hours, then 2 oz every 2-4 hours at night. He's never exclusively nursed before.

    Both times that I've nursed him so far with the scale, it's taken him 90 - 120 minutes to get 2 oz at the breast. He doesn't seem to be getting frustrated, but I'm concerned about it. I mean, by the time he's done it's about time for him to be fed again. Plus, I'm worried about my supply going down, I'd just started pumping enough to get him completely off formula.

    He drinks okay from my left breast, he'll get 1 oz in 20-30 minutes. My right breast, however, he has problems from I guess. He doesn't swallow as much, and it takes him an hour to get 1 oz. If I put him on the other breast, my right breast leaks wetting my entire shirt front, so I know it's not empty. Any ideas on how to resolve this?

    Should I just let him nurse for however long it takes him to get full no matter how long it takes, or should I just let him nurse for x minutes then give him expressed milk in a bottle?

    Should I worry about my supply going down because my breasts aren't getting emptied? I've tried pumping one breast while he nurses the other, but it's extremely difficult.
    Last edited by @llli*voxxa; January 5th, 2012 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Taking a long time to nurse

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*voxxa View Post
    Should I just let him nurse for however long it takes him to get full no matter how long it takes
    Yup, that's what I'd do! He'll get more efficient over time, and his nursing sessions will get shorter. But if he's having good diaper output, I would not worry.

    Most of us produce unevenly -- but it really isn't that big of a deal. I think a lot of us first time moms get too caught up in oz and production b/c you have to think about that with formula. But in my personal experience, it just makes me worry more about something, that in the big scheme of things, is insignificant.

    Again, pay attention to diaper output. Let him nurse when he wants... and relax The more you let him nurse, the more it will stimulate supply (if it is truly needed).

    ETA: and yes, alternate sides. It doesn't matter if you don't pump the same amount out of each side. (besides, your LO is *not* a pump, and is probably already more efficient )
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Miami, Fl

    Default Re: Taking a long time to nurse

    I had similar issues with my previous son, except the tongue tie... I would just nurse as much as possible, the few times I pumped, stressed me even more as i would only get no more than 20 ml from BOTH breast. I did see a lactation consultant 2 times a week for the first few weeks and followed up with the pediatrician as well. Although my son did not gain LOTS of pounds, the pedi was reassuring that my son was OK, as he had good wet and dirty diapers, and seemed to be physically thriving. I did not get a scale and although it drove me crazy not knowing how much wt he gained, it really helped me into not becoming to fixated about it either. I know there is no right answer to give you, but I would just take the time to BF and bond as much as possible and assess his output and growth other wise. Good luck mommy
    Working mommy to Cat, Nikki, Brandon and baby Lucas
    exclusively for the second time!
    we made it 21 months with previous son and 9 months and counting with Lucas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Taking a long time to nurse

    I agree scales can casue tons of angst. And before and after weight checks are tricky and should only be done on VERY good scales, IMO.

    Anyway, for long and not terribly productive nursing sessions, breast compressions are usually reccomended. have you tried these? Find a description and video on the website: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php

    Nurse more and bottle feed less, if you can. Babies learn to breastfeed by breastfeeding. (Stolen phrase from Dr. Jack Newman)

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