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Thread: Comfort Nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Conway, SC
    Posts
    8

    Default Comfort Nursing

    After a shaky beginning (milk taking a few days to come in and having to supplement a few times which broke my heart), nursing became a breeze. My baby girl had a great latch and we rarely had any issues. Then at about 2 wks old she started nursing around the clock (which really helped my milk production). If she was awake she wanted to eat. I've never heard of this before so I was concerned and exhausted. I asked the doctor at her 2 wk check up if this was normal, she said it was she was just comfort nursing and if I wanted to I could use a pacifier. Well determined to never use a pacifier on my baby I just figured I would continue to nurse her on demand. Well that lead to her overfeeding and constantly spitting up. I again was feeling defeated. I read on several different forums that it is impossible to overfeed a breast fed baby. So I bit the bullet (waited 5 weeks to make sure it wouldn't hurt our nursing relationship) and bought my baby girl a pacifier which she has a love hate relationship with. Some days she'll take it some days she won't. Has anyone else had the issue with comfort nursing and overfeeding? At one point does the sucking reflex start to subside? I want to get nix the pacifier asap, I'd rather her use her hands/thumb then a pacifier.
    Darci

    married to the love of my life 3/25/11
    EBF to my sweet little Annabelle 11/10/11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Comfort Nursing

    Is baby doing well? Other than the spitting (which,if baby is doing well is a laundry problem, not a real problem). Are you sore? If not..if it ain't broke, don't fix it Honestly, what you write sounds pretty normal to me.

    The sucking reflux....well, it can be years. Two of my babies used pacifiers for a couple years, along with breastfeeding. One refused a pacificer and nursed for a couple years. My fourth was born with a birth defect that prevented sucking, but he wanted to and still wants to...only I have to hold the bottle in (he couldn't handle a pacifier; it gagged him).
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Conway, SC
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Comfort Nursing

    Yeah the spitting up doesn't bother her, she is definitely a happy spitter. I love our nursing relationship, and the constant nursing has definitely cut back as she has become more alert in the past couple weeks. I just didn't know how common the comfort nursing was.
    Darci

    married to the love of my life 3/25/11
    EBF to my sweet little Annabelle 11/10/11

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Comfort Nursing

    Very common and totally normal and healthy.
    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!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Comfort Nursing

    It is true that one cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. This does not mean a breastfed baby won't take more at a single feeding than the tummy can comfortably hold, and they then deal with this by spitting up. The difference is that if a formula fed baby is overfed, it can possibly cause medical issues.

    Spitting up with a breastfed baby is not a definite sign of overfeeding, although of course a baby dealing with forceful letdown may spit up due to very rapid ingestion of milk, but again, if there are no other symptoms or issues it is nothing to be concerned about.

    I am tired of 'comfort nursing' being dismissed as if it is not important. It is actually a vital part of the nursing dynamic, and this continues well beyond the early weeks. When a breast substittute is used, it can interfere with this dynamic, causing issues on the one hand like low supply & poor weight gain, or, on the other extreme, exacerbate forceful letdown/oversupply issues by causing an unnatural delay between feedings. Pacifier use can also cause/exacerbate latch issues. This does not mean never use a pacifier, and of course delaying paci use as you did helps avoid (but certainly does not eliminate) such risks. No matter when introducing paciifiers, I suggest to moms that they use them conciously and judiciously only when truly "needed", (for example in the car) and not as a regular breast substitute.

    Also, lots of babies do not take all that well to pacifiers. (Or thumbs, fingers or hands, for that matter.) Smart babies, I say. They know the real thing and accept no substitutes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Conway, SC
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Comfort Nursing

    I 100% agree with you Meg! I love nursing time with my baby, I share a bond with her that no one else can. But sadly there are things I have to do that I can't while nursing (haven't quite mastered nursing in the Moby sling yet). Fortunately her love/hate relationship with the pacifier should make it easy to take it off of her completely within the next month. My biggest problem with the comfort nursing is I live with my in laws at the moment and they don't like me nursing in front of them, so I'm banished to my room for the whole day almost, gets a little lonely. That will be taken care of soon though, hopefully moving out in February.
    Darci

    married to the love of my life 3/25/11
    EBF to my sweet little Annabelle 11/10/11

  7. #7

    Default Re: Comfort Nursing

    My biggest problem with the comfort nursing is I live with my in laws at the moment and they don't like me nursing in front of them, so I'm banished to my room for the whole day almost, gets a little lonely.
    Oh I am so sorry. Arrrgh. This attitude makes me physically ill. I once talked to a mom who was living with her parents and her own dad would tell her to go out and " do that" (nurse her infant) in the car!

    Do you have supportive people in your life you can get out and about with? Are you comfortable nursing in public? I absolutely hate the idea of moms trapped in their rooms or even in their houses due to nursing. This can lead to depression. Finding anywhere you can go and be supported and nurse your baby as you please could be so helpful-try to look into La Leche League meetings or hospital based mommy and me meetings in your area, or any breastfeding supportive play group or something!

    I wonder what would happen if you just started nursing in the living room and told them to get over it? What would they do? Sigh.

    I doubt this will help if they are that weird about it but here is a little thing writen up for grandparents. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...sbreastfed.pdf

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    The Armpit of the Universe
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    248

    Default Re: Comfort Nursing

    I agree with Meg, especially this:
    I wonder what would happen if you just started nursing in the living room and told them to get over it? What would they do?
    It's funny, our babies share a birthday, and I also live with the in-laws. I felt awkward about breastfeeding in front of them at first, not sure what their reaction would be, so I did the same thing, holed up in my room. Eventually I just got bold and came down to the living room, cause sitting in a bedroom all day sucks! I just chose the less used of the living rooms (I don't know if that would be an option for you), so I wasn't taking over their space or anything, but I was at least less isolated, and closer to the kitchen, heehee.... I think MIL is glad to have me back, honestly.
    I don't know what your weather is like in winter, but maybe even just getting out into the backyard would be a nice change of scenery?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    17,404

    Default Re: Comfort Nursing

    I was also thinking that what you described sounded like a growth spurt? They typically come at 3,6 and 12 weeks. But they can come early too! Where the baby nurses non-stop for 3-5 days? Did it ever subside? Or has your baby been constantly nursing SINCE the 2 week point?

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Conway, SC
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Comfort Nursing

    You think they would be more understanding especially since she bf all her kids. I tried nursing in front of them, even put a blanket over me and they weren't happy. It's incredibly frustrating. Unfortunately their house is on the small side so there is only one living room, which they are always in. I thought maybe it was a growth spurt too, but it never slowed down until the past 2 weeks when she started becoming more aware and distracted by her surroundings. Being banished to my room isn't so bad now that I have this forum!
    Darci

    married to the love of my life 3/25/11
    EBF to my sweet little Annabelle 11/10/11

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