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Thread: Should I Shorten Nursing Sessions?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    81

    Default Should I Shorten Nursing Sessions?

    Hi, I have a 7 week old baby and have had sore nipples from a shallow latch since the beginning. We're seeing an IBCLC and there has been some improvent, although things are not perfect yet.
    My baby has always been very sleepy and nursing sessions always took over an hour. So today the LC watched me nurse and after 10 min she said "see how relaxed he is? he´s full already. from now on all he wants is confort nursing".
    she suggested, since my nipples are sore, that I should shorten nursing sessions. I feel a bit anxious about this since I can't tell if he's full or not! He just never refuses the breast. Today I had 2 letdowns and after that she said he was full. Normally I'll keep offering until I have 4-5 letdowns and see him drinking. The fact is he has been gaining between 6-10 oz a week.
    Could I be overdoing it? Am I overfeeding him? How can I tell he has had enough if he never refuses the breast???
    Also how can you tell baby finished the first breast?
    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: Should I Shorten Nursing Sessions?

    Just watch for swallowing. If he is actively swallowing then keep him on, if he falls asleep after a while you can wake him up and switch sides or start on the other side next session. 6-10 oz a week is normal weight gain at that ahe (IIRC 7 oz is average) so he seems to be gaining well and getting enough. You can't overfeed a BF baby so don't worry.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    In Peace
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    2,923

    Default Re: Should I Shorten Nursing Sessions?

    Do what feels right, trust your instinct and your body. If you take him iffa d he wants to nurse again ten minutes later, nurse him. Of you want to keep him latched, do it. If your nips need a rest, take him off. If he isn't hurting you, leave him on. Do whatever you think is right.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,629

    Default Re: Should I Shorten Nursing Sessions?

    You are certainly not overfeeding. 6-10 ounces per week is appropriate weight gain but not in any way too much. There is nothing inherently wrong or not valuable about 'comfort nursing,' in fact this is how babies ensure they get enough and keep moms milk supply appropriate.

    The problem is that nursing hurts, not that you are nursing too much. Sometimes a baby hangs out forever and that can get wearing on the nipples, many moms feel this in the evenings, for example. But that is kind of different from a painful latch. If latch always hurts the issue is the painful latch, not nursing too much.

    A baby may be finished with the first breast when they come off the breast for a break. At that point you can switch breasts or not depending on how you feel. It is fine for a baby to nurse on only one breast per feeding, it is fine to switch during the feeding, it is fine to switch several times during the feeding, as long as you are following babies cues and how you feel rather than watching the clock.

    Keep working on that shallow latch. Try different positions, try laid back positioning, try sidelying, try everything and if it does not work one day try it again another day. Try nipple sandwich technique, try working on asymetric latch as well.

    What are you doing to help the sore nipples? Lanolin? Breast milk?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Should I Shorten Nursing Sessions?

    Both my girls only fed on one side per feeding for the first 6 months. Well A2 is only 5 months and she is still just one side per feeding. I always offer the second side but she rarely takes it. With both they were very sleepy nursers the first few months and I'd have to keep waking them up to finish but most of the time I just let them comfort nurse for a while and once they were only sucking intermittently I'd unlatch. I don't know if this is the "correct" advise but with me when I feel like a side is "finished" for the most part to me it feels deflated and soft and I can squeeze it and there is not much space between my thumb and finger (I am small though, only an A cup). I just kind of go by how it feels. If I feel like I am not fully drained then I offer that breast again. I often go by my baby as well. If she doesn't seem interested then probably she is not getting much out and I offer the other side and she is and she is happy then that works. I totally agree to go by your instincts and what feels right. And lanolin was amazing the first 6 weeks plus for both my girls.
    Melissa

    Young SAHM of
    Afton (A1) (1/24/09) and
    Autumn (A2) (8/29/11)

    Sealed in the SLC Temple

    and and now CDing!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Should I Shorten Nursing Sessions?

    I ve been using APNO. that combined with working on the asymetric latch is making a difference.
    I do swap breasts a lot since he falls asleep very easily. Glad to know it is ok!
    My instincts tell me to keep offering for as long as it takes... Thanks for your input, ladies!

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