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Thread: our nursing takes too long

  1. #1

    Default our nursing takes too long

    i have 11 day old baby girl. all about our feeding seams well - i have milk, she knows how to suck on my breast, that do not hurt. but, our nursing goes on in circles for like 2 hours in a row - she sucks for like 20 minutes, than takes a nap, than comes back in 10-15 minutes, than nurses again, and does that 3 to 4 times. after that she sleeps for 3 hours. if i try to make it quicker she either sleeps shorter between feeds (for an hour, hour and a half), or gets upset, cries, and stays awake and alert - crying, for hours. according to all the theories, this is far too long for a feeding period, and everyone is saying it should not take this long. please tell me what to do. thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: our nursing takes too long

    Not according to all theories. It sounds very normal to me 11days in. Newborns eat around the clock. They are working to regulate supply and the desire to be on you/connected to you while doing this is very normal. You should plan to get up in the morning with no goal other than to feed the child. Most of us spend the first 6-8 weeks AT LEAST in our PJs on the couch nursing the baby all day. So plan for it. And wrap your mind around the idea that it IS NORMAL. Wake up and set up a nursing station. A place with your novels or magazines, the remotes, your laptop and telephones. Bring snacks and water for you. I got up to pee, change diapers and get more food. That's it. For weeks. The housework will wait. Have your DH bring home take out. Feed the baby. That you are getting a 3 hour nap where you don't have to hold your child is amazing this early actually. So if you KNOW that trying to get her off sooner is going to disrupt that don't mess with it. This time where they need us constantly is such a short period of time. ANd it's so important in the process of finding your nursing goroove as a dyad. Embrace it. Let it be what it's supposed to be. A time when you ARE together constantly working on supply and relationship. It will pass. But the investment is small compared to what the relationship will mean long term to both you and your daughter.
    Last edited by @llli*djs.mom; March 11th, 2012 at 09:36 AM.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: our nursing takes too long

    Congratulations on your new little one! This nursing behavior actually sounds completely normal. Newborns' tummies are VERY small. They can't fit much milk in at a time, but are growing very quickly. As she gets bigger and older, her feedings will probably get larger at a sitting, and will space out a bit. But there is a pretty wide variation in what is the normal length and frequency of a feed, and the one to best let you know what the right timing is is... your baby. Listen to her. She'll tell you what she needs. It sounds like you're doing really well following her cues. Keep doing it, and try not to listen to anyone who thinks they know better than your own baby what she needs. Also, I'm super impressed that everything is going so well with nursing! It often takes moms and babies longer to get all the details worked out with latch. Congratulations, again!

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: our nursing takes too long

    I would question why "everyone" is so concerned with how your HEALTHY baby is nursing? She's only 11 days old. Her little tummy is only about the size of a grape. So it fills quickly, digests quickly and needs to be refilled quickly! Newborns may go as long as 3 hours, but honestly, much more often they'll go only about 1 - 1.5 hours.

    The clock starts ticking from the time you START nursing. So if baby starts nursing at 12 noon and she's nursing every hour, she'll START nursing again at 1pm. 1 hour from when she started last time. It doesn't matter how long she nursed for. I know it's exhausting, but it's the reality of a newborn.

    How long she nurses is driven by what she needs. Try to nurse on one side long enough to drain it before switching sides. Sometimes newborns may just "camp" at the breast for up to an hour! Just keep in mind that what she's doing is what she NEEDS. She knows better than anyone else. She never knew hunger while in the womb, so please try to fulfill her needs just as quickly now that she's here with you!

    Also keep in mind that they aren't consistent. My 3 week old may need to nurse 4 - 5 times over 2 hours. Sometimes she'll give me a 2 hour nap, sometimes it's only 45 minutes. It changes throughout the day, changes every day. It's just the way she rolls. She's too young to expect to be on some sort of schedule. The worry isn't if she's nursing too often, but if she's not nursing enough. Your baby sounds like she's nursing plenty! So celebrate that nursing is going well!

    I would recommend that you not put any more thought into what "everyone" says. Is your baby gaining weight? Does she have lots of wet and dirty diapers over the course of the day? Refer to this to see if she's outputting enough: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html Then you're doing it RIGHT. It's not about the clock. Baby can't tell time. It's about giving her what she needs, when she needs it. If she fusses, the first thing to offer is the breast. Every time. Don't wait to see if it's something else. Crying is a very late stage signal for hunger. Once she starts to fuss, mouthing her hands, mouth open - offer to nurse. If you wait until she's crying they often have a hard time latching on and calming down enough to get in a good feed.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: our nursing takes too long

    thanks! our nursing feels good to me, too, but then there is this prevailing view that it should take 15min one breast-15 min other-3 hour nap, and my midwife thinks the same, and i got confused and unsure of whether i am doing this right. thanks again! )

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: our nursing takes too long

    Watching the clock is not good for you or baby. Keep nursing on demand, it teaches your body exactly how to make enough milk for baby and it's best for baby. Will any due respect, I think that the timing advice you've received is not BF educated advice.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    West Salem, Ohio

    Default Re: our nursing takes too long

    With my new little girl I was given the same standards, 15 min on each side. Then we got home and there were many days when all it seemed she wanted to do was nurse. I found that it became more enjoyable and easier when I stopped worrying about how she ate. She is 7 weeks old now and has just started taking both sides at some of her feedings, but she usually only does one side at a feeding. There were times she would be on for 5 min and fall into a deep sleep. Then there were other times where we would be sitting on the couch for an hour, everytime I would think that she was asleep she would start to actively suck.

    I agree with the pp's. You should do what feels right for you and your baby regardless of what others say (as long as she is healthy and happy).

    Mother of 3 beautiful girls, and expecting baby number 4 in July

    Elisabeth ~ 9/25/07
    Eliana ~ 1/08/09
    Elivia ~ 1/22/12 ~ EBF

    with all 3 still

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: our nursing takes too long

    thanks! our nursing feels good to me, too, but then there is this prevailing view that it should take 15min one breast-15 min other-3 hour nap, and my midwife thinks the same, and i got confused and unsure of whether i am doing this right. thanks again! )
    This "prevaling view" does not prevail among lactation professionals and those who have worked with nursing mothers and babies for generations, like LLL has. I strongly urge you to get the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th editon, 2010)for the REAL LIFE FACTS, based on science and evidence, about breastfeeding and normal baby behavior. Sorry to sound strident but if I hear about one more mom being undermined by these kinds of meaningless notions about feeding times and frequencies I will tear my hair out (So I expect to be bald by the end of the day.)

    Your baby will not always nurse like this. This is very early days. It will keep changing. But as long as baby is gaining appropriately, you and baby are "doing it" perfectly. Trust your baby and trust your body and you will do fine.

    Unfortunately, I am not surprised your midwife does not have this quite right. Where I live, there are many wonderful midwives and they are amazing and knowledgable when supporting moms bringing baby into the world, but to my dismay I have found that their knowledge on breastfeeding is often limited or outdated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: our nursing takes too long

    Let's keep lllMeg's hair full and lustrous.

    As long as baby is wetting and pooping enough and is gaining weight appropriately, and nursing feels okay to mama, there's no reason to worry about the length or frequency of her feedings. Newborns are all over the map when it comes to nursing. Some get the job done in a twinkling and then are content to sleep for a few hours, others take forever to get a full feeding and then want to eat again very soon after they finished. There's no one right way!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Miami, Fl

    Default Re: our nursing takes too long

    I agree with pp. I strongly recommend you get the book. I got it this time around and it is wonderful, with great information.
    Congrats on the new baby
    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

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