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Thread: Baby Falling Asleep At Breast

  1. #1

    Default Baby Falling Asleep At Breast

    My 5 day old has been nursing like a champ (every 1-3 hrs) but seems to fall asleep at the breast. I offer him a breast and he usually nurses for 10 minutes and then falls asleep for the remaining 5 minutes. I try taking his clothes off piece by piece until he is only in a diaper and nothing seems to wake him up. Since, I am unable to wake him my breasts have been feeling full and I am not sure if I should just allow them to feel full of pump. I was an unsuccessful breastfeeder with my last son due to getting mastitis. I am now terrified that pumping will make my body overproduce. Any suggestions would be nice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,882

    Default Re: Baby Falling Asleep At Breast

    Hi mama, what do you mean by "the remaining 5 minutes"? Are you expecting him to nurse for exactly 15 minutes each time?

    How are his wets & poops? That's how you can tell if he's getting enough milk. If he is, then no need to pump at all - just nurse on demand (which means at his early cues for both when and how long). If you do that, your body will figure out how much he needs. Milk supply really gets established in the first 2 weeks, and gets regulated around 6 weeks or so, so you will very quickly stop feeling full.

    If he doesn't have enough wets & poops each day, then we need to talk about how to get more milk in to him. Other suggestions for keeping him nursing are to tickle his feet, tickle his neck/jaw.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Baby Falling Asleep At Breast

    If you do need to get more milk into him, try a wet washcloth on his tummy or a wipe on his tummy - this recently worked for my 3 week old who is a sleepy nurser. Or, he might be getting all he needs...
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,926

    Default Re: Baby Falling Asleep At Breast

    Hi mama, what do you mean by "the remaining 5 minutes"? Are you expecting him to nurse for exactly 15 minutes each time?
    Good point. Many moms are told that newborns must nurse for 15 minutes, or some other set time. others are told to not nurse baby longer than 15 minutes. I have no idea where the magic 15 minutes time frame came from, but babies are not born with teeny stop watches! Some babies nurse shorter than that as a rule, many nurse way longer. Many nurse a different length of time every time.

    Frequency of nursing is most important in the early days and weeks. Is baby nursing a minimum of 10-12 times per 24 hour day? How many times a day does baby poop at this point, and what do the poops look like? Output is a much more reliable sign baby is getting enough milk than how long baby nurses.

    Also if baby falls asleep after 10 minutes, what happens if you just hold baby? Often a baby will wake up again shortly (within 10-40 minutes, say) and want to nurse again. This is called cluster feeding and is normal.

    Don't break out the pump yet! As long as baby will nurse often enough it is not likely needed. On the other hand, you do want to avoid getting painfully engorged. If you are feeling full, encourage baby to nurse again, and if that fails, try hand expression. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...expression.pdf

    If you must pump, pump just enough to relieve the pressure- "too comfort."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Baby Falling Asleep At Breast

    When I first started breastfeeding in the hospital I had the greatest nurse, who told me that you can encourage sucking by stroking right in front of the ear, and the corners of the mouth.
    It works wonders for me when my little guy is falling asleep before he's got a good meal out. It may not keep them awake but it keeps them eating if that is what you're concerned about.

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