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Thread: nursing for hours on end and no napping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Montreal, Canada
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    Default nursing for hours on end and no napping

    For the past 3 days my 21-day old LO has been nursing for hours at a time. We're working w/ one breast and her feedings have always been long but these are just endless -- an entire evening from 4 pm to 9 pm at the breast.

    She sucks a lot but I don't always hear loud swallowing equal to the length and vigor of the suck. I compress during feeding but it doesn't seem to make a difference. At some point she inevitably becomes agitated, will writhe, cry at the breast, raise her head and chomp at the nipple. I know that sounds like OALD but the long feedings do not. She's never rejected the breast. Plus, she doesn't seem full and rarely ends a feeding with a milk coma and a nap. Yesterday she was up for nearly 4 hours though she at least slept 4 hours at night. I was engorged and leaked and expressed so she could get her mouth around a softer breast.

    Yellow stool diapers are good -- we had 7 during one of the marathon days. She regained her birth weight when measured at 2 weeks 4 days (from 7.4 to 7.8 pounds with a discharge weight of 6 pounds 11 ounces) but pediatrician wanted to see more than that).

    I meet with a LC on Tues but any advice now is welcome. I'm just tired, sore, and hungry myself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: nursing for hours on end and no napping

    Growth spurt and totally normal camp out and nurse through it.
    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
    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: nursing for hours on end and no napping

    Hang in there! My 3 week old went through the same thing and we made the huge mistake of supplementing and have now gone to the other end of the spectrum and are having trouble getting him to take the breast! It will not last forever! Have your hubby bring you something to eat and drink! : )

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,930

    Default Re: nursing for hours on end and no napping

    Sounds like a growth spurt. Since you only have one breast to rely on, your baby is giving that breast double intensity of demand, and it may take a bit longer to boost supply on one breast than if you were working with 2. As the PP said, camp out and nurse through it. Get a basket of snacks and the tv remote or a few good novels, and work your way through the spurt.

    You're doing an awesome job and you can get through this!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: nursing for hours on end and no napping

    We hit new lengths yesterday. She started cluster feeding at 4pm and I assumed I'd be able to put her down for a few good hours around 10 pm. Wrong. She wanted to be at the breast till 1 am. And then she was up every hour for more. All told, she's been in my arms for over 20 hours.

    The tugging and whining and clamping got worse -- much worse -- as well. I don't know what to do. I want to follow her lead but I only have 1 nipple and have to protect it. The tugging happens regardless of position & time within feeding.

    Feeling desperate. We're headed in to day 5 of non-stop nursing. Worried this is more than a growth spurt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: nursing for hours on end and no napping

    Sorry, mama! I was hoping things would improve for you. You're going in to see the LC tomorrow, right? Please tell us what she says, and also make sure she does a weigh-feed-weigh test on the baby to determine intake (but be aware that a single weigh-feed-weigh is just a snapshot, and it's best to have several days' worth of data before settling on what a baby's average intake is).

    I don't mean to ask a painful question, but how usable is your other breast? Can you allow baby to nurse on it at all, or is it too painful or too damaged? You might be able to offer it as a pacifier from time to time, even if there's little or no milk on that side. Giving your producing breast a little rest might enable you to have the strength to go on. Of course, if intake is actually low, then you probably don't want to do that.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: nursing for hours on end and no napping

    the marathon nursing and wanting to be held is normal. not fun, but normal, and it will get better.

    the tugging and clamping - not so much - but you see an LC tomorrow, right?
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  8. #8
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: nursing for hours on end and no napping

    Thanks. I'll let you know what the LC thinks. I thought about offering the other breast as a paci for relief and to see if she really wanted to eat or just needs comforting. I haven't done it yet.

    I'm disappointed that my radiated breast showed no changes during the pregnancy, no colostrum, and now no milk (brast cancer, 5 years ago). It's odd to feel so connected to my baby and one side of my chest and totally lopsided and resentful of the other. I just want my baby to be ok.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Newbury Park, Ca
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    Default Re: nursing for hours on end and no napping

    Sorry to hear you are having a tough time. I can totally relate! My LO has been luster feeding for 3days now. My husband so doesn't get it either. He wants me to give her a bottle. Good luck getting through and good luck with the healing. I can relate to that as well. I had only 1 good nipple for a month!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Montreal, Canada
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    Default Re: nursing for hours on end and no napping

    We're back. She's gained weight over the past 5 days but at the lower end of the range -- just 106 grams. Not quite enough given how much marathon feeding we've done. LC's advice was surprising: limit her time at the breast to 30 mins, wait 10 mins, then supplement w/ pumped milk. The intent is to get her back to napping and to give me time to recover from the 5+ days of mulithour feedings. I really hope we're not on a path to replacing the breast. Scared.

    She thinks the crying and clamping means she's just not full & not getting the hindmilk goodness. I didn't realize I could compress a lot harder than I have been. Hopefully that will help.

    Discouraged but still determined.

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