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Thread: Supply is in, baby eats for a few minutes at a time

  1. #1

    Default Supply is in, baby eats for a few minutes at a time

    Some background: baby is 3 days old. In the hospital, we practiced an incorrect latch long enough to develop a blood blister on one nipple, and tenderness on the other. A lactation consultant came in and helped me with a new position. She's directed me to use a modified football hold instead of a cradle. I'm also using a shield over the blistered nipple until it heals.

    I'm having trouble keeping the baby feeding. She usually sucks for 5 minutes on her own and then she falls asleep and won't rematch, even if I wake her, or I have to massage the milk down to her for the majority of the feeding. At max, she'll eat for 15-20 minutes with a lot of coaxing. Sometimes she eats for 5 minutes and us done. Then she wants to eat again in 20-60 minutes. It's exhausting, especially at night.

    Her pediatrician says it could be because I'm not making enough milk, but my milk is in and I'm pretty engorged. I do manually express some milk to it drops and she's not tiring herself before the milk drops.

    Is thus just because we are both new to this? Am I missing something? My boo sand nipples are killing me. I feel like I'm doing something wrong.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,996

    Default Re: Supply is in, baby eats for a few minutes at a time

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    The first thing to know is that you want to base your baby's milk intake on her diaper output and weight gain, not the length of time she feeds. Feeding length varies widely even at the earliest ages, with some babies taking just 5-10 minutes to nurse and others taking close to an hour. This is a handy reference on what to look for, when it comes to diaper output and weight: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...s/enough-milk/

    If your baby has sufficient wet and poopy diapers and her weight gain is good, you can relax. Just try to roll with the frequent feedings, because they, too, are normal. Breastmilk digests fast, newborn tummies are tiny, and a baby is growing faster during the newborn stage than she ever will again in her entire life. Eventually she'll space her feedings out and become more predictable, but you certainly can't expect it at less than a week old!

    Now, if your baby doesn't have sufficient wet/poopy diaper output, let us know and we will give you tips on getting her to nurse more actively!

    Finally, I am SO GLAD you were smart enough to ignore the pediatrician's comment about you not making enough milk. A smart doc who was concerned about your baby's intake would refer you to a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, instead of just tossing off comments about your milk supply. If this person is your baby's regular doc, you might want to look for a different care provider.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Central FL
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    996

    Default Re: Supply is in, baby eats for a few minutes at a time

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*amanda.korby View Post
    Her pediatrician says it could be because I'm not making enough milk, but my milk is in and I'm pretty engorged.
    If baby is not able to extract milk efficiently then you may want to seek help of an IBCLC
    http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3901

    And if pain and milk transfer issues are still a problem (or if Ped tells you to supplement at your next appointment) here is a thread I started to try to compile resources to help with milk transfer issues
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...ransfer-Issues

    The massage and breast compressions are good things to help keep baby actively nursing.

    And here are some video clips that might help you tell when baby is actually swallowing since it isn't really how much time baby spends with a nipple in her mouth but how much she is actually drinking.
    http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...id=6&Itemid=13

    Very frequent nursing is good at this age, roll with it as best you can provided baby is gaining weight. Get family to take care of you and household as much as they will so you can concentrate all your energy on baby and nursing these first several weeks. If baby isn't gaining well or having plenty of wet/poopy diapers then get help ASAP since the problem is probably not your milk supply but you and baby need help figuring out what the problem is so you can fix it as early as possible to make your journey as easy as possible.

    FYI, even "perfect" nursing situations are usually very hard for at least the first six weeks, that is the nature of having a newborn and guess what, even for those parents doing bottles of formula, it isn't any easier really.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,471

    Default Re: Supply is in, baby eats for a few minutes at a time

    I agree with pps. Can you see the IBCLC again or call her? Assuming baby is pooping normally, what I would most be worried about at this point is your pain.
    Nursing often changes, sometimes dramatically, when moms milk 'comes in" Full breasts can make it hard for baby to get a 'good' latch, leading to more pain and injury. Nursing frequently is normal and actually a way to help with this. However, you do need to sleep. Is there someone who can hold baby and comfort baby so you can take short naps, and also so you can maybe put together about 4 straight hours of sleep, about once a 24 hour day?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
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    996

    Default Re: Supply is in, baby eats for a few minutes at a time

    Or are you able to nurse side lying so you can maybe get some sleep while nursing? Or at least some rest?

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