Re: Efficient Nurser? When?
Feeding speed varies widely from baby to baby, even when you're talking about brand-new babies. Babies who have trouble transferring milk rapidly- due to things like a poor latch, a high palate, or use of a shield- tend to become efficient nursers much later than those who get their milk easily. But don't lose hope: your baby will eventually take much less time to feed. He's going to grow out of the latch issues, and once you can ditch the shield you'll likely see feeding efficinecy increase a lot.
It is true that it can be worrisome when a baby takes an extremely long time to eat. This is particularly true for weak, tiny, or premature babies, who may burn so many calories attempting to feed that they negate the calories they take in while nursing. However, this sort of issue is rarely a problem for term babies, and as long as your baby is gaining weight well and wetting/pooping enough, the long feedings are an inconvenience and not a health risk.
Work on ditching that shield. I am willing to bet that the day you can nurse without it, you're going to see a big decrease in feeding length.
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