Re: Lots of questions: supply, milk production, night feedin
I can understand your LC's surprise. Very long feedings are sometimes very inefficient feedings- the baby's latch isn't right or the baby is so sleepy that it takes her f.o.r.e.v.e.r to get a full meal. The "sometimes" part of that statement is why feeding speed is such a misleading indicator of how breastfeeding is going. Some babies get full meals in just 5-10 minutes, others take the classic 10 minutes per breast, and others will feed closer to an hour.
If you need to know how breastfeeding is going, the important things are a) how nursing feels, b) diaper output, and c) growth. When nursing feels okay and baby is producing adequate wet and poopy diapers and is growing normally, there's no reason to worry.
Are you currently offering just one breast per feeding? And if so, why? If the reason is oversupply and fast letdowns, one sided feeding may be advisable. But thee are lots of other reasons why moms do one-sided feedings, and it isn't always what they want to be doing. In particular, if your baby is feeding for an hour at a time, offering both breasts at a feeding may speed things up a bit.
It is true that a baby's milk volume needs don't change much as time goes on. This can be really surprising when you consider that formula-fed babies consume larger and larger amounts of formula as time goes on! But breastmilk does seem to become more calorie dense with time, and because breastfed babies tend to be good self-regulators in terms of intake, they generally don't want more and more milk as time goes on.
Don't worry about sleep too much. Your body has a very sensitive internal clock that can be trained to make the right amount of milk for a given time of day- more when more is required, less when it's not. If a baby wakes to feed ahead of his usual wake-up time, he will nurse and encourage mom's body to make a little more for that time of day. If he sleeps through his usual wake-up time, the lack of demand will encourage mom's body to throttle production back a bit.
How old is your LO? With very young babies (<6 weeks) it's often best to wake them before 6 hours has gone by. And it's worth noting that when a baby goes 6 or more hours without nursing, breastfeeding will not provide reliable protection against pregnancy. So make sure you have your birth control choices lined up!
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!"