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Thread: Better nurser while asleep?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Better nurser while asleep?

    I've noticed much better organized sucking and swallowing in my 12 week old daughter while she's asleep than awake. I'm wondering why this would be?

    Our story in a nutshell is that I started with a mild-moderate oversupply (like so many mamas, I now know - wish I'd seen suggestions to just wait it out and let it regulate/baby get used to it) and was coached to block nurse. Did that for a while, then baby began pulling off constantly and fussing through feedings. After emailing with Jack Newman, it seems the issue could be now that my "flow" is too slow (diaper output and weight gain support an adequate supply). His recommendation is to increase my supply to increase the flow. If I understand correctly, maintain a bit of an oversupply to compensate for her less-than-ideal latch (while working on that, too).

    So maybe, while awake, she's more bothered by the changing "flow" over time? It seems like she's either popping off constantly (which Newman swears is because of slow flow) or she's very disorganized in her sucking and swallowing (but not choking or anything) when my breasts are full and the milk is flowing faster. It's like she doesn't need to suck hard or rhythmically - she just sucks here and there, but still swallows a bunch. But when asleep, she sucks with a deeper jaw
    movement and for longer spurts of sucks in between breaks.

    I'm happy that the increased flow (because of herbs and pumping) seems to have made her a bit happier - she fusses through less feedings. But still a bit concerned about her lack of good nursing while awake. We're working with an IBCLC who thinks her latch is shallow, so we're working on that, but baby's reluctant to take the breast in deeper...possibly because she's sucked this way for a while now?

    Any other ideas? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Upstate SC

    Default Re: Better nurser while asleep?

    Hey there! I have the same issues with my DD (who is 17 weeks) and have for the past month or so. I am pretty sure part of it is that she gets distracted by anything else going on around her. And either I have to watch her while she's awake & nursing, cause she checks to see if I am, or I have to ignore her, cause she gets distracted & smiles/flirts at me! Although she is capable of sleeping all night, she usually doesn't lately because she catches up on her calories and nursing at night in the dark. And in the past few days, she only nurses really well during the day if we're laying in bed. If she's hungry while we're out, I usually just nurse her in the carrier for as long as she'll do it (usually about 5-6 min) before she starts to check out what everyone else is doing. Then she gets mad that she can't do both...awesome. I usually just try to distract her at that point and remember that she won't starve before we can get home.
    I was worried my issue might've been a slower flow as well, but it might have less to do with that than your girl's personality. She is prob much more aware of what else is going on and wanna check it out, but can't really do that and eat at the same time. Try nursing her in a dark calm room with minimal distractions for a few days and see if that helps!
    Good luck!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Better nurser while asleep?

    I like Runningmomma's idea about cutting out the distractions to see if that helps. I have no experience with regulating supply or flow (which may indeed be your issue) but I do have another thought... perhaps instead of visual/aural distractions, she's getting physical distractions.

    We're doing EC, and our just-turned-3mo-today(yay!) DD's clearest signal that she needs to use the potty (or burp, which she does better on the potty anyway) is pulling on and off the breast. Not just popping off -- no no, PULLING off with full suction. Fun times. After she pees or burps, I can put her back on the breast, and she'll stay firmly attached until she's done. Your LO is still young, and may not have lost her elimination sensations. When she's asleep, perhaps she's not conscious of those signals, and her nursing instincts take over? Totally throwing that answer together, based on my limited troubleshooting experience

    I hope you're able to sort out the issue!

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