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Thread: What should I expect? What is "normal"? Is there a "normal"?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    43

    Default What should I expect? What is "normal"? Is there a "normal"?

    Hi Ladies,

    I am writing here because my DS has turned 1 week past 3 months, and he still wants to nurse what seems to be an inordinate number of times a day. He wants to nurse as frequently as every 45 minutes, and might go as long as an hour and fifteen minutes wake time, and then 2.5-3 hours sleep time. It is exhausting.

    He wets at least 6 diapers, if not more, a day. He only poops on average once every 10-14 days (this after 3 weeks of age). He has been diagnosed with infant dyschezia, although I had a LC inform me that the poop frequency is not unheard of. However, when he does poop, it's a strange bright orange and very few "curds" to be seen.

    He is gaining weight, albeit at 3.6 %ile. I am extremely small, and can't help but wonder if he is just barely getting enough. I can imagine that if he dips much lower, the ped will recommend supplementing. What with his extremely frequent feedings, it's impossible to find a good time to pump such that I won't be "stealing" milk away that he'll likely demand shortly anyway.

    Does anyone have any advice on whether his feeding pattern, or lack thereof, is normal? Do I have reason to suspect he's not getting enough milk with his demand to nurse so frequently? Is there any trick to get him to possibly lengthen the duration between feedings (aside from just letting him scream? I've tried all manner of amusements. Best thing so far is a car ride, and that's not always convenient or possible)

    THANK YOU!!!

  2. #2

    Default Re: What should I expect? What is "normal"? Is there a "norm

    I am sorry if I am not understanding- What I am hearing is that you are concerned that your baby is NOT gaining very well. So finding ways of limiting how frequently your baby will nurse does not seem to make sense-aren't you concerned that, if you do that, his weight gain will become even slower? Or are you hoping to find ways to increase what baby gets per session so baby can, physically, go longer?

    Not all babies have the same efficiency at the breast. But probably more important at this age, not all mothers have the same milk production capability or milk storage capacity. So how often a baby needs to nurse in order to have acceptable weight gain is going to vary from nursing pair to nursing pair. As long as baby CAN get enough, even if only by nursing very frequently, then you make enough, and, from a health standpoint, that is what matters. But yes, it may mean your baby needs to nurse more often than other babies you know.

    Do you know that your baby can extract milk efficiently? Have you tried breast compressions for helping baby get more milk at a session? What about switching sides a few times during the nursing session? Have you tried anything to up your production (besides nursing frequently, which you are obviously already doing and is the most important thing to do?)

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: What should I expect? What is "normal"? Is there a "norm

    How about a stroller? Or a Swing? Or a sling? And he doesn't sound like too often. It sounds like he is sleeping for longer stretches AND giving you longer awake stretches! While still eating often enough to both maintain supply and have you keep up with his growing. I wouldn't worry. Just keep feeding on demand. The baby will continue to learn to eat in shorter periods of time and will become even more effective at nursing but will continue to need to nurse VERY often and it will be another month before someone turns on the whole world. Then you'll be here complaining that you can't get your distracted baby to concentrate on nursing! Keep at it Mama. You are doing fine.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: What should I expect? What is "normal"? Is there a "norm

    Thanks djs.mom, for the words of reassurance. I have tried many manners of distraction, and sometimes it is difficult to know if he is crying bc he is hungry or from colic. I certainly don't intend to starve my little guy, lllmeg, but with two other children to take care of, the pressure to provide for all can sometimes be overwhelming. Especially on colicky days, like today. With my other two, it seemed I hit a "wall" at 4mo, where demand outstripped supply, no matter what I did. Even now, I am on domperidone, after fenugreek/Mmsb/pumping didn't do it. I've always nursed on demand. He does tend to be a sleepy nurser, even now, and I have always used compressions, but it does seem he may not be as efficient as he could be. I just am trying to get some input on the situation. Fortunately, I have an angel mom ready to supply us in case of shortfall...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What should I expect? What is "normal"? Is there a "norm

    Can you tell me why you think Demand outstripped Supply? IME the largest reason women stop nursing between 4&6 month is no real reason at all. Just self doubt and confusion over more frequent night wakings. Which DO happen between 4&6 months. And have NOTHING to do with a supply dwindling. But rather more to do with a child needing MORE during these times and the only way to get you to make MORE is to demand to feed MORE OFTEN. It's all supply and demand. So when the baby ask for more you just feed more. Do you already have a sling or a wrap? These can really be lifesavers in terms of caring for more than one child because it allows you to keep a colicy or high need baby with you/on you while allowing you mobility AND keeping your hands free to multi task both chores and other children. I highly recommend the Moby personally at this age(which is a wrap) and the New Native for when the baby is old enough to hip ride. I know a lot of women here also swear by the Mai Tai. Which if you are tall enough to use is a great carrier because once the baby is big enough can be worn on your back. Which makes you MORE than hands free. There is a whole section here on Baby wearing.
    What I don't want you to do is ASSUME that you are going to fail. Self doubt is the worst kind of self fulfilling prophecy around here. Don't assume that you can't or don't make enough. This process has kept the human race alive for millions of years and in cultures where there has been no formula has been introduced, the breastfeeding success rates are about 99.9%. Dogs do it. Cats do it. For LITTERS of babies! YOU can do this. You were made to do this. Don't EXPECT a short fall. Expect to be able to nurse your baby for AT LEAST a year. Because you absolutely CAN. Trust the process. Trust your body and your baby.

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: What should I expect? What is "normal"? Is there a "norm

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    IME the largest reason women stop nursing between 4&6 month is no real reason at all. Just self doubt and confusion over more frequent night wakings.
    Also, a lot of moms mistake normal adjustments to supply for low supply. So many moms expect to feel full or get engorged or feel strong letdowns throughout their nursing journey- and that's not the case! When supply and demand are well-matched, it's normal to rarely or never feel full/engorged, to not leak, and to no longer experience the letdown sensation.

    When it comes to milk supply, sometimes you just have to watch the baby and have faith in yourself. As long as the baby is gaining weight and wetting diapers appropriately, then your supply is fine even if you never feel like you have milk, and even if the baby is fussy and wants to nurse all the time!
    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
    Mar 2008
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    212

    Default Re: What should I expect? What is "normal"? Is there a "norm

    I wanted to respond to this comment in the original post: "What with his extremely frequent feedings, it's impossible to find a good time to pump such that I won't be "stealing" milk away that he'll likely demand shortly anyway." You won't be stealing milk. That's not how milk production works. Lactating breasts are always making milk. Emptier breasts produce faster than fuller breasts. Over time, the more frequently and completely breasts are drained, the more quickly and efficiently they produce. So if you pump and 2 minutes later your baby decides he is hungry, he will latch and get some milk. And the stimulation and milk removal will trigger your body to make more milk. If he does not get fully satisfied at that feed he will either feed longer or feed again sooner. Which is a pain since you're already nursing frequently, but it is excellent for supply. I know the logistics of nursing/pumping/caring for other kids are a total pain, but worry about "stealing" from another feed doesn't need to be added in. There is not a finite supply of milk that goes either to pumping or to baby. Rather, the more milk is removed the more milk your body will make.

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