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Thread: Timing feedings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Timing feedings

    Hi there. My baby is almost 10 weeks old. She was born at 8.1lbs and is now 13.8 and in the 95th percentile for weight. Since birth she'll eat from one breast and won't want to eat from the second for about 40 minutes to an hour later so I was constantly feeding and was very sore because my nipples never had time to have a break. I struggled with sore nipples from the beginning because they are inverted and it was tough to get a good latch. My doctor said that I should try to space the feedings out to about every 3 hours because she's just using me a pacifier. My mom also told me if you feed them every 3 hours then they learn to eat and get full and have to wait until the next meal time. I've been doing this for a week and it started working out well and the last few days she's back to wanting to eat every hour. My nipples are getting sore again because she's been getting so upset and eating so aggressively because I've been trying to stretch out the times between feedings. I'm going back to work in a few days and I'd like to have a plan so that my husband and I are on the same page. I don't know who to listen to. Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Timing feedings

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    I know it's really, really hard to know who to listen to when you are a first-time mom. There's so much advice out there and it's all so different. But I would encourage you NOT to listen to your mom's advice or your doctor's advice. It is the sort of advice that can derail breastfeeding, and result in a baby not gaining enough weight. Here's why: first, milk supply is created and maintained by demand. Restrict demand by spacing out feedings, and your supply will drop. A schedule may work at first, when your milk supply is equal to baby's needs, but eventually your body reads the spaced-out feedings and reduced stimulation to the breast as low demand and reduces supply. That's often when babies suddenly become desperate to nurse and thefore very resistant to soaced-out feedings. Second, spaced-out feedings do not make a baby eat "meals" instead of "snacks". Infant tummies are tiny, and even when hungry breastfed babies will not take in huge amounts of food. A breastfed baby will stop eating when she feels her tummy filling up. Third, breastmilk digests fast, usually in about 90 minutes. Frequent feedings are NORMAL for a breastfed baby, with many breastfed babies eating every 1-2 hours. Fourth, many babies do something called "cluster feeding", taking many small meals in a short time period in order to store up calories for a longer stretch of sleep. Spaced-out feedings can mean no long sleep stretches- if you're getting any. Fifth, babies who are frantic with hunger tend to latch less well than those who are just a bit hungry. If you're having latch problems, spaced-out feedings can make them worse.

    I strongly encourage you to return to on-demand feeding, and to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, about your baby's latch. Inverted nipples can be challenging to nurse on, and they are almost certainly responsible for your soreness. Frequent demand, even constant demand, won't make you sore if the baby's latch is good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Timing feedings

    Congratulations on your new baby! It sounds like you're off to a great start with solid weight gain. Good goin' Momma!

    The advice you've been given is outdated and intended for formula fed babies. Please listen to the previous poster.

    In between nursing sessions, try to let the air at your nipples (I know, letting the girls air out may be awkward). It will help them to heal. Pure lanolin can also help.

    My left side is quite flat. It takes time, but ensuring a good latch can and DOES make it feel better. An evaluation of baby's latch is probably a good idea.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Timing feedings

    I think you're getting great advice here about feeding on-demand. There is definitely no substitute for hands-on assistance from an IBCLC to help with latch issues and the sooner you can see one, I would say the better.

    I also had a lot of nipple soreness in the first few weeks and for me, it improved 100% at around 10-12 weeks. As my baby got more efficient at nursing and improved her latch AND my supply became established to match her needs so we were more in synch and she was having to work less hard at nursing AND my nipples got accustomed to it, all of those elements together resulted in a shift to totally comfortable breastfeeding where I had a lot of soreness before.

    At first, your baby is working super hard to establish breastfeeding with you. They nurse OFTEN and work hard to stimulate your nipples a lot and it's going to make them sore and make you feel like a human pacifier and seem like all you do is nurse. But it will get better and you will fall into a rhythm where your nursing routine becomes somewhat more predictable. And my theory is that nursing on demand helps you to establish a strong milk supply, which makes it easier for your baby to get milk without sucking so hard. So you're making an initial investment that will result in an easy and relaxed breastfeeding relationship later on.

    That said, I would definitely seek some advice on her latch. It really can't hurt and might give you a lot of relief. I think you might be about to turn a corner. It will get easier!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Timing feedings

    Thank you for the advice! She seems much happier now that I went back to feeding her on demand.

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