Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: 5 week old nurses for 1 hr+. Gaining very little weight.

  1. #1

    Default 5 week old nurses for 1 hr+. Gaining very little weight.

    My 5 week old has, since shortly after we came home from the hospital, had very long nursing sessions. He nurses for about an hour to hour and a half--which I've heard can be normal during the newborn age--but he isn't gaining weight like he should.
    At birth he was 8 lbs. Now, at 5 weeks he is about 8 lb. 4 oz.
    I feed him on demand so sometimes I have all of 30 minutes in between feedings. He is often sleepy during feedings, but I can't seem to avoid this. Because he takes so long to eat his feedings often run into the times he should be napping. However, if he falls asleep while feeding and I take him off the breast he inevitably wakes and is desperate for more. Also, it isn't very often that he seems satisfied after a feeding.
    His latch is still a tad shallow, but it is much better than we started with. After he latches on he closes his jaws quite a bit. Not sure if this is normal?? If I have to remove him from the breast I have to not only break the suction, but also slip my finger in between his jaws to release me.
    When he is feeding I can hear him getting milk and he actively swallows...except for when he falls asleep. He wears cloth diapers and soaks (like really soaks them) about 8 a day.
    I'm kind of desperate right now. Please let me know if I can give you any other info that might help with answers.
    Last edited by @llli*ossm; February 22nd, 2013 at 10:36 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 5 week old nurses for 1 hr+. Gaining very little weight.

    Hi and welcome! Don't get desperate! Weight gain concerns are a common issue in the early days.

    What was birth like? Any IV fluids? Can you give us an exact weight history of all weight checks? Were all (or some) checks done on the same scale, with baby naked-no diaper? What about other growth measures-length, head circumfirence) how are they?
    Have you kept any kind of a diaper log for poops? Wets let us know baby is not dehydrated, but poops may tell us more about if baby is getting enough milk for appropriate growth.

    I feed him on demand so sometimes I have all of 30 minutes in between feedings. He is often sleepy during feedings, but I can't seem to avoid this. Because he takes so long to eat his feedings often run into the times he should be napping. However, if he falls asleep while feeding and I take him off the breast he inevitably wakes and is desperate for more. Also, it isn't very often that he seems satisfied after a feeding.
    All of this is normal for the early weeks EXCEPT that the baby appears to not be gaining. The slow gain, plus the long feedings, suggests a problem either with milk transfer (how well baby extracts milk) and/or low production. Also I don't know what you mean by "times he should be napping." Does baby nurse to sleep, and/or nurse in his sleep? That is normal.

    Have you seen a board certified lactation consultant? Is that possible for you?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,883

    Default Re: 5 week old nurses for 1 hr+. Gaining very little weight.

    Have you tried switch nursing? That can be good for babies who are slow gainers and sleepy feeders. In switch nursing, you watch baby carefully as he feeds. When he seems to be dozing off, transitioning from active sucking (during which you should hear lots of swallowing) to shallow, fluttery, comfort sucking, you take him off the breast, burp him or change his diaper, and then put him onto the other breast. When he starts to fall asleep on the second breast, you repeat the process, and you keep on repeating it until the baby will no longer wake. Switch nursing is supposed to help teach babies that the breast is not simply a place to do a lot of snoozing, but a place where they have to work for their meals.
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: 5 week old nurses for 1 hr+. Gaining very little weight.

    I'd never heard of switch nursing before. I tried it for the first time this morning and it worked very well. I'm keeping my finger crossed! Thanks!

  5. #5

    Default Re: 5 week old nurses for 1 hr+. Gaining very little weight.

    Birth: I had an unmedicated, uncomplicated vaginal birth. No IV fluids prior to delivery; had a little pitocin after delivery. Nursed 2x the day of delivery, but only a couple times the next day, by the day of discharge he was nursing regularly.
    Weight: 8 lb at birth 21 inches long
    7 lb 6 oz at 5 days old (this weight check was done at the pediatritians office)
    7 lb 10 oz at 2 weeks (no change in length or head circumference)
    7 lb 8 oz at 2.5 weeks
    8 lb 2 oz at 4 weeks (this weight check was done at a different clinic). My husband and I measured him at home and he'd grown about 3/4 inch.
    All weights were taken with baby completely naked.

    He had 2-3 poopy diapers a day until 4 weeks. Since then he has one big poopy diaper every 3 days.

    He nurses to sleep all the time, but then only nurses for a minute or two before he is totally asleep. By "times he should be napping" I mean that he nurses so long that it is difficult for him to get any good quality naptime in. By the time I get him down for a nap it's been about 2-3 hours since he started nursing and he's ready to eat again.

    Hope that extra info helps.

    Oh, and I ordered a breastpump that just came today! I'm going to try pumping after he feeds. Maybe if the husband feeds him some good hindmilk bottles in the evening that will help??

  6. #6

    Default Re: 5 week old nurses for 1 hr+. Gaining very little weight.

    What has your hcp said? Is anyone suggesting supplementation is needed? I can see weight gain has been slow, but except for the apparent loss of two ounces between 2 weeks and 2.5 weeks, gain seems pretty steady after the normal initial loss...about 1/2 ounce a day since day 5...right? Check my math, not my strong suit...

    As far as pumping and giving baby what you get...yes, if supplementing is needed, then supplementing with your own pumped milk is vastly preferable. But is supplementing needed? That I cannot tell you. Even when avoiding formula, pumping and bottles carry their own risks to breastfeeding overall...exhaustion for mom, and bottle 'confusion' in its various forms. If you do supplement with you own milk, you could consider an alternative feeding method in order to avoid bottles. I would also suggest pump when it works best for you, and not after feedings if that is not the most convenient time. I certainly would not worry about if the milk is hind milk or foremilk.
    The problem is, we still don't know what the problem is. Is it low production? Baby not able to extract milk well? Or is baby getting enough milk and just a naturally slow gainer? The remedy-if needed-should fit the actual problem. To figure this out you may need to see an IBCLC. Is that possible for you?

    He nurses to sleep all the time, but then only nurses for a minute or two before he is totally asleep. By "times he should be napping" I mean that he nurses so long that it is difficult for him to get any good quality naptime in. By the time I get him down for a nap it's been about 2-3 hours since he started nursing and he's ready to eat again.
    ok sorry I still don’t get it. What has he been doing in those 2-3 hours-nursing, sleeping, or nursing and sleeping off and on? If baby is sleeping but only in your arms, that is still 'good' sleeping. And normal. On the other hand, from a milk intake standpoint, if baby is falling deeply asleep after nursing for only two minutes or less, every or most feedings, that may be why baby is not getting enough. I am glad mommal mentioned switch nursing and that that seems to help. You could also try breast compressions as well. http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17 Babies can and do nurse in their sleep, but since the weight gain has been so slow, keeping baby more awake or at least nursing more vigorously for longer each feeding would be a logical area to try to work on.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •