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Thread: 6 week old never lets go after a feed - still hungry??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    14

    Default 6 week old never lets go after a feed - still hungry??

    Weight gain is fine but he only likes to sleep either on me feeding or being held.
    I read that if a baby doesn't pop off the breast then he is still hungry. Is this true? Each feed usually takes about an hour so I usually guess when he is done (mostly when my breasts feel emptier or he is just doing non-nutritive sucking). My milk supply is fine but I am pretty sure my milk flow is really slow (a whole other story - my milk comes out of only one nipple pore on each side... Grrrrr. At least with DS2 I don't have supply issues, as I did with DD1). Is it possible he has to suck so long because he's trying to get at the hind milk?

    Am hoping feeds don't always take so long, is that a vain hope? Never got a lot quicker with #1 but with her I had supply issues and did a lot of pumping.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,749

    Default Re: 6 week old never lets go after a feed - still hungry??

    Hi congrats on new baby! I don’t know the history so just a few quick questions- Weight gain-about how many ounces per week is baby gaining? How frequently does baby nurse? Is nursing comfortable for you?
    When you say milk is only coming out of one pore, is that something you observe when pumping or hand expressing? If so, why and how often are you pumping or hand expressing and is baby being given what you express or is baby fed totally at the breast?

    Have you tried switching sides or breast compressions? Both can sometimes be helpful for long sessions.

    I read that if a baby doesn't pop off the breast then he is still hungry. Is this true?
    No, not necessarily. But it is important that baby for the most part be allowed to nurse as often and as long as baby likes. Nursing sessions will almost certainly become shorter over time. But it is entirely normal for a baby to want to nurse most of the time during the first 2-3 months.
    Is it possible he has to suck so long because he's trying to get at the hind milk?
    No. All breastmilk is filling. You could fill a babies tummy with water and he would feel full (of course this would be dangerous.)
    Babies nurse because they are compelled by instinct to suckle for survival and because they need the closeness and connection with mom. There is normally never any reason to worry about foremilk and hindmilk unless mom has a too fast letdown that in some extreme cases causes baby to be unhappy with the flow and/or get so much foremilk they have issues with digesting the excess lactose. And by issues I mean, tummy aches and extra fussiness. It's not dangerous or unhealthy even in those cases.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,262

    Default Re: 6 week old never lets go after a feed - still hungry??

    with LLLMeg.
    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
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: 6 week old never lets go after a feed - still hungry??

    Hi, thanks for your reply, it has already helped clarify a few things.
    In answer to your questions:
    Last week he gained 6.5oz per week, since birth he is up 1lb 12oz (at exactly 6 weeks).
    He nurses approx every 2.5-3 hours during day except early evening when he feeds almost non-stop 5-7pm. At night there's usually one stretch of 4-5 hours then it's a feed every 2ish hours (we co-sleep so he feeds whenever he wants to). Nursing is comfortable and he has a good latch.

    Re milk coming out of one pore on each side - I can see this both with electric pumping, hand pumping and if he comes off while nursing. It was the same story with DD1 (I posted on this forum then too but we never did get to the bottom of it - however then I had major supply issues and DD1 was losing weight). I have only pumped twice with this LO, and he was fed what I pumped, otherwise all feeding has been at the breast. In the past week I have started offering both sides (I think I started doing this during a growth spurt and since then he's taken both sides at each feed). I do breast compressions and I can see this causes him to swallow faster (if doing breast compressions whilst pumping it still just comes out one pore, but does spray harder).
    Last edited by @llli*butterfly111; June 15th, 2013 at 06:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,749

    Default Re: 6 week old never lets go after a feed - still hungry??

    OK I will start with the one pore...I recall posting on a thread a while back about pore number but maybe that was not you...While unusual, I suppose it is entirely possible to have one 'working" pore. I read in the breastfeeding text Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple that the number of pores vary tremendously from mom to mom (and breast to breast.)

    When I pumped, I recall seeing milk spray from two pores on one breast and three on the other, and I had overproduction and forceful letdown. But that is just me. I know of no studies looking at pore number and how quickly breastmilk is extracted by baby. Have you ever talked to an IBCLC about this?

    Obviously your baby is able to nurse well and to get enough milk, so it's not really a problem, although I suppose it is possible that your anatomy contributes to the slower nursing sessions.

    In the past week I have started offering both sides (I think I started doing this during a growth spurt and since then he's taken both sides at each feed).
    Were you restricting baby to one side per feed prior to this? Or was baby simple not interested in the other side?

    Sometimes moms are told they have to keep baby at one side for a certain amount of time so baby gets enough hindmilk. But this is not true, and restricting baby to one side is only a possibly good strategy when mom has overproduction as I mentioned before.

    It gets confusing, because, while it IS typically fine and suggested to allow baby to nurse on one side at a time if that is what baby wants and baby is gaining well, actually LIMITING baby to one side per feeding could lead to inadequate milk production and poor weight gain. Since mothers all make different amounts of milk and have other differences in our anatomy; how long, how often, and how many side changes a baby needs to get a good feed is going to vary quite a bit from baby to baby and over time. (This is why scheduling feedings or restricting time at the breast can sometimes be so harmful to production.)

    I cannot tell how many times a day total your baby nurses, but from your description this sounds like a typical nursing pattern. (Except maybe the one long sleep stretch, which is fine since baby is gaining ok but slightly unusual this young.)

    I can’t figure your babies lifetime gain from what you have written, because I do not know if this is what baby gained from birth weight or lowest weight or at what point baby started gaining weight. But the last week gain suggests a gain of only slightly less than one ounce a day. Generally this is ok gain (an ounce a day is average) but not exactly gangbusters, so (looking only at that) it does not sound as if you have overproduction. So you can probably stop even thinking about hindmilk and foremilk. Generally, the best way to ensure good production and weight gain is to keep letting baby nurse as much as baby will, (and you can offer whenever you like as well), switching sides as much as you and baby like, and keep doing the breast compressions if that seems to help.

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