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Thread: A few questions about 5 week old nursing

  1. #1

    Default A few questions about 5 week old nursing

    Hi Ladies! First of all, I'm so sorry for this long post!! I appreciate any advice anyone may have for me. I have a few things going on with my 5 week old that I wanted to run by you and see if anyone else has this going on. First, my baby could nurse constantly, and she pretty much does. If she is awake, she wants to be nursing most of the time. I get maybe an hour here and there where she will play a little bit which is nice. But she seems to constantly be mouthing or putting her hands in her mouth. The other thing is though my husband and I cannot hold her or snuggle her at all with out her searching for a nipple like crazy. Even when I try to put her in a front carrier or hold her skin to skin she is just nipple searching and ends up fussing...even if she just ate...so I just end up taking her out and feeding her. Is she hungry still or is this just her instinct?

    The other thing is at night she is very restless in her sleep. I can't tell when she's actually hungry or if she's just dreaming or what. Should I wait to feed her until she's actually awake or anytime she stirs? She is in an arms reach cosleeper next to the bed so I always know when she is stirring.

    Last thing is I have a forceful letdown sometimes, but not all the time. A few times a day my baby will pull off and fuss and milk will be spraying out...but I don't think I have an oversupply of milk. Near the end of a feeding she sometimes gets upset too when there doesn't seem to be any milk coming out and I can't hand express any either. Also whenever I do try pumping, I only get about an ounce or two of milk. I had naturally very small breasts but do have breast implants now, could these be pushing my milk out faster? I'm not sure if I should try block nursing or not since she sometimes seems like she's not getting enough. And since she is always hungry I feel like I am nursing enough. She does get gas pain a few times a day though and seems unhappy when pooping. I'm also worried about when I go back to work at the end of August will I be able to pump enough for her when all she wants to do is eat!

    She is gaining weight like a champ and has plenty of wet/dirty diapers so I do know she's getting enough.

    Just not sure what is going on with all these things. Thanks in advance for any advice
    Last edited by @llli*turtlegirl17; July 1st, 2013 at 03:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: A few questions about 5 week old nursing

    With such a young baby, it's pretty much impossible to separate "hungry" from "just need to suck". Babies that age have a really high need for food- they're growing faster than they ever will again in their entire lives, particularly during growth spurts- and they also have a high need for close physical contact, warmth, and sucking. So the two states overlap. Luckily, you cannot overfeed a breastfed baby, so it really doesn't matter if you feed nonstop. Not for the baby, anyway. You may get pretty tired out! But believe me, this is a temporary situation and pretty soon- maybe in a few weeks, maybe in a few months, depending on your baby- you will find that your baby's interest in the world around her will increase and the constant nursing will decrease. I still remember the day my firstborn discovered her own toes, at around 4.5 months of age. All of a sudden I could put her down for 5 minutes at a time and walk away- and she was okay with that because she had these amazingly fascinating things stuck to the ends of her feet!

    Restless sleep is pretty normal. There's no harm in latching baby on before she exhibits late hunger cues like crying, but there's also no harm in waiting to see if baby is really hungry or just going through a phase of lighter sleep, so I think what you do about a stirring but not waking baby is up to you. Particularly since your baby has good diaper output and weight gain.

    Breast implants will not make your milk come out faster. The major problem with implants is that they can in some cases cause issues with supply and slow flow- certain types of surgery are more problematic than others. That doesn't sound like you, though, since your baby is gaining well and having normal diaper output! It's pretty normal for babies to have a "Goldilocks" mentality about nursing- they don't want their milk to come out too fast or too slow. They want it just right. The best thing you can do for a Goldilocks baby is to allow her to learn how to manage milk flow all by herself. Let her figure out how to deal with the flow when it's fast (by changing her suckling speed, breaking suction, etc.) and also when it's slow (by nursing more enthusiastically, sucking harder, etc.). I really don't think you want to do block feeding unless you are absolutely sure you have oversupply, and the oversupply is causing problems for you and baby.

    Pumping 1-2 oz at a time is normal. Remember that breastfed babies typically take just 2-4 oz of milk at a time throughout their first year, compensating for the small amount of milk in a feeding by feeding very frequently. Are you pumping in addition to feeding, or instead of feeding? And what sort of pump do you have?

  3. #3

    Default Re: A few questions about 5 week old nursing

    Thanks so much for the response! I'm hoping she finds the world around her more interesting before I have to go back to work I'm not sure what I'll do if she's still nursing so often when I have to go back next month. The goldilocks thing sounds just like her!

    I have been pumping just once a day after the morning feed to build a little stock. I'm in the military and am on call one week a month 24-7 so after I go back I'll need a just in case I get called stock. I'm using a Madela Symphony. Do you think I should keep this pumping session up or cut it out for a while?

    Thanks so much again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: A few questions about 5 week old nursing

    Pumping just once a day is unlikely to be messing with your supply or flow speed too much, so I'd keep doing it. I am sure you're blading a nice stash in the freezer! Just remember to periodically thaw samples of milk and taste-test them- some moms have issues with excess lipase, which can cause stored milk to taste nasty.

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