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Thread: Desperate for advice! 3 month old feeding 1.5 hours+

  1. #1

    Default Desperate for advice! 3 month old feeding 1.5 hours+

    I am absolutely desperate for some advice about my daughter Lara. She is 3 months old today. Is it normal for her to be feeding for 1.5 hours, and looking like she could easily keep feeding?

    She used to have a very healthy weight gain, but this slowed down dramatically from 7 weeks onwards. She is now approx 11 pounds.

    Up until yesterday, I used to feed her 40 minutes each feed - switching breasts either every 10 or 20 mins. This is because I have very sensitive nipples and experience pain with prolonged feeds on one breast.

    However, with the low weight gain, I did some research and thought perhaps it's because I'm not allowing her to get much hindmilk because I'm switching breasts.

    So today I have let her feed for as long as she wants. This morning she fed for over an hour, before I stopped the feed. At her lunchtime feed, she fed for 1.05 hours on my right breast. She then fed for another 30mins on my left breast and - when I took her off - she still looked like she could feed for longer.

    She is not continuously sucking, but she will keep sucking. I got a letdown at the 60min mark, so I'm assuming this means she is still actively feeding at this point - I don't think it's possible to get a spontaneous letdown unless she's sucking?

    I would really appreciate some advice:

    - Is this normal for a 3 month old baby to feed this long?
    - Am I correct in thinking that switching breasts every 10/20 mins could be contributing to her low weight gain?

    As a quick summary:

    - Lara is 3 months old today
    - She is not currently experiencing a growth spurt (this is purely me experimenting to see how long she would naturally want to feed for)
    - She is exclusively breastfed
    - She sleeps through the night, and naps well during the day. She does not wake at night to feed, unless she is having a growth spurt.
    - Her latch has been checked by three lactation consultants/nurses and is good
    - She was identified with upper and lower tongue tie. This was lasered (cut) at 6 weeks old, and was confirmed as resolved by two independent medical people
    - I use nipple shields every feed, as I have unexplained nipple pain
    - I do not have thrush, and Lara does not have thrush. I have also had this checked.
    - She is well hydrated and needs a nappy change after each feed
    - She poos regularly
    - I had a breastfeeding assessment which was observed by a lactation consultant when she was 4 weeks old. We weighed her before and after the feed, and she had consumed 140ml.
    - Her dreamfeed is via bottle using expressed milk and she drinks 170mls. She could easily drink more if we gave her more.

    Please help - I'm quite depressed by the prospect that I need to now feed her for over an hour (how do we leave the house?!), not to mention my poor nipples!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Desperate for advice! 3 month old feeding 1.5 hours+

    Welcome to the forum!

    Can you post a complete weight history for your baby? Birth weight, lowest weight, weight at each checkup? That may help us figure out whether or not your baby's growth is normal or not. Also, can you tell us a but more about the pain you're experiencing with nursing? What does it feel like- pinching, stabbing, shooting, burning, itching? Do you see changes in the nipple- redness/pinkness, flaking skin, cracking, blanching or other color changes? How many times does baby nurse per day? Will she feed without the shield?

    My first thought when someone says "My baby has slow weight gain and she sleeps through the night" is "Stop letting her sleep through the night!" Nighttime nursing is a great way to get more calories into a baby. If the baby is spontaneously sleeping through, wake her for a "dream feed" before you get into bed, and maybe even set an alarm so that you nurse her one more time. If she's being encouraged to sleep through- using something like controlled crying or sleep-extending techniques like offering a paci or swaddling at night- then stop doing those things, at least for now!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Desperate for advice! 3 month old feeding 1.5 hours+

    with mommal.

    As far as the hindmilk idea- Can you link the articles or tell me what is the source of the idea a baby may not gain well if baby does not get enough hindmilk? (rather than baby simply not getting enough milk overall?) I am seeing this idea out there a lot lately and I am curious about what the research is saying.

    As far as I know, The positives of switching sides during a nursing session is that doing so has been shown to increase milk production, and also may help keep a sleepy baby more alert, and may keep baby more actively nursing. So due to that, actively switching sides during a feeding has long been suggested as one way to help get more milk into a slow gaining baby. While making a baby switch sides is not typically needed, in a case of slow weight gain, it may well help, and is unlikely to hurt, has always been my understanding.

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