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Thread: 8 days old: how do I know she's done nursing?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,370

    Default Re: 8 days old: how do I know she's done nursing?

    So how many times do you switch her before trying to put her down? Just once (i.e. from breast A to breast B) or more than once (i.e. from breast A to breast Bm then back to A, etc.)?

    Some babies never really get that "milk drunk" look. With those babies, I think it's very important to follow the baby's lead- if she seems hungry, she probably IS hungry. My first kid was that way- she was not an efficient nurser in the early weeks, and wasn't gaining weight the way she should have been, and the fact that I was nursing her all. the. time. was the only reason she didn't lose weight.

    Is it possible for you to rent a professional scale? I know we're brushing up against the holiday season, but if you can get your hands on a scale it might be a good thing. It would allow you to gain a more accurate picture of what your baby is doing at the breast, and whether or not you need the pumped supplements.
    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!"

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    402

    Default Re: 8 days old: how do I know she's done nursing?

    Regarding how to respond to the times when she isn't actively nursing, I'd want to know a few things:

    1. What is her diaper output like? If she's producing ~ 3 US quarter sized stools and 5-6 heavy wets per day, I think you can give yourself permission to be more laid back in the non-nutritive sucking times. Maybe take one nursing session after she stops actively drinking and break the latch. See how she reacts and follow her lead.

    2. What is her pattern for eating? Does she actively nurse a while, comfort nurse/sleep on the breast, then resume nursing actively when she wakes or mid-sleep?

    My son was (and is) the ultimate snacker. We probably spent the first 3-4 months with at least one marathon 2-3 hour cluster feed each day, and we nursed side lying while cosleeping once my c-section healed up around a month PP. He would regularly flip sides 4-5 times, often while sleeping, and would refuse to release his latch, so I ran with him. It was brutal at times to maintain the frequency, but he was able to build up my supply enough to support a steady half pound of weight gain a week for many months, and I think our early nursing intensity fostered the gains.

    For your reference, my son never appeared "milk drunk", as the LC suggests might happen, even after 3 or 4 letdowns in rapid succession. I think, like many things, response is individual specific. What I'd beware of is repeated pulling at the breast combined with little perceived active drinking per Newman and low diaper output.

    Your DD will hit several growth spurts over the coming weeks and will need to build up your supply accordingly. My recommendation for you would be to maintain on demand nursing, even during comfort nursing, to stimulate prolactin. I made several trips to the library during that time and kicked back with my feet up during our early nurse-a-thon. It's exhausting like nothing else, but I know you can do it!
    Last edited by @llli*alphawoman; December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    402

    Default Re: 8 days old: how do I know she's done nursing?

    Also, I can't recommend side lying nursing highly enough. It was literally a game changer for me. My quality of life and access to sleep improved dramatically once I became familiar with the technique. It was so successful that I find it no problem to nurse my 26 month old 3-4 times per night still-- it's that liveable!

    http://www.mother-2-mother.com/tut-layingdown.htm

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    183

    Default Re: 8 days old: how do I know she's done nursing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*alphawoman View Post

    1. What is her diaper output like? If she's producing ~ 3 US quarter sized stools and 5-6 heavy wets per day, I think you can give yourself permission to be more laid back in the non-nutritive sucking times. Maybe take one nursing session after she stops actively drinking and break the latch. See how she reacts and follow her lead.

    2. What is her pattern for eating? Does she actively nurse a while, comfort nurse/sleep on the breast, then resume nursing actively when she wakes or mid-sleep?

    My son was (and is) the ultimate snacker. We probably spent the first 3-4 months with at least one marathon 2-3 hour cluster feed each day, and we nursed side lying while cosleeping once my c-section healed up around a month PP. He would regularly flip sides 4-5 times, often while sleeping, and would refuse to release his latch, so I ran with him. It was brutal at times to maintain the frequency, but he was able to build up my supply enough to support a steady half pound of weight gain a week for many months, and I think our early nursing intensity fostered the gains.
    . What I'd beware of is repeated pulling at the breast combined with little perceived active drinking per Newman and low diaper output.
    Thank you so much for your responses!!

    Here's some more info:
    Baby is now one month old. We've struggled with low milk supply which is why I'm nervous about all of this. We did a weigh-feed-weigh at the IBCLC office and got 1oz before we started mega pumping/fenugreek. That was a good feed for us at the time. After 1.5 weeks (last Thurs) we had a not-so-good feeding and she got 1.5oz. We were in a hallway on an uncomfortable bench at the hospital and she wasn't doing nearly her normal swallowing. It was a lousy feed for us. When I pump without nursing first I get 3-3.5oz. That makes me *guess* her normal transfer rate is at least 2oz. That would explain why she 's still often wanting a little EBM supplement.

    Her weight gain has been 1oz/day lately, but there was a stretch of 5 days with no weight gain which is why we went to the IBCLC in the first place - though her output has been normal/great from the start (at lease 12 pees, at least 8 poops') even when she wasn't gaining. The pediatrician is minimally ok with her gain now that it's happening again. (I know 1oz is normal/great, but her pediatrician still has me a little freaked out).

    Re:sidelying: this was my mom's suggestion, too, but her latch is precarious & it hurts in sidelying positions hen she's willing to latch in that position at all. It's finally comfortable in football & cross body so that's what we've stuck with! I'll try again in a few days though as her latch continues to improve.

    Her pattern of eating changes across the day.
    Morning (4 feedings/day): things are great. She swallows well for 15-20 min each side & we're done & she's satisfied.
    Afternoon/Evening: good swallowing for 5 min w compressions. Sucking w/o swallowing mostly w a few swallows every 8 sucks or so for several minutes (5-10?)...devolving into nibbling which is uncomfortable so I unlatch her and switch her. We do that on each side once & then maybe 3 min of good swallowing on each side followed by sucking/nibbling/switch, then 2 min of good swallowing on each side forever until I call it quits.

    By 3 am or so my milk is back up & she's back to feeding more efficiently.
    Last edited by @llli*jessicanewmom; December 22nd, 2013 at 02:49 AM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    183

    Default Re: 8 days old: how do I know she's done nursing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*alphawoman View Post

    I made several trips to the library during that time and kicked back with my feet up during our early nurse-a-thon. It's exhausting like nothing else, but I know you can do it!
    I've stooped to watching random Australian sitcoms and I'm running out of those too!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    402

    Default Re: 8 days old: how do I know she's done nursing?

    Gains of 1oz/day are robust! That's great! Average weekly gains for breastfed babies your daughter's age are often lower; it sounds lik you have a beautifully established supply now. Way to go!

    http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gain/

    Don't give up on the side lying. It wasn't until 2 or 3 months or so that I found it truly comfortable. Maybe try every few weeks and see if your daugter's growth makes it more feasible. Tiny mouths can do it, but I found it easier once my son gained some more strength. YMMV.

    Merry Christmas!

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