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Thread: Question about side lying position

  1. #1

    Default Question about side lying position

    My baby is 2 weeks old today. I think she has hit a growth spurt because she is suddenly feeding every 1.5-2 hours and only sleeping for short stretches of time. Prior to last night she was sleeping longer times. So far I have been exclusively BF from the cradle and football positions but I am very interested in the side lying position in hopes that I can get more sleep. My baby has been latching well although she does fall asleep a lot while feeding. I don't know if I am producing to much milk or not but whenever I feed her I collect the milk from the opposite breast and I almost always get about 2 oz. I am not sure if I can feed her lying down because of how much milk will leak from the other side! She doesn't feed very long but it always feels like she drains my breast pretty good even after such short amounts of time (about 5-9 mins per side). Any advice about feeding in bed would be appreciated! She has been gaining weight vey well and having plenty of diaper changes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Question about side lying position

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    If your baby is gaining weight well, producing plenty of diapers, and you can collect 2 oz of milk simply by leaking, then you have plenty of milk. Normal output when pumping is often around 2-3 oz from both breasts combined. The fact that you can get so much milk just from leaking, and that your baby feeds so rapidly at just 2 weeks old suggests that you're currently producing more milk than the baby needs, possibly by quite a bit.

    For positioning help, I strongly encourage you to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, and/or to call you local LLL leader. Positioning help is something that usually works best in person!
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question about side lying position

    Do you think I am producing to much milk? During the day I feel comfortable feeding the baby without any engorgement since she feeds so often. But at night when she wakes up to eat it is typically 2-3 hours and often my breasts are rock hard and very uncomfortable and it is difficult for her to latch. Sometimes I will pump off a little just to relieve pain and help her latch better. Sometimes she will only feed from one breast and nothing I do can get her to eat from the other side. She often falls asleep while eating and then starts screaming as soon as I put her back in her bassinet. I can never tell if she is still hungry or just fussy. She eats so well during the day but the night time feedings have become a battle and she fights me by pushing away from the breast. During the day I feed her on my couch but at night I have been feeding her in my bed. I just keep second guessing everything I'm doing and it's becoming so frustrating. I know she is doing well based on weight and diapers but I feel like I'm going crazy.

    And I will try to contact a lactation consultant about positioning. Thank you for your advice!

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Question about side lying position

    If you're getting engorged at night to the point where the baby can't latch and you need to soften the breast with pumping, then you probably are producing too much milk- at least during the night. If you can just put up with the engorgement, or restrain yourself to pumping only enough to restore comfort and allow the baby to latch, it will eventually signal your body to throttle back on nighttime production.

    I can see why you're keen to master the side-lying position, if your baby screams the moment you try to put her down. A lot of babies wake when put down not because they are starving but because they hate being alone- as far as a baby knows, we all still live in caves and being out down means a greater risk of becoming sabretooth tiger food. Some things that may help:
    - Sleep with the baby- if you're not comfortable with the baby in your bed or cannot meet all the criteria for safe co-sleeping, a sidecar crib arrangement may still allow baby to sense and be comforted by your proximity
    - Warm the bassinet before putting baby in it- a hot water bottle might help
    - Have baby sleep in a swing rather than on a stationary surface
    - Keep a hand on the baby for several minutes after putting her down in the bassinet, and only gradually remove it- this may lessen the shock of mom moving away
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Question about side lying position

    So as long as I only pump for comfort I shouldn't worry about causing more milk production? Is it the same if she only feeds on one side and the other side isn't getting drained? I had a Situation today where she ate off one side for 3 mins and then refused to eat anymore. I tried everything to wake her and engage her but I couldn't get her to take the breast. I pumped and tried to feed her from a bottle and she only ate half an ounce. Which tells me she was full, but such a short feeding time seems abnormal to me. I just feel so overwhelmed and scared I'm going to cause myself more supply issues. I know she is good, but I still worry!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question about side lying position

    Well, any time you pump, it's going to tell your body to make some more milk. That's why it's ideal if you can just put up with the fullness/engorgement. But if you can't, pumping a minimal amount (i.e. enough to restore comfort but no more) should still lead to a reduction in supply, because the breast remains pretty full for a nice long time. Basically, pumping for comfort will still result in lowered supply over time. It just won't happen quite as fast as it will if you avoid the pump and just nurse.

    Short feedings are totally normal when a mom has an oversupply. If you're concerned, just watch the baby's diaper output. As long as output is normal, there's no reason to worry about input.

    Your baby is only 2 weeks old, and gaining weight well. In this circumstance, it is best to avoid bottles. In fact, it's advised that moms avoid bottles for the first 4-6 weeks, or longer if nursing is difficult. It's very easy for early bottle introduction to screw up the baby's ability and desire to latch onto the breast, and using bottles means that you need something to put in them. If it's formula, that will be detrimental to supply. If it's breastmilk, you'll need to pump- and that can mean problems with oversupply or with frustration for the baby if you pump too soon before a feeding.

    Is there a reason why you feel the need for bottles at this very early point?
    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!"

  7. #7

    Default Re: Question about side lying position

    I only tried the bottle because I was scared she wasn't getting enough to eat since she fed for such a short time. Now that I realize the short feedings are normal I will not try it again. I've only given her a bottle twice and both times it was pumped breast milk. Both times she barely drank any of it.

    As for the engorgement I can put up with it myself, but sometimes I am so full that I cannot get her to latch. When I do pump I usually do it for less than a minute and I will get about 1 oz per breast. How long should I pump just enough for her to feed? I don't want to pump and make the supply issue worse. Last night I was so full after only 3 hours that I was just spraying her in the face and she was screaming at me. It was so frustrating and I felt like a horrible mother for not being able to make it easy on her. I don't know if I should set an alarm so that I can relieve some of the engorgement before she wakes up. I've been feeding her at night based on when she wakes up which is typically 2-3 hours. I will hear her stirring in the bassinet next to me and by the time I get up and get situated she is wide awake and screaming. I've been very unsuccessful when I have to wake her up. She is so sleepy. I always take off her clothes, change diapers, use wet cloths, etc to wake her and sometimes she just purses her lips up next to my breast and will not feed. I feel so helpless when this happens. I'm trying so hard not to stress about this but it's so hard when I know nothing! At least now I know that the short feedings are ok. I really appreciate all your advice.

  8. #8
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Question about side lying position

    Okay, that's great about the bottles! Sounds like you can just put them on the shelf for now, and remove that variable from your nursing equation.

    The question about how long you should pump- well, those "when" questions are hands down the hardest breastfeeding questions to answer, because every woman is different. Managing oversupply is an art, not a science. I would simply continue to remove just enough milk to make yourself comfortable, for as long as necessary, putting up with the discomfort of being overfull as often as possible. If you can hand express the milk rather than pumping, that might be to your benefit, as hand expression is supposed to be less stimulating to supply than pumping.

    Please free yourself of the feeling that you need to make things easy for your baby, when it comes to nursing. I know that it's really frustrating and sad to see her scream her tiny head off because you're blasting her with a fast letdown. But this is temporary, and she will not remember it at all. Trust me! My second kid also had to deal with very rapid letdowns, and had similar reactions to them- pulling off, screaming, while milk went fountaining everywhere! But my oversupply got tamed, and she nursed really happily for 3 years. Just be patient- I swear, this will get better!
    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!"

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