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Thread: How long between feelings if newborn cluster feeds?

  1. #1

    Default How long between feelings if newborn cluster feeds?

    Hi

    My 2 week old daughter has had issues with spitting up and not gaining weight faster enough. At 2 weeks she was 4 oz shy of birth weight. My pediatrician prescribed her medication for reflux with the hope that maybe she isn't eating as much because of all the spit up, but it's hard to tell if it's working. She sleeps well during the day and pretty well during the night, so I am constantly needing to wake her up for feelings. Originally, it was my understanding that timing between feelings should be counted from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next. It is also my understanding that it's best to space daytime feelings no more than 3 hrs and night time feelings no more than 4 hrs. So given that my daughter tends to nurse, spit up nurse again (and so on and so on and so on), three hours can pass pretty quickly. Should I be counting differently? Also, I do burp her after feedings and hold her upright for at least 15 minutes and then place her at an incline for a little bit longer.

    I really just want my girl to gain weight, so if I need to give up sleep to do this, so be it. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: How long between feelings if newborn cluster feeds?

    Hi, congratulations and welcome!

    Originally, it was my understanding that timing between feelings should be counted from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next. It is also my understanding that it's best to space daytime feelings no more than 3 hrs and night time feelings no more than 4 hrs.
    This is all correct as far as it goes, but as you are finding, in reality it may not quite work this way. I don't think there is any need to time between feedings at all, except in order to be sure to wake baby to nurse if baby is not nursing often enough over all. I also think that day/night is not at all relevant to a newborn baby. Your baby may well want to nurse more often at night than during the day, and that is perfectly fine and normal.

    One way to help the sleepy baby nurse more is to hold baby most of the time, avoid pacifiers and swaddling for sleep, and, if you can do so safely, share a safe sleep surface with your baby. Mom being in close, relaxed physical contact with baby as much as possible encourages more nursing. You may have heard of skin to skin, which means holding baby on your chest with both of you unclothed or lightly clothed. You can also try leaning back and holding baby on you close to the breast with easy access. This position (mom reclined, baby on top of mom, tummy to mom) is usually called laid back nursing, but it can be done when baby is NOT nursing as well. Safely snuggled on mom's chest is baby's natural environment.

    Since more frequent nursing means more milk into baby, usually, It may be more helpful to think of overall nursing frequency, which at this age is a minimum of 10-12 times in 24 hours. Many newborns nurse even more often than that, especially if you count cluster feeds as individual. This is fine and normal.

    Can you give your baby's complete weight history? Do you know the lowest known weight and what day of life that was? Also, is nursing comfortable for you?
    Spit up is almost always 100% normal and not a factor that affects weight gain. The exceptions would be if baby is ill or has some other disorder going on...maybe a condition known is pyloric stenosis.

    Also, I do burp her after feedings and hold her upright for at least 15 minutes and then place her at an incline for a little bit longer.
    I would suggest, see what happens if you do not always actively burp, as this is not typically needed for the breastfed baby, but do hold baby snuggled on you, her head above her tummy, on your chest (or up on your shoulder if that is more comfortable or easier to move around,) not just for 15 minutes but most of the time, passing baby off to another trusted adult when you need to get rest or tend to your personal needs so THEY can hold baby in this way.

    Here is a good article on what is normal in this period: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/ and good info for sleepy baby issues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...py_newborn.pdf and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

    And info on safe bedsharing http://www.llli.org/sweetsleepbook/tearsheets
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 22nd, 2015 at 10:03 PM.

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