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Thread: Baby not swallowing?

  1. #1

    Default Baby not swallowing?

    My baby boy will be 7 weeks tomorrow. He was born 5 weeks and 3 days early, so his adjusted age is 1 week 2 days old. He spent 9 days in the NICU before being discharged home. We have had troubles latching on since coming home (although I think he has had a bed/shallow latch from the start, and I did not realize it right away), and as a result my nipples were extremely sore, blistered and red. This last week he seems to have gotten better at latching on, but since Sunday he has latched on, and nursed well for 2-5 mins, then will alternate between sleeping and just sucking on the nipple. He will suck lightly for 10-15 times, then either stop or swallow. Is this normal?

    He had been consistently gaining weight every week until Monday, when he stayed the same as the week before. I have been working with a LC and we weighed him today and he had gained 4 oz (he is now 8lbs even). I have tried burping him and stripping him down to help wake him back up, but it only works for a minute or two at most, and then he typically won't have a strong suck or swallow.

    I had met with the LC consultant last Monday and she watched us nurse, and we figured out that I have a strong letdown, and that he was getting what he needed right away. I wouldn't worry about this, but the last two days he has been really fussy after I take him off the breast, so I offer it back to him but he doesn't swallow when latched back on. I am scared that my milk supply is decreasing. I know pumping is not an indication, but I had been pumping 3 oz or more total after each feeding, but this week I can barely get an oz total. What will my baby act like if he is not getting enough to eat? He has been extra sleepy today, but he is still having consistent wet diapers. He has only pooped once since Sunday (last night). I guess I have a lot of concerns and I wish this would come easy for us!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Baby not swallowing?

    Why are you taking him off the breast? Is he happy once you put him back on? Sounds like he might just want to suck some more even though he might be done eating. Let him stay on even if he is just sleeping. As long as he has enough pee diapers, you know you are giving him enough.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Baby not swallowing?

    I agree with pp. Are you taking baby off because nursing is still painful? Or is baby coming off on his own and will not relatch? I am confused. How many times a 24 hour day does baby nurse? At least 10?

    Wet diapers are a good way to tell a baby is not dehydrated, but to make sure baby is getting enough, the very best measure is weight gain. However, weight gain is normally not consistent. In other words, it would not be very unusual for a baby to not gain for a few days and then gain well. We often hear that gain of an ounce a day is "normal" or "average" and it is, but what this really refers to is that in the first 3 months, that is the typical gain overall.

    If baby gained 4 ounces since this past Monday, today being Thursday, that is good gain. But with baby being so young, I am a little concerned baby is pooping so much less frequently (yes this can be normal by this actual age, but not your babies adjusted age, so it's a grey area) and it is also worrying if nursing is still hurting you.

    Please do not go by pump output! Why would your pump output so suddenly go down so much? Either 1) the pump is not working properly or 2) baby has become much better at milk extraction and is getting more when nursing. Pumping 3 ounces or more AFTER a baby nurses might indicate that baby was not getting enough when baby nursed. It would be very unlikely that your milk production would suddenly reduce such an extreme amount, unless you started taking something (like hormone based birth control) which reduces production in some mothers.

    Can you see the LC again just to go over some of your concerns?

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