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Thread: random feedings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    11

    Default random feedings

    My baby is 4 days old and started off feeding great the first day she was born she would latch on great and eat for 20 min each side. The next day she would go 5-6 hours (the nurses and lactation consultants said this is normal she was just tired from birth) day 2 was very similar going long periods of time in between feedings ( I tried stripping her down, changing her bum, rubbing her neck, head and feet...) day 3 she did awesome and ate every 3 hours on the dot till midnight then she ate every hour for 20 min on just one side. Now day 4 and she is back to eating every 4-5 hours and only eating for short periods like maybe 10 min. I am worried about my supply and I don't want to resort to bottles. we had her billy lvls tested and she was on the high end (12.6) but not light worthy yet. Any suggestions what I can do I don't want to do formula! I ended up pumping cause I felt so engorged and I got 2 oz from each side so I know there is plenty in there I just can't get her to empty them herself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,103

    Default Re: random feedings

    Congratulations on the brand-new baby!

    I'm glad you are keeping a careful eye on this situation. You want your baby nursing frequently in order to clear out her jaundice and to maintain your milk supply. Ideally, a newborn would be nursing at least 10-12 times a day, and I think that the closer you can get to that target, the better. So here's what I would do:
    - Keep a very careful eye on her jaundice. If her bili levels are climbing or she becomes even more sleepy, it might be time to talk about phototherapy or even supplements (preferably of breastmilk, delivered via cup, syringe, or finger feeder- or even bottle if that's the only way she'll take it).
    - Let baby spend lots of time in the sun! UV light in the sunshine will break down the bilirubin.
    - Attempt to wake her to eat every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3 at night.
    - Don't get too concerned about occasional longer stretches of sleep- those are normal as long as baby is nursing enough overall.
    - Try to offer both breasts at every feeding.
    - Keep a careful eye on diaper output. If you're having trouble counting wet diapers, tuck a square of tissue paper in front of the baby's genital area. When she pees, it will be visibly wet.
    - As a last resort, pump to make up for missed feedings and to create supplements. But don't over-pump, as that can create a problematic oversupply. Taking 1-3 oz at a time should be enough to make up for a missed feeding, with a baby this age.
    - Don't give baby a pacifier or swaddle her- both those things can make babies sleep more soundly than they should.
    - Keep baby as awake as possible at the breast- tickle her feet or rub against the grain of her hair using your hand or a cool damp washcloth, strip her down to a diaper or single light layer before nursing, keep a fan blowing in the room where you're nursing. If baby starts to doze off too rapidly, take her off the breast, burp her/change her diaper, and switch her to the other breast.
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: random feedings

    Edit: Hi mommal! Happy mothers day! Missed your post before I posted. Sorry for repeat info swirly.whirly!

    Hi, and welcome. I am not understanding why you would have to do formula. The problem, if there is a problem, is baby's nursing frequency, correct? So that is the problem to be solved. Formula is not going to solve that problem. You pumped lots of milk, so IF you do need to supplement with anything, you can use your own milk.

    A newborn normally nurses in a very erratic pattern, so nursing very frequently for part of the day, and less frequently for others, is normal. But you do want it all adding up to AT LEAST 10 times in a 24 hour day. How long baby needs to nurse each time is going to vary, and is not something to worry about unless baby is clearly not getting enough.

    Your baby may be a bit sleepy for a number of reasons. While this is common, and even normal and not a problem with some babies, it does not mean you should sit back and do nothing about it if baby is not nursing often enough. So it is good you are encouraging baby to nurse more often. For encouraging more frequent nursing, here is what I suggest.

    Don't put baby down unless you need to for some reason, and then, have someone else hold baby. If baby is being given a pacifier, stop all pacifier use until you have this figured out. Hold baby as much as you possibly can, resting snuggled against your chest. If you are comfortable holding baby skin to skin, do that. Otherwise, keep yourself and baby lightly dressed with quick access to your breasts so that whenever baby roots or otherwise cues, you can offer the breast quickly.

    If it has been more than 2 or 3 hours since baby has nursed, or you are starting to feel full, and baby is not rooting or cueing, offer baby the breast. You may need to wake baby, but you may not., Try bring baby to the breast while baby is asleep, babies can and do nurse in their sleep. If you can hand express a little milk, do that, and bring baby to the nipple with drops of milk on it to baby. You can also dribble expressed milk on the nipple for a similar effect. Otherwise, brush babies upper or lower lip (either might work) with your nipple to try to get baby to latch. If baby needs to be awoken, try the ideas I will link in my next post.

    To encourage baby to nurse longer each time, or if you think baby is not nursing actively for long enough, try breast compressions and/or switching sides. Often just rubbing babies back, or gently and rhythmically squeezing aka "pumping" babies hand or foot will rev baby back up and get baby nursing actively again.

    The way you tell a baby is getting enough milk is from weight gain and output, specifically, poops. By day four, ideally baby is pooping 3 or more times a day, with a poop 'counting' if it is big enough to scoop up into a teaspoon (just guess, you do not need to actually scoop up and measure the poop) and the poops are mustard yellow or green or on their way to transitioning to yellow or green from the tarry black merconium poops of the first couple of day.

    Babies will usually lose weight the first few days after birth, with gain beginning around day 4 or 5. At that point, gain of an ounce a day is ideal but some babies take a few more days to start gaining that rapidly. Also, gain each day will vary. The once a day 'rule' is the average gain over many weeks or months. Be aware that only weight checks done carefully and accurately on the SAME SCALE can reliably be touted up. There are too many variables if different scales are used.

    I would suggest, Avoid pumping unless it is needed to avoid engorgement, or if you do start supplementing and need your expressed milk for supplementing.

    Remember you can supplement with your own milk. If you are concerned baby is not getting enough via nursing, you can try right now to offer very small amounts (half ounce or less at a time) of your expressed milk in a syringe or eyedropper. Getting a few more calories into baby may help baby get more wakeful and wanting to nurse more often. But also keep offering the breast frequently and keep any supplemental feedings very small.

    How is nursing feeling? comfortable for you? Any pain?
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 11th, 2014 at 04:17 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: random feedings

    waking sleepy newborn: https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...py_newborn.pdf

    diaper log https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...diaper_log.pdf

    hand expression: https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...expression.pdf

    breast compressions: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-BC

    laid back breastfeeding and other ideas (positioning and latch info) https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...astfeeding.pdf
    jaundice article from jack newman, pediatrician and breastfeeding expert: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...gename=doc-B-J
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 11th, 2014 at 04:23 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: random feedings

    Thanks for all the suggestions. The reason I am worried about having to do formula is I am worried with her eating so randomly my milk supply will dwindle. I am totally comfortable breast feeding and enjoy the bonding time. It hurts still when she initially latches on but I know that will pass as she keeps nursing. Unfortunately since she was born we have had storms rolling through here so there has been zero sun since then. I think we will go get her lvld checked again tomorrow I would rather be on the safe side if that is the problem. Also tomorrow the storms are supposed to roll out and we should have a week of sun!!! Thanks again for the help I will keep them all in mind. I am also meeting with a Lactation consultant tomorrow just to make sure she is latching correctly and that everything else is working as it should.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: random feedings

    The reason I am worried about having to do formula is I am worried with her eating so randomly my milk supply will dwindle
    at four days, your milk production is increasing based mostly on hormones. (Generally, Milk production increases from almost nothing day one of life to about 20 ounces a day by day 7, and continues to increase (although much more slowly) for the next four to six weeks.) Yes of course it is very important that baby nurse frequently, in order that baby gets enough milk, you avoid engorgement, and your milk production gets off to a great start from frequent milk removal. But "frequent' does not mean "regular." Nursing patterns are rarely every such and such hours. Presumably baby WILL start nursing more often on her own very soon. She is sleepy right now, so, until then, you may have to more actively encourage baby to nurse. But I do not think you have to worry about your milk production at this point.

    I am also meeting with a Lactation consultant tomorrow just to make sure she is latching correctly and that everything else is working as it should
    . Great!

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