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Thread: Feeding questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Feeding questions

    Hi everyone,

    Questions about my second baby. 8 days old today, born at 8 lbs 10 oz, left hospital at 7 lbs 14 oz, weighed in yesterday at 8 lbs 12 ozs at 1 week appt. Eating tons, every 1.5-2.5 hrs during the day, every 3-4 hrs at night. Produces at least 8 wets and 8 poops every day. Eating about 12-15 sessions per day.

    I have two questions:
    1. During some daytime feedings, it is difficult to keep her awake. Sometimes I'm lucky to get to 5 minutes, sometimes she'll go as long as 10 on one side. I have a very fast letdown (first let down within the first 30 seconds, then another 2-4 for the next 5 min). Should I be trying to get her 5 min feedings more to 10 minutes? If she wakes up 20 min later, should I put her on the same side, or switch to the other? Just an FYI, the app that I'm using says the average feed has been 9-13 minutes for the past 5 days.

    2. Each night has been less and less amount of sleep. I am finding that she very much loves to use me as a pacifier, but will often create more letdowns while she sucks. I've read a lot about the use of pacifiers, and am wondering if she is just the type of baby that needs to suck a lot at night, and if we were to try it out, what would I need to look out for (ex. fewer feedings at night, less weight gain, etc.) Also, at what point do I let her wake for feedings on her own, rather than me waking her up by the 4 hr mark? We did that 4 days ago, but last night started waking up on her own every 3 hours.

    Hope these questions are making more sense than what's swirling around in my foggy head

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,580

    Default Re: Feeding questions

    Hi and welcome! Congratulations on your new baby.

    I think the thing to remember about breastfeeding is that every mother and baby pair is entirely unique. Your baby is not going to nurse exactly like any other baby, even a sibling. And your milk production and even your "storage capacity" could be entirely different with this baby. As long as baby is gaining well and clearly getting enough milk, there is little need to insist baby nurse longer. As far as if baby should take the same side again, I would suggest going by "feel" for that. If the same breast is still feeling quite full, sure, baby can stay on that same side. If not, fine to switch.

    One can usually expect an 8 day old baby to be nursing frequently day and night, usually with little if any difference between the two. As you are seeing, you can expect baby to nurse at least 10-15 times per 24 hours. This is entirely normal frequency. Assuming this is happening, baby taking a longer sleep stretch of 4-6 hours here and there (about once every 24 hours) is usually fine, but is not necessarily going to happen.

    Each night has been less and less amount of sleep. I am finding that she very much loves to use me as a pacifier, but will often create more letdowns while she sucks. I've read a lot about the use of pacifiers, and am wondering if she is just the type of baby that needs to suck a lot at night, and if we were to try it out, what would I need to look out for (ex. fewer feedings at night, less weight gain, etc.) Also, at what point do I let her wake for feedings on her own, rather than me waking her up by the 4 hr mark? We did that 4 days ago, but last night started waking up on her own every 3 hours.
    It sounds as if baby is waking for feedings on her own just fine. Basically, as long as baby is nursing with normal frequency, you are not getting engorged between nursing sessions, and baby is gaining well, there is probably not a need to wake baby to nurse.

    Babies are born with an intense need to suckle a lot, this is a deep survival instinct. Since frequent nursing is important for preventing a number of breastfeeding problems, the typical recommendation is that all sucking should be at the breast for the early weeks or until whenever it is clear breastfeeding is going well and milk production is in good shape. This does not mean never use a pacifier, but at this point you might want to use it only for times you can not nurse, such as in the car. A baby gets both comfort and food every time they nurse, and this is fine. Also, frequent nursing is very helpful for forceful letdown issues and pacifier use might interfere with that.

    If you do want to use a pacifier at night, I would suggest stopping use if there are any clues this is causing issues. Long sleep periods, less frequent nursing, and/or you feeling engorged or overfull, or baby getting "drowned" by a fast letdown if it has been a while since baby nursed, would all be the early warning that baby is comforting via the pacifier and consequently not nursing often enough. All sucking, even on a pacifier, triggers a hormone in baby that puts them to sleep, even if they are not eating enough. So certainly do not wait until weight gain is effected, as pacifier overuse IS a known cause of poor weight gain, but by the time that is noticeable, your milk production may have been harmed.

    Are you concerned baby is eating too much, as in, actually getting too much milk? Are you concerned that you have overproduction and the frequent nursing is exacerbating that?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Feeding questions

    Thanks so much for getting back to me! You've helped answer a lot of my question How do I know if she is eating too much? She seems to be handling my fast letdown pretty well (sometimes I use the gravity trick), but I can't yet track a pattern of when she's going to take just one side, or both. What would be some signs that she is getting too much milk?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,580

    Default Re: Feeding questions

    You don't have to worry that your baby is getting too much. Babies are very good at self-regulating. They won't take more than they need overall. If a mom has lots of milk, baby may gain more in the early weeks but that does not mean baby is getting too much. Even if baby is gaining rapidly, that will all even out over time. This is why it is often said that you cannot overfeed a breast-fed baby it's really true.
    Also there is no reason to worry about a pattern as to whether baby will take one or both sides. If baby appears finished on one side, you can offer the other and baby can take it or not. Some babies seem to take one side most feedings, some babies take both, and some babies mix it up -all are entirely normal. Also if you have a fast letdown, baby may prefer one side at a time now and go to two sides later.

    Just keep watching your baby and learn your baby. If in doubt, It never hurts to offer to nurse.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; July 24th, 2014 at 05:35 PM.

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