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Thread: Is it best not to time how long baby is on the breast? PART TWO

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    6

    Question Re: Is it best not to time how long baby is on the breast?

    I am new at breatfeeeding so right now I am still going off of what the nurses told me when we left the hospital. My 1 wk old is nursing 10 minutes on each side. How do I not time her, if I let her go longer then 10 minutes she falls asleep and won't nurse on the other side. Any info would be great on how I can do this becuae is driving me nuts watching how long. Also she is wanting to nurse about every hour and that is really taking a toll on me so if I can get her to go a little longer that would be wonderful.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    1,020

    Default Re: Is it best not to time how long baby is on the breast?

    Hey RozandAlixmommy...It is definitely okay to let baby nurse longer than 10 minutes on one side...and its okay if she falls asleep. It is really rare that I feed my LO on both sides in one feeding. I alternate breasts per feeding. This way I can be sure LO is getting the hindmilk (the fatty stuff) which will inturn keep your LO full longer and get all the rich nutrients. SOme ideas for waking baby are getting right down to diaper. But it is perfectly fine to let your LO nurse to sleep and you will find frequent nursing is kinda the norm in those first few weeks. Your LO is also at prime time for a growth spurt! Nursing ALL the time!! Just go with the flow, it will last 2 days to one week. THis site is such a great resource...Glad you found us here!! Welcome and congrats on your LO (little one)!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Oregon
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    2,931

    Default Re: Is it best not to time how long baby is on the breast?

    Quote Originally Posted by RozandAlixmommy View Post
    I am new at breatfeeeding so right now I am still going off of what the nurses told me when we left the hospital. My 1 wk old is nursing 10 minutes on each side. How do I not time her, if I let her go longer then 10 minutes she falls asleep and won't nurse on the other side. Any info would be great on how I can do this becuae is driving me nuts watching how long. Also she is wanting to nurse about every hour and that is really taking a toll on me so if I can get her to go a little longer that would be wonderful.

    Thanks
    It is perfectly fine ... even ideal ... for your baby to just nurse as long she wants on one side until she falls asleep. I have only nursed on one side each feeding from the very first day. That way your baby will get the fatty hind milk she needs.

    And nursing every hour is also perfectly normal at that age. It should slow down over time and she'll go for longer stretches eventually. Breast milk is digested very quickly and your baby's tummy is very tiny. She needs to eat frequently. It is exahuasting ... but stick it out and "this too shall pass." Here is another link with excellent advice on how to handle the hourly feedings: Frequent Nursing.

    This is a very in depth article (aimed towards LLL Leaders) that may help you understand why it's important to let your baby lead the feedings, not the clock or some idea that baby needs to nurse on both sides every time:

    Finish the First Breast First

    You are doing an excellent job mama! You are giving your little one the perfect nutrition and love, comfort and warmth that breastfeeding provides. It's a priceless gift!

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is it best not to time how long baby is on the breast? PART TWO

    Hi there
    I made your question into the new thread so it could get the attention it deserves!

    Just wanted to echo Paint-the-Moon's post.

    LLL says "finish the first breast first". As long as baby is getting enough to eat, it's perfectly fine to let her nurse at one breast per feeding. http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/enough.html

    Nursing every hour is very normal for a newborn. Think of your weight now, then imagine you have to double your weight in six months time. You'd be eating all the time, too! You'll find as she gets older, she'll go a little longer between feedings. Many mothers notice this around 6 weeks, but every baby is different.

    Feed her as she "demands" or cues it. Don't worry about timing feedings or timing between feedings. Just look at her diaper output (see the link above)--she should be having at least 5-6 wet disposable (6-8 cloth) diapers and 2-3 dirty diapers (size of a US Quarter or larger) per day. Make sure she's going to the breast at least 8-12 times every 24 hour period. Many babies go to the breast much more frequently!

    Let me know if you have more questions. Hang in there and congrats on your new baby!
    Hugs
    Jen
    Last edited by LLL LactoJen; December 3rd, 2006 at 11:39 AM.
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,064

    Default Re: Is it best not to time how long baby is on the breast? PART TWO

    I completely agree with the pp's, but I wanted to add a couple more suggestions that might help you to feel a little more at ease. You will often hear from LLL "watch the baby, not the clock". When your LO nurses, rather than watching the time, watch her sucking patterns. Usually in the beginning the milk flow is strong, and baby will be actively sucking (rhythmic jaw movement with swallowing every 1 or 2 sucks). After a while the milk flow will start to slow a bit, and baby will begin to swallow less frequently. Eventually baby may start to have more shallow sucking (comfort sucking) with little to no swallowing. This is when baby often falls asleep. Very young babies (like yours) are sometimes very sleepy and may occasionally fall asleep before they are really finished eating. You can try to rub her palms and/or tickle feet a bit to wake her up. You can also try breast compressions--when active sucking stops, gently squeeze your breast. This will increase milk flow and baby may begin sucking/swallowing again. Repeat rotating your hand around your breast. When this no longer has an effect on sucking, you can then try offering the other breast. Sometimes a diaper change in between breasts can rouse baby enough to take the other side. However, if baby really doesn't want to wake up, she's probably full and doesn't need to have the other side at that time. Many babies do only take one breast per feeding, and that's fine. Watching for baby's cues rather than the clock, though, is much less stressful and can assure that baby is getting adequate time at one breast.

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