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Thread: Baby never seems satisfied

  1. #1
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    Default Baby never seems satisfied

    I need some help. My 3 week old baby girl never seems to be satisfied no matter how long I nurse her.

    She was born weighing 8.6 and we had some problems at the hospital. She was put under the phototherapy light the day after she was born for bilirubin level of 7 which then peaked at 9. Baby hated every moment of it and screamed throughout. Of course, nursing after that didn't work. So then the next morning, I'm told she has a fever of 101.4 and was taken into the NICU, where she was immediately put on IV fluids and antibiotics. She was discharged 2 days later.

    At 2 weeks she weighed 7.10 and then 2 days later still 7.10

    I've been feeling like no matter how long I nurse- she always cries when I take her off. She might be content for 30 minutes tops. Even if I've nursed her for 2 hours.

    She has plenty of nice poops, so why the weight loss?

    LC says she's eating fine (even if I only sporadically her the "Kuh" sound as she swallows) she says I have low storage capacity (based on breast shape) and told me to nurse 15 min on each side and then do another 5 on each. As soon as the 40 minutes are over she's crying for more so I put her back on.

    I'm so confused- I don't know when one feed ends and another begins.

    I just fed her for around an hour and she cried, so I held off for 15 min and then nursed her for another 45 min and she still cried. I managed to rock her to sleep- but now I'm worried that she's hungry...

    How do I know if she's hungry or if she's eating well?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Baby never seems satisfied

    So someone with lots more knowledge than me will post soon, I'm sure. In the meantime, check out this post:http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...much-Read-this!

    & how do you know if she's hungry? Learn her hunger cues. Mouth moving, hands to mouth, etc. I wish I'd known to ignore the time frames they gave me . . . They are the maximum times to go between feeds and lots of babies nurse more often and what seems like all the time. You may or may not have low storage capacity (can breast shape really tell an LC that? I have no idea!), but nursing constantly is one way newborns help increase mom's supply regardless. Find a comfortable spot with water, food, and something to read or watch as you'll be there a while. And the two hours starts at the start of the nursing session.

    Weight, poopy diapers, and pee is how you know she's gaining. I'm wondering if her weight was artificially inflated due to all the fluid in the nicu . .. something someone with more experience can speak to.

    You sound like you're doing great. It's all confusing and tiring, so I'm glad you're asking now so you can get support! :-)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Baby never seems satisfied

    HI freddieb. Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you are doing all you can for your baby after a rough start and are concerned! I have a few thoughts.

    At 2 weeks she weighed 7.10 and then 2 days later still 7.10
    Were these two weight checks done on the same scale? It is very important that the same scale be used and weight checks done on a digital infant scale with baby naked or in a dry diaper from here on out if at all possible.

    Also, baby is not back at birth weight at 16 days post partum? This potentially signals a problem. I agree it is possible birth weight was inflated, but was there a 24 hour weight done? How much did she weigh at discharge? In other words, you can throw out birth weight if you have a lowest known weight or other subsequent weight check to go from, and that might give you a more accurate understanding of what baby's gain rate is now. And yes, I would be very curious how much baby is pooping- how many times a day, and what it looks like.

    Here is the thing. A baby nursing as much as you describe is entirely normal in this period. What is NOT normal is for a baby to be nursing that much and not gaining weight in a normal fashion- which by this point (after the first several days) should be about 5-8 ounces per week.

    If baby is not gaining enough exclusively breastfed, it is very important to have breastfeeding assessed by someone who will watch baby nurse, do a before and after nursing weight check or in some other way try to asses more specifically what is going on, and give you a plan for helping baby gain better. This plan might include supplements, it might include helping you increase your milk production, and it might include helping baby latch and nurse more effectively- or some combination of those.

    Your LC gave you a plan, but it sounds like that plan is not working for you or noticeably increasing gain. So I would suggest getting back in touch with her right away and seeing if a different plan might be in order. Is that something you would be able to do?

    I am not sure there is any evidence that breast shape means anything that specific about storage capacity. Breast shape is one piece of information that must be added to everything else that is going on. Also, just so you know, breast storage capacity comes in a wide variety and a small one would not make breastfeeding more difficult overall- or really much different at this early stage. Most moms of all kinds of storage capacities find they nurse more or less 'all the time' in these early weeks. Again, this is normal- but baby not gaining is not.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Baby never seems satisfied

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*dormir41 View Post
    how do you know if she's hungry? Learn her hunger cues. Mouth moving, hands to mouth,
    If she's awake and not on me- 15 minutes after *any* she's doing her sucking motions, sticking her tongue out, then she'll start putting her hands in her mouth, then she'll be crying...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Baby never seems satisfied

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*freddybee View Post
    If she's awake and not on me- 15 minutes after *any* she's doing her sucking motions, sticking her tongue out, then she'll start putting her hands in her mouth, then she'll be crying...
    I'm guessing she's probably hungry then. Hunger is a late sign, mouth moving the earliest sign. There was a video that helped me when I was desperately trying to learn my baby. I'll see if I can find it and post it for you.

    It sounds to me like she's cluster feeding . . . And while it is exhausting, it does get better. My understanding is this also helps you build your supply later. What was her lowest weight and what is her diaper output? That will help our experienced moms on here help you. :-)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Baby never seems satisfied

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Were these two weight checks done on the same scale? It is very important that the same scale be used and weight checks done on a digital infant scale with baby naked or in a dry diaper from here on out if at all possible.
    How much did she weigh at discharge?
    Her discharge papers say birth weight 3800 grams and discharge at 3610, but I'm positive her birth weight was 8.6, not 8.4

    And her weight at 14 and 16 days were done on the same scale.

    And yes, I would be very curious how much baby is pooping
    She has 6-10 wet diapers a day. She used to have at least 2-3, sometimes 4 or 5 nice mustard colored stools. But then things changed. I started taking fenugreek and mothers milk tea and since then she's been having 4+ green poops. I'm wondering if I caused a bit of an oversupply issue and foremilk/hind milk imbalance.

    Baby looks good, not at all starved. She' definitely looks bigger and has grown a chin or two since birth...

    I have no problem nursing her for hours- it's just that she's not drinking for hours unless I can't tell drinking/swallowing it seems like she's nibbling and sleeping. I've tried doing compressions but there's only so many I can do until she falls asleep (not a deep sleep, she'll give a suck and a swallow every now and then)

    I'd love to let her finish one side before moving onto the next, but I can't tell when she's done with the first side?
    Last edited by @llli*freddybee; April 23rd, 2015 at 05:08 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Baby never seems satisfied

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*dormir41 View Post
    I'm guessing she's probably hungry then. Hunger is a late sign, mouth moving the earliest sign. There was a video that helped me when I was desperately trying to learn my baby. I'll see if I can find it and post it for you.
    Thanks, I'd appreciate it!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Baby never seems satisfied

    Okay . . . So here's the video on hunger cues that might be helpful. https://youtu.be/ABAXgubx58Q
    And yes, if she falls asleep she may not be feeding in her sleep. Mine didn't really, either, so you may have to wake her up or guide her back to the nipple in her sleep so she'll continue to eat. I honestly can't remember what worked best with my daughter at that age and if she would feed in her sleep if I tried get her to do it. Now, she will, but I don't know if she did then. Remember that newborns have such tiny stomachs so I suppose it's possible she's full.

    And oh good Lord, I realized I said hunger is a late sign. I meant crying is a late sign. Oy!

    Her output sounds good to me. Let's see what others say.
    Last edited by @llli*dormir41; April 23rd, 2015 at 05:19 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Baby never seems satisfied

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*dormir41 View Post
    And yes, if she falls asleep she may not be feeding in her sleep. Mine didn't really, either, so you may have to wake her up or guide her back to the nipple in her sleep so she'll continue to eat.
    She's really hard to wake. I can tickle her toes, undress her, diaper her, lay her down on a flat surface... She might give one or two sucks and then she's right back to sleep...

    She does sleep a lot at night though, 3 hour stretches- I usually have to wake her to feed her.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Baby never seems satisfied

    ok. so lowest known weight- at 2 days- was 7 lbs 5 ounces, and baby is now 7 lbs 1 ounce?

    It is normal for a baby to lose weight the first couple of days after birth, But By discharge was baby regaining weight lost, or still losing?- there was no check done at one week? Was baby continued to be monitored for jaundice?
    Here is the thing - if baby has not gained since baby was discharged or has in fact lost weight since then that's a problem. no matter how much poop there is.
    Poops (not pees) are a pretty good (but not always entirely accurate) indicator of whether baby is getting enough milk to gain properly. But they cannot be used in place of accurate weight checks. A two week old baby should be gaining weight.

    I would agree that poop output sounds okay. So then I have to go back to those weight checks. You say baby looks good. A two week old who has been losing weight since two days old would probably not look all that good. So either, something must be up with those weights checks, some serious inaccuracies somewhere (and yes, it does happen) and baby is ok, or the other indicators (poop, look) are not telling us the right thing and baby really is in trouble. A two week old baby who is possibly continuing to lose weight or has not gained at all since day 2 is in trouble.

    Just to be clear I am talking about losing weight or not gaining since 2 days. If baby plateaus for a couple of days here and there, that is not a problem. The problem would be the apparent no gain, or possible loss, since discharge.

    As far as the problem being over supply and foremilk hindmilk you can be sure that is not it. When mothers have overproduction babies gain faster than normal not slower. If the fenugreek etc. just recently kicked you production into overdrive, great. If the problem before was low milk production, that means baby should start gaining and fast. But no matter what people say about fore milk and hindmilk, these are not reasons that babies do not gain well. Babies do not gain well either because they are not getting enough milk overall, or there is something else wrong with the baby -some health issue that has nothing to do with food.

    And low production is not the only reason a baby might not get enough milk. If baby is not able to nurse efficiently, that would also potentially harm gain even if your production is normal.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; April 23rd, 2015 at 07:39 PM.

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