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Thread: Baby Won't Latch or Stay Awake - Time Between Feed

  1. #1

    Default Baby Won't Latch or Stay Awake - Time Between Feed

    Hello all, our 4 day old son has been having difficulty latching and remaining awake to get enough colostrum from the breast since he was born 4 days ago. Both issues (latch and alertness) I would say are equally challenging for him (and us). The lactation consultant at the hospital helped us with a feeding play for our first week, which we will soon reassess. The plan is to try and get a good latch to feed at the breast for as long as possible (which sometimes is hard to decide how long to stay trying when he is sometimes impossible to wake up/keep awake), supplement with pumped colostrum and then with formula until he has had the recommended amount of supplementation.

    1. We had over shot a feeding session and he had gone over 4 hours without feeding, so the colostrum that I had pumped previously (about 20ml) sat out on the counter for over 4 hours. One question I have is how long can I keep expressed colostrum on the counter (or in the fridge).

    2. how long should I try to get him to latch/stay awake at the breast before switching to the pumped colostrum and then formula? How long should i let him/expect him to stay at the breast when he has a good latch?

    3. we are confused as to the timings between feedings. We think we remember a nurse telling us that if feeding every 2-3 hours you should time it so that those hours run from the start of one feed to the start of the next. Our concern is that it takes so long sometimes to get him to latch, or to keep him awake that even when we can do these things it may be an hour gone by (sometimes he will latch for 5 mins per breast, sometimes 20, but getting him there takes a long time). Once that time (sometimes an hour) has gone by my husband cup feeds our, again, hard to keep awake baby, with the expressed colostrum from pumping and then might even have to switch to formula to cup feed to get the right amount he should be getting. So, another half hour or so. So, for example if we start this process at 2:00, we may not be done 'feeding' until 3:30. Leaving only a half hour or an hour before the next feed. This seems impossible to do, especially when I need to pump while my husband cup feeds, find time to use the washroom and take care of my stitches, eat, clean or assemble pump parts, sleep etc. We think it seems more reasonable to time the feedings so that 2-3 hours has passed between the end of the last feeding.

    Lots of questions I know... any advice is appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Baby Won't Latch or Stay Awake - Time Between Feed

    4-8 hours expressed milk or colostrum (which is also milk) on counter is usually fine, if your house is a regular room temp. If you keep house very warm, not sure. Here are storage guidelines. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...toringmilk.pdf
    Do not worry about feeding schedule. Encourage baby to nurse frequent day and night so baby is nursing a minimum of 8-12 times per 24 hours. Infants typically cluster feed meaning they may nurse several times close together and then take a snooze of a few hours rather than nursing some 'regular' schedule of every 2 to three hours. But if you are wondering 'has it been too long" the timing is supposed to be from the START of the last feed to the START of the next. And yes that can feel impossible and as if all you are doing is feeding the baby if you are also pumping and supplementing. This is why it is important to get things figured out so you are no longer pumping and supplementing asap. If a baby is not able to get adequate nutrition nursing at the breast, there is a reason and usually, a solution.

    Why are you pumping? Sleepy baby is entirely normal and alone is no reason to switch to formula. This is only needed if there is a concern baby is not getting enough to eat and cannot, even with your expressed milk. Who has told you your baby is not getting enough to eat and what evidecne are they using? Newborn infants this age DO NOT NEED HUGE MEALS! Any supplements of your milk or formula should be 1) absolutely necessary and 2) very small amounts at a time or you will just make baby even less interested in nursing with normal frequency. This is how breastfeeding gets really messed up. A study found that for the very young newborn, the best way to supplement if supplementing is required temporarily is very small amounts at a time with a syringe.

    Here is a video on alternative ways a baby might be given supplements: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrrrC5NyNnQ

    This article may be helpful: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/

    these as well: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...py_newborn.pdf and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ching_baby.pdf

    When is this plan being reassessed? Hopefully very soon? Also, It is important that the LC does a complete consult. If baby cannot latch well enough to nurse normally, there is a reason and that needs to be addressed. Here is an example: http://www.cwgenna.com/lconsult.html
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 14th, 2016 at 10:47 AM.

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