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Thread: 5 week old fussy after nursing

  1. #1

    Default 5 week old fussy after nursing

    My baby girl was born at 37w2d. Labor was 52 hours. Had complications and was in the hospital for a week from NICU to Peds. Able to get her colostrum by bottle but would only eat that way and had to keep her stimulated. She would either not stay latched to my breast or scream uncontrollably. The past 4 weeks I have been pumping after she finishes off a bottle, which could be anywhere between 2 to 4 hours between feedings. The past week she has gotten the hang of latching. Some feedings will be sufficient yet others she is still fussy afterwords, which is kind of where we're at now. Sometimes I can feel the milk let down, others I can't. She will latch and "feed" for 45 minutes to and hour. Afterwords, I lay her down thinking she's in a deeps sleep, but for only about 30 minutes to have her wake up and scream again. Butt has been changed, gripe water or gas drops given, and burped. She still polishes off 60+ml bottle.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 5 week old fussy after nursing

    Hi bachandl, and welcome to the forum.

    It sounds like you and baby are doing great and have made lots of progress after a rough start! If your baby is able to latch and nurse now, it is time to gradually wean off the supplemental bottles and the pumping.

    These things are all normal and expected:
    She will latch and "feed" for 45 minutes to and hour. Afterwords, I lay her down thinking she's in a deeps sleep, but for only about 30 minutes to have her wake up and scream again.
    Sometimes I can feel the milk let down, others I can't.
    In fact m,any moms never feel letdown. It does not mean it is not happening.

    What is also normal at this age is for baby to be nursing at least 8-12 times in 24 hours, to not nurse every such and such hours, but rather in clusters, and to prefer to be held most of the time but especially for at least 30 minutes after nursing. If you are pumping after nursing, of course this is difficult. This is another reason to start weaning off the supplemental bottles and weaning.

    How much a 5 week old "takes" in a bottle is not relevant. It truly means nothing. Babies have a compelling need to suckle and they will drink from a bottle as long as they need to suckle. This could be long after they have gotten what they actually need.

    The way to tell if a baby needs more than what they can get at the breast nursing at least 8-12 times in 24 hours is by their weight gain. Poop output can also usually give you a pretty good idea about if baby is getting enough on a day to day basis, but less poop after about this age can be a normal change and not indicate a problem.

    It can be very hard to have the confidence to start weaning off bottles and pumping. But it is really, really important to do this when appropriate, because it does not take long for unneeded or too much feeding with bottles to permanently disrupt normal breastfeeding. Are you working with an IBCLC at all?

    Helpful article on what is normal in the early weeks: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; April 20th, 2017 at 09:39 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 5 week old fussy after nursing

    Spit up is normal. Pain while spitting up might indicate reflux. Crying while nursing could indicate any number of things.

    Very young babies should probably not be ingesting anything other than breastmilk, infant formula (if they are not breastfed) or medicines approved by doctor. I know people give their babies gripe water for colic, I did myself with my oldest, and I assume that is similar to what is in this "tea?" But even with the gripe water, the recommended dose was so much it was potentially a problem if given too often. (could fill baby up on something with no nutrients.) Later I learned research does not indicate gripe water helps with digestive issues. Neither do gas drops. There is some evidence probiotics help in some cases.

    Additionally, herbal ingredients are not always "safe." In fact, due to lack of regulation I would be very cautious about direct ingestion of any herbal product for a very young child. For example: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/...t-colic-unsafe

    This does not mean a nursing mom should not take a medicinal herbs. Many moms take herbal galagtagogues and their milk is perfectly safe for baby. But whenever medicinal herbs are used, it is important to research the potential side effects.

    Interestingly I cannot find an ingredient list on that baby tea website. Plenty of misinformation about colic, infant behavior and breastmilk though.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; April 23rd, 2017 at 01:37 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 5 week old fussy after nursing

    This information has been very helpful. She is much easier to lay to sleep if she is held for 30 minutes to an hour after nursing.

    I am returning to work next week, so she is still going to need to use bottles and I will pump while at work. My schedule is 12-hour nights from 6:30 pm to 6:30 am. Hoping to go to days soon. Any advice regarding this? I did get in touch with a lactation consultant over the phone briefly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 5 week old fussy after nursing

    Any advice regarding this?
    Well since your baby is very young for separations and you are working long shifts, plus you two are just finding your "feet" breastfeeding-wise, I would suggest that you will need to be extra careful about pumping often enough at work to maintain normal milk production, and also that bottles are given to baby in a breastfeeding supportive manner so that baby does not become habituated to bottles and also so that baby is not over fed with bottles, both of these situations can cause breast refusal down the line. Also to avoid that, you will want baby nursing frequently when you are home, whether you are home nights or days.

    So I am going to give you a few resources for info as it is a big area. Please feel welcome to ask more questions if you have them after checking these out.

    Also moms with the kind of schedule you are talking about are often in the health care field or have some other job where finding enough time to pump is a particular challenge. If you need suggestions there, please let us know.

    How much milk will baby need for separations? http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/
    Bottle feeding the breastfed baby and safe milk handling (doc is two pages) : http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf
    Paced bottle feeding video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs&t=151s
    Another good video, less explanation but with a real baby. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxpIzcitLc8

    I would also suggest that if there is any way to prolong your leave or go back part time at first, consider doing that. The return to work is a challenge for any mom, but it usually goes better if mom and baby have had enough time to work out any breastfeeding "kinks."
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; April 25th, 2017 at 04:00 PM.

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