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Thread: 6 week old latching/relatching

  1. #1

    Default 6 week old latching/relatching

    Hello! My 6 week old feeds for about 4 minutes then unlatches. I burp her then offer her the breast again, and she will latch but unlatch after a couple sucks. I offer again, and she will relatch then unlatch. This continues until she starts to get frustrated, cries, and I stop feeding. In total, her feedings are no more than 6-7 minutes.

    I'm concerned about her constant unlatching and that she isn't getting enough milk. Is it possible that she is full after only 4 minutes and then only wants to nurse for comfort?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,743

    Default Re: 6 week old latching/relatching

    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    It is possible for a baby to get all they need in just a few minutes. It depends on the rapidity of mom's milk flow, how much baby needs at a time, (every baby is a little different) and how often baby nurses overall (how many times in 24 hours.)

    To help you troubleshoot, it would help to know if baby is gaining normally? Slowly? faster than average?
    Is baby exclusively breastfed, or getting bottles of expressed breast milk of formula as well?
    How many times in 24 hours baby nurses?
    How many times baby poops in 24 hours and approximate size (what would you use to scoop it up- a teaspoon, a tablespoon, a serving spoon?) Has poop pattern changed lately?
    Is it possible your milk flow is fast? Do you have signs of forceful letdown or overproduction?
    Also,
    I burp her then offer her the breast again, and she will latch but unlatch after a couple sucks.
    Do you find baby needs assistance burping? Is the burping of baby helping? Typically a breastfed baby does not need to be burped most of the time, although some do and if it is helping baby be more comfortable, fine.

    Is it possible that she is full after only 4 minutes and then only wants to nurse for comfort?
    again yes it is possible, but is baby nursing for comfort? If all nursing sessions are so short, it does not sound like it- or at least, baby is not nursing to sleep as is typical. Afraid I may be missing something with what you are asking here? Also, in general to a baby most nursing is comforting and they are usually getting at least some milk when nursing even if the nursing is not vigorous or they are asleep. In other words, most of the time the two things (eating and comfort) happen simultaneously.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 6 week old latching/relatching

    - Baby is gaining weight. She has gained about 5 pounds since we brought her home from the hospital (she's 6 weeks old now).
    - She is exclusively breastfed, and in 24 hours, she's fed 8-10 times (on-demand).
    - She poops 1-2 times a day with one being about the size of a serving spoon and the other smaller.
    - My LC has said that I have overproduction and a forceful letdown. I don't think she is unlatching because of the strong letdown, because she usually does fine with the first few minutes of nursing and the strong letdown. She unlatches after.
    - She does benefit from the burping. She is extremely gassy and needs to be held upright after feedings or is super fussy.

    By "nurse for comfort", I meant using the breast as a pacifier (she does use a pacifier to go to sleep for naps). I know that in the 4 minutes that she is continuously feeding, she is not doing that. But after those 4 minutes, because she is unlatching/latching, I had a theory that she might be wanting a pacifier instead of the breast (after getting what she needs in those 4 minutes) and is unhappy that there is still milk coming out. Is this possible?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,743

    Default Re: 6 week old latching/relatching

    Baby's gain is above average (nothing wrong with that- gain rate will even out over time) but it does indicate overproduction, and OP is almost always connected to fast letdown. Your baby's behavior at the breast also is entirely consistent with an issue with milk flow. The only thing that does not fit is baby pooping only twice a day- usually when baby is getting tons of milk baby poops tons. But if the weight checks are accurate, then the poop is irrelevant.

    It may not be as simple as baby does not like the flow when it is fastest...perhaps baby is fine with the fast flow (many are) but then is full very fast and truly does not want more. Or loves the fast flow- but then become disinterested when it slows down. This latter can be a real problem because if your bayb becomes habituated to using a pacifier to comfort suck, over time, that can become a problem for baby's desire to nurse and your milk production. Or there may be some other variation or preference. But to me this is still most likely a "problem" that is linked to fast letdown. OP is very common at this stage of the game- very common- and usually calms down over the next several weeks as long as you are not doing anything to tell the body too keep making more than enough milk, like pumping. Other stretegies to try are to encourage baby to nurse more often. More frequent nursing = less full breast = less milk at a time. More frequent nursing may help with tummy issues to for the same reason. Certainly encouraging more frequent nursing cannot hurt anything.

    she might be wanting a pacifier instead of the breast (after getting what she needs in those 4 minutes) and is unhappy that there is still milk coming out. Is this possible
    Well, it is certainly possible that your baby is having a hard time with your milk flow, yet wants to suckle. I think it is not quite accurate to say this means baby "prefers" a pacifier. Your baby would probably be happy sucking and comforting at the breast, but for some reason or another, the milk flow is too much!

    - She does benefit from the burping. She is extremely gassy and needs to be held upright after feedings or is super fussy.
    Yes most babies prefer to be at least semi upright most of the time. What happens sometimes is parents are told they have to actively burp a baby every time baby nurses- by patting and moving them certain ways, etc. So I was pointing out this is not always the case...It matters because this can interfere with a mom just relaxing and letting baby nurse to sleep. That is why I mentioned it.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 11th, 2017 at 03:56 PM. Reason: no time to fix typos sorry

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