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Thread: Sleepyhead not getting hindmilk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Sleepyhead not getting hindmilk

    Hi there,
    After a rocky start, I am now happily breastfeeding my three week old . She couldn't get latched on to start with because I have flat nipples, so my breastfeeding specialist eventually told me to start using nipple sheilds. They are a bit inconvenient, but she started feeding from me as soon as I put them on!
    I now feed her every 2-3 hours. She will suck well for about 10 mins, then zonk out and fall asleep. I then spend 15-20 mins trying to wake her using all the normal methods like burping her, nappy changing etc. Then I offer the second breast and she will do the same again. Sometimes, she then wants another go, so I go back to the first breast again. It means that some feeds go on for a really long time!
    Would it be better for me to just offer the same breast after her mid way nap? I am concerned about her not getting enough hindmilk. Her output is good - lots of dirty and wet nappies - and when she eventually wakes up she is very alert.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Sleepyhead not getting hindmilk

    If her poop is yellow, chances are she's getting enough hindmilk. Some babies really don't take long at all. (DS was a quick nurser and at the top of the charts.) It's important to try to wake them if they haven't gained back birth weight, though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Sleepyhead not getting hindmilk

    I experienced the same trouble with my newborn falling asleep shortly after starting. One thing that has helped for me is removing her sleeper so that we are just skin on skin. I think she was just getting too warm. Now she is doing much better. Also, if you are taking any pain medications, this could be contributing to her sleepiness (as she would be taking them also through your milk).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Sleepyhead not getting hindmilk

    My DD has always been a really efficient nurser. The longest she ever nursed on one side was 10 minutes. Most times, only 7. I watched the clock like a hawk and recorded each time she nursed and how long for the first several weeks. Then I realized she was gaining weight just as she should. Some babies just do a really really fast job! She's now a year old and when she nurses for longer than 10 minutes I'm like....what the heck...you're taking SO long. Ha! Trust your body and your baby that she is getting what she needs!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Smile Re: Sleepyhead not getting hindmilk

    My oldest was the same way. I had to strip him down to a diaper AND use a cold washcloth on him to get him to wake for feedings! Poor guy! LOL But he's a big 3 year year old now.

    Different babies nurse different lengths of time and how long they nurse has NOTHING to do with how much milk they get. Some babies draina brest in 5 minutes (My 3 month old CAN--although he chose to nurdse much longer sometimes--which I enjoy)

    As long as your little one isn't having signs of foremilk-hindmilk imbalence, gains well, has good output--I wouldn't worry about watching the clock.

    From LLL:

    When a mother has more milk than her baby can handle, the following behaviors may be common:
    • Baby cries a lot, and is often very irritable and/or restless
    • Baby may sometimes gulp, choke, sputter, or cough during feedings at breast
    • Baby may seem to bite or clamp down on the nipple while feeding
    • Milk sprays when baby comes off, especially at the beginning of a feeding
    • Mother may have sore nipples
    • Baby may arch and hold himself very stiffly, sometimes screaming
    • Feedings often seem like battles, with baby nursing fitfully on and off
    • Feedings may be short, lasting only 5 or 10 minutes total
    • Baby may seem to have a "love-hate" relationship with the breast
    • Baby may burp or pass gas frequently between feedings, tending to spit up a lot
    • Baby may have green, watery or foamy, explosive stools
    • Mother's breasts feel very full most of the time
    • Mother may have frequent plugged ducts, which can sometimes lead to mastitis (breast infection)

    If many of these experiences seem familiar to you, it may be because you have an overabundant supply of milk, which can cause a forceful milk ejection (sometimes referred to as overactive let-down), and/or foremilk-hindmilk imbalance.[1][2]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    New Orleans, LA

    Default Re: Sleepyhead not getting hindmilk

    I found block feeding to be very useful in the earlier weeks and months. I would offer the same breast two feedings in a row, then the other breast at the next two feedings. I wanted to make sure she really emptied each one as best she could.

    Also, I had overactive letdown and this really helped with that, too.

    Hope this helps.
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Sleepyhead not getting hindmilk

    Welcome to the boards! And congrats on your new arrival!

    Block feeding (feeding on one side for a "block" of time) should only be used if mother definitely has an overabundance of milk. Block feeding actually helps decrease production, so it is not recommended for mothers who are making just enough milk.


    Definitely get skin to skin with your baby. This will help her be more alert at the breast. In addition, I would suggest trying breast compressions to keep her actively sucking at the breast, and help her take in more milk for her efforts. The following webpage outlines the technique: http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html You can see videos of the technique on this page: http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html

    I hope this helps! Keep us updated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Sleepyhead not getting hindmilk

    Hi all,

    Thanks so much for all your advice - it has been really helpful.

    We are having a bit more success now. I have managed to start weaning her off the nipple shields, and get through about half the feeds without them now. That seems to have really helped, and she is happy to stay on the breast for longer and drinks nice and steadily. That combined with her getting much stronger and more alert in the space of just a couple of days has really put my mind at rest. When she is really sleepy I am using breast compressions to help.

    She now drinks for around 20 mins from the first breast, and although I am still offering the second one she is usually not interested so I presume she is full. Her output is still good, and she is starting to look a bit fatter. I am taking her to be weighed tomorrow to be sure.

    Thanks once again!


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