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Thread: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    24

    Default Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    My son is 7 weeks old today and I am concerned that he is not nursing for long enough.

    Typically, he will nurse for 5-7 minutes on one breast and then either fall asleep or act as if he is done. I then burp him and offer the second breast which if he nurses at all on it, he will only do so for a few minutes and then either fall asleep or act as if he is done.

    Sometimes I will offer him a breast again to nurse from and he will usually refuse. However, there have been several times that I will then offer him expressed breast milk or formula in a bottle and he will continue to eat 2-3oz.

    I know that I am making plenty of milk, because I often will have to pump after a feeding and will pump a few ounces from each breast.

    I am not sure what to do and if this is a problem or not?

    I guess I am hung up on what the lactation consultant told me at the hospital which was that he should nurse for 20 minutes on each breast....he hasn't done that since week 2.

    He has continued to gain weight which is good. He was 9lbs 15oz at birth and weighs over 13 pounds by now.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks
    Beth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,421

    Default Re: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    how many wet and dirty diapers are you getting a day?? if you are getting 8 you are fine. he seems to be gaining well too
    Danielle

    Mom to Gage 12/28/06

    Wife to Trinity 6/21/03 my best friend

    ed for year, finally done!!!!
    for more than a year now!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    It is very rare that a baby would refuse a bottle of expressed milk after nursing(unless it's a baby that just hates bottles). It doesn't mean he isn't eating enough. Stop supplementing! lol. You can kill your supply that way.
    It sounds like he's doing fine. Some babies just eat faster than others.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    For some babies, 20 minutes on each side is totally unrealistic. Watch your baby, not the clock. It is completely possible he is getting what he needs in the time he is nursing. And, one explanation for taking 2-3 oz from a bottle is that they don't have to work to get it. The milk is in their mouth and they pretty much have to swallow, then there is the milk again and the cycle continues until it is gone. If he's done, he's done. I wouldn't offer a supplement...that sets you up for a whole other set of problems. If he didn't get enough, he'll let you know.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    Here's an article that can help you determine if your baby is getting enough to eat:
    http://www.lalecheleague.com/FAQ/enough.html

    HTH!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    My daughter was exactly the same way-- 5-10 on one side, then she would fall asleep. I would have to stuggle to make it to 5-10 on the other side. Anyway, she is now a very healthy almost-five-year-old! Don't worry. I don't know where that 20 min on each side comes from. It's too bad LCs at hospitals don't mention there are several variations of the norm.

    Best of luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    Starting at 4 weeks my son nursed 5 or less minutes on one side- that's it! I worried for a long time too but by watching his diaper output and his weight gain we knew it was OK. Some babies are just more efficient. Can you hear him swallowing a lot when he is nursing? Down the line you'll really appreciate how quick and easy it is to nurse!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    My ds nursed about 30-40 minutes on each side and never weighed as much as my dd does, who nurses maybe 7 minutes on just one side!
    ~Brandi~

    Loving wife to K
    Proud stepmom to B, and proud mom to J and R-A
    and our newest addition C

    Happily homeschooling
    Still and and

    Ask me about Parkinson's Disease! Visit me at Life With Shaky!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    Thanks Ladies!

    My son does have plenty of heavy wet diapers so I know that he is taking in fluids....but honestly that does little to help me relax about the whole thing.

    Today I am having a really stressful day with the whole breast feeding thing. He nursed for 6 minutes this morning and then about an hour later I gave him a bottle thinking that he must still be hungry and he only took an ounce so that shows me right there that he wasn't really hungry. This last feeding went much better though and he nursed for about 15 minutes total and then went down for a nap. I really want to cut out giving him a bottle during the day but I am still afraid that if I do he won't get the nutrition that he needs.
    I am really going to see how the rest of the day goes and not give him another bottle.

    Also, regarding lactation consultants at the hospital. I found that each consultant and nurse that I saw told me something completely different from the other. They all contradicted themselves which only lead to more confusion for me. I decided in the hospital that I was just going to listen to my body and my baby and do whatever worked for us....hmmmmm....maybe I should go back to that theory?!?!? LOL

    Thanks again
    Beth

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Nursing for long enough? Getting enough milk?

    It's so hard to do but I really believe that babies know what they need. When he's hungry he will "tell" you and will nurse. I totally remember Henry's 4 minute feeds at your son's age and worrying a lot. However, if you know the diapers are good and weight gain is good then you can stop worrying! Honestly I would just ditch the bottles as a supplement. One thing I love about nursing is that bfed babies tend to be leaner, formula-fed babies tend to be much bigger, leading to obesity for some. It's really not a contest to see who can have the biggest baby... I'm proud of my 25% weight and 50% length baby even though he's smaller than 5 formula-fed babies we know who are 2 months younger than him!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

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