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Thread: Lazy nurser - need tips!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    3

    Default Lazy nurser - need tips!

    Hi - I am new here! I successfully nursed my 3 boys, all past 18 months. My youngest son was breastfed until he was 26 months old and I never had any problems.

    I now have a 4 week old baby girl and we are having problems with weight gain. She had jaundice and had to stay in the hospital under the lights until she was 5 days old. During that time I pumped milk, but she also was fed formula (the doctors wanted her to drink from bottles only so they could monitor her intake due to the jaundice).

    Despite that, she had no problems breastfeeding when she came home. They checked her weight gain a week later and she had not gained quite as much as they liked so I had to go back the following week. THAT week, she gained an ounce a day, which was what we were looking for but I had to go back one more time. This week when I went in, I was shocked to see that she had only gained an ounce in the last 6 days.

    She is not fussing like she is hungry, I am definitely producing enough milk (I think!). The problem seems to be that during some feedings, she nurses for about 5-10 minutes and then falls asleep and NOTHING wakes her up enough to eat again. I strip her, tickle her, rub her cheeks, poke at her feet, etc. and she will open her eyes and put her mouth on the nipple and take a suck or two and then fall asleep again while the milk dribbles down her face.

    I am having a hard time being too concerned because she is a big, chubby baby (she is 9 pounds 11 oz right now - she left the hospital at 8'14) and seems alert at other times, is doing everything she should be - wetting the right amount of diapers, pooping at least 3-4 times a day (usually more). But I need to get her to start gaining!!

    The doctors have suggested supplementing her with formula, but I don't think that is going to do very much good - they say to give her a bottle after she breastfeeds, but she won't even wake up for the breast, I KNOW she won't like waking up for the bottle (which she is not very fond of at this point).

    Any tips for keeping her awake through her feedings?? Any ideas of what could be going wrong here? Thank you!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Lazy nurser - need tips!

    i hate to advise against drs- but my son lost 2lbs so we did the whole go and add formula to breast milk, have a bottle for two weeks- four weeks later, he won't breastfeed and i am pumping and losing my milk. i would look into renting a scale. some babies can get all they need in 10 minutes. my friends baby nurses only 7 minutes, he is 22 lbs and 6 months old! he has always only nursed 7-10mins. i would fight with all you have- find a dr who supports breastfeeding. there are other ways to get breast milk than bottles! on kellymom.com there is a supplementary feeding system you can make yourself and if you HAVE to, you can supplement at the breast. i would first rent a scale and weigh your baby before and after feedings. fight those drs! the specialist i saw promised me my son would nurse again. i tried to fight but he said my son would be put in the hospital- i wish i knew how to supplement at the breast then. how often does your baby eat? also, on kellymom there are articles on infant growth specifically for breastfed babies- they tend not to gain as fast as other babies. show some of those articles to your dr. to keep baby awake? strip her to a diaper. tap her feet. switch sides often- i heard even up to 3 times a feeding will help. get her good and awake before you start nursing. i always feed my son right after he wakes up, instead of feeding him to sleep, then he is awake and hungry! one last thought, the problem with supplementing with formula while not at the breast is that your body doesn't know you need that much more milk. you get caught in a cycle. i have spent literally hundreds of dollars trying to repair the damage done to my breastfeeding realtionship with my son because the dr. told me bottle feeding was the way to supplement. if you do HAVE to supplement find a good LC to help you so you can supplement at the breast! sounds like you have a cute little one! my son is 5 months and weighs 9.7... i have always wanted a chubby baby. maybe next time!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    791

    Default Re: Lazy nurser - need tips!

    You (and your doctor!) may not know what breastmilk actually has more fat and calories than formula.(http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vi...dcalories.html)
    So, if you want your baby to gain, you should try to give her more bm, in a bottle or SNS or whatever, or straight from you ideally. Have you tried breast compressions?

    Here's another article from kellymom you might want to check out;
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns..._increase.html

    Here's one idea from LLL:A sleepy baby may benefit from "switch nursing" that is, switching breasts two or three times during each feeding. Switch breasts when baby's sucking slows down and he swallows less often.

    I hope she will wake up and be ready to nurse like a champ soon! Keep us posted!

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    3

    Default Re: Lazy nurser - need tips!

    Thank you - I will try the switch nursing! I have been keeping her on one breast for a bit because I want her to get the hindmilk and not only the first milk, but maybe the switching will help.

    And I will definitely look into renting a scale if the weight check this week doesn't go well. Thank you for your replies - keep the tips coming if anyone has anything to add!! Thank you!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Lazy nurser - need tips!

    my son was the same way. i exclusively pumped for a couple of weeks. this way, i made sure he was getting enough and it didn't take me 60 minutes to feed him. after a couple of weeks, we went back to exclusively nursing and we really didn't have a problem with the transition. Now, i can't get him to take a bottle at all!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,904

    Default Re: Lazy nurser - need tips!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3boys1girl View Post
    Hi - I am new here! I successfully nursed my 3 boys, all past 18 months. My youngest son was breastfed until he was 26 months old and I never had any problems.
    Wonderful!

    Welcome to the boards!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3boys1girl View Post
    I now have a 4 week old baby girl and we are having problems with weight gain...she had no problems breastfeeding when she came home. They checked her weight gain a week later and she had not gained quite as much as they liked so I had to go back the following week. THAT week, she gained an ounce a day, which was what we were looking for but I had to go back one more time. This week when I went in, I was shocked to see that she had only gained an ounce in the last 6 days.
    Was she weighed on the same scale? Did she have on the same amount of clothing and diaper?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3boys1girl View Post
    She is not fussing like she is hungry, I am definitely producing enough milk (I think!). The problem seems to be that during some feedings, she nurses for about 5-10 minutes and then falls asleep and NOTHING wakes her up enough to eat again. I strip her, tickle her, rub her cheeks, poke at her feet, etc. and she will open her eyes and put her mouth on the nipple and take a suck or two and then fall asleep again while the milk dribbles down her face.
    One way to help keep her actively sucking longer is by using breast compressions. When you notice her suck pattern slowing down, compress, and she will swallow. This will again start the sucking cycle. When she slows again, compress. This should help her take in more milk volume.
    Here's a how-to discription:
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html
    And here are some videos that show the technique and how it works:
    www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html

    Quote Originally Posted by 3boys1girl View Post
    I am having a hard time being too concerned because she is a big, chubby baby (she is 9 pounds 11 oz right now - she left the hospital at 8'14) and seems alert at other times, is doing everything she should be - wetting the right amount of diapers, pooping at least 3-4 times a day (usually more). But I need to get her to start gaining!!
    Those are all GREAT signs.

    Weight gain is counted from the lowest weight instead of birth weight. What was your baby's lowest weight?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3boys1girl View Post
    The doctors have suggested supplementing her with formula, but I don't think that is going to do very much good - they say to give her a bottle after she breastfeeds, but she won't even wake up for the breast, I KNOW she won't like waking up for the bottle (which she is not very fond of at this point).
    Did your doctors recommend formula supplements due only to weight?

    As long as your baby is steadily gaining, she is growing in length and head circumference, she is meeting her milestones, and she is having plenty of wet and poopy diapers, you can assure that your baby is getting enough milk.
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/enough.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Lazy nurser - need tips!

    We used cold wet washcloths on my LO's neck. And her least favorite burping position (sitting on my lap with me holding her chin) It worked. And if he thinks you need formula to suplement, he's nuts or uninformed. Hang in there and maybe look for a Dr. or practice that is more supportive. My Dr. is a breastfeeding mom herself and the practice has lactation consultants.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Lazy nurser - need tips!

    Thank you everyone!! We tried switching breasts often and kept doing all the other things we were doing (changing diaper between sides, stripping her, tapping her feet, massaging her chin to get her to swallow, co-sleeping, etc.) and it must have worked - she gained her 7 ounces this week and was a solid 10 pounds at her checkup! I don't have to go back again till she is 2 months old, for her regular checkup. Phew!

    She seems to be more interested in eating now - not as sleepy as she was - so I am thinking we are done with this problem for now. Thanks again for all of your advice!!

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