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Thread: Sleepy baby not nursing enough w/ liquid stools

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    59

    Default Sleepy baby not nursing enough w/ liquid stools

    Hi-
    I 'm looking for some advice on a sleepy baby that doesn't stay awake long enough to nurse more than about 3-4 minutes at a time. Our baby was born at 36 weeks, so a little early, but not a preemie. She has a great latch and good suck at beginning of feed, but after my milk lets down she stops sucking and falls asleep so deeply that I cannot wake her. She is having enough wet diapers (about 8-10/ day), but her stools are only 3-4/ day and mostly just bright yellow liquid without any of those "milk curds". She is not fussy between feedings and I wake her every two hours to feed, every three hours at night. She was born at only 6 lbs. and dropped to 5 lb. 9 oz. in the first day. She maintained her weight the second day and my milk came in the third day. I am slightly engorged, but not painful. I pumped this afternoon to see if that would help her nurse longer, but it didn't make a difference and I got 3 oz. after she was done nursing. I am concerned my supply will drop too low if she keeps nursing so short, and I have to go back to work in 10 weeks, so am trying to build a good supply and pump when I go back.
    Shouldn't she nurse longer, and what about the fact that she only takes one side? And sometimes only 2-3 minutes per nursing session. And what does it mean when her stools are only yellow liquid?
    Any advice is appreciated. Maybe this is related to her being a month early? Maybe she doesn't have the energy to nurse longer?

    Thanks,
    Chantel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    539

    Default Re: Sleepy baby not nursing enough w/ liquid stools

    I don't have answers for your questions, but I was told to lightly blow on my LO's face when nursing to help keep him awake. I had to do that during all feedings for several weeks. Just a thought to help your's stay awake through a feeding.

    I also had to feed him without his clothes on - skin on skin.
    Kat

    SAHM mom to Richard, born 6/6/07 at 8 pounds, now 27!

    Wife to Michael for 13 years

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Sleepy baby not nursing enough w/ liquid stools

    I agree w. BlueKat. SKIN TO SKIN is probably the best thing u could do. I've always nursed both mine until they feel asleep. it helped alot. hope things gett better

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Sleepy baby not nursing enough w/ liquid stools

    Does she continue to sleep after you lay her down to go back to sleep, or does she wake up a few minutes later, still hungry?

    I completely understand what you're going through. My 4 mo old did the same thing. He would only nurse during a let down, so I would have to switch sides with him constantly to catch the let downs. He would also fall asleep 2-3 minutes into a feeding. Talk about frustrating!! I tried everything to keep him awake, or to wake him once that failed (all the usual - cold rag, nudging, sitting him up straight, skin to skin, etc.). The one way I could be assured he would wake up was to lay him on his back to go back to sleep. I set up a pad next to my chair and nursed him until he fell asleep, laid him down, waited 2-3 minutes until he cried, and then pick him up and try again. Feedings lasted forever, though!

    Regarding the liquid poops. It may be that she's not getting any hind milk (the fatty stuff). You may have to do what I did, and that is to supplement with expressed milk or formula to get the hind milk to her.

    Since you're wanting to continue to feed her breast milk when you go back to work, and she's not telling your body to produce the milk she needs, you may want to consider pumping to protect your milk supply. You might also want to see if you can meet with a lactation consultant. They can observe how your baby nurses and have pretty good suggestions.

    I hope things improve for you soon. I know how tiring it can be to try and nurse a sleepy, inefficient baby. Good luck.

    Michellis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Sleepy baby not nursing enough w/ liquid stools

    Thanks for all the tips and encouragement. Things seem a bit better today- she is 9 days old now. Her poops have more substance than they used to but are still mostly just yellow liquid. I have started block feeding her to get her more hindmilk, and I am pumping once every a.m.- about 2-3 oz. off one side only, so I don't take away too much if she wakes up to eat soon after I pump. I will definitely have a good freezer stash when going back to work if I pump 2-3 oz. extra for 10 more weeks!
    I thin kI am just learning how to function on a very small amount of sleep! She nurses every 2 hrs at night, and is not able to latch on lying down with me yet, so sitting up to feed her is not my first choice, but we're working on it. All my others nursed lying down, but were big babies at 8-9 lbs. She is so small at 6 lbs right now!
    Thanks again!
    Chantel

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