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Thread: im nervous -sleepy baby, first time mum

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default im nervous -sleepy baby, first time mum

    my baby is 7 days old and very sleepy. she will sleep for 5 hours at a time if you let her. i am diabetic and she was in the nicu for her first few days to regulate her blood sugar. we are home now, and she seems to be very alert, when shes awake, but she seems very snoozy to me. we have been waking her if she sleeps for 4 hours to feed her. i am trying desperatly to get her 100% on the breast, but they did have to formula feed her in the hospital until my milk came in. she has been off the formula since wednesday (yay! one battle over) but i have still been pumping and sometimes "topping her up" after having her on the breast.

    it was a very scary first few days, and my husband and i are just very concerned that she is getting enough milk. i am happy to be pumping for her, but i REALLY want her exclusivly on the breast. they had her on a very set schedule in the nicu, 47 ccs every 3 hours. it is hard to trust that she is getting enough from me to last her 5 hours when we cant MEASURE it. im new at this! she seems to be eager to nurse when i get her on, but falls asleep after 10-20 minutes. im not sure if its because shes not getting enough and is getting bored and sleepy from dehydration, or if shes getting lots and is satisfied that quickly. i have TONS of milk, it pours out one side as i nurse her from the other, so i know thats not the issue. i have been paying a lot of attention to my latch, but i cant be totally sure she is gulping down enough. i have very large breasts, so it can be hard to hold her, latch her and check the latch with only 2 hands.

    i have been getting different information no matter who i talk to about how to proceed. the ped, different nurses, gp are all giving me a different direction to go. i am reading dr jacks book, which is leading me to trust my instincts to latch her well and nurse nurse nurse, but i really need to be sure she is getting all that she needs.

    i have decided to keep close track of her pees and poops for the next 24 hours to make sure she has at least 6 soaking wet diapers and 2 big poops. the poops dont seem to be an issue, shes pretty on track with those. i think i will also keep track of how often/long she nurses and how much pumped milk she is getting by bottle afterwards.

    any help or encouragement would be great! i never thought i would be a typical first time parent like this, but as im sure you all know, we cant help it!

    tia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: im nervous -sleepy baby, first time mum

    Hi Tia -- congrats on your new baby! How exciting. And please don't chastise yourself for being uncertain and asking questions -- we've all been new mothers and had similar questions.

    For concerns about the baby getting enough, it really comes down to daily diaper output and growth over time. Track the wets and dirties. If enough is coming out, then that is SOLID PROOF (well, maybe wet and goopy proof) that enough is going in. You know what to look for -- at least 6 good wets and 2 decent dirties (about an inch across) in every 24 hour period.

    Now, about the sleepiness -- for a newborn, we usually advise that you wake the baby and get her to breast every 2-3 hours, so that from the start of one feeding to the start of the next is not more than 3 hours. If baby is nursing well through the day this way, it's okay to let her sleep as long as she will at night (which is very rarely as much as 5 hours). The idea is to get baby to breast at least 8-12 times in every 24-hour period. If there are concerns with weight gain or low milk supply, then it should be at least 10 times. More than 12 times is also perfectly all right and wonderful.

    The reason we advise such frequent nursing is two-fold -- first, it's to help baby get enough milk to grow and get stronger; second, it's to help mom bring in a good milk supply in those critical early days. It doesn't sound to me like you've got any problems in the milk-production department, but there again, the proof is going to be in her diapers and growth, not in your leaking or fullness or output at the pump.

    Now -- before you hit the panic button since she's been nursing once every 4 hours instead of once every 2~3 hours -- some babies, especially the ones who are on the big size and the full-term plus gestational age, may be such champion nurslings with slightly larger tummies that they can go a bit longer between feedings and still thrive. My son was like this -- he was very sleepy for the first six days, and I had a hard time getting him to the breast as many as 8 times/day some of those days. Nevertheless, he somehow managed to regain his birth weight by day 6. About that same time, he outgrew the sleepiness and started waking himself much more frequently to nurse. So my clock-watching and diaper-counting days were thankfully few. Once your baby is back to birth weight and is making good diapers every day, then you can relax with these nitpicky details and just watch your baby, nurse on cue, and enjoy her as she grows and thrives.

    I would also add that unless there is cause for concern in terms of her diaper output and growth, there is no need to follow nursing with a bottle of EBM. NICUs need to measure things for their records; mommas do not. Your "record" is your lovely growing child.

    Let us know if all this makes sense, and please don't hesitate to post with more questions or updates.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: im nervous -sleepy baby, first time mum

    Hi Tia! Congrats on the new baby. I have not much more to add, as Rebecca gives terrific and valuable advice that will help your situation a great deal. I can relate to your situation, as ds was a sleepy baby as well. The following are some strategies that we found useful for waking him and keeping him awake while feeding him:
    - strip baby down to diaper and provide skin to skin contact to stimulate her
    - nurse one side and then do a diaper change before switching (this helps a lot!)
    -tickle baby's feet when she starts to drift
    - try compressing your breast when she slows down as this will help the milk out and encourage her to suck more


    The nice thing about a sleepy baby is that you *should* be able to catch up on some rest by sleeping when the baby sleeps- unless you're like me, who felt that the only way my baby was breathing was by my watching and willing him to breath. LOL I know how nervewracking it is, but as long as the out put is on track and weight checks are good, your baby is fine! It's also harder to establish your milk supply with a sleepy baby, so definately follow up on Rebecca's advice to nurse every 2-3 hours. Try to get about 20 minutes of nursing in each time. People thought I was crazy to wake ds up in at night to nurse him, but they didn't realize how vital that was to our bf relationship getting off to a good start.

    Keep up the good work. I know how hard this time is, but try to cherish it! You'll be looking back 13 months from now, like me, wondering how you can get that time back! I would also encourage you to attend a local LLL meeting where you will find invaluable advice, support, and information from other bf mothers.

    Also... I always like to tell new moms to watch out for that 3 week growth spurt. Your baby will seem to want to eat all the time, and you may feel like you don't have enough milk. Many women quit because of this. It is very rare that a woman does not make enough milk! Your baby will you a good lesson in supply and demand. Keep nursing on demand an all will be fine.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: im nervous -sleepy baby, first time mum

    my little baby always fell asleep on the breast. we had to strip him down to his diaper to keep him awake and nursing, and we had to prod him awake as he fell back to sleep. we also woke him every 2 hrs per ped to feed ebcause he wasn't gaining weight. he was born 6.9 dropped to 5.13 and now he's 6 mon and almost 20 lbs. so don't worry keep nursing and know that they get enough from your breast milk

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