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Thread: nonstop nursing - help!

  1. #1
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    Default nonstop nursing - help!

    My LO is 13 days old and wants to nurse constantly. He's gaining weight (he's almost a pound over his birth weight) so I know he's eating but he's never satisfied. He's not a very efficient eater and I have to rouse him constantly to make sure he's eating and not just hanging out on my breast. Our feedings can last more than hour and he rarely wants to nap afterwards -- he just wants to keep eating and will cry (though sometimes he'll stop crying if we hold him for a while).

    The pediatrician and lactation consultant told us to feed him every 2 hours and to have him nurse 20 minutes on each breast, then top him off with breastmilk from a bottle (delivered by my husband). But this rarely satisfies him and he often wails until we give him more bottle or my breast. Even then, he only goes down for a nap occasionally.

    I'm running out of energy and have no idea what to do. I also am completely thrown off schedule and don't know when to do his next feeding since one seems to blur into the next.

    Any advice/suggestions/thoughts welcome.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: nonstop nursing - help!

    It sounds to me like your newborn may be going through his first growth spurt! During this time, it's totally common to want to nurse constantly; it's how your body knows to make more milk to meet his increasing milk needs (it's a good thing).

    As for constantly falling asleep, this is also really common during the newborn phase. I used to tickle my son's feet, stroke his cheek, and change his diaper if he fell asleep.

    If your son is gaining, then it sounds like you're doing a great job! Growth spurts usually only last a few days (at most), so try to hang in there. It will get easier!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: nonstop nursing - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdavismom View Post

    The pediatrician and lactation consultant told us to feed him every 2 hours and to have him nurse 20 minutes on each breast, then top him off with breastmilk from a bottle (delivered by my husband). But this rarely satisfies him and he often wails until we give him more bottle or my breast. Even then, he only goes down for a nap occasionally.
    What??? Why??

    The early days are very tough, and yes, some babies like to nurse constantly. But it WILL get better. I would just hang in there and let him nurse around the clock if that's what he needs. The baby knows best, and he's on his own time-table. Your attempts to lay him down probably just make him want to stay attached longer.

    Do you have a sling or wrap? If not, get one. You can wear him in it and go about your day as he nurses.

    I'm sorry you're feeling worn out. As I'm sure many will tell you, this is a normal feeling at this point and you will feel so gratified once it has passed. You're doing great, mama!

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
    Learn about the prepuce before you have a boy.
    Dental issues? Find out how to Cure Tooth Decay.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: nonstop nursing - help!

    yeah lots of moms get that advice, not the greatest!
    Counting diapars is the way to go.
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/enough.html

    its going to get beter!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: nonstop nursing - help!

    Ooohh....just noticed your LC and Dr. advice given. I just wanted to say that if you nurse when your baby seems hungry (DON'T look at the clock). During a growth spurt, lots of babies nurse every hour! If you can surrender yourself to that, the better. Also, as long as your baby is latching well, I have to wonder about why you'd feed with a bottle at all at this point? It could add to your problems, not help solve them.

    Another piece of advice, 20 minutes on each side can be an awful long time for a newborn to nurse. While I was establishing breastfeeding, I shot for 10 minutes on each side--if he nursed longer, great. As things got more established, I quit watching the clock altogether.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: nonstop nursing - help!

    My newborn wants to nurse every time she is awake too, and then falls asleep after only a few minutes. Then once I put her down in her bed, she wakes up and finishes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: nonstop nursing - help!



    Quote Originally Posted by maxdavismom View Post
    My LO is 13 days old and wants to nurse constantly. He's gaining weight (he's almost a pound over his birth weight) so I know he's eating
    That is fantastic!

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdavismom View Post
    but he's never satisfied. He's not a very efficient eater and I have to rouse him constantly to make sure he's eating and not just hanging out on my breast. Our feedings can last more than hour and he rarely wants to nap afterwards -- he just wants to keep eating and will cry (though sometimes he'll stop crying if we hold him for a while).
    It is a great sign that your baby is gaining weight well.

    Can you tell us a bit more about how a typical day looks for you? How many times total per day does your baby nurse? How often does he sleep contently?

    Have you considered trying skin to skin contact? This is were baby is stripped down to a diaper (a hat can be worn for warmth) and mother is topless. Baby is held upright on mother's chest. A blanket can be wrapped around mother's shoulders to keep both mother and baby warm. Skin to skin contact helps in many ways, including helping baby to regulate his reflexes. It often leads to more efficient breastfeeding and less crying.

    Another thing that can be helpful is breast compressions. This is where you compress the breast when baby's sucking slows. It helps baby to stay awake and take in more milk each feeding. Here is some information on how to perform the technique:
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html (non-LLL resource)
    This page also contains a link to videos that will show you the technique in action.


    Quote Originally Posted by maxdavismom View Post
    The pediatrician and lactation consultant told us to feed him every 2 hours and to have him nurse 20 minutes on each breast, then top him off with breastmilk from a bottle (delivered by my husband). But this rarely satisfies him and he often wails until we give him more bottle or my breast. Even then, he only goes down for a nap occasionally.
    Has your baby's latch been evaluated? Can you tell us a bit more about what happens when your baby nurses? How many total ounces of breastmilk is your baby receiving via supplement per 24 hours?

    Research has shown that babies take in the maximum amount of hindmilk for their efforts when allowed to "finish the first breast first" before being moved to the other side. Here's a very non-technical explanation of how this works:
    http://www.wiessinger.baka.com/bfing...s/3course.html (non-LLL resource)

    More information:
    www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVSepOct95p69a.html
    http://www.llli.org/NB/NBJulAug03p126.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html (non-LLL resource)

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdavismom View Post
    I'm running out of energy and have no idea what to do. I also am completely thrown off schedule and don't know when to do his next feeding since one seems to blur into the next.
    I understand.

    How would you feel about using breast compressions to assure that your baby is taking in the most milk for his efforts and then allowing him to finish one side before switching to the next?

    Have you been in touch with your local LLL Leader?
    Last edited by LLL_Jolie; January 2nd, 2008 at 04:23 PM. Reason: I really can spell most of the time ;)

  8. #8
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: nonstop nursing - help!

    I was in your situation just a few short weeks ago. Everyone here promised me that is DOES get easier. Just keep up the good work. If your baby wants the breast every hour....just keep letting him. You won't regret it once this growth spurt is over and he slows down. Take all the advice given from the posts above here....and good job Momma!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: nonstop nursing - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdavismom View Post
    My LO is 13 days old and wants to nurse constantly. He's gaining weight (he's almost a pound over his birth weight) so I know he's eating but he's never satisfied. He's not a very efficient eater and I have to rouse him constantly to make sure he's eating and not just hanging out on my breast. Our feedings can last more than hour and he rarely wants to nap afterwards -- he just wants to keep eating and will cry (though sometimes he'll stop crying if we hold him for a while).
    Thank heavens someone is going through the same things I am! I mean it's the exact situation I am in, word for word. I can tell you I've shed many tears over it thinking something is wrong with my milk supply. It's caused me to start giving EBM via bottle, which is something I really want to get away from.

    Hang in there, and know that you're not alone!

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