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Thread: starting to breastfeed after six weeks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default starting to breastfeed after six weeks

    I'm a new mom and my son is six weeks old. When we brought him home, I couldn't get him to breastfeed so I started pumping and bottle feeding him. I decided to try again this week and he latched on immediately. He was drinking between three and five ounces every three hours from the bottle.
    Will he eat more often now? How do I know if he is full. Do I feed him on both sides each time? Can I keep pumping for backup milk? Somebody help, I have no idea what I am doing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,361

    Default Re: starting to breastfeed after six weeks

    Yay! Getting a six week old back to nursing is a great accomplishment. I would put him on the breast as often as you both can stand it. Spend lots of time topless and snuggling, as the skin-to-skin contact may make him want to feed more.

    Have you been pumping during the six week hiatus? If you have been fulfilling all his needs with pumped milk, then I don't think you should worry about your supply. If you have been formula-feeding, or combination feeding (formula and breastmilk) then you might want to be a little bit cautious about going straight to breast only. Watch his diaper output- if you're getting plenty of pee and poop out, then you know that plenty of milk is going in. Also, watch his cues- he's going to let you know when he's hungry (He'll probably fuss and cry), and when he's full (He'll probably stop nursing and refuse the breast if you offer it)! Don't be afraid to feed as often as he demands, or even more frequently- you can't overfeed a breastfed baby, and the more you give him the breast the more he's going to get used to it and learn to love it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: starting to breastfeed after six weeks

    Here are some links that will have lots of info to help you out.

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/adopt/index.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/index.html

    You can find a local LLL leader from this link. They usually have support groups and will take phone calls.
    http://www.llli.org/WebUS.html

    Some hospitals also have bf support groups. Call and ask your local hospital if they have one.

    You should watch for signs that your lo is hungry (routing, chewing on hand, etc) and nurse whenever he gives these cues, usually every 2-3 hours. Each baby is different regarding if they take both sides or not. My baby would only nurse on one side so I started with the other side at the next feeding. Some will nurse both sides. As to pumping, I did pump in the early weeks although some LCs don't recommend this because it could lead to an oversupply. Check the above links regarding when to tell if he is full. You usually count diaper output to make sure lo is getting enough.

    Good luck and welcome to LLL!
    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    541

    Default Re: starting to breastfeed after six weeks

    I'm trying to remember things now...

    I remember that for the first month my lo slept a lot, nearly after every feeding, that's how I knew he was done Around two months he started drooling an he discovered his hands so he munched on them a lot. This is when it bcm a little frustrating. I thought he was teething because he would muNch on his hand all the time and get me confused about whether he was hungry or not. I would offer to see if he was and once in a while he would be but most of the time he would get pissed off that I took away his hand from him. One of the things that he's always done as well when he hungry besides rooting or nursing on people's shoulder's and what not is that he'll get excited but with urgency? He'll kick and move his little arms really fast like he's excited but in an urgent way. I don't think it was until he was 3mo old that he would unlatch himself one he was done eating.

    Finally for the first two months I nursed him and then would pump twice a day to build up a freezer stash. If you're making enough milk which it really does sound like it, and will be staying at home with your lo from now on this isn't really necessary unless you're going back to work or want to feed him from a bottle occasionally. Also, while building your stash, most babies eat 3 -5oz.

    HTH

    CONGRATS on getting little onE back to the breast!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    First time mommy of Robert Nicolas, now 9 whole months(), and loving it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: starting to breastfeed after six weeks

    Thanks for your input!! He does seem to want to be on the breast alot, which I expected. But I still want to pump so that his dad and babysitters can feed him when I can't be here. How do I get him to eat more at one time, so that we can get back on our schedule?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,178

    Default Re: starting to breastfeed after six weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by stardazed6 View Post
    Thanks for your input!! He does seem to want to be on the breast alot, which I expected. But I still want to pump so that his dad and babysitters can feed him when I can't be here. How do I get him to eat more at one time, so that we can get back on our schedule?
    Right now, at 6 weeks, I would try not to worry about a schedule. Babies go through so many growth spurts in the first months, that adhering to a schedule early on isn't always the healthiest thing for the baby. 6 weeks is actually one of the normal times where babies tend to go through growth spurts anyway, and whenever they have one of those, baby will be nursing much more frequently in order to boost your supply anyway. After a time, they'll go back to nursing less frequently, because they'll have helped your body make more, and they'll be getting more per session.

    Breastfeeding works out best if you feed on cue/demand and let the baby regulate how much they need at each nursing session. Scientists are theorizing now, that one of the reasons breastfeeding can prevent obesity later on in life, is because the baby learns early on to eat only until they're satisfied. Where with a bottle, they aren't always able to stop eating because the milk continues to flow out so quickly.

    Anyway, I'd suggest, that you put baby to the breast and nurse as long as baby wants, and then burp or change the baby, and then offer the other breast. If baby wants the other breast, then great! Let baby nurse as long as he wants. If not, that's ok too. Just remember, that if baby takes both breasts at a feeding, to start the next feeding on the breast that he nursed on last.

    In these early months, be prepared to need to nurse baby every couple of hours. During a growth spurt in the beginning, it could be sooner than that sometimes. I know, it seems like a LOT compared to bottle feeding. But try to remember that its healthier for the baby to eat smaller amounts more often. Even for adults, less food more often, is also a better way to fuel your body, metabolically speaking, because it provides fuel to the body in a more constant way.

    Keep at it! You'll probably notice an adjustment period in the beginning, but it will even out and you'll be able to establish a routine in no time, and you'll feel more like you know what to expect and when to expect it.

    Oh, and regarding pumping extra...try pumping right away in the morning after baby has nursed at the breast. Most women find they are a little fuller in the morning because baby has his longest stretches of sleep at night. You should be able to set aside some extra breastmilk for an additional feeding once in a while pretty easily that way.

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