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Thread: Constantly nursing?!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    5

    Default Constantly nursing?!

    My husband and I are first time parents with our daughter, Jordyn, who is 12 days old. Things started off pretty good, she was eating about every 4 hours and sleeping great in between. The last two days, especially today, have been a nightmare! Today she seems to want to eat constantly. She will spend about 20-30 minutes on one breast, fall asleep, then wake up a half hour later and act like she is starving. A few times she nursed for less than 10 minutes and fell asleep, basically using me as a pacifier.

    Got ideas of what went wrong so suddenly? Is it harmful for her to be nursing so much? Any ideas of how to cope would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Constantly nursing?!

    This sounds like a growth spurt, which is good and normal (if exhausting for momma!)

    With a newborn, frequent nursing is required to establish your milk supply and make sure they are getting enough to eat. We generally recommend that a baby nurse at least 8-12 times in every 24-hour period. If she was nursing only every 4 hours, then that works out to 6 feedings per 24-hour period, which is lower than recommended.

    Different babies have different eat/sleep/growth patterns, but growth spurts are a very common occurence in the early months. She may nurse every hour or even more frequently for a day or two. It's great that you are following her cues and nursing when she is hungry. Many parents worry that the frequent nursing means their baby isn't getting enough, and they may feel pressured to supplement with formula or to pump and bottlefeed breastmilk so they can count ounces. Neither approach is necessary -- just keep track of your baby's diapers to know that she is getting enough to eat. She should have at least 6 good wet diapers and 2-3 dirty diapers in every 24-hour period.

    There is no harm in nursing your baby whenever she cues to nurse. You can't overfeed a breastfed baby, and her comfort sucking ("using me as a pacifier") is actually a natural and effective way for her to build up your milk supply and also lets you avoid the risk of nipple confusion that can come with using artificial nipples (pacifiers or bottles.)

    Just hang in there, encourage your husband to help you by bringing food and drink and by taking the baby when she is not on the breast -- weather the "storm," and the growth spurt will soon pass.

    I'm glad you posted -- these boards are a great place to get accurate information from LLL Leaders and encouragement from other breastfeeding moms. Don't hesitate to post again with any questions or concerns.

    --Rebecca
    Last edited by quakerm0mma; July 23rd, 2006 at 08:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    31

    Default Re: Constantly nursing?!

    I am also glad you posted this concern i was also beginning to get concerned with my daughter's feeding habits. Although she is 5 weeks old now, and i am probably exaggerrating (hoped i spelled it right) but it feels like she is always nursing but i see how big she is getting and how her diapers are and everything is good.
    i was worried about overfedding her though. lol

    Mariann

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Constantly nursing?!

    you cann't over feed your baby! I agree with pp
    Young babies are still working on getting your milk supply where they need it.
    Sometimes they need to nurse 12 times in 24 hours.
    It's beter not to watch the clock and just relax for the 1st 2-3 months.
    Count diapars don't watch the clock.
    Have your hubby help with the house hold stuff so that you can just feed the baby. Relax your standards and let some things go. Find some time to rest during the day with baby, after all you are still recovering form birth and thats a hard job!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    66

    Default Re: Constantly nursing?!

    And try not to look at "using me as a pacifier" as a bad thing. Getting your baby to sleep in 10 minutes by simply nursing her is one of the great benefits of breastfeeding. Any other method to get your daughter to sleep would take much more time and energy.

    Let us know if you have any other questions.

    Keep up the great work!


    Edited to add: You may find this article about cluster feedings and fussy evenings to be helpful:
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html
    What you're going through right now is definetely a growth spurt (usually at around 10 days, 6 weeks, 2 months, 3 months, etc...), but sometimes babies' nursing patterns can be confusing for other reasons (for example cluster feedings). That article made me realise all this is normal.
    Last edited by Sara; July 24th, 2006 at 06:37 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
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    Default Re: Constantly nursing?!

    Congrats on your wee one! All of the advice above was great. Keep on following your babies cues and nurse her when she seems to be hungry. This growth spurt will pass soon enough. There will be more as time goes by, but this is just God's way of boosting your milk supply so that she will have enough to eat later on down the road! All the best!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    181

    Default Re: Constantly nursing?!

    I'm pretty sure that all nursing moms have been there at one point(or several) over the nursing period. I know that my daughter did this for several weeks- she just wanted the breast all the time. I finally had to resolve myself to the idea that my butt was gonna be stuck on the couch for most of the day!!! Not an easy thing, especially with a very active 6 year old son running around!!!
    It does get better as they get older, and then you'll start wishing for a little bit of downtime!!! Hang in there-I'm sure you're doing a great job.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Constantly nursing?!

    When I first signed on to this forum a few weeks ago, I was overwhelmed with the amount of times I was nursing, and being used as a pacifier. Just knowing that it's normal and good can help you feel better, proud, and embrace your breastfeeding experience. You can't nurse too much.
    The only advice I have is to try to wake the baby gently to finish feeding; change diaper, switch breast, burp. Also, at about two weeks, my dd really changed. She cried more, slept less, and nursed all the time. My dd is 3 months old and we are still nursing about every hour and half. They become faster at emptying the breast as time goes on. Things will get better and remember you can always find encouragement, support, and great advice here.

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