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Thread: Is this a problem? Conflicting advice

  1. #1

    Question Is this a problem? Conflicting advice

    First off, let me thank anyone who can help me with this. I have come across so much conflicting advice (or no advice at all) I feel completely lost. I also apologize for this being so long.

    My problem? I am worried my baby's eating (and sleeping) habits are going to kill my supply. A little backstory: I have a newborn (2 weeks today) and at her one week doctors appointment they were concerned about her weight loss (8lbs8oz at birth, down to 7lbs13oz). At that point she had been eating every 3 hours, 8-10 minutes per breast, and I was offering both breasts. I thought maybe she wasn't getting enough hind milk since I still felt really full after she'd eat, so I began offering the "first" breast again instead of the second, and alternating breasts every 3hrs. At 12 days old her weight was up to 8lbs6oz (aka- a gain of 9oz in 5 days).

    Now, I had heard that feeding like this was fine as long as each breast was being eaten off of every 6 hours (which based off her pre-week old schedule was no problem). Unfortunately, my baby takes after her mommy and loves her sleep! She's been sleeping 4-5 hour stretches in the early am and afternoon, which means one unlucky boob goes 7-8 hours without being eaten off! Is this going to kill my supply?

    Waking her up in the afternoon isn't much of a problem, but I actually enjoy her sleeping like that at night.

    p.s. I have already thought of simply offering both breasts again... but she now only takes a "second" breast about 25% of the time. Her nursing has increased to 15-20 minutes on one breast with no breaks. If she unlatches around the 10 minute mark I can usually get her to eat off the second breast, but as I said this is pretty rare. I also don't want to unlatch her before she finishes the first breast because I feel like this would deprive her of the hind milk I wanted her to get in the first place! Help??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Is this a problem? Conflicting advice

    First of all

    Okay, I think I understand your question and I think I have a great answer for you!

    In the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, it is recommended in there that you feed on demand for as long as the baby wants. It also says to offer the first breast, wait until the baby either falls asleep or breaks the latch. At this point, burp the baby and offer the second breast. If the baby doesn't take it or only takes it for a few seconds, that's fine. Then start with that breast again at the next nursing session. That way, you know the baby is getting hind milk the next time. That's what I always did with my daughter and most of the time she would feed for about 15 minutes from one side and 10 minutes from the other (when she was young, it got shorter as she got older).

    Now, if your LO seems to be hungrier, maybe having a growth spurt, you may even have to offer the first breast again (crazy, I know). I would say the rule in that situation would be to again, start the next session with the breast you left off on.

    Hoped that helped! Mainly, though, at your LO's age, you are going to feel like a human pacifier. That's totally normal and fine. Just feed that baby as much as she wants

    ETA: I put how long my daughter would nurse on there just to show you that sometimes they nurse for a while, but in reality, you shouldn't look at that as how long your baby should be nursing, because each baby is different. Just wanted to add that.
    Last edited by @llli*jeannie.bean; November 8th, 2008 at 11:40 PM.

    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)

    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is this a problem? Conflicting advice

    Thanks JeannieBean! I'm really happy to have found LLL and these forums! Who'd have thought it'd be so difficult to learn about breastfeeding?!

    Anyways, it's comforting to know I'm doing what that book recommends! Do you think its a problem that she sleeps so long between feedings though? If she were consistently eating every 3 hours I probably wouldn't be worried (she's a champ at nursing) but since there are times one breast goes 7-8 hours without being nursed on I'm worried my milk production will decrease.

    On one hand I'm a believer in the "the baby will let you know when they're hungry" philosophy and I feed on demand so I'm not worried she's hungry (and heck, after gaining 9oz in 5 days I'm SURE she's getting enough)... but I worry that going so long between feedings will hurt my supply. Is there a "deadline" that she has to eat off each breast at least once every X hours... or will I be just fine letting her sleep 5 hours? Thanks so much!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bryan, Texas

    Default Re: Is this a problem? Conflicting advice

    I think you already got some good advice about the nursing. As far as the sleeping goes...your DD sounds like mine was. Very sleepy as a newborn. Enjoy it because it won't last. I didn't let her go more than 3-4 hours during the day and at night I didn't let her go more than 5 hours. From the time I got up in the morning, I fed her every 3 hours unless she demanded to eat sooner. I did this to try and get her to get her days and nights straight. Then I'd feed her before I went to bed. From that point on, I'd set my alarm for 5 hours later. If she hadn't woken up to eat by then, I'd wake her up and feed her.

    I only did that for a few weeks...and then she got past the sleepy newborn stage and then woke herself up. Enjoy the sleepy times now...they fade quickly.
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Plain

    Default Re: Is this a problem? Conflicting advice

    Hi and welcome!!!

    You are doing a great job, momma!

    From what I understand, once newborns have gotten back to their birthweight, they can sleep more than 4 hours stretches at night.

    I agree with what the previous posts said about nursing on demand. That'll will serve you well through those growth spurts and as your little nursling's demand grows. Don't watch the clock, watch the baby. Don't limit it so that you can feed one side just for that reason. I think it should be more at the 6 week mark for that. At this point, most baby-mom pairs are still establishing supply.

    If you are uncomfortable for not emptying one side for 7 to 8 hours, I would go ahead and pump that side. It sounds like your supply is good and you don't want to fool with losing that!
    **Margaret**(the artist formerly known as mommamags) Mom to red- and curly-headed, blue-eyed, chunky-thighed Michael Thomas, 24 May 2007, 9 lb/22 in. As an infant, he was my little suckling pig. Now he's a total ham!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    San Antonio, TX

    Default Re: Is this a problem? Conflicting advice

    First off, I know all moms and all babies are different, but the weight loss you describe doesn't seem that alarming to me. Maybe its just my doctor, but when my DS lost quite a bit of weight after birth, he said as long as he got back to his birth weight by 2 weeks, that it was okay, and at 2 weeks he was a little more than birth weight.

    As for feeding and one side not being used, my DS is now 5 weeks, and it has been only recently that he would nurse BOTH sides at one feeding. Before that, when I would offer the second he would take it for only a minute before letting go and not wanting any more. Also, he has slept through the night completely since birth, I refuse to wake him just to eat. So from around midnight when we all go to sleep, until 7 or 8 when we wake up in the morning, I am not nursing except on the occasion he wakes up hungry. I personally have not had any problems with doing this, although I did think I was losing supply for awhile, because my breasts didn't feel as firm all the time, then I learned it was just because my supply had regulated.

    I hope this helps a little! And as pp said, if you do get worried, or get any signs that your supply IS decreasing in one side, you can always pump that side, and freeze the milk for another day!
    Mother to Cullen Micheal, Oct 8, 2008 7lbs 2 oz

    1 Month: 9lbs 8oz!
    2 Months: 10lbs 6oz!
    3 Months: 12lbs 13oz!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    St. Louis, MO

    Default Re: Is this a problem? Conflicting advice

    I agree with pp, the weight loss that your baby experience isn't more than average in my opinion.

    Just pump the other side out if you're worried about supply. You'll need it when you go back to work or need a night out. What a great way to start your stash.

    I'm Laura, mamma of 2



    We love and

    We have been nursing for over 2 years now!

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