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Thread: All chew and no suck

  1. #1

    Default All chew and no suck

    Hi, I have been reading and found some great info but not the answer to my specific question.

    My daughter was born December 29 at 33 weeks. She spent 4 weeks in NICU and has been home now for a week.

    We've been trying to go to the breast exclusively but I have some questions.

    The discharge instructions said to give her supplemental bottle feedings 3x per day of similac neosure. When she eats from the bottle, she has great jaw and tongue movement but not always great suck. I have to take the bottle out of her mouth at intervals and let her stop the movement and relax a moment then put it back in and she will suck again.

    When I put her to the breast, she takes it great and looks like she is really going to town with it. She will pull back herself and rest and then go back to it. She seems satisfied when she stops and often has milk drooling down her cheek.

    I'm worried that she may not be getting enough at the breast. I don't know if she is really sucking enough to get what she needs or is it like the bottle and all motion?

    I am usually able to pump after she eats and get a significant amount. She has wet diapers about every 2-4 hours but only poops once or twice a day. We have a doctors appt tomorrow morning to check weight.

    I guess I'm worried that she will not let me know if she's hungry. I don't want to keep supplementing with bottles but don't want her to be hungry. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: All chew and no suck

    My son was born on Dec 18 at 31 wks and in the NICU for 4 weeks also. He gets BM supplemented with HMF 2/3 times a day at least until he's term.

    He definitely has a different action at the bottle than at the breast. He goes to town on the bottle, really great suck/swallow motion, and can down the whole thing way to quickly for his own good. He is a lot more inconsistent on the breast with his suck/swallow and doesn't seem to do it as vigorously. But 1) he is very content afterwards and usually goes to sleep, which he doesn't do w/ the bottle, 2) my breast, which I know is pretty darn full, is softer, 3) pretty much every single diaper is wet and most are poopy.

    From my limited experience, I'd say your little girl is getting what she needs. Her contentment after nursing and wet diapers are probably a really good sign. Also - how long until she's hungry again would be a factor to consider. If she's fussy and rooting and wants to nurse all the time, she might not be getting enough. If she nurses on average every 2-3 hours and is reasonably content between sessions, she's probably doing well.

    Another thing to consider is renting a breastfeeding scale. A local LC might be able to direct you to one. You weigh her before and after nursing with no clothing changes. The difference in ounces is the number of mls she's taken in.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who's noticed a difference at the bottle vs. breast. I hope my thoughts help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: All chew and no suck

    I thought of two more things:

    1) Here's a great article by Dr. Sears highlighting some of the ways you can know if your baby is getting enough at the breast. I also saw one recently by LLLI that indicated wet diapers are a much better indicator than poopy ones are.

    2) Are you using a nipple shield? My LC in the NICU gave me one as well as an article that stated that premature babies are able to draw milk more efficiently from the breast when using a nipple shield. Then they can be weaned off it as they pass their full-term due date. It definitely helped my DS, but it may be that your baby is doing fine without it, too...

    Blessings!
    Jennifer

  4. #4

    Default Re: All chew and no suck

    First I would like to say that many many new mom's (especially bf moms) wonder if their babies are getting enough milk. And - just about every single breast feeding baby IS getting enough. The great thing about bf is that the baby can generally start and stop the flow - or even regulate the flow of milk (once engorgement issues are under control). Once the breat is empty, your body still makes milk with the nutrients drawn from your blood supply. Really - it's a perfect system.
    I know worry is pretty much a requirement for motherhood - but don't drive yourself nuts with it. I had a 34 weeker with a lot of sucking problems. It was three months before we stopped the bottle/pumping stuff and were exclusively at the breast. I would talk to your babies doctor about decreasing the neosure. If you do decide to do that I suggest weighing you baby very frequently in the manner suggested by the previous poster. Preemies usually enter the world with a lot of medical drama and I think preceeding with caution is wise path. Our local health department has a bf scale and the mother/baby unit at the hospital does too.
    Every person has their own digestive schedule and even babies can vary greatly in their pooping schedules. As long as there are plenty of wet diapers and regular poops, I wouldn't get too nervous about it. My preemie is now 3 years old and doing great.
    Hang in there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: All chew and no suck

    hey mama...if you check in soon...how are things going?
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  6. #6

    Default Re: All chew and no suck

    Hi,

    Gracie was doing so well at the breast that I took her off the neosure. She lost about 4 ozs so I put her back on for a couple more weeks before trying again. She's now 14 weeks (actual) and weighs 8 lbs. She was 4lbs 2oz at birth so we're doing good. Pediatrician is pleased and she's doing SO much better now that we got rid of the formula. She's a much more efficient eater and doing great!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: All chew and no suck

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*momofgrace View Post
    Hi,

    Gracie was doing so well at the breast that I took her off the neosure. She lost about 4 ozs so I put her back on for a couple more weeks before trying again. She's now 14 weeks (actual) and weighs 8 lbs. She was 4lbs 2oz at birth so we're doing good. Pediatrician is pleased and she's doing SO much better now that we got rid of the formula. She's a much more efficient eater and doing great!
    That is so wonderful to hear!!
    I am so glad things are working out and your lo is thriving!!
    Meri
    _______________________

    WE , ,, and now



    Proud BF mommy to Mason and Graham
    Check out my blog

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: All chew and no suck

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*momofgrace View Post
    Hi,

    Gracie was doing so well at the breast that I took her off the neosure. She lost about 4 ozs so I put her back on for a couple more weeks before trying again. She's now 14 weeks (actual) and weighs 8 lbs. She was 4lbs 2oz at birth so we're doing good. Pediatrician is pleased and she's doing SO much better now that we got rid of the formula. She's a much more efficient eater and doing great!
    Great to hear from you mama! Glad to hear things are going well!
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

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