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Thread: bad BF habits - to break or not?

  1. #1

    Default bad BF habits - to break or not?

    The past few days I've fallen into what I'm scared has become a bad habit...I'm not sure if I should break it, how to break it or if it's ok...what do you all think?

    My 4 1/2 week old LO will wake up to BF every 3 hours during the day and every 4-5 hours during the night. But, he's still a very sleepy baby and sessions can last 1 1/2 hours with him falling asleep at the breast, me waking him, etc. The past few days, I've become frustrated at such long, difficult feedings, so I will let him go about 30-45 minutes - he'll fall asleep, I'll lay him down, then go pump the rest of my milk out. I know from weighing him before and after feedings that he's only taking about 1-1.5 oz during his feeding, and I'm pumping out about 2 oz. This whole process takes about an hour.

    Then, he'll wake up about 1/2 hour later, hungry. Well, because I've pumped, I don't have anything for him, so I'll feed him the 2 oz. I pumped. Then he'll sleep for another hour or so and we'll start it all over again.

    Am I sabotaging myself by giving him 1/2 his feeding from a bottle? If so, how do I break this pattern ~ Do I go back to fighting with him to take the full feeding from the breast? What if he just won't eat more than 1-1.5 oz, do I just leave my breast full for when he wakes to eat the other 1/2?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: bad BF habits - to break or not?

    i'd let him take the full feeding at the breast. young babies cluster nurse...that's completely normal.
    grab a good book, find a comfortable chair and nurse him when he wants to nurse. your supply will be better regulated, he'll become more efficient at feeding at the breast and it will all work itself out
    why pump if you don't have to?
    Jenna, momma to Lillian (1/1/11)
    Cosleeping, cloth diapering
    milk donated to date: 3182 ounces

  3. #3
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    Default Re: bad BF habits - to break or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*happynifer View Post
    i'd let him take the full feeding at the breast. young babies cluster nurse...that's completely normal.
    grab a good book, find a comfortable chair and nurse him when he wants to nurse. your supply will be better regulated, he'll become more efficient at feeding at the breast and it will all work itself out
    why pump if you don't have to?
    This frustrating behavior will improve as your baby wakes up more, I promise. In the meantime, the easiest thing to do is breastfeed as long as baby wants/will take, while reading a great novel or watching something interesting on TV. It's less frustrating if you're distracted and doing something enjoyable rather than bored out your mind.

    And these are still the early days of breastfeeding, you'll be amazed at how much things will change from week to week. In four more weeks, things will be very different.

    Meanwhile, I agree - pumping will not stimulate your supply as well as nursing, and all of that bottle feeding could result in nipple confusion and a bottle preference. It's not worth it, plus, what you're describing doesn't actually sound like less work than just nursing!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4

    Default Re: bad BF habits - to break or not?

    I got in the habit of pumping because I keep reading to completely empty the breast (with pump if necessary) each feeding to keep up supply. Is this not really necessary? So if he only eats 15 minutes and my breasts are still full, I should just wait until he wakes and offer again? Will having full breasts hurt my supply?

    I'm just so worried about losing my milk and not being able to BF anymore.

    thank you for any help!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: bad BF habits - to break or not?

    As long as you are nursing on demand and not supplementing with anything...including a pacifier...your supply should be fine.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

  6. #6
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    Default Re: bad BF habits - to break or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*3boysmomma View Post
    As long as you are nursing on demand and not supplementing with anything...including a pacifier...your supply should be fine.
    Once you get out of this pumping thing, you may be surprised that your baby empties your breasts more, rather than the pump.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: bad BF habits - to break or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*annieswaiting View Post
    I got in the habit of pumping because I keep reading to completely empty the breast (with pump if necessary) each feeding to keep up supply. Is this not really necessary?
    That's decent advice if the baby is not nursing well. If the baby is doing a good job, i.e. seems satisfied after nursing, produces adequate wet and poopy diapers, and is gaining weight at a normal rate, there's no need to pump in addition to nursing.

    So if he only eats 15 minutes and my breasts are still full, I should just wait until he wakes and offer again?
    Yes, as long as diaper output is normal you can safely go ahead with this.

    Will having full breasts hurt my supply?
    Leaving milk in the breast will cause your supply to reduce. But this is normal and generally desirable. When you feel "full," particularly if you feel full even after your baby has just finished nursing, it's usually because you're making more milk than your baby needs. Making extra milk sounds great, but it's actually a waste of your body's energy and puts you at increased risk for plugged ducts and mastitis. So you want to have a milk supply that meets your baby's needs a lot more exactly.

    I'm just so worried about losing my milk and not being able to BF anymore.
    Don't worry too much. People don't just lose their milk supplies the way they lose a set of keys of a cell phone. It's not a random or irrevocable event. Milk supply is like a garden. If you ignore it- i.e. don't nurse on demand, supplement with formula- it withers. But you can get it to grow back again just by nursing more.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: bad BF habits - to break or not?

    Feeding when baby is hungry will allow your body to adjust to make the exact perfect amount of milk for baby. Pumping after every feeding is a way to increase your supply if you think it is too low. I would not pump after feedings unless you are afraid you already have a low supply.

    The best indication that you are making enough milk is the number of wet diapers your baby puts out. If you are getting 5-6 wets per day you are doing great!

    Also, even if you pump you will still have milk in your breast for your baby if you want to nurse. Your breasts are never really empty because your body is constantly producing milk. It may not come out very fast, which can frustrate baby sometimes, but the milk is still there and baby can get it with a little work.

    This article is a really good explanation of how milk production works.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  9. #9
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    Default Re: bad BF habits - to break or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Don't worry too much. People don't just lose their milk supplies the way they lose a set of keys of a cell phone. It's not a random or irrevocable event. Milk supply is like a garden. If you ignore it- i.e. don't nurse on demand, supplement with formula- it withers. But you can get it to grow back again just by nursing more.
    I love this! So true. You can't lose your milk supply overnight. If you're watching your baby's diapers and weight gain, and everything is fine, then your supply is fine.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: bad BF habits - to break or not?

    I don't think using a pacifier is going to cause any problems with your supply unless you are using it to replace feedings. I'm not saying run out and buy one if you don't have one already, but if you do use one it's not a supply concern unless baby seems to be not eating enough or develops nipple preference. In my experience they'll generally spit it out if they are hungry and want to nurse, though I usually offered to nurse before offering the pacifier.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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