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Newborn feeding advice needed

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#1 Mille-Mille

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:12 PM

My DS who is now 11 days old if a very sleepy feeder, he will only stay on for roughly 10 mins before he is finished (either asleep or pulls off).  Sometimes i'm able to get him to feed longer but not often, I have used all the tactics such as tickling his feet, changing his nappy, blowing on his face etc..
Today I was lucky enough to get hold of a baby scale so I weighed him before and after a feed and found he had taken in only 50ml in one feed session.  He feeds quite often (every hour to 2 hours) and he has gained plenty of weight, so i'm not worried if he is getting enough.

My question is, will he get stronger at feeding as time goes on and hence be able to go longer between feeds? Or do I need to intervene and try to push the time between feeds out longer (I have tried this a bit but he gets so upset if I don't give in and feed, I always give in original.gif )

Thanks for any advice i'm so tired I need longer stretches of sleep at night!!

#2 RachealJane

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

My DD was a quick feeder but would want more again about 45mins to an hour later original.gif
I just went with it and eventually she did go longer between feeds.

Their tummies are tiny and breastmilk digests very quickly.

#3 Mille-Mille

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

Thanks RachealJane, it's encouraging to know it can improve.

#4 Mille-Mille

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:49 PM

Anyone else have any advice?

#5 mandala

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:55 PM

It does get better - just not soon enough wink.gif

We used to rub a wet cotton ball over DS's cheek to keep him awake, but he was also a really sloooow feeder, like would take an hour to feed, and then would want one two hours after the start of the first feed. At around 12 weeks we did start using gentle distraction to encourage him to go at least 3 hours between feeds, and it was really helpful for him - the feeds were faster, and he was much more settled. However, 12 weeks is very different to 12 days...

Does your local area have a free breastfeeding clinic? It could be worth going to see if they have any suggestions about what you could do to encourage him to take more - or just to provide reassurance that you're doing well original.gif

#6 Donna&J

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:56 PM

I think you aren't supposed to start pushing the feeds out until at least a few months - you don't want to mess up your supply.  
Re day and night, the only thing you can do is make a big distinction between day (bright, get out in the morning sun, have a little play - just 10 minutes or so) and night (dim, quiet, no play).  

#7 Goggie

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:02 PM

In the nicest possible way, you need to relax a little:)
Your baby is only 11 days old. 50 ml is quite normal in terms of volume, particularly if he's feeding often. You may find he feeds little and often for quite a few months yet. Don't try and stretch him out before he's ready, it will only annoy him and damage your supply.

My DS has always been an efficient short feeder. Even now he feeds 5 mins each side and he's done. Feeds every 2.5 hours or so at 5.5 months and I'm not worried about him getting enough. He's putting on weight even though small for his age and seems happy with what he's getting.

QUOTE (Mille-Mille @ 11/02/2013, 06:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for any advice i'm so tired I need longer stretches of sleep at night!!

Lol. It may be a number of weeks before you get longer stretches tbh, for us he started sleeping for 4 hours around 8 weeks, then 6-8 hours by 12 weeks and now it's back to 5-6 in one stretch. A full nights uninterrupted sleep is a distant memory!!

The best piece of advice someone gave me was trust yourself. You are doing everything right.
The early weeks suck. Hope you get some more sleep soon.

#8 Mille-Mille

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:38 PM

In the nicest possible way, you need to relax a little:)

Your right, I do need to relax!
I had so much trouble feeding DD, ended up express feeding for 4 months which was exhausting.  I told myself this time I would be more relaxed and try to take it as it comes (easier said than done apparently!).
He is gaining weight well so far so I will try to chill out original.gif

#9 Copper and May

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:49 PM

This is quite normal newborn behaviour, because babies have tiny tummies and 50ml at that feed would be good and he probably takes more at another feed and over the whole 24 hours, when his is feeding every two hours or so, he is getting what he wants, so stop worrying too much. He will let you know when he is hungry and he is also very sleepy, because there is a hormone in the breastmilk for the first 6 weeks, which keeps babies sleepy. This hormone starts to wane by about 6 weeks and he will be awake more. He will also be growing all the time and he will feed for longer as he gets stronger. Meanwhile go with the flow and you will have a very happy breastfeeding journey.

#10 Copper and May

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE (Mille-Mille @ 11/02/2013, 06:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My question is, will he get stronger at feeding as time goes on and hence be able to go longer between feeds? Or do I need to intervene and try to push the time between feeds out longer (I have tried this a bit but he gets so upset if I don't give in and feed, I always give in original.gif )

Thanks for any advice i'm so tired I need longer stretches of sleep at night!!

No, don't do this pushing the time between feeds or your breasts will think the milk is not wanted. Just do what he wants and he will get stronger and better. Perhaps you could sleep with him beside your bed and just reach out and bring him into bed to feed and then put him back beside you in his own little bed or small bassinette. Then you can all get more sleep.

#11 greenthumbs

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:12 PM

I watched a heck of a lot of dvd's in those early days. DS would take 45-60mins per feed. I can't remember how long this lasted, but before I knew it, I was disappointed it was over so quick ("come on DS I've still got half and episode left!" happy.gif )

Agree with pp, don't mess with your supply, just feed him whenever he wants, it's too early to push out feeds. I know it's exhausting now, but the time really does fly.

Oh, I got more sleep by co-sleeping - although this isn't for everyone - and I didn't start that until he was 3months old or so.

Good luck and congratulations!

#12 Mille-Mille

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:51 PM

Thanks for the reassurance.  I have been told by a few people that I should be stretching out feeds, and I haven't tried to because it just seems wrong to deny him food when he is hungry.  I'll just keep on going as I have been and hope he gets stronger sooner rather than later, he is the boss at this stage I guess original.gif

#13 lucky 2

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:29 PM

It's ok if your baby is a sleepy feeder if he is having enough wees and poos and growing, which he is so that's fantastic.
Ways to help him feed longer (if you want to try but of course he will stop when he wants to despite any parental intention). You can reduce his clothing and have him skin to skin with you.
You can gently stroke him and rub his palm and also try some gentle breast squeezes to prompt more sucking and swallowing. It may or may not extend his feed.
Weighing him before and after a feed is not something I'd bother doing, it is not necessarily accurate and you will discover more about him by looking at him and his output.
He will get stronger and go longer between feeds when he is developmentally able to, not yet though otherwise he would be doing it.
The only intervention I'd be doing is making sure he is well attached to your breast and try some of the tips above and let him do his thing. It sounds like you can trust him to feed well considering he is thriving, so you are both doing well as a team and nothing else needs to be changed, iykwim?
Feeding him to need isn't giving in to him despite what others might say to you, who has been in your ear about his feeds and suggesting you not feed him so frequently?
I hope it wasn't a health professional!
Sleeping long stretches isn't the norm at this age, most babies are back to front with night and day at this age and then they become more unsettled in the evenings from 2 weeks of age or so.
Babies continue to need night feeds but may fall back to sleep easier after the feed so that even though the sleeps are short, you hopefully can fall quickly back to sleep.
You probably need to have naps in the morning or afternoon to help you cope with the night duty.
All the best and congratuations on the birth of your baby original.gif .

#14 Mille-Mille

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

Lucky 2 - It was actually my mum who told me to try and stretch out feeds, she is an RN and was a midwife for 20 or so years.  So that's scary right?!
In the hospital we saw so many different midwives and were amazed that each one had a different opinion on what to do, it can be confusing.

I'm going to just trust what i'm doing is working fine, and i'll try to sleep during the day when he sleeps (although I find this hard when I have a house to clean!).

#15 Copper and May

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

It is a well-known fact that midwives, MCHN's and doctors do not know a lot about breastfeeding. The training the doctors do, only has a small portal on "child nutrition" and the ABA runs classes for professionals to learn about breastfeeding. Did your mum breastfeed for an extended time? The ABA are the most researched on breastfeeding and they have been helping mums for nearly 50 years.

#16 Elf Ianthe

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:11 AM

It sounds as though he is doing really well and is certainly getting what he needs. Definitely sleep when you can.

#17 lucky 2

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

It is a well-known fact that midwives, MCHN's and doctors do not know a lot about breastfeeding.

I'm going to have to argue with you saying that it's a fact that MW's do not know a lot about bfing.
Odd considering they have a Grad Dip or Degree in Midwifery and they extensively study BFing.
Not as much as a LC granted but that can come later.
If you consider the scope of practice of a MW I'd find it hard to then conclude that they don't know a lot about bfing.
A MCHN is a MW as well, although a MCHN may be a bit rusty on bfing as they have a broad scope of practice (from newborns-6 years).
You make it sound like the ABA does the research into breastfeeding, it certainly doesn't do the bulk of it but like all parties with an interest in improving bfing outcomes should do, they incorporate current evidence and best practice into their educational material.

#18 lucky 2

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

Lucky 2 - It was actually my mum who told me to try and stretch out feeds, she is an RN and was a midwife for 20 or so years. So that's scary right?!

I don't think there is anything wrong in suggesting or wanting to see a baby feeding as well as possible and having good long sleeps.
It's sounds like a desirable goal but how do you achieve it?
Your mum might just be wanting to you to feel better, she wants to look after you and she may be worrying a bit about you.
So rather than stretching out feeds if you turn it around and focus on helping feeds to be the best they can then this is giving your baby the best opportunity to sleep as much as is required.
But, you have a small newborn with a small tank that needs refuelling when it needs refuelling and who know best when the tank is getting near empty? Your baby.

You are on the right track re trusting yourself (and Dominic) and aiming to get some sleep.
Could you ask your mother to help with tidying the house or get some extra help from anyone so you can focus on meeting the more immediate needs of your newborn and yourself.
All the best original.gif .

#19 Lokum

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:34 AM

Well I certainly don't think I know more about BF than most midwives.

I fed one tricky baby (flat nipples, tongue tie, tiny IUGR fellow) for 15 months, and am now feeding one big fat happy fellow (still flat nipples.)

Even though there was only 2 years between them, I'd certainly forgotten a few things and was very happy with the BFing assistance I received in hospital from the midwives, and from my great MCHN.

There was a LC at a public clinic who made me cry though, as she started BFing 1010 even though I'd seen the video and read the books, and I didn't need persuading about the benefits... I just needed help with position and timing issues....

I guess there are good and bad ones in all professions, but generally m/ws and MCHNs are in their jobs because of a passionate commitment to mothers and babies...

#20 Justaduck

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

I really struggled waking DD for feeds...she was jaundiced (had jaundice? not sure of the correct term) for the first month & she really didn't gain weight (which has turned out to just be her metabolism...she is only 7.8kg and is 1year old). I tried every trick in the book - from stroking feet, talking, ice cube on foot for a few seconds and nothing would wake her up. She was the opposite though and was sleeping 6hrs+ without feeds from the night we came home. I think some bubbas are just deep sleepers. I wouldn't be too concerned at your bubs age especially with a decent amount of weight being gained.

As for midwives and breastfeeding...I think some have good intentions...but some of the advice I was given was crazy

#21 lucky 2

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

I'm happy to have given you such a good laugh sassy  tongue.gif  although I cant say that was my intention.

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