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biene_maja

How fast can a "quick feeder" empty a breast?

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biene_maja

Hi,

 

I've heard that some babies can empty a breast in 5 min or so. I'd like to hear from mums with "quick feeding" babies. Did your baby do this?

 

And how do you know that your breast is empty after the quick feed.

 

Why do I want to know?

 

My DD drinks for about 3-5 min on one side. Sometimes only 2 min the other side. So far I've been thinking she is just fussy and won't drink long enough. After a feed I usually try to hand express a bit and it seems like there is still more in there. But then I've heard too that breast are never truly empty after a feed. If they were engorged before then they definitly feel softer after. If I express after sometimes I can only get 10 ml but sometimes I get up to 50ml.

 

I've been topping up with formula & EBM because I thought she wasn't getting enough. But sometimes when I don't top up she still seems happy. The reason that I thought she needed more was that she drinks 50ml after a feed and it seems like she really wants it. But if I don't offer it she often seems fine too.

 

Thanks

 

 

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vfrainbows

About 3 mins here if he is focused and hungry. Fast flow and an efficient feeder! Breast is very soft afterwards, so 'empty', although of course they never really are!

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TwistedIvy

Well techically your breasts are never empty, but my oldest son would 'empty' a breast in 7 minutes flat as a newborn (as soon as he was over his jaundice). I used to express too, so I know he was drinking about 220ml in that time, which reflected in his weight being that he was on the 95% on the charts.

 

The only time he would ever feed longer than 7mins was immediately before bed and during the night where he was feeding for about 15mins, but this was more of a comfort thing than a feeding thing, and I wouldn't swap sides.

Edited by Angel and Boo

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TwistedIvy
My DD drinks for about 3-5 min on one side. Sometimes only 2 min the other side. So far I've been thinking she is just fussy and won't drink long enough.

 

To be honest, I probably wouldn't be swapping sides after this short amount of time, especially if you are still able to express fairly easily off that side. It is definately NOT necessary to feed of both sides at each feed (I *never* do).

 

A lot of it is trial and error and experimentation, but if I were in your shoes I would perhaps cut the top-ups out for a week, only feed off one side per feed unless she is obviously wanting the other side, and see what her weight gains are like at the end of the week.

 

Interestingly, because DS1 had bad jaundice, for his first 3 weeks I was brestfeeding then topping up with EBM, and he was putting on about 220g a week. As soon as I stopped the top-ups and just breastfed, he began to put on 480g a week for 6 weeks straight!

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biene_maja

Hi,

 

Thanks for your replies.

 

I find it really hard to read her. I always think her behaviour could mean a number of things.

But cutting out top ups and weighing her after a week seems like a great idea. We've got a MCHN appoinment coming up so I'll weigh her now and then again at the appoinment.

DD was fully breastfed until 8 weeks of age and back then she put on heaps (but was also feeding 1-2 hourly and much longer).

 

I did "one sided feeds" for a while and still do sometimes.

 

Another question I just thought of:

 

Would a "fast feeder" also drink a bottle really fast? Because when I give her the top ups she takes quite a bit longer - maybe 50ml in 10-15 min.

 

And how does your babies act when they are finished? Do they just pull off and you know they are done. Do you try to put them back on & they keep pulling off?

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Guest Imokoe
Would a "fast feeder" also drink a bottle really fast? Because when I give her the top ups she takes quite a bit longer - maybe 50ml in 10-15 min.

No the bottles are really really slow flow compared to a breast.

 

I just thought I would suggest that after she feeds from each side offer her the first breast again. SHe may just be dropping off for a look around the room or for a little rest. I know my DS used to drop off heaps because he had wind in his belly so just somethign to think about.

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TwistedIvy

A newborn bottle flow is much much slower than the breast of most women, so yes, she can be drinking from the breast than she is from a bottle.

 

DD was fully breastfed until 8 weeks of age and back then she put on heaps (but was also feeding 1-2 hourly and much longer).

 

The time a baby feeds for can vary significantly between babies. As stated before, my oldest son was a 7min one side feeder who stayed on the 97% for weight, while my second son was a 20 min feeder who struggled to put on weight. DS3 is half way in between them, both in feeding time and weight gain. So my quickest feeder, was my heaviest baby.

 

And how does your babies act when they are finished? Do they just pull off and you know they are done. Do you try to put them back on & they keep pulling off?

 

If they pull off, I assume they are done unless they indicate they want to be back on (usually by pushing themselves back into feed position), or they seem fussy. If they refuse the same breast, or only feed for another minute or so, then they are done.

Edited by Angel and Boo

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Xenice

My DD is a quick and efficient drinker. She would be able to just finish her drink in less than 5 mins some of the time or not more than 15 min even if she's comfort feeding. I used to think she's not having enough ( I still do! Am in the same boat as you ), and I'll try feeding her again either with the same breast ( when it's still quite full ) or try swapping side. I have lots of supply of breastmilk and I wanna make sure she has enough of the hindmilk, therefore, I generally just feed her off the same side unless when she "shows" sign that she has empitied the other side and is frustrated at the slow flow of it.

I generally just let her lead me, if she looks content after the feed, I will try to put her back on the breast, and if she is not even remotely interested and fight against it, I'll take her off and see how she goes before putting her down the bed ( that's when she would just spent 2 mins drinking!! ). However, if she just has a little and seems fussy through out the entire feed, I would try rock her and whisper to her a little or even take her for a walk before attempting to top her up. My DD doesn't like the bottle :-( She doesn't take the bottle well at all!!

I would keep an eye out on her weight gain and also wet nappies/poo ... If she's generally content enough and has lots of wet nappies and no pellet-looking poo, I'll say you and her are doing fine. It's hard and I'm just like you, not able to read her properly most of the times and constantly wondering if she has had enough to drink.

To answer your question, she will pull off when she's done, and I will sit her up for few mins to let her have a rest and see if she still showing any sign of wanting to drink. I generally will try few times to put her back on the breast with different position if she's a bit fussy, but she will fight off the breast and will be distressed if I keep "force-feeding" her. I'll just stop. A mothercraft nurse told me before, if the baby still seems a bit unsettled after 1/2 hrs on the bed ( providing you have check the rest of the list ), she might just need a little bit to fill up her tummy. You can always pick her up and try offer a top-up. It all depends on individual babies though. Mine can be fussy at her feed, and there are times I'm sure she still wants more but had troubles trying to get her to start sucking even if the nipple is well inside her mouth lol

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Xenice
SHe may just be dropping off for a look around the room or for a little rest. I know my DS used to drop off heaps because he had wind in his belly so just somethign to think about.

 

 

Agreed. Mine is like that. Need to burp her to get the wind out then resume the feed. Sometimes if the flow is too fast, she will cough and pull off; then you can always let her have a bit of rest, and try again later.

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Al.Packer

DS2 has always been a super-efficient feeder. 3-4 minutes on the first side, and then another couple of minutes on the other side, just to finish off.

 

I have a very fast flow (as in I once expressed 360mls in under 8 minutes...).

 

If he has a bottle of EBM, it can take him up to 20 mins to have 150mls.

 

I used to take him off once he started fussing and turning his head - that was his sign for being finished. Nothing could get him to go back on. Nowadays he just turns away and tries to sit up.

 

 

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dragonfly31981

My suggestion is that the baby is probably going for a the foremilk. What I would do is put the baby back on teh same breast at first if they asked again within the hour.

 

I wouldn't bother with formula or a top up at all. I don't thnik your baby needs it. You will know if they aren't getting enough, espeically if it is a long term prob

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biene_maja

All your replies have been really helpful.

 

I guess I'm just trying to figure her out. I've wondered if she was just a very distracted feeder or something else was wrong cause she always pulls off so early.

 

And if I try to get her back on she might drink for a few secs more then pull off again and do that over and over until she'll start "yelling at me" and often if I put her dummy in then she'll relax & almost fall asleep.

 

Even with a bottle top up she seems to be a baby that needs a little extra before going down for a sleep. We often do a feed play feed sleep routine.

 

I'm pretty annoyed at the advice I've been given by "professionals". I think it really helped to screw things up for us. When DD was 2 weeks old I was told(by pead) I was overfeeding her (cause she fed 2 hourly) and then MCHN told me to stretch out feeds by bottle feeding water at 4 weeks. :(

 

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TwistedIvy
And if I try to get her back on she might drink for a few secs more then pull off again and do that over and over until she'll start "yelling at me" and often if I put her dummy in then she'll relax & almost fall asleep.

 

This tells me she is full, my second and third sons did/do this.

 

I read this as "I still want to suck, but there is milk coming out and I am full, so I am going to scream at you, until you give me something inannimate".

 

We often do a feed play feed sleep routine.

 

I have always done this with every one of my babies, because that's what worked for them/us. In the early days I would usually offer the same breast when they woke, as I did before putting them down for a sleep, then switch to the other side for the next sleep cycle.

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vfrainbows
I'm pretty annoyed at the advice I've been given by "professionals". I think it really helped to screw things up for us. When DD was 2 weeks old I was told(by pead) I was overfeeding her (cause she fed 2 hourly) and then MCHN told me to stretch out feeds by bottle feeding water at 4 weeks. :(

 

 

I would be livid. That is incredibly poor advice, god knows what other gems of wisdom the MCHN is dishing out :unsure:

 

Likewise the paed. With such a young bub, if you're breastfeeding and bub is asking for it 2 hrly, then she needed it. No wonder some mums have trouble with feeding when there is such misinformation going around :(

Edited by vfrainbows

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clare78

My son was a super fast feeder - he would empty the breast in under 2 minutes as a baby, but being a boy would like to stay there and just play which I would let him do for up to 10 minutes. I knew he was just playing as he would smile and laugh and be looking around taking the nipple with him.

 

My daughter is also a fast feeder now (took a bit longer to get her going though), and now she has max 5 minutes on each side before she is pulling off and looking around demanding the second side.

 

I know they were both emptying the breast as it would feel quite heavy and perky before a feed and afterwards very floppy and squishy!!

 

When she is finished she either does one of two things - falls asleep in a milk induced drunken state or is ready to play so very alert. If she is still fussy and hitting me with her head then I know she hasn't had enough.

 

If your daughter seems happy and is producing lots of wet nappies then I would say you are doing a wonderful job and she is getting all she needs from you, so would stop your topups via formula.

 

And don't worry about the weighing thing unless YOU think there is problem. My daughter is slow to gain weight (some weeks I don't think she puts on any) but that is just her - she is just a little person (kinda like me), so if you go and see your MCHN and they say "not putting on enough weight, you need to do formula, etc", take it with a truck load of salt. As long as she is healty, alert and has wet nappies then you are doing brillantly.

 

Enjoy your time with her.

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