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When do I stop a BF feed?

(18 Posts)
clairefromsteps Wed 27-Jul-11 19:21:55

My DD is now 8 days old and I have been BFing her. She is a pretty sleepy baby - she'll quite happily wake up for a feed, go great guns for about 10 minutes, slow down and then drift off to sleep. I tend to then change her nappy to wake her up and she'll feed for another five minutes and conk out again. If I put her in her moses basket, she'll wake up after five minutes and start rooting around to see where I've gone, I'll latch her on and she'll go for another five minutes. This goes on for about an hour or so until she's managed to drain my breast. She generally then goes on to the other breast and will drink most of that one too, so each feeding session is taking around 1.5 - 2 hours. She will then go for about two hours or so before starting

My midwife, who seems pretty clued up, says that most newborns take around 20 minutes to reach the hind milk and then about 10 minutes of hind milk should satisfy them until the next feed. My milk does seem to be coming out quite quickly, but after 30 minutes I squeeze my breast and the creamy milk still comes out readily. I've tried putting her down after 30 minutes just to see if she's happy with that, but she has made it very clear that she isn't!

My question is: does this feeding pattern sound 'normal'? Is there anything I can do to get her to feed a bit quicker, or is it just a case of waiting until she gets a bit older?

SleepySuzy Wed 27-Jul-11 19:29:38

I used to try and keep mine awake by tickling her ear or gently stroking under her chin. She would often feed for more than an hour at a time. I can't tell you how normal it is though.

RitaMorgan Wed 27-Jul-11 19:32:44

Well, you can't "reach the hindmilk" anyway so the timings from your midwife seem pretty pointless! There aren't two different kinds of milk, it's just milk from a full breast is more watery, and milk from an emptier breast is fattier, so the milk becomes gradually fattier throughout the feed.

Also you can't drain a breast, as you have found. This really confused me at first as I was told the baby had to drain the breast but there was always milk when I squeezed.

I would probably swap sides when she falls asleep, then if she falls asleep again you can swap again and keep going til she doesn't want any more. If you keep putting her back to the same breast she could be losing interest and giving up as the flow is slower?

RitaMorgan Wed 27-Jul-11 19:33:56

Oh yes, and my ds would often feed for an hour or more at that age - feed for 10/snooze for 10/feed for 10 etc. It was difficult to know where one feed finished and another started, so your dd's pattern seems normal to me.

tiktok Wed 27-Jul-11 19:39:27

claire - you are doing fine smile

This feeding is very normal.

Shame your midwife seems confused about times and himdmilk sad No wonder mothers end up confused as well....

lels99 Wed 27-Jul-11 19:51:40

i used to tickle my dcs feet to keep them awake, but did used to feel like i was doing nothing but bf at first!

clairefromsteps Wed 27-Jul-11 20:09:26

Thanks for that advice everyone! I've got another two weeks until DH is due back at work and he is pretty much doing everything around the house at the moment so we'll have to see how things go then. Oh well, I'm sure the house won't fall down if I don't have time to tidy it!

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 27-Jul-11 22:22:01

I used to tickle DD's ear when she was feeding. I don't think she ever had a feed longer than 15 minutes and is now 7 months and almost 20lbs so I don't think she had any problems 'reaching the hindmilk'.

HipHopOpotomus Thu 28-Jul-11 00:13:40

Whether feeding or nOt both DDs wanted to be held loads as newborns. They just love and wanted lots of body contact. Perhaps that is part of it?

gogoNagano Thu 28-Jul-11 13:18:06

Glad to hear the 'not being able to tell when one feed ends and the next begins' thing is normal - that's been DS and I both last night and today! I've never spent so long topless - just kept thinking 'God God, more mamamilk??!'

So thankful for the knowledgeable people on here smile

gogoNagano Thu 28-Jul-11 13:18:46

Good God, rather!

MigGril Thu 28-Jul-11 13:27:04

Your doing great, it can feel a bit like that in the early day's. Don't worry about the house it your job to look after the baby not the house and your DH's job to look after you.

fuzzybunny Thu 28-Jul-11 13:41:40

If not feeding then wanting to be held to know you are close by. She is only used to being with you, it was only 8 days ago when something very strange happened and why would she want to be all alone all of a sudden! I found this was the case for both DC's for at least a month (more for DD). It is totally normal at such a young age, it will settle down as she gets a bit bigger.

I wouldn't agree with RitaMorgan about swapping sides so quickly, I had no idea where one feed ended and another began for a while and was swapping sides every 10 mins or so. But this gave DD a bad tummy as wasn't getting hindmilk only the much thinner milk, so I dedicated an hour per breast (not that I was feeding constantly for that hour, but DD seemed to snack almost on and off over that hour).

brew biscuit and go with the flow smile

harverina Thu 28-Jul-11 14:05:23

Claire my dd was very similar at that age. I think she was feeding roughly over 4 hours for 2 hours! I think that the best thing to do is feed on demand and don't time feeds.

I did what Rita suggested and swapped sides when my dd started to fall asleep. Agree that babies respond to flow and often lose interest and get sleepy when flow gets slow. If my dd was still hungry she would latch on the second breast, if she wasn't hungry she just wouldn't latch on.

Don't worry about trying to make feeds shorter.

Elpis Thu 28-Jul-11 23:50:05

Yes, feed on demand - lie down as much as you can and perhaps carry her in a sling if you need to be up and about. Watch DVDs or iPlayer or read while she guzzles - the key is not to resent the time she spends at the breast, but to let it happen. Clock-watching feeds is just tedious and a waste of time (though I didn't know that when DD was very little). If you think one breast is empty, then just swap her over, or let her fall asleep and start her off on the other one next time.

howabout Fri 29-Jul-11 05:12:17

I agree with Rita and Haverina and found swapping sides more productive as a way of telling if DDs had had enough than putting them down or timing feeds. All babies are different as are all mothers and their milk. DD1 took about 40 minutes per feed at the start whereas even as a newborn DD2 never took longer than about 10 minutes to feed - however she was the more cuddly of the 2 and wanted to be held without thinking about eating.

choceyes Fri 29-Jul-11 11:35:19

Your midwifes timing seems pretty random.
However I exclusively expressed for my DS and these is definitely watery milk (foremilk) and thicker milk (hindmilk) coming from the breast. I found the first five minutes of expressing gave me the foremilk and gradually it gave away to creamier milk - the hind milk. It is a gradual process. However this is upon expressing a pretty full breast. When the breast if full and nearly engorged the fat in the milk gets deposited on the ducts and the milk comes out first with hardly any fat and then later the fat comes down.

also it is possible to empty a breast.I always expressed until there were no more milk coming out. But a baby actually feeding at the breast only ever removes about 70% of the milk I've read, so you will always have milk in your breast and the baby will not empty it.

But it all sounds normal your babies feeding to me. I remember the early days when one feed just turned into the next one!

SnarkHunt Fri 29-Jul-11 11:43:17

At 8 days our feeds were at least 45 mins on each side I think. You sound like you're doing just fine. I got so many different instructions about swapping sides I gave up listening and did it my own way, which was swap sides after an hour ish no matter how many times she was on or off.
Read this for useful discussion of foremilk and hindmilk: it's not 2 types of milk as many people would have you believe.

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