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baby falls asleep before feeding

(21 Posts)
JazzAnnNonMouse Wed 07-Sep-11 15:45:15

she's 3 days old and I had trouble latching, my nipples are very sore. My milk has just come in but every time I get her to the breast to feed she falls asleep. She does feed but only for a short amount of time (10 mins max) and if I have to get her off to reposition her for any reason she falls asleep before she can latch on again. She seems to last a very long time without feeds - 4 -6 hours seems no bother to her (I'm trying to feed her every 2-3 but it doesn't seem to bother her)
I'm finding myself having to try and wake her to feed her - I can tell she's hungry from the feeding cues but she sleeps and sleeps.
When she hasn't had enough she becomes very fractious and won't settle at all - she becomes very frustrated if she can't latch and just cries and cries.
So far she's had one big (black/brown) poo per day and maybe 2 wees - I know this isn't enough sad

MW came today and she's lost 9% weight which is still within then normal bracket but I think she's only going to loose more.
I'm feeling quite emotional and scared that she's not ok
Can anyone help?

NoWuckingFurries Wed 07-Sep-11 15:56:13

Firstly, congratulations on your baby. Secondly, Poor you. Did you discuss your concerns with the midwife? From what you've said, it does seem like your baby might bit be getting enough milk and therefore conserving energy by sleeping. Have you tried a nappy change between boobs? That helped wake my DS up (as he hated being stripped down). Do you have a bf clinic or cafe near you? That means someone can watch you feed and check your latch and generally advise and reassure you. My bf clinic was a lifesaver for the first 6 weeks (cracked nipples and poor latch - ouch!). I've heard good things about bf phone-lines too - la leche league in particular. Also, I found the kellymom website an invaluable resource.

You're doing a great thing for your LO but bf is a skill that both mum and baby need to learn. Get as much practical support as you can and be kind to yourself. Bf may be natural but that doesn't make it easy - just look at child birth!

In the meantime, we're here for support smile

EauRouge Wed 07-Sep-11 15:58:19

Congrats on your DD smile My DD2 was sleepy as a newborn. I used to hand express a bit to stimulate my letdown, I found if she got a taste of milk it would encourage her to feed a bit.

When she does latch on, is she feeding OK? Is it comfortable?

RufflesKerfluffles Wed 07-Sep-11 16:04:11

Congratulations on your DD!

You're right to want more help - did your midwife not give you any more help? Might be worth ringing her and asking if there's an infant feeding coordinator or anyone at the hospital who can give you more assistance.

In the mean time, you could phone one of the breastfeeding helplines for immediate advice. It sometimes takes a few goes to get through, so if your DH/DP is about, you could get them to ring, and hand over to you once they get through to someone.

My DS had problems latching on when my milk came in (and had lost more weight than your DD has by this point) so I ended up expressing milk and cup feeding him for a couple of days, until we got it all sorted out. Not saying that's what you need to do, but if it is, just to say it can be sorted - we're still going now and DS is now 13mo.

JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 08-Sep-11 08:04:16

midwife came today and sorted out the latch problem smile
She is now sucking away and I can hear big gulps - she seems much happier and fed every 3 hours yesterday for about 15-30 mins each.
I did have a problem in the night though I ended up going to bed at 3 ish (mad time to go to bed with a newborn but I surprisingly wasn't tired shock ) so I fed her then but when I woke up at half 7 she was still conked out - it took a lot of undressing and coxing to rouse her and make her feed - she did feed for 15 mins and I think she's wanting more now (half 8) Is this a good sign?

RitaMorgan Thu 08-Sep-11 08:09:23

I would say 3 hourly feeds are quite infrequent for a newborn - I'd aim for at least 2 hourly, even if you have to wake her. IME "feeding on demand" doesn't really get going until after the first week or two once they have regained their birthweight and are asking for feeds really frequently.

One longer gap at night is ok, so long as you are feeding at least 10-12 times in 24 hours.

JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 08-Sep-11 11:22:28

oh, I will wake her up every 2 hours then if she hasn't asked - trouble is, when I wake her up she isnt very interested for a while so I'm not sure if she really is hungry that often? Because when she does start to chew her fingers and lick her lips she latches on quick and stays on for 20-30 mins - when I wake her and coax her into feeding she feeds for 5-10 mins.
I don't want to starve my baby sad

lilham Thu 08-Sep-11 11:37:15

Have a look at this page about nursing newborns. I think the concern here is that your DD sounds like a very sleepy newborn, and they tend to not demand, and then will sleep even more to conserve energy. A vicious cycle. But like Rita says, once they've regained their birthweight and gaining steadily, you can relax and let them demand.

A 5-10min feed isn't bad, at least she's drinking isn't it? It might be all she needs to cry her over for the next two hours?

lilham Thu 08-Sep-11 11:39:30

Just to add, I was still waking her every 3 hours for a long time after she regained her weight. She was sleeping all day until she was about 1.5 months, iirc. I don't have a photo of her with her eyes open for the first month!

posypom Thu 08-Sep-11 12:23:12

My DS was in NICU for the first 3 days of his life and was incredibly sleepy but the doctor only insisted in feeding every 3 hours so if that's what she's demanding then I wouldn't worry. When we were discharged to the ward the nurses only started to get twitchy if he hadn't demanded food for 5-6 hours and once he went 7 hours before we managed to get him on the breast for a decent period (more than 5-10 mins). Since then he's woken up (I now have an 8 week old baby who refuses to nap in the day - oh how I laugh thinking back to the stress I had trying to wake him up every 3 hours!) and is a very healthy 12lb 5oz, so just stick with it. You are doing brilliantly! My DS didn't get the hang of latching until around the 10 day mark (it was a real battle each feed until that point) so keep going.

JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 08-Sep-11 14:32:49

I've had such conflicting advice from all corners - midwife says don't worry unless she goes 4+ hours without feeding but everything I've read and looked at seems to say should be feeding every 2-3 hours sad
She does have waking periods but she doesn't necesarily want to feed in them and will have her mouth firmly shut (stroking her cheek to open it has no effect - any other ways?)
Thank you for all your help so far - I'm soldering on but close to calling it a day and expressing!

lilham Thu 08-Sep-11 14:38:16

A better indicator would be number of nappies, and her weight. We were weighed every 1-2 days in the early days. The reason for the conflicting advice is because every baby is different isn't it? Some babies are very efficient feeders and a 10-15 min is plenty. Others suckle all day. Also you can look at for signs of jaundice too. Is she getting a bit yellowish? Especially in the whitish part of her eyes?

JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 08-Sep-11 14:47:25

she has about 2 poo nappies and a few wet ones per day.
She seems to suck quite efficiently and gulps and gulps so perhaps it's enough for her?
No yellowness anywhere.

Bramshott Thu 08-Sep-11 14:56:40

With DD1 (prem and very sleepy) I used to feed her on one side, then change her nappy (which woke her up) before feeding on the other side.

RitaMorgan Thu 08-Sep-11 15:29:00

It's really tough when you have a sleepy baby - no tells you you might have a newborn who doesn't want to feed! I was waking ds for feeds every 2 hours day and night for the first couple of weeks before we woke up and started asking (and then he was feeding aboput 15 times a day!). The page lilham linked to above was really good.

Unfortunately many midwives and doctors don't know much about breastfeeding - you need to feed really frequently in the early days to get your supply going.

By day 4 your baby should be having 3-4+ yellow poo nappies a day.

As for waking a sleepy baby - I used to strip ds off, wipe his face and feet with a wet flannel, tickle his jaw and feet, stroke his cheek and lips with a nipple, squeeze a bit of milk onto his lips.

wolfhound Thu 08-Sep-11 15:46:31

If her weightloss goes over 10%, I would ask your MW if you should take her to the hospital to check for jaundice.

My DD got too sleepy to feed often in the first few days. She didn't look jaundiced, but she lost more than 10% of weight by 5 days - MW told me to take her in. Doc found she was severely jaundiced (which surprised him as she didn't look it) - so much so that if it continued to rise, she risked brain damage & death which was very scary. She had a night under the hospital UV lamps and was absolutely fine by the next morning.

She's 11 weeks now and very well (and a tubby little thing). She is DC3, and both the previous ones were mildly jaundiced so I thought I knew what it looked like, but apparently they don't necessarily go yellow - she was pink!

JazzAnnNonMouse Fri 09-Sep-11 21:06:04

MW came today - she has put on 5oz!!
She is now starting to ask for feeds and last night woke me every 2-3 hours herself :D
I'm so relieved, my milk has fully come in and is overflowing and she's lapping it up frequently. Panic over!
Thank you so much for all of your advice and support smile

RitaMorgan Fri 09-Sep-11 21:24:54

Well done you, now you can relax a little and enjoy your baby smile

lilham Fri 09-Sep-11 21:51:14

Nice one. Keep up with the good work.

Bramshott Fri 09-Sep-11 22:47:24

Great news!

posypom Sat 10-Sep-11 20:50:32

That's wonderful news! Well done! Getting this far is already a huge achievement so I hope you're giving yourself a huge pat on the back. I'm sure many people faced with that would've resorted to ff. Just stick with it - you're doing such a great thing for your DD.
grin

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