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Length of feeds

(13 Posts)
aliphil Fri 21-Sep-12 19:09:49

Just after I came home from hospital the mw was asking how long DD fed for, so I said it varied from 10 minutes to over an hour. She looked very concerned and said I should not be feeding for that long, 40 minutes on the first boob and then 20 minutes max on the second if DD wants it, and if I let her go on longer she would just be sucking for comfort. Is this right, and if so would it still apply now DD is 5 weeks? She is quite capable of spending an hour or more on each side. It's not that I don't want her to have all the milk and comfort she needs, but my nipples are sore, and sitting for so long plays merry hell with my still-unhealed episiotomy! (Yes, I have tried feeding lying down, but I find it really uncomfortable and she doesn't latch on well in that position.)

Kveta Fri 21-Sep-12 19:14:51

I think your mw is wrong! feeds last as long as they last smile they will get shorter as baby gets older, by and large.

if your nipples are sore, I suggest getting your latch checked (try finding your local la leche league leader) and really overdoing the lansinoh.

and for yor stitches - have you hired a valley cushion or the like? and keep on with painkillers for as long as you need them - I was still drugged up to the eyeballs using them several weeks after DD was born because I needed them!

RightUpMyRue Fri 21-Sep-12 19:28:52

3 principles of demand feeding:

Feed whenever the baby wants
Feed for as long as the baby wants
Feed whenever the mother wants

If you have seen your baby go through a sucking pattern which starts off with rapid sucks to get the milk flowing then progresses onto deep sucks and swallows, with pauses for breathing, then moves onto shallower sucks, as the fluid content lessens and the fat concentration is greater, again with pauses for breathing then moves onto fluttery sucking sometimes with quite long pauses (the milk at this point is very rich and the fat content is high). If she has pauses of over 5-10 minutes then you can judge she probably has finished that breast. If you gently lift the breast and she lets go easily you can then offer the second breast (always offer the second, she may take it all, she may take none or she may take take some- all fine), if she lifting the breast re-invigorates her sucking you know she wasn't finished with it and you'd better give it back!

Hopefully you'll see this suck/swallow at each feed. Your baby will give you plenty of practise at this so don't worry if you're not sure you've seen it yet, you will do.

RightUpMyRue Fri 21-Sep-12 19:35:08

Get yourself along to a breastfeeding group so someone can check your positioning and attachment. Much better to get it checked and corrected, if wrong, than to carry on and make yourself really sore.

You could try ringing the National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212. They can talk you through proper P+A, although having someone look at you would be a good idea smile

SirGOLDBoobs Fri 21-Sep-12 19:45:50

Feeding on demand is the best way, especially leading up to the six week growth spurt that will be coming your way soon.

However, if your nipples are sore, its best to have your latch checked. If you ask the MW or HV, they should be able to tell you where the local breastfeeding groups are.

Here are some videos on breastfeeding, watching some of them might help you pinpoint any things that might need a slight adjustment with your latch.

Where abouts on the nipple are you in pain?

aliphil Fri 21-Sep-12 22:44:19

If she falls asleep, then wakes up when I move her onto my shoulder to wind her, do I put her back on the same breast or offer the other one? Does it matter?

Hoping to get to the breastfeeding group on Monday. Apart from the first few sucks, and when she chews or pulls (in which case I get her off PDQ and try again) the pain is mostly between feeds, in all the nipple as far as I can tell but not the areola. I also randomly get shooting pains in both breasts at once (but not in the nipple), both during and between feeds.

I have one of these to sit on, but it doesn't help much; I end up with severe pain in the buttocks instead of around the open wound (stitches disappeared too soon)!

SirGOLDBoobs Fri 21-Sep-12 23:25:22

Does she have nappy rash at all?

ZuleikaD Sat 22-Sep-12 19:57:10

I agree with perhaps getting your latch checked, but there's nothing wrong with sucking for comfort at this point.

The valley cushion is a good idea too - I know our local NCT rent them out so may be worth investigating with your local branch.

ZuleikaD Sat 22-Sep-12 19:58:06

Oh, and the shooting pains in your breasts during feeds are probably your let-down - I get this as well, like little needle darts.

aliphil Sat 22-Sep-12 22:32:31

The pains aren't needle-like, more like someone's hit me in the boobs with a stick, but just lasting a moment.

She doesn't have nappy rash.

She's just fed for over two hours, and every time she came off seemed upset until I put her back on again. Then DH took her and she was perfectly happy, not rooting or anything, and when he handed her back to me she was still perfectly happy. confused

aliphil Mon 24-Sep-12 17:28:18

I went to the breastfeeding drop-in group and wish I hadn't. I was just starting to get a bit confident that I could tell when DD needed feeding, and wanted to know how I was supposed to know when to stop (see previous post). They told me that basically I am supposed to feed her every time she shows any kind of feeding cue and every time she cries, no matter how long she's been feeding for just previously, and made me feel like a bad mother because I don't want to have her attached to my boobs 24/7 and I do want to be able to put her down sometimes. sad I managed to drive home afterwards and then just sat in the car and cried.

The only plus side was that they told me the positioning and attachment seemed fine.

ZuleikaD Mon 24-Sep-12 18:48:58

Do you ever carry her in a sling? If you do, you might find that she actually wants to feed less because she's getting the comfort of being next to you. Nearly all babies love being worn in slings (often takes them a few minutes walking around to get used to the feeling) and it's incredibly good for them. You might find then that you weren't pinned to the sofa so much?

Also I would definitely use your DH for slingtime at the weekends and in the evenings - you might find the break good if he can take her out for a walk in the sling of an evening.

aliphil Mon 24-Sep-12 20:27:02

Oh, I'm happy to be pinned to the sofa (being a lazy cow), I just don't want to have to feed the whole time. smile I have got a sling and you're right, she does feed less often when she's in it. I just have to remember to put her in it shortly after a feed, so I don't have to get her out and untie the sling too soon! DH has his own sling as he doesn't like mine, and is happy to take her most evenings, but I can't expect him to go out for a walk in the weather we've had for the last couple of days. He works weekends.

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