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How do I get my 7 week old to BF for longer than 3 minutes at a time?

(5 Posts)
analondon10 Sun 21-Dec-14 23:05:50

I have a 7 week old son who has been breast fed since birth. He's never been a fantastic feeder, but now I am struggling to get him to feed for even 5 minutes at a time. He's not getting in much, because if I express after I get up to 125ml, and 160ml on a full breast.
He pulls himself off the breast and either falls asleep and becomes unrousable (tried changing him, undressing him, tickling toes, pressing palms, burping him) or else screams uncontrollably and shows no interest at all in going back on the breast. He does the same with a bottle, either expressed breast milk or formula. He is starting to fall off his centiles from the 9th to 2nd...we are back to the HV next week.
Has anyone any ideas for how to make him feed for longer?

VertdeTerre Mon 22-Dec-14 01:35:18

You could try doing breast compressions www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8:breast-compression&catid=5:information&Itemid=17 to get a bit more into him at each feed.

Please don't worry though about how much you are able to express, it is not necessarily an indication of how much you are producing.

It's good that you are getting some real life support. Has your baby been checked for tongue tie? How often is he feeding? Do you always offer both breasts? Sometimes babies scream at being offered the first breast again when they actually want the second breast.

squizita Mon 22-Dec-14 10:39:54

Compressions, massage and really heating the boob before feeding (hot water bottle or hot shower) all make feeding easier for me. My dd goes through fussy phases and I found those help.

analondon10 Mon 22-Dec-14 13:41:25

Thanks for the tips. I'm just a bit worried that he only ever gets the foremilk and that might be why he's not gaining weight well. I will mention the tongue tie tomorrow with the health visitor. He's feeding every hour or so still because he gets so little in each time. He doesn't finish the first breast and then is never interested in the second.
This is so difficult!

VertdeTerre Mon 22-Dec-14 17:39:53

I think you are right re the hind milk, but as you are also having difficulties with a bottle and with that frequency of feeding I suspect there is something else going on, tongue tie would be one explanation but I think some real life support is essential here. Hopefully your HV will be clued up when you see her, but if not, is there a breastfeeding drop in you can get to? Difficult in Xmas week I know.

Another thing that can cause frequent feeding is silent reflux, might be worth having a Google of that to see if that fits.

I think in this situation it's important to keep expressing, if there is something like tongue tie which means your baby isn't stimulating the breast in quite the right way, then you need to protect your supply until you get to the bottom of the issue and can get it sorted. And you should be able to get it sorted! You are doing really well to have got to 7 weeks.

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