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how can you tell if baby has finished/drained on breast?what are the clues? dont know when to swap sides

(13 Posts)
pregnantbabyelephant Fri 03-Aug-07 20:55:52

im finding it hard to tell when to swap sides bood does fel softer when ive finished feeding any other clues to look out for

uberalicelongbottom Fri 03-Aug-07 20:57:29

It's hard to tell at first, but it gets easier with practice. I find that ds loses interest and stops swallowing after a while, and that's when I swap to the other side.

lljkk Fri 03-Aug-07 20:58:21

MW said, it worked for me:

Let baby feed off of Breast 1. When baby comes off, seemingly satisifed (comes off of own choice). Burp baby well. Then offer Breast 2 if baby still interested.

Next feed, offer Breast 2 first, and offer Breast 1 as the choice after burping. And so on.

tulip27 Fri 03-Aug-07 20:58:52

yep i agree both of mine just fussed when the breast was empty so i swapped then.

pregnantbabyelephant Fri 03-Aug-07 21:50:31

thats sounds like a good idea ill try that how often do you think i should be feeding baby is nearly 6 weeks

notnowbernard Fri 03-Aug-07 21:52:27

Be led by your baby. Still best to feed 'on-demand' at this age.

BirdyArms Fri 03-Aug-07 21:56:46

With mine the swallowing slowed down to someething like every 5 secs or they started fussing. Am not an exert but have read before that getting the hind milk is a bit of a myth, ie there is some watery stuff at the very beginning then it's all the same. So don't think it matters if you switch sides before the first boob is completely done.

nanninurse Fri 03-Aug-07 22:05:28

I feed 10mins one side then, wind, 10mins otherside. Always start next feed with last boob taken.

pregnantbabyelephant Fri 03-Aug-07 23:56:30

birdy arms this has been whats worrying me that baby wouldnt get enough hindmilk but it does make sense what your saying
th whol foremilk and hindmilk just makes the whole thing mor complicated doesnt it
baby is still kinda on demand evry half an hour !!
quite tiring stuff
how long should i keep doing the on demand feeding till what age ?

maisym Sat 04-Aug-07 00:11:49

nanninurse - bf for 10 mins either side will cut the amount of hindmilk the baby gets - advice is to bf on one side until baby stops bf and to offer second side if baby wants.

pregnantbabyelephant Sat 04-Aug-07 08:44:28

any other clues ? or tips?

Jojay Sat 04-Aug-07 09:22:12

I'd heard about 20 mins each side, but my ds was a very efficient feeder, and would never feed for more than about 10 mins, and v.rarely took the second boob.

Others I knew would happily go on for 45 mins each side.

I think it depends on how quick your let down is, how good the latch is, and how much effort your baby puts in, to an extent, so it can really vary from person to person.

IIRC, babies usually come off the boob when they're not getting much, but if he / she is still going strong, I'd leave him for 20 mins, then swap over. That way you can be sure he's getting the hind milk.

It's easy to say, but I wouldn't worry too much about the fore / hind milk thing. Babies are very good at taking what they need, and as long as you don't swap over too soon, I'm sure your baby will be just fine.

At 6 weeks, IMO your baby should be able to go more than 1/2 an hour between feeds.

Try and make sure he's taking a decent feed each time, ie not just snacking. If he falls asleep after a few mins, wake him up again and try to encourage to take a bit more.

failing that, is he using you as a dummy??? Some babies just like to suck on something, adn a dummy could give you a break. They're not recommended during the easly days of breast feeding as they may interfere with your supply, but at 6 wks, your supply should be established enough.

Maybe next time he grizzles shortly after a good feed, try him with it.

Remember too, that he can cry for lots of reasons too, don't automatically assume he's hungry. He may be too hot / cold / tired / overstimulated / dirty nappy -you see the point. If you know he's had a good feed, check everything else before whipping out a boob again!!!

I believe this is now lots of babies end up needing to be fed to sleep. They're tired. They grizzle. Mum thinks they're hungry and whips out a boob. They take a few mouthfuls and fall asleep on theboob. Before you know it, they need the boob to fall asleep. And all because Mum thought they were hungry when really they were tired.

Anyway, I digress. Sorry to waffle on.


cinnamongreyhound Sat 04-Aug-07 10:15:34

I think timing depends on baby and feed!

My son was feeding for 1hr every 2-3hrs at 6 weeks but he got quicker as time went on.

He's changed so many times almost weekly the amount of time he feeds and how often. Don't forget growth spurts which throw everything out the window for a few days!

He's now 14weeks and he feeds for 25mins in morning (that's total feed from both breasts) and then 30-45 for the other feeds of the day. He was feeding every 4 hours but the last 3 nights he's gone through the night so he's back to 2-3 hours.

He knows when he's had enough for one breast and will let go, his feeding slows after first 5 mins which I have assumed is the beginning of hind milk but don't know. Sometimes he pauses and stroking his cheek or pulling the nipple gently will either start his sucking again or make him let go.

It took me a while to accept that while he's feeding I am in capacitated for a while and to let him get on with it! Enjoy the rest, read a book or watch tv but try not to stress! In my experience (only 1 baby!) they sort themselves out. I am still feeding on demand but his demand is pretty much in a routine now. I have a big baby who is now 17lb 14 so I think he can go longer between feeds.

Agree with JoJay, at around 6 weeks my son started to cry when he was tired when before he'd just fall asleep so you need to watch out for why he's really crying!

If you aren't sure if he's feeding, get rid of all noise and you can hear the swallowing which will let you know whether he's feeding or using you as a dummy.

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