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feeding or just sucking?

(12 Posts)
MrsMar Wed 26-Sep-07 18:06:25

My two week old seems to suck much more than feed, especially at night. Does this mean he's not got the hang of feeding yet or does this mean he's just not hungry? Last night (and for the past few nights) he's had a really good feed at around 11.30 and gone through to about 4am, but then it's every one and a half to two hours. I was wondering if this is because he's too tired to actually feed properly and isn't getting a full feed. I know he can go for longer when he gets a full tummy.

Is there anything I can do to help him get a good feed at night? I never know if I should let him stay on the nipple even if he's just sucking (I can't hear any swallowing so I'm assuming he's just sucking) because he may be getting a small amount of milk out. He starts off ok, he feeds for about ten minutes then he stops and pauses for a bit and then just sucks with none of the gulping sounds of before.

I've been feeding him in bed (propped up with pillows, dim light on) but should I get up and go in to the living room to feed him. Would that help? Or am I just expecting too much and accept that feeds are going to be all over the place at this stage?

I'd be very grateful for any advice, I'm slightly at sea with all this bfing, I've only just stopped doing 90 min feeds, cos he kept re-latching on and I had no idea that after about 30-40mins he's probably had enough and anything after that is just sucking.

LittlePoopsy Wed 26-Sep-07 18:44:08

Hiya MrsMars

Congrats on ur little bundle 1stly.
Sounds like you are doing just fine! Honestly, its normal for things to be all over the place, after all your lo is only 2weeks old!

Is it mainly at night your lo does this? Coz you generally have less milk during the night than during the day.

My ds is nearly 6 weeks and did the same, having a long sleep to start with at night then waking every 2 hours. I would generally leave him to break off himself when feeding(even if he was just sucking for long time after gulping finishes- he prob is still getting some milk just not the same rush as at begining of feed, especially if it has been 5 hours since last feed) as he wouldnt wake up at the shock of "where's it gone", a very precious thing right now!

I think your doing the right thing staying in the same room to feed him, going to another room will prob only wake him bit more

Sorry, just realised what a load of waffle that all is! But, honestly, sounds like you doing a grand job. Just remember that both of you are new`at this and everyday is a new day, and night.

Stick at it because it does get easier!

LittlePoopsy Wed 26-Sep-07 18:46:28

Sorry, really was a load of waffle, still got a wobbley brain!....

what i also meant to say was baby generally wont just suck if they getting no milk, have faith that your body will produce to their need; ie how long and much they suck.

MrsMar Wed 26-Sep-07 22:23:40

thanks so much for the reassurance littlepoopsy, it's so encouraging to hear that I'm not going mad! It doesn't help that my hearing isn't the best and I struggle to hear when he is swallowing. His neck is so tiny I can't really tell, and not really being able to hear it either I'm struggling to know when he's stopped feeding and is just sucking. I was probably being too paranoid after all the midwives warnings about mastitis and cracked nipples!

Thanks again and good luck with your ds!

bookthief Wed 26-Sep-07 22:27:58

I was told to look out for ds's temples "wiggling" to tell me that he was feeding well. Ds would comfort suck forever if I'd been able to let him - unfortunately an early bad latch had left me with very damaged nipples to I would unlatch him after he finished actively feeding and give him a finger to suck instead.

There's nothing wrong with letting him suckle if it's comfortable for you though.

Olihan Wed 26-Sep-07 22:33:57

Mrs Mar, I found that I could tell if ds2 was swallowing if I watched the underside of his chin VERY carefully. When he was sucking it would go up and down (that little double chin bit) then when he swallowed there would be an ever so slight pause then up, down, up, down, pause again. I had to watch him closely for a couple of feeds but once I spotted it it was really obvious.

The other thing you could try is switch feeding, if you feel he's not filling himself up. Basically, start him on one side, if you feel he has stopped actively feeding then swap him over to the other side and back again until he's so zonked he won't feed anymore smile.Swapping sides several sides during a feed means he'll get lots of lovely hindmilk which is the stuff that will fill him up!

Congratulations and keep going, you're doing really well!

MrsMar Thu 27-Sep-07 15:34:43

thanks for the advice olihan and bookthief... I'll look out for those signs. Last night he was feeding every 90 mins, and a couple of times needed the other breast, so I guess he's going through his 2 week growth spurt. Either that or I'm still not getting it right!

LittlePoopsy Thu 27-Sep-07 22:34:34

Hiya MrsMar,
Hope things going ok today.

Don't worry that your not doing it right... if your lo is feeding and happy between feeds then you are doing everything just right and giving him what he wants!

Stay confident, your his mum, and mummy always knows best!!

MrsMar Fri 28-Sep-07 17:00:23

Aw littlepoopsy, that's very sweet of you

I saw the mw today and his weight is down quite a bit, so I guess we've still got a bit of a way to go yet. I'm now topping up feeds by cup feeding some expressed milk, which should also hopefully encourage my milk production a bit too. Ds is looking pretty healthy, still nicely pink and alert when awake, so not suffering too much from weight loss, but it's still not nice to learn, esp after putting so much effort in!

fatslag Fri 28-Sep-07 17:07:39

Relax relax relax relax... tear up your baby manuals and follow his cues. Offer him both sides (my ds, 3 months, never says no!) Just try to go with it, have confidence in yourself and your baby.

MrsMar Fri 28-Sep-07 19:34:18

Hello again fatslag! I can't believe I've only just discovered the kellymom website, there are some great vids on there of hunger cues... been watching those and getting some tips. I'm quite tempted to up to 2 hourly feeds during the day no matter what the mw says about three hours.

jamila169 Fri 28-Sep-07 21:14:31

I've responded to your other thread as well mm
So your midwife is telling you 3 hourly is enough is she?
Total pants! breastfeeding can't be reduced to a series of charts and routines -it isn't a science, it's an art where you learn in partnership with your baby to meet their individual needs.
At a fortnight old my three have varied between every 45 minutes or so and 2 hourly - 3 hourly is the kind of rhythm you get into by about 3 months with exceptions for growth spurts and night time is another story entirely , that's when your hormone levels are built up by frequent feeding to increase your supply for the next day.
You really really need to get in touch with your local BF counsellor (la leche league nct or surestart can point you in the right direction) and ignore this silly ignorant woman who sounds hell bent on screwing up your breastfeeding experience
Lisa XX

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