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Breastfeeding takes 3 hours every time. Is that normal?

(20 Posts)
Vitka Sat 20-Sep-08 21:13:16

Hi,
Can anyone tell me whether it's not unusual for the baby to feed at a pattern my 5 days old baby is feeding, please?

She feeds for 3-10 min at the time and then falls asleep. I'd wind her and then after a few minutes she'd wake up and feed for another 3-10 min and falls asleep again. That continues for up to 4 hours (actual sucking time is around 30 min) after which she falls asleep for 3 hours until next time.

I'm always stroking her while she's feeding to encourage her to stay awake for longer. I'd also wind her and change her nappy in between her short feeds which seems to wake her up but it still takes 3-4 hours.

Nights are the worst as we are up until quite late as it takes such a long time to finish her evening feed plus another 3-4 hours during the night and then it's morning.

I love breaksfeeding her, it gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction but it just takes such a long time. It's only been 5 days now but I don't know long much I can take of this.

Will the situation improve as she grows up? Does it get any easier?

moondog Sat 20-Sep-08 21:15:29

Don't worry., It will get easier. Sucking stimulates breasts to produce more so that is what she is up to.
Sit back, get someone to wait on yuo and feel very proud. smile

charchargabor Sat 20-Sep-08 21:20:37

For a baby that small it is perfectly normal, yes. Has your milk come in yet? Any nipple pain, and does she look like she's latching on well? Newborns do tend to feed for a majority of the day. They have such tiny tummies which they need to fill really frequently. They also love to be close to you. Have you tried feeding lying down? If you can master that then you can doze whilst she feeds and get some much needed rest.

I found with DD that she settled down a lot at around 6 weeks. Before that, what with all the growth spurts and adjusting to life on the outside she fed pretty much constantly. It just gets easier and easier as time goes by and their tummies get bigger and able to hold more milk. DD is now nearly 14 months and on 4 feeds a day. You are in the most difficult part of breastfeeding, but you can do it. Best thing to do in the day is set yourself up a feeding station with drinks, snacks and remote control and let the feeding commence! If you get tired, take her up to bed with you and have a doze. Hang in there, it won't last long. smile

takingitasitcomes Sat 20-Sep-08 21:26:17

I second what charchargabor said about feeding lying down. I would never have survived those first few weeks had I not managed to sleep/doze while DS was eating. Hang in there though - it does only get easier as they get bigger and feed faster, and your milk will come in fully too.

pudding25 Sat 20-Sep-08 21:26:40

DD is just over 4mths. For the first few wks, it took forever to feed her as she just fell asleep all the time. Stripped her, picked her up, put her down etc etc. After a few wks, it got much quicker. Don't worry, it will get easier.

saggers Sat 20-Sep-08 21:31:20

Both my DDs were like this at first. As everyone's said already, it does get easier. You've survived the first few days, and it will get better. The first few weeks are the hardest, but it's so worth it when you come out of that. Just ride it out. Good luck.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 20-Sep-08 21:41:25

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whomovedmychocolate Sat 20-Sep-08 21:41:35

Yep, absolutely normal - DD did that too! Honestly after six weeks it really spaces out and gets much easier - but until your LO's tummy gets big enough to sustain her she needs a lot of feeds.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 20-Sep-08 21:58:28

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thingamajig Sat 20-Sep-08 23:21:51

What everyone else said, plus when you feel up to it go to a real life bf support group, they give you encouragement and feed you cake.

Cadelaide Sat 20-Sep-08 23:27:09

Oh god, yes, normal.

I do recall not being able to tell where one feed ended and the next began.

It's the blink of an eye though, honestly, before you know it there'll be gaps and you might find you even have time for a bath or something.

tiktok Sun 21-Sep-08 00:38:56

Vitka, feeding (like all other aspects of a baby's care) changes as the days go by, as your baby's needs change and develop.

Please check with the midwife and she will certainly explain that all is normal...please don't feel you have to stroke your baby for any reason to keep her awake for longer - stroke her because you love her, of course If she is doing well, she does not need to be kept awake by jiggling, stroking, or whatever!

At day five, you can check she is doing well: is she producing several soft yellow poos a day now (this is normal from about day 4)? Is she weeing plenty? Is her weight starting to go upwards from the natural loss in the first days after birth?

mamster Sun 21-Sep-08 09:36:53

My son is three weeks old and doing the same thing. Feeding takes about 2 hours then I get half hour or an hour off and we start again. I have a toddler to look after also so can't carry on with breast feeding taking so much time. Any advice?

tiktok Sun 21-Sep-08 09:42:41

mamster, it would be helpful for you to call one of the breastfeeding helplines and talk this through with someone - you can share more details of what's going on, and discuss options.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 21-Sep-08 11:21:06

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Vitka Sun 21-Sep-08 11:48:25

Thank you so much for your replies. You have really put my mind at rest. As an only child myself, I have never been exposed to babies so knowing that mine is doing what she's supposed to be doing is great.
My milk is in. I've read somewhere that it's called transitional milk? Do you know if I do have hind and fore milk now?

At nights, when she is on 4-5 hours feeding marathon I'm not sure how long to wait until offering her different breast. At the moment I'm squeezing a bit from each one to see if the milk is coming out easily. If not - I'd offer her opposite breast as I don't really feel by touching whether there is still milk left or not.

Little Alice was born weighing 8'15 and yesterday midwife weighed her at 8'12 (5 days old). She said that it's a good weight loss.
She is weeing lots and pooing a few times a day in a nice yellow colour with bits in it.

So, I'll just be strong and have naps whenever I can. It's reassuring that this will pass soon though.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 21-Sep-08 11:53:05

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tiktok Sun 21-Sep-08 12:35:25

Absolutely no worrying about hindmilk/foremilk....it all sorts itself out

Sounds as if you have been reading or hearing something about 'feed on the first breast until it's empty ' - aaaargh!!!! The breast never empties, and all the worrying about whether there is milk left or not (and the squeezing and the touching) is pointless, really . As Starlight says, your baby is your best guide about when to swap

Vitka Thu 12-Feb-09 09:12:15

Just a quick update on my almost 5 months old DD. She had slept through for the past 3 nights ( from 7 till 7) I don't do dream feed so it's 12 hours of solid sleep with no food. Am so happy and proud of my little girl.
Thanks everyone for your posts - you were right. I did get easier.

tiktok Thu 12-Feb-09 09:37:21



Nice to get an update!

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