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Length of feeds - help please!

(6 Posts)
PennyBenjamin Tue 28-Oct-08 14:25:48

When DS was born I had trouble getting breastfeeding established in the early days, he had real trouble latching on. He had a severe tongue tie, which I mentioned when he was born, but they said they didn't advise doing anything about it. Within a couple of weeks he was feeding well on both sides, although it was still very painful for me.

Anyway, 6 weeks on breastfeeding was getting increasingly painful for me, not least because he was feeding for an hour and a half or more at a time - not all in one go, he would come off and on again, but he wouldn't show signs of being satisfied for a very long time.

Eventually we saw a specialist about his tongue tie, who advised having it snipped, which we did.

DS is now 8 weeks, and feeding is no longer painful, but he is still feeding for 1 1/2 hours at a time, and feeds are usually about 3 to 3 1/2 hours apart.

I'm concerned about him having to feed for so long, as everyone else I know seems to be able to do a full feed in 20 - 40 minutes. Also, he was 75th percentile when he was born, and is now down to 50th percentile - I know this is fine, and not necessarily anything to worry about, but I am concerned that he's not getting enough to eat and not maintaining his weight.

Help please! Is this normal? Am I worrying over nothing? Is there anything I can/should do?

Anglepoise Tue 28-Oct-08 15:15:30

Is he swallowing all the way through a feed, ie are you sure he's still actually eating and not just using you as a dummy?

PennyBenjamin Tue 28-Oct-08 16:28:48

That's a good question - as far as I can tell, he is swallowing all the way through, although it is more obvious at the beginning of a feed.

I guess I'm just concerned that he's not feeding efficiently enough, and therefore gets tired and drops off way before he's full, which means he's awake and rooting again within 15 minutes. This goes on for however long it takes for him to actually fill himself up, but that takes a long time.

Could it be that he's not learnt to feed effectively because of the tongue tie, and even now that is gone he's still feeding in the wrong way?

it might be a good idea to have someone check your positioning and latch.
but some babies just feed for longer than others as well.
(and remember: a dummy is a boob replacement, not the other way around!!)

witchandchips Tue 28-Oct-08 16:38:16

I think its perfectly normal if perhaps not ideal for you. Some babies feed every hour for 10 mins, some are like yours (mine fed for a full hour every two hours!). It will speed up in time and then you will start to worry because he can't gave got what he needs in only 10 mins!

CalE Wed 29-Oct-08 21:25:21

Lots and lots of sympathy for you! I nearly gave up at 5 weeks when i'd had DD on the boob for 3hours!!! Yes, 3!! Of course, she wasn't feeding at all, just using me as a dummy. I was so scared of trying dummies cos of what HV and MW said about them and nipple confusion, but in the end was getting demented about the amount of time she took and crying when she wasn't on the boob! Anyway, to cut a long story short, i gave her an actual dummy for a couple of weeks between feeds and she gradually got the message. She's much faster now, tho occasionally likes an hour of leisurely feeding. Stick with it, it'll get better!!!

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