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does it matter how long a newborn is sucking for? i'm worried she's not getting enough.

(12 Posts)
olivo Mon 24-Aug-09 19:05:42

my DD is 5 days old and has been slow with feeding. as she has jaundice, i have been advised to feed her at least every 3 hours, although i am offering it whenever. the thing is, she doesnt suck for very long before falling asleep; 20 mins at the most. i know every baby is different but with dd1, i am sure she fed for much longer and was not so sleepy all the time.

any advice please? the mw just said to make sure she was feeding often. i had to wake her twice last night for feeds!!

TheOnlyDailyMaleForMeisDH Mon 24-Aug-09 19:22:25

My DD fed for an hour each time from birth, DS started off a bit jaundiced and would feed for about 10 minutes and nod off. You can try stroking her feet as she feeds to keep her awake.

Look at the weight gain and whether she's settled and satisfied between feeds rather than the length of feeds. Your boobs are probably just quite good at lactating these days

olivo Mon 24-Aug-09 19:29:49

thanks. She is very settled in between, she just goes back to sleep (never thought i'd worry about a sleeping baby!!)

TheOnlyDailyMaleForMeisDH Mon 24-Aug-09 19:31:36

Well that sounds just fine then. Congratulations on your little one.

DS was very sleepy to start with, he's made up for it since hmm

mawbroon Mon 24-Aug-09 21:23:54

How are the nappies olivo? Plenty wet and dirty ones?

Sleeping isn't always a good sign in a newborn.

Sassyfrassy Mon 24-Aug-09 21:45:14

As you say every baby is different, some fast feeders, some slow. Mawbroon's question about nappies is spot on as an indicator that she is getting enough. Do you offer both sides at each feed. If not, once she is nodding off, try getting her to take the other side, possible doing a nappy change first to wake her up a little. If you count the feeds over 24 hours you should be feeding roughly 10-12 times at this age.

You might want to see if there is a breastfeeding support group or baby cafe near you. There's nothing like meeting other breastfeeding mums for getting some confidence.

iliketurquoise Mon 24-Aug-09 21:48:42

why 'Sleeping isn't always a good sign in a newborn' Mawbaroon?

mawbroon Mon 24-Aug-09 22:00:14

I say that because a baby who isn't getting enough milk can become very sleepy in an effort to conserve energy.

However, if there are plenty of wet and dirty nappies then the baby is getting enough and the sleeping isn't neccessarily a problem.

joyjac Mon 24-Aug-09 22:11:05

Three hours is a long time for a tiny baby, even without the jaundice. If you can offer every hour and a half for the next few days, and offer both breasts, it will encourage your milk supply and get the most possible in to your wee baby. Jaundice does make them more sleepy so she will not 'ask' to be fed like a newborn without jaundice would. have the dirty nappies changed from meconium to normal bf-baby mustard?
Mawbroon is spot on about sleep, especially at this stage and in these circumstances. Hope your little one perks up soon Olivo, and keeps you awake smile

Aranea Mon 24-Aug-09 22:19:58

Obviously you need to be careful that she isn't too sleepy, Mawbroon is right.

But to reassure you on the length of time she feeds for - my dd2 has almost never fed for more than 10 mins at a time. I did wonder a bit when she was a newborn but she was chubby and thriving, so she must just be a fast feeder. Usually she wouldn't feed for more than 5 mins on each breast, and it seemed to be plenty.

Also from 3 weeks she started sleeping 7-9 hour stretches at night (only till 11 weeks though, before anyone thinks I'm boasting!) and still seemed to be getting enough milk.

Having said that, she didn't tend to fall asleep at the breast and never seemed milk-drunk, so the situation may be different.

I'm sure if you keep offering milk very frequently (I think 3 hours is pretty infrequent, my dd2 wanted milk more like every 2 hours, sometimes more often than that) she will shake off the jaundice.

Gemzooks Mon 24-Aug-09 22:47:02

I would offer more like every 2 hours, also strip her off a bit, open the window and gently tickle soles of her feet and palms of her hands to stimulate her to feed.

olivo Tue 25-Aug-09 12:50:52

thanks all for your replies. she was up all night till about 5am, feeding every about hour and a half. i have woken her twice since 9 am and am about to again. her nappies are both wet and dirty, they have been changing over the past 24 hrs from mec to browny yellow poo.
I will offer her both breasts from now on - i had to last night anyway as they were sore! we seem to have sorted the latch though as it only hurts for a few seconds. I will also offer more often in the day.

I hope to go to a baby cafe later in the week; unfortunately, i cant drive following the CS and DH has been busy occupying DD1 but she is back to nursery in a couple of days so he can ferry us about more easily!

thanks again for your advice.

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