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Baby falling asleep on breast - becoming a huge problem

(16 Posts)
McSnail Wed 16-Sep-09 18:14:41

Hi there - my baby falls asleep on the breast very early on - I have tried everything I can think of - frequent winding, playing with her feet to wake her up, even stripping her off so she's a bit cold/more awake.

This is affecting her feeding - I don't think she's getting enough milk even though I can go literally all day with her on my boobs. I feel like I'm permnanently BFing, with the odd ten minute break now and then when partner takes her off my hands.

The other thing is that she won't sleep unless she's on the breast. She'll fall asleep, I'll put her down and her eyes fly open and she starts to scream. Things are really difficult right now and I don't know what strategies to use to try to remedy the situation.

McSnail Wed 16-Sep-09 18:15:11

She's three and a half weeks old.

cktwo Wed 16-Sep-09 18:17:51

You have my sympathies, as it does feel like baby is permenantly attached when they are so young. How long does it take until she falls asleep? 5 mins? 10 mins?

McSnail Wed 16-Sep-09 18:23:24

Sometimes ten minutes, sometimes five minutes, sometimes even less! That's why I have to keep keep her on ALL THE TIME. She obviously gets comfort from BFing, but so much that she 'forgets' to actually feed.

Am at wit's end. HV has suggested topping up with formula. She's hardly put on any weight - she gets weighed again on Friday and I'm worried she'll actually start losing weight.

CarGirl Wed 16-Sep-09 18:29:07

can you express & give her some in a bottle if her weight is a concern? I think it seems to be a bit of a viscious circle, she needs to suckle to sleep/be relaxed and the more she does that the more she depends on it?

I would recommend going to see a cranial osteopath it could be that she has issues in her neck or head that suckling is relieving?

McSnail Wed 16-Sep-09 18:36:15

I do express, but it takes about three hours to get 50mls of milk.

tiktok Wed 16-Sep-09 18:38:24

mcsnail - I agree this is a concern, coupled with the weight thing. Can you post her exact weights?

The sleeping may be a symptom not a cause ie she is sleepy because she lacks the energy to stay awake and feed and she conserves calories that way.

Answer would be to make sure she gets enough milk in, perhaps by expressing and using a bottle, to perk her up.

CarGirl Wed 16-Sep-09 18:40:39

If weight is an issue then I would give the odd formula feed. I bf my 3 youngest but with 2 of those they all had the occasional bottle of formula when I couldn't express enough and was too sore/knackered etc.

The odd ff is probably less likely to be an issue than topping up after every feed.

You really need some expert advice on this (I;m just a mum) but if your baby isn't gaining weight she could just be getting weaker and weaker? Is that something you think may be happening?

Have you looked at the kellymom website?

McSnail Wed 16-Sep-09 18:44:01

Oh God - I hadn't thought she might be weak.

I'm going to a BF clinic tomorrow, and I'll also be seeing HV on Friday. So knackered and anxious.

CarGirl Wed 16-Sep-09 18:45:54

glad to see you on the thread tiktok!

Please don't worry about ff being the beginning of the end it rarely is.

tiktok Wed 16-Sep-09 19:24:23

It's good you are seeking out expert help, McSnail.

I agree - formula does not mean the end of bf.

But there is no certainty here formula is the only response.

It's really important to consider her sleepiness being a result of a lack of energy, though. When she becomes more energetic she will feed better and more.

Longtalljosie Thu 17-Sep-09 06:59:03

Are you expressing while she's on the other boob? It's amazing how much more efficient that is...

cory Thu 17-Sep-09 09:56:29

my dd did exactly the same and ended up very weak in the end

topping her up with ebm turned it round for us

only found out later that the reason would have been hypotonia- floppy muscle tone

ds displayed same symptoms, but this time we were alert and started topping up much earlier- have only recently had it confirmed that he has the same disorder which causes hypotonia; with him we used a combo of ebm and formula (I was not very well)

IsItMeOr Thu 17-Sep-09 12:37:08

Hello McSnail, just wanted to say that your baby sounds very similar to my ds. He dropped from the 40th percentile at birth to 9th percentile by 3 weeks. Like you I couldn't express anything very much, I suspect because I never got a decent break when he wasn't feeding.

It took me a while to twig that he also wasn't sleeping very much between feeds, and I eventually concluded that he was multi-tasking - napping and feeding at the same time. Until about week 12 (sorry, know that will feel like a life sentence right now), I spent about 10 hours a day feeding him.

This might sound weird, but when he wasn't feeding, you could hear and feel his digestion going like the clappers - he was so obviously uncomfortable with it. But he hardly ever cried, despite having all the other markers of a colicky baby. So, in my more zen moments, I realised that at least the BFing was comforting him, which is pretty good going for a colicky baby. And I'd rather cuddle a sleepy-feeding baby than try to comfort one crying for hours any day.

At around 12-13 weeks he suddenly started not falling asleep every time, started sleeping better at night (daytime naps improved a little later) and his weight suddenly jumped up to 25th percentile where it stayed last time I weighed him. I concluded he was just using his energy trying to cope with the discomfort the best way he could, and when he didn't have to deal with that anymore he was able to put the calories into gaining weight.

Sorry for the ramble, but hope there is something in here that might help you.

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 17-Sep-09 12:42:57

Message withdrawn

milkshakes Mon 21-Sep-09 13:37:14

I also have a baby that likes to fall asleep on the breast and who sucks for what seems an eternity!!! I totally sympathise with mcsnail and appreciate all the advice so far.

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