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how short a feed is too short

(17 Posts)
forevermore Mon 05-Oct-09 18:17:20

my DD is 5.5 weeks now and for the last week or so was feeding every hour for 5 min then for a couple of days 2 hourly feeds for longer: 10-20 min; and now every two hours for 10 mins or less. she is also extremley sleepy (well i think she may just be more settled actually; previously always crying to be held).

i have also noticed that her poos have gone from 4-8x over 24 hours to 2x every 24 hours.

i am getting seriously worried that she is not feeding for long enough to get the right amount of calories.

she is also fussing at the breast a lot in the evening when she cries and tugs my nipple in between taking glups of milk; this went on for about 2 hours last night. then other times completely calm...hmm

BTW she is hard to burp sometimes...could this be colic?

what is going on?

cassell Mon 05-Oct-09 18:37:14

I'm no expert but basically if she is putting on weight, you're getting lots of wet nappies and she is generally healthy then I expect she is getting sufficient.

Babies do get more efficient at feeding so they don't need to feed for such a long time. My ds used to feed for c30mins but that has slowly decreased and now he will be done in 5-10mins (he is 6mo now).

Also the number of poos does generally decrease as they get older (my ds is now down to about 1 every 24hr from what seemed liked 1 every hr!).

The fussing, not sure, but ds certainly goes through phases of fussing more than others. It may be wind, have you tried giving her infacol or something before a feed to see if that makes it easier to get the wind up? (I used this with ds only for evening feeds for the first few months and it really helped).

If you're concerned maybe speak to your hv for some reassurance?

forevermore Mon 05-Oct-09 19:35:01

my HV gives zero reassurance. never really saying anything with confidence or telling me anything i don't know already. this evening so far has been a combination of fussing and NOT feeding.

i am ready to give up which is really upsetting because i thought i had cracked it as i got through the bleeding nipple / urting stage now this 'nursing strike' (can't think what else to call it).

i think its time for formula for the sake of my sanity. i will wait till i get her weighed and if no significant gain i will switch then. she had gained last week but that was prior to all of this..........

slushy06 Mon 05-Oct-09 19:44:41

forever try not to panic your milk may come out very fast I bf my ds for 2 years and am now bf 10 week dd and both have a five to ten minute feed everytime. The poos usually cut down after a few weeks IME and as your milk might be coming out fast that would explain the colic both my children had colic due to the speed of my flow till about 8 weeks until they learnt to handle it.
You are doing wonderful and a hungry baby will not stop screaming I would take her to be weighed frequently to reassure you that she is gaining weight everyone has different boobs and different flows and latches try not to worry to much.

forevermore Mon 05-Oct-09 20:43:59

slushy thanks for your post. did your LOs feed very often and how young were they when they could feed for 5-10 min?

devilsadvocaat Mon 05-Oct-09 20:49:54

both ds1 and 2 ranged from hour long feeds to 5 min feeds. normal imo

also, bf babies start to not poo as much after a while because bm is so perfectly tailored to your baby that it is all digested. or something like that...

try a sling to space out the feeds? or a dummy? anything to give you some space if you need it.

hope someone more knowledgeable comes soon...

TheProvincialLady Mon 05-Oct-09 20:55:36

I had a similar experience with DS2 feeding for very short times and not that often. I kept a record of when he fed and at less than one week he was taking 5 minutes no more than every 2 hours, and that was only because I woke him. I had a thread on MN saying how worried I was about it. At 6 weeks he was going for hours between feeds and Tiktok suggested I may have a very generous supply - well, she was right. I am still feeding him now at 9m and it has been a breeze, especially compared with those mothers whose babies feed for hours at a time.

If your DD is gaining weight and weeing plenty then there is no need to worry about her. The fussing over feeding could be due to an over enthusiastic let down, or it could be just something that babies her age often do in the evenings. DS1 did and he was bottle fed. It did calm down after a few weeks but lots of babies are unsettled in the evenings no matter how they are fed.

It sounds like you are doing fantastically well but lacking in confidence (no surprise when you can't trust your HV). Have you considered going to a BF group? I found it really helpfl in the early days to be around other BF mums, especially as there were others who had experienced similar things.

slushy06 Mon 05-Oct-09 21:22:38

Mine always feed at 5 to 10 mins and usually had 1 or 2 long feeds at some point during the day but when they were younger they would attach constantly but as they got older they fed about every hour. Although on my ds at the start he would feed for longer I think mostly because I was finding it difficult to attach him.
If you can I would defo join a bf group as there is usually a councilor there who will be more supportive than your hv.

forevermore Mon 05-Oct-09 21:27:26

yes definetly lacking in confidence and really unsure. i think prior to giving birth I kind of envisioned what breastfeeding would be like and up to last couple of weeks it was fitting the picture.....hours feeding, sore nips, no life aside from feedingsmile, so i think i wasn't too bothered when all of the above happened.

now this and i think oh no its going HV visitor has not helped at all, my DD has had 4 courses of thrush treatment and still has a white tonue and now she is saying maybe its milk residuehmm never any real answers.

i will force myself to not panic and just feed when she likes and for how long and how often and go for the weigh in at the end of the week for reassurance.

Aranea Mon 05-Oct-09 21:31:21

Don't panic! My dd2 could feed quite adequately in 5 mins from when she was a newborn. She used to feed fairly frequently, about every 2 hours, but was definitely satisfied after 5 mins. And she was always on the 75th centile and followed her curve perfectly.

When she was about 6 weeks iirc she began to have a bit of trouble feeding, would come off screaming after a minute or two. Bf counsellor suggested it was silent reflux, but actually I think I had an oversupply problem. I spent 24 hours reducing it by feeding on one breast repeatedly before switching to the other, and it seemed to solve the problem. I also took her to a cranial osteopath, so it may have been that which did the trick!

It doesn't sound as though you have anything to worry about at the moment. If she is still gaining weight you have no reason to think there is a problem really. Don't worry too much. Bf is very mysterious because you can't see what is going on, and IME problems resolve themselves without your ever quite figuring out what was going on! Things become a lot easier after about 12 weeks, when your supply drops a bit I think (so solves any oversupply issues) and the baby is bigger and stronger and generally better at feeding.

Aranea Mon 05-Oct-09 21:33:38

Cross-posts.... just read about the thrush treatment. A bf counsellor told me dd1 had thrush when she was tiny. I think actually it was milk residue. The treatment made her sick and made no difference to anything.

minicorrect Mon 05-Oct-09 21:41:05

My LO has always fed for around 5 minutes. In the beginning I used to really worry that there was something very wrong as the lactation consultant at the hospital was insistent she should feed for 20-25 minutes. However, she has continued to put on weight at a steady rate (although only on the 0.4th centile being IUGR). But it works for her and there is nothing I can do to make her take more if she doesn't want it - and believe me I tried!
I do think babies become very efficient as they get used to it. Try not to worry - as others have said there are lots of signs to look out for that should reassure you that all is well.

congalikeyoumeanit Mon 05-Oct-09 22:23:33

I second what Aranea said, my DD fed (from birth) well on 5 minute feeds. She used to feed every 2-3hrs and usually for 5 minutes, on a very hungry day for 10 mins.

My HV asked about how long she would feed for, when I said 5 mins she looked very worried and stayed til it was time for me to feed DD to observe. Everything was fine and she decided that DD must just be an efficient feeder!

DD did have colic though, she became very hard to burp (try the colic cradle hold, the cycling of the legs, the on tummy over the knee etc etc) and when it was bad she became fussy on the boob because I think she must of been in pain. It went as she got older.

kittywise Mon 05-Oct-09 22:27:44

None of my 6 have fed for longer than 10 mins each time. The average was 5 mins. They are all very fit and very healthy, don't worry.
The HV was always saying they were feeding for too short a time, not getting hindmilk etc. that was utter rubbish, they were just very efficient at emptying the

Skillbo Mon 05-Oct-09 22:45:54

Can I just echo what everyone has been saying. I really worried as my DD cut down to 10 minute feeds at about your lo's age. However, she has carried on gaining weight and I'm no longer worried.

She is also my first and I think you worry so much about things so much. With regards the squirming/colic - my DD also had this and have since seen that I have an amazingly fast flow so what others have mentioned is no making perfect sense!

MN is so good at putting your mind at rest and learning so much so please keep posting as you will always get a sympathetic ear / good advice!

tiktok Mon 05-Oct-09 23:49:06

forevermore - nothing you have posted here or last week makes it sound like there is anything wrong, honestly.

4 course of thrush treatment in 5.5 weeks sounds a lot like it's not needed! Babies' tongues are naturally whitish and milk residue can stick around. Thrush on the tongue is easily spotted normally - sounds like your HV is a bit useless if she confuses milk residue with thrush

Everything you say about feeding frequency, time on the breast, behaviour between feeds =, sometimes fussy sometimes not, and her all sounds pretty normal.

Don't worry about burping - if she doesn't burp, no big deal!

You ask what's going on. On the basis of what you say here, 'what's going on' is all good

forevermore Tue 06-Oct-09 17:28:07

thanks to mumsnetters that have put my mind at rest, i feel a lot more confident after reading your posts

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