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'snacking' bfeeding baby - any advice

(11 Posts)
kathhere Mon 19-Oct-09 14:38:38

my DD is now 5 weeks old & i'm still struggling with mix of ebm (majority of feeds) & trying to nag to bf ( feels like most of the daytime spent on the sofa. its hit & miss though she is putting on weight which is the most important thing.

When I try to bf, it feels like she snacks for maybe 8 - 10 mins at a time, so I don't think she's getting the good hind milk. If I nag her and wake her up, then she might go on for a few more minutes if I'm lucky but it doesnt feel like shes getting a good feed direct from me, and I am getting really anxious and stressed about it all.

If I let her doze, then she'll wake up hungry about an hour later, so she can't be getting full, can she?

I don't know what to do, whether to call it a day on bfeeding for my sanity, though the idea of stopping trying makes me cry, or whether to soldier on and hope that she's getting something in her

How can I get her to feed for longer and more thoroughly?

The problem isnt helped by the fact that she hasnt had a poo since Friday so I'm worrying about that too! (She is weeing though)


theyoungvisiter Mon 19-Oct-09 14:43:31

Unless there is a problem with weight gain I wouldn't worry about how long she feeds for - both my DSes were snackers when tiny and it never seemed to do them any harm.

Re: foremilk/hindmilk, don't stress too much about this. If the baby doesn't finish the breast then the next feed will be fattier - the hindmilk doesn't disappear, so it all evens out in the end.

I would go with the flow and what works for your baby - it's easier and less stressful than trying to shoe-horn them into a feeding pattern that isn't natural to them, and soon she'll start to stretch out naturally.

Am not an expert though, just someone who has bfed both my babies, so see what the others on this thread say - I am sure someone expert will be along shortly.

theyoungvisiter Mon 19-Oct-09 14:45:21

also, the hindmilk doesn't magically switch on halfway through the feed iyswim, it's just that the milk tends to get fattier as the breast gets emptier. But there's no magic time limit you have to stretch over to access it.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 19-Oct-09 14:45:44

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter.

Ok, let's back up a bit here. Why EBM, rather than direct feeding? EBM is so much more work for you. Are you offering the breast? What happens when you do?

Has your latch been checked by a BF professional (not a midwife or HV, someone who specialises in BF)?

How was her birth? How is her health otherwise?

The lack of poos is a bit worrisome, she's just barely old enough to cut down on her pooing. How is her weight gain, exactly?

The foremilk/hindmilk thing isn't as simple as you are saying - she may well be getting enough milk, and the right sort, when she feeds for 8-10 minutes. My DS2 never really fed for more than 5 minutes at a go, even as a newborn, once my milk had come in, and he was fine.

When she tires of a breast, do you offer the other one? Have you tried breast compression?

Alibooobaandthe40phantoms Mon 19-Oct-09 14:48:56

kath - everything you describe is entirely normal for a 5 week old. Their tummies are tiny so they can't take enough milk to keep them going for very long.

DS was a quick feeder too, but it means nothing really. All your milk is 'good' not just the hindmilk, so please don't worry.

As for the pooing, it's normal for BF babies to go for some time between pooing.

Sounds like you are doing a fantastic job, so try and relax and enjoy your baby. Get a couple of DVD box sets in and settle down for some lovely cosy days on the sofa.

Bramshott Mon 19-Oct-09 14:50:07

With my DD1 I worried so much about her 'snacking', and the necessity of "getting her to take a full feed" etc. However with DD2, I guess because I was busier, I wasn't nearly so worried, and just let her feed when she wanted to, not worrying about whether that was every hour! And somehow not worrying about it, and just offering the breast every time she fretted, made everything go much better! Some babies just do want to feed little and often, and the great thing about bf with that habit is there's no waste!

ChairmumMiaow Mon 19-Oct-09 14:56:28

I always think of the fore/hindmilk thing like a pint of full cream cows milk (or your expressed milk). The milk you make is just milk, its when you leave it to "settle" that it separated into the fattier and less fatty bits.

As I understand it, if your DD is snacking regularly then your milk won't really be 'settling' so she should be getting a nice rich mix. DS would also keep sucking slowly while he slept, and although he looked like he wasn't doing anything, every so often you would see that telltale swallow.

DS was always a snacker and I did spend a lot of the first 10-12 weeks on the sofa, but as he got older (from 5-6 weeks) he fed a little less regularly but was more distractable so I could go out more easily and make up for it later with a nice rest and some good BF time.

He's still a snacker now (solids and BM) at 21 mo, but I see that as a good thing - he only eats till he is no longer hungry, so I hope he won't have the problems with overeating that I have had!

HTH and you are doing a great job - keep going!

kathhere Mon 19-Oct-09 15:04:41

thanks everyone for getting back so quickly- didnt know if anyone would be there!

Im exprssing because we struggled with bf from the beginning, I was induced at 37.5 weeks and Anna was small (6 lbs 6), had ventouse delivery but been to see cranial osteopath a few times so hopefully not any lasting effects.

Anna was born with tongue tie (now been snipped) so latch not great to start with and we still haven't cracked it TBH, have had a few people round to help, NCT and NHS people, and advice has been good, but not really getting the hang of bfeeding completely, and I had the milk there, so felt like the best solution to EBM and bottle feed

When I do offer breast, she sometimes latches on for a few minutes but seems to get frustrated (lots of tossing head in other direction) and chews fists instead, though we keep trying. on other occasions, she'll get it reeally quickly and have a decent feed though

Anna had jaundice too so I was more concerned with getting milk into her any way possible to start, she still has a touch now. I think that initial worry of not thinkng that she would wake up when hungry hasnt gone away, and she does sleep a lot at night

I think I thought that it would be easier by now, but it just seems to be stumbling from one hurdle to the next (wrong metaphor but you know)

Anna now weighs 7lb 11 as of this morning, and has put on 6oz this week and 8 last week so its going the right way

kathhere Mon 19-Oct-09 15:13:03

what I meant to say as well is that I dont trust that Anna will get enough food from Bfeeding so I fall back on EBM as a comfort mechanism I think - if I try to bf for too long, she gets so fretful & cross that its just easier to give a bottle, but is that giving in? I keep going round in circles as to whats best to do

ChairmumMiaow Mon 19-Oct-09 16:03:26

If she's gaining weight, I see no reason to keep going with the bottles. If you're worried then keep getting her weighed regularly, but she is latching and she is feeding!

Have you heard about biological nurturing? Its basically a different way of positioning you and DD to feed in a more relaxed way. It will give her access to the breast so she can feed when she wants rather then both of you getting worked up about it.

You can read more about it here but it basically involves lying back comfortably and placing the baby on your torso. It encourages lots of skin to skin contact which will relax you both. Get a nice warm room and plenty of snacks and relax and see what happens.

You have the EBM to fall back on if you want but you might find that removing the pressure of pumping relaxes you a bit more.

Oh and my whopper of a DS was gaining about the same amount of weight (or perhaps a little less) at this point if that makes you feel better

NotQuiteCockney Mon 19-Oct-09 19:09:46

Ok ... hmm ... you deffo have enough milk in your breasts. If you're managing to pump enough to satisfy her, then your supply is great.

Unfortunately, bottles can mess up a baby's latch - in order to get milk from a bottle, your DD doesn't have to open her mouth wide, or suck really hard, which can't help.

Has anyone recommended tube feeding, either on a finger or on a nipple, so she has to open her mouth nice and wide? Or you can give the EBM by open cup, to get extra calories in, but not encourage 'lazy' latch.

Out of laziness alone, I would try to get her off the bottles ...

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