My daughter is 16 weeks old today, and we have faced a host of breastfeeding challenges. She had a posterior tongue tie, which needed to be released twice, and I have an over active letdown reflex, so not the greatest combo. She was nursing 15 x a day before her last release, which was at 11 weeks. Now I don't keep track, but it's definitely dropped to more "normal" frequencies. The latest curiosity in our BF relationship is her disinterest in nursing while she's actually awake. I offer her the breast before naps, but she only really eats once a day while awake, just before her first nap. Every once in a while if she's really tired she will nurse before her latest afternoon nap, and nurse all the way to sleep. The other times I offer her the breast, she eats for maybe five minutes (max), pops off and starts cooing, giggling and stuffing her hands in her mouth. This is very cute, but kind of not the idea! I can feel my letdown, so I know she's getting milk (and she often has milk all over her face). Also, she is enormous! My breast never feels empty when she nurses awake, it's almost as of she just takes a snack.
DD has a tough time bridging the arousal gap between her sleep cycles, so I usually wear her or rock her to sleep, set her down and then return to nurse her back to sleep about 40 minutes into her nap. Sometimes I do this twice to get a two hour nap out of her. Again, I can feel my letdown, and hear her swallowing. She nurses for much longer, maybe ten to twenty minutes, and then ends with a few minutes of fluttering, during which she's not really eating (unless of course I have another letdown). This preference for sleep nursing results is a very long bedtime ritual. I wear her to sleep in the moby, let her take the 40 minute sleep cycle, then nurse on both sides side-lying, and then sneak out of the bed. This takes about an hour and ten minutes.
I am ok with this, but I'm a little concerned and was just wondering if any one else has encountered this. I think nursing may have been tough for her bc of her tt, and so she coped by zoning out and nursing in her sleep. Also, she obviously took quite a while at the breast before her tt release, and she often fell asleep before she was really full. So, basically we have established a proud tradition of sleeping at the breast.
I was thinking of starting to give her two bottles a day (expressed milk) before or between naps to see if I could get her to take more milk while she's awake. Any opinions on that idea? DD just started being able to drink from a bottle (before her tt release, the flow was too aggressive, and I felt like we were stressing her out, so I only offered her the breast). I notice on days when we are traveling in planes or on long car trips that my breasts feel engorged bc she's not able to sleep nurse as frequently as she is at home. This summer we will be in the car every weekend to escape the city, and I want to be sure she's getting enough to eat! I also hope (perhaps in vain!) that she might have fewer night wakings if she takes in more calories during the day. Anyway, I'd love to hear what people think. TIA!