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Newborn nurses for 5 minutes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey mamas! This site was a HUGE help to me 4 1/2 years ago when I had DS. I had my 2nd LO 2 weeks ago. I haven't been here in awhile but I knew this was the place to come with my questions.
DD was born 11/18. Since the day she was born, she will only nurse for about 3-5 minutes on one side at a time (occasionally 6 or 7 minutes). I have tried everything to get her to nurse longer. She just won't. She has been extremely sleepy and is just now waking up a little, but she just won't nurse any longer. She will go anywhere from 1 to 3 1/2 hours between nursings. At birth she was 8lb 6oz, next night 8/4, next night 7/11, next night 7/13, then we were discharged. I had major issues with DS but we got it all straight after lots of pain and tears and I went on to nurse him for 2 1/2 years. I went to the lactation nurse last week for latch help, but mainly to weigh her and see how much milk she was getting. Before nursing she weighed 8/9, which I was happy about. A little above her birth weight in a little less than 2 weeks. After she nursed she got just shy of two ounces. The LC had me pump the rest and give her 1 ounce in a bottle (my mom gave it to her and she took it fine). I've tried that a few times at home and she will not take a bottle from me or DH.
So usually I will nurse her on one side for two nursings, then switch to the other side for two nursings. I guess kind of block feeding. In my mind I wanted to do that to make sure she gets all of the hindmilk, but if she goes an hour or two between nursing I don't even know if that's happening. She has enough wet/poopy diapers. Is there anything else I can do to get her to nurse longer, or do I even need to try to since she seems to be doing ok like this? Im ok woth the frequent 5 minjte sessions as long as she's getting enough. I'm worried about my supply also.
post #2 of 6

I had sleepy babies too.   Can you have her a little less cozy to keep her awake longer while she nurses?   This may mean fidgeting with her toes or tickling her in some other way to keep her awake longer.  Bright lights, exposure to movement, odd sounds/music may be ways that also seem to awaken babies. Have you tried breast compression while nursing?   This would be you gently squeezing/compressing your breasts when she seems to have stopped sucking/swallowing regularly.  When she get to that point you are gently compressing and more milk is coming out of your breast for her to take in.  It can be a little bit of a 'wake up' and get her interested in swallowing/sucking again on her own more to increase the duration of nursing.  With breast compression you try to be as gentle as possible so that you are not causing plugged ducts or pain in your breasts. 


I am glad that you mentioned healthy amounts of soiled diapers.  You are going to make it through this stage ;)

post #3 of 6

Something to consider is that some babies will pop off the breast and seem like they're finished eating when they actually need to go pee or poo, so that sort of disturbs their feeding session long enough for them to get it out, and then they'll go back to nursing. You could look into elimination communication and try to observe your baby naked even during feeding with something protecting your lap to see if when she seems to be done at 5 minutes, if she actually needs to pee or poop. It has helped a lot of mothers figure out what they thought were breastfeeding problems and could be something that might help. Hope you figure it out!

post #4 of 6
Do you baby wear? Wearing her should encourage nursing, especially if the breast is bare. She will likely start rooting , even while drowsy. Many babies also like the motion as mother moves around.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much mamas

Coalifetime - I tried hand expressing a few times while she was nursing and that worked. during the day time I'm going to undress her more and see if that keeps her interested. Even if she's wide awake she just nurses for that short time.

Andreaolsen - I've started burping her when she pops off then offering again. Most times she won't take it immediately. But maybe 45 minutes later she does.

Asiago - I do baby wear. I haven't been wearing her around the house yet. I've only been out a couple of times and I wore her, she slept the entire time. Lol. Wearing a newborn is new to me. With my 4 1/2 year old I didn't wear him until he was about 4 or 5 months because I had so many issues with breastfeeding that it hurt for even a bra to touch my breasts, much less a baby!!

She is two weeks old now. Is the skin to skin benefit still there?? I need to do more of that for sure.
post #6 of 6
Skin to skin is always a benefit in my opinion. Not only does it encourage nursing but mother's body is so responsive to it that her body temp will adjust if infant is cold. Babies hypothalamus is immature and does not regulate body temp well and mothers body is designed assist. It also is beneficial during weaning if weaning is mother led,
when children need that body contact to feel reassured and to counter feelings of rejection. Yes, definitely, skin to skin is important I feel.
Best wishes to you and your little one!
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