Originally Posted by Tendaironi
... I figured that if it can take full-term baby to 6 weeks to catch on to breastfeeding then I was going to give it 6 weeks past his due date. ...
One of the first things I did was learn the lying down position for nursing because I was tired of holding him in place and I thought he would stay latched on longer if it wasn't me holding him place. ... But I recall reading Dr. Newman saying that if milk is flowing out babies will keep on drinking and I know that to be true with the bottle. The preemies will keep on sleeping and drinking down their bottles. So breast compressions helped Noah and me to keep on breastfeeding when he was soooooo sleepy.http://www.thebirthden.com/Breast%20...ary%202005.dochttp://www.thebirthden.com/JN%20Comp...pen%20eyes.wmv
It really sounds like Tendaironi knows what she's talking about. I can't add much but I did poke around and found what seems like a good article on Sleepy Babies. I hope it helps.
Breastfeeding After A Cesarean – Sleepy Baby http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/C...#Sleepy%20Baby
Scroll down about 2/3 down the page
The most important thing to do if you have a sleepy baby is to nurse as frequently as possible (at least every 2 hours),
waking baby up and stimulating him in order to get efficient sucking and longer nursing times. If he drowses during a feeding, keep waking him up and give him lots of time to complete the feeding. It is important to be sure that the baby receives plenty of fat-rich hindmilk
from an extended feeding in order to help increase his weight gain and prevent gassy colic (see below).
Nursing books and websites have lots of hints for waking a sleepy baby to nurse, including:
--Wake the baby up fully before beginning a nursing session; let baby have some 'sitting' time on your lap first (support her body with one hand, the other hand under her chin to support her head). If the baby is stimulated before you begin feeding, she may stay awake better
--Burp the baby before a nursing session; sometimes babies have leftover bubbles that make them feel full
--Don't overdress baby; heat makes babies extra sleepy
--Keep the room fairly cool for the same reason
--Don't let the room be too overstimulating or too understimulating; overstimulated babies tend to shut down in self-defense, and understimulated babies drift back to sleep easily
--Observe the baby's reaction and adjust the room lights accordingly (you may need to increase lights for understimulated baby, or to lower the lights so that baby can open its eyes more comfortably and look around)
--Talk to the baby constantly while nursing, and pat the baby frequently
--Undress the baby down to its diaper (be careful with preemies to preserve body temperature; use a light blanket if needed)
--Be skin-to-skin as much as possible (little clothing on baby, and your clothing minimal or opened so baby's skin is mostly against your skin)
--Avoid a tightly wrapped baby; remember that babies wrapped snugly in blankets tend to be sleepier, so unwrap that baby!
--Use a cool (not cold) washcloth on the baby; switch the area you use the washcloth on, rotating among head, stomach, and back frequently. Be careful with preemies to maintain their body temperature
--Stroke baby's cheek with your nipple
--Express a little milk ahead and dribble a little onto his lips so that he can taste it
--Massage your breast a bit while baby is nursing to increase milk flow, or pump the other breast while baby nurses
--Change the baby's diaper in the middle of the feeding
--If the baby starts to drowse, try to burp him to help wake him up
--Blow gently on baby's feet or very softly on his face
--Try the football hold (baby is less likely to fall asleep in this position than the cradle position)
--Change the baby's nursing position frequently (i.e., cradle to football hold to side-lying, etc.)
--Utilize "switch" nursing (changing baby to the other breast as soon as he shows signs of nodding off---see below)
--Rub/massage the baby (or have partner do it while you nurse); rotate between rubbing the top of the head, the bottom of the baby's feet, up and down the baby's spine, across the baby's belly, up and down its arm, etc.
--Interrupt nursing for gentle baby calisthenics like gentle baby sit-ups (sitting to lying down and back--don't force forwards)
--If possible, take a warm bath with the baby and nurse thereIt is important to watch baby's subtle cues for signs of wakefulness and hunger. It is much easier to rouse a sleepy baby for nursing if he is in a 'light' stage of his sleep cycle than if he is in a 'deep' stage of the sleep cycle.
Signs of lighter sleep include REM sleep (eyes moving around under the closed lids), grimaces or changing facial expressions, lots of limb movement, and sucking motions with the mouth. If you see these 'light' sleep signs, wake the baby for a full nursing session. This will be more successful than trying to wake baby from a deep sleep to nurse.Also watch for subtle hunger cues.
Crying is a late sign of hunger. Watch carefully for more subtle signs of nursing readiness, such as mouthing the hand, rooting behaviors, restlessness, etc. Be ready to put the baby to the breast quickly if you see subtle signs of nursing readiness.
One piece of advice often give moms struggling with a sleepy baby is to "switch nurse." In this, you wake the baby up frequently by switching from breast to breast often during the nursing period. Although this can be helpful, you want to be sure he does get some extended time on at least one side eventually in a feeding so that he is getting lots of rich hindmilk as well as the initial foremilk. Otherwise baby may experience a condition known as 'foremilk/hindmilk imbalance,' where baby gets the lactose-rich foremilk (which causes lots of gas) and misses out on the fat-rich hindmilk (which helps improve weight gain, helps the baby stool, and satisfies the baby's hunger more long-term). Signs of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance can include lots of gas, an unhappy baby, and frothy green stools.