Breastfeeding Frequency? Help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi All,

I have a one week old baby and nursing is going pretty well. I am wondering if some veteran nursing mommies can give us some advice. How long should I let her sleep in the night before waking her to eat? She usually wakes herself up - but should I let her sleep if she does not?

Also, how long do you normally feed on each breast? I know it differs from baby to baby - but I have a hard time knowing when she's "done."

All of your advice would be much appreciated - Georgia needs her "eatlies."

Thanks!
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#2 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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Hi All,

I have a one week old baby and nursing is going pretty well. I am wondering if some veteran nursing mommies can give us some advice. How long should I let her sleep in the night before waking her to eat? She usually wakes herself up - but should I let her sleep if she does not?

Also, how long do you normally feed on each breast? I know it differs from baby to baby - but I have a hard time knowing when she's "done."

All of your advice would be much appreciated - Georgia needs her "eatlies."

Thanks!
If she was full term, and is gaining and having enough wet and dirty diapers, I'd let her sleep when she sleeps.

Feed on each breast until she's done and lets go.

-Angela
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#3 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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If she usually wakes up but there are a few times here and there that she sleeps, let her sleep. I had to wake my youngest up for EVERY FEEDING, day and night, but that is different - if it's just every now and then don't worry about it.

Offer the first breast till she comes off, then offer the second and see if she wants it, she may or may not, just let her decide. Then she'll come off when she's done.

Single mom of 2 boys
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#4 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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I let dd sleep within reason, but until she really began gaining well, I did wake her every 4-5 hours....

She eats until she's done and pops off- the end of a feeding is the most important since that's when they get the fatty hindmilk, so I never limit. If it takes an hour, it takes an hour, and I just prop my feet up and cruise MDC. Like now. I'm sure its harder if you have more than one child though.

mom to one glorious sweetpea born 10/18/2007.

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#5 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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If she was full term, and is gaining and having enough wet and dirty diapers, I'd let her sleep when she sleeps.

Feed on each breast until she's done and lets go.

-Angela
Agreed.

She will pop herself off the nipple when she's finished. Offer the second one, which she may or may not take, and just make sure to start with the breast that you last fed her on when you feed her again.

Sounds like you're doing great! Love her name by the way!
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#6 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all your help. How do I tell the difference between her being "sleepy" and "done." Any idea?

I'm sure breastfeeding is going better than I think - I just want to make sure she's getting all she needs and mommy can get a littlesleep as well!

Thanks for all your help!
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#7 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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If it happens from time to time, I wouldn't wake her up. It NEVER happened with my babies, though

When the first breast gets empty and my baby is not done, he gets mad at the boob and frustrated. He starts to pull and stretch the boob (ouch), and sometimes arch his back. It took me a couple of days to realize it was his way of telling me to change breasts, duh.

Also, at 1 week old, it's difficult to tell if she's sleepy or full. Usually nursing is a great task for them at that age, so they'll get exhausted for the effort and fall asleep before finishing eating. Not a big problem, she'll wake up in half an hour hungry again...
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#8 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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Thanks so much for all your help. How do I tell the difference between her being "sleepy" and "done." Any idea?

I'm sure breastfeeding is going better than I think - I just want to make sure she's getting all she needs and mommy can get a littlesleep as well!

Thanks for all your help!
Well.... if she's gaining and having enough diapers and you have no reason to suspect problems, sleepy probably equals done.

-Angela
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#9 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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When my babies were about a week old, they usually nursed about once per day. This feeding lasted about 20-21 hours.

Seriously, I'd offer the breast whenever the baby made any signs of hunger- rooting around, or crying, etc. I'd keep the baby on the breast until the baby stopped nursing. Then I'd burp the baby (if awake) and offer the breast again if the baby was still interested. I'd either offer the same breast again, or the other breast, depending on how full my breasts were. The first few days, when it was mostly colostrum, I changed sides often. When I had some issues with oversupply, I'd offer the same side a few times in a row.

I had full term healthy babies with good latches, and never needed to wake a baby to be fed. They woke when hungry without any prompting from me! But I do know that some babies are more fragile and can sleep too long and then not have enough energy to nurse properly, and this can lead to dehydration and malnutrition if not managed carefully. These babies need to be woken for feedings if they go too long without eating. Usually after a few days or weeks this is no longer necessary and they can safely be left to sleep until they wake up naturally.

If your baby is nursing plenty of times throughout the day and night, and is filling diaper appropriately (I haven't memorized the minimum number of feedings, wet diapers, or poopy diapers to watch for) then you don't need to worry.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#10 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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It can be hard to tell between sleepy and done; my dd usually isn't done until she is asleep. Have you learned to do side-lying breastfeeding yet? That will be so wonderful once you get the hang of it- you can sleep and feed baby at the same time!
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#11 of 11 Old 04-03-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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We had a different scenario here. When DD was in her first week or two she was more sleepy than hungry and would fall asleep at the breast really fast and wasn't feeding all that much. She was still having wet diapers but the midwives were a little concerned. Just about all babies lose weight in the first week but ours lost a lot and got into a cycle where she was sleepy so she wasn't eating much but then didn't have much fuel to get going and just dropped back to sleep. We brought in a lactation consultant and found that DD needed to be tickled, nudged, sung to, etc, to keep her awake long enough to eat (we used a stopwatch for a couple of weeks) and we had to wake her round the clock for feedings. If your babe is gaining well, enjoy the sleep. If the gaining isn't coming along it's always worth checking with a lactation consultant or midwife.

Mama to DD (06/30/07).
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