Mothering Forums - Reply to Topic

Thread: 1 week old - constant nursing Reply to Thread
Title:
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-11-2013 05:57 PM
kayleesmom Probably a growth spurt it will boost your supply
10-15-2013 09:04 AM
mamamayhem

@lilmamita congrats on your baby! Yes this is normal, it also part of a positive feedback loop to bring in more milk. Pretty soon you'll have so much that the little one might only feed for 10- 15 tops and you'll  have to figure out what to do with the excess. I'm not sure what your belief system is regarding pacifiers but the three hour nursing sessions wore me DOWN so I was open to idea and it's been working well for me. You might want to put the LO down as soon as he's drowsy and in his crib. Be sure to set the mood for sleep- dim lights. Many babies may not understand the cue but nursing in dimmed light  will disperse the hormone melatonin in the body which is an important component for snoozing.  If you're against pacifiers, swaddle him, nurse him and when you see his eyes closing  put him down. If he starts to freak out put your finger in his mouth and let him suck for a few minutes before drifting off. You NEED sleep mama. Don't be afraid to take a break, his stomach is only so big, he's mostly nursing for comfort. Good luck girl!

10-09-2013 10:22 PM
lilmamita I found out I have a very low supply. I am working on trying to increase it and started a new thread to look for advice from other moms who have been there. If you have struggled with low supply and have any advice, please comment on the new thread at http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1391237/low-supply-what-helped-you#post_17481756
10-09-2013 05:50 PM
rgill0522 Yes! This is normal for a breastfed baby. My first daughter I bottled fed, & my second daughter I breastfed. The constant eating had me worried I was doing something wrong. But she grew just like she should & grew SO fast. Whatever her age, I had her in double the size clothes. You are doing it right. Don't worry. Just protect those nipples! They could get real sore with all the nursing. Try to nap if you can. I couldn't. I slept for longer spurts the 2nd month. It is hard, I won't lie, but your healthy baby is worth it. I nursed until 14 months & she remained a demanding eater. Hang in there. It does improve. Keep your milk strong. I ate & drank loads of dairy & drank Mother's Milk (its a tea). It was helpful.
10-09-2013 05:21 PM
Mama0728

My baby essentially did the same thing as a newborn. I realized she wasn't "nursing" so much as she wanted to be latched and suckling. Many babies will take a pacifier as a trade off but mine did not. He will probably start nursing less as he is able to stay fuller longer when he grows bigger. Also, a lot of people will say pain when latching is a sign that he is not latched properly, but I think nipples also need some time to get used to so much nursing. I was sore in the first few weeks and then adjusted to everything and haven't had soreness since. Hang in there!

10-04-2013 12:05 PM
MichelleZB

I marathoned some serious Netflix during those early nursathons. I was so exhausted but now I miss it.

10-04-2013 11:49 AM
PacificMar

Like the other posters, I have both fond and exhausted memories of our daughter's nursing constantly during her first weeks of life. (She is now an active 10-month-old who still loves to nurse.) She used to have four-hour nursing sessions we called the Suckle-Fest, and we called her Chupamama and the Suckubus. Initially I'd nurse her with a bolster in bed, with pillows to either side, and I know I was in and out of sleep half the time--I was relieved when she learned how to nurse side-lying. (That wasn't easy at first for us because my breasts were so huge compared to her little head, and I had to stay awake to make sure she was positioned properly.)

 

Now that I've had the experience of newborn nursing, I remind my pregnant patients that the guideline of nursing every two to three hours is a maximum time most babies can go without nursing (except for perhaps one four-hour block at night--and I know there are sleepier babies who regularly rest for long periods in between nursing, but my little one certainly wasn't one of those), not the typical nursing interval, especially in the beginning. 

 

I hope all is going well for you and your normal, healthy new guy!

10-02-2013 06:04 PM
bunny's mama

adding my .02. my dd who is about to turn (!!!) 13 years old this month nursed just like your baby and I remember it like it was yesterday, partly because it was so hard for me.

 

here's two things i wish someone had said to me then:

 

1) follow your own instincts (the voice in your head that comes from your own heart-center and sounds like YOU, not your well-meaning  mom, MIL, husband, sister, grandma, or lady on the street)

 

2) everything with babies passes, everything is "just a phase." the first 12 weeks of nursing can be challenging, but it absolutely gets much much better. some of my most joyful mothering memories are of nursing my sweet ones (even when I was so sleep deprived I felt like a zombie). so HANG IN THERE!!!

10-02-2013 02:48 PM
Erin Morris

Some kids just really feel the need to nurse a lot.  My daughter came out ready to eat...nursing within minutes literally and would nurse 45 minutes an hour all through the night during her first few months and continued to nurse every two hours or less until she was at least 2.  My second child was much less urgent to feed and was able to settle without milk if he didn't get it right away and ask again later.  Neither kid ended up eating much food until 18 months old or more, and refused pacifiers.  

Lying down to feed and lowering my expectations (of what to get done) drastically and just going with the flow allowed me to enjoy the extra rest and/ or reading time much longer than those who just couldn't handle feeding "all" the time.

10-01-2013 01:49 PM
Mama505

Glad it is all working itself out mamita!  Congrats!

10-01-2013 11:09 AM
EliteGoddess

Totally normal.  Keep up the good work!

 

Do be sure to eat a LOT of extra fruit right now--about an extra 2 pounds each day (that sounds like a lot but it's not).  Obviously organic is best but get whatever is ripe in your area.

 

Be well.

09-30-2013 11:54 AM
rktrump

I didn't read all the posts, so sorry if this has been said (and I'm prepared to dodge internet tomatoes): Given him a pacifier.  When my guy was born I was completely against the pacifier, but come hour 24 of his life when all he wanted to do was nurse (literally every second he wasn't nursing he was crying, and in the hospital co-sleeping wasn't an option they allowed, so 1 minute of sleep for me meant he had to be off the boob).  At the nursery nurse's advice I gave him the paci, despite my fears of him getting nipple confusion or him needing it when he was 17 years old.  Neither thing happened, but it helped me get the rest I needed in those early days.

 

And, if a pacifier isn't helping, try different brands with different types (sizes, shapes, materials) of nipples, and try putting your milk on it the first time.

09-30-2013 07:15 AM
MaggieLC
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmamita View Post

Well, we have been all about side-lying nursing for the last day and a half and it has definitely meant more sleep for me. He's still not sleeping more than 2 hours at a time, but he now rarely nurses for longer than 45 minutes before falling asleep and staying asleep for a while. Amazing, folks...thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks for the tips MichelleZB. DH has started wearing him for an hour or two a day in the afternoons so I can get in an extra nap. It works well as long as DH keeps moving. And my dad is a bit of a baby whisperer, so he has been providing some relief during the day, too.

That is good to hear. Things get easier, day by day, usually to be replaced by an other challenge... that's parenting. learning.gif

 

I'm glad you're getting more sleep. Remember the 3 week growth spurt, which will be soon, isn't a "back slide" it's just part of the normal rhythm of the way babies eat and grow.

 

Try to go with the flow as much as you can. I'm glad you're getting help. Things do get easier, as you've seen already.

 

I did want to say, as an LC myself, I completely disagree with what the Midwife said her LCs said. I think the message may have been misconstrued. We only worry about the baby being on the breast "a long time" if they are not transferring enough milk in the beginning of the feeding, or are small, weak preterm babies who actually can waste calories from nursing too long (this rarely happens once a preterm baby is sent home.) As long as he's transferring milk (which you can see from at least 6 wet cloth diapers (5 or more disposables) and at least 3 or more poops a day) he can stay at the breast. Also, as long as he's getting the milk in the first part of the nursing, he may be "imprinting" with the breast firmly in his mouth, once he's gotten what he needs. A little loop goes from the baby's mouth to his brain: "This is what we do. this is what we do and how it feels." This "imprinting" seems to help babies get the hang of breastfeeding. As long as he isn't hurting you (always a sign that something needs to be looked at) remember the breast is more than just food. It's a way of calming and bonding with the baby and many newborns are really only content when they are latched on. That will NOT last forever, as you are already seeing.

 

Happy nursing! :Hug 

09-30-2013 07:06 AM
MaggieLC
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmamita View Post

My 1-week old son wants to nurse constantly. If he isn't sleeping he wants to be nursing. He will nurse for anywhere from 45 mins to 2 and a half hours at a time, sometimes switching from one side to the other and back again several times in one nursing. He often gets pretty tired while nursing and gets kinda lazy with long pauses or just sort of nibbling my nipple and sometimes falls asleep. But if I try to unlatch him, he freaks out and the only way to soothe him is to put him back on. I think he has a pretty decent latch. On the left side it doesn't hurt at all, though on the right side it is always painful when he first latches on, but fine once he gets going. I've watched the Jack Newman videos and he looks like he's doing pretty well. We are getting plenty of wet and poopy diapers. I'm mostly asking about this because it is getting extremely exhausting for me to constantly be nursing him for 2 hours at a time with only 1-2 hour sleeps in between. Any thoughts, suggestions?

Sounds like a normal newborn nursing pattern. It could be his one week growth spurt, also,

 

The first few weeks of life babies tend to want to nurse (if Mama is paying attention) pretty much all the time. All my kids did this, most of my clients kids do this (I'm a Lactation Consultant) and it is common for first time moms to have questions about it, as many of her friends are bottle feeding and formula tends to sit in the stomach and causes a delay in gastric emptying and the aftermath is "longer" spaces between feedings. Which in the opinion of most is not the "good thing" it appears to be. Remember the food is just sitting there as it is so difficult to digest. Human milk is easily digestible and so the GI system has a very easy time using it properly and thoroughly.

 

I always tell new Mamas, "Don't worry about the first few weeks and "getting stuff done." You're growing your baby, and that is really your only job at this point." The baby WILL space out feedings as he gets older. Then there are other grow spurts. Usually, at 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months and a year. They can occur at any time, but these are the most frequently seen growth spurts. Babies are usually showing other signs of a growth spurt: stretching, yawning, LOTS of kicking and moving, restlessness, irritability, and nearly constant need to be on the breast. A baby can grow an entire inch in 24 hours during a growth spurt, and your milk easily catches up to his needs in only a few hours, so DON'T supplement with formula during a growth spurt, because not only will it mess with your body's ability to increase your supply to meet his needs, but the brain and body grow at a tremendous rate during a growth spurt (as well as other times) and his brain needs nutrients that are only found in your milk.

 

It may be a really challenging time, but in the long run it is worth it plus you get to really practice and learn breastfeeding during these stretches of constant nursing. :)

09-30-2013 04:45 AM
haurelia Glad you're getting more rest. smile.gif
It does get easier after the first couple of weeks.
09-30-2013 01:21 AM
lilmamita Well, we have been all about side-lying nursing for the last day and a half and it has definitely meant more sleep for me. He's still not sleeping more than 2 hours at a time, but he now rarely nurses for longer than 45 minutes before falling asleep and staying asleep for a while. Amazing, folks...thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks for the tips MichelleZB. DH has started wearing him for an hour or two a day in the afternoons so I can get in an extra nap. It works well as long as DH keeps moving. And my dad is a bit of a baby whisperer, so he has been providing some relief during the day, too.
09-29-2013 07:16 AM
MichelleZB

Hang in there, Lilmama! Not only are the early weeks a blur of nursing, but everyone has an opinion and it doesn't really help.

 

When your son wants to nurse at this age, it is because he has a need to nurse. Whether it's a need to have milk, a need to practice latching on, or a need to feel close to you, those are all legit newborn needs. Try to doze when he dozes and don't worry about whether he is nursing too much.

 

When your husband goes back to work in a month, your baby won't be nursing quite this frequently and you'll have some more tricks figured out.

 

Meanwhile, some tricks might be nice. See if you can figure out how to latch him off while he's sleeping and lay him down. Give it a try each time. If it doesn't work, don't sweat it. Maybe it'll work next time.

 

Also, perhaps your son might enjoy sleeping in a wrap on someone else's chest while you get a shower or an hour nap. Get him all tucked in there and make sure the other person (dad?) is really bouncy. It is worth a few tries.

09-29-2013 12:18 AM
lilmamita Thanks Mama 505. Yeah, i got DH to arrange the pillows and while he wasn't quite as elaborate as your LC, he did a pretty good job. Just woke up from an hour of sleep...not bad.
09-28-2013 11:09 PM
Mama505

My DS1 was a lot like you are describing for what seemed like forever at the time!  But we were really good together at side lying nursing.  DS2 (4 wks old now) doesn't do the marathon nursing like his brother, but we were having a lot harder time side lying than before.  A LC came to our place and gave us some latching tips.  Then before she left she said she was going to get us set up for a nap.  We were already on our (family co-sleeping) bed, but she started grabbing pillows and got a towel and totally arranged us!  She got me on my side and put pillows behind my back and had me relax into them, then she stuck a pillow between my knees and another behind and half under my head.  Then she rolled DS2 onto his side and put a tightly rolled towel behind him with a pillow behind that; he wasn't swaddled, but she tucked a receiving blanket around him snugly.  I thought this was all very sweet, but who really goes to all of this trouble to nurse?  But this arrangement totally improved our side lying nursing!  Mostly I think it is him being on his side and me being comfortable and relaxed, because now we don't use all of the props... but it got us where we needed to be (i.e. in a land of more sleep)!  I hope this helps.  In fact, I hope you are sleeping right now!  :)

09-28-2013 10:33 PM
lilmamita A part of me feels like that is very alarmist. With him sleeping on my chest, I wake up to his slightest movement. I can't imagine he could fall or roll off of me and get wedged between the minimal space between me and the chair without me waking up.

Regardless, we've had some luck with side-lying nursing today so are going to give it a shot tonight. I'm also just resigning myself to only getting a few daytime hours of sleep every day since at night all he wants to do is nurse but during the day there are folks I can hand him off to for a couple hours.
09-28-2013 03:27 PM
katelove From a safety point-of-view it is not recommended that you fall asleep with your baby in an armchair. They can roll off your chest/lap and get wedged between you and the cushions.

Are you able to side-lie in bed at all? That is probably your best chance of sneaking away if he falls asleep.
09-28-2013 02:50 PM
lilmamita We've definitely been swaddling and that has helped a ton when he's fussy and or screaming. I think I'm going to start nursing pretty exclusively in the living room recliner instead of in bed. Cause a big issue has been that when he nurses to sleep, if I put him down (which I have to do in bed if I'm gonna get some sleep) he wakes up and wants to keep nursing. Whereas in the recliner if he falls asleep at the boob I can lean back and get some sleep myself while he sleeps on my chest.
09-28-2013 09:08 AM
cmu204
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmamita View Post

He won't take a pacifier. We just tried to give him one today and he won't suck on it.

It may have to do with the style of pacifier -- my boy did not like the soothies the hospital gave us, but loves Mam brand ones.

I can't remember if you've been able to swaddle him? That has been the key to my getting more rest. R has a really strong startle reflex and wakes himself up quite a lot, usually wanting a boob afterward. Swaddling has been a life saver in limiting the wake ups.
09-28-2013 12:32 AM
lilmamita He won't take a pacifier. We just tried to give him one today and he won't suck on it.
09-27-2013 11:47 PM
kaypea He won't be nursing like that in a month! As they get bigger they are more efficient at milk removal.

Perhaps he has a really strong need to suck - have you considered trying him on a pacifier after nursing is well established?

I feel for you, mama. My daughter was the same, and I was her human pacifier. But she started sleeping longer stretches at night, and if swaddled could be popped off the boob once asleep at about 3 weeks. By 6 weeks she was sleeping a 6-hour stretch, if swaddled, so I didn't mind as much that she was hanging off the boob most of the day. (Don't get TOO excited though, at the 4-month sleep regression she went back to waking every 2 hours)

Just hang in there, and find yourself some good distractions. This is really a special time. I remember feeling trapped under my baby, as you do, but once she wasn't a newborn anymore, and requiring entertaining, and moving around and I had to be on the go all day, I missed those all-day cuddles, staring at her little face, reading books and watching movies with a baby at the breast. Looking back, it was so mellow, relaxing and beautiful, and I wished I appreciated it more for what it was at the time.
09-27-2013 11:46 PM
katelove Unless you're really getting worn out, I disagree with the LCs your midwives work with (I am a midwife to FWIW). I think it is totally normal for a baby that young to feed longer than 45 minutes. Comfort feeding is a totally legitimate need for a baby that age. They are creating brain pathways and growing and developing in all sorts of ways which cannot happen properly if their need to feel safe and secure is not met.

I would encourage you to try side-lying again. It took me a few weeks to get it with my first babe. My best tip is to get yourself in a comfortable position first. For me that meant good back support. Then attach the baby. Maybe try it at a time when he is most settled and when someone else can hold him while you get sorted. And make sure you have your iPhone/book/TV remote control to hand as well.
09-27-2013 09:46 PM
lilmamita I was trying to implement the 45 minute limit this evening after the MW left but it's not really working. Nothing else soothes him more than temporarily. So here we are at around 2 and a half hours of nursing. I'm just really tired cause I can't really sleep when he's latched on and he only sleeps about 2 or 2 and a half hours max, so I only sleep 1 or 1 and a half hours a few times a day. Fortunately I have a ton of family support, so I'm not responsible for much else so it isn't a huge problem that I'm exhausted. So I guess I'll just keep up the marathon sessions. Once we go back home (we're staying with my parents now) and DH goes back to work -in about a month - I may have tofigure something else out to get my rest.
09-27-2013 08:33 PM
skycheattraffic Is it getting too much for you? If so then you can try to soothe in other ways. I find it a lot harder to soothe a crying baby who wants to nurse. If you're ok with the nursing then keep it going. He will slow down on his own. I'd only interfere if I was overwhelmed or felt stretched too thin. My girl was a marathon nurser in the early weeks but it was doable at the time and I was able to roll with it until her needs changed. Follow your instincts on this one. Certainly take care of yourself too
09-27-2013 07:45 PM
lilmamita Thanks for all the feedback, folks. I just got some kind of conflicting advice from my MW, whose advice has been really great and whom I really trust. She said that the LCs she works with say 45 mins is plenty per session and it's not worth wearing myself out by letting him just continue on. She suggested doing compressions for the first 15 minutes when he is most alert, then letting him go on aslong as he wants up to 45 minutes, taking him off and trying to soothe him another way if he gets upset. She said he's clearly getting plenty of milk with his number of wet and dirty diapers. So now I'm feeling at a bit of a loss as to what to do. She said since he amd I are a team, I should also make sure I'm not getting worn out.
09-27-2013 01:50 PM
kaypea Let him nurse all the time! It's what will ensure a plentiful supply. I was told nurse on-demand (even if that demand was excessive) for the first 6 weeks. Then you can start teaching him other soothing techniques.

The one thing I recommend, especially if your supply seems plentiful, is NOT switching breasts multiple times a feed. If you have a large supply baby can take one breast a feed, or even the same breast for multiple feeds (this is called block feeding, if you'd like to kellymom it). I'm not recommending block feeding for you at this point, only mentioning that some people do it, and baby gets plenty of milk.

But switching multiple times a feed might mean that baby isn't getting the richer, fattier hind milk, just the sweeter, waterier foremilk, and thus feels hungrier quicker. So try keeping baby on one breast, burping if he gets fussy, putting him back to the same breast, and then switching if he truly seems still hungry.

And I found that for truly marathon feeds, a little distraction in the form of TV or computer time while nursing did wonders.
This thread has more than 30 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off