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Old Mar 15th, 2018, 08:52 AM   1
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Time baby is on breast varies every time

So baby usually nurses on one breast per feed for 12-15min. Sometimes he only does 7-10...when he does the lower amount should I pump for the remaining time? If I don't will it effect my supply? Should I start from that same breast the next time?
He is 3 weeks old and is gaining 1lb a week usually and nurses every 2-3 hours during the day and 3-4 hours at night so I'm thinking he may just be slowing down? I just don't want my supply to be effected.


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Old Mar 15th, 2018, 09:28 AM   2
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I don't know what someone with more experience would say, but mine is very much the same, though often will go back on a little bit longer. He tends to feed at each breast fairly actively for about 9 minutes and then comes off. I wind him and offer the same breast again. Sometimes he takes it, sometimes he's not interested, so I wait a bit. He may start showing feeding cues again within a few minutes or even like 20 minutes later after a quick snooze. I put him back on that same breast. I aim for 20 minutes on that side before I'd offer the other breast, but it's usually only one breast per feed (though several times a day, he'll take both and have a really big feed). My midwife told me to do 20-30 minutes per side and then offer the other side every feed to keep my supply up. Honestly, he just won't do that in most cases, even 20 minutes is a stretch for us. But he's a big baby (8lbs 6oz at birth, he's about 10lbs now at 3 weeks) and has always put on weight well. He's content and settled and not fussy between feeds. He's having plenty of wet and dirty nappies. I have a fairly fast letdown and for that first 9 minutes, he's gulping milk. I figure it's probably just the way he is and I've tried not to stress about it too much. I keep him going and offer the other breast when he's interested, but I also assume most of the time, he's fine. I've found as long as I drink plenty of water, my supply seems to be fine. If he does only have a 'snack' at one breast, yes, I do usually start with that side the next feed.

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Old Mar 16th, 2018, 10:15 AM   3
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Whatever you take out is put back in. Your supply tailors and adapts after the first few weeks according to whatever your baby requires at the time instead of being constantly full on like it is at first; it regulates. Pumping after your baby is done, unless you have true problems with low supply, will only cause you to make more milk than your baby wants and needs, leading to possible problems with discomfort, blocked ducts and mastitis, not to mention a baby who may struggle to cope with the amount of milk he is receiving. If you have issues with supply, however, it is advisable to pump of course until things are better.

His weight gain seems to be good, so I wouldn't be concerned he is not getting enough fat through his milk, though it is true that the emptier a breast, the fattier the milk, so it's fine to pop him back on whichever you used last if you want to and then let him go at it for as long as he needs, switching if swallowing stops and he still seems hungry.

It's hard not to worry about it sometimes, but babies are just like us in that some days they're not so hungry and just feel like snacking and other days they want several big meals. What's best about them, though, is that they know exactly what they are doing and when to stop - unlike the rest of us who frequently gorge until we are bursting and then wonder why we feel ill! At least, I do.

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Old Mar 16th, 2018, 20:36 PM   4
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I would just let him do his thing and follow his lead. So long as his weight gain remains good then try to monitor his intake by the number of wet and poopy diapers he has and not by how long he nurses for. If he just has a small snack then you could put him back on that same side for the next feed if you want, it just might make you a bit engorged on the other side if you do two feeds in a row on one side. Try not to pump right now if you can help it otherwise you could end up with oversupply which isn't fun for either mom or baby. Both my babies would feed from only one breast at a time and rarely fed for more than 10 min even as newborns, but I've always had a massive supply with a very forceful letdown so they get a lot of milk in a short period of time.

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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 16:26 PM   5
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If the difference in some feeds is only 2 minutes, then I really wouldn't worry. Watch your baby, not the clock. If your baby is having lots of wet and dirty nappies, and seems content after a feed and is gaining weight, then your milk is doing its job.

I have always had a lower supply on my left hand side than my right, but it's not something I was ever concerned about.

Also remember, pumping does not replace the action of your baby feeding, and will be time consuming and - if your baby is thriving as mentioned above - there is really no need.

Eyes off the clock, mama!

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