How do I keep LO awake and feeding properly

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by ellie27, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. ellie27

    ellie27 Well-Known Member

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    Lo is 15 days old.

    He just doesnt seem interested in bf!!

    He goes on hungrily, latches well (as told so by midwife) but within a few mins is not sucking/swallowing and is simply just chomping lightly and then drifts off to sleep. It feels like he is just tickling the nipple. I find it difficult to get him to take a big mouthful too and it often looks like he is just nipple-feeding so have to re-latch him.

    I strip him down, cold cloth on face, tickle face and feet, blow on him during feeds, switch him to other breast.....to try keep him interested.....nothing seems to work!!!

    My breasts are not filling up and feel no different after a feed so I reckon he is getting very little.

    He is still below his birthweight. He has gained 2 oz in weight in the last 3 days. Yesterday he was topped up twice - 2 oz each time (half EBM and half formula)

    I am at home with a 22 month old toddler and cannot get the time to feed for an hour then pump for an hour and then start again......

    Any advice is welcome!!
    Thanks!
     
  2. lisaf

    lisaf Super tired new mom

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    Quick question - do you want to be combi-feeding or are you doing that to be sure he gets enough? Just letting you know that by supplementing with formula this early, you may actually hurt your supply and not have enough for him. He needs to suck to stimulate your body and tell it how much to make, so by filling him up with formula, he's not sending your body all the signals it needs to meet his demand.

    The #1 complaint at the BFing support group I went to early on was sleepy babies. Its VERY normal.
    As for weight gain, I wouldn't weigh him so often to monitor gain unless you are required to by your doctor/HV. It can really fluctuate a lot and they may gain slowly for a week, then the next week put on a pound.
    Monitor his output to know that he's getting enough. He may be getting more than you think. If you are really paranoid about his intake and have a scale at home, you can always weigh him before a feed, then weigh him after (do not change diaper or clothes etc). That will tell you how much he is getting off of you.

    I don't know how to get through this early stage with a toddler around. Do you have any support? Someone who could take your toddler out to the park etc while you focus on BFing. Once its established it won't be like this... so it is a temporary thing you go through to build up supply.

    You're doing just about everything I know of to keep your baby awake to feed. I remember those struggles myself and doing everything you mentioned. I did find that my guy would respond to me tickling his ear. So I was supporting his head for BFing with the web of my hand between thumb and finger at the base of his neck, which left my thumb right by his ear... so I'd just tickle it a bit and it would stimulate him to suck again.
    Their tummies are actually really small at first and they don't need that much to feel full.
     
  3. lisaf

    lisaf Super tired new mom

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    oh, and as long as the other signs of feeding well are there (wet diapers) and the latch doesn't hurt, don't worry about what it looks like :)
     
  4. ellie27

    ellie27 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lisaf!

    I am hoping to only supplement to get his weight back up - as recommended by HV and midwife......I would rather not be doing it.....I want to exclusively breastfeed but up til day 11 (when he was ebf) he was still losing weight and he stopped losing once I gave him a couple top-ups.
     
  5. lisaf

    lisaf Super tired new mom

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    yeah, thats a tough one. I know that oftentimes the advice given can hurt breastfeeding and it may have all evened itself out with exclusively BFing but I also know that you do have to look out for your baby's health. I had a friend whose baby was still below birthweight at over a month old and they finally had to get formula because it was getting very scary.
    Also, most babies wake up for feeds when they are hungry, but in some cases, if they aren't getting enough to eat their bodies kind of shut down and they don't have the energy to even eat well.

    Do you have a single or double pump? Manual or electric? I know not all women produce well for breast pumps. Hospital-grade pumps are better for stimulating supply in the early weeks than the home pumps.

    Breasts only fill up really full when you go a long time between feedings. If you want to stimulate your supply with the pump, you will need to pump every 2-3 hours. If you can get a hands-free pumping bra, you might find it easier to get a few other things done while pumping. The Medela Freestyle (though expensive) is actually cordless so you can walk around while pumping.

    I would also let him suckle whenever he wants to, go ahead and top him up, but let him stimulate your supply as much as possible (hard with a toddler though). Lots of skin-to-skin time... a moby wrap can really be helpful there and you can even nurse in it though with a newborn thats probably really hard.

    I hope some of this is helping! I know its harder when money is tight, there are so many things you can do to make this easier/do-able but they do tend to cost money :( (renting hospital-grade pump, buying a Medela freestyle etc).
     
  6. mistyscott

    mistyscott Well-Known Member

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    Sounds random, but entirely by accident I discovered that a good sniff from me startles my LO awake to feed again! And that's when tickling etc have no real effect. It's also possible he's getting enough in those few minutes. Mine's always been a v efficient feeder and my boobs rarely feel that full either.

    HTH :)
     

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