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Baby falling asleep on breast

  1. #1
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    Baby falling asleep on breast

    My baby is 13 days old. She has jaundice and is very sleepy all the time, spent 3 days under phototherapy lights at the hospital. She sleeps a lot during the day but I try to wake her every 2.5-3 hours for feeds. She sucks for about 5-10 mins and falls into a deep sleep. Sometimes she will wake and suck for another 10-15 mins but a lot of times, she will not. How can I wake her?

    I think due to this, she wakes up several times at night. I express as well so my husband gives her my EMB. Last night for example, she had 3 oz at 1 am, 3.5 oz at 3 am. 3.5 oz at 5 am and another 2 oz at 6:50 am. Then this morning, I fed her at the breast for 25 mins at 8:40 am. Does it seem like she is drinking a lot at night so that is why she doesn't wake much for milk during the day?

    Also, when I BF, I only offer one breast because she will not wake for the other breast. If she can suck for 20-30 mins, is that sufficient?

  2. #2
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    Mintycat I am sure that someone from the La Leche League will probably post.
    However, just a couple of quick points.
    1. It takes about 3 weks for day to reverse day and night - at the moment, she is still feeling your body's rhythms from the womb - she is lulled to sleep during the day by your motions, and more awake at night - when she gets more oxygen.
    2. It is quite normal for babies to wake up several times at night - often until they are close to a year old. You wil hear a lot of stories about "My baby slept through at three weekks" - but this is a minority. If you baby is asking for milk, you should definately give it to her.
    3. You can try to keep baby away after feeds by holding her upright, or talking to her. BUt if she won;t wake up - don;t worry - as she becomes more and more aware over the next few weeks, you can try more to help her have a longer feed. At the moment her tiny tummy gets full very quickly.
    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    mailmail is offline Registered User
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    Hi Mintycat,
    I have no idea whether my method is correct or not. But it worked for my baby, so I will tell you about it anyway. I am sure other moms will tell you their experience as well, and you can choose what's the best.
    For timing, I tried changing baby's biological time zone by first making the room very bright at night, and dark during the day making use of lights and curtains. Also switching music as well, so cheerful music during the day, and sleepy music at night to make some background stimulation. As for feeding, whenever baby falls asleep, I would stimulate him by poking gently on his face nearest to the mouth, Squeeze the breasts a little (for BF), tilt the bottle downwards (for bottle feeding) and gently swirl the teats inside his mouth, gently pull his ear, tickle his hand or even wipe his a little with a wet towel. He will probably suck suck then sleep again, but I would stimulate him again repeating the process again and again. Keep changing breasts also helps. Even if it's a minute each, you should try that. I find that in general there is no rights and wrongs in breastfeeding, I think each babies have different traits and characters, and so it's a matter of trial and error to find what works. I may be wrong of course, coz I am not an expert, only a mother. But I did pick up some of the above by observing what the nureses do at the the hospitals. Hope this helps! AND MANY MANY CONGRATULATIONS on the safe arrival of your baby!
    Last edited by mailmail; 06-08-2007 at 10:24 AM.

  4. #4
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all your advise. I am so determined to make breastfeeding a success this time that I am beginning to feel stressed. I was convinced to give my older DD formula at the hospital because of her jaundice that she never developed a good latch and I ended up pumping exclusively for her for 9 months, which was tiring to say the least.

    I really want to breastfeed this time and not pump all the time, but it seems she is already showing preference for the bottle. And I am so nervous she is not getting enough from my breast after sucking for 10 mins that I top her up with EBM most of the time.

  5. #5
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Mintycat,

    A baby who is only 13 days old needs to be feeding between 8 and 14 times in 24 hours. Are you managing to feed her this many times?

    Also you need for her to be doing deep jaw movements when she is feeding. If she is only doing shallow ones she will not be taking much milk. Dr. Jack Newman has a number of video clips on his web site. I recommend that you watch them to understand what I’m talking about when I say deep jaw movements.

    The web site is http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/newman.shtml, scroll down until you find the section called Latching. These videos will help you to improve your latch too.

    The other thing which will help your baby to breastfeed is to not give any supplement or top up in a bottle. There are many ways to give babies milk – it doesn’t have to be in a bottle. The best way is to use a tube as a lactation aid. Again Dr. Jack has videos showing how to do this on his web site. Look under the section called Supplementing.

    I would advise seeing either a lactation consultant or a LLL leader (contact details on www.lllhk.org) to get help with your positioning and latch. It really is important to get this sorted out as soon as possible.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH

  6. #6
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    Hi Sarah

    Thanks for the response. She feeds about 9-12 times a day, including both on the breast and with EBM in a bottle. When she is on the breast, she has deep jaw movements and I hear swallowing. It's just that she falls asleep after 10 mins so I don't know if she is getting the hind milk. I always thought it's better to be on the breast for at least 20-30 mins for babies this age? She seems to be so sleepy all the time.

  7. #7
    creaturecomfort is offline Registered User
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    A midwife told me to strip the clothes down to minimum before feeding a sleepy baby to keep it more alert.

  8. #8
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    There are two techniques which help the baby stay away and thus get more milk, Breast Compression and Switch Nursing. Below is information from the internet but all this information is difficult to take in and talking to someone or better a face-to-face meeting will help.

    Dr. Jack Newman also explains how to do Breast Compression on his web site, http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/newman under the section Breast Compression.

    Breast Compression at http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/15pdf.pdf
    And again he has more video clips on his web site which can be useful

    This technique really works very well. You need to give the baby a rest after a bout of sucking but of maybe only 20 seconds before you do the compression again. If you wait as long as two minutes the baby will be asleep and, of course, the baby does need some rest after a bout of sucking. I know that sometimes mothers are so anxious that they want the baby to suck non stop – this is impossible (just like we have to have rests when we eat so does the baby).

    Another good technique is Switch Nursing. Switch nursing is changing to the other side when the baby no longer seems interested. Usually when we start feeding the baby is very interested to suck, as the baby slows down we start the breast compression and when the baby slows down with the breast compression we change and get the baby to have the other side. On the other side after the baby starts to slow down we again use the breast compression and when he slows down again swap back to the first side again. We can continue swapping sides as much as we like and for as long as the baby is willing to continue to suck. It is fine to swap sides 8, 9 or 10 times in one feed.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH

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