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Breastfeeding Questions

  1. #1
    fennho's Avatar
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    Breastfeeding Questions

    i hv been giving my gal TBF since birth via direct latch (she's now 3months). Everything was fine, until today, all of a sudden, she was fussing a lot at my breasts in the morning. But at least she was still drinking, then for her next feed in the afternoon, she fussed even more and even cried. When i unlatch her, and sit her up, she was fine. Put her to sleep and she slept all the way till her next feed! (that means, she missed one feeding session, so i pumped out my milk) . All in all, it was a total of 6hours interval! I know it's not anything in my diet, cos i ate the usual things that i ate....and for the few feeds later, she was slightly better altho she seems to be STILL pretty distracted.. i tried moving her into a quiet room thinking she might be distracted, but she fussed even louder and cried louder.

    1) Is this what they call a nursing strike? If a nursing really does happen, and baby jus refuses to drink, what should we do?

    2) I recently read a few breastfeeding books (ie The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins and The Baby Book by The Sears) and they mention that for babies btw 2-6months, its VITAL to feed AT LEAST SEVEN times a day. Counting back, i realised i only feed my baby 6 times a day, including the midnight feed...is this why at every feed, my baby feed for almost 1hour long?

    3) Now that my baby gal has "found" her hands and happily putting it into her mouth, i can no longer know when she is hungry exactly, i know i shouldnt be looking and relying at the clock for BF, but that's all i know. I really dont wish to be reliant on a fixed schedule but i REALLY am at a loss on when to feed her cos i STILL cant differentiate her hunger cries, exhaustion cries etc. So i have to rely on looking at her last feed and if 3 hours has passed (she's usually on a 3hr interval). It's so pathetic, i know, and seems to me, a lot of kind people out there kept telling me to rely on my maternal instincts and i feel even worse cos i STILL dont know! Does that mean, my maternal instincts gone missing?? Someone suggested placing baby to my chest and stroking her cheeks, and if she does the rooting act, then she's hungry..i tried that but she doesnt root at all, ALL day, it cant be she's not hungry all day, rite? Then, sometimes she'll root all the time even AFTER i've just unlatch her after a 1hour plus marathon feed!!

    4) I've also read BF books that we should offer the 2nd breast to the baby. Erm...WHEN exactly shud we do that? It's so contradicting and confusing, becos some told us, we should not dictate how long the baby shud stay at the 1st breast, ie we shud not do the 15mins left, and 15mins right. BUT if baby has stayed at 1st breast for say, 45mins, shud we still offer the 2nd breast? Becos i have no idea how much milk the baby has taken from the 1st breast, i'm unsure if i shud still offer the 2nd breast. As some of u may know in my previous thread, my baby loves "hanging out" at my breasts for everything, food, comfort suck, sleep, so if i offer 2nd breast, she WILL still take it, only to vomit out the excess after that! Which leads me to think if it's really true about BF babies being smart enough to STOP when they have enough, cos my baby certainly dont seem to do so! :(

    Sorry for the long posting (again!) but i would be grateful for any advices!!! :)

  2. #2
    Nashua852's Avatar
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    Hi, I'm having a similiar problem. Bubs is 4 months in a couple of days and has been fussing for the past month or so and I mean REALLY fussing -- hysterical crying, not wanting to feed for more than 5 mins. Pulling away, trashing arms and legs -- even when he's clearly hungry.

    It's been hard but I've learnt to deal with it with a bit of patience and just following his cues. I've stopped nursing when he's had enough/gets hysterical and he seems to go fine until the next feed. He's definitely not starving as he has his usual delectable (ahem) nappies and continues to sleep from 9pm - 7am

    It is still worrying though because a new pattern is emerging; he doesn't seem to want to feed for long at one feed and then at the next because my breasts havent been emptied he cries because of the increased milk flow.

    Then again, all of this could be related to teething -- which has started early - poor sweetie!

    I wouldn't worry too much about your baby and the number of feeds he's having as long as he's got the usual nappies and remember that good piece of advice -- we may read all the books out there, but baby hasn't!

    Anyway, I'd also appreciate any help on this issue -- they seem similar enough!

    Take Care and Good Luck!

  3. #3
    capital is offline Banned
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    1, I don't think this is a nursing stike because I htink nursing strikes last longer, not just one feed. I think with a nursing strike you are just supposed to keep trying and eventually they will eat,and usually they are older babies, but I haven't dealt with this myself so I don't know for sure

    2. MOst babies who BF prior to eating solids foods are still going to eat really frequently as it is their only source of food. The rare baby if you have lots of milk and a really efficient nurser will feed 6 timres/day but most don't, the only way to know is to look at weight gain, if your baby is a healthy weight gain and feeds less frequently then don't worry, if your baby is not gaining enough weight then rpobably best to see a lacation specialist to see just what is going on.

    3. what i did when not sure if baby was hungry, was to just try feeding him, if hungry or needing comfort he would take the breast, if it was some other reason, he wouldn't. he BF about every 2 hours when he was awake until he was 1 year old. He was really fat! My second baby fed a lot less frequently, they are all different You won't always know what is wrong, it doesn't mean you are a bad mother. You've onkly known your baby for 3 months. I think here it really comes down to how baby is growing, a healthy baby with normal weight gain will feed when they want to. although this is rare and extreme it is possible for baby's to stop cueing for feeds if they are constantly hungry and not fed enough, they learn that even when they are hungry they are not fed enough and they stop showing the feedign cues, for example a mom who doesn't realize she doesn['t have enough milk, so if your baby is growing, then you ARE meeting his needs and picking up on his cues, even if you are worrying that you aren't.

    Offering the second breast, they way I look at it is that you should OFFER the second breast, but let baby decide is he wants it, I would let baby feed as long as he wants on the first (within reason, if a long time has gone by and you feel you are being used as a pacifier it is okay to tkae him off) if you are not sure if he is done drinking you can do breast compression. Jack newmans site talks about how to do this. that way you can see if baby is still drinking or just hanging out. then offer the second side, baby may take it, may not. think of it as supper, then dessert. I found that mine usually took little to none of the second side for most of the morning , as the day went on they would take the second side.

  4. #4
    nsl
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    Not sure if you should get all stressed out because your baby drinks 6 times a day, instead of 7. From the time my gal was 2.5 months old, she started feeding 5 times a day (exclusively breastfed). She has healthy weight gain and is happy. All i'm saying is stop worrying about numbers.

  5. #5
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    i have successfully breastfed two children. my youngest is now 14 months. she was exclusively bf until 6 months.

    1) you cannot force a baby to feed. they will feed as and when they are hungry.

    2) a baby's stomach is not very big. i highly doubt that if you are feeding for an hour, your baby is drinking that entire time. a lot of it will be comfort sucking.

    3) if the baby is healthy and putting on weight, RELAX!

    4) if the baby is soiling/wetting a good number of diapers in a day, RELAX!

    5) it is quite common for baby's to go through cycles of eating everything in sight and then taking a day or two break (of course still eating/drinking some)

    6) if you are feeding 7 times per day for one hour each time, you are crazy. that's 7 hours feeding in a day! that's almost 1/3 of the day you spend bf.

    when my youngest was born she was in the bottom 2%, she hit 50% by 8 weeks! i breastfed on demand. i didn't watch a clock, when she screamed i checked the nappy first and changed it. i checked to see if she was too hot/cold. THEN i fed her. that way all of the other possibilities were taken care of BEFORE i fed. i knew she was screaming because she was hungry. i fed for no more than 20 minutes per breast. i had a very fast flow and at around 20 minutes, i could tell it was comfort sucking. so then i offered the second breast. sometimes she wanted it, sometimes not. NEVER did i feed for an hour. my girl is now in the 95%! i NEVER counted how many times in a day i fed her as some days she fed more often than others.

    really, i think you are getting so caught up in the little things, you are missing the big picture. stop taking "what the books say" as gospel truth.

    as sarah from LLL has said in the past. the books give an average, that's it. not all babies are average.

    relax and good luck! i think that if you stopped worrying/reading books for a little while the mothering instincts you insist are not there will shine through!

    you are a great mother, you are concerned about your child's well being. i understand that. we all have the same concerns, even now that mine are 14 months and 3 yrs. you always want to do what is best for your baby. what is best for your baby is to have a relaxed and (as much as humanly possible) worry free mother able to spend relaxing and enjoyable time with the baby, not worrying if you fed 100 mls instead of 110 mls.

    (please don't take offense to what i've said. i just worry about you. you worry so much, you really do seem to be missing the good stuff. you aren't giving your instincts any credit. and by the photo you posted of your little one, i do think that she is not starving! she's got great cheeks!LOL! i just want to give them a little **** and the lightest of pinches!)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    (please don't take offense to what i've said. i just worry about you. you worry so much, you really do seem to be missing the good stuff. you aren't giving your instincts any credit. and by the photo you posted of your little one, i do think that she is not starving! she's got great cheeks!LOL! i just want to give them a little **** and the lightest of pinches!)
    Carang, just wanted to say from a perpetual stranger's point of view you are an absolute darling on this site! Lots of helpful tips and the like -- thanks!

    -Nash

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    Just wanna say thanks too, carang. I love your thoughts and advice. As a total newbie where motherhood is concerned, I find it reassuring and down-to-earth (not just referring to what you posted in this thread but others as well).
    BiG HuGzzz to you!!!

  8. #8
    carang's Avatar
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    thanks for the support folks! i know that sometimes the feelings behind the written word don't come across properly, so I always worry that i'm going to cause offence (or is it -se?)

    good luck all! motherhood is the MOST difficult job in the world but also the MOST rewarding!

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