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Input Requested: Breastfeeding Advice

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Input Requested: Breastfeeding Advice

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Input Requested: Breastfeeding Advice

For my select male readership (all 3 or so of you), please feel free to skip this post.

I have a question for those of you with lots of experience breastfeeding your children (or even just lots of children or even just some experience). My DS never did well nursing... and even when we figured it out, he then spit everything up. Convinced by everyone that "it always looks like more spit up than it really is", I wasn't worried. At our 3 month appointment however we learned that he had only gained a pound more than his birth weight! He wasn't gaining. So, knowing that history, please understand why I may be over reacting or over anxious where my 2 1/2 week olds growth and eating are concerned.

I am breastfeeding our little girl (as I'm sure you've figured) and it is just sooo hard to know whether she is getting enough. This is something I know everyone deals with. Because of this I pay close attention to her "healthy growth indicatiors". (Updated: I should also say... I have no doubt as to my milk supply, but she doesn't seem to eat much. It's really hard to get her to stay awake for a feeding. She only wakes up fully after her feeding.)

We have an old baby scale (measures in fractions of a pound, not in ounces). It is old (probably from the 50s-70s somewhere) that an older lady in our church lent to us, so we aren't sure how very accurate it is, but we figure it will give us a ball park idea of weight and help us watch whether our little girl is gaining. It's hard to say for sure, but if she is gaining weight, it isn't very fast. This makes me worry a little, but then I look at other "healthy growth indicators" and note that her urine is clear and that she has enough wet and poopy diapers in a day.

My intention is to watch the scale over the next couple days and continue monitoring (i.e. she isn't lethargic, how many wet diapers, etc.) her myself. If things start looking bad, or the scale refuses to move, I will call the doctor, but we really prefer not to drag my children to the doctors for every little thing. What do you with experience think? Is this a normal thing? She is spitting up some, but I don't think it's as much as DS was. Sometimes it's lots, and sometimes she doesn't at all. I just really don't feel like I can judge normal. I would appreciate any thoughts from you who have been there before and have more wisdom than I!



At March 26, 2008 at 4:51 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

Some babies dddo gain very slowly. Remember, it can't come out if it didn't go in. I'd recommend viewing the resources over at for some peace of mind and suggestions. My lo was born weighing 7.15 and weighs 14 lbs now that she is 7 months. We exclusively breastfeed and cosleep to give her as much breast access as she wants.

If you are worried about supply, you could always eat some lactation cookies (google for a recipe).

Best wishes! Keep us posted.

At March 27, 2008 at 2:22 PM , Blogger Donielle said...

My peanut was as super slow nurser too. Always falling asleep. What ended up working for me to get him a full feeding was to nurse one side then go change his diaper or take his clothes off to really wake him up. Sometimes I even had to undress him while he nursed or put a cool cloth on him. I also kept him on a 2hour schedule for the first 6 weeks to make sure he was nursing enough.
We also had a 2 week appointment at our doctors which was a recommended thing by both the hospital and the pediatrician. It's always a great way to make sure they're gaining as they should. Especially at first. My little guy gained slowly the first 2 months and for a couple weeks they had me go in just for weight checks. Nothing was wrong, but better safe than sorry.
Also, take in to consideration how much she weighed at birth. A 6 pound baby puts on weight slower than a 9 pound baby just because their bellies are smaller.
Hope all goes well!

At March 27, 2008 at 4:03 PM , Blogger Nikki said...

My sister's first son wasn't nursing well, so they were advised to get an ounce scale. She would weigh him before she fed him and again afterward to see how much he had eaten.

Like Donielle said, I would (and still do sometimes) change Daniel's diaper between sides to keep him awake. I also rub his hands and smack his feet. It's tough there in the beginning to keep them awake, but it does get better soon (except at night when everyone wants to sleep!).

At March 28, 2008 at 6:42 AM , Blogger IF said...

Hi Babychaser! I do not have a lot of breastfeeding experience. I breastfed my first for 9 months on demand and it was rough, all the time and all night nursings, growth spurts, nipple shields because I couldn't get a good latch at first, etc. It was like running a marathon. Anways. I am no expert, I could never even get my baby on a schedule! I just gave up and it eventually worked into a routine around 4-5 months. Then at 6 months she started waking for night feedings again! haha.
To me, it sounds like you are doing an absolutley wonderful job!
I always had that fear too (the whole 9 months) and the nurses always told me to go by how many wet diapers they had and to listen to them swallowing. They told me a baby can get a whole lot of milk in just a small amount of time and then just suck for a long time as well. She could just be a very fast eater and then happily sucks and loves to fall asleep on the breast. It sounds like she is getting just what she needs and wants and is falling right asleep fully satisfied. I also remember a nurse telling me their tummy's can't hold much, so when they get good and full a lot of times they fall asleep and then some babies wake up as soon as 15 minutes later to eat again.
Knowing myself, I will probably worry about the same thing with my next one due in May.

I really loved reading Dr. Jack Newman breastfeeing info. I found a link to one of his articles about that...

At April 3, 2008 at 7:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get the book On Becoming Babywise. It should help

At April 3, 2008 at 12:09 PM , Blogger ~Babychaser~ said...

Thanks to everyone!

Annonymous ~ I have the book... thanks though. I've read it and re-read it with both babies. It works great... unless you have a question it doesn't address. :)


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