Friday, October 1, 2010

Alittle More Breastfeeding

Thanks again to everyone! You are all SO helpful. All of your wonderful comments have continued to bring up new questions for me, if you don't mind reading on....

Many of you responded sharing that you also fed your babies on just one side per feeding. Here's my question then... if you nurse on the 1st breast at one feeding, and roughly 3 hours later you nurse on the opposite breast... then 3 hours later you're back to the first breast. So do you allow your breasts to go a full 6 hours between every feeding without any stimulation? Do you need to pump during that time to maintain your supply or does your body automatically know how much to produce by the boob's next feeding (6 hours). Wouldn't the body start to think that the baby doesn't need much milk because there is no pumping/feeding for a full 6 hours around the clock? I have done that before and my breasts have still been soft when that 6 hour mark comes around. Am I wrong to think that my breast needs to have a FULL feeling in order to fill my baby's belly?  Do I need to pump if she only nurses on one side at each feeding? How many of you have barely touched the pump after your supply was established?

I know I must really sound like I have never breastfed before. This child I am taking a different approach. With Jackson, I pumped before going to bed - in the middle of the night (because he slept thru the night VERY early on) and in the morning. I was able to store four - 5oz. bottles each day (20 oz total). This time around - I am trying to be more regular with breastfeeding and don't want to get that crazy about stashing my freezer. So trying to establish the appropriate amount of milk that my child will take from me - is a new concept.

Now a few of you have advised me to wake her up after 3 hours to feed her, even though she wakes herself up after 4 hours. I understand the reasoning there, but she never ate that close together. Even in the hospital when I tried to wake her - she wouldn't wake up enough to actively nurse. However, when she did wake up - she would be hungry enough to nurse. I have never been fond of waking a sleeping baby if it wasn't necessary. She has surpassed her birth weight by 2 weeks and has about 7-8 stools/wet diapers a day. She literally has a full wet diaper with poo splatters at every diaper change. She also sleeps for one cherished 5 hour stretch at night. Should I really begin to wake her after 3 hours when she has made this progress on her own? My pediatrican didn't bat an eye when I told her Jaelyn goes 4 hours between feedings. But I do value your opinions and views on the matter as I know many of you really know what you're talking about :)



Stephanie said...

My mom is a lactation consultant and she has always said that if your baby is gaining weight, you shouldn't worry too much about whether they're getting enough on each side or not, because you are obviously producing enough to help your baby grow. Every mom is different and every baby is different, so if she is eating well on one side at each feeding and gaining weight and satisfied after each feeding, you are doing a great job. My son has never been one to nurse longer than 10 minutes at a time. Some babies are just more efficient at getting the food they need faster. Just be confident in yourself! Also, I agree with not waking a sleeping baby. If you feel really full before she wakes up, you can always pump. But I wouldn't worry too much about pumping in order to keep your supply. It sounds like you have plenty of milk to satisfy your little girl. Keep up the great work, momma!

Holly said...

Lainey eats sooner than every 3 hrs. I haven't really kept track of how long she goes b/t feedings. If I feel that one breast is getting too full then I'll go ahead and pump it. Since I'll be going back to work I want to have as big a supply as I can in the freezer.

And I wouldn't wake a sleeping baby just to feed them. They'll wake up when they're hungry so I think you're doing just fine with that.

The Jeffers said...

Isn't it all a demand/supply thing? That's what I was if your breast learns to only supply every 6 hours bt feedings, and that's what you want it to do (without pumping) then that's what happens. If Jaelyn starts eating more and more, then I would think your breasts would start producing more and more, right? And they same goes if she starts eating less?

I have to agree, I was also always told not to wake a sleeping baby, they need sleep to sleep and sleep to grow!

JillAileenJones said...

I nursed all 4 of mine, two for almost two years because the others were born to close my second child only nursed 15 months and my last had severe allergies to protein in my milk and so after 5 months of trying everything we had to go to a special formula which broke my heart.
I am not an expert but from nursing all 4 of mine when they first came home they slept a lot and so they all nursed only one side-I would try to wake them a little to take both sides (sometimes it worked sometime not) but if not I just started on the other side next time.
If you keep to this schedule your body will get used to it and it will be a supply and demand thing and your body will learn to make what you need. I would really try to make her nurse closer to 3 hours than 4 though so your can keep up your demand and not have to pump as much because you don't get as much pumping as you do nursing. I never had a problem with making enough but if I let them go too long I would get really too full-be sore-leak and latch on was harder and more uncomfortable for me-they also would get frustrated because I was so full and it was harder to latch on for them. As long as when they latch on and you can hear a few sucks and then swallow a repeated pattern even if it is for only 10 minutes at a time they are getting enough.
After my first baby-I never got that engorged feeling while nursing my other babies. They always got plenty-matter a fact 2 out of the 4 were born at 7lbs and were over 11 in a month from only nursing!
The one thing you want to make sure is that it is better to let them fully nurse on one side so they are getting both the the beginning milk and the hind milk cause one supplies more calories but the other supplies fat that they need. If they only consume the fore milk they will be really gassy too-so 12-15 minutes is really good but 10 is ok if you can tell that your breasts are totally empty.
I saw were latching on was an issue too-if you can sit and let yourself dry a little-leave a little milk on your nipples at dry and then let them dry a little before you put your bra all back together that will help heal them and prevent thrush from starting with the two of you. To make sure she has a proper latch too-tempt her a little with your nipple so she opens her mouth really wide and then as she starts to latch on stick your little finger in her mouth with your nipple to make sure her tongue is below your nipple not on top.
Keep up the good work-each of mine were different. It wasn't just yeah-this is great but I really wanted to do it so much with each one I just plowed through-got help-read tons of books-did tons of research and made it and it was great after just a bit.
The whole supply and demand thing too-God is good HE makes our bodies just know-when my kids got sick and wanted to nurse more or teething and might eat less it would make me a little uncomfortable so I would pump a little off but none of mine really took a bottle so I never bumped much to feed them. But I would pump some off just so I wouldn't hurt, leak or be too full when they went to latched on-but the two I nursed for 22 months I always had enough and my body just adjusted to their schedules and needs.
Sometimes it took 2-3 weeks before I felt like it was going just great too-but the more I relaxed the better it was and the easier it was too for both of us.
I am sorry for the book-I hope maybe something will help from this! If you want to e-mail me with any other questions I would be happy to tell you what I know.
It does get easier and and see gets a little older in a few weeks or less and she stays awake more it will get easier too.

Jenilee said...

I fed on one side at a time and it worked just fine. hard at first but my body adjusted quickly and it worked very well for me. nursed 10months that way!

The Tolf family said...

Just because you don't feel full doesn't mean you aren't producing enough. Your body will regulate out quicker with subsequent babies as it has things figured out better (read your breasts feel softer and not full much sooner). Checking output which you are doing with the wet and poopy diapers is the best indicator of whether or not she is getting enough as well as weight gain. Nursing one breast each feeding is not a problem. It is supply and demand and your body will regulate that way. You can pump if you want to, but don't have to. Also you do not need to wake her as long as she is gaining and getting enough at each feeding. It sounds like she is an efficient nurser, but she is a little young for scheduling as that could mess up your supply so offering whenever she is or seems hungry is the best for getting your supply to the level it needs to be.

Hope this helps!! Sounds like you are doing a great job with your sweet little girl!!

Kate said...

Take a deep breath, you are a great mom! I would not wake her, I agree that a baby that is hungry will wake up, especially since she is gaining weight! I am really no help because Molly literally ate every hour and a half, but she would eat for 10-15 minutes, and I switched her after like 5 mins or so, and my body adjusted.

amanda said...

i will echo the don't wake her. as long as she's gaining...let her sleep! :) everyone else gave great advice, so i really won't repeat anything they said. but remember, you're doing a gret job!!

The Blackburn Buzz said...

I came here from Allison's blog - we're friends through the Newcomer's Club in MKE.

First, congrats on your baby girl. She's beautiful! :) It's been interesting to read all the breastfeeding talk and comments. We just had our third baby (2 1/2 mo. ago) and even though I breastfed before and for a LONG time with each child, each child is different and it's so much harder than anyone ever lets on. I think your body will soon figure it out and adjust, and if Jaelyn is gaining weight - that is all that matters. I'd suggest pumping only if you are super uncomfortable (esp. in the morning). Trust your insticts and believe in yourself!
Congrats and keep up the good work! :) ~Anne
Mom to Carter (4), Addison (2), and Nora (2 1/2 mo.)

Lynda said...

Never wake a sleeping baby! We woke Ian up to feed him because of his jaundice/bilirubin and he took forever to sleep through the night and still cannot nap and rarely sleeps in to this day at 15 years old!!!!! :)

BAM said...

I also fed single sided. It was just fine. You can pump the opposite side to store if you'd like...or you don't have too. don't have to have the full feeling to fill the tummy. You can even pump first and feel completely squishy and still have enough to fill her up. It's like your boob is a sink. The fullness is like having water in the sink with the drain plugged. When the sink drains you can just turn on the faucet. Even when you are empty feeling, the nursing stimulation with "turn" on the milk.

And for sleep...are you nuts. Don't wake her up at night to feed. Get your sleep. If she's gaining appropriately....sleep baby sleep.