It this poor Milk letdown?

Pam - posted on 05/15/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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So I just had my little girl a week ago today. She was 38 weeks and 2 days and weighed 5 lbs 6 oz. We've been nursing with a bottle of pumped milk or formula here and there to help with her jaundice. But my question stems from the fact that she will nurse off and on for 2 hours. and its not until that 2 hour mark that I actually feel soft in my breasts. I'm massaging with my hand as she nurses. I hear swallowing here and there. I feel a prickling sensation usually right when I hear her swallows the best. But is it normal for her to take 2 hours to eat. Even when I pump I don't get much out but I don't feel empty even after pumping for 20-30 minutes. I should add that I'm switching back an forth between breasts all during that 2 hours it takes for her to eat. She falls asleep then wakes up crying and rooting and we relatch or switch breasts and relatch.



Help would be very appreciated.



I'm also taking Fenugreek, and Blessed thistle to help get a supply. I have had poor experiences in the past with my 2 boys.

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7 Comments

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Katie - posted on 05/18/2010

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Did you breastfeed with the two boys??

When do you go back to work? Full or Part time??

I'd ditch the pump and bottle for now.
The more she feeds, the better your supply will get.

But you will have to get a milk bank ready for your return to work...

Are you drinking lots of water?!?!?

Drink water either right before a feed or during a feed, it helps with the let down.

My bub would fall asleep half way through the first boob too.
Wake them back up and try to give the one breast for a good 20 mins or so.
I'd change the nappy then, wakes them back up again.
and then the other boob for 20 mins too.

Does she sleep for long once this two hour session of feeding from boob and bottle is over??? It would be good for your sanity and health to get her down to 50-60 mins per feed, which is normal for newborns.

It's not for quite a few weeks until they start to empty the breast any quicker, and some poeple can have the feed done in 10 mins!! both boobs!! so just hang in there and you'll get there soon enough too.

Melissa - posted on 05/16/2010

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I will say that I had similar experiences when I had my little boy. I didn't supplement him with anything (although he did get bottled breastmilk, as I had to be awake from him during the day time for college.) I got so sore because he was latched on almost all day and all night. It seemed like he'd never let me go and be full/content.
Just keep doing what you are doing (oh, and Fenugreek and Blessed thistle are wonderful herbs!) Hang in there, and I do agree with keeping your LO on each side for 20-30min to allow hindmilk consumption. Congrats on your new addition!

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Wow, that is a stressful week, so try to look after yourself, as well as your family!

It sounds like you have a good supply.How soon do you have to go back to work? She probably doesn't need to be supplemented yet, so perhaps you can save what you pump for when you go back to work.

Pam - posted on 05/16/2010

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Thank you ladies for your replies. She falls asleep after 10 minutes or so of nursing and I still feel way full. It's quite uncomfortable.. and I still end up leaking here and there.

When do I start trying to pump to build a stash for going back to work? Right now I pump to relief the discomfort. An use that to supplement with when possible. She has had no problems with latching after having a bottle 1or 2 times a day. We are now off of the home lights for the jaundice.

Tomorrow, I'm by myself with all 3 kids (my boys are 4 and 2). Then Tuesday my 2 year old gets his tonsils out and has to stay overnight at the childrens hospital. I have a stressful week ahead.

Kristin - posted on 05/15/2010

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Your baby girl is still learning to eat, so yep. It will take that long. Just keep her on as long as she needs to be there, relax, don't rush things, don't worry about massaging unless you have a clog, and ditch the bottle as soon as you can. Wait to switch until she is getting restless on the one side. That is usually a good indicator that your breast is empty and it will probably take 20 to 40 minutes. Newborns are terribly inefficient at feeding and their tummies are TINY (think the size of her fist).

Also, forget about the past. What happened then, is done. You only have the now to work with and residual stress can hinder the process. She is doing well, keep an eye on the wet/poopy diapers, and finally her weight.

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Congratulations, Pam! Remember your little girl has only been on the planet for a few days, so she's still getting things sorted! And she has a tiny little tummy - can't fit much in there yet, so she has to feed often!

It's perfectly normal that she's fussing and suckling lots. Having had to be fed with a bottle occasionally could have caused a bit of nipple confusion, so I would ditch the bottle as soon as possible.

The rooting reflex means she's looking for your nipple and wants to feed, and the more she feeds the more she will stimulate your milk supply. Frequent feeding will do more than additives to build your supply.

The prickling sensation you feel indicates that your milk is letting down, especially as you can hear her swallowing.

So it sounds like you're doing really, really well. If you feel you need to pump to keep your supply up, that's up to you, but I don't think it's necessary. The amount of milk you get from pumping is no indication of how good your supply is. Many women (myself included) can barely get a drop when they pump, but happily feed their babies for a long rime.

Keep up the good work!

Jacquelyn - posted on 05/15/2010

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Right now your milk is just starting to come in, the more she nurses the nore milk you will get in so that is good, make sure you keep her on each breast long enough each time so she gets the hindmilk and help your breast empty. I would nurse her on each side for at least 20-30 min and then offer the other side if she is still hungry for me switching too often makes my breasts stay fuller and more uncomfortable and seems to not satisfy my baby as much.

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