Breastfeeding questions (XP)

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harmonybear's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 639
Breastfeeding questions (XP)

So you'd think after the first baby that I'd have breastfeeding all figured out... :rolleyes: I must admit, it is a whole lot easier this time around. But I find myself worried about some things and I wanted to ask some advice.

So Micah sleeps. A lot. A whole lot. Last night he slept from 10pm to 5am. That's seven hours. I tried to wake him up at 12:30 to nurse, but he wouldn't. I tried again at 2:30, and he sucked twice, swallowed once, and fell back into a deep sleep I couldn't wake him from. He typically takes a 4-5 hour nap in the afternoons/evenings, which is almost impossible to wake him up from. Changing his diaper usually wakes him up just enough to half-heartedly nurse on one side. Often when I'm trying to correct his latch just a minute or so into nursing, he'll be so fast asleep I can't get him to nurse any more. Sometimes this happens before my milk lets down. But he does spend almost all his awake time nursing, so the sleepiness might not be a problem?

Also, my breasts lost that full feeling really early. I know that it's normal to lose the full feeling eventually, but everywhere I read it says around 6 weeks... not 10 days! So that's making me second-guess my milk supply, too. I was super engorged until we had our hospital stay. We went for at least 12 hours where he hardly nursed at all (I had a hospital grade pump I was using to take care of the engorgement), and then it was back to his normal - lots of sleeping, and nursing constantly when he was awake. And by yesterday (two days after coming home from the hospital), I felt completely empty. He never nurses very vigorously, and while I do hear swallowing, it's not as much as I remember with DD.

I've always had a hard time telling how many wet diapers a baby has. What if there are two pees in one diaper? I tend to have babies who poop fairly frequently, so I just change diapers when they're soiled. So how can I tell how many wet diapers he's having? His poops are very different from DD's. Hers were never seedy, and it always seemed like there was a ton of poop. Micah's seem dryer, though that could be because they're so seedy, and they are much smaller in volume, though they're usually pretty close to quarter-sized. But if we're going just based on how many diapers I'm changing a day, he's riding just on the lower end of acceptable.

All of this makes me nervous about my supply... and yet at his appointment on Monday he had not only regained his birth weight, he was over a quarter pound above it. And I'm reading online that once a baby starts gaining weight on breastmilk, they usually don't start having problems out of the blue.

So... talk to me here. Am I worrying over nothing? I feel like I'm getting mixed signals here. Half the signs point to a baby who needs more milk, and the other half seem to say he's fine. What would you do?

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

I've been told that poop needs to be a quarter size or bigger to count. And if it's the yellow seedy stuff, he is getting enough hind milk. It's when it goes back to green that you need to be concerned. If it's dry and not liquid-y I would be concerned. How often are you changing breasts?

I'm not much help with the super sleepy newborn since DS skipped right over that phase and was wide awake from day 1. I do know there are a lot of suggestions on kelly mom if you haven't looked there yet. He could very well be making up for all the non nursing sleep times just fine when awake, but if not she has some on her pages that you didn't mention here.

The lose of engorgement already does make me raise an eyebrow, but I wouldn't panic yet at all. If he's gaining weight and doing well it is possible that your body has adjusted already. You might also hit the 2 week growth spurt very soon where he'll want to nurse more often and that should up your supply after a few days. I do remember that DS only nursed every 3-4 hours until his first growth spurt and then he went to the newborn that BFs all the time. It wasn't a typical newborn pattern, but he apparently got what he needed because he gained very well.

((hugs)) Just keep BFing and doing your best! Nothing says to me panic yet!

Kier's picture
Joined: 03/12/12
Posts: 1973

It all sounds perfectly normal to me. Kellen's poops arethe same way.

As for the sleep vs awake and eating times I wouldnt worry. All of my kids have gone through the cluster feeding, and then sleeoing more stage... Its awesone that he doesnt have his nights and days mixed up. It sounds like he is hard at work growing and packing on the weight, which takes a lot of energy. Each of my kids have been different when its cone to sleeping. My oldest was like Jackie's son. He did his cluster feeding and crabby time through the night. Hes never been a kid who needs a lot of sleep. He gave up naps when he was 2. My 2nd was like your son. Came hone sleeping almost through the night. He is a kid that at almost 4 still needs a nap or is hell on wheels by dinner if he doesnt get one. Dd and wee dude (so far) are more or less middle of the road compared to the other 2.

I have notices that it has taken less and less tine for my supply to even out. Infact, this time I never really fot engorged. As long as your little guy is gaining wright, and content (which it sounds like he is) I wouldnt worry. Oh, and you cant always go by the # of bms with breast fed babies. My kids have all gone through times where it seema like they are always going, and then times where they would go as long as 2 weeks without pooping. Breastmilk doesnt have as much "waste" as formula, and more of it is actually used by your baby's body Smile

Keep up the good work mama, sounds like your little guy is doing great Smile

jgriffith's picture
Joined: 08/20/10
Posts: 420

I understand! This my fifth time breastfeeding and I've had such a hard time! Owen didn't gain an ounce in two weeks, so we had to supplement. Finally he seems to be getting what he needs without a supplement, and is gaining although at the minimum :). He goes days between poos, although my doc doesn't seem concerned. I put two TB water in a diaper and use that to measure his wets, and he is wetting plenty! He does eat every three hours at night though. I would say keep at it, and stay in contact with your ped, and you'll both find what works for you!

harmonybear's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 639

"alwayssmile" wrote:

I've been told that poop needs to be a quarter size or bigger to count. And if it's the yellow seedy stuff, he is getting enough hind milk. It's when it goes back to green that you need to be concerned. If it's dry and not liquid-y I would be concerned. How often are you changing breasts?

It's actually green with yellow curds, if that makes sense? So the liquid part is greenish and the seedy part is yellow. It's not super liquid-y like DD's were, but they're not dry, either. I'm offering both breasts at just about every nursing, assuming that he stays awake. Actually, I'm a bit more sore than I'd like to be, so I find that I'm moving back and forth quite a bit. Maybe 3-5 minutes per breast, and nursing from each breast at least twice each time?

The lose of engorgement already does make me raise an eyebrow, but I wouldn't panic yet at all. If he's gaining weight and doing well it is possible that your body has adjusted already. You might also hit the 2 week growth spurt very soon where he'll want to nurse more often and that should up your supply after a few days. I do remember that DS only nursed every 3-4 hours until his first growth spurt and then he went to the newborn that BFs all the time. It wasn't a typical newborn pattern, but he apparently got what he needed because he gained very well.

He nursed constantly on... Tuesday, was it? It really felt like what I remember growth spurts to feel like, but 8 or 9 days old seemed awfully young for a growth spurt. I don't remember DD having one until about 3 weeks. He voluntarily took like three breaks from nursing all day, and then he slept for 7 hours straight that night. Then yesterday he was back to his lazy nursing and sleepy self.

As far as the weight gain goes, I'm second-guessing his weight on Monday. Sunday morning at the hospital he weighed 6lb 8oz, so he presumably lost 4 oz of IV fluid weight between Sunday morning and Monday morning. So I'm nervous that he still had IV fluid weight to lose, and that he really didn't gain as much as it appeared he'd gained. Of course, even if he lost another quarter pound, he would still have regained his birth weight. So that's good, right?

I suppose what I need to do for my own peace of mind is to weigh him on our home scale, and if it doesn't seem like he's at a good weight, call the pediatrician and ask to do another weight check.

harmonybear's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 639

"Kier" wrote:

I have notices that it has taken less and less tine for my supply to even out. Infact, this time I never really fot engorged. As long as your little guy is gaining wright, and content (which it sounds like he is) I wouldnt worry. Oh, and you cant always go by the # of bms with breast fed babies. My kids have all gone through times where it seema like they are always going, and then times where they would go as long as 2 weeks without pooping. Breastmilk doesnt have as much "waste" as formula, and more of it is actually used by your baby's body Smile

That makes me feel much better, thank you! Hopefully my body is just doing a better job of regulating the milk supply this time. He's certainly not frantic at the breast (except for on Tuesday, which really felt like a growth spurt), and he is swallowing satisfactorily when he's actively nursing, so my supply can't be too low.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

The greenish part is probably from switching back and forth so often. However, if it's keeping him awake and nursing more I'd do that. It's from excess fore milk and the yellow seedy part is from hind milk. If there's nothing else going on showing that he's upset (which if he's sleeping so much probably not), it's okay. It should get better over time when he can stay away and satisfy himself with just one boob.
Since he's had issues with temp regulation, I wonder if that has to do with his excess sleepiness.