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Old 07-11-2006, 10:54 AM   #1
mamamac
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Is she eating or pacifying herself

My baby is now 5 days old, my milk is in, my nipples are sore and cracked, and it seems as if she is going through some type of growth spurt. She wants to eat almost every hour. She latches on great (finally) and goes to town for 15-20 minutes on each side, then we stop for about 30 minutes and she starts rooting for more! It doesn't matter if I am holding her, if she's in the bouncy seat, dh husband holds her, she will root. I know she is getting enough, as my milk supply is great, and I can hear her "chugging" it down with it dripping at the sides. How do I know she is not using me for a pacifier? I've heard of babies who do that, but I don't know what or how to tell. My first daughter was never like this! Please help, my sore boobs can't take too much more of this.

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Old 07-11-2006, 11:01 AM   #2
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Re: Is she eating or pacifying herself

My now 2 month old ds did this. My nipples were SOOO sore. One of the nurses at the hospital said he doesn't need to be eating every hour. Some babies need to suck a lot. She suggested I try a pacifier which I didn't want to do before I had him. With the unbelievably painful nipples I gave him a pacifier when he was 3 days old. There was never any nipple confusion (I use the avent ones if that helps). If you're worried about nipple confusion you might hold off a little while longer if you can. I definately couldn't! He has always latched on really well though.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:31 AM   #3
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Re: Is she eating or pacifying herself

Some babies do go through a growth spurt at this age and will nurse constantly, especially if their latch was not so great to start with. If you are feeling very sore, do you think that the positioning inside of the mouth could still be off a bit? Babies don't normally pacify themselves at the breast quite this early, but every baby is different so you never know ....Typically, babies tend to have feeding frenzies around 4-5 days, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and so on.....simply because they are small and it takes a lot of calories per ounce of body weight to grow. You could try a pacifier, if that's something you are open to and see what happens...I know lots of momswho have used one early on and had no problems but I owuld watch for any signs of nipple preference just in case. My experience with this, though, is that the preference will usually be for what gets the food out easiest, so the chance of her prefering a pacifier over the rbeast is slim to none, imo. Nipple problems usully happen wiht a bottle, since food drips ot of it. Good luck, and hope you're feeling bettre soon!
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:52 AM   #4
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Re: Is she eating or pacifying herself

I agree that if your nipples are sore and cracked, the latch might need some fine tuning. When DJ first started nursing (I pumped exclusively for about 6.5 weeks) I was really sore and he was eating constantly so I called the hospital where I delivered and made an appointment with the LC. She didn't charge me anything and got me in the same day. She pointed out a couple of small things about his latch but mostly she said it looked fine and shouldn't be causing any problems. As he continued to nurse and we chatted, she noticed that toward the end of the feeding, he was slipping a bit as we both "settled in" and got comfortable. The end result was that the latch at the end of the feeding was very different from at the beginning. She gave me a couple of tips on how I was holding him and just knowing to watch out for slipping made a huge difference! I imagine that problem would be even worse with a teeny-tiny newborn.

Also, since you mentioned that she is chugging the milk and it's dripping out the sides, you may have an overactive letdown. When she nurses on one side, does the milk spray from the other side or just dribble? If you have a really hard letdown (I did, probably from all the pumping) it can overwhelm the baby and make her swallow more air...then she mistakes the gas pains for hunger and it's a viscious cycle. A couple of things you can do are to pump or express just enough to get through the letdown before latching her on or try nursing in a reclining position or even laying flat on your back so that gravity helps slow down the flow.

Another possibility is that you might have a slight oversupply...in the first few weeks it can be a roller coaster trying to achieve just the right balance. If you have too much milk, then baby gets more of the watery foremilk and less of the filling fatty hindmilk...the foremilk goes through them faster so they want to nurse more often, then you make even more milk, and so on. Make sure that she's emptying one breast before you switch to the other side. You may even try doing breast compressions if she gets frustrated when the flow slows down. You may also try nursing on the same side two feedings in a row to get more hindmilk in her. If her stools are green and mucousy, that's usually a sign of too much foremilk.

Finally, it could be just perfectly normal. Newborn babies have tiny little tummies and breastmilk is very easily digested. Since DJ was bottlefed for the first few weeks, I knew exactly how much he was getting. He was always a snacker...he'd take 1/4 - 1/2 ounce (mind you he'd take forever getting that!) and then wait 30-45 minutes and want another half ounce or so. In a way, I'm glad he was getting his milk from a bottle because if he'd been nursing that much, it would have been really hard for me not to second-guess myself. Here's a very interesting article about frequency of nursing in different species...check it out: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detfreq.html

Good luck and hang in there...it does get easier...I promise!
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: Is she eating or pacifying herself

I'm not concerned about the pacifier thing. She has one but spits it out and then uses her hand. The paci doesn't really seem to even comfort her, but I still try and put it back in. She just seems to purposely spit it out to get me.

I know I have an oversupply of milk. I did with my first daughter as well, but I swear she never wanted to eat every hour! The latch has gotten much better. She just mutilated me the first and second day. The LC at the hospital really pissed me off so I didn't want to really ask them for help. It was a nurse that ended up helping me get over my hurdle. I got some of the nipple shields and that has somewhat eased the pain, I just don't want to rely on them. I make sure that I switch positions from cradle, to football, to side lying. Maybe I will start pumping and feed her from the bottle for a day and see how much fills her up.

I know that last time I ended up feeding my dd1 with one boob per feeding. She would eat for 30-45 minutes and then she was done. My boobs adjusted fine, but I don't think I started that this early. Has anyone else done that this early in the game? Do you think it would be okay to start?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:54 PM   #6
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Re: Is she eating or pacifying herself

When I was breastfeeding my dd did the same thing she wanted to eat every 30 minutes drove me nuts. But then I started just using one breast for one feeding that would hold her an hour or little bit more I started doing that when dd was 3 days old then I would just rotate my feeding on one breast one feeding then feeding on the other breast the other feeding I also had to do breast compressions to make sure my breast where emptied while she was nursing. I hope everything works out for you.
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:31 PM   #7
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Re: Is she eating or pacifying herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamac
I'm not concerned about the pacifier thing. She has one but spits it out and then uses her hand. The paci doesn't really seem to even comfort her, but I still try and put it back in. She just seems to purposely spit it out to get me.

I know I have an oversupply of milk. I did with my first daughter as well, but I swear she never wanted to eat every hour! The latch has gotten much better. She just mutilated me the first and second day. The LC at the hospital really pissed me off so I didn't want to really ask them for help. It was a nurse that ended up helping me get over my hurdle. I got some of the nipple shields and that has somewhat eased the pain, I just don't want to rely on them. I make sure that I switch positions from cradle, to football, to side lying. Maybe I will start pumping and feed her from the bottle for a day and see how much fills her up.

I know that last time I ended up feeding my dd1 with one boob per feeding. She would eat for 30-45 minutes and then she was done. My boobs adjusted fine, but I don't think I started that this early. Has anyone else done that this early in the game? Do you think it would be okay to start?

Thanks again.

First- the pacifier is just going to mess things up. If she doesn't like it don't push it. It may only cause nipple confusion and make your nipples even MORE sore. yuck.
Second, you don't need to pump- It will only confuse your body and then mess up your supply. Promise, she will change next week. If the nipple shields help, then by all means use them! You can wean her off of them. There are many many moms who have done it.

I would be EXTREMELY hesitant to give her a bottle at this stage. Its way to early, and may sabotage your nursing relationship and you may end up having to pump exclusivly because she is rejecting you for the bottle ( because it is easier for her...) and many moms find it very hard to exclusively pump. Then you have to start supplementing.. and that is the beginning of the end.
Have you checked out http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html

Now for my story. That is all I did for the first 2 weeks it seemed like. We nursed and nursed and nursed. Have you invested in a sling yet? They will save your life, and sanity. Bella never took a pacifier, which was good. Her daddy wanted her to, just so she would relax more around him, but in a week or so she was fine alone with him. Bella still nurses on demand, and always will. Sometimes it is every 3 hours, sometimes every 30 min. It really depends on her mood. And yes, sometimes it is comfort sucking, and there is nothing wrong with that It will help your supply in fact.

Oh- and I usually did feed Bella from one side per feeding. In fact most reccomend it. That way they get the hind milk as well as the foremilk. The good fatty stuff is at the end

And if I came off... snippy? I don't mean to Just don't want to see someones bfing relationship go down the tubes!!
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:18 AM   #8
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Re: Is she eating or pacifying herself

When I nurse my son, Ashton, he'll nurse until he's full, but then want to suck while he falls asleep. I use a pacifier, because when he tries to nurse to pacify himself and gets milk, he cries. Instead he wants to suck his wrist or the side of him hand, and gets hickeys (sp?)!! The pacifier doesn't mess him up, if he's hungry, he's smart enough to know the difference. (That's my boob-boy!) I'm actually pro-pacifier, as long as you don't give it to your baby when she's hungry. It's a life saver in the car! But if your baby is still hunrgy, I wouldn't use it.
Also, try burping her more often. Sometimes Ashton thinks he's full, but after he burps, he makes room for more. If your dd swallows air, it will give her a false ***and temporary*** feeling of being full. I think I had the same question for my midwife about 6 weeks ago, when Ashton was still new! Good luck, and remember, the more you nurse the tougher those nipples are going to get, so have at it!
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Old 07-12-2006, 07:26 AM   #9
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Re: Is she eating or pacifying herself

I am going to a local lactation consultant this morning to see if she can help me. I think one of the problems is that my boob and nipple are so large (I am normally a D-DD) so who knows what they are right now, maybe an H ( I am not kidding I think they weigh more than the baby). So I am starting to think that maybe she is getting that proper latch. I will NOT give up bf, I got over the hurdles last time, so there is no reason to get over them this time! I'll keep you posted. Thanks again!
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Old 07-12-2006, 07:31 AM   #10
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Re: Is she eating or pacifying herself

Definately get the LC to help you make sure that the latch is correct- but the best thing I can recommend to help your nipples heal is to apply some breastmilk directly to your nipples. Express just a few drops BEFORE you nurse, rub it into your nipple, and then let it dry. It makes a wonderful water barrier between you and the baby and helps keep the cracking from getting worse. Then- after you nurse express a little more, rub it in, and let it air dry. Leave the flaps of your bra open and just walk around like that. Then, express a little more every half hour or so- I found that this works even better than applying lanolin creams. I was shown how to do this with my first- and I've now nursed 3 (with #4 pending) and never had the first crack or sore.
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