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Old 12-15-2007, 02:45 AM   #1
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Breastfeeding a Newborn

I plan on EBFing dd#2 who is due in February. Now when dd#1 was born she was a "sleepy baby". I had to force her to wake up just to nurse the first few days. Does anyone know what causes this?

I was told constantly that I *had* to wake her up every 2 hours to nurse. So that's what I did; but now I'm wondering why they told me to do that? I remember dd's pedi telling me it was just to insure that she gained weight. But is that really necessary? I was terrified that I would starve her, but in hindsight it just wouldn't make sense for dd to let herself starve, kwim? I'd like to get more sleep this time around if it isn't that big of a deal...any thoughts?

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Old 12-15-2007, 02:49 AM   #2
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Re: Breastfeeding a Newborn

When I brought DD home from the hospital, she slept a 4 hour stretch and I flipped out thinking she was going to starve. Our ped told me at our 2 week appointment that babies will let you know when they are hungry and let them sleep (in turn, you should sleep) whenever possible.

I didn't really delve into the subject anymore, as I just wanted someone to tell me to sleep. :P

I'd love to hear what others have to say on the topic!
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:11 AM   #3
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Re: Breastfeeding a Newborn

my dd was the same way-im thinking its bc of the drugs they gave me for pain and to slow my bleeding.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:24 AM   #4
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Re: Breastfeeding a Newborn

I let my son choose when he wants to eat.....sometimes at night every 2-3 hours sometimes he'll go 8-10 hours then munch all day!!! He's only 3 months and almost double his birth weight!!
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:15 AM   #5
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Re: Breastfeeding a Newborn

I never woke my daughter to nurse...like you said, it didn't make sense that she would let herself starve. Hunger is a very uncomfortable feeling, and it's a NEW uncomfortable feeling for a newborn that's had a steady stream of nourishment via the umbilical cord for the entirety of its existence.

Newborns are not shy about letting you know when something is not right, and unless they are malnourished to the brink of disaster, I don't think they would sleep through the uncomfortable feeling that is an empty stomach.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:23 AM   #6
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Re: Breastfeeding a Newborn

My dd dropped from 8#8oz down to 7#6oz (more than the typical weight dip expected). We were told we had to wake her every 2 hours during the day and let her go no more than 4 hours overnight. Their reasoning was that she didn't have enough calories to wake up. Seriously, she was drinking like 5 ounces over a 24 hour period...we were feeding her by a little cup and she just would not wake up. ... wasn't even alert enough to take the breast if she wanted to.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: Breastfeeding a Newborn

Mine was a preemie a(just barely) nd I wasn't supposed to let her go mroe than 3 or 4 hours between feeds. It seems like the pp said, that she just wouldn't have the energy to wake up on her own until she built up the stamina to be able to eat so often, and so we had to wake her up sometimes--she would sleep straight through at the NICU and have to be woken up half the time. That said, as soon as she came home she woke up every 3-4 hours on her own (I set the alarm for every 3.5 hours and she woke up just before it) and soon she was on her own schedule.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:02 AM   #8
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Re: Breastfeeding a Newborn

My DS had jaundice which causes them to be sleepy... sleepy to the point of not eating enough and not noticing or not feeling the hunger. A newborn's tummy is too small to take in much so they do NEED to feed that often. That said, if you baby is bigger and/or gaining well, I wouldn't worry if they slept 4 hours at a stretch vs 2-3. I would be concerned if they slept much longer than that because (with the small stomach) they can't really "make up" a feeding by eating 2x as much later, KWIM?
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:04 AM   #9
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Re: Breastfeeding a Newborn

The first 24 hours, Elizabeth would barely wake to nurse. I had to actually pump the colostrum and finger feed her (and she actually never lost any weight in the hospital). After my milk came in on the second day, she began waking every 2 hours on her own to eat, longer stretches at night. I have never woken my babies up to eat. They will let you know when they are hungry
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:43 AM   #10
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Re: Breastfeeding a Newborn

My understanding is that they need to eat at least 8, hopefully 12 times a day. So if you can make feedings closer to every 2 hours during the day, you should be able to go 4 hours overnight. When they're a new newborn their tummies are so tiny they just can't eat very much at one feeding so they need to eat that frequently.

Having said that, DD slept a ton too, lost too much weight, and we had to give ger some formula for a couple days until I could pump enough to give her enough. I'm still having problems keeping her awake longer than a couple minutes, so I understand the frustration!

Best wishes to you!!!
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