Breastfeeding

Can a slow nurser ever increase their speed?

My DD is a slow, leisurely eater--roughly 45 min. per breast.  She also is eating every 2.5 hours, so when she finishes, she's back on both breasts.  So, I really can't NIP or on the go with her (mall, zoo, park, etc.) since I have my 3 year old with me--he wouldn't stay put for nearly 90 min. So, I have to resort to the bottle (with my breastmilk).  I envy those mothers who can latch their kid and be finished in 20 min!

I've had 2 LCs give me conflicting information:  1 told me that she shouldn't nurse for more than 15 min., while another told me to leave her on as long as she wants in order to get all of the hindmilk.  I followed the 2nd LC's advice, and here I am--spending almost 8 hrs a day nursing my daughter.

 Do any of you experienced breast feeding moms of slow nursers tell me if your child picked up the pace as they got older or if you did anything to encourage them to pick up the pace?

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Re: Can a slow nurser ever increase their speed?

  • mnewleemnewlee
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments
    member

    G was a slow eater at first. It took her an hour to eat (usually one side per feeding) and she ate every two hours. So I spent half my day nursing her.

    Today she ate lunch in under 10 minutes. So yes, there is definitely hope that she'll pick up speed.

     

    When she was still slow if I had to go out in public I would just nurse her until she seemed to slow down a little bit and then call it done. That was usually good enough to tide her over until we got home. 

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  • It is very common for younger babies to take a long time eating and then about three to four months they'll pick up the pace.   DS went from 30 minute feedings to 5 to 10 minutes at about 4 months. 
  • My LO took about an hour, usually longer, in the beginning.  She is now down to 25 minutes.  :-)  I play the same CD when she eats, and I know when a certain song starts that she's almost done.  
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  • My LO used to take forever to nurse and now she's over it in about 2 minutes, ha ha. She'll still do longer sessions when she's sleepy, so before nap or bedtime, but if she's just hungry, she's on and off.
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  • My LO still really hasn't consistently sped up.  He is just all over the map.  anywhere from 10 min to 2 hours.  I agree with PP.. When you are out just limit her time then (unlatch after say 10-15 min then give her a pacifier).  Or you can just keep doing bottles if trying that doesn't work.
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  • LO was a very slow nurser at the start and until he was ~3 mo old.  It took him 30 min per breast and he nursed both sides at every feed.   He was nursing every 2 hr too until 3-4 mo.  Somewhere in 3-4 mo, he started to decrease his total nursing time to 45 min and then it progressively got better.  I'd say by 5 mo he was 15 each side so a session still took 30 min. He now will finish nursing in 5-7 min and usu only takes one side at a time. If you are able to keep with it, it will get better.  I'm not sure how giving a bottle will affect this.  From about 4 wks we introduced a bottle at first only a few times a week but by 10 wks, he got at least one a day.  He never had more than one bottle a day until 6 mo when I went back to work.

    I never tried anything to increase his rate of eating; he did it all on his own but it took a while.  I'm surprised an LC told you to only nurse for 15 min.  That is counter to everything I've been told or read.  Do you have a sling to help nurse while you're on the go?  I never tried it but many people are able to nurse in the sling and leave their hands free for doing things with older siblings.   

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  • image mnewlee:

    G was a slow eater at first. It took her an hour to eat (usually one side per feeding) and she ate every two hours. So I spent half my day nursing her.

    Today she ate lunch in under 10 minutes. So yes, there is definitely hope that she'll pick up speed.

     

    When she was still slow if I had to go out in public I would just nurse her until she seemed to slow down a little bit and then call it done. That was usually good enough to tide her over until we got home. 

    My LO takes about 45 minutes total. If I'm in public I do the same - feed just enough to make it home.  

  • Have you tried nursing while babywearing? This would allow you to be up and on the move while allowing LO to eat.

    DD has gotten more efficient as she has gotten older. However I think she still would stay latched on and nurse/nap for hours sometimes if I let her.

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  • You have hope! LO use to nurse for almost an hour. Trust me, I was ready to pull out my hair and could only watch so much TV during that time. Then, around 3 months he started taking 30 minutes and now he is down to about 20 minutes. Hang in there, mama!

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  • Thanks everyone for your responses.  I feel so much better knowing that most young ones tend to pick up the pace as they get older.  It's been a real challenge trying to nurse while caring for my 3 year old.  I think that I might have to whip out my old Moby wrap and see if she wouldn't mind nursing in that while I'm on the go. 
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