Who to trust? — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Who to trust?

 So my lactation consultant and my pediatrician are telling me two different things. I'm not sure which one to go with. My two week old daughter likes to "graze" in the afternoons.  She will start to fuss and I will attach her to the nipple, she'll eat hungrily for about 20 seconds, and then completely lose interest. Nothing I can do can make her latch again. Then in about 5 or 10 minutes, she will start to fuss again  and will go through the whole process all over again. This can last 4 to 5 hours. By the end, I'm exhausted and cranky, my back is achy, and my nipples are sore. My pediatrician is telling me that is perfectly normal. My lactation consultant is telling me that this means I have a low milk supply and I have to start express or pumping at night in order to increase my milk. Has this happened to anyone else and what worked to help the grazing?

Re: Who to trust?

  • I would trust the LC. They are specifically trained and experienced in this area- more than a pedi is.

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  • Normally, I say go with the LC, but this time I think I agree with the pedi. Is your LO back to birthweight? Is she having enough wet/dirty diapers? If so, it sounds like she's cluster feeding, which is totally normal. It's exhausting, but normal. :) Get some Lansinoh gel soothies to keep in the fridge and put them in your bra to help your nipples. You can also put a little breastmilk on your nipples and then let them air dry. This too shall pass. My girls clusterfed in their early weeks. I don't remember them sleeping for a stretch, as mentioned in the article, but maybe you'll be lucky and get some sleep after the marathon feedings. 

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  • meganraschkemeganraschke
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    edited March 2016
    You really have to trust your gut. At 3 weeks my LO was doing the same thing. Yet his wet and dirty diapers were fine. He still hadn't regained his birth weight but had gained 9oz in one week which I was super happy about. After an inflated sense of breastfeeding going well I was shocked that by my next appointment he had lost weight. 

    Did she have jaundice? That can make them lazy eaters. 

    My LO would always pull off and sleep when my supply tanked. 
    Try an experiment, give your LO a bottle with a med or slow nipple or both if you really want to test it. And see if she eats the same way from the bottle as she does from the breast. 

    In the end the LC should be the best advice. She should have done a weighted feed? Where you weigh before in just a dry diaper and after a feed (keeping the dirty diaper if there is one). 
    If your LC did not do this find out if a hospital near you has a nursing room and a scale you can use. 
    I ended up buying a mail scale (yes you read that right) they are incredibly accurate and baby scales are expensive!! Weigh LO before and after on a cookie sheet. 

    Breastfeeding was very important to me, but I made some terrible rookie mistakes early on that set me up for weaning earlier than I wanted too. 

    Dont trust anyone, not articles, not the LC, not the pediatrician. Do a weighted feed and see the facts. LO may not fit into anyone's categories. 

    One tip tip for what I did wrong when my LO fed like this: be sure to switch sides every 15 minutes. I block fed not even knowing what I was doing and decreased my supply non intentionally. Sorry that was long but I wish someone had replied to me this way 6 months ago
  • It sounds like cluster feeding as others have said. Also I think there is a growth spurt around 2 weeks. Has she taken a bottle at all at this point? You could try pumping to see how big your supply is. Do you feel full? Does she fall asleep after the 20 seconds or just doesn't want to eat any more? It doesn't hurt to add an additional pumping session to keep your supply up either way so I would go with the LCs advice but not worry too much at this point.

  • LoALoA
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    I agree with PP. Sounds like cluster feeding. I went through similar situation at this time too. She was eating all the time. I just kept feeding her and now at 5 weeks she has feedings ranging from every 3 to sometimes 5 hours in between them. I think this process just helped my milk supply to increase. I did add a pumping session, but in the morning around 10am usually. I now just add to freezer stash :)
  • I wouldn't say you have a low supply, more that your baby is hitting a growth spurt and cluster feeding, which yes, increases your supply. It is normal and I would nurse on demand.

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