5-10 min feed for 3M old - norml & efficient or low supp

A baby's refusal to feed is a distressing time. Sometimes the refusal is outright; other times just an extreme fussiness. Usually it is temporary and the baby returns to the breast. Share your experiences and support one another through this tough time here.
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5-10 min feed for 3M old - norml & efficient or low supp

Post by Jem45 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:41 pm

Id really apprecite your feedback & advice - my now 3month old boy became a very fussy feeder from about 6-8 weeks, prior to that he did the typical newborn long luxurious feeds of 30 mins or do each side, but he has become what I suspect is a very effiient feeder with a very strong suck and seems to be 'finished' in 3-4 minutes sometimes on each side, totalling 10 mins for a feed. (ive just started feeding from one side only and he finishes again in 10 mins one side) He does take longer on overnight or early morning feeds when there is more milk (say 15 mins!) but from around 10 am - 6 pm feeds he gets very fussy after the initial fast let down and comes off breat repeatedly, thrashes about, then cries (& he doent usually cry/scream any other time is usually a very placid baby) - all this is very distressesing to me because it seems like he is crying for more.... But I wonder if he's just had enough and wants to be taken off? This doesnt happen every single feed, but quite often.
He is not fussy between feeds (roughly every 3hours) and otherwise ok. He has about 5 wet nappies in 24 hours, theyre not super heavy though. His weight gain is ok, MCN was happy with his gains though hes in 25th percentile.

Sorry for the incoherent ramble - but is it possible hes done that quickly and getting all the milk he needs or is the fussiness because he wants more? I am on motillium and had low supply initially which adds to my paranoia, unless this is normal behaviour at this age?

Much much appreciate your feedback.

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Post by Ruth » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:32 pm

Mine only fed for 10 min max, from one side, almost from birth, I'd say normal as long as meeting milestones x

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Post by Jem45 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:41 pm

I should add that when he comes off the breast screaming he starts sucking his hand furiously (hungry or comfort?) and takes a good few minutes of shushing to calm down.
Also, if I ever put him on the breast in between feeds, say an hour after last feed, there is no letdown that I can sense, he sucks but no gulp/swallowvand comes off frustrated and screaming again. I was trying to put him on more oftrn to stimulate more milk production but he wont stay on. If I express between feeds I barely get 20 mls each side if that.

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Post by marie7 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:09 pm

My boys were efficient feeders too, 10 min max... I would continue to watch wet nappies ect. And milestones and continue as you are. I would still try and offer as much as you can to stimulate, even if it's only a fe sucks, I recommend a counsellor also... Have you tried the helpline? It's 1800 mum2mum.
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Post by fellare » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:25 pm

expressing is one of the worst indicators of how much milk you've got. A tiny bit of stress can ruin expressing-output, while there is plenty of milk there. No such problems when you feed the baby, though!

5 min is plenty of time, they become very efficient. Just keep feeding on demand, it will be fine. Rare baby who lets themself go hungry. You can't forcefeed them on the breast either.

With the fussing when coming off, could you either have too much milk, or too forceful a let down? I suspect the latter one based on what you're saying. Maybe try feeding while lying on your back, so he has to feed against gravity.

anyway, you better call a counsellor, they can ask all the right questions.

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Post by Jem45 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:37 pm

Thanks all!
To be honest I had a couple of bad experiences with ph counsellors in the early days, am a member and have been going through the forums and essence magazine and it seems a short feed can be normal. I just had a few friends tell me their babies fed for much longer so I had nothing to compare it to that was normal so far.

Perhaps he just is done and hates being kept on the breast? My letdown is fast, not so bad that I need to lie back through, he doesnt choke or splutter etc...
He is meeting milestones and perhaps just 'small' regardless of feeding dramas. Its just so upsetting seeing him SO distressed and wondering if its my fault or something I can do differently :-(

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Post by Gwen's Mum » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:18 pm

This article on the ABA website might make you feel a bit better, too - it has some great information about indicators your baby is getting enough milk:

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... mum/supply

And being on the 25th percentile is perfectly fine! Everyone - babies and adults alike - comes in different shapes and sizes. :) The issue with 'the charts' is more so if your baby doesn't consistently follow their curve/percentile line - but it sounds like you and your LO are doing great! Short feeds can be completely normal, and as you point out can just be a sign of your LO becoming a more efficient feeder.

If you felt comfortable trying again, it might also be worth trying the Helpline - you'll likely get a completely different counsellor, and they'll be able to talk through what's happening and identify some additional suggestions and provide some reassurance. Otherwise, you could send your query through to a counsellor via email, and they'll provide a written response instead. :)

ETA: Re the fussiness - trust your gut instinct. Do you feel like it's just plain old frustration at having finished a feed and wanting to take a break? Or do you think there's something more to it? If the latter, maybe a chat to your GP, CHN or other trusted health advisor - or an ABA counsellor - could help reassure you or troubleshoot/refer on if necessary?
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Post by Nedsmum » Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:45 am

If he's coming off when the milk is spurting, it might be the fast flow, or it might be that he's got an air bubble. If it was me I'd put him gently upright to try to encourage the burp (I'm not a big patter as two of my kids were refluxers)... and then if he does burp, assume that's the source of the fussiness and give it another go at the breastfeeding.

I doubt that it makes much difference whether you feed for 5 or 20 minutes, if the baby is hungry he will just want to feed sooner or longer, or faster next time. Overall intake isn't measured by how many feeds or how long the feeds are, just by the baby's appetite. Unless you are drastically reducing feeding, or leaving the baby to cry when they are hungry, I doubt you can make much difference.

What was your baby's birthweight ? Were they born early, late or ontime ? Any complications, separations from the mother, problems getting things started, or illnesss ? Those things would all impact weight far more than the length of feeds...

My second one (the non-refluxer) never fed more than 5 minutes from day one, and never took more than one letdown of milk, soon as it spurted again, he was off and there was no coaxing him back on. I remember calling my local group leader, who lived just a block away, to ask her to pop in if she had time to see my bubba and observe the feeding, when he was barely 2-3 weeks old, because of the fast feeding, but it was absolutely fine... he fed 2 hourly, round the clock, but never more than 5 minutes...
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Post by Monicat » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:11 pm

My kids have all been reasonably quick feeders and when they come off and scream I have found it was usually due to them wanting to comfort suck for a little while, but of course the milk keeps coming out so they are getting annoyed come off and cry then try again, and getting upset again that more milk is coming when they just want a sleepy little comfort suck to go to sleep!

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Post by Jem45 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:45 pm

Gwen's mum - thank you, tht was very helpful.

Thanks again all, its a great comfort to hear of other very fast feeders and that it can be totally normal.

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