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HELP! My Baby Is Eating All The Time!

Whether a phone conversation, a Skype consultation or an email, I always begin with the same two questions:    

1. How old is your baby?
2. Are your nipples sore?

I know that during the first 1-5 days after the birth of your healthy newborn there will be dozens of variables that can influence why your baby doesn’t just “suck down four ounces and sleep for four hours.” - as a new mother recently said to me after having previously fed her older children bottled formula.

Most often the eating all the time is coupled with nipple pain.

If I am able to improve how your just born baby attaches to your breast, I will solve these two most common complaints of mothers during the first week of breastfeeding. There are many easily Googled videos demonstrating how to achieve a deep, pain free latch. I like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq5dWoOGJbM

The point she makes about the importance of an “asymmetric latch” can’t be stressed enough and I thank the mom who made it.

Latch, latch, latch. Lactation consultants know that a good latch will allow your sore nipples to heal and hurt less during feedings. Think about it... If your nipple is being compressed between your baby’s tongue and palate, it causes pain. Pain is your signal that trauma is occurring. Fix the latch before that white compression line becomes a crack. Your nipple should be free floating in the back of your baby’s mouth/throat. Compression upfront causes trauma and pinches off the milk supply to the nipple. That’s why your baby is feeding all the time, he’s actually not feeding much at all. If your baby is doing 4, 5, 6 sucks in a row and doesn’t get enough volume in return to trigger a swallow, he will stop. This sets up a frustrated cycle of sucking and stopping than can go on for hours. Sound familiar?

A hands on session with a board certified lactation consultant will fix your “feeding all the time and nipple pain” dilemma with science, positioning and wisdom. La Leche League offers hands on support within their mother’s groups around the country.

If your just born infant is putting out fewer than 6 urine diapers or 2-3 soft stools in a 24 hour period? Consult your health care providers.

Paula Zindler
RN IBCLC

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