My baby is not satisfied after breastfeeding!
"Should I feed more?"
"Is she still hungry? But I just fed her for an hour!"
"Does she have wind? Is she tired? I can't tell!"
Does this sound familiar to you breastfeeding mamas?
With baby #2, one of the most frustrating things for me was that my newborn was mostly unsatisfied after our 1 hour breastfeeding session.
Yes, you read it right. ONE HOUR every breastfeeding session (multiply that by 8-10 times a day). This was not even cluster-feeding. It took her 45-60 minutes to drink from both breasts.
I did a quick google search and had the impression that babies should take between 15-20 minutes to breastfeed. I thought something was wrong with me or with her, so I consulted with a lactation consultant.
But this is normal for newborns.
But even after 60 minutes of breastfeeding, she still did not seem satisfied. We would burp her after to make sure she's not fussing because of trapped wind. 30 minutes later, she's fussing again.
My family told me she's not getting enough milk from me.
"She must be hungry! She needs to eat more." I didn't want to misread the signs and assumed she's hungry. She's gaining decent amount of weight and having 6-8 wet nappies a day. My milk should be enough for her. So, I tried to analyse her behaviour:
1. Her head is moving from side to side, but she's not craning her neck back
Is she just tired or is she hungry?
2. She sucks her tongue
Is she trying to self-soothe or is she hungry?
3. Is she pulling her legs up to her chest?
She's not. I've burped her and she doesn't seem to have wind pain.
I tried to settle and put her to sleep. I wish a dummy would soothe her but it didn't. I tried to burp and do bicycle legs on her to get rid of trapped wind. But she's still fussing, and it's getting out of control.
We decided to top her up with expressed breastmilk (I used Hakaa manual pump to collect letdown) of 50ml, and she took it. She took it and fell asleep for a decent block of 40 minutes.
With breastfeeding and her not being satisfied after a feed, I felt like I didn't get a break at all. Plus, I have a 16 month old toddler at that time who I've been neglecting because I was constantly feeding.
In the end, we decided to supplement her with expressed breastmilk until she turned 2 months. By that age, she was able to suck and remove milk more effectively from my breasts. It's not a perfect solution because obviously by supplementing, it could affect my milk supply. I was very worried about that so I used my Hakaa pump during every feeding session to catch letdown. I also used it on my boob after baby was done sucking on it to signal the body to produce more milk.
I know that this situation is so common among breastfeeding mamas, and we worry so much about our milk supply and about our babies. I have exclusively expressed with my first, fed her formula because I couldn't take the stress, and now I could finally breastfeed. At the end of the day, a happy mama is all that matters and fed is best.