Breastfeeding Schedule?!?

Breastfeeding:Is there a Schedule?!?
(Written on: 26th June,2010)   

QUESTION: Assalamu Alaikum. How do I get my newborn to stay awake while breast feeding? He’s 2 weeks old and on average he’ll nurse for about 15 minutes every 2.5-3 hours. Is this enough? [‘Brand New Mummy’ (26th June, 2010 4:17 PM)]

ANSWER:
Wa Alaikumu Salaam,

This is a worry of many ‘new mummies’…mostly because everyone around you is sharing their own ‘versions’ of how to raise a newborn:p But really and truly, no one will know what baby needs at this age more than you; as the bond between a mother and her suckling child is stronger than anything else…

–    Firstly, your newly evolving ‘maternal instinct’ is the most important thing here right now. So trust it Inshaa AllahJ
–    Secondly, the first thing you need to figure out is whether your baby is getting enough nourishment. Has he been to his first doctor visit by now? Usually in the first week, the breastfeeding baby may lose a few ounces. But this does not mean that he is not getting enough to eat. The real way to figure this out is to observe his bowel movements. Is he passing urine and stool (‘watery & seedy’ appearance: and by the way, do not let anyone tell you the baby has diarrhea; as it’s supposed to look like that) frequently? For breastfeeding babies, this is usually easier to determine, as breast-milk flows right through the digestive system and may cause a bowel movement almost immediately after a meal at times!!!;)
–    Thirdly, waking him up…hummm…you see every newborn is different and has different eating and sleeping habits, some may feed more frequently, like every half hour, and spend less time on the feed itself, while other newborns may do quite the opposite!!! Generally, all they do is eat, “poop” and sleep and that’s about it right now. But by now you should have gotten your milk supply, so you should have a good idea if your breast has emptied a significant amount during this feed, even if it only lasts fifteen minutes. The time they spend feeding will become less as time passes, as they may now have better control over their ‘suction’ and thus be able to draw out more milk more quickly… thus the shorter amount of time spent suckling.

But still, despite the ‘scientific’ facts, ‘new mummies’ will always worry about these things and this is perfectly fine as you are now putting the welfare of your child before your own self, Mashaa Allah, as breastfeeding is very difficult for most mothers at times and very physically draining as well. So here are a few tips for waking up baby during a feed:-

1) Some Classics- tickle the baby under his feet during the feed, play with his chin, stroke his cheek, etc…

2) Azizah’s Tried & Tested – Stop baby during the feed, hold him up, burp him and switch to the other breast. This may help wake him up a little during the feed; also it will prevent one of your breasts from engorgement (which can be quite painful!!!), while the other is empty from this fifteen minute feed.

But generally sis’, once the baby is passing stool, passing urine, growing normally, etc… you really don’t have anything to worry about. Babies falling asleep after a feed usually means he is satisfied and content. Also, it is important to note that breastfeeding babies do not always burp after a feed, because unlike bottle feeding, there isn’t a lot of ‘air bubbles’ escaping into the baby as the suction is pretty tight. Although, it is always better to try to burp baby either way, to prevent any possible gassiness.

Hope this was helpful…:)

*NOTE: To all Moms, if you are still worried that something may be wrong, PLEASE NEVER HESITATE to call your pediatrician. They are there for a reason and please always trust your instincts as mothers Inshaa Allah:)
May Allah(swt) make this transition easy for you… Ameen…

Yours Truly,
Azizah…

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