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It takes 1 and a half hours to breastfeed my baby?

3 March 2010 13 Responses

A Parent asks, I have a newborn that is 3 weeks old. She was born 5 weeks premature, and has only been feeding independantly for just over a week. Now we are home it is taking a long time to feed her, up to an hour and a half, and she still wants more. It didnt take this long when we were in hospital.. is this normal? I have been trying to express milk but dont seen to be able to get much, so i have been topping her up with formula.. is this right?

13 Responses »

  • Realist111 said:


    You can top her off, though her feeding lengths will change. Do you think its an issue of latching? and its harder for her to get milk? watch her or listen closely when shes feeding. You should see her jaw draw down all the way and hear a swallow if shes feeding.. It may be that she gets done feeding and is comfort suckling for some of that time.

    If its any consolation, when I first got home my son would nurse for 45 minutes each side and get topped. Mine turned out to be a supply issue.

    Call the local La Leche or a lactation consultant to come over and give you a hand if you’re comfortable with that.

    Happy Nursing.

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  • itchianna said:


    Whoa, that is not good. If a baby nurses longer than twenty minutes they are burning up more calories than they are taking in. If you have your heart set on breast feeding, which is a good thing, you need to contact doctor and her pediatrician. They can help you find a breast feeding specialist. You may also want to see a pediatric dietitian to assist you in bumping up the calories in her formula, and your intake to assist in milk production. The problem is that breast milk is a supply and demand, the more you feed the more you produce, if you have been stimulating the breast for this long and have no milk there could be a problem with your production.

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  • me&2kids said:


    She may be going through a growth spurt and what she’s doing by nursing constantly and endlessly is increasing your milk supply. Nurse her as much as you can, be patient, she’s only just learning how to do things by herself. Relax, watch some TV or read a book while she’s nursing, and give yourself a pat on the back for breastfeeding! Usually the growth spurt only lasts a couple of days, but if you’re topping her off with formula, it might take longer. Also, is she miserable when she’s done nursing or just interested? If she’s miserable, then obviously she needs more, so keep nursing! Usually growth spurts occur at approx 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. But because your baby is premature things might happen differently. Goodluck and keep it up!

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  • ♥Crystal♥ said:


    all the lactation consultants I’ve spoken with have always said a feeding shouldn’t last longer than twenty minutes.

    you could have a low milk supply or your baby is just comfort sucking.

    contact a local lactation consultant and meet up with her and ask her for help. she will give you all the advice you need.

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  • cheerychumms said:


    it sounds to me like your milk supply is low due to supplementing with formula…I have the same problem as i too nurse for a long time and baby gets milk but he does not get enough and full so i give him a little formula afterwards. 2 suggestions that really work…u have to either stop giving formula as often and feed baby every 2 hours *wake him if u have to* and empty each breast *let him nurse until he is finished on his own*,then in between feedings pump your breasts or massage them and express milk by hand…this will help u make more milk…also drink a lot of WATER!!!

    or,the easy way and safe and effective,,,,go to your local gnc,target,walgreens etc and buy some ALL NATURAL blessed thistle ad fenugreek..take each 3..3x’s a day..they are in pill form,all natural vitamins and herbs that make u produce more milk..women have been doing this since biblical times and is safe..u will notice a BIG difference in your milk supply and notice baby gets very full…good luck!

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  • sassyme... said:


    I have a 3wk old myself and she eats alot too, I both breastfeed and give her formula since the breast milk don’t seem to be enough, according to the doctor be worried when your child don’t want to eat, your baby has a good appitite, just be glad your breast feeding and giving formula imagine having to buy only formula… be patient and enjoy your bundle while you can as they grow so fast…

    congrats and good luck!!

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  • lamby1217 said:


    i had the same problem. i thought my baby was nursing the whole time. her pediatrician explained to me that after about 10 minutes the breast empties. she was just “using me” as a pacifier the rest of the time. what worked for me is i let her nurse for 15 minutes on one side, burped her, then another 15 on the other side. the older she got (like 2 months) the easier it became . i would avoid the formula unless her doctor is concerned about her weight gain. breastfeeding really is the way to go and i promise it does get easier.

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  • lucky_1179 said:


    it happened to me… he took ages for breasfeeding (1 hour 1 side, 2 hour another side) and ask some more another 15 minutes … i was struggling then i decide to do mix (1 feed with formula, 1 feed time breastfeed)… nite time only formula, cos i couldn’t help it

    i took the lactation class twice, i graduated it very well :p
    but once i got home, seem like i didnt have any skill for breastfeed him … sigh :( (

    anyway… whatever u feel best for both of u

    the key of successful breastfeeding is never give up, lots of drinking, keep expressing, keep breastfeeding, lots eats beans n milk .. lots of eat … but for me it didnt work

    at the end of the day… formula is not bad

    the difference just : breastmilk can built antibody and kids tends less have any allergic,…

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  • Dani said:


    I have had real issues breastfeeding my babies in the past, and has taken all 5 of them at least a good month to get them established (problems puttng them on over lack of milk)

    The more you feed, the more milk you will have, supplimenting with formula is ok, but you must realise if you want to fully breastfeed for a good 6 months or more, you are best to aviod formula as it will slowely reduce your milk supply. Pumping also is not as good as a baby on the breast so it too can produce problems with milk supply over time. though many women can breastfeed entirely through pumping, its just a bit more time consuming.

    If you do want to soley breastfeed you need to just keep feeding, seeing as you are feeding for 1 1/2 hours chances are baby is actually comfort sucking aslo, it doesnt mean you dont have enough milk, just some babies like the closeness and comfort sucking after a feed, if she is just latched on, but no longer moving her jaw or sucking, you can slowely slip your small finger into her mouth to relase the suction, if shes finished her feed she will stay asleep.

    the baby I am feeding at the moment is my 5th and he does like to comfort suck alot, as you can imagine with 4 others, its not always handy but I let him for a wee while before breaking the seal and putting him to bed.

    The main way to know if she is getting enough or not is also look at how long she is asleep for after each feed, and how many wet nappies she has, if she sleeps a good 2 or 3 hours after each feed (which she may not being premature) then she is getting enough milk, also the case if she has a good 6 or more wet nappies. if however she is constantly waking half an hour after you feed her and her nappies are often dry and dont need changing then I would talk to your plunket nurse or midwife to see about seeing a lactaction consultant as you might need some help to produce more milk..

    I wish you all the best of luck and congrats on your wee girl :)

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  • MaPetiteHippopotame said:


    Some babies are very ‘slow eaters’, and others just like sucking more than others. Is it ‘active’ nursing for that long? My daughter would usually fall asleep while nursing and cry if I tried to pry her off. It’s like a baby with a pacifier, crying until they have it popped back in their mouth. It might not necessarily be hunger but a bodily reflex that is driving your baby to nurse that long at a time. It took a little while for her to be able to sleep on her own, without my boob near her mouth.

    I’d be very careful if I were you when offering formula. This early and you can seriously affect your milk supply. The rule of thumb is if you are sensing a lack in milk supply, to offer yourself for MORE nursing, and not to offer formula. This is of course difficult if you are nursing up to an hr and a half at a time, but make sure it is actually active nursing time you are counting.

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  • lara c said:


    I dont know, but the longer she wants to eat its great. with her being premature its really good she is eating that much and has a healthy appetite. im sure she needs all the nutrients she can get. talk to your doctor about concerns, but in the meantime , i would feed her as much as she wants, whenver she wants.

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  • maegs33 said:


    Hey! That was me with my first! Practically the same thing!

    My first was almost a month early and he was SUCH a sleepy nurser. I would have to tickle him, rub his back, undress him to keep him awake to nurse.
    Still, it was taking forever.

    Some STUPID IDIOT doctor (can you tell I’m still angry?) told me to top him off with formula. Well, that REALLY cut my milk supply. Every ounce of formula she takes in is an ounce you don’t make, cutting your supply. I ended up having to pump and/or feed every two hours for two weeks, it was absolutely miserable. I WISH I’d never fed him any formula in the first place. I took fenugreek, ate oatmeal, drank water, and nursed often to get my supply back. It DID work.

    I went to see the lactation consultant and she diagnosed us with a bad latch. Once she and I worked on the latch, I could tell what I was doing. I’d never thought to listen to see if he was swallowing. Do you hear her swallowing? Can you feel your letdown?

    You can talk to the lactation consultants at the hospital where you delivered for free. It’s worth giving them a call.

    Don’t go by what you’re expressing. That’s never a good way to tell how much you make because a baby is way more efficient.

    My mom gave me the best advice–just sit down and nurse the baby and you’ll make enough milk. Break her latch after 25 minutes and burp her, then offer her the other side. If she wants to nurse more, let her.

    Some hope: my first cut his feedings to 20 minutes eventually. We nurse exclusively for 12 months and kept nursing until 2.5 years. Every baby is different. My second is done sometimes in less than 10 minutes–that was a shock since it had taken so long before.

    Most of all, stick with it! You’re both learning how. Trust your amazing body to make enough for your baby.

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  • Jess said:


    I definitely would not top her off with formula. This will decrease your supply. What I noticed with my daughter was not that she was hungry, but she wanted to be on the breast for comfort (much like a pacifier). Right now is too early to give her a nuk, because you want to establish a good latch, etc. Also, because she was premature, she has “catching” up to do. Breastfeeding is the best for premature babies. I guarantee she isn’t “burning” more calories than she should be. She is nursing that long for one reason or another. Whether she is trying to establish a good supply (when she wants more, she will nurse more often and frequently and your supply should accommodate within 2-3 days. Topping her off with formula could be over feeding her as well.

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