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640548 tn?1340556955

How long to empty breast?

My daughter is 6 months old.  As a newborn she would nurse 15-20 minutes a side almost every hour.  She now goes 3 hours, every so often up to 4, between feeds, but only feeds for 5 minutes and only on one side most of the feedings. I know as babies get older and more proficient at sucking it doesn't take as long for them to completely empty a breast, but I am worried she may not be getting enough in such a short time, and that my supply will diminish.  She has only just begun to have 1 oz of a fruit or vegetable at dinner with us.  She also cluster feeds from 4 am to 8 am.  About how long should she be nursing at a minimum to be emptying a breast at a feeding?
9 Responses
167 tn?1374177417
I have a 6 month old son that does the same thing. 5-10 minutes and he is done! I always wonder how he can be done that quick but I do think they just get more proficient at sucking and he also is afraid that he is going to miss out on something. He's definitely not lacking-he's a chunk! He's a very social baby. I've had to cover his head before and usually go into a low light room to nurse so that he nurses as long as possible but usually still 5-10 minutes! I was wondering if this was normal as well but it seems to be. He's also starting to bite, so I have to be careful and make sure I pay attention to his body language or OUCH! Your daughter sounds just like my son though. She's gaining nicely, right? We just started solids last week but he only gets them after he nurses and only a few bites. He does nurse at night as well (we co-sleep).
640548 tn?1340556955
Thanks!  That's reassuring.  She just had her checkup, and she's on the leaner side, but she's staying along the same curve, no drops.  She did jump up on length, so she must be getting what she needs.  It's been so hot I get worried she's going to become dehydrated if she doesn't take in more, but I guess she's doing all right!  We co-sleep also (most times) and she does nurse overnight as well.  Luckily she has no teeth yet, but when she's not interested in feeding she does gum me, which hurts also...
171768 tn?1324233699
i don't know about a 6 month old... but i did have my LC weigh my dd when she was a newborn because I was concerned that she wasn't getting enough. Turns out that at only a few weeks old, she was getting over 3 ounces in less than 5 minutes! That explained why she wasn't nursing for long sessions. So, it would be possible.
At 6 months, dd was still only taking 4 ounces expressed milk in a feed, so your little one is probably getting what she needs in that amount of time.
167 tn?1374177417
In a bottle, Owen only takes maybe 4 oz at 6 months still as well. And, when I say "bite" I mean gum. He is just starting to have one bottom tooth poke through barely, but that is it. That gumming can really hurt, too! It's when he is frustrated or at the end of a nursing session. Ouch!
640548 tn?1340556955
I can't get Emma to take a bottle, she never has, nor a pacifier.  I know that if I pump (which isn't often) I only get about 4 oz 3 hours after her last feed. (That was when she was sick and not nursing very often) I wonder how much more she would get out than a pumping session.
I love it when she gums, and while she's clamped down, jerks her head almost completely around to see what her sister is doing. =) *sarcasm*
167 tn?1374177417
Yeah...I love that, too! Owen is very interested in what his almost three year old brother is doing, too. They both must be very social babies (: Afraid they're going to miss out on something!
640548 tn?1340556955
Emma has to know every second what is going on around her.  What type of bottle do you use for Owen?  I would love to be able to have someone else feed her so we can have a date night, but nothing has worked so far.  I've tried a couple different bottles and nipples and she refuses every single one.  The Dr. said that's not so bad, she can go right to a sippy cup.  I guess that's my next move.
167 tn?1374177417
I use the MAM bottles. We tried various different bottles and those are the only ones he would take. He's not a major fan of the bottle but he will take it when he's hungry. He's in daycare all week so he has gotten used to it.
757137 tn?1347200053
There is no set time for a baby to empty a breast - it depends on the baby and on you. As to whether or not she is getting enough food, you can easily tell by her bright eyes, firm flesh, and whether she is gaining weight.
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