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Dear Sally,
I have a month-old baby boy, whom I am breastfeeding (and giving bottled breastmilk to on occasion), but breastfeeding consumes most of my day and energy, and it is becoming very frustrating... An average breastfeeding session takes about an hour and a half, whereas my baby can gulp down 110ml by bottle in 10 minutes. I think that he latches well, but appears to be a confused eater; some moment he is hungry, the next moment he is disinterested and sleepy, another moment he is gassy and fussy, and then starved and anxious. Should I accept this as a reality or can I make breastfeeding shorter and more effective?
I already saw lactation consultants, doctors, give him gripe water and mylacone for gas relief. He is overall happy, not colicky and doesn't cry often, although I don't know if he is as satisfied by breastfeeding as he is with bottle feeding...
In addition, his stool is recently more green, which led me to suspect that he may be getting more foremilk and less hindmilk.
Thank you so much for your time and help.
Best,
Natalie

Answer
Dear Natalie,

First, congratulations for giving your son the best start in life by breastfeeding him!

It sounds to me as if you and your baby are still just going through the normal adjustment and learning phase of breastfeeding. In the early stages, breastfeeding is more work and takes more time than bottle feeding. Then usually at about 6 to 10 weeks, but sometimes sooner, this reverses and breastfeeding is easier. It sounds as if your baby gets sleepy on the breast and may even get a little fussy. Bottle feeding just takes less effort for him. Naturally, this is frustrating for you. Green stools are common and not a concern. If your baby is thriving and gaining weight, and if you can afford to take the extra time for the feedings for the next couple of weeks or so, I would suggest that you stick with it and relax during the feedings (there's no law that says you can't read or watch TV during those long nursings) and see if time, along with your baby's increasing maturity, helps the process along.

Good luck!

Sally

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Sally Wendkos Olds
Author, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING: Olds & Marks, 4th edition, September 2010, published by Workman Publishing, and available in most public libraries, bookstores & La Leche League chapters.

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Sally Wendkos Olds

Expertise

What do you want to know about breastfeeding? I can tell you what`s good for the baby, what`s good for the mother -- and the father, how it`s related to a woman`s sexuality, how working moms can nurse, how to overcome obstacles, and lots more. As the author of THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING and author or coauthor of 8 other books and more than 200 articles about child and adult development, I can offer sound, sensible advice on breastfeeding, child care and family issues.

Experience

I nursed my 3 daughters and am the grandmother of 5 breastfed children. My book THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING (written in consultation with pediatrician Marvin S. Eiger, M.D.) was first published in 1972, and in 1999 came out in an updated 3rd Edition by Workman Publishing & Bantam Books. It is now a classic, with over 2 million copies in print. I am now revising this book for a fourth edition, consulting with pediatrician Laura M. Marks, M.D. This new edition will be published September 2009. I welcome any and all suggestions for the new edition. I coauthored college textbooks A CHILD'S WORLD: INFANCY THROUGH ADOLESCENCE, and HUMAN DEVELOPMENT; both are leading texts in their fields and have been read by 2 million students. I am the coauthor of HELPING YOUR CHILD FIND VALUES TO LIVE BY and RAISING A HYPERACTIVE CHILD, and author of THE WORKING PARENTS' SURVIVAL GUIDE & THE ETERNAL GARDEN: SEASONS OF OUR SEXUALITY. My newest book, A BALCONY IN NEPAL: GLIMPSES OF A HIMALAYAN VILLAGE, published in 2002, tells the story of the way of life in a remote village in Nepal, where all the women breastfeed! My book, SUPER GRANNY: COOL PROJECTS, ACTIVITIES, AND OTHER GREAT STUFF TO DO WITH YOUR GRANDKIDS, will be published March 2009. I speak often to professional, parent and general audiences and make many radio and TV appearances.

Credentials I received my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where I minored in Psychology, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude.

Other points of interest I have received national awards for my writing, and am a former president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. I am listed in the World Who's Who of Women, International Authors & Writers Who's Who, and Contemporary Authors, and am a member of several professional and civic organizations. I believe: that all parents are working parents; that parents employed outside the home need special support; that mothers' well-being is crucial to their children's welfare; and that the family is the best institution in the world and the one for which we are least prepared. My thrills come when parents or kids tell me they were helped by my writing or speaking or just understanding. To find out more about me, go to

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