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-   -   The 3 Day Nursing Sabbatical (https://www.justmommies.com/forums/f30-breastfeeding/970448-3-day-nursing-sabbatical.html)

LaLa March 11th, 2008 09:59 AM

The 3 day nursing sabbatical

So… what is a 3 day nursing sabbatical? (Desperate? Skip down to get to the nitty gritty instructions).
A 3 day nursing sabbatical is really the cure-all for most of the common early problems in Bfing. Low supply particularly, but even poor latch, nipple confusion, etc can all benefit. Its really useful if you’ve found yourself in the viscious cycle of trying to get baby to stay interested, nurse more, increase supply, reduce formula, get where you don’t have to pump as frequently, etc. This is also ideal for growth spurts (in fact, its darn near mandatory).

All too often the story goes something like this: wonderful woman meets cute guy, they fall in love they have kids, they have grand plans. Wonderful woman plans wonderful birth. Things may or may not go as expected, but most often NOT as expected. Shes spent 9 months reading all about how to have a great birth, what colors to paint the nursery for the best developmental stimulus, and how to escape it all without too much damage to show for it while still enjoying and tolerating the stretch marks that don her belly. Then – she has the baby and realizes, NOBODY told her the half million things that might come up as she nurses her baby, who seems to be also clueless about what to do. Also news - theres a difference between lactation counselors and consultants, few pediatricians receive any training about breastfeeding, and the ones that did apparently missed that day of class b/c they had a frat party the night before. (Oh come on – you think he was a saint in college?!)

So – here you are – a postpartum mom, trying to figure out nursing in a world where few people you know nurse (IF you even know someone). You’ve been sent home with formula samples out your ears, and maybe you used a few those first few nights (b/c nobody told you that they just happen to discharge you before things really get moving in the BFing department, and that 3rd night is when all babies decide they want to stay up allllllllll night long although they slept like angels the first few nights).

OR maybe you got “lucky” and your baby is sleeping a LOT – and as a result not nursing quite as much. And to get by, or to satisfy your paranoia, or to let dad feed the baby, you’ve given a few bottles of milk (pumped or artificial). And now – youre stuck. Baby never seems satisfied. Baby is constantly hungry. Laundry is piling up and you don’t know what to do? The 3 day sabbatical is for you.


First things first. Pull out the calendar. The one you used BEFORE the baby came along that organized your life that you can barely keep up with now that it takes an hour to get out of the house from the 2 diaper changes and 3 outfit changes (1 for you and 2 for baby). WIPE EVERYTHING OFF FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS! Soccer practice – gone. Lunch date – cancel it. Drs appt – only if its serious lol. Moms coming over – give her a list of to-dos. Church – God will understand, I promise. Call DH & tell him youre ordering pizza for the next 3 nights, unless hed like to reheat leftovers, bring home Chinese food, or make grilled cheese (unless you were the lucky one that got the DH that could cook, and then I’m jealous).

Find a good book – maybe the BFing book that’s been gathering dust the last 10 months. Have DH bring home all the trash magazines so you can catch up on all the celebrity goodness. Whatever floats your boat. Grab a comforter, a pillow, the remote, some snacks and a lot of water and find a comfy place in front of a TV. That’s your home for the next 3 days. Give up your anxiety now, the laundry will not walk off, it will be there in 3 days and your DH could use another job anyways!

Now – strip down from the waist up. Yes, you’re probably leaking more than the rickety faucet in the downstairs bathroom. That’s ok. Now, strip baby down to just a diaper. Which reminds me – grab a handful of diapers, wipes, and the bathroom trash can to put next to the couch. Turn up the heat if you must, but really – your body heat will do the job.

Your job for the next 3 days is to feed the baby. That’s all. No laundry. No cooking. No cleaning. You can take a shower if you’re one of the lucky ones that has a baby that will sleep when DH comes home. But, really – its not necessary. Baby likes the way you smell 

Nurse nurse nurse. The reason this works so well is:
1 – you’ve finally succumbed to motherhood. Priorities priorities priorities. This is your ONLY job. Until you get this down pat, nothing will fall into place. When you have this down pat, everything else will run smoother, including your brain 
2 – skin to skin contact. The skin to skin contact, even if baby barely nurses at all the first day, will do more for the baby than just about any other single thing you can do.
3 – Being naked will give you an unobstructed view of what is going on down there. Is baby’s latch good (for the answer, pull out that dusty BFing book). Tongue should be slightly visible, both lips puckered out like a fish’s, and you should hear gulping, not clicking.
4 – Interest in the breast – this is why the leaking happens. Baby knows the smell of milk- baby will get interested in the breast, will root around, and will start to get the hang of things
5 – because you have nothing else to do except nurse – baby will nurse probably ALLLLLLLLLLLL day and your supply will increase naturally as a result.

Now – those diapers. Count em. From the time you get up till the end of the evening – count diapers. If baby is under a week old, you should get at least 1 diaper per day of life (3 days old = 3 dirty diapers). For babies over 1 week old, look for 5 – 6 wet/poopy diapers a day. Because you don’t have anything else to do but nurse, change diapers, and keep up with which celeb is in rehab again, you can change frequently and don’t have to worry if that diaper had one pee pee or two. Having trouble determining whether its wet (b/c they don’t dump a gallon of pee when theyre that little)? Well, you could leave them naked but assuming you don’t want to call an upholstery cleaner at the end of the 3 days, place a piece of toilet paper in the diaper when you change the baby. By the next diaper change if the TP is obviously wet, then you know baby peed. The super absorbent diapers can be hard to tell but this makes it easier.

IF you don’t have enough wet diapers, you can supplement an ounce or two (base your judgement off of how many diapers you got).

Check these links for more info:

This usually works. You can do fenugreek and mothers milk tea if you need, just add that to the pile in your nest on the couch. Fenugreek is usually around 3 – 4 pills, 3 – 4 times a day for a total of 9 – 12 pills (you should smell like maple syrup within a day or two). You should be taking in a lot of fluids as well. But rest assured, if youre getting enough wet/poopy diapers, your baby is getting enough milk. 

Yours Truly,

megtumtum March 11th, 2008 11:26 AM

Thank you soooooo much! I'm starting this on Sunday! It's gonna be a longgggg 3 days but I really hope it works!

Karine119 March 11th, 2008 02:57 PM

Wow awesome read, I just loved it. I am one of the lucky ones that has a DF that does in fact cook and helps to take care of our 13 month old, but he also works. I wish I had this a few days ago when my DD began going through what I assume is a growth spurt and constantly wants on the breast. Hopefully I can last another 4 days until my gma comes home so she can take my older DD so I can try this out.

LaLa March 11th, 2008 03:46 PM

PUll all the toys in the living room and your DD have at it - just dont worry about the mess :) Keep her snacks around too and let her come snuggle on the couch - she may enjoy the mamma/baby time :)


Karine119 March 11th, 2008 03:55 PM


PUll all the toys in the living room and your DD have at it - just dont worry about the mess :) Keep her snacks around too and let her come snuggle on the couch - she may enjoy the mamma/baby time :)

Hmm I never thought of that if I had her stuff all set... now I am really going to give it a try

[email protected] March 11th, 2008 09:00 PM

I'm going to have to try this, my Moose is already 3 weeks old, but my supply is really low, and I've been pumping to try and get it up. I'm one of the lucky ones...DH cooks!

moon~maiden March 15th, 2008 02:32 PM

what about oatmeal? we keep saying it increases supply.

LaLa March 15th, 2008 10:03 PM

You can definitely try oatmeal, but this usually takes care of it with or without the oatmeal :)


Grateful~Gentle~Mama March 19th, 2008 02:11 PM

Huh. I must be on the 3 MONTH sabbatical because this is pretty much my life! :rolleyes: Except I wear clothes and instead of the TV I use my laptop!

Coffee_Bean March 27th, 2008 10:53 AM

I am soooo going to try this this weekend. DF has Mondays off so he will still be around on the third day!! I am so excited!!! I was about to give up on BF'ing and I posted today and they directed me here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cheer:

OceanGirl March 31st, 2008 06:42 PM

Lala, I'm so glad you posted this as a sticky! This is honestly the best solution to make breastfeeding work. Due to several factors, my baby was almost exclusively bottle fed for a while, and even Reglan wasn't doing enough to bring my supply up! When you suggested this to me, I finally saw results! I did have to supplement a bit for days 1 and 2, and I think I ended up going a little over the 3 days, but it totally worked for us. It's been a couple months now- she is almost 4 months old and exclusively breastfeeding!!! My husband says about once a week that I need to go back and thank you for your advice because now we both know we are doing what's best for our daughter, and saving money! Just thought I'd share that in case anyone was skeptical!

LaLa April 1st, 2008 09:19 AM

THanks Kristin :) :inlove:

It really really does work :) Ive done it many times myself! lol.


::er!ca:: May 7th, 2008 10:24 AM

I'm glad I read this before the baby is here, that way I don't freak out and have a melt down when things don't seem to be going right!

cateysmommy May 10th, 2008 06:17 PM

I am so happy to see this post. I am a new member (joined yesterday), because I have found myself in the position of too much bottle feeding and not enough breastfeeding for my 3 1/2 week old daughter. I was trying to figure out how to reverse this situation, but had not idea how to get started! Thank you :bluecheer:

xtashax May 19th, 2008 08:54 PM

ugh....i hoped that i would never have to do this!!! :( i am so sad..my supply has lowered due to a night out without pumping. my baby doesnt really want to suck after the initial let-down. he is five months. is there hope for my supply?

drpgirl May 21st, 2008 10:52 PM

What a great idea! Good to know for the next baby.

.Brandi. June 8th, 2008 10:18 PM

Ooh! This is great! I can't wait to try this with my little guy. He latches on, but then has no interest in staying latched on. I'm going to try this in the next couple of days.

charmed1k September 2nd, 2008 06:24 PM

I wish I knew where to find this before I gave up on BFing when my son was a week old....even just the comedy in the first part would have gotten my milk squirting!!!

Good luck to any ladies who are having BFing problems...I wish I'd never given up!

britbabeincanada December 14th, 2008 09:37 AM

I am going to try this also, its very good, I pumped for 2 weeks while he was in NICU but when he got home I stopped and he isnt feeding enough and am seeing my milk go down now I have plenty still but last when I pumped I only got 3oz and normally would get a whole lot more so want to correct this before my milk goes. The nurse lactation woman came round and of course the little monkey fed and latched perfectly while she was here argh while do they do that lol.

Madigan February 1st, 2009 10:53 AM

I wish I'd read this BEFORE having a week of bf'ing problems!!
(Which all were sorted out once my milk came in, but this would have at least helped my brain!!)
It's brilliant, thanks for it.

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