What can I take or do to increase my milk supply?(20 Posts)
Ds is 4 weeks old and we are exclusively breast feeding. He feeds very frequently about every hour or so and things are going really well, he's piling on weight, latches on fine (and latches himself on in the night as we co sleep so I get extra sleep thankfully). I'm really enjoying it.
But I'm a bit worried my supply isn't keeping up with his demands. When I've fed my other dc in the past I've had constantly full feeling breasts, leaked, needed breastpads all the time etc but this time I only leak a little during let down and don't really need to use breastpads, when he's feeding alot I get really empty, my breasts end up just flabby and soft and ds gets frustrated and starts to fuss and chew. I give him a dummy when this happens, usually in the evening.
I don't want to top up with formula as I think that will make things worse as he will be all full and sleep longer so will miss his next feed and my milk production will go down meaning I will end up topping him up more.
I've tried to express a bit to encourage more milk but nothing comes out.
Congratulations on your new baby
The simple answer to 'how do I make more milk' is FEED FEED FEED! Milk production works on a feedback loop, so the more milk you remove from the breast (by feeding baby, pumping or hand expressing), the more milk your body will make for the next feed When your breast feels empty, that is sending a message to your body that more milk is needed. So emptying your breast at every feed will stimulate more milk to be made.
Having said all that, you may not need to make more milk. Once breastfeeding is 'established', it is normal to not have engorged and leaky breasts. It might just be that your body is making the amount of milk your baby needs, and him fussing at the 'empty' breast is him fussing because he is ready to finish? Is he putting on weight, having wet nappies and a happy baby? Those things are far more important than whether your breasts feel full
I wouldn't give the dummy in the evening as being at the breast will up your supply. I know it's utterly exhausting but it's probably a growth spurt and will pass quickly. DD was a boob monster and wanted to be at the breast all the time until she was about 12 weeks!
Also, it may not be that your have less of a supply, perhaps your milk is already established? That would explain the less full feeling.
Expressing isn't a very good way of determining how much milk you're making, some mums who have lots get very little out with the pump! Have you tried expressing by hand or at different times of day? I always seem to do best in the morning / night time.
Good luck, you're doing a great job
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Your breasts won't be empty even if they feel it, there is always milk there. By letting him feed, he will tell your body to produce more milk, that won't happen if you let him suck on a dummy instead
Nothing that you have said would indicate low supply but I think it would be reassuring for you to take him to a bfing support group and talk through what you've said on here, get the BFC to observe a whole feed, and also check for tongue tie.
If you do want to increase your supply, have a read of this on kellymom.
X posted with everyone there, but we are all saying more or less the same thing
He has plenty of wet and dry nappies and is happy as long as he's being fed or held. He's not a fan of being out down to sleep but doesn't seem to struggle with wind so I'll take the trade off
I feed him as much as I can of an evening but I also have a 19 month old who wakes every 2-3 hours at best, although normally more so I am having to spend time resettling him too. I don't think I would cope without the dummy its the only thing that means I get 20 minutes of him sleeping in his vibrating chair occassionally.
He only feeds from one side at each feed before finishing, should I feed him from both? I am pushed for time when feeding him though as my toddler will usually want some attention or his nappy changed or his lunch etc plus school runs and keeping the house ticking over.
Could lack of sleep and poor diet be affecting the quality of my milk so its not filing him up properly? I seem to live off chocolate
This time around I haven't felt really full since the first week, I also get the chewing on an empty breast thing. However, even chewing on an empty breast seems to produce milk and she can get another let down out of it. I suspect the chewing is to stimulate that. If you then topped up with formula you'd miss that feed and it would lower your supply.
Oh, yes, offer both sides! That might space the feeds out a bit.
I don't think he has a tongue tie, he pokes his tongue out and doesn't seem to struggle to latch or gulp when he's feeding but I will ask the health visitor to take a look although I find that alot of health visitors aren't sure what tongue tie is, my ds3 had quite a severe tongue tie, I took him to be seen when I saw it and was sent away being told that they can't diagnose it. He ended up with it being tied at the front and back and had to have it cut (it reattached though, but snapped by its self at 9 months)
I go up to bed after ds3 is tucked in and watch law and order repeats with a couple of Easter eggs and a mug of tea. Its my favourite time of day
like everyone else has said. it sounds like you're doing just fine and congratulations!
my dd is number 3 and bf at 13 months. i've hardly ever felt full or leaky (probably more droopy) but i think your body just learns to make the right amount instead of too much.
with ds1 i was leaky for months.
Quality of food and sleep won't affect your milk but it will affect you! Have you got someone who could help with 19 month old at night or with cooking and shopping?
Feeding from one side only is the advice given if you have an oversupply, so yes, feed from both sides if you can and the first side again if you have time. Would the older DC be happy if you read some stories whilst feeding, or perhaps put a few toys in a basket that only come out at feeding time or even cbeebies
I don't have a partner to
create more mess help out but it does have its plus points, no having to make conversation when I'm tired and no one taking up half the bed. He was useless anyway, I much prefer my own little bubble
I'm very lucky as my older children are really good, they are nearly 9 and 11 so help out where they can and make their own toast and drinks etc. I'm feeling very lucky at the moment, sleep is crap but other than the school run I don't have anything to do during the day, we watch Cbeebies or DVDs and I'm enjoying having a newborn to snuggle. Plus, any excuse to eat tons of chocolate is fine by me!
I've fed him from both sides now and he is in a milky heap on my lap. It would be a good time to put him down for a nap but sleeping with a teething noisy whiny toddler stomping around isn't going to happen. He's to little for me to put him down upstairs I think.
Thank you for all your advice
Four DC on your own, think you are superwoman
I think by the time you get to number four you get to the point where the little things don't matter, which makes it easier. We are all healthy and happy so nothing else is all that important. It takes alot of the stress and pressure off
How are you getting on now aladdin?
Things are good, we've gotten used to each others habits and given each other a break (I promised him I'd eat more chocolate so he would have tastier milk, win win! )
I think he's been getting a bit of wind, I've been taking him off when he does his chewing and pulling thing and keeping him upright which usually makes him burp or fart and he crashes out. Shane he doesn't stay that way, thanks to a noisy toddler.
You are doing a great job. Eating so much chocolate is a really tough job, you deserve a and maybe some cake
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.