Ways to improve my breast milk?

(28 Posts)
QueenSconetta Thu 19-Sep-13 11:52:48

DD2 will be 16 weeks on Saturday and is EBF. I had her weighed today and she has only put on 5oz in 3 weeks so her growth chart has dipped for the second time. (Only told this today, as the HV last time said it was a good weight gain but apparently not). She is fed on demand between every 2 and 4 hours usually and still wakes 2-3 times a night for a feed.

I would like to continue to EBF for a few more weeks, is there anything I can eat/take/do to improve the quality of my milk?

Having a down day and feel like I've failed sad

tiktok Thu 19-Sep-13 13:13:08

There is nothing that's been shown to improve the quality of breastmilk, Queen, though if you are very deficient in Vitamin D the breastmilk might be lower in Vitamin D - this will not affect your baby's weight though.

Studies show that breastmilk varies very little in quality - it remains high regardless of a mother's diet.

Dips on weight charts are well within normal - continued weight loss is not normal, but a drop of up to two centile spaces in an otherwise healthy baby is not normally a cause for concern at all. Even drops of more than 2 are usually perfectly ok.

However, if you think your baby does need more calories, then the simplest thing to do is to see if she wants feeding more often - you can offer feeds more often or offer at least two or more breasts each time, switching sides.

It's almost certainly the case from what you say that your baby is fine, and is taking what she needs; more frequent feeds will not harm her at all; they may or may not increase her weight gain, as she may just take a smaller amount each time smile

You have definitely not failed - if anyone has failed it is your HV who has made you anxious without giving you any strategies to address the anxiety or change it smile

QueenSconetta Thu 19-Sep-13 13:29:03

Thanks tiktok. I have been a bit lax with my healthy start vits so will start them again.

What is 2 centile spaces exactly she has gone from a bit above the 50th to a bit below it.

QueenSconetta Thu 19-Sep-13 14:02:03

Thanks tiktok. I have been a bit lax with my healthy start vits so will start them again.

What is 2 centile spaces exactly she has gone from a bit above the 50th to a bit below it.

glorious Thu 19-Sep-13 14:53:07

You know the centile lines on the chart in the back of your red book? I think it's two of those, e.g. 75th to 25th. So it sounds to me that your DD is nowhere near that amount of change smile

QueenSconetta Thu 19-Sep-13 15:33:12

That's what I thought, it was the 'spaces' part thay threw me!, xx.

tiktok Thu 19-Sep-13 20:51:06

Queen, it doesn't sound as if you need to be in the least worried about your baby's health and growth smile

GeordieCherry Thu 19-Sep-13 20:57:59

Hope you feel reassured by the advice you've had on here. People are lovely

If you feel you want to take control a bit more, rumour has it that oats & fenugreek both are supportive of milk supply.
Make sure you're well nourished, & hydrated especially, & take a vitamin D supplement

Congratulations on your baby & bf smile

butterflyexperience Thu 19-Sep-13 21:00:26

I've read off kellymom recently that to increase weight of baby via bf get baby to drink more hind milk by just leaving baby on for longer as hind milk is more calorie dense

Could you try this?
The more side switching you do the more watery for milk baby will get

tiktok Thu 19-Sep-13 21:31:25

butterfly you are misunderstanding fore/hindmilk....please re-read and also read

thefunnyshapedwoman.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/foremilk-and-hindmilk-in-quest-of.html

OP does not need to do anything anyway smile

Splatt34 Fri 20-Sep-13 06:53:15

I saway our lovely BF counsellor a couple of weeks ago when DD2 was 14 weeks. I mix feed about 50:50. DD2 is big (16lb yesterday). I was told that is she were EBF she would expect her weight to plateau & drop on the centile lines about now. So your DD sounds completely normal

BraveLilBear Fri 20-Sep-13 08:23:43

What splatt said: ebf babies put on more weight in first 3 months or so then rate of gain tails off. Ff babies put on slower to begin with then the rate increases after 3-4 months.

Makes me very worried as had hoped to switch to daytime formula around 4 months but DS has put so much on that if he ends up with double rapid weight gain I'd be really worried for his health... :/

Fab link tiktok - tho I think that's the point butterfly was making (tho the punctuation/layout might have confused things)

QueenSconetta Fri 20-Sep-13 15:48:05

Thank you all. I will start having porridge for breakfast and look at fenugreek. Feeling a bit better now, xx.

QueenSconetta Fri 20-Sep-13 15:58:12

Thanks for the link tiktok.

Baby sounds fine to me. Switch sides every time the feeds slow down. You may need to swap 3 or 4 times at each feed. That's fine.

You don't need vitamins for your baby. Your milk is excellent quality without. Offer a feed every time you sit down for a couple of minutes if you want to try and get more into your baby, though do it in a relaxed way, not an obligated way as there really sounds like there's nothing wrong at all.

Oats and fenugreek can increase supply but I wouldn't use them because unless the baby is demanding more milk (and if she is your body would make more milk by feeding more which signals your body to make more) then you risk creating an over-supply and mastitis when the baby doesn't take it.

minipie Fri 20-Sep-13 16:26:20

"What is 2 centile spaces exactly she has gone from a bit above the 50th to a bit below it."

Oh in that case she hasn't dropped any spaces at all! sounds like she's doing fine OP. I found weight gain slowed a lot around this age iirc. the sped up again on weaning. Breastfed babies weight gain follows a different path to ff (and the chart is based mainly on ff I believe as most babies were ff when the stats were collected).

minipie Fri 20-Sep-13 16:35:43

Vitamins are only from 6 months if still BF.

SunnyL Fri 20-Sep-13 16:44:59

We've also had a bit of a fright recently as DD dropped from 75th to 35th percentile. HV is great and has told me not to worry myself overly. We think its her reflux that is the problem so Ive cut out dairy and Im trying to feed her more frequently.

tiktok Fri 20-Sep-13 17:42:03

The chart is based on bf babies and has been for several years.

It is 100 per cent normal for babies to gain at a rate which takes them above and below the centile line they were born on - see my pointer about centile spaces.

There is no centile line for 35th centile, Sunny - do you mean 25th? Still no reason to assume there is anything wrong in a healthy baby. I wonder what the rationale for the big hassle of cutting out dairy is??? Feeding more often is ok - the baby will regulate her intake anyway.

Queen, there is no point in trying to use dietary changes to increase your supply - if your baby needs more she will take more when you offer more often and supply will match demand. Honestly, your baby sounds perfectly ok!

tiktok, if it okay to hijack, my 15month has a VERY pronounced and impeding upper lip tie that is (and always has) caused bfing issues, most notably now as he needs to dig his teeth into the base of my nipple to feed.

He also has posterior tongue tie. What is the best way of getting taken seriously about the issue and getting the upper lip tie first of all recognised as a problem and secondly snipped.

I would expect to be met with blank looks and denial that bfing needs to continue.

ChunkyPickle Fri 20-Sep-13 18:24:22

It's only one weighing - one good poo or pee can make a huge difference at that age - even in an adult, a couple of cups of tea and breakfast can make more than a pound's difference in weight!

tiktok Fri 20-Sep-13 18:30:28

Starlight, commiserations, but this is outside my knowledge and experience though I do believe you when you say it needs investigating and possibly treatment.

There are places online where you can get info and support - good luck! I know there is a facebook group for tt babies, for instance (or rather for their parents smile )

Ah, thank you tiktok, I'll go internet trawling and perhaps call a helpline and try and get a name or two of someone that would recognise what I am talking about who may have some ideas about who to go to.

Sunflower1985 Fri 20-Sep-13 22:31:52

An experienced bf counsellor recommended I took domperidone to up supply (in addition to expressing). Has anyone taken this? Would love a second opinion.
Does anyone who if it would increase the whole spectrum of milk, from fore to hind?

Thank you

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