breastfeeding a 2 month old and feel like i'm not producing enough... advice please

(16 Posts)
oon84 Wed 21-Nov-12 14:06:41

i'm a first time mum and really committed to trying to breast feed my 2 month old son, but i have found that the last few evenings have become very stressful as i don't seem to be producing enough milk. he is a big feeder but when it's time to feed him in the evening before i go to bed it feels like i'm totally empty. he gets so upset because he's hungry and it makes me upset, last night i broke down in tears too. we where doing so well up until a few days ago. i don't know what's changed.

i've read somewhere that i shouldn't need to top up with formula if i'm breastfeeding, but i can't let my baby go hungry, it feels like i'm torturing us both (he's starving and i'm an emotional wreck). he eventually fell asleep and i think my milk felt like it came back in around 1-ish so was able to feed then. he's a pretty happy baby most of the time but i'm really not looking forward to this evening if it happens again.

i really want to breastfeed as i know it's the best thing for baby, and i don't want to give up, but i don't know what to do. should i just buy some formula and top him up anyway if it's stressing me out this much. is it ok to mix breastfeeding with a bottle once/twice a day?? i think it should be ok, but i feel all this pressure to solely breastfeed....

Dont worry this is TOTALLY normal. He is cluster feeding in the evening, you are not empty (you are never empty I dont think as milk is constantly produced). The more you feed the higher your supply will be and so if you DO top up with forumla on a regular basis you will interfere with that supply and demand.

At such a young age some of the sucking etc can be just that sucking for comfort rather than actually needing feeding.

My advice is this evening lie in bed and watch tv if you can and have your baby lying down next you with free access to your nipple. The best thing to do is just keep at it and he WILL settle more easily in the coming weeks. He isnt starving and he isnt miserable - I know you probably are (hugs) but it will get better very quickly.

tumbletumble Wed 21-Nov-12 14:20:16

Sounds like he is having a growth spurt. Let home feed as much as he likes, your supply will catch up in a day or two. Try not to worry, after 2 months of successful breastfeeding it is very very unlikely that you are unable to produce enough milk for him. There's nothing wrong with topping up with formula if that's what you want to do, but be aware that it may make breastfeeding harder (as your body won't have a chance to adjust to his needs.

rrreow Wed 21-Nov-12 15:15:42

Sometimes if a baby is going through a growspurt they will suckle more in anticipation, so your supply will be higher around the same time next day. Like someone above said you're never not producing milk (it's not like a supply that runs out - to some extent your boobs 'fill up' over time, but while feeding your body produces milk as well).

In order to boost your supply you can take fenugreek pills or tea. Also remember to eat and drink enough as breastfeeding really uses a lot of energy.

oon84 Wed 21-Nov-12 15:51:15

thank you for the advice, i really appreciate the support. i think seeing him cry so much and feeling tired and emotional myself just knocked my confidence. it's just so hard to see him get so upset. i'm going to keep up with the breastfeeding, and hold off on trying formula. i eat and drink well, so hopefully tonight will go better.

Belmo Wed 21-Nov-12 15:57:04

Really really normal! And so hard work I know. My dd had the odd evening when she would feed from 6pm til 1 or 2 in the morning. Just remember the more you feed the more milk there is! And take breaks if you need them - get your DP to do a bit of shoogling while you have a pee and a cup of tea. And remember there is no such thing as too much chocolate smile

Belmo Wed 21-Nov-12 15:59:39

Oh and after about 6/8 weeks I pretty much never got that 'full' feeling anymore - that's normal for some people too and nothing to worry about.

waterrat Wed 21-Nov-12 16:27:28

This is really really normal - babies cluster feed in the evening to up the milk supply - they are also often more tearful and seem to want to feed much more - you will feel as thought your breasts are not full, but actually what's happening is important for the baby and for your supply.

look at the useful stuff on this site.

If you want to keep breastfeeding don't top up with formula - it will mean your baby takes less milk from you and you will produce less...

waterrat Wed 21-Nov-12 16:28:42

ps. yes the 'full' feeling is actually a sign that the milk hasn't yet adjusted to your baby I think - so if your cluster feeding/ feeding on demand you will lose that 'full' sensation - I didn't have it at all after the first month. I am still BF at 7 months and never feel that anymore because my supply has adjusted to the needs of my baby

oon84 Wed 21-Nov-12 18:15:01

hi waterrat, i found the kellymom website very useful and interesting, everything you've said makes sense to me thank you. and thank you too belmo and everyone else that has answered me. i really do appreciate it. it's just good to know i'm not the only mum out there that has had this happen. it's a relief to get so much good advice from everyone and regain the confidence to keep breastfeeding. xx

amarylisnightandday Thu 22-Nov-12 10:39:00

8 week growth spurt - everything is as it should be. Google the wonder weeks it's a guide to development periods where the baby is more likely to be fussy and high maintenance.
For example there's an 8-10 day growth spurt - dd2 is 10 days today and my god it's as if she's permanently starving!

Essexmamma Thu 22-Nov-12 20:27:47

Hi op, I have a 3 mth old and had EXACTLY the same wobble at the same stage. He was so upset and fed constantly I was sure there wasn't enough milk. There was and I just fed and fed even when it felt there was nothing there. it evened out and it's completely fine now.

I'm not sure there is any science to this but I found that keeping my fluids up and not wearing a bra in the night, when you make the most milk,really seems to help with my supply (esp the bra thing). Works for me anyway! Keep going, it's tough but won't last forever! X

Essexmamma Thu 22-Nov-12 20:30:29

Oh yeah and constant feeding swapping sides. I did about 8hrs one day!

Tigresswoods Thu 22-Nov-12 20:32:03

Try to eat a meal before his evening feeds, this should help milk production. I do mean a meal not a chocolate bar.

Good luck, it can be done. grin

Doretaball Thu 22-Nov-12 20:42:08

I always find the days that I rush around all day, I feel like I have less milk. If I manage to have a good afternoon nap, I always feel like there's more there. Are you resting enough? Hope it gets better soon.

jjazz Thu 22-Nov-12 22:19:40

Please keep going! EBF is VERY hard at times and the only thing that kept me going was the thought that I only ever had one baby to put all my effort into. (I have 2 with a 10 year age gap!) Keep up your calories- i ate porridge before bed several times as my DS was always starving. Looking back he truly seemed NEVER contented (ie full) until he had solid food at 7mths and was better still when he was on 3 meals a day at 9-10mths.For all his shrieking and wineing as a baby he is now the most happy / contented / self confident little boy ever. He would sometimes take so much milk off me in an attempt to not be hungry he'd vomit some of it back and be starving all over again which was the most soul destroying thing ever- my precious milk all over the arm of my precious sofa.
As others have said just keep swapping sides and remember that this time will pass and you will look back with pride that you gave him the best you could. He may be in a growth spurt which will only last a day or 2 (a life time at the moment I know) but just look after yourself anf him and let the rest of the world sort itself out.

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