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milk supply / one boob or two?

(20 Posts)
fromheretomaternity Tue 23-Nov-10 22:18:30

I am having problems feeding DS2 (16 days old). For the first ten days or so of his life he was a totally chilled out baby. He then got a fever and was in hospital on antibiotics for a few days; he got over that and we're now at home, but over the past few days has been crying more and more, failing to settle down to sleep, and constantly rooting around wanting to feed.

I have been trying to follow the advice of a midwife who said I should only feed one boob at each feed (for 30-40 mins) to give the other one a chance to replenish but this doesn't seem to be working as he's left hungry. Should I feed from both sides every time?

I had poor milk supply with DS1 too. This time round I am trying fenugreek (no obvious effect so far), and making sure I am drinking plenty of water, but my milk seems to be dwindling.

He has one bottle of formula a day but doesn't drink that much (2oz).

Any advice on the one/two sided question or any milk supply tips? This is really getting me down - he was so happy when he was tiny but today he has been miserable all day :-(

nonanny Tue 23-Nov-10 22:46:05

I would advise draining one side and then going to the other if he is still hungry. if you only touch onto the second breast but don't empty it you can start that side next time. I think that the first milk that comes out is more watery then gets thicker, so the second breast would then be watery first. Your midwife may be saying don;t be tempted to just take the top off each side as then the baby does not get the richer milk and so may be hungry. i think the thinking is that they can be sated by one side if they drain.

I had a problem feeding one side and so know about the pain of over feeding and underfeeding on the different sides. It is best to try to keep both breasts going as you are doing of course.
I think to boost milk supply rest is crucial, and eating more than normal not just ensuring sufficient water. Snacks such as beans on toast - proper snacks between meals not just biscuits or fruit -might boost you. Its very early days and you need the nourishment. Don't feel that you are dwindling so soon as your body is still adjusting to it all. I'm sure you can enhance your supply and also feeding actually does that job.
Good luck

thisisyesterday Tue 23-Nov-10 22:56:50

no no no , always offer both breasts!

the midwife is sadly mistaken, offer first breast until he comes off by himself, then offer the other one.
if he is still hjungry you can offer the first one again!

thecaptaincrocfamily Tue 23-Nov-10 22:59:12

Thats completely poor advice.
Feed on one side (no time limit) until the baby chooses to unlatch then offer the other side for as long as he wants.

thecaptaincrocfamily Tue 23-Nov-10 23:01:22

I would quit formula completely, feed on demand. Formula feeding interferes with the supply because it fills the baby longer so the baby doesn't demand feed during that time, milk supply then drops.

nonanny Tue 23-Nov-10 23:01:48

Agree absolutely what you are all saying. The midwife may not have actually had a baby and has just read this in a book. Is there a BF clinic you can go to for support if you want better advice as time goes on? Is there a reason that you are doing the formula too, was that the MF idea? You don;t need to offer any formula to such a young baby; but its your choice - it will reduce your supply if you do this.

thecaptaincrocfamily Tue 23-Nov-10 23:03:14

Also, if he is growing he will feed more to increase your supply as it works on a supply and demand basis. Topping up is the worst thing you can do if you want to breastfeed. Feed lying down at night as often as required.

fromheretomaternity Tue 23-Nov-10 23:21:55

Thanks - will ignore midwife's advice and offer both sides. Hope that will make him happier. Still worried my milk supply is too low for him but will try to feed as much as possible the next few days to get the supply going - tricky though as I also have a toddler to take care of.

I want to do one formula feed a day to get the baby used to taking a bottle, DS 1 would not take one until 9 months and it was a nightmare, I don't want to go through that again. However he is only taking 2oz or so once a day, all other feeds are BF so hopefully it's not making too huge a difference.

tiktok Tue 23-Nov-10 23:47:14

Can you talk to the midwife and ask her to explain why you have understood her to say something that doesnt make may be she did not say this, or did not mean to.

If the midwife said anything about 'giving the other breast a chance to replenish' then she is showing she really, really does not understand how bf works.

You milk may dwindle if you are deliberately avoiding giving both breasts each time. Fenugreek and water will make no difference if you are doing the 'only one side' thing.

Breasts - both of them - need frequent 'use' to build up and maintain a good supply. Please don't worry about flippin hindmilk and soddin foremilk - the baby sorts this out, and unless there is serious over-supply, no mother needs to 'engineer' her baby's intake of either. e.html is an article about this.

When your baby appears to have had enough from one side, switch him to the other one - and then back on the first one if he seems to want to!

thecaptaincrocfamily Tue 23-Nov-10 23:53:23

Ah nice to see you tiktok smile See finally I have become more educated you would be proud of my latest assignment on the evils of four hourly feeding culture, decline in night feeding due to SIDS advice and said routines and the problems with not bedsharing grin

fromheretomaternity Wed 24-Nov-10 05:46:42

Thanks - good article. If my milk supply has declined, will it come back if I switch feeding techniques or is it too late?

tiktok Wed 24-Nov-10 08:47:39

captaincroc - good luck with your assignment!

fromhere - your milk supply will respond at any time to these techniques...start them today

You can also think about dropping the formula, if you feel you can at this stage.

marzipananimal Wed 24-Nov-10 09:53:20

if you let him have both sides as much as he wants your body should respond very quickly, it's not too late
It's common for them to go through a growth spurt at about this age (and again at 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months ...) which could explain the crying, not settling and constant feeding. Give him as much access to your boobs as possible and it will pass

fromheretomaternity Wed 24-Nov-10 18:40:39

Have fed for hours today, but baby still crying and unsatisfied and my boobs are really soft. Losing heart. Could my milk have just dried up?

marzipananimal Wed 24-Nov-10 19:03:31

I would ring one of the bf helplines, they will be able to advise you and it can help just to have someone to wail to! It sounds like it could well just be normal behaviour, baby feeding loads to increase your supply but best to consult someone more expert

fromheretomaternity Wed 24-Nov-10 21:27:10

Have been feeding continuously for four hours. Baby still seems ravenous. Surely there's something wrong? I can't keep this up all night (and my nipples are getting very sore) - will need to give some formula soon.

thecaptaincrocfamily Wed 24-Nov-10 22:56:50

Really sorry you are having such a rotten time at the moment, I think you need to speak to a breastfeeding counsellor who could check babe is latching on well/ no tongue tie etc. Can you get to a childrens centre/ breastfeeding group to get advice. Normally they have bf support in childrens centres xx

fromheretomaternity Thu 25-Nov-10 16:59:38

Thanks for the support. Have been trying to go with the flow and feed as much as he wants, breasts feel a bit fuller today and baby a little more settled though still feeding for very long stretches. Nipples getting very sore now though, think my latch is ok as I have had advice from BF counsellors - I think it is the return of thrush, so have slathered on the cream between feeds and just hoping it takes effect soon.

Appreciate all your help!

thecaptaincrocfamily Thu 25-Nov-10 22:16:43

FHTM if you think it is thrush you and baby need treatment with miconazole gel to clear it and antifungal for you too. Make an appt with the GP. Well done keeping going, you are doing really well. x

marzipananimal Fri 26-Nov-10 08:22:07

yes, here's a very good leaflet on breastfeeding and thrush and how to treat it. Probably worth printing and taking to your GP

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