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Advice for my friend please re: Breastfeeding

(7 Posts)
PrisonerZero Tue 31-May-11 12:25:46

My friend has a 4 week old DC who is unfortunately very poorly and has spent all of his short life so far in the intensive care unit at a hospital a fair way away from where we live.

He is being tube fed her expressed breastmilk and she is worried as her supply seems to be decreasing. At the start she said she had too much milk and the fridge was over flowing but now she is struggling.

I asked her if she was eating/drinking/sleeping and she says she is, but is obviously under huge amounts of stress - could this be affecting her milk?

She doesn't want to stop expressing as she feels it is the only thing she can do for him right now.

Are there any ways of getting her milk to increase? I don't know how often she is expressing but I get the feeling it is frequently as she said all she seems to do is sit hooked up to the expressing maching, bless her.

tiktok Tue 31-May-11 12:55:56

Your poor friend sad

The key to making milk is to remove it effectively and frequently - and that means at least 8-10 times in 24 hours inc at night, and this is hard to do long term.

Eating, drinking and sleeping will make hardly any difference. Stress might have an impact on let down. But my bet is that she has reduced her expressing frequency - even four or five times in 24 hours feels like all the time but it just isn't enough for most women.

She can phone any of the bf lines for support and info with this.

jaggythistle Tue 31-May-11 12:56:54

The eating and drinking wouldn't affect supply, not 100%sure about stress.

I think I have read on here before that very frequent expressing is the important thing to maintain supply if baby can't feed, hope you get an expert along soon with the right info.

Best wishes to your friend, sounds like she is doing a great job in difficult circumstances sad

jaggythistle Tue 31-May-11 12:58:17

Tiktok beat me to it!

Babieseverywhere Tue 31-May-11 13:03:45

Congratulations to your friend on her new son, what a shame he is so poorly and in hospital. sad

It is normal for mum to have a lot more milk than needed at the start and that this milk quantity reduces to meet the demands of the baby/pump over time. So the reduction of milk is normal at this point. What your friend needs to do is make sure that she keeps her milk supply at a good level until her son is home and can feed direct.

Be reassured that it doesn't matter about your friends food and drink intake, how much she sleeps or how stressed she feels....she will still make milk and it will be of a high quality. Of course it is better for your friends own sake that she has a reasonable diet and gets sleep whilst she can but milk wise her body doesn't care.

She needs to express both breasts a minimum of eight times a day including at least couple of night time sessions. The night express sessions are very important as the hormone level is boosted more by milk removal at this time. If she is expressing for the foreseeable future it might be worth buying or renting a double electric pump. This will halve the time taken to pump and some mother report being able to get more milk out this way YMMV. Many NCT branches hire out milk pumps.

Breastmilk is a very basic supply and demand model, the more often she removes milk the more milk she will make.

Give your friend a hug from me, sounds like she is fighting her way through a very hard time at the moment. Hope her son gets out of hospital soon.

Babieseverywhere Tue 31-May-11 13:04:13

xposted with Tiktok...ignore me smile

PrisonerZero Tue 31-May-11 16:14:46

Thank you all.

She is currently still staying at the hospital with her DS but has other DC at home and needs to come back down here now as she has been away for a month and will commute every day so will definately mention renting a breast pump to her.

I will print off this thread for her and i'm sure she will be really grateful for all your advice. Thank you again.

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