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DS 20 weeks - milk supply help needed

(3 Posts)
Incapinka Wed 19-Oct-11 14:21:05

Hi
DS is 20 weeks and is long and weighs a rather heavy 18lbs. Everything was going well until 2 weeks ago i did my back in (badly), then got mastitis, then got stressed and miserable due to family issues. Milk supply dropped and whilst one side has managed to get back to normal, the milk looks more like skimmed milk rather than then double cream, full fat stuff i had been pumping out before. DS now hungry so have started him on formula whilst i pump and then feed him a couple of pumped feeds from me and then from the boob during the night. He is far happier with the formula and i am just wondering if his demands are now more than what i can provide.

For his best interests is it time to go full throttle with the formula - or at least for the majority of feeds?

Thanks

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 19-Oct-11 14:29:04

Incapinka, 20 weeks is a bit of a difficult time for ALL bf babies. There is a lot going on developmentally that means their demands change and supply can take a little bit of time to adjust, but it will do.

You have a small added problem of slightly dropped supply due to mastitis causing a reduced no. of feeds at the breast recently but this can very easily be overcome.

It is best to feed directly from the breast as this stimulates the milk much better than a pump. To build supply, offer every 2 hours for a couple of days during the day. Even if he just sucks once or twice it will do the trick.

The consistency of your milk is according to your baby's needs. If it doesn't look as creamy as it did before this simply means that it has different things in it than before. To ensure that the milk is right for your baby NOW, you need to feed your baby from the breast NOW iyswim, otherwise his needs NOW are being met with milk that suited his needs sometime in the past when you pumped. Not a bit issue but can interfere with supply and demand somewhat and make things a bit more difficult.

For example, if your baby is very hot, your breasts will produce watery milk in order to quench thirst, so if you pump this and give it to your baby when they are very cold and want fat-rich milk to warm them up it is slightly out of sync.

Formula of any kind is not as good at meeting your baby's needs in this way.

hth

tiktok Wed 19-Oct-11 14:31:25

Sorry you have had a few woes, Inca sad

You cannot, cannot tell what sort of 'quality' your milk is like by expressing.

Mature, well-established milk supplies tend to look bluish and thin. This does not mean there is anything wrong with them at all.

The only sure way of boosting your milk supply in terms of quantity (quality is always just fine) is to feed more often. No reason at all why you should not be able to meet his needs at 20 weeks, just as you did when he was younger. Research shows that after the age of about a month, the volume of breastmilk taken by a baby remains more or less the same for months (this is not the case with ff babies who typically increase their volume as they grow). So you don't need to worry that his demands are 'more than you can provide' - just feed him when he wants to be fed, plus a few extra times if you have experienced a drop and to make up for the fact he has had formula (which may have an impact on supply).....and your milk will be just fine for him.

Quickest way to ensure you won't make sufficient is to do what you are thinking of doing now, sorry....increasing the formula.

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