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Why do milk quotas vary so much?

(5 Posts)
musica Tue 25-Nov-03 10:30:27

This isn't a 'help' question - more a point of curiosity - why do some women have more milk than they know what to do with, and others (like me) have to really struggle to get each ounce out. My cousin has just had a baby, and she has literally gallons of milk. I was really disciplined about feeding every 2-3 hours from the very beginning (starting when dd was 30 min old), and I have barely enough. I know the supply/demand mechanism, but why should it be so different right at the beginning? I never had the feeling of 'milk coming in' with either of my children. Is there a physiological reason for this?

EvanMom Tue 25-Nov-03 10:53:37

I have always struggled with my milk supply. Friends with kids and who have breastfed look at me blankly when I talk about milk supply, like it was never problem for them. I am always worrying that I don't have enough. I am sure I do (children are thriving), so maybe this is part of it; the more you are a worrier, the more you feel that your supply is low, perhaps? After all, we don't know how much milk they are really getting and even expressing is not a sure fire indication of this. The only way to really tell is thriving babies with wet nappies.

I have even resorted to trying fenugreek with ds2 because I just don't have the time to commit to feeding like I did with my first son (neither of my sons ever seem to come off the breast of their own accord, so I am sure I could sit on the settee 24x7!). I used to spend hours in the evening feed ds1, worrying that he just wasn't getting enough.

Like you, I never felt my milk come in, but I do feel let-down. It is very uncomfortable for me, like someone has a belt around my chest and is pulling it very tight.

Why can't our boobs be transparent? Some thoughts to add to your own

ScotsBird Tue 25-Nov-03 11:35:58

It's odd - I am the same - only ever in the morning / during the night do I feel like my boobs are full of milk and when dd feeds at these times I feel she is getting a really good feed.

My friend has a dd who is the same age as mine (13 wks) and she literally soaks her dd's face as she is latching on !!

Evanmom - transparent breasts - great idea

aloha Tue 25-Nov-03 11:41:19

musica, why do you feel you don't have enough? You really can't tell by 'feel' or by expressing as it isn't the same as feeding a baby. I'm not criticising, I genuinely wonder why you feel like this.
BTW this is a universal feeling. Even in countries/communities where formula feeding is unknown women fret about not having enough milk. I think you have to accept that you will feel like this but just carry on regardless.
As someone else said (Tiktok??) even with a bottle you can't tell if a baby has had 'enough' - after all, seven ounces might not be 'enough'. The only way you can tell with any method of feeding is to look at the baby and the nappies.

musica Tue 25-Nov-03 15:28:30

aloha - I know exactly what you are saying! I suppose I just see people with gallons of milk to spare, complaining about it spurting everywhere, and feel that dd can't be getting enough, since my milk always seems quite reluctant to come. But like you say, you can't tell by feel. Dd is also quite slim, as is ds - so I don't get that reassurance from having a wonderfully cherubic baby with chunky arms and legs. And I am a worrier - I do worry about every little thing, and particularly with breast feeding I can't accept that my body will do the right things!

Transparent breasts - if only. Might put the husbands off a bit though! Thanks for the responses everyone!

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