How to I make sure I have the right supply?(3 Posts)
My baby is two weeks old today. Because she wouldn't latch at first and then was very jaundiced for a few days, I had to express colostrum and then breast milk from day one because I didn't want to give her formula (I still had to for 1 day because my milk hadn't come in and it's really important to feed a jaundice baby well).
We have finally managed to breastfeed, although progress is quite slow. We now manage to feed properly for about 10 minutes at a time, sometimes a bit more and then I top this up with expressed milk.
However because of the expressing, I now have rather too much milk- I just got up this morning and because I only fed her for 10 minutes at 5am and didn't pump, my tits were huge and painful and I pumped 200ml before they were comfortable. I know this is a bad idea because I'm just telling my body to make more, but it's agony.
How do I resolve this? I'd still like to express and feed- I just don't want to have to express every 2-3 hours because the schedule is just too difficult to manage with a newborn and I don't think I need that much milk. And my fridge isn't big enough.
I'm not quite comfortable letting my baby dictate how much she feeds though because she still looks quite yellow and we need her to feed really well to clear out the jaundice, so I still need to top up with expressed. I have no idea how to manage this.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. The pain and stress is making me want to wean her completely which would be a huge shame after all this hard work.
Well done for sticking with this and working so hard to breastfeed your little baby
If I were you, I would keep feeding directly as often as your baby will accept the boob, using your fridge stash for a top up if you think they need it. If your boobs get uncomfortable before the next feed, express enough to feel comfortable (but don't keep pushing for more like I did! I was so astounded that my boobs could make all this milk I used to see how much I could get ) and add it to the fridge. If you've got a big fridge stash already, then try to manage your supply down a bit by expressing less (just for comfort) and feeding directly on demand (watching for little feeding cues like sticking tongue out, chewing fists, rooting etc to make sure you feed directly as often as you can).
You're doing such an important job right now. Stay with it I you can and it'll probably settle down a bit in a few weeks. You can always freeze the milk if you keep making lots, then use it for occassional bottles later (though try to avoid bottles for now) or to make porridge/custard/smoothies when you wean your baby
Supply is a bit hit and miss in the early weeks - after a month or two it will calm down, but I totally appreciate how you're feeling now. I agree with Happy - feed directly as much as possible, have a particular time(s) for the expressing you want to do (so that your body gets used to producing milk for that regular slot) and try to avoid extra expressing - if you're engorged and it is really painful, try and get the baby to feed, and if that's not possible, just hand express the minimum you can to take the pressure off.
Your supply will eventually calm down to meet the demand. Well done. DD had to have formula for a night at 5 days old because of severe jaundice and being too sleepy to feed. She is now nearly 17 months, and still BF.
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