drop in milk supply(9 Posts)
Hi. I have a four month old who has been breastfeeding very well. He went through a growth spurt a few weeks ago and we just about got through it using a bit of frozen milk to top him up some days. Usually I would feed from one side in the morning and express from the other and then use the other at night as the last feed as by then I never seem able to satisfy him. In the last few days I havent been as engorged/full when waking up and I'm not able to express enough milk for the full evening feed and also I find I'm not able to satisfy him at the bedtime (7pmish) feed either now - he sucks for 5 -10 mins, switch breasts and is still hungry and will drink 120ml+ of expressed milk. What can I do ? - if anything. I feel like my milk supply is dropping and I'm running out of stored milk. I dont want this to be the start of a slippery slope but it is depressing me how little milk there seems to be there for him.
no need to worry!
you can increase the milk supply, by either using the pump for 5-10 each side after every feed (regardless of which side you fed from) or putting him to the breast more often - both will stimulate the breast and increase supply. you need to do this for 3-4 days to see a positive change.
also talk to a breast feeding expert/helpline, they can explain things better.
and remember a 4 month old is able to properly empty the breast in 10 mins!
A breast is never empty. They make milk as your baby suckles. As the baby gets older your body gets better at supply and demand. It makes the milk your baby takes so you lose the engorged/leaky feeling in most cases and breasts can feel quite soft. Your body has found itself more in tune with the baby you have instead of producing excess milk just in case.
And the not satisfied in an evening thing? I severely doubt this is anything to do with lack of milk. A baby will take expressed milk/formula after a full breastfeed because of the change in sucking motion, ease of transfer and novelty of the experience. Babies very often feed more in an evening. For comfort, hunger, thirst etc. If you have offered both sides and your baby is still hungry, offer the first side again and so on. You will make milk as your baby suckles. It's normal for them to feed lots in an evening. It's called cluster feeding and these evening and night feeds are very good for ensuring supply.
If you weren't making enough milk btw, you'd expect to see the effects on your baby in terms of weight gain, responsiveness, happiness, urine output, poos etc.
What you describe in your op sounds like the normal behaviour of a bf baby. If you have any doubt whatsoever about your supply contact a bf counsellor but the first port of call would be simply to bf more.
ok, I will give it a go with lots of offering - I feel when I pump that I'm taking away his milk - he seems very unsatisfied on days Ive tried that.
Maybe he is having another growth spurt and I just havent realised.
Honestly, it's not like a pond, it's like a river. I mean that as long as he's suckling, your body will produce milk. Your breasts aren't empty at any point. Expressing is good if you want to give a bottle at some point or like to have a freezer supply but I promise you, what you pump out is no indication of how much is in there or how much you produce and if you express, you're not depriving your baby.
It might be a growth spurt, but realistically, they're always growing and what you're seeing is just normal bfing behaviour. Fairly efficient by this point and probably feeding a bit more in an evening. Plus your body catching up to the baby you have and producing a more accurate amount.
Isee has given some good advice.
I can now only hand express 1oz a time (so no longer bother) and I can assure you DS can get more than 1oz out.
The 'lake not a river' is a good way of thinking of it. Just keep feeding and keep pumping.
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