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How do you know when your breast is 'empty'?

(8 Posts)
Imafairy Mon 29-May-06 09:34:04

Sorry - this is probably a very dumb question, but how do you actually know when your breast is empty? When I feed DS2 I know he is getting lots of milk at the start, but he always ends up dozing while suckling. I remove him and re-latch him after a while, but I'm never convinced that he's actually finished everything when he has finished, IYKWIM. His weight gain is okay, so I'm not worried about that, but I want to make sure that he's not just getting foremilk. Also, if he's not emptying it, then that's going to affect my supply, isn't it?
Any tips?

expatinscotland Mon 29-May-06 09:36:29

I never feel mine are 'empty'. How old is your baby?

When mine was newborn she would either fall asleep or come off the boob herself (windy). I'd move her to the other boob and sometimes that would get her going again. If she didn't want other boob I'd give her a break from eating.

foundintranslation Mon 29-May-06 09:52:43

If his weight gain is good and he seems fine in himself, I wouldn't worry too much about foremilk/hindmilk.
In fact breasts are never 'empty'. How old is your ds? If your breast feels noticeably softer/floppier after a feed that's a good sign - but might not be accurate at all if the last feed was fairly recently and the breast was quite soft and floppy to start with! Some babies are simply more efficient at feeding than others, and don't talk as long. How often does he feed in 24 hours?

foundintranslation Mon 29-May-06 09:53:14

don't take as long, sorry!

snafu Mon 29-May-06 10:08:18

Your breasts are never really empty - after a good feed they will feel softer, but they're not empty. The foremilk/hindmilk thing is a bit of a red herring too - have a look at this for a good explanation.

Your supply would ultimately be affected if he really wasn't drawing off enough milk at each feed (or feeding frequently enough) but from what you've said that doesn't seem to be an issue.

Trust your body and your baby. He'll get what he wants from the milk as long as he's attached properly and allowed to feed for as long and as often as he wants to. If he's sucking well, content after a feed, putting on weight and having plenty of wet nappies, then you have nothing to worry about.


bramblina Mon 29-May-06 11:05:49

It won't affect your supply- his feeding will demand as much as he needs and your body will supply what is demanded. He'll be your besr guide.

Imafairy Tue 30-May-06 10:47:48

Thanks - he's nearly 2 weeks old...........

bramblina Tue 30-May-06 11:14:36

Oh bless him, he's bound to be sleepy, it is such a comfort for them to breastfeed, he won't be so sleepy in a couple of weeks, esp when his appetite really takes off, he'll go at it hell for leather and you won't be able to get him off. When my ds was little I used to love seeing him pop off, all full and contented, milk all round his mouth, it's just lovely! Enjoy it. it's wonderful.

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