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Silly questiona about breastfeeding that probably has an obvious answer....

(10 Posts)
Maddison Mon 05-Jun-06 22:48:22

...but can anyone tell me if, when a baby just sucks for comfort do breasts still produce milk??? Or do they only produce milk when feeding properly??

No reason for asking really, just wondering..

nothercules Mon 05-Jun-06 22:50:12

Yes, the sucking at the end isnt just for comfort but also to continue stimulating for more production.

moondog Mon 05-Jun-06 22:51:46

The more they suck,the more milk they produce.
I found I would wake with big bazookas after the baby had done a lot of what I thought was merely comfort sucking,but on reflection,maybe they needed this extra milk and knew in a primeval sort of way how to get it??

Amazing,the symbiotic system between babes and boobs isn't it,especially when we trust them to get on with it.

tiktok Mon 05-Jun-06 22:57:03

Hmmmm......it's not the sucking that produces the milk, but the removal of milk from the breasts. This is what drives the supply. If the baby is not removing milk when comfort sucking, then the breasts are not being stimulated to produce....and babies sometimes do just comfort suck, with little or no milk being removd as they do it. But as moondog says, sometimes the baby seems to be comfort sucking and yet is still getting milk.

Comfort sucking, whether it gives the baby milk or not, is all part and parcel of normal bf, and is a nice thing for babies to do

nothercules Mon 05-Jun-06 22:58:14

ahh, I always thought the action of sucking was the stimulation. Well, you learn something new everyday!

moondog Mon 05-Jun-06 23:00:41

Ah tiktok,that is interesting clarification.
What I meant also was that what seemed to be just comfort sucking was follwed at least 12 hours later by an increased supply so obviously they were getting milk during supposed 'comfort sucking' and increasing supply for near future.

If you get my drift.

Maddison Mon 05-Jun-06 23:02:19

Ahh thanks for putting me out of my misery you lot

Like I said I had no particular reason for asking, just sat feeding DS2 (12 1/2 months) and was just wondering.

Knew I could count on MN for an answer though

tiktok Mon 05-Jun-06 23:38:48

If it was the sucking the produced the stimulation, then mothers would not be able to create a supply with expressing....and of course they can ('cos breast pumps don't suck the way a baby does ). Sucking does have an effect of its own, though - the action causes the production of oxytocin which produces a letdown. Mothers do get let downs with the pump, as well. though.

Maddison Tue 06-Jun-06 00:21:11

Yeah, I used to get the letdown when I expressed, I could feel when I was going to get a fountain of milk

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 06-Jun-06 00:24:29

I get huuuuuge let down when i express.

Whats the flicky thing they do with their tongue though? Doesnt that serve to stimulate more milk?

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