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Is my baby getting enough breastmilk?

(5 Posts)
ElfMother Sat 01-Mar-14 16:32:22

A bit of background...my son is nearly six months old and exclusively breastfed. For his first couple of months I was expressing all his feeds as he couldn't feed straight from me - he finally worked out how do it when he was nine weeks old (still don't know how or why, but never mind). He was sleeping through at this point so it was easy for me to keep expressing off one boob first thing, and feeding him off the other. I then used the expressed milk to give him in the evening to see him through the night.

He hit the four month sleep regression at 17 weeks (exactly!) and since then has been waking at least twice every night. Rightly or wrongly, I feed him back to sleep - using just one boob so I could still express from the other one first thing. Because I've been expressing so regularly I know what I've been producing and this week it's gone down fairly dramatically from 175 ml to just 125. I have no idea why - I haven't started eating or drinking less and I'm still feeding on demand.

I had a day out yesterday so my mum babysat and fed him using expressed milk all day - 150 ml per feed, with a slightly bigger one in the evening. I got home in time to boob him off to sleep at 8 (I also expressed while out). He woke at 10.30 for a quick feed and then slept through until 6 - the first time he's done this in weeks. But it's left me wondering if he got extra milk yesterday (the right amount?) and if that's what saw him through? Is he getting enough from me on a day to day basis? Why am I suddenly not expressing as much as I used to? Is there anything I can do to increase my supply? Does he still need the night feeds when he wakes or are they just for comfort? I suspect the latter a lot of the time...mum took over the night before last and just rocked him back to sleep when he woke rather than feeding him - could this be another reason for him going through last night? I'm so confused! I was really hoping to feed him until he's a year old so any advice would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks, and sorry this is so long.

Cakeismymaster Sat 01-Mar-14 16:50:58

No advice but wanted to say am envy as my ebf dd of same age is nowhere near sleeping through.. So you must have cracked it - it does sound like he must have had all the milk he needed throughout the day though.

It sounds fine smile Expressing production usually goes down at about 3-4 months, it can happen later if you've been pumping a lot.

This is a really good article - see the heading titled "What's normal in terms of expressing output"

Feeding in the night is still, unfortunately, not a given at 6 months. It might be that he's happy being cuddled or rocked to sleep by somebody else but if he smells your milk he wants that. You could try cuddling or rocking him yourself to see if he settles with just that - it's just about trying different things to see what works.

Have you started solids yet?

ElfMother Sat 01-Mar-14 17:00:54

I suspect (and fear) that it'll prove to be a one off though Cake! Sorry you're struggling. We've had some horrendous nights recently so I do know what it's like. The night before last, when mum took over, he'd woken every 40 minutes after we put him down at 7.30. She took him at 1.30 and even then he only slept til 5 before she was up with him again. He does have a cold at the moment though so I'm hoping that partly accounts for that, he's not usually that bad.

And last night he woke me at 4 with a coughing fit (that he slept through!) and I didn't really get back to sleep - so I'm still pretty knackered today!

ElfMother Sat 01-Mar-14 17:05:04

We've been giving him some mashed up banana the last few nights after another bad night earlier in the week. But that's it, I was planning on waiting til the magical six month mark (a week away now).

I think what you say about him smelling my milk could be right. I have tried rocking him back to sleep myself but he won't have it. Unfortunately, he doesn't settle easily for his dad either - but mum seems to have no problem. Maybe we need her over for a few days to get him used to sleeping through without milk?!

I will dig out that article, thank you.

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