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How can you tell when your boob is empty & that that the baby has had enough????

(7 Posts)
MunchiesMama Wed 21-Feb-07 09:49:00

Hi Everyone

Can you please tell me how you know when your boob is empty & how to tell when the baby has had enough milk?


ruth2007 Wed 21-Feb-07 10:20:24

When my DD has had enough she pulls off and looks around (used to look at me but the world is more interesting now!) If she has emptied one side and wants more she pulss off and turns away then tries to latch abck on, I let her do this a couple of times so I am sure of what she is telling me. Then I wind her and swap sides.

Sometimes she does this very soon into the first side and I was concerned anout her only getting foremilk but the local BF HV tells me she may be just thirsty or I have put her on the wrong side (easily done!)


NotQuiteCockney Wed 21-Feb-07 10:22:42

Boobs are never really empty. As ruth says, if the baby is pulling off and seems to have had enough, he's had enough.

It's not worth worrying about the foremilk/hindmilk thing too much, unless your baby has serious weight gain issues, or unless you're feeding very infrequently.

Oh, and timing them is just silly - my DS2 never fed for more than 10 minutes when he was tiny, and he was a reasonable porker.

ohsmellyjelly Wed 21-Feb-07 10:23:37

Message withdrawn

Lovage Wed 21-Feb-07 10:26:17

My understanding is that your boob is never completely empty - the flow just gets slower (and the milk richer) until the baby either gives up or has had enough. So how long they stay on depends partly on how patient they are!

I know some babies who are really clear about when they've had enough (refusing to latch on, crying, arching body away) and when they're still hungry (crying, rooting), but my DS isn't, so in case yours is also hard to read, here's what I do:
when he pulls off, I try and latch him back on again. Sometimes he goes back for a decent while, sometimes for just a few sucks. If he comes off again soon I usually try once more (in case the position wasn't quite right) then I swap sides. Usually he has a smaller feed on that side, then won't latch on again. So I basically keep trying until he won't latch on again, but always including trying the other side (this has really helped his previously slow weight gain) When he was newborn he used to fall asleep before he's had enough and then I used to change his nappy / do skin-to-skin / etc. to wake him up and then he'd latch on again. Hope this helps!

Lovage Wed 21-Feb-07 10:30:46

The foremilk/hindmilk thing - I was worried about this too cos my DS is a very quick feeder (5 mins from the age of about 2months, now about 3 mins from the age of about 5 months) but I spoke to the NCT breastfeeding line and the woman there said that the hindmilk comes through very quickly. That figure of keeping them on one side for 20 mins apparently comes from a study of colicky babies, some of whom that helps (but not all). If you pump milk you can see it goes creamy after just a few minutes.

shonaspurtle Wed 21-Feb-07 11:07:38

I usually only feed from one side at a time and ds rarely comes off the breast of his own accord I unlatch him once he has been comfort sucking rather than taking in milk for a couple of minutes. Feeds normally last about 20 mins and my breast feels much softer afterwards (they generally get quite full feeling before a feed, possibly because my supply has increased to meet the demand of one side feeding?).

If ds is frustrated with being taken off and isn't happy with a finger to suck instead then I'll offer the same side again or the other side.

I realise this kind of breaks the usual rules but it was the only way I could cope in the first couple of months when my nipples were very damaged. It works for us and ds has excellent weight gain but might not be appropriate for another baby.

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