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Running low on booby milk!

(15 Posts)
ames Fri 07-Jun-02 22:01:23

Can anyone advise on maintaining my milk supply. I had plenty of milk at first it 'came in' during pregnancy but having recently started to wean I'm finding that my supply is not enough and I have to top her up with formula on her last feed at teatime. She sleeps straight through from 7pm till 8am and has a long feed first thing in the morning (both sides) which take most of the milk and i dont seem to be replacing it during the day only at night. Should I express last thing at night to try to increase it? Please help i dont want to stop feeding her yet.

mears Fri 07-Jun-02 22:19:16


How old is your baby? Why do you think you don't have a good enough supply. The longer you feed your breasts get really efficient and appear to feel less full but infact produce enough. Your milk supply will reduce if you top-up with formula. The way to increase it is to spend a couple of days resting and feeding frequently. That will stimulate more milk production.

Expressing last thing at night should help.

mears Fri 07-Jun-02 22:37:51

Hi Ames, Did a quick search and reminded myself that your baby is 4.5 months old. At this stage your milk will not suddenly disappear. As I said before it may be that your breasts just don't feel as full. Offer the breast in between 'meal times' to stimulate more production. Definately express last thing at night as well. Breast stimulation makes milk. Definately stop the formula if you want to mainain breast feeding - your baby does not need it.

chinchilla Fri 07-Jun-02 22:47:22

Wow! I didn't know that mears. I have been thinking that I didn't have enough milk anymore.

My ds is nearly 11 months, and only on two feeds a day now (early am and before bed). I have always had just enough milk, but never gallons of the stuff. I could never seem to express much if I wanted to go out, even in the early days. Now, it is rare for me to get the let down reflex, but, as I say, ds always has enough for a feed.

ames - HV always told me that milk is generated better at night. I too also have more in the mornings. Perhaps you could treat it the same as you would have done during an early growth spurt - keep trying to feed your dd, and wait for more milk to be produced. As mears says, you don't say how old your ds is, but I presume a similar age to my ds, as we seem to be in the same boat.

One silver lining to less feeding - my boobs are back to their normal size!! Hooray.

ames Fri 07-Jun-02 23:48:19

Sorry I didnt make it clear that dd is 4.5 mths. Knew I'd get a quick reply - you lot are great. Have expressed tonight but for over half an hour but only got just over 2ozs. Used to get 7 - 8oz in 10 mins no problem. Must admit havent been resting much last few weeks and am feeling really tired. What about diet? Any foods to eat in particular? My HV is worse than usless it was her who suggested i topped up with a bottle and give her a dummy (ignored that bit). She also diagnosed colic when dd had all symptoms of reflux and told me she was attention seeking when she cried constantly no matter what (due mainly to the reflux) up until 3.5mths. So why I still listen to her god only knows - infact shes worthy of a whole new thread. Anyway i shall turn this computer off get some sleep and make tomorrow a lazy, feedy day see if that helps.

jasper Sat 08-Jun-02 00:00:03

Mears and others,ames has raised an interesting point. Is it true you need to rest and eat lots of healthy stuff/drink plenty of fluids to ensure a good supply or is this a bit of an old wives' tale?

pupuce Sat 08-Jun-02 07:21:59

Completely agree with Mears.. and while it is better to rest and drink and eat well.... it doesn't necessarily affect your milk supply. Unless you completely go over the top.

I also feel that I have far less milk (DD is 10mo) but yesterday I had to extra bf because she was sick and had no problem.... they may express less, feel emptier but that doesn't mean they are
Have faith !!!

mears Sat 08-Jun-02 11:50:51

Morning eveyone,

I didn't make myself clear regarding the resting bit. What I meant was to make feeding the priotity for a couple of days even if it meant long drawn out spells or frequent feeds. That means you don't have any other option but to sit ( or lie ) and do nothing else when your supply is needing boosted. That means you can justify doing nothing and not feeling guilty. When there are no problems with milk supply then you can do whatever you like unless you just feel like lazing about all day. That's another story

mears Sat 08-Jun-02 11:54:03

Just another wee example I have thought of. Then dh and dd went to Florida when she was 8 months old I fed her practically the whole way to keep her quiet. The next day my normal sized boobs were huge and engorged with the response to all the stimulation. She hardly needed any solids she was permanently full

By the way Ames, limit the dummy till the milk is up.

Ellaroo Sat 08-Jun-02 19:49:43

Ames, I agree with Mears, giving your baby formula will only make the situation worse. Also, just because you find that you can hardly get any milk out when you try to express, don't assume you haven't got enough milk for your baby. Some people can never get their milk going properly for expressing (probably because the emotional pull of the baby is not there). I think the whole concept of 'not having enough milk' is a complete myth (spread about by formula companies) that only serves to make women worry and give up on breastfeeding. People have breastfed their babies for thousands of years and even severely malnurished mothers still manage to produce enough milk for their babies. I would try not to worry too much - her sleep routine sounds fantastic and I'm sure she'd let you know immediately if you didn't have enough milk for her!

ames Sat 08-Jun-02 20:31:27

Hi guys have fed dd loads today and did not top up with formula. She still seemed to get frustrated with the last feed and didnt settle as easily as she normally does but we'll see what tomorrow brings. Thanks for the support i dont know any other bf mums and only my mum really encourages me with the bf and because DD is quite light as well everybody is always telling me shes not getting enough, they've even convinced DH! I gonna stick to my guns on this one (or boobs!) your're right ellaroo she'd wouldnt be so contented if she wasnt getting enough.

Ellaroo Sat 08-Jun-02 21:30:23

Ames, that's awful that people have been so unsupportive. Any kind of comment re: baby's weight is always a sensitive one but to imply that it is related to what you are feeding her must be really hurtful. (people in shops would often come and remark on how enormous my baby was and that really upset me as everyone just said how big she was and what enormous cheeks she had rather than how gorgeous she was - not that I'm biased! Now she's started to lose weight, so I'm worrying about that instead!) However, although when they are so tiny we tend to become obsessed about their weight, I think that in most cases the baby is just right, as they are all individuals - it's are static expectations of how big they should be that are wrong! Sorry to rant, but I think it so awful the way breastfeeding is undermined by so many people, when all the research points to it being the very best thing for the baby.

SofiaAmes Sat 08-Jun-02 22:24:17

Ames, just to reiterate what mears and others have been saying. I found that when I started my son on solids and stopped the night feeds (at 6 mo.) my breasts no longer had that full hard feeling that they did before. It did feel a bit like I had run out of milk, but I definitely hadn't. And whenever my son was ill he would stop eating solids and go back to only breastfeeding and then within a day or so my breasts would start feeling full again. Although I had no trouble expressing, I had lots of friends who were never able to express more than a few oz. despite having plenty of milk. Don't let your hv or anyone else bully or manipulate you into formula or anything else that you don't think is the healthiest for you child. My hv tried to tell me that I had to start my son on solids at 4 months (despite extensive research indicating that 6 months is better) because otherwise he wouldn't be getting enough nutrition. She even wrote in his notes that I was keen to do so even though I made it very clear that I had no intention of starting solids until 6 mo. And also, this business of skinny or fat babies indicating health is silly. Unless a child is not gaining weight over a several month period, there should be nothing to worry about. I was THE fattest baby ever (breastfed in the 60's in the usa when the norm was formula) and am now skinny as a rake (well actually, normally skinny as a rake, except that I am 5 months pregnant and don't resemble anything rake like).

Joe1 Mon 10-Jun-02 08:51:21

Ames, I too had comments as ds was on the light side, or so the charts say, for his age, although no signs of being underfed, just growing as I did as a baby. However, I know how hard it is to stick to your guns when all around are saying you should be giving formula etc. I like you carried on and so glad I did, keep going everything will be fine

Satch Mon 10-Jun-02 15:42:13

If this helps, I was told by my midwife that bf mums need an extra 500 calories a day, and she recommended chocolate! Also, apparently your hormones are at their highest between 12pm - 4am and if you can feed/express during this time this will keep stimulation up! I keep that up for about 2 weeks and it seemed to help but then I opted for a good nights sleep instead and found that helped my well being more.

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