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How to boost supply

(18 Posts)
Nottalotta Fri 24-Feb-17 20:36:04

Is there any reliable, none time consuming way to increase my supply?

Bit of background - I am bf ds2, he's 13 days old. I bf ds1, until he was,18 months old (few weeks ago). He always fed well but very very often, and took over three weeks to regain his birth weight of 9lb 1. Looking back, I feel that my supply wasn't quite up to it. He was 6 months old before he would go three hours between feeds, occasionally. More often two hours.

Ds2 was 10lb 13. Gained 7Oz by ten days old. Seems to be more efficient at feeding than ds1. Wakes twice in the night, and feeds every couple of hours through the day.

However, he regularly appears to not be satisfied after feeding in the past few days. I have been expressing and giving a bottle in the evening so that he can be fed by someone else and I can put ds1 to bed. I'm not getting a lot expressing (manual pump). For two nights he had 2Oz and guzzled all of it. Tonight just over 3Oz and again guzzled it and was still hungry and crying by the time I had got ds1 to bed.

I realise it is early days to express and bottle feed but I left it six weeks with ds1 and he never took a bottle and refused any milk at all other than from the breast, til 11.5months.

littledinaco Fri 24-Feb-17 21:02:27

Lots of feeding and skin to skin are the most effective ways to boost supply.
Oats can also increase supply.

Not being able to express much is not an indicator of poor supply, some people just struggle to express.

When you say he's not satisfied after feeding, are you able to feed him more? Your milk doesn't stop/run out. Picture it like a tap, your body will carry on making milk when baby is feeding.
It is common for babies to fuss, it is not usually an indicator of low milk supply.

This is good if you are worried you have low supply

It's hard when you've got an older one to put to bed. As you probably know from your first, the evening is when baby cluster feeds too so can be a bit of a nightmare. How do you put your older one to bed? I used to do stories, sit with older one, etc when feeding baby. Not always ideal but was a bit stuck if baby was hungry.
Is the person bottle feeding the expressed milk doing paced feeding? If not, look it up, that may give you more time to put your older one to bed.

Nottalotta Fri 24-Feb-17 22:16:19

Thank you. I feed him at least every two hours through the day. Then approx 9pm, 12.30, 4, 6.30 through the evening/night.

I can hear him swallowing, but he stops swallowing after a while and comes off, it is as if the milk has run out or at least is very minimal. And that's when he seems dissatisfied. He had 3Oz from a bottle tonight, less than an hour after his last bf, and was crying for more.

At bedtime, I have been feeding ds2. Then take ds1 up for a bath, 15 minutes, pj's etc, two stories, milk and into cot and I sit with him while he falls asleep. He's been very unsettled so it's taken a while for a few nights but tonight 15 minutes.

NickyEds Fri 24-Feb-17 22:24:21

It's probably more about the time of day than your supply I would think. Little babies cluster feed in the evening in my experience, both of mine spent pretty much all evening on me coming on and off the breast until 12 weeks (longer for dd). Having milk, resting then wanting more is normal and not an indicator of a supply problem I don't think. Your night feeding sounds great for such a tiny baby, very similar to my dd at not much older but going longer stretches at night will mean very regular feeding during the day. Weight gain ok? Nappies ok? If yes then fussing I wouldn't worry about.

littledinaco Fri 24-Feb-17 22:42:19

When he stops and comes off, do you put him on the other side?
Have you tried breast compressions while he is feeding?
It is normal for babies to swallow less frequently further into the feed, have a read about the different types of sucking/swallowing they do.

I know it can feel like it sometimes but the milk honestly can't run out.

If the baby is crying for milk in the evening, I would maybe try and find a way to feed him as much as possible when he wants it as this will help with your supply. It sounds like he's wanting to cluster feed in the evening which is common. Some are on the boob constantly for hours!

Can you get someone to do DS1 bath/pjs while you feed baby, then if baby ok, you read stories and sit with DS1 or if baby needs feeding, then feed while you read the stories. It's really hard getting into your new routine with the second one, you'll find your own way of working things but I would try and feed baby if he needs it. That's the best thing you can do for supply-feed,feed,feed!

fruitpastille Fri 24-Feb-17 22:48:51

I hesitate to say it, but have you tried a dummy? Some babies do have a strong desire to suck. I know it's not advised for a number of reasons but I must admit it saved my sanity. Obviously if you are worried about weight gain/supply then maybe best not.

littledinaco Fri 24-Feb-17 22:58:38

This is good regarding dummies. It is usually advised to wait until 6/8 weeks and avoid if you have supply concerns.

I'm not against dummies at all (my first had one) and they can be great in lots of ways, just have a good read first.

Nottalotta Fri 24-Feb-17 23:03:59

I do feed him whenever he wants and wake him after two hours in the day if he needs a feed. I've done breast compressions, and switch sides.

Ds 1 didn't do evening cluster feeds, just fed constantly day and night....... This one is more typical I think. His nappies are wet and he's gained weight by day ten so all good.

Im probably worrying unnecessarily.

He has had a dummy in the evenings too, and fell to sleep with it three nights while I did bedtime but not tonight. I was not keen on s dummy with ds1 but can see the benefits esp this time!

Nottalotta Fri 24-Feb-17 23:07:19

I've introduced a bottle and a dummy now as I waited til after six weeks withbds1 and he refused to have either. To the point where I went back to work at 9 months and he went without milk all day.

littledinaco Fri 24-Feb-17 23:13:38

Yes, dummy can be great. Just be careful as use can affect supply.

Wet nappies are your best indicator that he's getting pleanty of milk so just carry on as you are. You fed you're first for a long time so I'm sure you'll be fine. Sounds like you're doing everything. Read up when you get a chance as sometimes it can help make you worry less.

Nottalotta Fri 24-Feb-17 23:15:21

Thanks, dummy is just to help settle while I am doing bedtime. Yes, first one gave up bf a,week before this one was born!

Jenniferb21 Fri 24-Feb-17 23:23:51


Just to offer another view my DS was dehydrated but He was 10 pounds when born and was jaundice. I was feeding every hour through the night and 2-3 hours in the day. I was carrying on like this until I knew he was dehydrated and unwell. So I was told by my consultant I needed to give top up feeds after every BF. I was so upset but I actually loved it and decided to carry on combination feeding. I did that until he was 6 months only because he had teeth and I couldn't cope with BF. Originally if wanted to BF until he was 1.

So I gave him 3 x 3-7onz bottles (obv onz increased as he grew) and BF in between on demand. It meant DH and Gpatents could help and DH did a nightfeed at 9pm so I got a good 4-5 hours sleep before I'd BF during the night. It really was beneficial for me as my boobs started to get so so sore too from the hourly feeds at night and my poor DS had chapped lips after two weeks of doing that too. My HV said even though my supply was ok it wasn't satisfying him and feeding every hour would not work long term for either of us. So in some cases I do believe it's better to combination feed. I know breast is best but a well fed and satisfied baby is the most important thing.

Obviously my supply fell but it suited the amount he needed. But I always Bf him throughout the night and first thing in the morning as my HV told me our bodies produce more milk at night.

I was also recommended to try fennel tea and hand express after every BF (I'd usually get about 30ml from each side) also try to change side on each feed that will help

Good luck xxx

Jenniferb21 Fri 24-Feb-17 23:24:55

Oh I'd also have a bath with baby lying on me relaxing every other night or would just cuddle in bed topless when baby was undressed so lots of skin to skin to increase he right hormones to produce more milk x

womaninatightspot Fri 24-Feb-17 23:32:13

A fairly instant and cheap way to increase supply that worked for me was garlic. You could take a supplement but I just peel and top and tail a segment of garlic and swallow with water. Within an hour my cups runneth over so to speak. I was bf twins who are dairy free so was important to keep up supply.

NickyEds Sat 25-Feb-17 07:06:42

Never heard of garlic increasing supply and I certainly wouldn't fancy eating them whole!

Honestly op it sounds like you're doing fine. I had a similar experience to pp and ended up mix feeding ds but the situation sounds completely different. I can't see any need to use formula unless you want to op.

Whatsername17 Sat 25-Feb-17 08:20:27

No idea about increasing supply but my dh gives dd2 a bottle of expressed milk at about 10.30pm and then I top her up on the boob if she is still hungry. I tend to express in the morning after she has fed so the expressed bottle is mostly hind milk which is like double cream so it fills her up. She's 5 weeks old and the first sleep is usually the longest. On a good night I get 3-4 hours.

Whatsername17 Sat 25-Feb-17 08:21:50

The end pressed bottle is usually about 3oz and she's now 9lb

womaninatightspot Sat 25-Feb-17 12:10:21

It does sound awful I know but if you google there's a fair bit to suggest it works for people. You don't really taste it just stick between your teeth and swallow with water like a pill. Although I've fed all of my children until nearly two, I've always had problems getting feeding established and I've tried everything to boost supply from extra pumping to nursing tea and this was something that really worked for me!

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