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Can my boobs be empty because I expressed?!(6 Posts)
So I’m on baby number 2, and she has been exclusively breastfed since birth. She’s now 6 months and I’ve booked my first girls night away a month from now. The plan was that I would express enough for my husband to give her a bottle when he gets home so she can get used to a bottle, and then hopefully find a formula she gets on with so I don’t have to try and express the full amount. Don’t want to stop feeding by any means, but need to be able to be away from her every now and again.
Step 1 has gone ok - yesterday she happily drank 3 ounces from a bottle. The schedule was a little thrown out as she feeds on demand so I had breastfed her at 4, then she had some puree about five, and the by the time husband got home it was half 6. She drank about three ounces but then lost interest and I assumed it was because there was quite a lot in her tummy by then! She went to bed easily but then woke several times.
I expressed at 10 for the next day, expecting her to wake at 12 ish as normal to feed, but she woke just as I had finished expressing and then was generally disturbed, wanting to feed and then falling asleep on the boob in a loop until 1am. She then woke at 5 to feed again, and after that slept until 8 which is unusual for her, assume she was tired!
My question is about the supply from my boobs after expressing - her behaviour makes me think that perhaps she wasn’t satisfied earlier in the evening, and then when I fed her at half ten she couldn’t get enough to sleep comfortably. Could this be the case? I always thought it was a supply and demand thing rather than emptying the boobs and there not being enough for the baby? But could it have been difficult for her to get what she needed after I had just expressed? It could have all been a coincidence and she just had a bad night but if it’s because of what I’m doing I’d like to correct it! Going to express at 9 instead tonight and hope boobs have enough time to recover. Would appreciate opinions from anyone who has done similar!
When you've expressed, you'll have taken off the foremilk which means that the flow will be slower which might be what the problem was. You could try breast compressions if it happens again.
The whole fore / hind milk is a load of bollocks.
Your breast are never empty.
Could be anything making her a little unsettled.
Sounds like she's doing really well.
OK yes, I didn't mean that there's a magical switch and all of that first type of milk is gone.
What I meant is if you normally leave a gap between feeds, the flow will be faster at the beginning of a feed, particularly at 6 months. Babies can prefer this especially if they are sleepy, and a change to that can cause them to act differently at the breast.
It's not a problem and breast compressions will normally increase the flow - you will still have milk. And over the next few months you'll stop getting that buildup between feeds anyway so she will get used to it.
Well it is supply and demand, but your breasts do take a little time to adjust to an increase in demand! So yes your breasts will have been emptier after expressing. Not empty empty, they can always come up with something, but not as full/fast flowing as without expressing.
However you’ve now sent the signal to make more milk, so your body will be hard at work increasing supply for the extra hungry baby you’re clearly feeding ... by tomorrow you may find you can express and still give a full feed after.
Thanks everyone, that’s really helpful! Did think it was unlikely I’d drained them dry but slower flow does make sense as she was keen to feed a lot longer. Hopefully if I express regularly at 9pm for a few days my boobs will adjust to make an extra feeds worth!