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Reestablishing milk supply - how long approx?

(11 Posts)
Sal22 Wed 23-Jul-08 12:23:37

Could anyone please give me an indication of how long it will take before my milk supply is ok again, or does it vary a lot? Thanks.

My background info:
Having almost messed up breastfeeding completely (I've been mixed feeding, but too many bottles lately), I've now got my almost 4 months old baby to suck a little again, and is pumping every 3 hours or so to try and get my milk supply back up. Whilst I don't really express anything, I'm doing it more for the stimulation.

I might be hoping for too much too soon, but feel slightly disappointed that there's not enough milk yet (second day). I realise that the body would provide enough if he actually sucked, but because he got a bit "confused" with the bottles, he won't stay on my breast long enough now to feed, only really for comfort.

I'm off to the chemist in a second to buy a syringe, as I'm struggling a bit with cup feeding while I try to get him back on my breast.

Brangelina Wed 23-Jul-08 12:28:59

It took me a week, with putting baby to the breast every hour. I was no good at pumping and they advise latching baby on more often anyway as more effective. DD wouldn't ever take a cup and had got lazy at the boob, but once she realised no bottle was forthcoming (I used to top up after breastfeeds) then she made more effort again.

Everyon's different though, and my DD was a little younger when I dropped the bottles so it may take you longer or maybe even less time. You do need to be very determined though. Good luck!

Sal22 Wed 23-Jul-08 12:53:47

Thanks Brangelina. I can kick myself!

Brangelina Wed 23-Jul-08 13:13:26

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. smile

You sound very determined so I'm sure you'll manage it. You certainly seem to be making more effort than I aver mangaged with the expressing. anyone who's got the patience to express will have the patience to put baby to breast frequently and not give in. The hardest part for me was the not knowing how much DD drank after having been used to seeing bottles emptied, but I just had to detach myself from that.

tiktok Wed 23-Jul-08 13:20:57

Sal, this is gonna take time and patience, and it is great your baby comes onto the breast for comfort and this makes the whole thing easier. Some babies resist and fight when bottles take over, but he isn't doing that

Rough rule of thumb is that the length of time it has been since you last fully breastfed is the time it will take to re-establish full breastfeeding again...but it is very variable, and if it is, say, three months since he was last on breast alone or mainly breast, it certainly won't take anything like three months to get back to that.

3 hourly pumping is the way to go - express from each breast more than once, too, going back and forth.

Kicking yourself won't help milk production, though

I do really wish mothers were told this about mixed feeding - it always carries the risk of ending breastfeeding sooner than was planned.

Sal22 Wed 23-Jul-08 13:55:35

Thanks. I will happily admit that, if it wasn't for mn, the wonderful support of my postnatal mn group, and the volunteers on the breastfeeding helplines, I would have admitted defeat yesterday morning. It was just such an all-time low, as he did actually refuse my breast altogether yesterday! Screamed blue murder if I brought my nipple to his mouth, arched his back, everything.

I eventually got him to take me for comfort sucking by holding him in his sling, my one hand on his head, other under his bum! hmm He's now even easier than yesterday, as long as he starts sucking while I'm standing up and rocking him, he'll continue when I sit down. Or for a while anyway.

The most embarrassing part of it though is that I was aware of "nipple confusion", but I thought that an extra bottle here or there won't do any harm (we had family over, so in between driving and not wanting to breast feed in front of fil I messed the poor little guy up). My (clearly incorrect) reasoning was that, as he preferred breast to bottle anyway, he'd be fine dropping the bottles once we're alone again. Not so. Great to hear it can be solved again though, and I won't make the same mistake again!

VictorianSqualor Wed 23-Jul-08 14:17:00


You've had my advice already.

I'm glad R is increasing how much he'll suckle already, it's only been a day or so! Keep up what you're doing and hopefully it'll all work out.

You know where I am.

Sal22 Wed 23-Jul-08 14:51:12

Thanks, VS! Shocking how quickly things can go horribly wrong, but, even though it's not completely sorted just yet, it's also great to know that I'm getting there now.

On the upside - it's so wonderful to have this excuse to just sit around and cuddle R for a couple of days. Awww, I even have flashbacks of my "brilliant" plan to start trying for no 2 wink Must be his breath in my neck - does things to the hormones...

Sal22 Wed 23-Jul-08 15:23:52

Oh, I just wanted to add: He's been drinking on me for the last 20 minutes! grin grin grin

VictorianSqualor Wed 23-Jul-08 15:44:16


Hael Tue 04-Nov-08 10:48:35

Help Sal22 I would like to know how you managed to get your 4 month old to suck again or was he latching on at times? Also made huge mistake with breastfeeding but my little one will not latch on, he'll be 3 months in a day.

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