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Does breastmilk diminish in the evening?

(26 Posts)
bunjies Wed 16-Mar-05 19:38:27

It certainly seems so to me but I was wondering if this could actually be the case. My dd2 is 4.5 weeks old and between midnight and 7pm feeds approximately 5-7 times. I also express a couple of ounces twice a day (about 9.30am and 2/3pm) for my dp to give at about 11pm. However, when I feed dd2 at about 6.30pm it never feels like I have enough milk and my breasts always feel saggy. Is it likely my supply has reduced by that time? I usually next feed her at about 2.30am and by then everything's back to normal until the next evening. Any advice?

Twiglett Wed 16-Mar-05 19:43:30

from what I know boobs produce to demand, and babies feed more in the late afternoon to early evening which is why you may feel empty because the baby is feeding more effectively?

cluster feeding is not unusual at that age, where baby seems to feed very frequently late afternoon / early evening .. almost tanking up for the night


jane313 Wed 16-Mar-05 19:49:46

My son was definitley like this at this time of day in the first few. I remember reading that you have less milk as you are tired at the end of the day so they feed more in order for you to produce more. I used to feed him before and then straight after his bath. Then a Gina Fird devotee who I met said that is recommended in her routine (split feeeding I think she calls it) and I just stumbled upon it as was feeding on demand!

kookool Wed 16-Mar-05 20:02:36

bunjies - try not to put baby on any kind of "schedule". I know that GF fans, etc won't agree, but babies esp. one as tiny as yours need to be fed "on demand" to keep up supply. It is best to be led by the baby, esp. in the early months.

As baby gets older (this happened to me when DS was around 3 months old) he will get himself into a "natural routine", and will only feed say every 2 hours or so. Also, expressing is ok, but will not "replenish" your milk supply the way the babies natural sucking will. The more you let baby do the work, the more you will produce. Breastmilk works on supply/demand, just like economics !

Good luck !

bambi06 Wed 16-Mar-05 20:07:32

i do know that your richest milk is in the morning but i thought it did tailor off in the evening as you are more tired and baby has fed all day, thats why gf says to express from the morning milk to top up your eve feed as then they will go longer between feeds but there is a growth spurt at 6 weeks so baby needs more

tiktok Wed 16-Mar-05 20:25:19

Sorry, folks, GF does not know what she is talking about.

Milk quality is not affected by tiredness, and nor is quantity. Milk is not 'richer' at one time of day rather than another.

Cluster feeding is nomal behaviour in a baby, and bottle fed babies do it too. It's very typical for the baby to cluster feed in the afternoon and evening. Bunjies, if your baby is feeding at 6.30, and is happy until 11 pm, I can't see why you think you don't have enough milk at that time, sorry. That can't possibly be the case

Cluster feeding is one way the baby gets a lot of calories in, in short bursts close together. The effect on the breasts is to make them soft, but they are not empty...they are making milk in response to the baby removing it, you can be sure of that.

cornishbird Wed 16-Mar-05 20:28:49

Babies do tend to suck for long periods in the evening because supply is low at the end of the day. An excellent recepie given to me by bf counsellor is for "Tiger Milk". 4 bananas, 2 pints full fat milk & 2 Brewers Yeast tablets (available from chemist) in food blender to make smoothie. This is enough for 24hrs and increases milk supply when demand is high and you're probably feeling run down anyway! I would swear by it. Generally make sure your fluid and food intake is good thru the day.Also, don't despair because it does pass! Hope it helps..

Mud Wed 16-Mar-05 20:52:32

nothing you eat will make a difference

think ticktock knows what she's talking about

it sounds pretty normal to me the baby is obviously feeind well

pootlepod Wed 16-Mar-05 21:13:26


I used to tell DH I had to eat chocolate at 4pm to help my milk in the evening. I'm sure DD slept FAR better when I had some.

kookool Thu 17-Mar-05 15:04:24

I agree - nothing you eat makes a difference. My DS is now nearly 9 months and there have been days when I have hardly eaten anything (too tired, no time!)and days were I ate like a pig (because DH was home and cooked a lovely meal)! Did it make any difference to my milk supply, NO !

Research shows that the poorest women in the poorest, famine striken countries where there is little available for the mother to eat, are still able to produce enough milk to satisfy their babies - that's mother nature for you.

I have been criticised and even insulted for saying this before, but I read GF's books cover to cover before my baby was born. Once DS was born I realised her advice MAY actually undermine breastfeeding. She is not a BF consultant, therefore not the person to take advice from if you need to BF successfully.

I don't know tiktok in person, but she sounds very knowledgable about BF. I think she will give you good advice.

kookool Thu 17-Mar-05 15:07:05

pootlepod - that's very clever - 9 months on and I am still telling DH that I need to eat properly to BF DS !

Which is why DH shops and cooks for me regularly ! He doesn't use this website, so I can say what I like here !

Twiglett Thu 17-Mar-05 18:41:48

you have been criticised and insulted for saying that GF "MAY actually undermine breastfeeding"

I personally feel Gina Ford is devil incarnate

cornishbird Thu 17-Mar-05 20:40:50

Do agree with you, Kookool, breats, god bless 'em do produce adequate milk regardless of mothers diet. Having been sucked on all day tho they are obviously not as full as they are 1st thing in the am. Bunjies, yes they do feel saggy in the evening but they NEVER run out of milk, there is always a trickle! It is normal for babies to suck for long periods in the evening (don't forget it's a comfort thing too!) especially if they're on a growth spurt. Hasn't anyone tried the banana shake though? Don't knock it til you've tried it I always say! It was recommended to me by NCT bf counsellor with my 1st and definately boosts your supply. The other thing she advised is what you're already doing, bunjies, expressing some in the morning to be given at night as extra. I do know what I'm talking about as had a real mare with my 1st & became good friend of bf conusellor. Found out a lot about breastfeeding, there are a lot of myths out there too..
Yes, GF is a real nightmare, kind of the Barbera Wodehouse of the baby world I think! I am yet to meet a mum who is able to put their new baby on a strict feeding schedule. I know my ears couldn't stand it!

kookool Thu 17-Mar-05 20:42:31

Twiglett - I used to be alot more belligerent when it came to GF, but have become a bit of a whimp since one particular person on this website (who had actually very successfully BF her babies) had a real go at me saying I shouldn't criticise GF, just because I don't agree with her books !

I had this lovely midwife who came round to my house when DS was 4 days old and really helped and supported me with BF. She saw a copy of GF on my desk and said "oh, please don't read that book, just burn it !" She said she had travelled all around Latin America with her tiny breastfed baby and never bothered to put him on any silly schedule ! Result: happy, healthy, well-travelled baby !

I didn't burn GF's book by the way, it was brand new, so I sold it ! But I did thoroughly trash her book in a "review" on a bookseller's website

tiktok Thu 17-Mar-05 23:25:32

Nothing wrong with a banana milk shake if you like it, CB...but the NCT bfc should not really have suggested it as a milk supply booster unless she explained very clearly it was an anecdotal thing (very anecdotal - I've never heard of it!).

NCT bfcs are supposed to be evidence-based as far as poss.

cornishbird Fri 18-Mar-05 10:22:22

are you a bf counsellor tiktok?

tiktok Fri 18-Mar-05 10:46:44

Yes - NCT.

cornishbird Fri 18-Mar-05 11:17:35

Fair point then! Will ask when next see her about it, I definately found it increased supply for me, thought was to do with brewers yeast tabs. Obviously don't want to pass on dodgy advice but thought was ok as reccomended by her. Will say no more.....

Kelly1978 Fri 18-Mar-05 11:42:48

Tiktok is the expert, but I just wanted to add that both mine fed like that in the eves. It didn't last too long tho! It wasn't a supply prob neither, as they put on heaps of weight, I think they liked the comfort as much as anything.
Also, I sometimes found that they were tired and would keep falling asleep while still hungry and waking up for a bit more.

flic23 Fri 18-Mar-05 11:54:31

my Ds seemed to want to feed from about 6 till ten this lasted for about a month and then he went back to normal my immediate reaction was that my supply was low. The everyone else i knew said there's had done the same about that age. I figured that he must be doing fine coz he piled the weight on until he was 11 months

tiktok Fri 18-Mar-05 12:02:31

Brewers yeast is a fungus, and it is high in B vitamins. It does have a reputation for increasing milk, but I would be surprised if anyone has really studied this; of course the drink she suggested is fine - safe and probably quite tasty, and certainly energy-boosting. I am pretty sure there is no firm evidence that the concoction, with or without the Brewers yeast, would boost milk, but if it helped you, then great!

eldestgirl Fri 18-Mar-05 12:43:05

My personal experience is that I definitely had less milk in the evening after a knackering day with a toddler and a baby. I found that eating a protein-rich lunch helped (sushi was best). One of my friends swears by those protein shakes that athletes use, probably v similar to the banana milk shake. I used to express milk in the morning when I had excess supply and bottle feed ebm at 6-7pm.

chipmonkey Fri 18-Mar-05 13:33:17

If one is prone to thrush would the brewer's yeast make it worse?

kookool Fri 18-Mar-05 14:25:01

bunjies - (USA) is an excellent source of scientific BF info. (On top of the good advice you get here ) - there is info. on breast supply issues.

I would agree with everyone else that it doesn't sound like you have a supply problem, but you may want to read this any way for future ref:
have a look at this

bunjies Fri 18-Mar-05 19:40:30

Thanks everyone - very reassuring. I hadn't really thought that if she's going from 6.30pm to 11pm then she must be getting a decent feed so thanks Tiktok. I suppose I just looked at my pitta bread boobs and thought no way is there any milk in those . Anyway, have been cluster feeding over the last couple of days, i.e. before and after bath just to make sure.

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