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confused about milk production

(8 Posts)
vic891 Wed 06-Jul-05 15:47:49

ds is 7 weeks and has been fussing on the breast after about 4 or 5 minutes (normally feeds for around 8 minutes). i've been offering the second breast and that satisfies him for a similar length of time - previously though he only ever needed one breast per feed. have just tried expressing after a feed to see how much milk was left and practically nothing came out. surely i should have more milk available than that? i don't think it's a growth spurt, as he's still only feeding every 3 hours, as has always been the case. is there anything i should be doing to increase supply?

hunkermunker Wed 06-Jul-05 15:52:05

PLEASE don't take what you can express as a sign of how much you're producing. Expressing is a skill that needs to be learnt, much like bfeeding. It sounds like he's fussing because he's growing up - welcome to the world of the distractible baby

Or could he need winding?

The only thing you need to do to maintain your supply (not increase - sounds fine to me if he's feeding every three hours - the fact he takes less time to feed is just showing he's got better at it - don't time feeds as it just worries you) is feed when he wants feeding.

Keep it up - you're doing brilliantly!

mears Wed 06-Jul-05 15:53:12

vic891 - expressing after a feed does not tell you how much is left. The breast itself is never empty and the baby is the expert to get it out. Babies can increase the milk supply them selves by feeding more often. The more they feed, the more milk you make. Try not to time feeds if you can - just be led by your baby. Always offer the second breast when they spontaneously come off the first one. They will decide for themdselves if any more is wanted. Just go with your baby - sounds as though things are perfectly normal

vic891 Wed 06-Jul-05 15:55:32

thanks ladies. why do you think ds is getting so agitated when feeding? thrashes his head from side to side and seems not to want to take the nipple - i read this as him being frustrated by a lack of milk. this is what's been happening after a few minutes. have tried winding him but to no avail (has always been difficult to wind though).

alux Wed 06-Jul-05 16:02:25

could be wind vic, i remember dd doing the same at 7 wks. she's 11 wks now. i overanalysed it and made myself worry over it. his little senses are waking up to his surroundings too so feeding must be wierd for him too right now. that's how i rationalised it.

Caththerese1973 Wed 06-Jul-05 18:05:06

I could never express milk into a bottle. And I never needed breast pads. And my dd was very fussy on the breast sometimes. So I would just keep changing her to the other breast when she fussed, and kept feeding for as long as possible (up to an hour at a time). If you have the time to do this, it's unlikely your baby will be missing out on anything. You know what? He is probably a very efficient feeder, and his takes it in quicker than you can supply it. Once a breast is 'emptied' it takes several minutes, if the baby is currently feeding, for the mother to make enough milk for him to get another good dose. he may be drinking what there is and then fussing because the flow slows, but if he can wait a few minutes (maybe on the other boob) then the first boob will probably refresh its supplies.
Like I said, I never seemed to have any excess milk when I was feeding all the time, and my baby would often fuss. It was my local clinic sister who pointed out to me that this was probably because baby was a very good feeder and took every last drop (my dd was a chubby little thing!)
Sometimes babies will also fuss on the breast if they have a little cold or sore throat, so if he is very fussy check to see if he is a bit hot or seedy.

icklelulu Thu 07-Jul-05 15:54:19

My DS used to thrash about like that and I found that hand expressing a little, just enough to get the milk flowing used to help. Sometimes babies can find the sudden let down of milk hard to cope with so expressing a tiny bit helps with that too Good luck sounds to me like you are doing an excellent job!

Norash Thu 07-Jul-05 15:57:32

could not have said it any better hunkermunker .

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