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BF 5wk baby, feel like I'm running out of milk!(13 Posts)
I'm have a very healthy baby who has taken to breast feeding so so well. He was 11.5lb at 3 wks and 8.15 at birth so is doing really well. I think he's become more efficient as what was taking 1/2hr is now taking 15-20 min to finish a feed ( one breast). The last couple of nights I feel like I'm running on empty, he's fussing and pulling at my nipples and when I squeeze them at this point there is nothing there. It's like I've run out before he's finished so to speak! I do offer both. Is this 'normal' ? It's only in the eve/nights. He can feed every 1.5-2hrs at night. Sometimes it's every 45min though from about 3am until 6am.
Encouragement and advice needed.
I drink plenty of water and am eating well. I could do with more sleep ( couldn't we all)!
In the evening, babies this age do a thing called 'cluster feeding'. Mums call it 'being on the boob all evening and not letting me have 5 minutes' peace to eat my dinner', or alternatively 'the witching hour'.
It's completely normal. What your baby is doing is stimulating your milk supply, probably in advance of a growth spurt (there is one due at 6 weeks).
Your breasts are never empty. When they feel flat and empty, they are still producing milk in a slow flow, and more importantly, your baby sucking is telling your body to make more. It can take time to settle.
I really think this is growth spurt territory, so I would carry on demand feeding, sleeping during the day when your baby sleeps, cooking meals in advance so you only have to nuke them in the evening and getting your DH/DP to muck in. It will pass.
More growth spurts turn up at 12 weeks, 16 weeks and 20 weeks but the 6 week point is when a lot of mums give up. It is hard.
He might be having a growth spurt and his demand is increasing and your supply just needs to catch up?
I honestly don't think you are running out - your body is just adjusting its supply.
How often do you feed during the day? Can you proactively feed a bit more during the day - to tank him up, so that he feeds less at night?
Is he actually feeding much at night or is he using you to get back to sleep? Is it always an all out cry/demand for food or is it a whinge/grizzle/"little cry". If it isn't a full demand for food, have you tried settling by other means? So that he doesn't use the boob to get back to sleep?
At about 3 weeks, I had problems with DS: demanding food, but then being fussy at the breast (so not really wanting it). It would go on for hours. Turned out to be "over tiredness": he was trying to feed to sleep, but was already full ( so couldn't). We solved it by introducing a bath/bedtime routine and settling by other means (rocking, shushing, patting etc) and by proactively feeding during the day.
I am sure that your supply is fine.
It's normal. Just let him feed as much as he wants. Boobs catch on and sort it out.
You probably know this already but if he's fed from both sides and seems to want more, you can feed again on "3rd" and "4th" sides until he settles. When does the fussing/ pulling happen?
Settling by other means sounds like an idea to try, too.
Thank you all so much! I've seriously been thinking about giving him formula tonight but he's doing so well BF.
How often would you wake him in the day to feed? He can go about 2.5 from midday ish as he likes to cluster feed all morning!!
God cluster feeding in the morning sounds like heaven I got it from 5pm onwards.
Just feed on demand.. It doesn't sound as if you need to wake during the day.
Breastfeeding is how I got into gaming. Not much to do when you're pinned to a chair most of the time
It sounds as if things are going to plan and really well.
It sounds like you are doing fantastically. If you're keen to breast feed, then it's best to avoid giving any formula. As PP have said, your baby uses cluster feeding to stimulate your breasts to make more milk. A health visitor once told me it's your baby's way of putting in their order for more milk tomorrow! If you give a bottle of formula, then your baby will suck less, and your breasts will get the message that they should make less milk. It isn't something to panic about (I mix fed for 7 weeks on medical advice), but it can become a downward spiral, and stop you from breastfeeding as long as you would like to.So if your baby is putting weight on well, and you haven't been advised to top up, then I'd really avoid it. Basically, after giving a bottle of formula, you then need to put in MORE cluster-feeding time to make up for it. So it can be tempting to give another..
Oh - and don't feel that your breasts need to feel full. The way it works is that when they are full, it stops the milk production (so that they don't get even more full!), and when they are empty milk production speeds up. So when they're empty, they are making more milk than when they are full. It can be tempting to wait to feed until they feel nice and full, but that's exactly the wrong thing to do to stimulate milk production. Better for the baby to feed frequently from an emptier breast (so long as they aren't too little and tired - but it sounds like you're well past that now) There is a great site called Kellymom, which goes into a lot of how it all works, and gives great advice.
Good luck! Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing to share with your baby :-)
You're not running out of milk. Basically he's getting bigger and more efficient at drinking and his demand for milk is more. It's a growth spurt and he has to create more milk by suckling to stimulate you to make more milk. It might take a week or two and then you will be fine till the next growth spurt.
Sounds like cluster feeding so just let him feed on demand. I wouldn't bother waking him, just be ready to get your boobs out when he does wake! It is possible to be short of milk if you are stressed or not eating/drinking enough but it doesn't sound like that's the problem for you. My milk supply dropped when my son was 6 weeks and I fixed it by spending a day in bed, feeding my son on demand while my husband brought me lots of food and water. Unfortunately, not everyone can do that though.
Growth spurt, just make yourself some flapjacks (oats supposedly good for milk supply but I'd just make them because this is the only time of your life you will be able to eat like a pig and lose weight) and sit on the sofa with the Tv controls, ipad and a large glass of water and the flapjacks. Eat, drink and enjoy the trash of your choice. Feed until he's happy, when your breasts are feeling empty that's when he's getting the high energy hindmilk. Your supply will settle again in a few days, until the next growth spurt.
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