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Breastfeeding help!(13 Posts)
Hi all, my ds is 4 months old, and so far have breastfed him. A few weeks back he got a horrible cold and didn't feed as much. As a result my milk appears to have reduced, and at the same time he's decided to start his growth spurt.
Problem is, I don't seem to have enough milk! No matter what I do- regular feeds, breast compressions, nothing seems to work and it's now got to the point where he's screaming through a feed as he's not getting enough, and keeps going on and off the boob. I gave him a bit of formula just to fill him up so my boobs could refill,which worked for a bit, but today he's needed a bottle top up at every feed.
I really don't want to have to bottle feed, any ideas what I can do?
No real advice here, but could you express from the other side while you feed? Would that help increase milk (and then you could give him the extra or freeze?).
Lots of skin to skin tone and keep putting him back on the boob. When you top him up, your body won't know to make more for next time so as hard as it is, try to top up as little as possible. I find porridge really increases my milk supply and there's quite a lot of lactation cookie recipes about.
I also remember dd going through a phase where she bobbed on and off, but just kept feeding feeding feeding. She's 21 months now and still going!
Also great idea about expressing from other side
I found this blog so useful: www.emmapickettbreastfeedingsupport.com/twitter-and-blog/category/low-milk-supply-101
Basically says, try not to doubt your supply unless there's a problem with either weight gain or nappies. Then it gives lots of useful advice too
Hope this helps!
Thanks for all your quick replies. It's the screaming that gets me the most- it's like a "I'm starving and your not giving me milk" cry which is so angry!! He's always been difficult to feed- he couldn't latch at birth so ended up hand expressing before using a nipple shield for 8 weeks, and when I finally felt we've cracked it, this happens!!
I'll continue breastfeeding and try pumping to see if that helps at all.
Your breasts don't need to refill, that's not how milk production works. Milk is made on demand, constantly. In fact, missing a feed is signaling your body to produce less milk. If you do give a bottle feed you should express to keep stimulating your supply.
Firstly it might be an idea to repost or get this moved to the infant feeding board. I've had lots of helpful advice there from proper experts. (unlike me! )
However the 'filling up'doesn't work like that, your body is producing milk even as baby feeds and that signals it to make more.
So if possible I'd avoid the formula top ups as you're telling your body to make less milk IYSWIM? Can you try switch feeding, where you give baby both sides then go back to the first, then onto a 4th side etc as necessary? Compressions might help too if baby is fussing.
I also have a 4 month old and she's feeding more often and for longer, it's pretty exhausting. She's also crying more and fussing while feeding so that DH and I have to walk with her or carry her in the sling for a bit so that she's calmer or more sleepy and will settle to feed.
Hope things settle down for you and you get some more advice. This is DC3 for me and I'd almost forgotten this bit.
Hey! Hope things are easing up for you
I agree with the other comments and will say that our breasts and milk production is pretty amazing! Through times of loss of appetite to growth spurts.
What I'm about to say could be completely irrelevant but I remember going through a phase with my daughter around the same age where I kept offering boob every couple of hours like usual but this time she kept screaming, latching back on and repeat. I was getting so stressed because I thought if you stay latched on and suck the milk will come and if you keep pulling it will delay. It made me dread every feed. Turns out it was just a grumpy phase and she wasn't actually hungry! She just wanted it for comfort and then decided not I imagine!
Def get this moved to the feeding board.
If you want to BF, keep feeding and avoid top-ups. That's where I went wrong with my first and we ended up FF (although that all happened a lot earlier than 4mo). As PP have said, boobs respond to demand and if you're using a bottle, that means less demand on your boobs and therefore less milk. As long as your baby is producing plenty of wet and dirty nappies and is otherwise well, he's getting enough. Some skin-to-skin snuggle time (get a box set on, big bottle of water and plenty of oaty flapjacks for you, stay on the sofa under a blanket for the day) will give you a great environment to get back to a good place BF-wise.
Feed feed pump pump feed feed. Repeat.
Milk is produced faster by empty boobs and production slows down if they are 'full'
If you want to keep BF then keep top ups to the absolute minimum or ideally avoid completely.
It could be something completely different that's causing the screaming so don't risk it damaging your supply.
If weight is increasing and nappies are wet, then milk is good!
I agree with that stop giving formula top-ups. With every bottle of formula you give you are effectively telling your breasts to make less milk.
If you are concerned however then just express whenever you can as it will really boost your supply. It also means you can top him up with EBM if necessary as opposed to formula.
My DS went through a very awkward phase at about 5 months, getting really upset and angry during feeds and my HV suggested it may be down to teething and DS was getting upset because it was painful/uncomfortable to feed. I started using teething gel and it made a big difference. Could teething be a possible explanation? Feeding from a bottle is so much easier for a baby than feeding from the breast so sore gums may explain why he's upset at your breast but contented to drink from a teat?
He's 19 months now, still BF and whenever he's getting new teeth he really goes off his feeds for a few days. I don't have to worry about expressing now because my supply is so well established but when he was younger and going through difficult phases I would be frequently expressing every day to keep my supply up.
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