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Infant feeding

My breastmilk does not seem to satisfy my baby

10 replies

KurtMummegut · 13/09/2013 20:14

My youngest is nearly 4 months. I breastfed my last baby for 18 months and never needed to supplement but this time my son often screams at the breast and seems urgently to want more milk - more quickly. For this reason I introduced one bottle of formula mid-afternoon as that is the time when he gets most cross at the breast.

Today was the third day of giving formula at 4pm. He drank it quickly and furiously and was happier in the early evening than he has been in weeks. By the bedtime feed I was engorged so thought he would be happy with my breastmilk, he drank 15 minutes at each breast and then started to cry and urgently root for more. The crying got so bad that I offered a formula top up and he guzzled the whole bottle. This was 3 hours after the previous bottle and straight after a long feed from two engorged breasts. He seems ravenous.

Does it sound like I do not have enough breastmilk for him? Why might this be and what can I do about it? I do not want to give up breastfeeding but he seems much more satisfied by the bottle and tonight's events make me doubt my milk.

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AllSWornOut · 13/09/2013 20:51

I'm not an expert by any means but I guess you know that the best way to increase supply is to let him feed more. Breast compressions and switch feeding (not just feeding from one side per feed but continuously switching sides) can help if you feel supply might be low too. I've found these strategies helpful while I've been struggling with bf DC2.

Good luck.

Forgetfulmog · 13/09/2013 20:55

There is a growth spurt at 4 months & his suckling will tell your body to produce more milk for him. If you can, go with it - it won't last for ever. Use lansinoh as that much suckling will probably make your nipples sore.

Does he have a dummy?

KurtMummegut · 13/09/2013 20:59

The problem is that he won't suckle, he gets mad and screams and pulls off the breast and sometimes bites. Maybe this behaviour means he does not stimulate the increased milk production that he needs and that is why he seems so hungry.

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soaccidentprone · 13/09/2013 21:06

I don't know if this theory is still true, but I was told the first b&m to come out is relatively thin to quench the babies thirst, and then the thicker, more fatty and filling comes through. So if this is true, try to only feed from one breast so that your baby gets lots of hind milk rather than 2 lots of foremilk.

Forgetfulmog · 13/09/2013 21:12

He hasn't got reflux has he? Have you sought help from a counsellor? Btw the fore/hind milk thing is a myth

KurtMummegut · 13/09/2013 21:17

If it was reflux wouldn't it happen with the bottle as well? I genuinely don't know.

We haven't seen a counsellor. Maybe we should. How do you find one?

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AllSWornOut · 14/09/2013 08:20

I just googled "Lactation consultant " but i think you should also be able to find a listing under IBCLC (the global organisation).

There are also a few names that appear on here regularly - maybe start a thread and ask for recommendations? I'm about to do that for a consultant to look at a potential tt my DC has.

Hope you find a solution.

tiktok · 14/09/2013 08:51

Kurt, this does not sound like a breastfeeding supply problem (I am a bfc with NCT). You don't need a lactation consultant, I don't think - your situation is one that would be very familiar to any breastfeeding counsellor, and you can reach one by calling any of the breastfeeding helplines (they are listed on the Mumsnet bf pages

Please don't judge the quantity of your milk by how your breasts feel - this is a poor guide. Flat empty-feeling breasts are capable of getting plenty of milk into your baby; full engorged breasts are not actually that much 'fuller' than flatter breasts.

If your baby 'urgently roots for more' after both sides, just let him :) Put him on the opposite side from the one he has come off.

This not only gets more milk into him short term, it stimulates the breasts to produce more milk.

Giving formula undermines the whole 'baby stimulates supply' production line, so it's best avoided.

Just continue breastfeeding, following the cues your baby gives you, and also offer when he seems he would take another feed (without forcing or insisting). Give a call to any of the bf helplines, too.

soaccidentprone - your info is a bit mixed up....keeping a baby on one side only is not necessary and might decrease supply - see for an explanation.

WithConfidence · 14/09/2013 08:56

My ds got very difficult to feed around 4 months. Because he was getting distracted by the world and then not feeding enough and getting too hungry so he would get frantic. Feeding in a darkened room especially when he had just woken from a nap really helped.

KurtMummegut · 14/09/2013 12:56

Thank you for the advice. When he roots after a feed he gets extremely cross when put back on the breast and pulls off and screams. I therefore can't get him to stimulate more milk. I will keep trying though and will try feeding in the dark as he definitely feeds better at night and in the morn.

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