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Thread: Stressed about baby getting enough milk, want to give up

  1. #1

    Default Stressed about baby getting enough milk, want to give up

    I have been pumping/breastfeeding my baby who is now almost 6 weeks old. She has a good latch and had been sucking enough milk through breastfeeding. The last few days, she seems very hungry after spending the usual time on each breast. My breasts lately don't feel as full when it is time for her to eat. I had been starting to pump 80cc each time but lately cant even pump an ounce..i'm not sure if my milk supply it getting low, i havent changed anything lately. I'm getting stressed and frustrated and think maybe formula is easier...but then I feel guilty for wanting to quit. Suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stressed about baby getting enough milk, want to give up

    As long as your baby is having 5-6 wet diapers a day she is getting enough milk. It's normal for your supply to regulate to meet your baby's needs, your body is learning to make just enough milk rather than too much, so the engorgement and the leaking slows down and eventually goes away but your body is still making plenty of milk for her.

    Are you nursing AND pumping? Or just pumping and feeding it to her in a bottle? I ask because there are different issues that can come up as far as your milk supply if you are only pumping and not nursing.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stressed about baby getting enough milk, want to give up

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! You've made it to 6 weeks, and that means you have made it through the most challenging part of nursing a baby. What you describe sounds very normal for a 6 week-old infant. There are multiple big growth spurts throughout the first year. They often hit around 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months. During a spurt, the baby feeds more frequently and often seems to require more food than before. As long as a) you are feeding on demand, b) not supplementing, c) you are not on a new form of hormonal contraception and are not pregnant, and d) are seeing continued normal diaper output, you do not have to worry. All you have to do is to nurse the baby as often as she wants for as long as she wants, until the spurt passes.

    A lot of first-time moms freak out right around this point in their nursing journey because their breasts all of a sudden feel soft and they aren't seeing a big yield with the pump. Both these things are normal. When a mom feels full or engorged, she is making too much milk and her body does't want to do that. After a while, your supply decreases to meet demand very exactly, without a lot of milk left over. At that pont, your breasts start feeling soft all the time and pump output typically declines.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Stressed about baby getting enough milk, want to give up

    I am breastfeeding her during the day and pumping at night and she is getting breast milk in the bottle. I started to pump after every breast feeding session during the day to help increase my supply..?? I don't pump enough and am worried w/ the return to work in a few weeks I won't have enough if any saved and will have to use formula. I'm not against formula, I just want my baby to get enough nutrition.

    Sometimes after a feeding w/in an hour she will wail uncontrollably and root/suck on hands and we give her a breast milk bottle of maybe 20-30cc and that satisfy's her. It doesnt seem like putting her to breast at that point is beneficial b/c my breasts don't feel full.

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    Default Re: Stressed about baby getting enough milk, want to give up

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*shannon.m View Post
    Sometimes after a feeding w/in an hour she will wail uncontrollably and root/suck on hands and we give her a breast milk bottle of maybe 20-30cc and that satisfy's her. It doesnt seem like putting her to breast at that point is beneficial b/c my breasts don't feel full.
    I would put her back on the breast rather than giving her a bottle. She will get milk no matter what your breasts feel like and if, by chance, you do have a supply issue having her nurse will boost your supply better than a pump can. Nurse when she seems hungry. Try not to worry about how long it's been or if your breasts feel full enough. It's amazing how well your baby and your body can work together if given the chance.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stressed about baby getting enough milk, want to give up

    Your breasts don't need to feel full in order to contain milk. Most moms start out making too much milk. It's nature's way of ensuring that the baby gets fed while he/she masters the art of breastfeeding. But your body doesn't want to overproduce in the long term, because it is a waste of energy and puts you at increased risk for plugged ducts and mastitis. So your supply decreases to just the right level. Once that happens, it is totally normal to feel soft all the time. And presuming your baby has a good latch and is good at nursing, she can always get more milk out of the breast, even when you feel drained. Milk is always being made, and that means the baby can always get some out.

    Is there a particular reason why you are upping and bottle-feeding at night? The reason I ask is that a lot of moms find nighttime an easier time to nurse. Presuming you haveastered nursing in the side-lying position, you can just lie there and doze while the baby tanks up, instead of having to haul out the pump and then trudge down to the fridge to store your yield...
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stressed about baby getting enough milk, want to give up

    w/ Paige and mommal. In addition:

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*shannon.m View Post
    I don't pump enough and am worried w/ the return to work in a few weeks I won't have enough if any saved and will have to use formula.
    Try to worry about tomorrow's problems tomorrow. Don't stop breastfeeding NOW because you are worried you won't be able to pump enough milk IN A FEW WEEKS when you go back to work.

    There is a whole forum on pumping which I would encourage you to peruse. Check out kellymom's site and her section on pumping for work. It is a life-saver.

    Do you have a good double electric pump? If not, you should look into getting one. Also, keep in mind that when you go back to work you will be pumping INSTEAD of nursing, rather than IN ADDITION TO nursing. You should start getting more. Also, you don't need a big stash of stored up breast milk when you go back to work. You will be pumping each day to supply the milk for the next day. Technically, you only need enough milk (1-1.5oz for every hour you are apart) for the first day back; most moms (myself included) prefer to build up something like a week's worth of milk (somewhere in the neighborhood of 60oz or so if you work FT from the home).

    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

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