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Thread: fussy baby means low production?

  1. #1

    Default fussy baby means low production?

    My 7 week old was nursing well with a nipple sheild during weeks 2-3, then I discontinued use of the shield to avoid potential lowered production. She continues to nurse on the nipple, but for shorter periods and she constantly fusses at the breast. I have not reintroduced the shield. I believe she is fussiest when my breasts have less milk (later in the day). During her first morning feeding, I can feel that my breasts are hard and full, and when she eats I hear her rhythmic sucking and swallowing that seems easy-- she is content and she seems to fill up. As the feedings continue about every 2 to three hours through the day, she seems like she wants to give up. Perhaps she doesn't want to work for the milk remaining.

    I understand that if baby is pooping and urinating frequently and gaining weight, that things should be fine (and she is doing all these things), but I can absolutely tell when I have milk and when I don't, and I know that I just don't have much the more she feeds during the day. I don't want her to be hungry or unhappy, so I have been giving her 2-4 ounces of formula each night to fill her up because she seems so fussy and unhappy during those late feedings. I am afraid to stop the formula completely, but I feel so guilty about it. I just don't know how to keep her interested in feedings as the day wears on, and how I can increase production.

    I'm drinking tons of water, eating well, and responding to her by feeding her when she wants to eat. Why is my production low and what can I do!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: fussy baby means low production?

    I know you really want to be sure your daughter is getting enough to eat and is interested in the breast, but giving her bottles of formula is actually counterproductive to both these goals. You need to be signalling your body to make ALL the milk your LO needs, not all but 2-4 oz. Furthermore, as she figures out how much easier it is to get the milk from the bottle, she may come to prefer that over the breast, which will make your problems much worse.

    Some people might tell you to throw the bottles away completely at all once. I'm inclined to agree, especially since you say she has good wets and poops, and good weight gain. It's very common for babies to be fussy in the evening, and yes, it can be related to lower supply at that time of day. I would recommend you just keep putting the baby to the breast, perhaps pumping some milk after she is finished to encourage more supply. Don't let her know that there is an easier food source available (the bottle.) Also, around 6 weeks is a common time for a growth spurt, though my LO has never had her spurts right when she is "supposed to." Perhaps your DD is going through one of these? Maybe she is also getting overtired? Some people do better with an earlier bedtime.

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: fussy baby means low production?

    Fussiness in the evening is textbook normal. So is feeling "empty" but it doesn't actually mean that you have no milk. When your breasts feel hard and full, the milk is usually thinner and lower in fat content (foremilk). When your breasts feel soft and empty, the milk is actually higher in fat content (hindmilk). The best way to increase your supply in the evenings is to nurse more.

    The best way to undermine your supply and create low supply is to supplement with formula. When you give a bottle, you fill up your baby, she's not interested in nursing, and your breasts don't get the stimulation that they would if you nursed. So your body says, "I don't need to make milk at this time" and your supply goes down.

    So I completely agree with the PP. Stop supplementing, nurse your baby, understand that evenings are just a fussy time at this age (that usually goes away in another month, btw), and try to relax!! If your baby's gaining weight and her diaper output is where it should be, EVERYTHING IS FINE.

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: fussy baby means low production?

    I feel the same way and it stresses me out, which is not helping. I did read that it helps to eat oatmeal. I've been trying it, and hoping it works.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Oakland, CA

    Default Re: fussy baby means low production?

    Just wanted to say that I totally agree with the advice you got from the other ladies. I've nursed two (my youngest is coming up on 4 months) and both girls were always fussy in the evenings. For me, I think the fussiness actually was what caused the emptier breast feeling, not the other way around. They'd start their evening fussies, want to nurse a lot for comfort, and then it'd seem like there was less milk, know what I mean? Also agree with the thing PP said about full breasts and more watery milk. Less full breasts aren't a terrible thing. I had an overproduction problem with my first, and she always had green poops/gas problems from too much foremilk. I stopped getting the full feeling earlier on this time, and my second never has green poops and I don't have to use as many breast pads!
    SAHM to threee (homebirthed) kiddos...
    Mouse 10/29/2008
    Chipmunk 4/16/2011
    LP 11/16/12


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