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Thread: Comfort nursing and supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    105

    Default Comfort nursing and supply

    A question crossed my mind today: I know that the amount your baby nurses is what tells your body how to regulate production; does that include comfort nursing? Does the baby have to be removing milk from the breast to inform the body about production or is it the act of sucking? Or both?

    Just something I realized I didn't know the answer to today!
    First-time mom to Markus, August 17, 2011.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,115

    Default Re: Comfort nursing and supply

    Yes, comfort nursing counts when it comes to regulating supply. Stimulation to the breast helps to increase/maintain milk production even in the absence of milk transfer. In addition, when a baby is nursing for comfort he may also be removing a small amount of milk, without mom really noticing or having a big letdown, so that milk transfer also helps maintain/increase.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Comfort nursing and supply

    Thanks for responding mommal. I was wondering the same thing and it makes me feel better about the frequency my lo seems to comfort nurse these days!
    My sweet little Dylan was born 8/24/11.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Comfort nursing and supply

    Thank you mommal for explaining the difference between 'comfort' and 'nutritional' nursing so clearly. I never really got it before. I think, too, that some times when moms talk about 'comfort nursing' they are referring to any time at the breast that does not follow whatever feeding pattern they have been taught to expect. So, if a baby nurses 'too long' or 'too often' it is referred to as comfort nursing, when actually baby is certainly extracting milk & actually needs to nurse that much in order to get enough & maintain moms supply-this is one problem with the 'nurse every such and such hours' advice so many moms hear, it leads to these expectations that then worry mom when baby has his or her own ideas about nursing!

    I often found 'true' comfort nursing-as you describe it-as a lovely and peaceful time to connect with and just admire my sweet, often sleepy or asleep nursing baby. Not ALL the time, there were definitely the times I thought "oh please get done I have things to do!" But I think that enjoying that comfort nursing time is something that so often gets lost when we look at nursing as ONLY a feeding method.

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