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Thread: Am I producing enough?

  1. #1

    Question Am I producing enough?

    Hello everyone,

    My baby boy was born 11/1/11. He was 8 lbs 10 oz. I am a first time mother and feeling very fatigued and frustrated. After the first week of struggling with latching and cluster feeding, my pediatrician asked me to supplement with formula. He also has a thyroid problem and needs to take hormone pills crushed up in milk once a day, so he had to get used to the bottle very fast. However, he never seemed to get any nipple confusion.

    My baby did gain significant weight the next visit a week later and the doctor told me no more formula... but I've found myself having to supplement for a variety of reasons (someone else caring for him, need for sleep, too much fussing after a feeding).

    For a while we were doing okay with feedings about every two hours and stints of 3-4 hours sleep at night. My breasts would become engorged with hard masses I could feel. Sometimes I pump just to give them a rest or if baby is sleeping past 2 hours and I get about 3-4 ounces.

    And then last night happened...

    My baby fed as normal and then started fussing right after. He kept latching and de-latching. He was crying and kicking and just did not want the breast. This went on for the better part of an hour and a half before I just lost it and prepared 4 ounces of formula. He sucked it all down (totaling about 7 ounces for him if you count the breastmilk) and fell right to sleep.

    Have I done something horribly wrong? Am I no longer producing enough? Is this just a spurt?

    I am very frustrated and disappointed in myself. I want to produce enough for him. Should I start pumping right after feedings? And for how long?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Am I producing enough?

    Babies do that. They want to nurse all the time to boost your supply. That is what they do. So my first piece of advice to a mom:
    Go to bed. Nurse on demand. If baby fusses, switch sides. Keep switching sides until baby sleeps. Do this for several days. Watch diaper output.

    There is a growth spurt around 3 weeks. All babies do it, but some are more vocal than others. And the best way to cope...just hang out and nurse.

    Don't start in pumping and bottle feeding. It's not needed. Make him get it from the tap.

    Many babies figure out bottle feeding is easier than breastfeeding. Instead of bottle feeding his thyroid supplement, syringe feed it or give it via an eyedropper.

    If you keep supplementing, you won't have enough. But if you wean down from supplements, in a few days, you will have enough. Supply is demand.

    NO pump is as effective as a baby at removing milk and stimulating supply, so avoid the pump if you can.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,860

    Default Re: Am I producing enough?

    What aprilsmagic said. I know that it seems like supplementing happens "for a variety of reasons", but the real reason most moms supplement is because they have the choice to do so and because at a given moment it seems like the better option. If you don't allow yourself that choice, and you just tough it out and nurse, you will produce enough for the baby. if you keep supplementing, you will eventually be in a situation where you need supplements. I'm sorry if this sounds hard-hearted! The PP said it much more kindly, I guess: just nurse the baby and everything will be okay.
    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!"

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