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Thread: Nursing less at night

  1. #1

    Default Nursing less at night

    My 9 week old nurses every 3 hours between 5 AM and 7 PM. Then I put him down to sleep around 7 PM and he only nurses once (sometimes twice) until 5 AM. This is great for my sleep, but my breasts get pretty full during the 5 hours stretches.

    DS nurses on one breast during each feeding, occasionally he will take some from the 2nd breast, but not always and never during the late night feeding when he is so sleepy. So again, I am usually "uneven" and very full on one side!

    I pump bilaterally twice a day: one hour after a midday feeding so DH can give DS one bottle a day in the evening (getting DS used to bottle for when I go back to work). I pump a second time while DH is bottle feeding so that I can empty out before the long stretch and will add that to my freezer stash.

    My two questions are:
    1) Should I adjust my pumping schedule so that I am less full during the evening stretches? The exact time he gets up is pretty unpredictable, so I am afraid to pump and not have enough for him if he gets up shortly after that.
    2) Nursing more during the day and less at night -- will this affect my supply at all?

    I appreciate all comments!
    DS born 11/23/11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Springfield, Oregon

    Default Re: Nursing less at night

    Its a fairly complicated issue. This sleep schedule is unlikely to last, particularly when you return to work. At that point babes often nurse quite frequently at night to make up for lost time. So my first note is to enjoy it while it lasts.

    You may also benefit from knowing about dream-feeding. That is feeding your child while they sleep. This is an option. Your breasts will adjust to not nursing at night, they will get less full and less uncomfortable. Then when you need more milk, or if babe's schedule changes, babe will nurse like crazy a few days and your supply will re-adjust to the new need. It is a constantly moving fluctuation of supply and demand. You need not worry about managing it as your babe already knows how to.

    You are never empty , you are always producing milk.

    If your babe becomes fussy at the breast do not assume it is a supply issue. Babes do that. Kellymom.com has great articles on this topic. So how would you know if you really didn't have enough?. Your babe would not have adequate wet and poopy diapers. If they are adequate then you are good and it is another issue, not supply, causing the problem. You don't need to worry about having enough for babe upon waking because your body is always producing milk. Babe may get a bit irritated because the let down may take a bit longer, if that happens you can simply do breast compressions until let down.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Adelaide, Australia

    Default Re: Nursing less at night

    If you pump at night, you will make more milk and the situation will never resolve. I demand feed and just go with the flow. My 11 week old does random 7 hour stretches at night, and then only 4 hours the next night. I just assume that my breasts will adjust when they need to. I have larger breasts and while they feel full and heavy in the mornings, I am never in pain. Does it hurt, or is it just uncomfortable? I did read that you could hand express just enough to be comfortable (smallest amount).

    Your breasts work on supply and demand. If there appears to be a demand, they increase supply. After awhile, I think the breasts learn to make less milk at night and more during the day as demanded (they are magnificent things really) You are only 9 weeks in, and your babies routine is constantly changing. I personally would just go with the flow and if you are not in pain and baby gets what it needs during the day, then don't stress. I think as mums we stress about EVERYTHING - too little milk, then too much milk, not enough sleeping, then too much sleeping. I am slowly learning just to listen to my body and my baby and ignore everything else.

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