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Thread: milk supply question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    15

    Default milk supply question

    Hello!

    My baby will be 4 weeks old this upcoming Friday. I was wondering if after a certain amount of time if your breastmilk supply is "set", or can it keep increasing from here? Eventually I would like to pump to have a stash for when I travel for work, but it doesn't seem practical right now since her nursing varies so much day to day. Sometimes it's two hours from the start o the last and sometimes 20 minutes, so I wouldn't want to pump after a feeding right now. I'm wondering if at this point my supply is set though and in the future if there won't be an opportunity or supply to add in pumping sessions? Also, does varying nursing timing day to day mess with my supply?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: milk supply question

    My understanding is that you can ALWAYS increase your supply by removing milk from your breasts more frequently. It's not always easy, and someone else may correct me but this has been my experience.

    Nursing on demand is the best thing you can do right now to establish a good milk supply that matches your baby's needs. If you are feeding on demand and her nursing behavior is naturally different from day-to-day, it should not have a negative effect on your supply. Your baby's nursing behavior is programmed by nature to perfectly signal your body to make the right amount of milk for her.

    If you want to build up a stash, it's OK to pump right after a feeding even if baby might be hungry soon. I wouldn't do it after EVERY feeding, but if you pump, say, once a day or once every other day in the morning, then if baby is hungry right after, you can nurse and she might have to work a little harder and not get a huge Buddha belly full of milk, but she will get some milk, and then she'll nurse again soon after that to get more milk. The pump doesn't do a great job of completely emptying your breasts, and you always have some milk. The morning is also a good time to try because a lot of moms find they wake up with more milk stored in the breasts than the baby can drink at her first feed of the day, although I am sure everyone is different. But I know that is how I felt in those first few weeks.

    But if you don't need to build up your stash right away, I would hold off for a while and just enjoy nursing on demand. There will be lots of time for pumping and you can always add in a pumping session later on. Also, I think you might find that as your baby gets bigger, she will be able to satisfy herself with nursing after you've pumped better than a brand new baby would just by virtue of her being a stronger nurser and your milk supply being better-established.

    Great job, mama!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    23,891

    Default Re: milk supply question

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sprocket View Post
    My understanding is that you can ALWAYS increase your supply by removing milk from your breasts more frequently.
    This is why moms who adopt can nurse, and why it is possible to relactate even after weaning and completely drying up.

    The PP gave good advice about starting a stash. One thing that worries a lot of moms is "What if I pump and then the baby wants to nurse- there won't be any milk, right?" But since milk is always being made, and is actually being made most rapidly when the breast is emptiest, you can always nurse after pumping, even if it's within minutes. The baby may take a long time to get fed, and may feed again sooner than she otherwise would, but she should be able to get a meal if she puts in the effort.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: milk supply question

    Fantastic - thank you both!

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