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Thread: questions I should probably already know the answers to!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default questions I should probably already know the answers to!

    These are some seriously elementary questions (considering this is my 3rd attempt at BFing!) But I feel if I know for sure, I may have more luck increasing my milk. first of all, as I stated, I have a low supply, but I also have a very forceful let-down. He gags and takes a shower at every feeding but is hungry again minutes later. How/why is this occuring? Also, how do you know a breast is fully drained? And lastly, how can I keep my LO awake long enough to get a full feeding?? TIA!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,163

    Default Re: questions I should probably already know the answers to!

    I have a low supply, but I also have a very forceful let-down. He gags and takes a shower at every feeding but is hungry again minutes later. How/why is this occuring?
    It's normal for a newborn to feed very soon after his last nursing session, sometimes within minutes. It happens because tiny babies have tiny tummies, and breastmilk digests fast. It also happens because new babies have to develop the ability to know when they are full- sometimes they eat a bit, and then realize that they didn't take enough, so they go back. Forceful letdowns can also cause a baby need to take lots of breathers in between small nursing sessions. First of all, small sessions prevent mil from really building up in the breast, reducing the force of the letdown. Second, babies who deal with forceful letdowns often gulp a lot of air with their meals, and when they burp, they realize that they are hungry again.

    Be patient with this! As per above, it happens for a lot of reasons, most of which have to do with the baby being very small, very new, and not yet a master of the art of breastfeeding.

    Also, how do you know a breast is fully drained?
    You don't. The breast is NEVER fully drained because milk is always being made. The faster the breast is being emptied, the faster milk is being made to replace what has been taken out. You may be able to feel a difference in your breasts after an especially large feeding; they may feel softer and emptier when baby is done. But this is not true for all moms, particularly for women with larger, softer breasts.

    The best thing you can do to assess supply is to watch diaper output. As long as baby's diaper output is normal, so is supply.

    One way to ensure that baby gets what he needs is to "finish the first breast first"- in other words, watch the baby, not the clock. Let him feed for an unrestricted amount of time on the first breast, offering the other side only after he comes off the first breast on his own.

    And lastly, how can I keep my LO awake long enough to get a full feeding??
    Is your baby particularly sleepy, dozing off within a few moments of being at the breast? If so, is he jaundiced at all? And how has diaper output and weight gain been thus far?

    Techniques for waking a sleepy baby:
    - Keep the lights dim. New babies often close their eyes in response to bright light.
    - Keep baby cool. When it's time to nurse, strip him down to diaper or onesie, and keep a fan blowing in the room where you are nursing.
    - Annoy him. Tickle the soles of his feet or rub against the grain of his hair using your hand or a cool damp washcloth.
    - If baby is nodding off while nursing, do breast compressions to speed milk flow to him.
    - If baby consistently nods off within a few minutes of beginning to nurse, you may need to try switch nursing. In switch nursing, you switch baby to the other breast as soon as he seems to be dozing off, pausing to wake him by burping him or changing his diaper before answering him to the other breast. You repeat this process as many times as necessary, until baby will no longer wake. Switch nursing is great for milk supply, and teaches baby that if he wants to eat, he can't just laze around at the breast. He needs to stay focused and nurse, or you're going to annoy him. Just one caution: switch nursing is not great for moms with oversupply, because it really does build supply. When you have forceful letdowns, you have to at least consider the possibility that you have oversupply- at least this time around.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: questions I should probably already know the answers to!

    Thanks! His diapers/ouput has been great, however he just reached his birthwieght a few days ago. I have to switch feed due to a complication of a reduction. I have nearly no sensation in one nipple and can only offer that breast after let-down has been prompted in the other. (The reduction is what I suspect is at the root of the forcefull let-down now that I think of it.) Also, the one with decreased sensitivity has a significantly lower supply... ETA: no jaundice.

    Thanks again
    Last edited by @llli*so-blessed; September 10th, 2013 at 10:09 AM. Reason: forgot something!!

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