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Thread: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,653

    Default Re: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

    What kind of pill is it? The progestin-only minipill or the estrogen-progestin combination pill? The former is generally okay for breastfeeding, though there is good anecdotal evidence that it can cause supply problems for some women. The latter is strongly contraindicated for use in nursing moms because it is known to cause supply problems. Whichever one you're taking, it's probably a good idea to go off of it for now, eliminating that variable from your breastfeeding situation. When you feel like you're back on track with nursing, then you can revisit using hormonal birth control.

    How much milk are you getting when you pump?

    In general, when a baby seems hungry after feeding, you should simply put him back on the breast, rather than getting him a bottle. Giving a bottle means that baby doesn't give your body the stimulation it needs in order to produce more milk, and it also teaches baby that fussing after feeding is rewarded with a bottle. That means he has less incentive to work hard at nursing.

    How many times a day does your baby nurse? Is he on any sort of a schedule? Do you offer both breasts at every feeding?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  2. #12

    Default Re: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

    It is really frustrating when a baby seems hungry all the time. But your baby is gaining so very well, it appears baby is getting plenty of milk and I have to wonder why you would need formula or even need to top off with your own expressed milk, which i assume you really need for when you are at work.
    You have older kids who also nursed, right? Is this the first baby you had any issues like this with?

    If formula is needed, it is needed. but as mommal says, any supplementing is potentialy harmful to milk production and breastfeeding.

    I would add to mommals questions how many ounces of milk baby drinks when you are away each day, and how long you are separated, and how many times you pump in a day and what kind of pump it is and how old it is.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

    also, babies drink differently from bottles - bottles pour into their mouth and they have little control over the flow. so "sucking down a bottle" actually tells you basically nothing about whether he's hungry.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    10

    Default Re: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

    I am on the protesting only pill. I was going to have my fallopian tubes removed next year because I have no more time off left at work for this year. I guess I can just be really careful until then if I have to. I may try stopping the pill.

    While I was away at work yesterday he ate 15 oz of expressed milk (wiping out the supply completely) and was hungry enough to nurse shortly after I got home. I was away for 8 hours. Now I HAD to buy formula because I don't have enough to leave today.

    When I pump I can get anywhere from 3-5 oz. Usually 2-3 out of right breast and 1-2 out of left breasted. When I nurse I nurse both breasts. Except at night when he usually falls asleep after one, and I pump the other before going to bed. He usually nurses every three hours if he sleeps, but he hasn't been sleeping well during the day for the past few weeks and he wants to nurse constantly it seems. Ive tried only giving one breast to try and allow the other to produce, ive tried holding off for at least and hour between to try and produce, and also just allowing him to stay at the breast all day, nothing seems to work. I have tried those things for at least 4-5 days to see if my body would respond and it hasn't.

    I also nursed my now 3 year old daughter but had different issues with her. She was borderline failure to thrive the whole time she was nursed. And my supply slowly dwindled after returning to work. I dried up at around 5 months. But I wad using a bad pump and really didn't know what I was doing so I also blame that for why I lost my supply so soon. I am trying not to let that happen this time.

    I have a much better pump this time. The medela personal double. Its brand new.

    I know that supplementing can affect the supply but ive been nursing and nursing and nursing and its not boosting my supply at all. I'm not worried about him not thriving,I guess I'm just upset that my body isn't producing enough to completely satisfy him.
    Last edited by @llli*hms828; October 20th, 2013 at 02:47 PM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

    but it's actually not clear at ALL that you're not producing enough! everything you describe is normal. your pump production is average to excellent (3 oz per session is avg) and he's gaining well. so it does NOT sound like supply is a problem.

    i guess what i'm saying is, i can't figure out why you think supply IS a problem. you haven't really explained that. nursing is what feeds the baby and also is what produces more milk, so it's normal for the baby to nurse a lot. cluster feeding is normal and not an indication that your supply is low. is there something else going on that i'm missing?

    the only thing that is a red flag to me is that 15 oz over 8 hours is a lot. generally the guidelines are 1-1.5 oz per hour of separation, so i would have expected him to take 8-12 oz. so it would make sense to me if your problem was, how to keep up on the pumped milk. for that problem i would suggest talking to caregiver about normal feeding amounts, leaving smaller bottles (3 oz is good, 4 is on the large size), and paced bottle feeding. http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,621

    Default Re: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

    I am guessing that your experience with near failure to thrive is making you more anxious this time. I am having the same issues now, worrying about stuff that may be fine bc I had so many problems with my first child.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    10

    Default Re: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

    I am concerned that my supply isn't increasing to meet his demands no matter how much I nurse and pump. Not that my supply is low.

    Dad is caregiver when I'm at work so I will look into and discuss paced bottle feedings with him. I'm also going to discuss it with the pedi on Wednesday for baby's two month check up because I know that 15 oz is a LOT!

    I am going to try pumping every two hours at work to try and rebuild my stash of milk. Also pump at night while hes sleeping if its possible.

    And yes!! I am definitely more anxious about running out of milk this time around! I really want to keep nursing until he is a year old!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

    "the only thing that is a red flag to me is that 15 oz over 8 hours is a lot. generally the guidelines are 1-1.5 oz per hour of separation, so i would have expected him to take 8-12 oz. so it would make sense to me if your problem was, how to keep up on the pumped milk. for that problem i would suggest talking to caregiver about normal feeding amounts, leaving smaller bottles (3 oz is good, 4 is on the large size), and paced bottle feeding. [url]http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/feeding-tools/bottle-feeding/"


    I am not finding anything on "paced bottle feeding". Can you explain further or maybe help me find some info on it? Thanks!

    Nevermind. I realized the article is explaining it. Duhhh
    Last edited by @llli*hms828; October 20th, 2013 at 08:16 PM.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: cluster feeding with no increase in supply!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*hms828 View Post
    I am concerned that my supply isn't increasing to meet his demands no matter how much I nurse and pump. Not that my supply is low.
    maybe it would help to remember that bf babies don't actually increase their intake, from about 1 month to 6 months (when it gradually goes down as you add solids). unlike with formula. it seems breastmilk changes composition to meet baby's needs. so you actualy don't need to increase your supply (since you're pumping well and gaining well)! you are doing great, it sounds like, and there is no reason you shouldn't be able to nurse as long as you want.

    for sure, pumping every 2 hours will help but it takes awhile, up to a week, for your body to meet the new demand. to keep this going long term, aim to pump as much every day as he takes in a bottle. you don't need to do more, but many moms like to have an extra stash for psychological reasons (i did).
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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