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Thread: Do I need to pump?

  1. #1

    Default Do I need to pump?

    Hello. My son is 5 weeks, 4 days old. He is up 4 pounds from his birth weight and has been ebf (on demand) since birth. I have noticed his eating habits are much different than my first; he usually only eats from one side and the feedings range from 7-12 minutes. Sometimes he will nurse from both sides as well. Many times he falls asleep while nursing. I always alternate sides after a feeding too.

    I know it is normal for breasts to not feel full as your body begins to regulate feedings and I have not experienced fullness in my breasts, and last night, he was very fussy and my husband gave him formula and he ate 4 ounces and slept a good 3 hours (while nursing we are on a 1.5-2 hour schedule and night).

    I was devastated when he ate so much formula and now am thinking maybe my evening supply is low? He is gaining weight well, has the normal amounts of wet diapers (10-12 per day) and has regular bowel movements.

    We have also been dealing with some spit up issues. Sometimes is a small amount, but sometimes, he spits up a lot (it almost looks like a whole feeding). He doesn't show signs of any pain when he does and the doctor was not concerned, but sometimes it feels like after he spits up so much, his tummy feels empty quicker.

    I have not been pumping because I plan on being with the baby and didn't see the need to, but now I'm second guessing my decision. Could my supply be low? Should I be pumping after a feeding? And if so, do I pump after he eats from just one side and leave the un-nursed breast? Thank you all in advance for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    22,014

    Default Re: Do I need to pump?

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    If your child is 4 lbs past his birth weight at 5 weeks of age, there is nothing wrong with your supply. Babies are supposed to be back at birthweight by 2 weeks, and then start gaining consistently. Average weight gain in the 0-4 month age range is around 5-8 oz per week, and your child has gained significantly more than that. So put the idea of a supply problem out of your mind! Soft breasts mean nothing when weight gain and diaper output are good.

    Next, take the formula and put it in the trash or donate it to a needy family. Again, you do not have a supply problem! Your baby ate a large amount from the bottle because that is what babies do when given bottles. When a baby feeds from the breast, milk flow slows or stops when the baby transitions from sucking eagerly for nutrition to sucking gently for comfort. When a baby feeds from a bottle, the bottle delivers the same fast flow regardless of how the baby is sucking, and the baby must keep swallowing or he will choke. This is one reason why bottle-fed babies are often overfed. Not knowing better, I once fed my newborn 7 oz from the bottle- which she then proceeded to puke up!

    Since your baby's weight gain is above average, he's feeding faster than average, spit-up is frequent and voluminous, and he often wants to feed from just one breast at a time, there's a good chance that you have some excess supply going on right now. When mom has high supply, letdowns are often fast and that can cause more fussiness than average. But even when letdowns are not too fast, babies are often increasingly fussy in the late afternoons/evenings. The best thing to do when evening fussiness strikes is to nurse through it, if baby is willing.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Do I need to pump?

    @Mommal,

    Thank you for your reply. I am so thankful for your knowledge. I will continue to do what I have been doing. I might start pumping to store some milk, just in case and that way we can get rid of the formula. Thank you once again. I truly appreciate your help.

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