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Thread: Ok to offer breast for comfort only?

  1. #1

    Default Ok to offer breast for comfort only?

    This may nit be the right thread, so please forgive me if not, as I'm a new user.

    LO is 22 weeks old, and mix fed until now (majority breastfed). Due to medical issues we have had to put him on specialist formula whilst awaiting test results, all under the supervision of health professionals.

    We have been advised not to give breast milk (direct from boob) as they need to monitor LO's exact intake via bottle, and with the prescription formula.

    I am so sad to not be able to breast feed for now, but am pumping like crazy to build up a freezer stash and keep my supply up...

    However, as expressing is not as effective as a baby suckling, will my supply ultimately deplete?

    And I also wondered if all was lost and my supply went down, if offering the breast for comfort is still ok even if there is no milk for LO?

    I know that suckling will increase my supply, but as we have been advised against any major feeds for a few weeks whilst awaiting results, is it ok, as I find that offering the breast is so comforting but is it not ok to do this if LO is not really being fed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Ok to offer breast for comfort only?

    Can you tell us more about this medical concern?

    I think nursing for comfort only if your supply dwindles is fine. You might find that you get more milk back. Also some moms are able to exclusively pump and maintain supply. Make sure you are pumping with a good double-electric pump, preferably a hospital-grade rental.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    23,871

    Default Re: Ok to offer breast for comfort only?

    The medical condition is very relevant here. Is this something where the baby is not allowed to have breastmilk because it could be bad for him?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    8,901

    Default Re: Ok to offer breast for comfort only?

    Wow, what an upsetting situation. I hope you get some answers soon so you can nurse freely again soon.

    I know that suckling will increase my supply, but as we have been advised against any major feeds for a few weeks whilst awaiting results, is it ok, as I find that offering the breast is so comforting but is it not ok to do this if LO is not really being fed?
    This does not sound as if the issue is the milk itself, but the amount. Right? I am really wondering how the hcp is defining 'major feeds' and what the concerns are here. If the issue is how much milk baby takes in, would doing before and after nursing weight checks make sense?

    I am very curious what the medical situation is. I am sorry to say this, but mothers are routinely told to not nurse or 'temporarily wean' for questionable reasons. Often medical tests can be done and diagnoses made while mom continues to nurse. But in any case, I think your hcp should be getting you access to a board certified lactation consultant to discuss your concerns. if not, maybe we can help you find more info, and perhaps there is a local LLL Leader or other breastfeeding support person you can call and talk to if you prefer? You are also welcome to PM me.


    However, as expressing is not as effective as a baby suckling, will my supply ultimately deplete?
    NO one can answer this for sure. To best protect your milk production, pump as frequently as you can, aiming for a frequency similar to your babies nursing frequency of that is at all possible. When exclusively pumping, it is usually recommended that mom pump with a hospital grade rented pump. Adding hand expressing to pumping sessions may help as well.

    And I also wondered if all was lost and my supply went down, if offering the breast for comfort is still ok even if there is no milk for LO?
    Yes, it is always ok to offer the breast for comfort, again, unless there is some reason you baby should not be getting your milk at all. Because even when comfort nursing, even if your production is low, baby is likely to get SOME milk.

    I think your chances of keeping up or regaining milk production are good, as long as you use a good pump, pump often, and this does not go on too long. Your baby is old enough that your milk production was well established. I am unclear on how much baby was supplemented prior to this issue or why, and that (combo feeding) affects milk production as well. But generally speaking, the longer a mom was able to nurse, the better her chances are of maintaining/regaining milk production.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; April 29th, 2014 at 11:56 PM.

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