Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Milk supply doesn't seem to increase

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    4

    Default Milk supply doesn't seem to increase

    My baby is 3 weeks as of today. I try to EBF (he got a bottle on occasions when my spine went out of the window) but since about 5 days he doesn't seem satisfied during daytime.

    I feed on demand and night time goes very well. Around 7 he has his bath, nurses and sleeps for 2 to 3 hours, nurses again and goes back to sleep without any trouble. At night my breasts get full easily so he doesn't take long to drink, after he's finished I hold him for about 20 minutes before I put him down and lie next to him.

    Daytime is what's troubling me/us.
    First, I cannot lie him down without him waking up. Okay, I can deal with that but around noon (mostly) he starts to feed hourly or even more, which would be ok too if he wouldn't seem so hungry still.
    After drinking a couple of minutes I don't hear him swallowing anymore though he tries really hard to get something out. He'd start to pull on my breast with his mouth, pinching and squeezing with his hands additionally. I'll let him do that for a longer period of time in case there's another letdown (I never feel them btw, I just know because I can hear him swallow). When he and I can't take it anymore I burb him and offer the other side and the whole thing repeats.
    He'd fall asleep for a little while and we go over the whole process again. This stretches for hours and I'm exhausted. I can't get up even a minute or two.

    At night I only offer one breast since he seems pretty happy with what he gets and as I mentioned they get full so there's plenty to drink.
    In terms of diapers he has plenty of wet ones, poopy ones he has about 2, but it's a full blowout up to his back so I suppose that's ok? Color is mustard color and seedy.

    Is my supply during daytime too low?
    If yes shouldn't it have adjusted by now?
    Is such a difference between day and night common? Shouldn't supply be even? I just don't want my boy to be so hungry all the time. Any advice is welcomed!

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Milk supply doesn't seem to increase

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it through the first 3 weeks of nursing!

    First, I want to reassure you that everything you describe is both normal and common. It is normal for milk supply to fluctuate over the course of the day/night, and for nighttime supply to be higher and daytime simply lower. Supply is generally not even because we're not robots and neither are our babies!

    Many moms experience relatively higher supply during the nighttime and early morning because levels of prolactin, the milk-making hormone, tend to peak overnight. This means that feelings of engorgement and fullness are more prevalent at night, and that babies often need just one breast at a feeding during the night even if they require two breasts during daylight hours.

    Supply also tends to dip somewhat as the day wears on, and mom gets more tired and stressed. Please note that lower supply is not the same as low supply! Babies know exactly what to do about lower afternoon/evening supply: they nurse a lot more often and nurse for longer time periods. This is called "cluster feeding" and the fact that you are doing it probably helps to explains why you're getting nice 3 hour sleep stretches out of such a young baby. Cluster feeding helps your baby tank up for that first long stretch of sleep.

    Why this fluctuation in supply happens is anyone's guess, but the best explanation I have heard is that supply goes up at night because nature has designed babies to spend their nighttimes cuddling and nursing. That's not the way modern society expects babies to behave- we expect them to be alert all day and sleep all night, like adults do- but there's not much you can do to change Mother Nature's design!

    Do you have a sling or wrap carrier? Babies hate being put down because their instincts tell them that they are safest in mom's arms. Carrying baby in a sling or swap can allow you to hold your baby and also have some freedom to move around the house. If you get really adept, you can even nurse in the sling!

    Do you want to continue using bottles? And what have you been putting in them- pumped milk, or formula? We may pie able to help with those variables, as well- just tell us what you want to do about them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Milk supply doesn't seem to increase

    I'd love to answer detailed to the above but there's no time.

    We do use formula when we bottle feed, which brings me to the still unresolved problem of him being super hungry and my supply obviously being not enough. That's basically everyday after about 5 hours of cluster feeding. He's start to cry, detach and latch on by himself in seconds, let go completely but screaming for more the second after etc etc
    He tries really hard but nothing's coming out (no swallowing) and we both end up crying and I give in and give him a bottle. I really try for about an hour or so but no milk/ the little he gets is digested before he's satisfied enough to let go- I don't know
    I don't want to supplement with a bottle frequently but I don't know what to do...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Milk supply doesn't seem to increase

    How much formula are you using per day? And how often are you giving a bottle?

    In general, the best way to not use formula is to not have it in the house. That way you cannot reach for the bottle when things start feeling desperate. A baby pitching a fit after hours of cluster feeding is actually very normal regardless of your milk supply. I had crazy oversupply with my second baby and she still went bonkers at around 8 pm, and cried inconsolably for several hours. It wasn't that she was hungry- it was just a normal behavior in a young infant.

    When your baby is doing the latching/unlatching-crying thing, will he continue to nurse if you just keep letting him?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Milk supply doesn't seem to increase

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    How much formula are you using per day? And how often are you giving a bottle?

    In general, the best way to not use formula is to not have it in the house. That way you cannot reach for the bottle when things start feeling desperate. A baby pitching a fit after hours of cluster feeding is actually very normal regardless of your milk supply. I had crazy oversupply with my second baby and she still went bonkers at around 8 pm, and cried inconsolably for several hours. It wasn't that she was hungry- it was just a normal behavior in a young infant.

    When your baby is doing the latching/unlatching-crying thing, will he continue to nurse if you just keep letting him?
    IF I use it, I use it only once and mostly 50ml, twice I used 100. I think the amount is so low I should/could go without it, but when your LO seems miserable, you yourself feel miserable and people around you tell you why you don't supplement when the poor boy is screaming his head off - I crumble
    Yesterday we managed without it but today he frantically kept searching for my breast after unlatching and would nearly chew on it - that's how desperate he looks. By the way after he finished the bottle he still drank some more from the breast.
    So you mean even if he looks still hungry he's probably not? I can't really imagine to be honest

    As for ditching the bottle in general, as much as I'd like I also want to keep the option in case someone has to take care of him instead of me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,743

    Default Re: Milk supply doesn't seem to increase

    Hi, I know it is frustrating to have a fussy baby. Here are some ideas I hope will help for calming a fussy baby: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf

    As for ditching the bottle in general, as much as I'd like I also want to keep the option in case someone has to take care of him instead of me.
    Bottles are always an option. There is no need to give a bottle every day or to introduce the bottle by a certain age to keep that option open. Yes, some babies have a very difficult time accepting a bottle, but the study that has been done on this suggests this has little if anything to do with when a bottle is introduced. I know this goes against conventional wisdom, but so does lots of things. The actual facts about infant feeding have been buried by a mountain of incorrect or misleading "conventional wisdom."

    If you would feel more comfortable, you could keep giving a bottle but much less frequently and keep them smaller- less than an ounce, (30 ml) when they are just for practice, and no larger than 2-3 ounces when you are out. A normal complete feeding at the breast at this age is only 2 ounces- 60 ml, although some babies take in more at some feedings of course.

    Also, if you need someone else to care for baby for short outings of a couple hours, baby need not be bottle fed at all.

    In these ways, you could decrease the amount of supplement you need and it would be easier to express enough of your own milk to give that in bottles when you need to, and bottles are smaller and farther between which is good when you are trying to establish breastfeeding.

    Why formula should be avoided when at all possible I hope is understood. Why bottles even of moms own milk or formula are best avoided as much as possible especially while there are breastfeeding issues is not as well known. It has to do with 3 major factors.
    1) Bottles increase the time between nursing sessions, causing breasts to become very full in between. This leads to several issues: a) The flow from the breast is too fast for baby b) The breast is engorged and hard to latch onto c) That fullness tells the body to slow down milk production leading to too low milk production d) mom develops plugs and possibly mastitis. Pacifiers also cause the same problems for the same reasons.
    2) Bottle use changes how baby nurses, causing discomfort for mom and/or inefficiency at the breast
    3) Baby becomes used to the "flow" of milk from a bottle and begins to refuse to nurse.
    4) Bottles lead to overfeeding in general, causing the same issues and sometimes causing tummy upset and a more fussy baby. Of course formula may also cause tummy upset.



    So you mean even if he looks still hungry he's probably not? I can't really imagine to be honest
    Babies nurse for comfort as well as food. For many reasons they are biologically compelled to nurse with great frequency and to be held by mom or another trusted adult the rest of the time. Additionally, a newborn is trying to gain about an ounce a day - that is as fast as baby gained the last few weeks in the womb when baby was being fed continuously. So yes, baby is almost always hungry as well. This is NORMAL and does not mean baby needs any supplements.

    Assuming your baby is gaining normally, there is no need for supplements of your milk or formula. If baby is not gaining normally, then supplements may be needed while you figure out why and correct the problem, but supplementing baby will not solve whatever is going on that is preventing baby from gaining normally at the breast.

    If you think baby is having difficulty latching on and extracting milk, that is usually a solvable problem. If you think your milk production is overall low, that is usually a solvable problem. (production is either overall low, high or normal- production cannot be too low part of the day and fine others, it just does not work that way as mommal explained above- Fluctuations in milk production during the course of the day are normal and probably occur at least in part to increase the frequency with which baby nurses at certain times of day.)

    Biologically, humans developed as nomadic hunters and gatherers who were under constant threat to their survival and did not have any type of permanent or safe dwelling. This was how humans lived until very, very recently in biological terms. So that is the environment your baby is wired for. The baby who is held by mom is safest and more likely to survive than one who is put down-ever! A baby left by mom in the evening or night when predators are more active and it is cold would die even more quickly. So biologically, it makes perfect sense for a baby to want to nurse constantly during the afternoon or evening, and normal that mom is compelled to respond to those needs. This is why it upsets us so much when baby is fussy even if we 'know' all is ok and baby is getting enough to eat. Of course, some babies just nurse frequently most of the time. These are the babies who are covering all the bases.

    This is why, assuming baby is gaining normally but wanting to nurse most of the time, that is just normal
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 18th, 2015 at 08:43 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Milk supply doesn't seem to increase

    Thank you both very much for your detailed answers!

    Since 4 am he's nibbling/ drinking now at my breasts (11am now) and I'll try to stay away from any supplement the next couple of days and see - though it's a little hard since his voice already suffered under all the crying/fussing during feeding.
    Next week we've the one month appointment and I'll be sure about his weight gain (we just have a normal scale and I weigh myself with and without him to get an idea)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,743

    Default Re: Milk supply doesn't seem to increase

    Weight gain accurately measured with an infant scale is the most accurate measure that baby is getting enough, but poops can usually give a very good general idea as well. How many times does baby poop in 24 hours and what do they look like )color, consistency) and how much? (Little streak, enough to scoop into a teaspoon, enough to ooze out of diaper etc.)

    Also, what nursing positioning have you found works best for you both? What others have you tried? Is the crying happening while baby is trying to latch, or after milk flow begins? Does baby every settle down to nurse calmly?

    Crying and fussing are normal parts of being a baby, and will happen during feedings as well as at other time. But a baby who is so frustrated at the breast that they are regularly screaming themselves hoarse may be having issues with the milk transfer or something else even if baby is gaining ok. Are you able to see an IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant?)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •