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Thread: Supplementing after every feed, will it end?

  1. #1

    Default Supplementing after every feed, will it end?

    I have a three week old who was born at 36.5 weeks, due date is in a couple of days. We have had to supplement but I got my supply up from herbs and pumping so now he is supplemented using EBM.

    He has a weak suck and is sleepy at the breast. I put him to my breast for 30-40 minutes and he will take approx 50% of his feed (I have rented a scale so I know), and the remaining 50% of his feed he will take via the bottle while I pump. His weight gain now is looking good.

    I have help to bottlefeed but I am getting fed up of pumping after every feed. Most of my 30-40 minutes at the breast is spent in breast compressions, tickling him, moving him from side to side to get him to wake up. In that 30-40 minutes, he might suck well for maybe 8-10 minutes, rest he is just sleepy.

    Is there an end to the supplementation and pumping? How long will it take? I'd rather just breastfeed than breastfeed + pump.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Supplementing after every feed, will it end?

    Hi parakeet. I nursed and pumped around the clock with my first baby, born at 37 weeks. We never had to supplement, (in any case we were never told to) but because I used a nipple shield I had to pump to make sure my milk production was ok. So I understand at least some of what you are going though. Those were the hardest, most exhausting weeks of my life and I often felt like I was going mad. But IMO it was worth it X 1000.

    Yes, there is an end to supplementing and pumping. The end comes when 1) mom makes enough milk for baby to gain normally and 2) baby is capable of extracting enough milk when baby nurses. Once the need for supplementing ends, the need to pump also ends.

    One thing I have learned is that is often NOT necessary for a baby to be supplemented at every nursing session, and/or, it is not necessary for mom to pump after every nursing session. These are variables, not absolutes. Since a newborn baby can easily want to nurse 10-15 or more times in 24 hours, there is often many opportunities to only nurse, even if baby is supplemented and mom is pumping. Because most pump/supplement recommendations are meant to be done for 8 times a day at most.

    I would be curious to know what 100% of a feed for a three week old baby is. As far as I know, there is no such quantification. In a situation with a normally gaining breastfed baby, intake varies nursing session to nursing session as well as baby to baby. What is important is that over 24 hours, baby gets the amount of milk they need to gain normally. For some babies, this means larger individual feedings, and for others it means more feedings. Or both.

    My best suggestion to you is to see in person (or re-visit) a board certified lactation consultant for a complete consult to see if and why baby might not be transferring milk effectively, and to get suggestions to pinpoint the precise issues. If your current plan is exhausting you, tell them that. There is no magic specific plan all moms must follow. What is most important is that the plan is one mom can do.

    If you cannot do that, we would need more info to try to advise you on here. We can try, just let us know.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Supplementing after every feed, will it end?

    with the PP!

    I know this is exhausting, but I promise there is an end to it! I nursed and pumped with my firstborn and while it seemed like an eternity at the time, I look back and it was just 3 months. Pretty short in relation to my whole life.

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