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Thread: Feeding one baby but producing enough for two?

  1. #1

    Default Feeding one baby but producing enough for two?

    Hi, I'm new here. I have been wondering about something for quite a while and I thought this might be the right place to ask. I've just had a baby 16 weeks ago, and I only breastfed her exclusively for a few weeks then stopped due to poor advice and support, then started again and didn't have enough milk so mixed fed until she was just under 3 months. Now she is fully formula fed.

    Im not pregnant yet but my husband and I plan on trying to conceive another baby soon and I'm so very determined to make breastfeeding work out this time. I would love to even breastfeed my first daughter again as well. So my question is, if I feed the baby on one side but pump the other side for the same amount of time he/she is feeding, will that mimic another baby feeding and make my body produce twice the amount of milk? I would really like to produce as much milk as possible so I can feed the baby first, then give to my first daughter, as well as have some stored in the freezer.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    23,379

    Default Re: Feeding one baby but producing enough for two?

    Welcome to the forum!

    What you want to do- to feed 2 babies- is possible. It's difficult to say whether or not the specific plan of action you have in mind is workable or not, though. There are just too many unknowns- for example, the next baby you have: is he or she going to be a good enough nurser to get fed from one breast? Would he/she be, given enough time? How will you respond to pumping? Will your current baby be willing to nurse when your next is born? All these factors- and many more- are going to impact what happens the next time round.

    It seems to me that you are worrying about this way too soon. If I were in your shoes, I would probably want to do two things: first, think about whether or not your current baby could go back to the breast at this point, and second, talk to your obstetrician or midwife about your plan to conceive again "soon". On average, women who nurse their babies get their fertility back around 15 months postpartum. That means that when nature is left to take its course, babies are going to be spaced about 2 years apart, and there is a good reason for that: it takes time for your body to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Studies have found that babies who are spaced more closely are more likely to be born prematurely, and that is a factor that can really change your nursing journey.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    8,483

    Default Re: Feeding one baby but producing enough for two?

    I understand your desire, but I agree with mommal. If you want to be sure to get breastfeeding off to the best start possible next time, I would suggest waiting to conceive until your child is older. Aside from your own health and wellness and that of your infant, simply the normal logistics of nursing a newborn can be much harder if mom is also mothering a very young child. Not impossible, by any means, of course. Just harder.

    Whenever you have another baby, what many moms find they can do is nurse infant both sides as they like, get nursing off to a good start, and then pump when and whatever they can and offer that milk to an older child, (or nurse if child will) and of course this can be done at any point, well into toddlerhood or beyond. Breastmilk is healthy for anyone. Of course, if you did that, you have to be careful that the "overproduction" that is caused is not harmful to the nursing relationship with newborn, as it sometimes can be.

    But even if you conceived tomorrow, your baby would be a year old and probably eating solids pretty well by the time the new baby came along, plus her growth will have naturally slowed down considerably by then, and so she would probably not need or want nearly as much milk as a newborn. So there would be no need to double your production.

    I also wonder if you could be nursing your current baby now. There are two parts to breastfeeding- the milk and nursing at the breast. BOTH have proven benefits. Your desire to nurse your 4 month old is obviously still very strong, so I wonder if you have considered or tried what you can do to increase your milk production on the one hand, and/or to have baby nurse at the breast while receiving supplements, using a lactation aid. This is not easy, and there are no guarantees, but just throwing it out there.

    Additionally, there are many ways to offer a baby the benefits that are associated with nursing without actually nursing. Holding baby lots, wearing baby, sleeping with baby (which is considered safe if all safety factors are adhered to even for the non-nursing baby after about four months of age, if you want info let me know) and being very responsive to baby are all things that foster the same vital closeness and attachment nursing does, and are all things that might be harder to do if mom is pregnant or nursing a newborn.

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