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Thread: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    35

    Thumbs down Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    I have like 3 mins to ask my question before she'll want to be carried and to fight w/ my breast again ....

    So -

    I don't think I'm making enough milk in the afternoon for my suck-a-holic....

    In the mornings and sleep time the supply is bountiful.... but starting at about 3pm until 10pm it seems like I don't have enough to satisfy her.

    I was exhausted from her crying and pulling at my nippple for the past 3 days that yesterday was the first time I gave her 1.5 oz of formula. She was in heaven... fell asleep right away. I can't handle my little girl crying w/ that intensity ...

    How can I increase my supply at that time? I know it's the "supply demand" thing ... but after over a week of this same behavior, shouldn't my body know to make more milk at that time during the day?

    Things I've tried -
    - Allowing her to feed on que and she'll be attached for the majority of that time... (I've been doing this for over a week ...hoping my supply will change during that time of the day)
    - Switching from breast to breast hoping for additional let downs
    - Massaged (I can't massage during feedings as my hand is too little and breasts are too large ... ) I can't move my hands while she's latched well . One hand is supporting the other is holding my breast (I have to hold my breast as it'll cover her nose if I let go)

    *I know she isn't too happy w/ the flow... if it's too slow, she'll fight, tug, sorta like hit or push away from my breast.... but then re attach to do it all over agian...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    120

    Default Re: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    I know I was always told to increase my fluid intake starting in the early afternoon. Have you tried hydrating more?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    138

    Default Re: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    How old is she?

    My daughter did the exact same thing during her growth periods (3 & 6 weeks). I had to give bottles during 3 and a couple of times during 6 0BUT the amount was much less that she took b/c my supply had increased from constant feeding the 3rd wk.

    It is true that your supply is lower in the evening. Try pumping in the am or early am to have ebm instead of formula.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    Ouch -- that tugging and "fighting the breast" must be painful and annoying. I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

    Has she had any bottles before yesterday? That frustration with slower milk flow is something we sometimes see as a result of "nipple confusion."

    It is normal for your milk supply to be a bit lower later in the day, and it is also normal for the baby to cluster feed during those same hours. But the frustration at the breast is not normal (it may be common, but it's not "supposed" to be that way) -- so let's see if we can figure out what is going on to cause this behavior.

    In the meantime -- do make sure you are drinking enough fluids, and maybe try some oatmeal or Mothers' Milk Tea to boost your supply a little bit. I suspect, however, that part of what is going on is that when she begins to get frustrated, you begin to get tense (who wouldn't, with a fussy baby cranking up for hours at a time??), and that can interfere with your milk letting down. Can you try a few different things to help you relax? Soothing music or a warm drink, or maybe the two of you could get into a warm bath for some soothing cuddles?

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    28

    Default Re: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    Position could help. Have you tried the "football hold" position? Not only does the milk flow better, but also baby's nose is entirely open, as breast is "leaning" on baby's chest, not on baby's face. I have the same problem of large breast that cover baby's nose. This position solved that problem.
    The best picture I could find for this position is here: http://pregnancy.about.com/library/b...blfootball.htm

    Also, don't underestimate rest. If a bottle or 1.5 oz (expressed or formula) gives you both a break, you will produce more. If you can lay down for 5 minutes, do it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    Try lying down on your side belly to belly, this helps you both relax and lets you rub her back massage the breast, whatever you need to do to get comfy, you may need to put her on a pillow to get the angle right. good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    My DD is about 5 mos old and I still have the problem where she nurses more in the evenings and sucks me dry or so I think ... my mom made me take her off the breast mid-feed and I saw that there was milk in her mouth so, I knew she was getting milk even though I could not tell. I am just giving you my experiance so that you do not get too alarmed. Rule of tumb is that as long as the baby is thriving (ie alert and gaining weight) you do not have to worry. Remember that a fussy baby is not a hungry baby and maybe just needs to suck. Best of luck and don't stress out too much!
    Anjali

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    It's important to note that milk production is NOT slower in the evening, however, milk may flow somewhat slower. The upside is that milk is typically higher in fat during this time because baby is feeding frequently.

    Fussy afternoons/evenings are common in newborns. Even in formula fed newborns. It doesn't mean that your milk production is "low" or your milk is "not enough". What it does mean is that your baby is normal newborn.
    You might find this (non LLL) resource helpful:
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html

    You mention that your baby is pulling off and kneading the breast. Though it can seem somewhat disturbing, this is normal behavior. It means that your baby is trying to illicit another letdown.

    There are two reasons why feeding a bottle during these times can be counterproductive:
    1) If baby is actively nursing during a growth spurt, it's for a reason. If a feeding is replaced with a supplement, it means that the breasts aren't getting stimulated, and may not reach the full potential for milk production.
    2) If baby is fussing because of a slower flow and is given a bottle with a faster flow, baby will come to expect a faster flow and might balk when faced with a slow flow or a flow she has to *work* for.

    Below is some info about helping baby cope with a slower flow and milk production and how it works:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...flowpreference
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/mi...ction-faq.html

    HTH!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    How quick does the fluid intake change your production? If I drink it up now - will it effect me in a few hours?

    4 weeks old on Tuesday!!! Can you believe how time flies? - Feels like yesterday I posted a impatient post awaiting her birth ... and reading quakermomma telling me to be patient ..

    I'll definitely try some relaxing techniques... I do get quite tense when she wails like that. (Yes - she definitely prefers the bottle flow ... )

    The football hold was definitely useful - However she does'nt seem to be too fond of the position anymore ... (I had a c section and used it allllll day )

    I'll lay down and nurse more often - she does enjoy that ..... so do I as I get to doze off!!

    Ahhhh it's normal. I thought normal was the twins on "Everybody loves Raymond" where they never cry or get upset .... They really need to make a reality show based on motherhood the first few months .... !Great links Jolie!!! I'll read up !

    Thank you everyone

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Not making enough milk in the afternoons?

    I have the same issue with my DD, and yes, it's probably due to me giving her the occasional bottle. I've decided that it's not really a supply issue, because there's definitely milk. I can get it out by just squeezing my breast, even though it doesn't feel all that full. What I've discovered to help us get through her fussy time is to rock her and let her suck my thumb. She'll fall asleep for a little bit, and then we try feeding again when she wakes up. Generally, it works like a charm. There have only been one or two times that I wasn't able to calm her down (after trying for at least an hour...) and I gave in and gave her a bottle.

    I think that I automatically assumed that she was hungry because she acted hungry. But I have a baby that LOVES to suck. So much so, that I think even she gets confused by it. Sometimes she doesn't know if she's tired or hungry. So, we try eating, and if it doesn't work...we go for sleeping. At least for a little bit.

    I used to feel really guilty and talk to my boyfriend about how I was screwing things up, but I eventually realized that I'm doing the best I can. I'm not all that great at BF (especially compared to some of the very knowledgable and experienced women on this site), but my baby is gaining weight VERY well, and she's a good baby. She seems really happy, and I guess I can't ask for more than that. Well, I could do without the nipple pain that I've been battling the entire time...

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