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Thread: False alarm or low supply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default False alarm or low supply?

    I don't know if I have low milk supply or if it's the false alarm I read about. I went to the ped with my 8 week old son yesterday. Everything was good but he won't go any longer than 2 hours between feedings so she said I should supplement to make him go longer and that he should be able to go longer between meals if he's getting enough. That made me question my supply as well as the fact I feel deflated (excuse the verbage). I decided to pump after feedings to produce more. He also would suck, suck, suck and then swallow not like usual suck swallow pattern. I was panicking of course. I gave him 1/2 formula and 1/2 breast milk today and I'm very sad about it. I can't figure it out. I would like him to try and go longer between meals and of all miracles sleep longer than 2 to 3 hours at night but I don't know. Should I be concerned about the milk supply? I really want to continue to bf. He also will only bf for about 5 minutes on each side and cry sometimes while on the breast. Needing some input out there. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: False alarm or low supply?

    I don't know why your doctor would be concerned. It is perfectly normal for a breastfed baby to want to nurse every 2 hours! Some nurse even more often than that. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your supply at all. It is very alarming to me that your doctor would suggest that it is an indication that something is wrong. It sounds like your doctor is not very informed about how breastfeeding works.

    And it is also normal for your breasts to stop feeling so full all the time. Your body is beginning to regulate itself and only produce as much milk as you need, so you won't be engorged all the time.

    The change in your son's sucking pattern may indicate that he is going through a growth spurt and he is sucking more to stimulate your body to make more milk. This is also perfectly normal. Growth spurts also cause them to want to nurse more frequently, so it may be causing that too.

    If it's possible, you might want to see if you can switch doctors to a more breastfeeding knowledgeable caregiver. There is so much bad advice out there, it is important to be able to trust your doctor not to undermine your confidence for no reason.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Re: False alarm or low supply?

    First, is he gaining weight and having plenty of wet/dirty diapers? If so I wouldn't worry too much. My DD started this at about the same age and I wish I had handled it differently b/c now I really am struggling with low supply and I don't think I would be if I had refused to supplement. Mine had really bad reflux and that was a big reason she wouldn't nurse alot b/c she hurt. If he's spitting up like a lot I would ask ped about it. And by a lot I mean pretty much every time he eats and sometimes while he's eating more than a teaspoon of milk comes back.

    It's a lot easier to increase your supply if you handle it before it becomes a problem. As long as he's having plenty of wet diapers I would nurse as often and as long as he wants to. Follow that with about a 5 minute pump session immediately after he eats. You won't get much but it will stimulate you to make more. Fenugreek has been helping me too but I am taking really high doses of nearly 5000 mg per day. I wish I had done this rather than cave to the pressure and frustration. I know it would have worked out a lot better if I had.

    Don't let other people, even your dr, get you down. Some people just think formula is better b/c you can see how much they're getting and they stay fuller longer. If he's happy, gaining weight, and has good output then you can be happy too! Good luck!!!!
    Raising my children is the greatest career I can imagine. The pay is low, the hours are long, but the benefits and rewards are infinite!

  4. #4

    Default Re: False alarm or low supply?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*norasmommy View Post
    I don't know why your doctor would be concerned. It is perfectly normal for a breastfed baby to want to nurse every 2 hours! Some nurse even more often than that. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your supply at all. It is very alarming to me that your doctor would suggest that it is an indication that something is wrong. It sounds like your doctor is not very informed about how breastfeeding works.

    And it is also normal for your breasts to stop feeling so full all the time. Your body is beginning to regulate itself and only produce as much milk as you need, so you won't be engorged all the time.

    The change in your son's sucking pattern may indicate that he is going through a growth spurt and he is sucking more to stimulate your body to make more milk. This is also perfectly normal. Growth spurts also cause them to want to nurse more frequently, so it may be causing that too.

    If it's possible, you might want to see if you can switch doctors to a more breastfeeding knowledgeable caregiver. There is so much bad advice out there, it is important to be able to trust your doctor not to undermine your confidence for no reason.


    I just wanted to encourage you as well. If baby is having plenty of wet and dirty diapers and is growing well and meeting milestones, then baby is getting enough breastmilk. It is VERY COMMON for breastfed babies to want to nurse every 2 hours...sometimes less even. Formula fed babies generally go longer than 2 hours between feedings, but breastfed babies don't necessarily do that because breastmilk is more easily and quickly digested.

    Both of my sons have been every 2 hour nursers from birth to at least 7-8 MONTHS old during the day....yes, I said 7-8 months My youngest son actually nursed every 2 hours during the day until he was almost a year old, and it was completely normal. In fact, in my case, I deal with oversupply too, so there was no shortage of breastmilk, they simply were regulating their own breastmilk intake and were and are perfectly healthy.

    Another thing to consider, is that all breasts and all babies are not the same. Some women really do have a larger capacity than others, and some babies will want more at a feeding than others. But as long as there are plenty of wet and poopy diapers, good growth, and milestones being met, then baby is getting enough.

    Since you were supplementing with formula, be on the lookout for that to have lowered your milk supply a bit. Keep nursing as often as possible, and if you feel like you really aren't making enough, feel free to pump like you were doing. However, if baby is content, has plenty of wet and poopy diapers, is gaining weight well and meeting milestones on breastmilk alone, then you probably don't need to pump or supplement at all. The goal should be to be making what your baby needs.

  5. #5

    Default Re: False alarm or low supply?

    If your baby cries when nursing, it could be reflux. Reflux babies don't always spit up. My son had bad reflux & never spit up & my daughter (7weeks) also has reflux & never spits up. They both cried when nursing.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: False alarm or low supply?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*francis.breadandjam View Post
    It is VERY COMMON for breastfed babies to want to nurse every 2 hours...sometimes less even. Formula fed babies generally go longer than 2 hours between feedings, but breastfed babies don't necessarily do that because breastmilk is more easily and quickly digested.

    Both of my sons have been every 2 hour nursers from birth to at least 7-8 MONTHS old during the day....yes, I said 7-8 months
    DD was the same way, she nursed at least every two hours for months and after that it was uncommon for her to go longer than 3. I agree completely with everyone else's advice


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    1,090

    Default Re: False alarm or low supply?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jeannie.bean View Post
    DD was the same way, she nursed at least every two hours for months and after that it was uncommon for her to go longer than 3. I agree completely with everyone else's advice

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